DreamWorks Animation will lay off 500 employees, shutter its Northern California studio PDI/DreamWorks, and cut back on film production. (Editorial illustration: boy silhouette via Shutterstock.com.) DreamWorks Animation will lay off 500 employees, shutter its Northern California studio PDI/DreamWorks, and cut back on film production. (Editorial illustration: boy silhouette via Shutterstock.com.)

BREAKING: DreamWorks Will Shut Down PDI/DreamWorks Studio; 500 Jobs Will Be Eliminated

BREAKING: The beleaguered DreamWorks Animation just announced in a written statement that it will eliminate approximately 500 jobs at its company, far exceeding the previously anticipated number of layoffs. Many of those five hundred layoffs will come from the unexpected shutdown of one of its main studios, PDI DreamWorks, in Redwood City, California.

The closing of that studio will begin immediately. The studio is expected to begin holding private one-on-one meetings with PDI artists as early as tomorrow, and offering some of them an opportunity to relocate to the southern DreamWorks campus in Glendale, California.

The layoffs at PDI and Glendale will be structured as “equal force reductions,” according to a report by the Animation Guild. That’s possible because of the PDI artists who are being offered the opportunity to relocate. Any artist who leaves the studio will be paid an additional sixty days of wages after the layoff.

The studio is cutting back its slate to two DreamWorks-produced films per year: one original film and one sequel. To save money, the studio will also begin outsourcing production for some of its films, like, Captain Underpants, scheduled for 2017. Films such as that will be produced “at a significantly lower cost.”

Underpants02-580x435UPDATE: DreamWorks Will Outsource Captain Underpants…But Not Where You Think

DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg told financial analysts this afternoon that the studio’s attempt to make three films a year was “too ambitious.” He also said that he would become more involved creatively with the studio’s films:

“Much of my time has been focused on expanding the company. It’s now time for me to turn my attention back to the core businesses and support Mireille [Soria] and Bonnie [Arnold, the new DreamWorks feature animation co-presidents]. Much more of my time will be in support to them and less on the road. I remain 100% committed to building DreamWorks Animation. My time and my focus needs to be on making blockbuster hit films. We have the people to do it.”

The new release line-up for DreamWorks-produced films is as follows: Kung Fu Panda (March 18, 2016), Trolls (November 4, 2016), Boss Baby (January 13, 2017), The Croods 2 (December 22, 2017), The Larrikins (February 16, 2018), and How to Train Your Dragon 3 (June 29, 2018). The formerly announced B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations has been taken off the schedule completely and shifted back into development. Another film, Mumbai Musical, has also been put on the backburner.

Among the people who will exit the company: marketing chief Dawn Taubin, vice chairman Lewis Coleman, and COO Mark Zoradi. Zoradi, who joined only last summer, said at the time of his hiring: “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the talented DreamWorks team at a time of remarkable expansion and growth for the company.”

In a written statement, DreamWorks said it expects to incur a pre-tax charge of approximately $290 million in connection with the restructuring. These costs are expected to be incurred primarily in the quarter ended December 31, 2014, with the remainder in 2015 and 2016.  The plan will result in total cash payments of approximately $110 million incurred primarily in 2015.  The restructuring plan is expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2015 and expected to result in annualized pre-tax cost savings of approximately $30 million in 2015, growing to roughly $60 million by 2017.

The extent of the layoffs and the sudden shuttering of PDI/DreamWorks (which started in 1980 as Pacific Data Images) took most of the animation industry by surprise. Artists at PDI reacted admirably, as reported by Kevan Shorey on Twitter:

Industry-wide, however, there was great sadness, shock and disappointment, as expressed on Twitter:

And, of course, there were numerous offers of work for the newly unemployed artists:

(Editorial illustration: boy silhouette via Shutterstock.com.)

  • Oof…That smarts.

  • Jonathan Lyons

    I was a studio that got shut down. It sucks. I probably know some of those people. My heart goes out to them all.

  • groundhog

    As a DreamWorks employee, I would ask that people keep the “I told you so’s” to a minimum. We are hurting right now, and would love to feel the support of our industry colleagues

    • ratzorizzo69

      Sorry to read the news. An an exPDIer I am heartbroken. Today, we are all Dreamworks animators. Je suis PDI.

    • Hannah

      I just wanted to say that you guys made some really great movies. I know not all of them are grand epics, but the animation and rending was always great and you guys made some stunning films (like HTTYD2). Thank you so much for everything!!! Stay strong!

    • Ara

      I hope you guys at least get some sort of severance payout. Also wishing you luck in your endeavors, this really stinks…

    • James VanDam

      I hope that all the talented people who were just let go from dream works find opprotunities elsewhere so that they can keep on inspiring people with their art. ~Stay Strong and Good luck.

    • Wasik

      Absolutely but what about the guys from the other studio collectively stepping up and make a change ? Have you planned a strike ?
      This is serious, these are the colleagues you need.

    • DJVaage

      This is a sad day for all us animators. I’m not part of DreamWorks but I feel for you guys who now are in this horrible situation.

