DreamWorks Face

Wait... is that a Pixar character?note 

DreamWorks Representative: Uhh... There are talking animals. And they do things animals don't normally do. And they all make this face. (holds up picture of guy smirking)
Short webcomic

You know that face. The clever, asymmetrical smirk. The similarly crooked eyebrows. The intense stare-down that comes at you from the promo posters. It's the expression that tells you the hero is going to be up to no good, and is much cooler than any of those classic, mainstream, conformist wimps those other studios produce... except the character him or herself never, or rarely, makes that face to begin with in the show! It's usually a way to get audiences to see a particular film over another, and promises a very different tone than what we're used to. It's the facial expression form of hip, sassy and snarky dialogue.

This trope pertains to faces seen outside of the body of the film or TV show and only in marketing material... in posters, billboards, ads, etc. Otherwise, it would be a No Fourth Wall or an Aside Glance.

Films produce advertising and posters as various stages of production and all of these are meant to be teasers. The stuff that comes first is normally dominated by faces staring at you because that's the only thing finalized at that point. So the DreamWorks Face is one of numerous stock attractive faces. For instance, you may have also seen the "everyone is smiling, bright eyes and maybe waving at you".

See also Mascot with Attitude, Moe Stare, American Kirby Is Hardcore, Sean Connery Is Going To Shoot You.


Examples

Animated Film

Comic Books

Fan Works

Literature

Live-Action Film

Live-Action TV

Theme Parks

Video Games

Webcomics

Web Original

Western Animation
  • The term is directly used in a storyboard for the Regular Show episode "Cruisin'".
  • Explicitly avoided in John Kricfalusi's cartoons—he hates this expression so much that he forbids any of his artists from ever drawing it—and that includes any expression that even remotely resembles it, including non-cocky smirks or eyebrows raised out of curiosity. The Ren & Stimpy Show does make use of the Fascinating Eyebrow, though, usually when Ren is feeling smug or slightly annoyed.
  • The promotional images for Archer all feature the titular character making this face whilst all the other characters make neutral or disgruntled facial expressions. Might be deliberately invoked, as Archer is a textbook narcissist and everyone around him is perpetually frustrated by his personality.

Others
  • Guess what real-life animation figure was known for doing this himself decades before DreamWorks or even it's founder were conceived: Walt Disney! His habit of raising one eyebrow out of intrigue was later used for Yensid, a character already based on him.
  • A drawing tutorial in Lackadaisy calls this "the Smarm Brow" and lists it among "things to unlearn". The character making this face gets smacked so hard his eyebrows pop off.
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson did it so much in his WWE days that his logos made the expression. Although normally he didn't do the half-grin, just the eyebrow.
  • Ever-so-subtly used by Montréal mayoral candidate Mélanie Joly in her promotional images during the 2013 municipal election.
  • Jeopardy contestant Colby Burnett seems to have one.

Alternative Title(s):

Smarm Brow