DreamWorks Animation/Summary (2024)

Background: DreamWorks Animation is an American animation studio as a successor to Amblimation, which has produced a series of critically and commercially successful computer-animated films, including Shrek, Shark Tale, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens, How to Train Your Dragon, and Megamind, among others. It was formed by the merger of the feature animation division of DreamWorks SKG and Pacific Data Images (PDI). Originally formed under the banner of DreamWorks SKG, it was spun-off into a separate public company in 2004. Starting with Over the Hedge, their movies were distributed through Paramount Pictures (in turn owned by Viacom), who acquired the rest of DreamWorks SKG in February 2006. However, in August 2012, DreamWorks Animation signed a five-year distribution deal with 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios), then a subsidiary of News Corporation (later spun-off into 21st Century Fox and now currently owned by The Walt Disney Company), which began after the release of Rise of the Guardians; and whilst in China, the company formed Oriental DreamWorks and in Korea, the company kept its distribution agreement with CJ Entertainment. On April 28, 2016, Comcast officially announced that it was intended on acquiring DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, valuing the company at $41 per share. The acquisition was completed on August 22 of that year, and became a unit of NBCUniversal. Universal Pictures took over distribution rights of DreamWorks Animation's films shortly after the 20th Century Fox deal ended; and they would release their first theatrical DWA film, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, on February 22, 2019. As of today however, ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global) still retains the TV (and select streaming) rights to most of the Paramount-distributed DreamWorks Animation films under license from Universal Pictures, which are also licensed by for syndication. In Japan, DreamWorks titles are currently distributed by GAGA in partnership with Universal's Japanese distirbutor, Toho-Towa.

Contents

  • 1 1st Logo (May 19, 2004-November 17, 2009)
  • 2 2nd Logo (March 26, 2009-June 2, 2017)
  • 3 3rd Logo (March 31, 2017-present)
  • 4 4th Logo (November 22, 2022-)

1st Logo (May 19, 2004-November 17, 2009)[]

Nicknames: "The Rainbow Balloon Kid", "Little Boy Fishing on the Moon", "Fishing Boy", "Daytime DreamWorks", "DreamWorks Fishing Boy"

Logo: We pan up through a cloudy blue sky at daytime as the familiar DreamWorks crescent moon is seen. A boy (similar to that of the 1997 DreamWorks Pictures logo) flies up onto the moon holding a bunch of balloons, and as he takes his place, he takes out his fishing rod and casts it, while letting go of the balloons. The camera pans further up into a cloud formation similar to the DreamWorks Pictures logo, as the balloons fly up and then pop into the rainbow-colored letters "DREAMWORKS", in its corporate font. The text slightly eases in as "ANIMATION SKG", underneath a blue line, fades in underneath.

Variants:

  • On Shrek 2, as well as DreamWorks Animation's DVD releases until Flushed Away and DreamWorks Animation's UK DVD releases until Over the Hedge, there's an early version of the logo where it just says "ANIMATION" underneath.
  • On The Madagascar Penguins in A Christmas Caper, the "ANIMATION SKG" variant of the logo has the boy and the moon above.
  • On Over the Hedge, only the line appears below the name. An extremely rare version of this exists where it has the boy and the moon above; however, unlike the former, this actually wasn't used on any films, it's only known to have appeared on the trailer for Flushed Away and a teaser for Bee Movie.
  • Starting in 2006 with Flushed Away, the boy and the moon appear above the text, replacing the two cumulus clouds in the far middle of the logo. On the aforementioned film, however, it simply has "SKG" underneath with lines on the left and right of it respectively, much like the regular DreamWorks Pictures logo. Starting with Shrek the Third, the text reverted back to "ANIMATION SKG".
  • On Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Monsters vs. Aliens, there are more clouds than usual and it stays on the moon when the kid releases the balloons, as the name fades in below.
  • On a teaser for Over the Hedge, an odd variant appeared where the moon and boy are more white than usual and the logo is slightly stretched from top to bottom, having the effect of cutting the moon off slightly at the top of the frame. This was also a placeholder logo for their DVDs.
  • On DWA handheld video games, there is a print version of the logo on a white background.
  • A still version of the logo exists at the end of DWA films.

FX/SFX: Excellent CGI by Pacific Data Images and yu+Co, using an HP workstation with custom 3D software.

Music/Sounds: A majestic and peaceful orchestrated piece, composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, which is adapted from the track "Fairytale" from Shrek. Sometimes, the opening theme is heard or it is silent.

Music/Sounds Variants: On an MBC Persia airing of Shrek 2, the 2012 Universal Pictures logo's music is heard, due to a reverse plastering error.

Availability: Common. Seen on all DreamWorks Animation films from the era, beginning with Shrek 2 and was last seen on Monsters vs. Aliens. It was also used as a placeholder home video logo until Over the Hedge. Strangely, it was seen on The Ghost of Lord Farquaad on a Shrek DVD sampler on General Mills packages of Cookie Crisp. It also appears on some video games based on DreamWorks Animation films, except for Shrek 2 and Shark Tale, which use the 1997 DreamWorks Pictures logo. It was last seen on Merry Madagascar.

