A longtime DreamWorks talent, Dohrn will have an overall first look exclusive deal for original animated projects at the studio along with executive producing, directing, development and supervisory duties on various projects.
“For over ten years, Walt has been a key part of the DreamWorks family,” said DreamWorks Animation President Margie Cohn, “His singular vision and sensibility is a part of our DNA and we’re happy to have his creative energy dedicated to both creating future DreamWorks franchises and mentoring the next generation of talent”.
“DreamWorks has been my home for many years and I have such a tremendous amount of respect for all the artists who day-in and day-out continue to push creative boundaries in storytelling,” said Dohrn. “I am looking forward to sharing details about my next project and continuing my collaboration at the studio with Margie.”
The news follows the recent success of Dohrn’s directed DWA sequel Trolls World Tour, which Universal released via PVOD this past spring due to theaters shuttering during the pandemic; the Justin Timberlake-Anna Kendrick sequel reportedly making over $100M (and another $4.8M from drive-in theaters). The first Trolls, which Dohrn co-directed, grossed more than $346M worldwide in 2016, spurring a franchise across consumer products, global TV licenses, a 52 episode Netflix spinoff series (Trolls: The Beat Goes On) and home entertainment ancillaries that sources have informed us is worth around $700M (prior to the debut of Trolls World Tour). Trolls also yielded a quadruple-platinum hit in Justin Timberlake’s single “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from the film and scored an Oscar nom.
Prior to Trolls, Dohrn was head of story on Peabody and Sherman and Shrek Forever After. On many occasions, he has lent his voice to various characters in previous DreamWorks Animation films, most recently as King Peppy in Trolls World Tour and Cloud Guy in Trolls. In Shrek Forever After, he made his debut as a voice performer in a leading role as the villain Rumpelstiltskin. As head of story on Shrek Forever After, Dohrn was responsible for supervising the development of the film’s plot, working in close collaboration with director Mike Mitchell and supervising a team of story artists.
Since joining DreamWorks Animation in 2002, Dohrn also contributed to the story of Rise of the Guardians, Shrek the Third, Madagascar, Shark Tale and Shrek 2. In addition, he wrote the lyrics for the songs “Final Showdown” (Shrek the Third) and “Fairy Godmother Song” (Shrek 2).
Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, he worked as a storyboard artist and writer. His credits include the Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Squarepants and Dexter’s Laboratory.
Dohrn is repped by Andrew Cannava at UTA and attorney Todd Stern.