      I hope you find new exciting challenges elsewhere.

      How To Train Your Dragon 1 and 2 were both amazing movies and to my taste the best I’ve seen DreamWorks create. It is really sad to see all of this come crushing down now with movies being outsourced which could lead to the quality decreasing dramatically.

      It is sad but hang in there….. maybe it was supposed to happen because something new, better and more exciting is awaiting you all :)

    • VFX-mustStrong

      As a ex Rhythm and Hues employee, i understand ur feeling. And please stay strong!!!

      • Bryan L James

        Have you been able to find good work since?

      • Mustafa Qaragholy

        I cant believe all these awesome studies are shutting down. what are you guys doing now ? where are all these artists going

    • Steven Jackson

      Hard to think about it if I was an employee – seeing my fellow colleagues being made redundant; though the approach to film making was all over the place and it wouldn’t generate profit to the company if they’re making incredible losses.

      Though; however changing plans to 2 films a year is a clever one and hopefully regenerates money to build up the company again.

      It’s a shame that we do not have more mainstream animation companies in the UK, we get tax-relief which helps production and costs for major film and tv studios.

    • starss

      After sorting through my memory, I realized that Turbo was the only film from DWAnimation I DID NOT see in theaters! I suppose I liked them more than I thought. I did enjoy a lot of the studios’ work and it’s a shame that the dream of being an animator in the USA is no longer as prosperous. Find that opportunity to express your art another way! A ton of you have families to support, in which case I will pray for you all.

    • vfxanimator

      The President of the United States visited DW’s campus and talked about how film was an American product, while out of work animators, vfx artists and the like protested outside the gates about subsidies and outsourcing. DW employees didn’t seem to mind. Sorry to hear another company fell but this has been going on for some time now, and is quite frankly reality.

      • M.

        It’s doubtful that you know the reason why each individual DreamWorks employee chose not to protest. Some might not have cared. But others may have, yet chose to stay inside for other reasons. Perhaps they weren’t sure a protest was the best solution; or maybe they sympathized but didn’t completely agree with ADAPT; or perhaps they wore a green t-shirt in solidarity within the studio walls; or perhaps they felt working to make money for their families at the moment was the best plan. This isn’t to say those were right or wrong decisions, but they are at least understandable. Aside from all of this, there are people working at DreamWorks now that were not back then. So yes, layoffs and studio closures in our industry are a harsh reality. But maybe along the way we can exercise a bit more compassion for one another rather than resort to bitter assumptions.

        • Til

          Bitter, or realist?

          There’s no difference.

          • M.

            There is a difference. At least to me, vfxanimator’s comment seemed to suggest a “what goes around comes around” sort of moment for DreamWorks employees. The claim that these people’s past actions were out of disregard for solidarity with their VFX colleagues is a broad assumption to make. It could be reality but until there is proof of that or we can magically know the intent of every employee from that time, pulling a card like this comes off as just bitter. There are good men and women who are hurt by this new round of layoffs. I’d rather do as groundhog asks and stand to help rather than blanket criticize these people.

      • IDoKnowThis

        Katzenberg should have kept himself and DreamWorks apolitical. The silent majority is ever watchful, ever mindful. Katzenberg’s politics brought down DW. You are correct, “this has been going on for some now, and is quite frankly reality.” When certain Hollywood entities realized their zealousness in pushing their leftist politics were adversely affecting their bottom lines and careers, they smartly moved away from the political spotlight. Katzenberg, in contrast, revved his engines and went full bore political, as if to make up for some of his colleagues having gone silent. Guess he assumed that since his animation studio had no directors, producers and/or actors to pay the price for his political dalliances, he and his studio were safe to be as political as he wished to be. Ya gotta be careful with that word “assume.”

        • Eric Otness

          Even if he and his studios did remain apolitical, I’m doubtful DreamWorks’ films would have amounted to much anyways under his control. Katzenberg has always been a petty, domineering man who deserves far less credit than he gets. I’d know because a lot of messes at Disney during his tenure there were his fault, like his basically dooming Black Cauldron to being a box office bomb by personally cutting reels of animation, thus ruining the film, as well as his needless meddling with Beauty and the Beast by turning what would have been a fairly decent adaptation of a fairytale into feminist claptrap, forcing Aladdin to be a rushed mess because he demanded a rewrite and didn’t even attempt to move the release date to take it into account, nearly ruined Ariel’s character by removing Part of Your World by claiming it was “boring”, nearly ruined Toy Story and Pixar by forcing them to narrowly turn the film into a irreverent mean-spirited film that would have made even Family Guy seem tame with its characters, and basically ruined Pocahontas. That Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin actually got good box office numbers and reviews was in spite of, not because of Katzenberg. Contrary to popular belief, Katzenberg played very little role in The Lion King’s success, as his pet project at the time was Pocahontas, and besides which, he dismissed The Lion King simply because he felt animals talking would not make a believable film experience (apparently, he forgot that most of the cast of The Little Mermaid barring Ariel herself, her father, and Eric were talking marine animals, and that movie was a huge success).
          Heck, even during his tenure at Disney, Katzenberg tried to push leftist political agendas. As noted above, he had Belle and Beauty and the Beast completely rewritten specifically to push the feminist agenda (and by that, I mean the agenda pushed by the Women’s Liberation Movement, as made clear by both Katzenberg himself and the screenwriter Linda Woolverton. In fact, he brought her into the fold specifically to ensure the film had a feminist twist), the main protagonist was made into someone who would have otherwise resembled someone who was conservative. And for Pocahontas, he doubled down on the leftist tropes about how the Europeans are pure evil and the Native Americans are pure good, that it’s best to embrace Animism over Christianity, and all of that.

