Glendale-based DreamWorks Animation plans staff cuts

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., the Glendale-based entertainment company led by Hollywood film veteran Jeffrey Katzenberg, is expected to lay off up to 20% of its 2,200-employee workforce, following a decision to shelve production of the movie "Me and My Shadow."

The animation industry giant, home of the animated "Shrek," "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar" films, also said it was changing the release date for its movie "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" from Nov. 1 to March 7, 2014, at the recommendation of its new distributor, 20th Century Fox.

As a result of the decision, "Me and My Shadow," which had been scheduled for release in March 2014, will suspend production and go back into development. The movie, about the secret world of shadows and their human counterparts, was to feature the voices of Kate Hudson and Josh Gad.

"We believe the best strategy for DreamWorks Animation in the long run is to ensure that every one of our films has an optimal release date with the biggest opportunity to succeed at the box office," Katzenberg said in a statement. "The move of 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' means that we will now release two films in 2013, and we are adjusting our operating infrastructure costs accordingly."

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-- Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times


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