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Katzenberg Shoots Down Animated Film Glut Likelihood

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief exec DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., said he doesnt think there will be an oversaturation in the animated film industry due to the great variety of features to interest audiences.

The "single greatest fiction" about animated films was that a possible glut of movies was looming, Katzenberg told analysts and investors at a media conference in New York City March 30, 2005. "It's not as though all of these movies are the same," he said. "It's not like they're all James Bond movies ... they couldn't be more distinctive.

Industry analysts have said, according to the trades, that DreamWorks Animation, which went public in October 2004, faces heightened competition next year from many major animated features due out from rival studios.

Katzenberg discounted the competition said few companies have the wherewithal to come out with high-quality offerings besides DreamWorks and Pixar Animation Studios Inc. He called Pixar (THE INCREDIBLES, FINDING NEMO) the "gold standard, which we are envious of."

More budget-oriented players to try to come into the animated film market, Katzenberg predicts but "they are just not relevant," he said. He said he does not believe they can put together the huge amount of capital and a tremendous amount of time and resources," to create these films, he said.

DreamWorks spends three to four years in production time and roughly $125 million on each of its animated features.

DreamWorks (producer of the blockbusters SHREK and SHREK 2) is trying to work up another hit with the upcoming Madagascar, a 3D animated film about four city-fied animals who escape from a New York zoo and end up having misadventures in the wilds of MADAGASCAR, which is set for release in late May.