    • Eric Otness

      My condolences for your loss, as well as your colleagues. That’s a real bad time for you to go. I myself am somewhat worried about getting a job as a graduated College student, actually, fearing I’ll fail.
      I also hope when you do get out of the rut that you avoid people like Jeffrey Katzenberg running things. You also have my condolences for having to put up with such a petty man, as well. To be honest, I’m surprised and somewhat appalled that Hollywood let a man like him run studios, whether it be DreamWorks or Disney (and believe me, I’ve got plenty of stories about him regarding his time at Disney).

  • Tre

    *Acts shocked* Oh my, I SO didn’t see this coming!
    Sad though. :(

  • D. Harry

    And Jeffrey survives?

  • Kay

    They really should have stuck to two films a year. A real shame. Hope Dreamworks can get back on track, as well the newly unemployed artists and programmers.

  • Ro

    Oh man, my sympathies to all those who lost their job… I hope they can find better opportunities soon.

  • Plo

    In the mean time, stock price for DWA flies upwards after hours….

    • Anonymous

      If a majority of the employees buy stock in DreamWorks they could vote Jeffery out at the next shareholder’s meeting.

  • Andy

    Really horrible news for so many talented, hardworking people.

  • Dex

    Damnit. I always preferred their animation over Pixar. D: This just bums me out massively.

    • Ro

      Regardless of your taste preference, it sucks for anyone to lose their jobs due to studio circumstances beyond their control. Pixar suffered losses too. There is a bigger problem in the industry.

      • Chris

        whats the problem then? is it similar to the issues with vfx.
        This is a reason im back in games

  • Ian

    But…why? Because money?

    • AgNO3

      I feel for all those who have to deal with the situation. Dreamworks quality for story and Animation is great.

      to Ian.
      umm yeah because money. because if there isn’t any money then no one has a job and the studio just closes. Seriously because money? Ian you start a studio and do it all for free. I’m sure the people that work there will also work for no money. You can buy computers for no money and distribute your movies with no money.

      The management made some mistakes or bad choices deliberate or not. People didn’t go to the movies they where making so no money so no way to pay people. The studio has been losing money for years for many reasons. Just curios do you work for Money or just for free?

      • Visor47

        I’m missing the part where he implied people should work for free or that nothing costs money.

  • Tomm

    Ouch … Visited there recently seemed like a nice place to work :-(
    They had Polaroids of employees from the day they started , one or two people had been there since the pre Dreamworks days. A historical studio that innovated in cgi back in the techniques infancy.
    Very sad. I thought penguins was pretty funny and very well animated .

  • jonhanson

    Wow, I knew lay offs were coming but I didn’t think they’d go this far. So sorry to anyone who lost their jobs!

    With that being said my first thought was that this might mean that Dreamworks would focus on one film a year. Recently they’ve released some of my favorite animated films but they’ve also released some mediocre work and leaned a little too hard on unnecessary sequels and spin-offs. I was hoping this move might be the start of a course-correction but I’m a little worried that they’re maintaining course while trying to slash costs. Not exactly the sort of strategy I associate with building a better brand.

    It will be interesting to see what happens. Normally I associate outsourcing production with a sizable drop in quality but I have to admit that

    Illumination Entertainment seems to have proven that this isn’t necessarily the case, at least visually. Still, I can’t help but feel disappointed by this.

    Watching the movies that have come out of PDI Dreamworks I’ve always known that the studio had an incredibly talented staff. If you’re a worker reading this I sincerely hope you find another studio that will recognize those talents and put them to great use.

  • Veritas

    They are shutting down the wrong location.

  • Metlow Rovenstein

    To be honest, given the bad performance of their recent films, it’s not too surprising that stuff like this news happens. I feel sorry for the employees who worked there, and also the fact that PDI/DreamWorks shut down. I blame bad management from DreamWorks Animation for all this bullshit.

  • tolldog

    I guess there was no more marrow left for DWA to suck from the bones of PDI.

  • tabarnac

    Last summer, Katzenberg was up at Mikros in Montreal. Talks were already in place for Mikros to provide animation “outsourcing” since he was so impressed with his private screening of Mune.
    Sadly, this has been planned for quite a while.

  • Oh wow. That’s…wow. I work in the same office park as their Redwood City offices. These poor guys.

  • rickimatsu

    As a fan of Dreamworks Animation, and as a freelance cartoonist and theater makers (<-whose industry is also going through some depressing changes) my sympathy and a hope for a brighter tomorrow goes out to all of the 500 employees, artists, business men, marketers, and the folks that help keep the building running.