Editor's Note: This is a gorgeous logo with an equally gorgeous fanfare as well; and it is a favorite of many.

2nd Logo (March 26, 2009-June 2, 2017)[]

Nicknames: "Little Boy Fishing On the Moon II", "Fishing Boy II", "Nighttime DreamWorks", "DreamWorks Fishing Boy II", "Fishing for Dreams", "Pre-Comcast DreamWorks"

Logo: In a starry nighttime sky, we see a full violet moon. A shadow appears on it as it turns into a crescent moon, revealing the boy (now in violet) from the last logo sitting on it. He takes out his fishing rod and casts it, swinging it around the fuchsia clouds as the camera pans out. Then, the words "DREAMWORKS" in violet zoom out and spread one-by-one below the moon, ending with "ANIMATION SKG" appearing between two lines in violet.

Variants:

  • On the Super Bowl trailer for Monsters vs. Aliens, the name underneath reads "SKG", much like the normal DreamWorks Pictures logo.
  • There is a 20th anniversary variant of this logo created in 2014. The moon is pushed to the right more to accommodate room for the "2" on the left (with the moon taking the place of the "0" to form the "20") as the word "YEARS" appears underneath. Also, the logo is still and is silent. This can be seen on How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Penguins of Madagascar.
    • On the aforementioned anniversary brand campaign, it starts as normal, but when the boy's fishing hook swings by the screen, it sweeps up letters that form the word "YEARS" which then settle underneath the moon. From there, the number "2" appears to the left of the moon (with the moon taking the place of the "0" to form the "20") and the words "OF DREAMS" and "AND LAUGHTER" fade in below "YEARS" in columns. The DreamWorks text (without the line and "ANIMATION SKG") then fades in above the "20", as copyright information appears underneath the logo.
  • On the season 2 trailer for Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, the line and "ANIMATION SKG" are replaced with the Comcast byline.
  • A still version exists at the end of their films and most of their shorts.
  • Many variants exist due to the studio frequently making use of logo gags. They can be seen here.

FX/SFX: The zooming, the swinging of the fishing rod, and the spreading/arranging of the letters. Very nice CGI by DreamWorks Animation Glendale.

Music/Sounds: A dreamy flute/piano/string piece that leads into a re-orchestrated rendition of the last logo's theme. This theme debuted in Shrek Forever After. Unfortunately, this theme was rarely used (the opening theme of films were often used instead), only being present on that film and a couple of others, such as Shrek the Musical, as well as the Penguins of Madagascar game. This was again composed by Harry Gregson-Williams.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The still version is silent or uses the film's ending theme.
  • On Shrek 3-D re-releases under the name of The Ghost of Lord Farquaad, it has the end of the theme from the previous logo.
  • On Puss in Boots, a flamenco theme is heard.
  • Trolls and both The Boss Baby movies use different versions of the theme with their custom variants.
  • On Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, George Beard (voiced by Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (voiced by Thomas Middleditch) hum the last part of the theme.

Availability: Common.

  • It was first seen on the Super Bowl trailer of Monsters vs. Aliens (the actual film has the previous logo), and later debuted officially on How to Train Your Dragon, and appeared on all DreamWorks Animation films from 2010 to 2017. Also seen on some licensed games from the company during this era.
  • The last film to use this logo was Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.
  • Despite the logo's retirement in 2017, this has been used sporadically on later productions here and there, such as the trailer for the second season of Jurassic Park: Camp Cretaceous as well as the The Boss Baby: Family Business, due to using the original Boss Baby variant.

Editor's Note: Another very nicely animated logo from the studio, paying a memorable tribute to those who grew up with the second version of the latter.

3rd Logo (March 31, 2017-present)[]

Nicknames: "Little Boy Fishing On the Moon III", "Fishing Boy III", "Nighttime DreamWorks II", "The Evolution of Animation", "The Day & Night Cycle", "Comcast DreamWorks", "DreamWorks Fishing Boy III", "Fishing for Dreams II"

Logo: On a black background, some blue streaks fill onto the screen, as some painted clouds start appearing, creating a daytime scene. The scene then fizzles with a sunset setting, growing in size from the top-right, as more and more clouds appear, slowly becoming 3D. As we zoom through the clouds, they take on a blue tint as the scenery turns to nighttime. A blue energy forms a white sphere in the center, and the boy on the moon carves onto the sphere, forming the inverted print logo. Clouds blow in from the left and from the right, as the word "DREAMWORKS" forms from light streaks under the logo, followed by the Comcast byline wiping in, as some clouds disappear from the background while some remaining ones slowly move upwards.

Variants:

  • An alternate version exists where it has the print logo on a blue background, which was seen on the 2018 animated short Bird Karma. An inverted version appeared on Trolls Holiday (where this logo debuted).
  • A still version exists.
  • On some current prints of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (plastering the 2004-2009 logo), it is bylineless and fades out early.

