After a string of disappointing releases at the box office, DreamWorks Animation has named Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria co-presidents of feature animation, the toon studio announced Sunday.Bill Damaschke will step down as chief creative officer, as part of the move.Arnold and Soria were the lead producers behind the "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Madagascar" fanchises. At the moment, those are two of DWA's most reliable moneymakers, after being forced to take writedowns on the poor performance of its...
As president of DreamWorks Animation, Bonnie Arnold was the latest in a long line of powerful women to take leadership roles at the Glendale-based toon studio (following Ann Daly’s exit, Arnold shared the role briefly with Mireille Soria, before being promoted as the company’s head honcho in late 2016).
She turned over oversight of DWA to Chris DeFaria in 2017 but remains a producer of the upcoming “How To Train Your Dragon 3” with Brad Lewis. She is also the producer of a DWA animated film in development called “Wizards of Once.”
Arnold’s experience in animation dates back to Pixar’s first feature, “Toy Story,” on which she served as a producer. At the time, because the project was entering uncharted territory, Disney insisted on tapping someone who could wrangle the workflow. Arnold came to the table having handled vfx-heavy “The Addams Family” movie, breaking down and budgeting the assignment by scene, much like an elaborate effects picture (the nearest precedent at the time).
Arnold, who entered the film industry doing location work in her native Atlanta, got her first break working on the Kevin Costner starrer “Revenge” and went on to serve as an associate producer on “Dances With Wolves.” Her last live-action project was 2009’s “The Last Station.”