    If a bright side can be seen, perhaps after a set amount of time passes, a great indy studio will come about. The ebb and flow of business does not mean the work, and the ethics of the employees, did bad work. Indeed, feel what you are all are feeling but let is pass as a cycle! Too much good work happened because of you to let it all think it's going to end!

    Side note: super excited for Kung Fu Panda 3 and How To Train Your Dragon 3 and whatever projects those involve create in the future!

  • VictorVector

    Sourcing the story would help those in trauma and stress reading this, Amid. Any depth to this information? Thanks.

  • Chi

    Dear ex-Dreamworks employees,

    I’m shocked to hear this news, and hope for all of you to find a better job very soon! Take care all, I loved the movies you made. How to train your Dragon 1 and 2 especially! I wish you good luck in the near future!


    Why bother with quality when you need new stuff? The producer needs to get it done for a 1/3 of the cost in India or China so they’ll be able to buy that new BMW with the bonus they’ll get for saving all that money….

    • Dave

      It’s a good theory, but Penguins cost almost exactly the same as Dragons 2, despite being made mostly in India, vs. LA.

  • Jeffrey

    Maybe Dreamworks TV is hiring?

  • Chad Townsend

    Man that puts a big dent in the job market. terribly sorry that everyone was let go as well a place that kept people employed. You can knock a place for what was produced but in the end it provided jobs in an industry that a lot of people want to work in.

  • Sven Schilling

    this is so sad to read this you guys did such a good job :(

  • Yuki Radcliffe

    Good luck to 500 unemployed artists. You all deserved better.

  • I’m very sad to hear of this news, and I know it’s hurting a lot of people there right now, as well as those in the industry. Continue to stay strong, and that you may find comfort through this trial. My heart goes out to you all.

  • sabretruthtiger

    At a significantly lower cost and crappier quality.
    The costs of maintaining quality in Asia are high also.

  • emersonushc13

    Is Dreamworks a viable company for the next few years in Glendale? I’d like someone’s take on that for personal reasons.

    • Dave

      My honest opinion? JK is doing the same old, same old and expecting a different result. I think DWA will live as a company for years to come, but I don’t think it will be recognizable in 5 years.

  • Jax

    What happend to BOO? They already had merchandise for pre order a few months ago it seems odd to scrap a nearly finished film. Anyway. It looks like they are gonna copy the blueprint of Illumination.

    • Jeffrey

      I know at least one on the “Boo” TV production in the works who was canned. Apparently, Dreamworks TV is affected too.

  • Robert Holmén

    Is this not ironic in that PDI and “Shrek” was what gave Dreamworks a lifeline when 2D features went bad at the boxoffice?

    • Dave

      And Mad 3 made $750m dollars, and provided the recent lifeline. And PDI jumped on to finish Penguins when DDU couldn’t finish in time. And PDI created DW’s old and new toolsets. They are shutting the wrong studio.

  • Jing Yagunazie

    Dreamworks and other animators need to stop working as work for hire.

  • oh well

    If you let Katzenberg and others call the shots and green light bad ideas with no franchise opportunities you end up as work-for-hire artists that are disposable. But it’s okay because you have a sweet gig working at a top notch feature studio!!! All those Dreamworks employees who never showed up to the union meetings. All those Dreamworks employees who never voted in the union wage survey or signed the petition to keep work in CA. Why? Because you thought you were sitting pretty at a cool feature studio that was going to be pumping out movies forever. Who cares about the crazy schedules in tv where artists are doing 5 jobs and getting paid for one. Welcome to the world of tv animation where you are out on your ass when the show gets canceled or has had it’s run. Welcome to what all the tv animation artists have to deal with an annual or bi-annual basis unless you’re working on a never ending cashcow like Spongebob or Simpsons. And the same feature guys who turn their noses up at us busting our asses making that “fluff” for tv are now asking for sympathy. Solidarity when it suits you isn’t solidarity. Maybe all you newly laid off artists should come to the union meeting next week and see what tv guys have been dealing with their whole careers. More importantly, come to the meeting to see how to protect yourself from big corporate studios who don’t give a shit about you or your livelihood.

    • Dave

      PDI is in N. CA and has no union. They’ve tried many times.

    • dantes342

      Yeah, with a charmer like you giving out the invites, I’m sure there’ll be lines around the block.

    • starss

      Now isn’t the time to shame them down.

      • sad cowboy

        A bit rough around the edges but we welcome everyone to the animation guild, who wants to help protect everyone in the workforce. Best of luck PDI crew

    • jess

      Unfortunately PDI is not unionized and taking the brunt

    • Guest

      I worked at Dreamworks and happily did all the union stuff. Then I was let go, I found work in TV animation. As someone who worked both at feature and TV, I don’t find one harder or easier, they have been the same for me. In feature you are let go after every movie, about a year, and tv you are let go after the season, about a year too.