FX/SFX: Brilliant CGI, mixing 2-D and 3-D animation, this time, not having the boy on the moon actually animate. None for the still and print versions (however in Bird Karma, the alternate print logo is wiggling).

Music/Sounds: It opens with a string/flute melody, sounding similar to the previous two logo's music, which then builds into a different triumphant fanfare, ending with a choir. Composed by John Powell. The still version is silent. Sometimes, the opening theme of the movie would be used instead.

Music/Sounds Variant:

  • On some current prints of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the opening theme from the 2004-2009 logo on the aforementioned film plays over it.
  • On The Bad Guys (2022), a different theme by Daniel Pemberton is used, continuing from the Universal Pictures logo. Oddly enough, that track isn't in the film's soundtrack.

Availability: Current.

  • First seen on Trolls Holiday, albeit in a print version; the inverted version of this was seen on the shorts Bird Karma and Bilby (though online prints of the latter onward replaced it with a still version of the standard logo).
  • The standard version was first revealed on the trailer for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, with the fully animated version debuting on the film itself, and also appeared on Abominable, Spirit Untamed, and as variants on Trolls World Tour and The Croods: A New Age, with the former being shown after the Dreamworks Animation 25 Years logo.
  • This logo is also found at the end of The Boss Baby: Family Business, due to that film having the previous logo (albeit using a custom variant) at the beginning.
  • It also plastered the 2004-2009 logo on some current prints of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and may possibly plaster some other films in the future as of this writing.
  • This logo is currently in the process of being phased out in favor of the next logo. It was most recently seen on trailers for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, with the film itself using the next logo.

Editor's Note: This logo pays homage to the evolution of animation (mostly the 1997 DreamWorks Pictures logo, whom DreamWorks Animation spun off from, and the 2004-2009 logo), evolving from hand-drawn 2D animation into the 3-D animation of today, and it is done amazingly well.

4th Logo (November 22, 2022-)[]

Nicknames: "Little Boy Fishing On the Moon IV", "Fishing Boy IV", "Nighttime DreamWorks III", "Comcast DreamWorks II", "DreamWorks Fishing Boy IV", "Fishing for Dreams III", "The Moon Child", "Fishing Boy's Adventure", "The Moon Child's Adventure", "DreamWorks Universe"

Logo: Over a clear night sky, the Moon Child from the previous logo stands up from their crescent, grabs it, and starts flying while the Moon vanishes into light. The camera then pans throughout the sky, They pass by various DreamWorks characters from various DreamWorks franchises and films; in order, the Bad Guys (from the film of the same name, all inside a car, with Mr. Wolf pointing a finger gun at the Moon Child, which they do back), Toothless (from How to Train Your Dragon, who flies out of a constellation and towards us), Po (from Kung Fu Panda, on an island with a temple, performing a gesture), Ted Templeton Jr. (from The Boss Baby, on the other side of the island, surrounded by toy blocks and a baby bottle), and Poppy (from Trolls, inside a bubble). The Moon Child high-fives her, causing the bubble to burst and the scene to transition into a sunny atmosphere. We see some hills and a riverbank in this scene. The Moon Child then passes by Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey (all from Shrek), the former two of whom they wave goodbye to. The Moon Child then flies above the clouds, into the cloud background from the last logo (with more defined clouds this time). As they stop in front of the moon, the Moon Child casts their rod, forming the print logo design. As this happens, the text from the previous logo fades in under the moon.

Trivia:

  • The sequence lasts 32 seconds and took eight months to create.
  • The child's silhouette is more ambiguous and gender-neutral, to appeal to more viewers.
  • The child's crescent was a moon before, but now the logo is inside a full moon, rather than a crescent.
  • The background of 2D art is meant to represent the matter that connects all life and makes up dreams.
  • The DreamWorks characters shown will differ throughout every upcoming film. For example, if a character represented in the logo also appears in the following film, it will be replaced with another one from an unrelated franchise.
    • The first time the roster of characters changed was in Trolls Band Together, where the logo replaces Po, Ted Templeton and Poppy respectively with Alex and Marty from Madagascar (Marty rides Alex like a horse), Eep Crood from The Croods swinging on a tree and Puss in Boots (ripping open the screen, revealing the Moon Boy and the scene with Shrek).
  • The characters are also redesigned, like Po having less fur texture and Shrek's face being simplified. This was done so the characters would feel like they could exist within the same universe.

FX/SFX: Advanced CGI animation, which incorporates elements from the previous logos.

Music/Sounds: A re-orchestrated and more majestic rendition of the 2nd logo's theme, with brass instruments being more prominent. This was once again composed by Harry Gregson-Williams. None for the still version.

Availability: Brand new. It first debuted on Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, released on December 21, 2022 (although it was sneak-previewed on November 26), and later appeared on Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken and Trolls Band Together. Currently, it is being used in tandem with the previous logo.

Editor's Note: The entire logo serves as an homage to the entire DreamWorks library and their history with successful films. The logo has recieved a mixed reaction, with many praising the return of Harry Gregson-Williams' fanfare, but some criticising the apparent lack of other DreamWorks IPs.

DreamWorks Animation/Summary (2024)
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