DreamWorks movies come from a studio run by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. The logo for DreamWorks includes the initials SKG, which stands for Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. With those names involved, it is only natural to expect the biggest and best movies to burst forth from that collaboration. The results, though, has been hit and miss.

“The Peacemaker”

The first DreamWorks movie to hit theaters was the action flick “The Peacemaker” in 1997. The production studio signed two of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time, George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, and put them in an action movie concerning nuclear warheads. The movie was a critical flop, if for no other reason than casting Nicole Kidman as a nuclear expert. In an era of big action thrillers, this one fizzled out.


What most people know DreamWorks Studio for is their animated output and the DreamWorks movies in this division have been some of the most financially successful animated features Hollywood has ever seen. Their first animated movie, “Antz,” was released in 1998, the same year as Pixar released “A Bug’s Life” and the war between Pixar and DreamWorks was born. It was an inauspicious start for DreamWorks, who saw their movie make half of what Pixar raked in with their animated bug epic.

“American Beauty”

DreamWorks movies division finally found their critical hit with the 1999 drama “American Beauty.” Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Kevin Spacey, this movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film is a dark comic look at a man who has reached the end of his life as he looks back over what led to his demise.


In 2001, DreamWorks movies finally found retribution from their rocky start with “Antz.” They released “Shrek,” an animated flick about a big green ogre who is forced to become a hero to protect his land. The movie became the most successful DreamWorks animated movie at that time, grossing almost $500 million and spawning three sequels. It is the most successful animated franchise in DreamWorks history.

“How to Train Your Dragon”

While DreamWorks movies animation studio was pumping out box office hits consistently year in and year out, they were still seen as a lesser step child to Pixar. DreamWorks was always seen as pop candy compared to the originality in Pixar efforts and something needed to change. “Kung Fu Panda” was a nice start in 2008, but in 2010, “How to Train Your Dragon” finally gave DreamWorks the original animated feature to hang their hats on. It received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and finally proved DreamWorks movies could compete with Pixar on a critical level.