DreamWorks Pictures (also known as "DreamWorks, LLC", "DreamWorks SKG" or "DreamWorks Studios") is an American film studio that was established in 1994. DreamWorks was formed as an ambitious attempt by media moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffery Katzenberg and David Geffen (hence SKG) to create a new Hollywood studio. In 1995, CJ Entertainment became an investor in the studio and began distributing and licensing select titles in Korea and Asia. The studio primarily released their own films domestically, although some films were co-released or released in some territories by another studio (most often Universal Pictures (who were their principal international distribution partner (through UIP) during their independent era) and Paramount Pictures and in some cases, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and even Buena Vista International for at least one film). On December 11, 2005, the founders agreed to sell the studio to Viacom (later ViacomCBS, now Paramount Global) to become a division of Paramount Pictures. The sale was completed on February 1, 2006, but the studio became independent again in 2008. On February 9, 2009, DreamWorks (ironically given one of its founders' history) struck a distribution deal with The Walt Disney Studios (through their Touchstone Pictures label), which was effective from 2011 to 2016. In 2012, DreamWorks signed a deal with Mister Smith Entertainment to handle sales of its titles in Europe, Middle East and Africa. DreamWorks Animation was formerly a subsidiary of the studio until the two split into separate companies in 2004. DreamWorks Pictures is now legally known as "DW II Management, Inc." with the "DreamWorks" name and logo being used under license from DreamWorks Animation. Paramount owns the rights to the studio's live-action films (from the studio's inception until the spin-off from Viacom) after purchasing rights held by Soros Strategic Partners LP and Dune Entertainment II LLC, as well as the films they distributed until the partnership ended, with U.S .TV over-the-air rights handled by Trifecta Entertainment and Media. On December 16, 2015, Spielberg, Jeff Skoll, Anil Ambani of Reliance Anil Ambani Group and Darren Throp of eOne formed Amblin Partners with DreamWorks becoming the adult label of the new company. Later on, Universal signed a deal to distribute the later titles by Amblin so Universal Studios distributes the studio's material once the distribution deal with Disney expired, of which the majority of their post-2016 output has distributed by (though some titles were released by Paramount, Netflix, and at least one title even by Lionsgate). Films produced by DreamWorks with distribution handled by The Walt Disney Studios have still retained distribution by the aforementioned company after the contract expired in 2016. DreamWorks Animation (which was acquired by NBCUniversal in 2016) owns all of the studio's animated films.
(September 26, 1997- )
Logo: It starts out at night with a crescent-shape moon and some clouds in a reflection of water, then we see a bobber and fishing reel splash into the water. The camera then pans upwards through bunch of clouds to see a boy, sitting on top of a crescent-shape moon holding a fishing rod. He reclines further into the moon and swings his foot in a rocking motion as a large "D" fades in, and as the camera pans to the right, letters such as "R", "E", "A" and the next proceeding letters follow, although parts of the letters are covered by the clouds. We then swoop past a whole bunch of several clouds, engulfing the screen. They then revolve away to reveal the text "DʀᴇᴀᴍWᴏʀᴋs" with "SKG" appearing underneath sandwiched between lines respectively, and the text is set by the dark of night with clouds to accompany it.
Trivia: The idea for this logo was a concept from co-founder Steven Spielberg. He originally wanted the logo to be CGI depicting a man fishing standing on the moon, but his frequent collaborator Dennis Muren suggested a hand-painted logo instead. Artist Robert Hunt was then commissioned to design the logo. Spielberg loved one of Hunt's designs, a boy sitting on a crescent moon while fishing, and it was made into a full-motion logo. The boy who is seen sitting on the moon is based upon Hunt's son, William.
- A short version of this logo was seen on trailers for films and at the end of films released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Touchstone Pictures (except in EMEA and India), starting with I Am Number Four through The Light Between Oceans. Real Steel has the still version of this logo at the end.
- Starting in December 2002 with the release of Catch Me If You Can, the "TM" next to "SKG" is replaced with a "®" thanks to the registration of the company's trademarks going through.
- On trailers and commercials for early films like The Peacemaker, Mousehunt, and Amistad, a 4:3 version was used. The only difference in this version that there was no "TM" next to "SKG".
- Some films have the logo fading out early after it has been formed.
- Sometimes, the logo may be zoomed out further than usual.
- It is not entirely clear if a full-frame version of the entire animation exists, as the logo was often presented in its original aspect ratio even on VHS and fullscreen/pan-and-scan DVD releases.
- Starting with the 2021 film Stillwater, the logo is remastered with more modern animation of the clouds, water, and letters. The logo is also a lighter shade of blue. Oslo has the still version of this logo at the end.
Technique: CGI animation from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) that still holds up very well over a quarter of a century later. It was directed by ILM animation supervisor Wes Takahashi, and Hunt provided some of the resources for the logo. The 2021 variant was animated at Technicolor.
Music/Sounds: The only SFX is when the bobber hits the water, and it makes a splashing sound. A very nice piece of orchestrated music that starts out with a guitar tune, followed by a loud, majestic horn fanfare, and ending with another guitar tune. Composed by John Williams.
- On MouseHunt, the theme is a different orchestration and the guitar section at the end is replaced with a French horn playing the same notes (which was used for the short version of the 1996 DreamWorks Interactive logo). The sound of the bobber hitting the water is also slightly delayed, and the fanfare starts earlier.
- On some prints of Antz (such as the Region 2 and 4 DVD releases of the film), the logo is silent, even though original prints and the 1999 Australian VHS had the opening theme playing. This may have been an error in production or distribution (considering that foreign dubs of the film actually skips the opening cast credits due to unfamiliar reasons for the people across the world).
- On some films, it is either silent or the opening theme of the film is used. The splashing CGI SFX can sometimes still remain in the audio; although it might be changed to a different splashing sound effect, depending on the film.
- On the US DVD release of Evolution, when you select the "English 2.0" track, the 1998 common fanfare for the 1993 Columbia Pictures logo will be heard instead. This most likely boils down to the fact the 2.0 English track from the Sony-owned international master was mistakenly used.
Availability: Very common. It premiered on The Peacemaker (which is also DreamWorks' first film) and has been used in nearly every DreamWorks film ever since. Was seen on some 2001 Region 4 DVD releases as well and pre-2004 DreamWorks Animation films, from Antz to Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. This logo preceded the 1997 BBC Video logo on the DreamWorks Home Entertainment DVD release of three Wallace & Gromit short films, it was later cut on future prints of these shorts. Current prints of the studio's animated films and pre-2008 live-action films may have this logo preceded (or plastered) by a Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and/or a DreamWorks Animation logo. The logo made a surprise reappearance on the games for Shark Tale and Shrek 2, released in 2004, despite these two films using the 2004 DreamWorks Animation logo.
Legacy: An iconic logo that uses an effective combination of 2-D and 3-D animation, with the music also being a highlight, all contributing to the logo's longevity, having been in use for over 25 years and counting. Some, however, dislike the logo, accusing it of being plagiarism by Spielberg of Michael Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch logo used without Jackson's permission or credit, something accused by Jackson's family themselves.