Waking from the Dream

Anyone who saw Shrek 2 and wondered how to cash in on the ogre's box-office charm will soon have a chance. DreamWorks SKG, the studio behind the billion-dollar Shrek franchise, announced that it plans to spin off its animation division in an initial public offering (IPO) to raise at least $650 million. DreamWorks Animation, as the new company will be called, intends to ramp up production with the release of two computer-animated films a year and needs the capital to help finance the movies and tackle archrival Pixar, which keeps raising the bar with hits like Finding Nemo.

But the...

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