DreamWorks Animation

www.dreamworksanimation.com
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DreamWorks Animation Reviews

Updated June 15, 2015
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3.5
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DreamWorks Animation CEO and Director Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
69 Ratings

Pros
  • Free breakfast and lunch with a wide variety to choose from (in 32 reviews)

  • Lots of free food and delightful campus (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • r&d has trouble retaining good engineers but management will not admit the problem is poor management (in 6 reviews)

  • Low pay compared to industry standard (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

87 Employee Reviews

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  1. Music Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Music Department Manager in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Music Department Manager in Glendale, CA

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great perks and work life balance. Creative environment with brightest and most down to earth people in the industry.

    Cons

    Pace can be slightly slow at times. Isolated campus with very little within the vicinity.


  2. Helpful (4)

    No such thing as a free lunch!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior-level Management in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Senior-level Management in Glendale, CA

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    To get the free lunch, you'll need to pay in other ways, like having a micro-managing boss who has a micro-managing boss who reports into the micro-manager senior executives. For all the soda and spa water you can drink in a day, you'll need to give up your personal satisfaction, your sense of self-worth and self-confidence, and listen to people tell you that you don't know how to do your job, even if you'd been doing it for 20 years. And those ARE the "pros."

    Cons

    The cons: Lack of visibility into how the company operates, with a bloated senior-executive team that is often wandering around looking for people to pick on and work to do. So many company functions are duplicated over and over with no desire to streamline this because of the egos involved at the top. This is NOT a company fueled by storytelling and imagination, it's a company ruled by fear of shareholders, an obsessive monitoring of the stock price, and people who are so anxious, stressed and unhappy that the mood rubs off on EVERYONE in a relatively short amount of time. I don't know a single person who is not actively trying to leave.

    Advice to Management

    Give some recognition and acknowledgment to your teams. YOU'RE not doing the actual work, they are. And just because you're getting $4 million a year doesn't mean you understand what makes a story work or how to build a relevant marketing campaign. The good people and their excellent, forward-thinking ideas are routinely ignored in favor of managing through a small, close-knit cabal of executives who all have some previous relationship to one another. Stop insisting that your artists do more with so much less, stop trying to make yourself into a multi-media company and just focus on making great animated features. That part hasn't even been perfected yet! Get THAT right, and then there will be a reason to have a bigger company.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Never Knew Work Could Be This Magical

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Glendale, CA

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I LOVE it here. The community is so caring and vibrant. Commissary, superb! Mail room is the best, AV team is out of this world. Company culture is something I never thought possible. The campus is insanely gorgeous, fountains everywhere, people cleaning every inch constantly.. Dr/nurse on site, free yoga classes and weight watchers. Movie nights, countless parties and celebrations - we celebrate everything! It's such an uplifting place to work and I'm so thankful to be part of it!!!!!

    Cons

    Can't think of anything, they seem to take care of problems as they come..

    Advice to Management

    Keep encouraging creativity. Keep taking advice to continue making this place better. I've never worked somewhere they WANT to hear from us and make us happy. It's an amazing environment.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Much like it's movies this place falls short of it's potential.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Glendale, CA

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working at DWA you're afforded so many luxuries. Food, gifts, training, movie screenings, great hardware, parties, etc. You have super talented coworkers and you're a part of an organization that has contributed so much to 3d graphics and animation.

    Cons

    DWA has it's head completely on backwards. There are so many things wrong with this place it's hard to begin. There's so much waste. Animators and lights spend tons of time playing ping pong instead if working. Shots go into production before the story is even locked. Movies cost twice as much as they should. Software is antiquated and behind the times. New software that's developed costs way more than just buying it off the shelf. What's most disappointing is the leadership. They're incompetent and aren't held accountable for anything. Not everyone is like this but I'd say 30% are. But that 30% are pretty high up.

    Advice to Management

    Jeffrey should get honest information on the state of his company and remove the people who have been lying to him to save their jobs. I dare them to actually look at the accounting on a movie and try and see where the money has gone. I bet they can't find it.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Great Creative Environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    As a business professional, I really enjoyed the creative environment and found it fostered innovation in the professional ranks as well as in the creative ranks.

