YMMV: DreamWorks Animation

  • All Animation is Dreamworks: Ironically, due to their attempts to be the alternative to Disney, Dreamworks ended up getting a legion of copycats, with many people misattributing movies to them (Disney, in fact, jumped on that bandwagon before it blowing up in their face and John Lasseter getting back into the studio convinced them to jump off).
  • Animation Age Ghetto: The studio's relationship to this trope is... complicated, so say the least. Their sense of snarky humor and broad appeal have brought in legions of adult fans, but their films are almost always conceived and marketed for younger audiences. This reputation (as well as their failed attempt at prime time television) has labeled CGI as mostly kiddie fare.
  • Deader Than Disco: With the exception of a couple of franchises, many feel that DreamWorks is not the edgy, "alternative" powerhouse it was at the dawn of The Millennium Age of Animation. Most blame their style being pushed in favor of story, resulting in several forgettable films that all tried to be Shrek, not to mention other studios frequently co-opting and, in some cases, improving upon their style. DreamWorks also tends to have an extremely bloated production schedule of expensive, quickly-produced films and sequels, with as many as four being released per-year (the average schedule of a major animation studio is one per year at most); they had to cut down on this when a streak of box office bombs forced them to do at most two films a year (the current amount Disney does a year through both Pixar and Disney Animation).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Puss in Boots was an extremely popular character with audiences in the Shrek series, so he got his own movie. In a similar vein, the penguins from Madagascar got their own TV series and got their own movie too.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Pixar. Let's leave it at that.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Some of The New Ten's DWA films such as How To Train Your Dragon have seen their fanbases on good terms with a few Disney fandoms (it helps that the directors of Dragon also did Lilo & Stitch.)
  • Growing the Beard: The general opinion of Dreamworks has gone from "Wannabe Disney/Pixar" to "A really good studio" after they stopped rehashing the Shrek formula and made better films such as Kung Fu Panda, Mega Mind, Kung Fu Panda 2, and How to Train Your Dragon. The studio has been largely shifting to less pop culture reference humor to more story centered work in their best films. That reputation grew still more in 2011 after Pixar eventually trip-up with Cars 2; at least everyone knows that DA as an independent studio needs to develop every Cash Cow Franchise it can to survive. To do that and still create great films while they are at it is a mark of its unpretentious artistic ambitions. However, with both The Penguins of Madagascar and Home both receiving mediocre critical reception, they may be shaving the beard.
    • It sometimes seems as thought they grow their beard out when they feel like it. They started with one with the very mature religious epic The Prince of Egypt, then shaved it off when Shrek came along and churned out several forgettable Shrek clones, eventually re-growing it in The New Tens with both more mature films like How to Train Your Dragon, and even more fleshed-out comedies like Kung Fu Panda. However, due to their bloated production schedule of both types of films, Turbo and Home being released in-between the former's sequels see them regularly jump back and fourth between respectable and schlock.
  • Magnum Opus: The four most commonly cited candidates are The Prince of Egypt, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.
  • Memetic Mutation: The Dreamworks face. Now has its own page.
  • Parvum Opus: Shark Tale, a hodgepodge of every cliche and trope the studio is known for, especially Will Smith Fish.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: When Dreamworks first went into producing their own animated films, they did so under the belief of being an alternative to Disney. Movies like Antz and The Prince of Egypt dealt with more "adult" topics that were then uncommon for Disney to cover. The unexpected success of Shrek note  and the decline of traditional animation led Dreamworks to try and duplicate its success with their future films. Unfortunately, this lead to every other animation studio not named Pixar copying their schtick, including Disney with their own Parvum Opus, Chicken Little. Suddenly, Dreamworks went from being the innovator of Western Animation films to being the representation of everything wrong with it. This Forbes Article actually goes quite in depth with it.
    • On PDI's end, the morphing technique that they pioneered in the late 1980s became overused by the early 1990s.
  • Supposedly Rebellious Series: The studio and especially Jeff Katzenberg pride themselves on playing to an audience with adult sensibilities, despite their films clearly being conceived, produced and marketed towards younger audiences and never producing a film that gets higher than a PG rating.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: Pixar fans (as well as a few non-Pixar fans and critics) have noticed in the beginning of Dreamworks Animation that they were copying Pixar. Some people have confused Dreamworks' cartoons with Pixar, but the studio has found its own voice in recent years.
  • Uncanny Valley: Some of their human designs suffer from this for having exaggerated features but realistic surface textures. Though arguably, it's not as bad as when they had all of their characters be an Ink-Suit Actor.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: If not in story quality, Dreamworks definitely matches up to, if not outright surpasses at times, Pixar in this department.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The Kung Fu Panda sequence of Master Oogway's death up till Po's despairing confession to Master Shifu about his deep self-loathing that the old Red Panda feels helpless to counter. In that sequence, Dreamworks Animation showed that it had recovered from its post-Shrek 2 creative nadir that drove away its partner, Aardman Animations, and learned how to make stories with profound emotional depth with a skill rivaling Pixar. That in turn made the blistering wuxia action to follow all the more powerful with that you have grown to care about these characters.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Some of their casting choices are a bit weird.