An Ogre Among Deal Toys

September 28, 2020 by David Parry

The Corporate Presence 40th Anniversary

This post marks the first in a series leading up to our celebration of The Corporate Presence’s 40th anniversary—which officially begins in 2021.

But don’t worry: we’ll spare you the usual “landmark anniversary” fare.

You know: poignant anecdotes about our founder, first-hand accounts of the early struggles of a small but plucky staff etc. etc.

We’ll try to focus instead on a few things you might actually care about, namely some of the noteworthy projects we’ve worked on over the last four decades, and the personalities, industries—and deals—behind them.

DreamWorks IPO Deal Toy

The DreamWorks IPO Deal Toy

The design ultimately chosen to commemorate the DreamWorks initial public offering shouldn’t have been too surprising.

“That little green ogre”, Jeffrey Katzenberg once explained, “saved us”.

He would know.

Released in 2001, “Shrek” was the first unqualified hit for the new studio’s triumvirate, composed of Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, and David Geffen.

It also marked its first foray into full-on computer-generated animation, a significant departure from the labor-intensive, hand-drawn process still prevailing at the time.

But Katzenberg also had a score to settle.

His departure from Disney at the hands of chairman Michael Eisner had been especially nasty, and he often sought ways to tweak his former employer, such as poaching its prized animators, or racing to bring “Antz” to theaters ahead of his rival’s lookalike offering,  “A Bug’s Life”.

“Shrek” provided another measure of revenge.

It was reported at the time that, under explicit instructions from Katzenberg, the film’s animators modeled the villainous, prissy Lord Farquaad on a fellow member of the Hollywood community: Michael Eisner.

David Parry is the Director of Digital Strategy for the Corporate Presence and Prestige Custom Awards, which provides a variety of awards including ESPN’s Espy Awards, and The National Football League Commissioner’s Awards.

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