What happened to DreamWorks anyway?

What happened to DreamWorks anyway?

In 2016, news mobilized fans of animated films such as Shrek and Madagascar. The animation studio Dreamworks, responsible for creating these franchises, was sold to NBCUniversal, an arm of communications giant Comcast Corporation, which is considered the largest company in the US TV market.

The business transaction, which was in the range of US$ 3.8 billion, impacted not only the future of the movies, but also the franchises’ course, which involves licensed products and theme parks. From then on, Dreamworks became part of Universal Pictures, which already owned franchises such as Despicable Me and its spin-off, Minions.

But, after all, what happened to DreamWorks? In this text we will tell you details about this story and how this amazing studio came into existence.

The Creation of DreamWorks

The Creation of DreamWorks
(Source: Los Angeles Times)

DreamWorks Pictures was born in 1994, and was the union of efforts of three renowned names in the media industry: famous director Steven Spielberg, director and animator Jeffrey Katzenberg (who previously worked at the Walt Disney Company), and tycoon David Geffen, whose business was more connected to the music market. The studio was named DreamWorks SKG, an acronym that joined the initials of the last names of the three owners.

The group’s first big hit was Shrek, in 2001. Then, in 2002, they released Spirit: The Unlovable Steed, whose plot has been compared to the classic The Lion King. The company was also a pioneer in the construction of sequels for its feature films, a practice that would later be imitated by Disney and Pixar.

The company has released 38 animated feature films. The first film of this genre produced by the studio was Ant-ManZ from 1998, and most recent of these is 2022’s The Mean Guys. It has also operated in the adult film business, with the first one released by DreamWorks being The Peacemaker in 1997, starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman.

What happened with DreamWorks?

What happened with DreamWorks?
(Source: Pipoca Moderna)

In April 2016, it was announced that the giant Comcast Corporation had finalized negotiations and acquired DreamsWorks Animation. In this way, DreamWorks became an arm of Universal Pictures and NBCUniversal.

The merger had great repercussions, as it would bring more strength to the group to rival the Walt Disney Company, which acquired in 2006 the famous animation studio Pixar – responsible for great successes such as Toy Story, Cars and Monsters SA.

According to an announcement at the time by DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, the company had been in the process of being sold for years. “I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow the market to our full potential,” he stated.

What are DreamWorks’ biggest successes?

What are DreamWorks' biggest successes?
(Source: DreamWorks)

Throughout its 28 years of existence, DreamWorks has achieved many recognitions for its films. The studio has won three Academy Awards, 41 Emmy Awards, and several Annie Awards. It has also had many Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations.

Of the films they have produced, fifteen are on the list of the 50 highest grossing animated films of all time. The studio’s biggest hit is 2004’s Shrek 2, which grossed around $920 million.

The rivalry between DreamWorks and Pixar

The rivalry between DreamWorks and Pixar
(Source: UOL)

Fans of animated films often see a positive rivalry between the productions of the two largest studios in the genre: DreamWorks and Pixar. The decision about which studio is better will depend on many factors involving the subjectivity of the fans.

But we can bring data that can help you, the reader, to position yourself in this question. DreamWorks, as we have already told you here, has won many awards for its productions, and has very successful franchises in its catalog, such as Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda and The Good Little Boss.

Pixar, on the other hand, has also achieved a lot of recognition. It has won an incredible 21 Oscars, 9 Golden Globes, and 11 Grammys. Among its most famous works are films that are much beloved by children, such as the Toy Story franchise, The Incredibles, and Monsters S.A.

If we look at stand-alone movies – that is, movies that do not have a sequel – we will also find great works created by both studios. DreamWorks produced, for example: The Chicken Escape (2000), Bee Movie (2007), The Forestless (2006), among many others. Pixar, on the other hand, is the name behind critically acclaimed films such as Funny Mind (2015), Soul (2020), Wall-E (2008), and Finding Nemo (2003).

The “competition” between the two studios is positive for the fans, since they keep producing wonderful animations for us to follow. After all, we are the winners, aren’t we?

Sources: Panrotas, Living Bauru, Popular Questions

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