  • Jing Yagunazie

    don’t think filmmakers can get the animation done cheaper in asian or indian countries. Those countries are bidding at american prices. The producers of these films want you to think otherwise. Its the contract the owners of these studios sign with the producers. Easy to organise every animator, artist and studio world wide to agree to only doing animation for profit the films bring in. Producers of films want to hire only people who think each one film will get them more work if they do it for minimum payment. That is not the truth at all. Without the animators, the producer is just some guy with a movie script sitting on a street corner. Think smarter for the artist industry. Unite animation studios worldwide.

  • To all who have worked at Dreamworks, past and present: I’m so sorry this happened to you, especially those who were fired. I can’t really do much to help, but hopefully my digital hug will make it from my computer to yours and make your day a little better.

  • JamesAT

    As an Editor/3DAnimator, and knowing how hard it is to get into a studio position. I deeply feel for all those who are involved.
    So sorry, really am.


    My heart goes out to those laid off, god knows finding work in such a specialized field is hard. Now it’s time to form your own studios and make your own mark. Media has zero gateways now with Youtube etc.

  • HaBla

    Awful news. My regards to all the employees and their families going through this. It’s really shocking to think they’ll be outsourcing theatrical feature animation.

  • Toonio

    Wait a sec, the golden retriever home boy said everything was going great, and now the Canadian subsidized animation industry will foot the bill of keeping Dreamworks around?

    But wait, there is more, will Canadians keep subsidizing the animators industry under the impending hyper inflation coming their way?

    This is history in the making and we all have front row seats.

    • Kusanagi

      There is no hyperinflation threatening Canada. In fact, deflation is a bigger threat than your hyperinflation fantasy. That’s why the BoC dropped the Prime Rate, even though doing so threatens to further weaken an already weak Canadian dollar.

      Do you actually live in Canada? You sure don’t seem to have a clue about the real economic dangers facing us Canucks.

      One other thing. The subsidization of the film industry in Canada will continue as long as the income tax revenues pulled in from the workers in the industry outstrips what the various levels of government give to the studios in the form of tax relief.

    • HaBla

      lol. Aim your hostility somewhere else, your imagination’s running wild, even for an animation blog.

  • Animator606432

    This is why i’m really starting to hate big studios and have just decided to give up animation as profession and stick with illustration. Despite the fact that the artist are the real ones who make the over budgeted movies happen, they’re seen as disposable. And the animators don’t even get paid that much in the end anyway, We don’t even get all that much credit in the end either. From this and the wage scandal a few weeks ago i’m just starting to see how much BS there is in the industry. The Problem with artist is that we aren’t business minded and often get invested in our work that we forget we worth so much more.

  • tweetster

    Dang it. If dragon 3 is no good. I blame DreamWorks for letting go the irreplaceable set of talent in 2015. Where ever these ppl end up, will probably add magic and value to that company. Less excited to see captain underpants if it’s production is outsourced. Anybody seen “chop kick panda” on Netflix for more than 15 minutes? I seriously want those minutes back…just credit those minutes back into my Hades account.

  • Corrector


  • starss

    Given how the 500 is to change the feature film output from 3 to 2 per year, I’d say they were employing around 1,400 in total in 2014.

  • Hann

    Start a new studio together!

    • Kirielson

      Honestly, they could, and if they went to….I don’t know, Alibaba, who wants to do their own movies, they could EASILY EASILY get the cash and work necessary.

  • cetrata

    Ironically, katz left disney because of eisner’s attitude.

  • shulett

    Information I’ve received from DWA:
    Equal numbers of employees will be laid off from DreamWorks Animation-Glendale and PDI-Redwood City. (250 each).
    Some PDI employees will be offered positions in Glendale.
    All laid-off employees will receive an additional sixty days of wages.

    • OtherDan

      And, Dreamworks TV? Does that fall under the Dreamworks Animation umbrella? They’ve been ramping up hard over the last year or two.

      • shulett

        DreamWorks Animation TV is a separate division of DreamWorks Animation, with a separate studio in Glendale, on Central Avenue. The division will be humming for several more years, until the Netflix commitment is completed.

    • Myung Lee

      I thought PDI and DW is the same company. Are they a separate department doing different projects?

  • MaryRachel

    It’s not like Iger is any better #xmouse

    • Alexandria Lynn

      But at least Iger fixed the damage that Katz and Eisner had done. And he got back the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!

  • ThatGuy

    There aren’t many jobs available in our tiny community. How in the world will these people recover? It’s staggering, that’s for sure. The implications of this are just…they boggle my mind.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Now would be a great time for Disney to take some of that Frozen profit money and re-invest it back into more productions by hiring more employees.

    • D. Harry

      WE handdrawn Disney animators have been waiting for a decade for that to happen for us…. ….but they caught katzenjammers disease and eliminated handdrawn – banishing it to an occasional short or short film format.

  • Josh Moore

    Sheesh that’s like half of it’s film department. I’m just hoping the outsourcing will do some help or else…

  • Anonymous

    It’s a tough job market out there in the animation industry. If you were an artist at DreamWorks it might be easier to find work compared to the management that is being let go.

