We know Dreamworks shakes up their logo all the time, but the one debuting before Puss In Boots: The Last Wish is meant to mark a permanent change.
It starts with the kid on a crescent moon, as always, but before he starts fishing, he turns the moon into a sail and visits the worlds of all his favorite Dreamworks characters. First he runs past The Bad Guys in their cruiser, then Hiccup and Toothless fly by, then he passes Po practicing some karate moves. Every Dreamworks character that has had some success appears here — BO numbers seem to be the qualification; you won’t see Megamind because his opening weekend wasn’t up to estimation.
Then again….we don’t see the Madagascar characters either and those movies made a mint. Weird.
It is the first logo to make no bones about Dreamworks being 100% devoted to animation — a long journey when you reflect on how we got here. Dreamworks started back in the 1990s as an attempt to launch a new movie studio with Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen as heads. When people think of the brand, The Ring or Saving Private Ryan might not first come to mind, but those are technically Dreamworks films.
Animated movies were always part of it, but they were produced in a separate division, Dreamworks Animation, led by Katzenberg. Katz had just been fired from Disney and, being a petty and vengeful man, greenlit projects he knew would have similar themes to Disney movies coming out at the same time. Antz was mean to kneecap A Bug’s Life and The Road To El Dorado was originally intended to take some steam out of Kingdom Of The Sun (until Disney delayed and reworked that one into Emperor’s New Groove).
But Katz’ most spiteful move was to make a CGI film that did nothing but dump on Disney, and ironically, it would turn into their single biggest hit and come to reshape the entire studio. Shrek was a cultural smash and from that point forward, animated Dreamworks films got more attention than anything else they made. Eventually the studio would just accept it and become 100% about animation…and then, eventually, be bought out by Universal.
Will Dreamworks be adding characters to this logo sequence as they’re invented? It’s possible, as Marvel Studios usually adds new characters to their logo now and then (which this is clearly inspired by).