Puss In Boots: The Last Wish Puss In Boots: The Last Wish

Dreamworks Animation has laid off 33 staff, or about 2% of its workforce, as its parent company NBCUniversal made cuts across several of its divisions.

The layoffs came in late April despite the incredible commercial successes of the studio’s last two films Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and The Bad Guys. From the outside, things seem to be going great at Dreamworks, which will release Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken next month, Trolls Band Together later this year, and just announced key details about a new Kung Fu Panda feature at Cinemacon. There are also numerous rumors about a new Shrek film in the works.

A Dreamworks statement said the recent layoffs were part of a larger cost reduction plan and that most of those affected were in support roles. According to sources cited by Business Insider, 25 of the 33 employees let go worked in tech roles including production artist, technical director, and lighter/compositor.

According to the anonymous source, affected employees were notified about the redundancies several weeks ahead of time and were assured that the layoffs were not related to work performance.

The report also revealed that Dreamworks TV had made two unannounced cuts of between five and 10 positions late last fall.

NBCUniversal’s cuts over the past half-year have been wide-reaching, affecting E! Entertainment, NBC Sports, and its ad sales team.

The layoffs have come as many major media companies are looking to slim down expenses. Disney plans to lay off 7,000 employees this year to cut $5.5 billion in costs while Warner Bros. Discovery has made massive cuts in an effort to reduce its nearly $50 billion in debt.

Cartoon Brew’s View: NBCUniversal may need to cut costs, but it’s not as if the company is throwing good money at bad when it comes to animation. Universal Pictures had the top three 2022 animated box office releases (The Bad Guys, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Minions: The Rise of Gru) and currently has 2023’s biggest movie in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Dreamworks also has a strong relationship with Netflix, which has been the home of numerous original series produced by the company. From where we stand, it looks like the company could benefit from greater investment in animation, which has proved to be extremely consistent for several years running.

Pictured at top: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish


Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.