  • Trey King

    This is the same Katzenberg who threw 120+ artists from the #MPTF #LTC. These were the behind the camera folks who had been PROMISED A PLACE TO LIVE THEIR LIFE IN PEACE… AND HE THROWS THEM ON THE STREET… 30+ patients died because of the stress… transfer trauma… a few remained steadfast and REFUSED TO GO AND AS OF TODAY IT IS STILL OPEN… Also right after this, Katzenberg GETS A #HUMANITARIAN #OSCAR… NO SHT… COULDN’T MAKE THIS UP…. course it cost him, Spielberg, and Geffen a hundred million to repair the damage caused to the #MPTF… AND THEIR IMAGES… and you think YOU WERE BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY KIND INDIVIDUALS… THINK AGAIN… IT IS HARD TO PROSECUTE A COMPANY THAT NO LONGER EXISTS… #DREAMWORKS ANIMATION WAS ALLEGEDLY A PART OF THE WAGE FIXING CARTEL… AND THEY ALL GOT CAUGHT.

    • D. Harry

      OH man, and you can bet President Obama’s embarrassed by Katzenberg and the sending of work up to Canada.

    • Eric Otness

      He’s also the same Katzenberg who was pretty much the main reason The Black Cauldron was a bomb (by cutting film more than needed), nearly ruined The Little Mermaid by trying to cut Part of Your World simply because he thought it was “boring,” and cited a petty excuse like a kid cleaning the popcorn off, plus had an actual decent adaptation of Beauty and the Beast scrapped and heavily rewritten so it could push a feminist agenda, even going as far as to bring in a feminazi writer to ensure it by rewriting Belle into the kind of feminist that Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir would be proud of, did something similar with Aladdin, yet also not even move the release date to take into account the period of rewriting the film (Black Friday, not to be confused with a similar event with Toy Story), nearly ruining Toy Story by demanding for a more adult, cynical edge to the storyline (which basically had Woody turned into the kind of character you would expect from something like Family Guy), and thus nearly destroying Pixar as a result, and made a left-wing revisionist history tale known as Pocahontas. Honestly, he should never have been hired into any Hollywood studio or given any position of power in it, let alone Disney and DreamWorks.

  • Tromaboy2002

    Good luck and stay strong guys!

  • Strong Enough

    “He also said that he would become more involved creatively with the studio’s films”


  • Chicken McPhee

    Oh my god this is grizzly. I’m so sorry. :(

  • Have Pencil,Will Draw for Food

    So much for that five year plan, ey Katzy-baby?

  • pondering the future

    The animation industry is starting to rip apart. TV animation is suffering a similar fate of being pulled to thin and run by people who found themselves in animation by pure luck. It’s only going to get worse. Will this still be a sustainable career choice when we are in our 40’s? Or will this be an industry that claps for the very few who can survive this roller coaster, while leaving a trail of broken employees.

  • D. Harry

    When will the industry, and Dreamworks board, learn that jeffy doesn’t know squat? He has some flops so announces handdrawn is dead, so the industry follows suit. He announces that 3d optical films will be the wave of the future…. … Hmmm, didn’t seem to save HIS poor choices for films. Get over him already and replace him! He’s ruining so many lives these days!

    • Eric Otness

      Disney did, at least, considering Eisner gave him the boot. Too bad Eisner apparently didn’t see this anytime sooner.

      It’s funny, the only Disney films from the Renaissance era and during Jeffrey Katzenberg’s tenure that actually stood the test of time were films he was barely even involved in. Namely, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Toy Story. Not counting Pixar, only The Little Mermaid and The Lion King actually seemed to stand the test of time, and those were films where Katzenberg had minimal involvement in. Sure, a lot of the films during the Renaissance era made big money, but did they have a lasting impact? The Lion King at least is getting a new TV series called The Lion Guard, and is pretty much canon with the DTV sequels, specifically Simba’s Pride (which is one of the few good sequels there), and The Little Mermaid actually has its own convention right now, plus Ariel is probably one of the most marketed Princesses, only possibly being beaten out by Cinderella and/or Snow White.

      And honestly, how about not just replacing him, but also having a court-issued restraining order that bars him from any film and television studio, or any entertainment studio for that matter? That would certainly fix the mistake that was simply firing him from Disney, especially when he ended up making DreamWorks SKG which he’s ruining right now.

      Funnily enough, John Lasseter basically felt the same way about handdrawn animation if this is to be believed: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/hand-drawn-at-disney.html

  • AmidAmidi

    Please make sure to follow Cartoon Brew’s commenting guidelines to ensure that your comment will be approved:http://www.cartoonbrew.com/commenting

  • WingedArtist28

    Great advice. I can get a bit irritated when someone thinks that animation is hard to do even with jobs not up to date with others that ensure full time longevity (like more people working at live-action production than animation). I know that at some point, working at a major studio would just be part of the learning experience and then go on to do independent work with pre-production and animation skills, or alternatives like illustrations, graphic novels, or small jobs. Apparently doing animation on the Internet as a hobby if more time and effort is needed, could help gain a good following, and then let it become your profession.

