DreamWorks Animation Reviews

Updated March 31, 2015
217 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
3.6
217 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
DreamWorks Animation CEO and Director Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
153 Ratings

Pros
  • great campus and free breakfast and lunch for all employees (in 32 reviews)

  • Good people, free food, people seem to really care about your future, stable work (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • Doesn't even cover the cost of living (in 6 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Great culture to work in for Entertainment.

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

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

    Pros

    Special events held for employees, studio days to get employees to feel more connected. Free breakfast and lunch.

    Cons

    The company paid employees with low salaries. Even within entertainment industry, DWA offered low salary in comparison.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Should offer competitive salary in comparison to industry standards.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Great company fallen on hard times.

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

    I worked at DreamWorks Animation

    Pros

    Great community of nice and passionate individuals.
    Great benefits for employees.
    Great work life and culture.

    Cons

    Moving up in the company tough but not impossible.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful

    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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Their next movie should be called "Titanic 2" - this is a sinking ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Production Supervisor
    Current Employee - Production Supervisor

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation

    Pros

    Cream-of-the-crop talent and production staff. Casual, family atmosphere. Free breakfast and lunch. Free gym membership. Medical, dental, vision, 401k matching.

    Cons

    CEO, JK, is running this company into the ground. Despite the highly talented crew, poor creative and business decisions made from the executive level have affected the people on the floor, leading to the Nor Cal studio (PDI) closure and the mass layoffs of almost 1000 employees in the last 3 years. Work-life balance is getting worse with the outsourcing to India.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management needs make the story a priority! Don't green-light ideas without solid stories and expect the crew to work on Act I while Act II is being drafted and Act III to be dealt with halfway through the waterfall schedule.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    The perks and culture outweigh the mediocre pay.

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

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great perks: beautiful campus, free breakfast/lunch/snacks, weekly movies, continued education, frequent drinking/parties, year end bonuses (usually), a free week of vacation over Christmas

    Cons

    Lower pay when compared to similar studios in the area. Creative direction has had some ups and downs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Finalize a story and script before starting production.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    need to update the process by which they greenlight movie productions

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful

    Slow decline of morale.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Glendale, CA

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

    Pros

    Great views, awesome co-workers, creative environment and free food!

    Cons

    The senior management can be overly ambitious - which has been the root cause of a lot of the problems at the studio over the past few years. Expectations (for individual projects and for the studio as a whole) are not always realistic. Also, many projects would benefits from more extensive development (green lit too soon). Also, in terms of salary, they are very much on the low end (in production management and admin roles) compared to other studios and competitors. They are also very stingy on raises (unless you are an artist).

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Unique Culture

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

    I have been working at DreamWorks Animation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    DreamWorks has a very unique culture. The employees make all difference in the work enrvironment. From Artist to Dig Ops to Facilities to HR - everyone is family. Great perks, free lunch & breakfast, free gym membership, free Caltrain passes. Great Health Benefits.

    Cons

    Low pay. Unless you are an experienced artist the pay is not representative for the silicon valley cost of living.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful

    Uncertain future ahead.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Supervisor
    Former Employee - Production Supervisor

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

    Pros

    Great tight knit group of highly creative and technical people. Everyone works very hard to create the best films possible. PDI location had a feeling of family and everyone supported one another. Production management was given frequent training to develop career growth and not just treated as a job.

    Cons

    With the recent leadership change, hard to know where the company is headed. They need to transform from a producer driven studio to a director driven studio to take the creative risks but know their audience. Dreamworks needs to appreciate the production management more, but the trend seems to be adding more a more multiple departments onto one supervisor. Change in software is very slow with a tendency to maintain outdated proprietary software rather than put the investment in more off the shelf applications.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Integrate teams more to know what the buzz is from the ground up. Don't just listen to the established creatives but to the lower rung people as well. They are able to tell what will be good and what won't be. People will always strive to make the best film possible, but it needs to start with a good idea first.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

DreamWorks Animation Photos

Work at DreamWorks Animation? Share Your Experiences

DreamWorks Animation

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.