DreamWorks has a new logo animation – and absolutely nobody is happy about it

DreamWorks logo
(Image credit: DreamWorks)

Animated logos are everywhere these days. Everyone from Hollywood studios to your local corner shop has one.... OK, maybe not quite. But pretty much anyone who uses video for communication on digital platforms wants an animated logo. And with good reason, a little bit of animation can go a long way to making an iconic logo even more memorable.

But when you're one of the world's biggest animation studios, the pressure is on. DreamWorks has just revealed a new logo animation, and it's unleashed nothing but a string of complaints (if you're looking for a new device on which to produce your own work, check out the best Black Friday iPad deals and the best Black Friday Surface Pro 9 deals.

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Universal Pictures' DreamWorks Animation has produced some of the best-loved animated films of the last few decades, including Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train your Dragon and The Croods. So if it's going to make an animated logo featuring a cast of characters, it's got a lot to fit in... and almost inevitably some fans are going to be unhappy that their favourite was left out. 

The studio took to Twitter yesterday to reveal a new animated DreamWorks logo that will feature at the start of the upcoming Puss in Boots sequel. And the responses are a long stream of "But where's....?" and "I would have liked to see...". What, no Madagascar? No The Penguins? Shark Tale? Monsters vs Aliens?

"If the new logo is meant to show off your most lucrative franchises, seems like Madagascar and Spirit should have made the cut, too," one person suggested. While someone else was demanding to have answers: "It's amazing that there is not a single reference to Prince of Egypt... why?"

"I understand the reason behind this decision but it saddens me a little to see none of your 2D animated films represented :(", was another response, along with "Looks nice, but mourning no Prince of Egypt, Sinbad, or especially Road to El Dorado." 

Even the most positive comment has a 'but..' at the end: "This was heartwarming and very touching to see these characters and the legacy Dreamworks has created. To hear that original angelic theme hits a gentle nerve of mine. Saddened that there was no Madagascar reps," someone wrote.

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You have to feel for DreamWorks. Fitting in every character from their long filmography would be impossible... and the new animated logo is already a bit... well, epic. While half of the studio's fans are complaining about missing characters, the other half is complaining that the logo's just too long and that they'll fall asleep before the film starts.

"Nah. They made it too complicated. Ruined a good thing," one person wrote. "I kinda don't like it, what is it with studios feeling like they need longer opening logos?" Just how much is too much in an animated logo? After all, people are paying to see the film, not the studio's logo. It reminds me a little of the jokes gamers made about the new animated Sonic logo. Very pretty, but you're going to spend some time on the actual product too, right?

To be fair, I think DreamWorks struck a nice balance. It is ridiculously overblown for a logo presentation, but then film studio logos have a grand tradition of that. It's all part of the genre, and these days logo animations are becoming part of the marketing build up for a film. I have a feeling that DreamWorks will end up appeasing fans and making up for at least some of those missing characters. 

The logo would be most interesting if the studio produces variations, swapping up the characters that appear in the sequence before each movie. And I'd be surprised if that's not what they end up doing, because that's what would keep people watching the sequence. This animation is for next year's Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. If the concept is repeated, surely the characters will be changed and Madagascar will get its 'reps'.

For more on logo design, see our picks of the best logos of all time and 8 of the best animated logos. And to tool up for your own work, see our guide to the best graphic design software.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.