    • Ryoku Kero

      Thanks, I just want to see more people out there making a living doing their own thing.

      We get all these obnoxious video game commentators demanding money and getting it, so why not artists?

  • beerhammer

    Anti-business California politicians, high taxes and cost of living, with ruthless upper management… seems like a match made in heaven..especially when third world countries ramp up their skill sets in this field. Cheap labor, their cost of living is tiny, we get stuck competing with the migrants who do come here for low paying jobs. Lovely right?

  • Chuck McCaskill

    I am so sorry to hear this, that team has produced some amazing movies that are beyond just “pretty to look at” full of emotion. I hope you all find new projects fast and thank you for all the wonderful experiences you have given us.

  • KW

    I work with some outsourced animation and I have friends that work at studios that outsource. More often than not the stuff that comes back has to be fixed or completely redone.

  • KW

    Better look into a different line of work ;)

  • D. Harry

    yeah, if you’re set up in a country which will give him a huge tax break.

  • D. Harry

    You can’t compare his success with Disney – he was hungry back then – now he’s soft and lost touch. It happens to the best, just look at the music written by Paul McCartney back in the Beatles/Wings era and then listen to anything recent.

    HE needs to go.

  • Robert Cordova

    I hope i’m within guidelines because its so hard to find a person with professional experience that is willing to work on something as a side project.

    My name is Roberto Adan Cordova and i’ve been slowly creating my own short animation. If there is anybody available looking for freelance work or is interested in doing some work please contact me at

    [email protected]

    I have a deviantart page with the current work that has been complete and i’m going into character designs now and need something more finalized. I’m not sure if i can post the deviant page or if this will be moderated but if it is please keep the above information if possible and get rid of the deviant art link.


  • Mustafa Qaragholy

    thats messed up. so what will happen with all those who been laid off?

  • pencil neck

    It’s sad news indeed. My heart goes out to all those whose lives are completely turned upside down over the corporate lust for money. How many billions does one need to make before they consider the best interests of those who put them at the top?

  • Life Support

    My guess is DW will end up laying off *more* than 500 total workers. Think about it. You just layed off 250 workers from PDI. You’ve given the other 250 the “Option to relocated to Glendale and work”. How many of them do you really think will uproot, sell their home, move to Los Angeles, and work for the man who just dissolved their job in Redwood city? Not to mention 250 workers from Glendale are being layed off to make room for their PDI counterparts.
    Trust issues aside….this news comes right after JK announces they’re Outsourcing “Captain Sh!tpants” to a Third studio in Canada, and now 1/2 of Kung Fu Panda will be Animated in China. You think 250 people from PDI are going to move south, and have faith that they’ve got job security? No way. DW is passive aggressively laying off more than 500 people, and they’ll use the excuse, “We gave them an option to come to LA….. ” Bullsh!t.

    George Bush said it best when he said, “Fool me once, shame on you… Fool me twice…. … er…uh…… Won’t get fooled again!”

    Come on JK…. We all expected more from you.

  • In the midst of all this drama, I can’t help but feel that “Home” will be the straw that will truly breaks that camel’s back. Kinda like…the period in between the time the dust settles from these reports and Home’s release will be the calm before the storm. The trailers aren’t really offering much and I don’t see that movie doing any better financially than DA’s past few movies up to now. I fear that their situation will only worsen should it bomb.

    • NamelessDrake

      It has no major animated competition. That’s been the pattern with all of their bombs. I don’t have high hopes for it quality-wise, but I am at least hoping it does well financially, even if at this point it would likely do little good.

  • Til

    Anyone here seeing a pattern?

    The pattern is called, “Money doesn’t give two f**ks about you”

  • carrie

    Aw man Shrek was the best guys. I hope you all find ways to cope and find that passion somewhere else.

  • coalminds

    With modern climate it would be great if people who are let go in studios like this form new smaller ventures with more daring animations. I’d back it.

  • beerhammer

    No such thing as free money champ. The half arsed subsidies came too late and after way too much lobbying, while, taxes and other costs go up. There is no reliability for the long term relief, thats far more important when making business decisions. Libertarian soapbox? Cute, but the notion of being free from govt intrusion and low taxation literally comes from classic liberalism, often called conservatism these days. Regardless of labels, which serve very little objective purpose, policy has cause and effect. California is not doing good and thats tied to years of the same kind of policy making, usually sentiment based.

  • bryn65

    My heart goes out to all of the artists that are out of work due to this tragic news. I also want to take a moment to give support to the many other people this has affected (more than 1/3 of these layoffs will hit the business side as well as production staff at both PDI and DWA Glendale). When things like this happen people immediately default to focus on the artists. And, not to take anything away from how horrible this is for the artists, but there are also hundreds of people who support the studio and help bring the artists’ dreams and creativity to life and out to the public that are also now out of work. Sad day for everyone concerned at PDI and DreamWorks. Stay strong and good luck.

  • Alexandria Lynn

    They should have shelved the movies with someone else’s IP and save the jobs!

