DreamWorks Animation

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 Standard Logos Logo Variations Trailer Variations 



Background

DreamWorks Animation is an American animation studio which has produced a series of critically and commercially successful computer animated films, including Shrek, Madagascar, 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, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox Inc. (now owned by The Walt Disney Company, which began after the release of Rise of the Guardians, whilst in China, the company formed Oriental DreamWorks. On August 22, 2016, DreamWorks Animation was acquired by Comcast, and became a unit of NBCUniversal. Universal Pictures took over distribution rights of DreamWorks Animation's films starting in 2018; they would release their first theatrical DWA film, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, on February 22, 2019.


1st Logo (May 19, 2004-March 27, 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 in the morning daytime as we see the familiar DreamWorks crescent moon. A boy 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 up further into the clouds from the Live action Studio's 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" or "ANIMATION SKG", underneath a blue line, fades in underneath.

Variants:

  • On Over the Hedge, "ANIMATION" and "SKG" are both absent below the movie company's name, plus it still uses the two cumulus clouds from the logo's first two years as well.
  • Starting in 2006 with Flushed Away, the kid and the moon appear above the text, replacing the two cumulus clouds in in the far middle of the logo.
  • On Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Monsters vs. Aliens, there are more clouds (so much they surround the kid on the moon) and when the kid releases the balloons, the camera doesn't pan up, it stays on the kid on the moon. The text appears below.
  • On a teaser for Over the Hedge, the moon is white, the kid doesn't move his legs and the logo is slightly streched from top to bottom. This could be seen on the DVD for Madagascar.
  • The print version is used on handheld versions of DWA video games.
  • A still version of the logo exists at the end of DWA films.

FX/SFX: Excellent CGI, perfectly showcasing a dreamy, relaxing atmosphere. Done by Pacific Data Images on an HP workstation with custom 3D software.

Music/Sounds: A majestic and peaceful orchestrated piece, which is adapted from the track "Fairytale" from Shrek. For the still version, none. On some movies, the opening theme is heard.

Availability: Common. Seen on all DreamWorks Animation films from the time, such as Shark Tale, Over the Hedge (the only film to still use the 2004/2005 version so far for confirmed unusual reasons), and Flushed Away; it was first seen on Shrek 2 and 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, not on the Shrek's Thrilling Tales DVD, but on a Shrek DVD sampler on General Mills packages of Cookie Crisp. Also appears on some video games based on DreamWorks Animation films, except Shrek 2 and Shark Tale, is using 1997 DreamWorks Pictures logo.

Editor's Note: This is a gorgeous logo with an equally gorgeous fanfare as well, especially for those who grew up with seeing this 2004-2009 logo in the latter's mid years.

2nd Logo (February 1, 2009, March 26, 2010-June 2, 2017, September 2020-)

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

Logo: In a starry nighttime sky, we see a full moon. A shadow appears on it as it turns into a crescent moon, revealing the boy from the last logo sitting on it. The boy takes out his fishing rod and casts it. The camera pans out as he swings the road around the fuchsia clouds. The words "DREAMWORKS" zoom out in violet and spread one-by-one below the moon, then finally we see on a violet line "ANIMATION SKG".

Variants:

  • In 2014, a special 20th anniversary variant was created. The logo 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 then fades in above the "20". This can be seen on The Penguins of Madagascar (the movie, not the series) and How to Train Your Dragon 2. On the DreamWorks' anniversary brand campaign, copyright information appears underneath the logo.
  • Starting in 2020, the line and "ANIMATION SKG" is replaced with the Comcast byline.

FX/SFX: The zooming, the swinging of the fishing rod, and the spreading/arranging of the letters. Very nice CGI, especially how it takes advantage of the 3D format.

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 and was used once until Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. It commonly used the opening theme of the movie.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On Shrek 3-D re-releases called The Ghost of Lord Farquaad, it has the end of the theme from the previous logo.
  • On Puss In Boots, a flamenco theme was heard.
  • 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, and later debuted officially on How to Train Your Dragon, and appeared on all DreamWorks Animation movies from 2010 to 2017. It had recently been retired. The last film to use this logo was Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which was the last DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox before Universal. A still version can be seen at the end of their films and most of their shorts. In 2020, this was seen in the trailer for season 2 of Jurassic Park: Camp Cretagous.

Editor's Note: This logo pays a memorable tribute to those who grew up with the second version of the latter. Another very nicely animated logo from DreamWorks Animation.

3rd Logo (February 22, 2019-)

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 blue streaks fill the screen, as 2D painted clouds start appearing making a daytime scene. The scene fizzles with a sunset setting grows in size from the top-right. with more and more clouds appearing, 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 centre, and the boy on the moon appears on the sphere, forming a 2016 inverted print logo. Clouds blow in from the left, then from the right as the word "DREAMWORKS" forms from light streaks under the logo, and the Comcast byline from the Universal logo wipes in, as some clouds disappear from the background. the remaining clouds slowly move upwards, and the logo fades out.

Variant: There is an alternate logo featuring the print logo on a blue background.

FX/SFX: Brilliant CGI, mixing 2-D and 3-D animation, this time, not having the Boy on the moon actually animate.

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, similar to the choir from the 2nd Jim Henson Pictures logo. The theme was composed by John Powell, who also provided the music for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Availability: Current. It was first revealed on the trailer for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and the fully animated version debuted on the film itself. The print logo variation appeared at the end of the shorts Bird Karma and Bilby (though prints of the latter from the online print onward replaced it with a still version of the standard logo). This logo is also found at the end of Trolls World Tour, due to the film having a custom variant at the beginning of the film.

Editor's Note: This logo pays homage to the evolution of animation, evolving from hand-drawn 2D animation into the 3-D animation of today, and it is done amazingly well.