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Background

DreamWorks Animation is an independent American animation studio which primarily produces a series of critically and commercially successful computer animated films, including Shrek, Shark Tale, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens, How to Train Your Dragon, and MegaMind. It was formed by the merger of the feature animation division of DreamWorks SKG and Pacific Data Images (PDI). Originally formed under the banner of DreamWorks SKG, it was spun-off into a separate public company in 2004. Starting with Over the Hedge, their movies were distributed through Paramount Pictures (in turn owned by Viacom), who acquired the rest of DreamWorks SKG in February 2006. However, in August 2012, DreamWorks Animation signed a five-year distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox Inc., which began after the release of Rise of the Guardians. DreamWorks Animation maintains two studios: the original DreamWorks feature animation studio in Glendale, California and the PDI studio in Redwood City, California. On August 22, 2016, DreamWorks Animation was acquired by Comcast, and became a unit of NBCUniversal.


1st Logo
(May 21, 2004-July 28, 2009)

Nicknames: "The Rainbow Balloon Kid", "Little Boy Fishing On the Moon", "Fishing Boy", "Daytime DreamWorks"

Logo: We pan up through a cloudy blue sky as we see the familiar DreamWorks crescent moon. A boy flies up onto the moon holding a bunch of balloons, and as he takes his place, he takes out his fishing rod and casts it, while letting go of the balloons. The camera pans up further into the clouds, as the balloons fly up and then pop into the rainbow-colored letters "DREAMWORKS", in its corporate font. The text slightly eases in as "ANIMATION" or "ANIMATION SKG", underneath a blue line, fades in underneath.

Variants:

  • A still version of the logo exists at the end of DWA films.
  • From Shark Tale to Wallace & Gromit in 'The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, "SKG" is now added next to "ANIMATION".
    • On the latter, it is shortened at the beginning when the balloons rise.
  • On Over the Hedge, no text appears below "DREAMWORKS".
  • Starting with Flushed Away, the kid and the moon appear above the text, "SKG" is now placed in between two lines, exactly the same style as the standard DreamWorks SKG logo, and the cumulonimbus clouds behind the two cumulonimbus clouds have been removed.
  • In November 2008, there are more clouds (so much they surround the kid on the moon!) and when the kid releases the balloons, the camera doesn't pan up, it stays on the kid on the moon. The text appears below.
  • The print version is used on handheld versions of DWA video games.

FX/SFX: The kid rising and the rainbow Balloons forming the logo. Excellent CGI for the logo.

Music/Sounds: A majestic/peaceful orchestrated piece based off the track "Fairytale" from Shrek. For the still version, none. Sometimes, the opening theme of the movie plays over it.

Availability: Fairly common. The normal version is seen on videogames starting from Shark Tale and ends with Monsters Vs. Aliens, and on DVD releases from Shrek 2 to Over the Hedge. Strangely, it was seen on The Ghost of Lord Farquaad, not on the Shrek's Thrilling Tales DVD, but on a 2013 sampler DVD packaged with General Mills cereals.

Scare Factor: None. This is a beautiful logo.

2nd Logo
(February 1, 2009, March 26, 2010- )

Nicknames: "Little Boy Fishing On the Moon II", "Fishing Boy II", "Nighttime DreamWorks"

Logo:

  • March 26, 2010-: In a starry nighttime sky, we see a full moon. A shadow appears on it as it turns into a crescent moon, revealing the boy from the last logo sitting on it. The boy takes out his fishing rod and casts it. The camera pans out as he swings the road around the fuchsia clouds. The words "DREAMWORKS" zoom out in violet and spread one-by-one below the moon, then finally we see on a violet line "ANIMATION SKG".

Variants:

  • On Gift of the Night Fury, it fades in beginning when the clouds disappear.
  • On Almost Home, it fades in just before the letters fly in. After the "Animation SKG" line fades in, it dissolves to the opening shot.
  • In 2014, a special 20th anniversary variant was created. The logo starts as normal, but when the boy's fishing hook swings by the screen, it sweeps up letters that form the word "YEARS" which then settle underneath the moon. From there, the number "2" appears to the left of the moon (with the moon taking the place of the "0" to form the "20") and the words "OF DREAMS" and "AND LAUGHTER" fade in below "YEARS" in columns. The DreamWorks text then fades in above the "20". The still version is seen on DreamWorks' Penguins of Madagascar (2014 movie) and How to Train Your Dragon 2. On the DreamWorks' anniversary brand campaign, copyright information appears underneath the logo.
  • On Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, after it completes it fades to black in which then yellow notebook paper fills in serging to the fictional Tree House Comix, Inc. logo.

Trivia: This was unveiled in the Super Bowl TV spot for Monsters vs. Aliens.

FX/SFX: CGI.

Music/Sounds: An extended version of the theme from the last logo. This theme debuted on Shrek: Forever After and it's rarely used. It more commonly uses the opening theme. The closing and the 20 Years versions is silent.

