Today I was at the DreamWorks campus, attending a CG artist's exit interview (at his request. Thereafter, I walked around the Lakeside building. Morale on the lower production floors is a wee bit dark. Lots of empty desks and somber faces. Up in the story department (the upper floors of Lakeside) the mood is brighter. There a staffer said to me:
People wonder how The Croods feature is going to do. Management has told us that the artists in the story department are safe, but I rode up in the elevator with a director who wouldn't give me eye contact. ...
And yet Wall Street is hopeful:
DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA) was upgraded by Zacks from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $18.10 target price on the stock.
DreamWorks Animation traded down 0.62% on Wednesday, hitting $17.50. DreamWorks Animation has a 1-year low of $15.90 and a 1-year high of $22.98. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $16.88. The company has a market cap of $1.476 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.48. ...
I think one of our fine, entertainment conglomerates would be delighted to pick up DreamWorks Animation (and its library) for $1.476 billion. But I think the principals and owners would like a little more money than that.
Yesterday I was at Walt Disney Animation Studios, across the Burbank city line, and the atmosphere is more upbeat. John Lasseter was at the studio for a screening of Frozen at the theater on the first floor, and production is moving ahead. And the smart money is laying odds that, on Sunday, the animation division will walk away with a brace of Little Gold Men:
The Walt Disney toon factory used to own Best Animated Short, taking 10 of the first 11 races beginning in 1932. Since that streak ended in 1942, it's won only three times, the most recent being in 1969 for "It's Tough to be a Bird." That dry spell could be over this year as it has the leading entry. However, another studio backed short could still play spoiler.
This black and white film fuses traditional hand-drawn animation with vector-based CG to tell a tale of lost love. A young man meets a beautiful woman while on his way to work. After spotting her again during his work day, he decides to do whatever he can to get her attention.
This Disney produced short by first-time nominee John Kahrs screened before “Wreck-It Ralph.” The choice of 14 of our 22 experts as well as four of our seven editors and 80% of users, it has leading odds of 17/10. ...
The newest Disney feature also looks good for a shiny statue:
Disney's film leads a close race with 15/8 odds. 20 out of 26 experts, five out of nine editors, and 51% of users predict it will win. ...
Only one thing is certain, since DreamWorks Animation has no nominees this year, it won't be taking home a prize.