DreamWorks Animation
3.9 of 5 133 reviews
www.dreamworksanimation.com Glendale, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

DreamWorks Animation Reviews in Redwood City, CA

Updated Mar 3, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 32 reviews

                             

84% Approve of the CEO

DreamWorks Animation CEO and Director Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg

(25 ratings)

77% of employees recommend this company to a friend
32 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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Amazing place to work at - Great company culture and surrounded by creative people everyday!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than a year

ProsYou get to watch a project come to life and see the many creative minds that work to get it done. Great people at the company. They really make it feel like you are apart of a team.

ConsIt takes awhile to move up within the company and the pay is not great for production staff.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you are doing!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great culture and awesome employees

Research and Development Supervisor (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than 10 years

ProsThe cultural, artistic and technical diversities of talent at the studio are world renowned! I am very fortunate to work with some of the top computer artists, developers and production personnel in the industry! I made so many lifelong friends that are now family. Unlike most animation studios, there is a vast amount of collaborating and knowledge sharing that goes on. It doesn't have that 'freelance' mentality. Plenty of extra curricular activities and perks.

ConsCommunication from Senior Management is inconsistent. Management training and career development is pretty weak. Annual management classes are held for a select group but there is no follow up training as a 'check up'. Policies are created and aren't strictly adhered to. Management shares news and then their actions are contradictory.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe honest about career advancement opportunities and don't make false promises. Get to know the people you are managing and leverage off of their strengths. It feels like annual reviews harp on the negative aspects of employees as a plot to keep salaries down, as opposed to looking for opportunities to exploit their talents and aspirations. Take the time to find out what the employee's career goals are and help them reach them.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great perks, but technology takes a back seat to movie production.

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than a year

ProsThey serve free breakfast and lunch every day. The studio is full of talented people from all walks of life. You get your name in the credits of major motion pictures!

ConsThe pay is below market value.

Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want to be a technology company, improve the incentives for engineers.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Brilliant!

Technical Director (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at DreamWorks Animation as an intern for less than a year

ProsThe company invests a lot in training its employees. The job is demanding but the co-workers are some of the best one can have
Free food on campus, movie screenings....

ConsThe salary is sort of low

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Worthless job, low salary and outdated technology

R&D Engineer (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than a year

Pros1) Free (unhealthy) lunch, even though the quality is deteriorating.

Cons1) In one word, its a useless job for a R&D engineer. There is no emphasis on cutting edge technology and working 3+ years in Dreamworks is a sure passage for unemployment in future outside the movie industry.
2) Quality of colleagues (the ones who have stayed in Dreamworks for a long term): Most of the newer colleagues have left within 2 - 3 years for better opportunities in the hi-tech industry. There are a somewhat small percentage of people in the R&D team who have been in Dreamworks for 10+ years. I had dreadful experience working with them and they have no idea of whats going on outside in the technology world. Its good for me, that I left within 1 and 1/2 years and I have seen at least 15 engineers do the same; so in the hindsight, it was a good choice!
3) Low salary compared to tech industry: Poor base salary, low bonus in the past few years, no stock benefit (no RSUs, ESPP), poor 401K match and minimal raise. I have worked or have got offers from Google, Apple, Microsoft and Adobe and from that I can say that the difference in overall compensation package is significant.

To sum up, the stagnation in the company and the poor quality of work can have disastrous effect on the career of an engineer.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Looks great on paper, but not worth the hard work, time or effort.

Production Assistant (Current Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than a year

ProsThere are many wonderful artists and coworkers I worked with who were brimming with talent. I made many friends. Events were fun. Lunches were provided, but work hour was unpaid, often work through lunch and beyond. Benefits package is great.

ConsHigh stress. Big egos. Politics. An unreasonable work load. Constant stress of being laid off with little to no notice. Little to no recognition for hard work. Unfair, unacceptable pay. Doesn't even cover the cost of living. No one will look out for you, it's every man for himself environment, which is a shame considering someone who left the company kindly volunteered this wise advice, but it seemed too harsh to believe. I ended up learning the hard way.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe more respectful, practice an open door policy to those who work for you to strengthen morale. Withholding important information only slows progress. Pay production staff a living wage. Starting folks out at $10 an hour is ludicrous. The government recently stepped in to have our wages raised to $13 an hour at a 45+ hour work week.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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You/they can do better

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than a year

ProsFree food
Amazingly talented artists
Very technical engineers
Great, hardworking artists, producers, and scientists
Friendly upper management
Coolest editorial staff

ConsTotal middle-management nightmare.
Some of the middle managers would sell their firstborn child to appear that they actually have something to contribute.
Way too many politicians preventing true creatives and people to expand their work into new areas.
Major cutthroats everywhere.
Punished for thinking outside the box or working "above your pay grade" or improving any process at all.
Management does not take feedback well, and in many cases will use it to make you feel the pain of what you are providing feedback on.
You're just another expendable resource that can be replaced by people working for less than a living wage in an underdeveloped country's studio.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou might have me pegged as one of those disgruntled types, but I will tell you -- every-single-person in my department and others had the same impression after working there. People I talked to that had worked there, and still do after 5 years, complain about the back-breaking hours, the lack of compensation, the lack of appreciation, and the inability to work their way up. This is primarily in the Redwood City studio that this review is referring to, and I have only heard good things about Glendale. The Redwood City studio is non-union, and they take full-advantage of that fact.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Good company to work for

Senior Animator (Current Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than 10 years

ProsThe job flow is much more stable than other companies since DW makes its own titles. It's easier to balance your life here. The benefit is pretty good, too.

ConsLike other companies, once the production schedule is changed, you contract is not guaranteed.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great projects, but a little corporate

Lead Previz Artist (Former Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe best thing about DreamWorks is you are surrounded some of the best Artists in the world. The projects are creatively challenging and very rewarding. Being at DreamWorks, you know that you are working at one of the Elite studios in the Industry.

ConsIt is a very homogeneous environment. Everyone and everything is very politically correct, and it feels less like a creative environment and more like a government institution trying to be creative.

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't be so uptight about HR.

Put as much thought and attention into your consumer products (toys) as you do into your movies. The films themselves are beautiful, rich and well constructed. The toy lines and ancillary products that emerge from these wonderful stories suck badly. Actually employ people who care about toys to make your toys, and not people who just want to make a profit as cheaply as possible.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great People, caring company.

Senior Software Engineer I (Current Employee)
Redwood City, CA

I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThere are many good things about DWA, the free lunch, the location, but most of all, it's about the passionate people.

ConsThere is no upward mobility unless you are willing to threaten to quit. There is also the fact the the FX and movie industry is getting harder and harder to maintain in the US.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at DreamWorks Animation reviews and ratings in Redwood City, CA — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. All 32 reviews posted anonymously by DreamWorks Animation employees.