Music/Sounds Variant:

  • A descriptive narrator describes one of the following logos before reading out the company name: 
  • On How To Train Your Dragon, Carl Nubile describes "In animation, a large full moon glows in a night sky filled with twinkling stars. A shadow falls across the moon's surface forming a slender crescent moon. A young boy holding a fishing pole sits on the moon's bottom curve. He swings the pole and casts out a fishing line which sweeps away approaching clouds then drops straight downward. DreamWorks Animation SKG. Elsewhere, in the middle of an ocean, towering statues of men with fires glowing inside their open mouths stand near a rocky shoreline."
  • On Shrek Forever After, Carl Nubile describes "In a night sky filled with stars, a large full moon glides backward. A shadow falls across the moon's surface forming a crescent moon. A young boy holding a fishing pole appears sitting on the bottom curve of a crescent moon. The boy swings the pole and casts out the fishing line which sweeps away approaching clouds then drops straight down. In the space left by the dispersed clouds: DreamWorks Animation SKG."
  • On Megamind, Carl Nubile describes "In outer space, a barefoot boy holding a fishing pole sits on the bottom of the crescent moon. The boy swings the pole back and forth whipping the fishing line around himself like a lasso. He swings his hook through a bank of nearby clouds dispersing them. The boy dangles his fishing line straight down. DreamWorks Animation SKG. A bright sun flares, then reflects off a vast, glittering sea."
  • On Kung Fu Panda 2, Carl Nubile describes: In animation, a lone tree. Its branches studded with flowers stands at the edge of a rocky cliff. A breeze blows away the blossoms and carries their petals up through dark, storm clouds to a turtle sitting on a crescent moon. The turtle casts a fishing line and pulls up a production title: DreamWorks Animation SKG. Elsewhere, a large city."
  • On Puss in Boots, Carl Nubile describes "In a night sky, a shadow sweeps across the moon, changing it from full to crescent. A boy sitting on the bottom tip of the crescent moon casts a fishing rod. The line whips in a wide arc and clears away surrounding clouds."
  • On Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Carl Nubile describes "In a pale sky, a shadow sweeps across the moon, changing it from full to crescent. A boy sitting on the bottom tip of the crescent moon casts a fishing rod. The line whips in a wide arc and clears away surrounding clouds."
  • On Rise Of The Guardians, Laura Post describes "Snowflakes drift through the air. A young boy crouching in the moon bats a snowflake with a wooden staff. It becomes a flurry of patterned flakes that drift through the air and through the letters that form the logo: DreamWorks Animation SKG in a cloudy sky. The lettering freezes, then shatters."
  • On The Croods, Gailee Heideman describes "Now, a small fire glows in the darkness. As it dies, a papery cinder twirls lazily in the air. The orange ember floats away, passing a cave wall. It throws light on a series of painted images and handprints. The cinder moves over the image of a boy sitting on a crescent moon. Underneath, words read: DreamWorks Animation SKG. A breeze blows the logo away."
  • On Turbo, Christopher Flowers describes "In another logo, our view pulls back from a full moon as the partial eclipse engulfs its left side. A boy is on the edge of the now crescent moon holding a fishing pole. He casts a line into the sky. Its hook then glows as it cuts through clouds toward us. Swinging back to him, the line hangs beneath the moon. Letters form above a bed of puffy white clouds: DreamWorks Animation SKG."
  • On Mr. Peabody And Sherman, Gailee Heideman describes "In another logo, we draw back from the moon in the night sky. A shadow spreads over its surface, revealing an animated boy with glasses. Sitting at the edge of a crescent moon, he twirls the line of a fishing pole like a lasso. The line's end whips toward us and clears away a layer of billowing clouds. As he dangles the line, giant block letters float into view: DreamWorks Animation SKG. The logo fades out and our view descends."
  • On How To Train Your Dragon 2, Hannah Johnson describes "In another logo, we draw back from the moon in the night sky. A shadow spreads over its surface, revealing an illuminated boy. Sitting at the edge of a crescent moon, he twirls the line of a fishing pole like a lasso. The line's end whips towards us and clears away a layer of billowing clouds. As he dangles the line, giant block letters float into view: DreamWorks Animation SKG. As the fading logo ripples, a tail cuts the surface of the sea."
  • On Penguins of Madagascar (2014 film), Hannah Johnson describes "Now, ice falls from a frozen cliff revealing a similar carved logo: A fishing boys sits on a crescent moon. DreamWorks Animation SKG. More ice breaks away and the logo changes to four tiny penguins, stacked like a totem pole. The top penguin holds the fishing rod."
  • On Home, Aaron Meza describes "Above clouds, a boy with a fishing line sits in the crook of a crescent moon: DreamWorks Animation SKG. A tube descends and sucks him up, then deposits a squat creature with several, stumpy legs. It casts the line."
  • Other descriptive audio variants follow
  • On Puss in Boots, the opening stinger (Based on the Latino music used in movie) plays over it, in which serges into the opening theme when it completes. As the boy releases the hook with his fishing rod, we hear a cracking whip.
  • On GotNF version, it has the opening stinger playing over it.
  • On the Shrek 3-D reissue titled as "The Ghost of Lord Fradquad", the end of the previous logo's music is heard.
  • On the CU:TFEM version, part through George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch), whose names are revealed in the introduction, joins in by humming and mouthing the music. George then said over the opening shot "DreamWorks Animation presents."

Availability: Current. The logo first appeared on the Super Bowl trailer for Monsters vs. Aliens, then made its first theatrical appearance on How to Train Your Dragon, and has been seen on every DreamWorks Animation project since. Variations are described here.

Scare Factor: None.