DreamWorks Animation Reviews

Updated August 18, 2015
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DreamWorks Animation CEO and Director Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
37 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

55 Employee Reviews

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  1. Dreamworks Animation, great while it lasted

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Asset Management Technician in Redwood City, CA
    Current Contractor - Asset Management Technician in Redwood City, CA

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Being a Asset Management technician was a great start to my new IT career since Dreamworks Animation works in Windows, Linux, and Networking which I had learned from College. Being in asset management did not limit my participation is just that field because I was encouraged by management to learn what the OSA's (SysAdmins) were doing for their job and that they could be my mentors to reach the next level.

    Cons

    For my position the pay was below industry standards however I needed the experience to start my IT career so for that I had to be very frugal.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Great people. Poor management. Uncertain future.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Director in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Technical Director in Redwood City, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was part of the PDI layoff, so this doesn't apply to people who are looking to apply to LA. Still, hopefully this applies. DreamWorkers were awesome people to hang with and I formed true friendships with people. In terms of day-to-day-coworkers, I couldn't ask for anything better.

    Cons

    Management and the higher-ups seem out of touch. The vision of DreamWorks is also hazy at best as they gravitate towards less mature films. Outsourcing is a major, major concern.

    Advice to Management

    I feel like Jeffrey Katzenberg loves his company so much that he's willing to make deals with the devil to get ahead. Cutting costs. Pushing production to three films a year. Chasing film trends. I don't know if it's stockholder pressure or what, but sometimes it's just important to focus and believe in the ability of the company.


  3. Below average pay but a very fun and exciting work environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Assistant in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Production Assistant in Redwood City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There were so many amazingly talented artists, everyone was very approachable and it was a very fun industry to be a part of.

    Cons

    The pay was much lower than many of the other companies in the Bay Area and if I didn't have a passion for film there would probably have been much better options financially. It would be hard to recommend the company to a friend purely because of the pay.


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  5. Best place to work went from worst place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Coordinator in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Production Coordinator in Redwood City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free food, nice people, room for upward movement, fun to work on movies.

    Cons

    Shutting down the PDI office thus letting hundreds of people go without jobs in Northern CA. Handled in a very unprofessional manner.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent about the companies' financial situation.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Great People!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Character Effects Artist in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Character Effects Artist in Redwood City, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I worked here for many years and the studio is filled with fun, super smart people. There are a lot of little perks like on-site dining that really add up to a great experience.

    Cons

    It is very difficult to gain any upwards movement. Supervisors typically stay at the studio for long periods of time, making it difficult to ever receive more responsibilities as an employee.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on making great movies instead of expanding into other business areas. There was a great family culture at DreamWorks and it would be great if that could be re-invigorated.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Amazing Company Culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - amazing people and company culture. I loved working with the producers and directors on my film. You are truly surrounded by the most creative people and its very inspiring

    Cons

    There isn't much work life balance


  8. Helpful (8)

    Rock Bottom

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Dreamworks was amassed a large group of incredibly talented artists. The lower down the hierarchy you go in general, the more honesty and caring you will find.

    Cons

    Dreamworks is bloated with management. Much of your upward mobility is based on how honed your political skills are. Few in management are held accountable for poor decisions. Also, it is ironic that Dreamworks offers leadership classes but their leadership exhibits almost none of the qualities they claim to value.

    Advice to Management

    You are not directors. You are not filmmakers. You are not artists. You decided to enter the field of business and there's nothing wrong with that. But stick to your field. Also stop basing your film directors on cronyism. Stop trying to find a formula for a good movie...there is no formula. Also stop trying to predict your success based on the "Cinemascope" there are several DW films with cinemascores of A which bombed at the box-office. So clearly they are missing some variables. Stop being so reactionary to comments coming from your advanced screenings.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Unstable and shifty.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lighting Artist in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Lighting Artist in Redwood City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    The the environment was nice while it lasted. Worked there for 6 years. It really depends on your department. Working in the back end departments vs working in marketing and higher up production- its a completely different company. The people (artist) in our dept were amazing to work with. Free food.

    Cons

    There is are no cons to working here. Obviously. That's the face you have to put on if you want to continue working there.

    Advice to Management

    Please do a better job hire people who can actually do your job. (Feedback at the company is more of nice thought done for show vs an actual reality of creating change)


  10. Helpful (4)

    It was pretty good while it lasted

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Lighter in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Lead Lighter in Redwood City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good pay, good benefits, free lunches and lots of other random perks.

    Cons

    Long hours, felt like just another cog in the machine and a name on a spread sheet.

    Advice to Management

    Get your act together and listen to production when you ask them how things can be improved. If you had been listening 10+ years ago the studio wouldn't have had to shut down PDI and sell it's campus and lease it back.


  11. Helpful (5)

    PDI was a great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lighter in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Lighter in Redwood City, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are so many incredible smart people working here and very little ego to get in the way. Employees are provided with free breakfast and lunch. Other perks include the gym, complimentary dinners if you're working late and lots of parties. There is a training department which you are encouraged to take advantage of; They can help you in your own department's work or for any cross training you may be interested in. The campus is small with about 400-500 people. This intimately sized workplace minimizes the frustration one can feel when working with strangers. As soon as you share a beer with some one, you're much more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt when they ... don't get you the element you been waiting for on time, or whatever.

    Cons

    The bureaucracy gets heavy every year. It's not a nimble company. Communication, in general, is poor between departments but, actually, all it takes is you to fix that. You will be lauded if you actually pick up the phone and ask another person a question. It's pretty easy to please your bosses in this way. If you start at the bottom, it's hard to work your way up within 5 years. The lowest positions do not pay well and it's a long road to $100,000 a year (RWC specific). I think the union in GLD protects employees from this but that is hearsay. There are too many bosses which artistically can mean too many cooks in the kitchen. Efficiency is not something that this company excels at in terms of getting shots approved.

    Advice to Management

    Trust one leader more and get rid of all of the other cooks in the kitchen so shots can get approved more quickly. Create a clear path for upward mobility.



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