Financially strapped DreamWorks Animation has announced the unexpected shutdown of one of its main studios, PDI DreamWorks, in Redwood City, California and the subsequent laying off of the 500 employees there. The studio is said to be offering some of the artists in the northern California facility an opportunity to relocate to the southern DreamWorks campus in Glendale, California.
With the cut backs in employees, the studio is cutting back its slate of production to two films per year: one original film and one sequel. Even then, much of the production for its films will be outsourced to overseas studious such as DreamWorks China, independent producers in India and, in the case of 2017’s Captain Underpants, Mikros Image in Montreal, Canada.
DreamWorks Animation has shuffled and updated their current slate of films. Trolls is now looking at a release on November 4, 2016. B.O.O: Bureau of Otherwordly Operations has been dropped entirely, now pushed back in to “in development” status. (The same fate befell Bollywood-style Mumbai Musical.) Sequels Kung Fu Panda 3 will hit theaters on March 18, 2016, The Croods 2 on December 22, 2017 and How to Train Your Dragon 3 will head out on June 29, 2018.
Newly announced Boss Baby is on track for January 13, 2017 and will be followed with The Larrikins on February 16, 2018. There are a variety of other announced films- Alma, Gil’s All Fright Diner, InterWorld and the revision of TV’s Lidsville (amoung others) are all in limbo at this point.