DreamWorks Animation

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DreamWorks Animation Reviews

Updated April 2, 2015
48 reviews filtered by
  • Redwood City, CA
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3.7
48 Reviews
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DreamWorks Animation CEO and Director Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
34 Ratings

48 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    It was pretty good while it lasted

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Lighter in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Lead Lighter in Redwood City, CA

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

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

    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.

  2. Helpful (4)

    PDI was a great place to work

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

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    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.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Great job, great benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Character Effects Artist in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Character Effects Artist in Redwood City, CA

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, creative enviroment, lots of free enrichment classes

    Cons

    unstable industry, production mis-management, greenlit several movies that looked bad from the outset

    Advice to Management

    need to update the process by which they greenlight movie productions

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Despite the volatility, a wonderful place to work.

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

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Some of the most creative, diverse people I have met in my professional career.

    Cons

    Unstable - industry is driven by movie hits, which come and go.

    Advice to Management

    Middle management is great - caring and concerning about the workforce.
    Upper management is hard to gauge - High-level decisions about which movies to move forward on are very opaque, and the reasoning behind the decisions are not clear to the rest of the company. This led to the closing of the Redwood City studio.

  6. My co-workers were the best team I ever worked with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - N/A in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - N/A in Redwood City, CA

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The artists and production staff are what makes Dreamworks an awesome place to work. I've excelled as an artist because of my day-to-day peer interaction. Projects always inspired me to grow. Creative and encouraging discussions everyday within our department. Free lunch and snacks, gym on-site at the PDI studio. Good benefits such as health-care, dental, 401k. Paid overtime. Respect for personal life.

    Cons

    Work instability due to box-office duds and lackluster marketing. Corporate culture kills the informal atmosphere at Dreamworks, senior management are terrible and are way out of touch.

    Advice to Management

    Get a stronger marketing team. Senior management; get to know the people who make your movies.

  7. Amazing place to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Data Center Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Data Center Engineer in Redwood City, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Culture, work ethic, socialization....everything is amazing

    Cons

    Lots of layers for upper management. Communication can be a problem sometimes. Closing of RWC studio.

  8. Helpful (2)

    PDI

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

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    great amazing super talented people, life long friends. can't beat the work culture there. Free hot breakfast, and lunches. gyms and all other sorts of percs. It really made coming to work really comfortable.

    Cons

    PDI shut down recently, executive management needs to change, tools are outdated and slow.

  9. Helpful (3)

    Top heavy, adversarial

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

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation

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

    Pros

    Free food and parking
    Until recently, relatively stable if you meet some minimum requirements
    Occasioal interesting projects

    Cons

    Top heavy
    Management unable or unwilling to understand the underlying messages in their actions.
    In some projects the ratio of implementers to 'management' was 1:7 or so (!)
    Meetings used to diffuse responsibility and delay action and mask lack of insight to problems instead of actual analysis and planning.

    Advice to Management

    Current managers are very stuck in their ways and have a vested interest in keeping things (and themselves) where they are.
    Please note that what they are preserving brought them to the trouble that they are in now.
    Lost the balancing factor of PDI recently

  10. Helpful (2)

    Living the Dream at Dreamworks Animation

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

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    This is one of the most fun and creative places I've ever worked at. You do hardwork but it never feels that way and your life feels good!

    Cons

    We are now closing our doors...

  11. Helpful (1)

    System Administrator

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

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation as a contractor (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great people. Free lunch and breakfast.

    Cons

    Felt the company treated artists like cattle. Management didn't give employees an ounce of loyalty. It felt like they leveraged the fact that you were working for them to do what they pleased.. Poor salary.

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