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.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Katzenberg boasts that his studio's films are made for "the adult in all of us," despite all of them clearly being made with young audiences in mind.
  • Dork Age: Many consider it to be the mid-2000s, after they made their first big hit with Shrek. The worst part is that, during that time, everyone else copied them - even Disney got into the act with Chicken Little.
  • 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.
  • 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 needlessly ruined its flawless artistic reputation 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.
  • Magnum Opus: The three most commonly cited candidates are The Prince of Egypt, Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon.
  • Memetic Mutation: The Dreamworks face. Now has its own page.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.