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Moonshine: Brewed on the Dark Side of the DreamWorks Moon


A few years ago, a group of DreamWorks artists banded together to create Scrambled Ink, an indie comic anthology that was eventually published by Dark Horse Comics. This summer, DreamWorks is releasing Moonshine: Brewed on the Dark Side of the DreamWorks Moon, which marks the first time that an animation studio has officially sanctioned an ‘art of’ book featuring the personal work of its artists. From the book description:

From forty-five talented and prolific DreamWorks Studio art directors, character designers, production designers and visual development artists . . . Moonshine features artwork that is made during the precious little time of day when the contributors are not working on stunning upcoming movies such as Puss in Boots, Shrek Forever After, The Croods, Kung Fu Panda 2, Oobermind, Guardians, Scared Shrekless and Kung Fu Panda Holiday.

The trend of studio artists self-publishing comic anthologies is nothing new. During the past few years, we’ve seen a couple volumes of Out of Picture from Blue Sky folks, What is Torch Tiger? and Who is Rocket Johnson? from Disney artists, and The Ancient Book of Sex and Science and The Ancient Book of Myth and War out of Pixar. But those were all published by the artists themselves, and didn’t have funding from their studios like Moonshine. Gotta hand it to Jeffrey Katzenberg on this one. It’s a savvy move on his part to encourage the personal creativity of his staffers beyond the creative confines of film production, and to bring their independent works under the umbrella of his studio. (It should be noted that Katzenberg provided a blurb for the back cover of the earlier book Scrambled Ink). I would be very curious, however, to find out what the terms of the deal are for the artists participating in the book: does the artwork in the book become studio property or do the artists retain copyright over their personal ideas as they do in all of these other indie book projects?

  • squirrel

    I’m more interested to hear about the list of upcoming DreamWorks films you provided, half of which I never knew about! Of course they’d want to make a holiday special with Kung Fu Panda!

    I do agree that this is a great move by the studio, however.

  • Chuck R.

    Anyone have a list of the participating artists? Anything in print by Chris Sanders and Nico Marlet is welcome by me.
    (I’m sure there are many many others.)

  • A.C.

    …My first thought at reading “Scared Shrekless” was that it was an animated documentary on how Dreamworks is feeling knowing that the fourth and (supposedly) final Shrek film is being released this year…

  • And hey, since “Scared Shrekless” is a Halloween special, it’s gonna be released after the (hopefully) final film “Shrek Forever After”!… How’s that gonna work with continuity if the next movie is really supposed to be the ‘last chapter’? And does this mean Dreamworks will continue churning out Shrek-related television specials, direct-to-video-sequels and spinoff films indefinitely, even after the theatrical Shrek movies are finished??

    Wait, maybe I already know the answer to that last question…

  • Any plans on a gallery showing to coincide with the books publishing?

  • Hopefully there is some stuff by Kory Heinzen and Nicholas Marlet. I really like their stuff.

  • optimist

    What do the same tired comments about Shrek hate have to do with this book?


    Moving on-it’s a beautiful cover and the volume’s bound to be worthwhile with the people involved. Anyone who disputes that based on a film series designed over 10 years ago doesn’t understand what visdev people do at every studio from Pixar to Dreamworks. In fact, a good number included probably worked at Pixar AND Dreamworks AND Laika AND Disney, since that’s part of many of their resumes.

  • I love the fact that the studio is supporting the artists, and not screwing them.

    At least, i hope that they aren’t being screwed.

    Maybe one of them will comment here. Surely a few of them read the brew.

  • Tid

    I work here as an artist and this is news to me. Guess I’m not one of the cool kids.