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Sparky’s folly?

The LA Times reminds us that all is not so rosy at Dreamworks. There is speculation that the a deadline to pay back investors, specifically Paul Allen’s $650 Million investment, is the real drive to go split.

“This deadline has been looming for two years and has led to merger talks that never went anywhere because DreamWorks priced itself so aggressively,” said one person familiar with the deal. “The IPO is a fail-safe because DreamWorks doesn’t have the money to pay Paul off.”

Apparently Dreamworks Animation, had it been a separate company the last five years would have been in the black for only two of them. One franchise, Shrek, does not a company make. Especially not one that has over a thousand employees. So as the IPO approaches, look for Dreamworks Animation to get lean and mean, which means another couple hundred animation artists on the street.

The article also goes into Sparky’s relationship with Eisner, how his experience at Disney is driving his work today, and Sparky’s sleep habits (he has something in common with Thomas Edison).