  • Strong Enough

    those are big big dreams Mike

  • systemBuilder

    I think their choice of movies to produce, over the past 3 years, has been abysmal. Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman, a Rocky & Bullwinkle show, was annoying at best when I was 8 years old. That shows a management that is so arrogant and self-absorbed with its own demographic that it thinks that 60-year olds are the major demographic for cartoon animation movies.

    If management thinks that a movie studio can be built by licensing 3rd rate franchises, the level of dimentia at Dreamworks rivals that under Michael Eisner himself!! That should hurt, yeah I know the idea behind SHREK.

    I hope they put new people in those decision-making positions, because I think the public wants to see Dreamworks Animation survive. Thank you for Shrek and How to Train a Dragon.

  • Animator606432

    I would say don’t completely give up on your dreams on animation. It’s a little easier for me because I love both Illustration and Animation equally. If you feel that passionately about animation I wouldn’t question it as a career choice. But I would really make sure you cover you ass and make smart choices in case the worse happens since you know it’s a possibility. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of like I see so many artist do.

  • NamelessDrake

    I don’t work in the animation business. I hear that job opportunities in the business are scarce. But I know there are choices for artists to make besides working in the business.

    Whoever remains at DWA after all this is said and done – I suggest that you find some sort of safe landing and jump ship. Even outside of feature/TV animation there’s video games, illustration, motion graphics…

    I don’t think DreamWorks will be around in 2-3 years, and I’d think it would be good to come up with an escape plan ahead of what looks like the inevitable end for the studio.

  • PossibleCareerChange

    I wish this industry clasps on itself, honestly with katzenberg, Catmulls sucked in never to be seen again, so the hard-working creative can shine . Luckily I have a degree and experiences in mass communications and graphic design so if this doesn’t work out after I graduate grad school for animation,I’ll go indie make animation for me and for anyone who wants to watch and get a job in UI/UX design the new “graphic designer.” I have 3 portfolios ready for when stuff hits the fan.

    The only thing I do know, to all of you at PDI from the animators to the admin staff, sorry! I think some of us fail to realize that you all of have families, bills and loans, I hope you all encounter many great opportunities, I am so sorry.

  • beerhammer

    Well if you need to confirm your bias by calling my post a rant, then you are entitled to do so. Maybe you just dont live in California, or perhaps cant seem to globally apply my comments. Its not just about being in the US. Did you forget the 2.4 billion dollar Shanghai studio Dreamworks is opening? Cmon now.

  • Gene Z. Ragan

    Some thought from my perspective in R&D: https://medium.com/@diskzero/the-end-of-pdi-ce813a617d9

  • Ramonesmaniac

    No matter how one feels about DreamWorks, it’s devastating that a bunch of talented people lose jobs over circumstances beyond their control. I really hope they find some work in other studios.

  • IDoKnowThis

    I hate it for the artists, but it’s middle America that makes a studio financially successful and it’s a shame this studio’s leadership has been more focused on impressing the politicos in Washington than those they need to have show up at the box office.

    Contrary to popular opinion, Americans are not the stupid, ignorant sheep democrats and Hollywood think we are. We who work hard for our money are careful how we spend it. Katzenberg was very proud of himself for all the fundraising he has done for the democrats. If apolitical and/or conservative Americans choose to not support Katzenberg at the box office (because of his political strutting), choose to not give him their hard earned dollars so he can turn around and give it to the democrats, then he is jeopardizing the success of his company and putting the livelihoods of all his company’s employees in jeopardy.

    Democrats can organize and unionize all they want, but those who quietly boycott certain Hollywood entities, which boycott is crippling the industry, are not organized at all. They silently go elsewhere to spend their entertainment dollars. Hollywood and the MSM can deny this fact and blame Hollywood’s economic down turn on a myriad of negative influences all they want, but it doesn’t change the truth. You can eliminate that laundry list of negatively impacting influences they claim is responsible and it wouldn’t change a thing–Hollywood would still be hurting.

    The silent majority — those with money to spend — would still not be there for certain Hollywood studios, directors, producers and actors. Did or will Hollywood learn anything from the success of American Sniper? Not likely. Because when it comes down to it, most of those in Hollywood are ignorant, arrogant and stupid. They have shown just how deep those traits run by their overwhelming and very public support of the no-achievement obama in 2008 and all of obama’s policies since 2009, not only in their political fundraising and giving, but in their leftist propaganda-drenched movies and shows, which propaganda has become so in-your-face blatant since 2009 that the silent majority has simply turned its face away. That is the real bottom line.

  • movieboywon

    Blame digital film technology for part of the problems. I lost my job back in the summer of 2011 when 90% of theaters went to all digital projection. I was gone the next day after they converted. Looks like it has caught up with the studios. I think its funny. They caused this grief to save $. No more film, no more film people to have to pay. Sit at a desk in the office & push a button. Download the movie from a server to the theater just like streaming at home on your ROKU. I was a projectionist in a theater since 1968. What goes around, comes around to haunt you later. Movie theaters will be next to go. Too easy to watch stuff at home. No parking problems, no stale popcorn, no standing in 2 lines to get in & get concessions. Total waste of time & effort!