    Cons

    CEO is over-involved in the creative process, which leaves wonderfully creative people stifled.


  7. Not a bad place to learn things

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Technical Director in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Department Technical Director in Glendale, CA

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Free food, chillax people, nice campus. Engineering team was quite solid! I learned a lot from my peers during my time.

    Cons

    Growth gets stumped after a while, people are way too relaxed and comfortable to get better at their craft! Values seniority over ability!


  8. Judgemental- AKA Prejudice

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Healthy food choices, and ok benefits

    Cons

    low pay
    cliquey people with esteem issues
    feedback given to look like they are doing something.
    fat guy who sweats too much and body odors

    Advice to Management

    Had bosses treat me unfairly. They treated me different than my peers. Saw the boss outside of work and they said, they were sorry they judged me wrong. Then they offered me a promotion. I declined. All about sending work to foreigners who pay for them to keep their jobs.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Friendly and Respectful Culture- Excellent Benefits.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    As everyone knows, Dreamworks' benefits are among the best in the industry. Employees treat each other with great respect and are clearly happy to be here.

    Cons

    There needs to be better communication among various departments/shows. Often, employees do not know what other departments do or how each division fits within the overall company.

    Advice to Management

    Improve overall communication. Help to better educate employees about what each department does.


  10. Helpful (5)

    What a chaotic, micro-managed, top-heavy mess

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in Glendale, CA

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastic campus with a great culture of actually getting outside, having meetings in the sunshine, dining together at the free-food commissary (where you get what you pay for, take that to heart). At the best of times there can be a sense of fun. But that seems all to have vanished in the last few months and I doubt it is ever coming back.

    Cons

    Micro-managing SENIOR-LEVEL management. At the very most senior level, the highest of the highest ranks of the company, seasoned veterans cannot trust the people who work for them. They want to review every piece of art, every concept, every idea, every suggestion, every new development, they want it presented on THEIR schedule and timeframe, and they want to be the final decision makers. This is no way to run ANY company, especially a creative one. People are scared, particularly after the last layoff. The rumor mill would certainly sink ships here. Rumors are rampant, disdain for senior management is open and not hidden, and they, in turn, seem to have nothing but contempt for most employees. Make it into the levels of the eight or ten key decision makers (and they ARE the decision makers -- NO ONE ELSE IS), and you'll be handsomely paid even if you get fired; one very senior level person was hired and fired within four months and apparently walked away with $15 million. The higher-ups look after themselves; in their eyes, everyone else is expendable, and they seem to make their "reorganizations" with a certain amount of glee that can't be hidden by their outwardly glum faces. The problem shows in the final product: Bad movies that have been micro-managed to death with no story, just a bunch of scenes thrown together by committee after listening to focus groups. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! THIS IS NO WAY TO RUN A CREATIVE COMPANY!

    Advice to Management

    Take a 15-week vacation. All of you. Leave the premises. Go watch the old movie "9 to 5" and see what happens when the workers who do the work can control the outcome. You'll be shocked. STOP BELITTLING PEOPLE in front of and behind their backs. Stop firing mid-level managers willy-nilly. STOP REORGANIZING! And try taking a pay cut, or at least figuring out a way to give back to the employees. The crappy free lunches don't quite cut it. (Have you seen how many people leave campus at lunch?!) Tell your senior managers to stop harassing people with all-through-the-night texts and emails. Work gets done during work hours. This isn't 1988, Jeffrey, and you're not working at Disney anymore. Run YOUR company the way YOU want it to be run -- stop trying to run it to impress everyone else. You have incredibly smart, incredibly passionate, incredibly creative, incredibly capable people here, and most of them are about getting ready to quit. SO TRUST IN THEIR ABILITIES. Your way is not the only way.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Great while it lasted

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great company to work at. Worked with some of the most wonderful and creative people ever. Great perks. Unfortunately, the movies didn't do great and they had to downsize many divisions.

    Cons

    Too much top management. Consumer products division grew too quickly and movies were not kept on the slate.



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