New Zealand

Dreamworks Exhibition – Te Papa | Wellington

The Dreamworks exhibition in Te Papa, Wellington ran earlier this year. For those of you Dreamworks animation fans that couldn’t make it – I took some photos wandering through and there is also a video of the interactive displays at the end of this post 🙂

For a $15 entry fee, I think this was a wonderful exhibition! There were so many original artworks, models, behind-the-scenes interviews, and snippets of films explained with their storyboards. Not only did the exhibition give me a greater appreciation of Dreamworks’ works (hehe), it also gave me a greater understanding of how animation worked in general. The amount of work that goes into creating the realistic animated movements is ridiculous!

The layout of the exhibition was fantastic – from the early design stages of the animations with outstanding sketches, illustrations, sculpts, and architectural drawings; to the screenplay side-by-side comparisons; and finally to the 3D renders and hands-on animation tools that show how the lighting and character expressions/poses can be changed fluidly for scenes. It was so insightful!

Without further ado, let’s enjoy the behind-the-scenes work that goes into these beautiful movies!

te papa entry with dreamworks banner

Cool stair artwork with Flying toothless above the central staircase
Toothless and Hiccup! 😀


madagascar penguins photo op

entry to Dreamwork exhibition area


shrek sculpts
Original sculpts from planning!

shrek and donkey

puss in boots illustration

puss in boots and egg illustration

Madagascar sculpts and display

giraffe illustration
Hehe so eccentric!
penguin illustration
What a joker 😛
Character design sketches
How the shapes for the animals were designed

kung fu panda sculpts and display

master shifu faces
Master Shifu faces from different angles

Po illustration

illustration kungfu panda
IDK who this is, but the characters on the left say ‘Three hundred poems of the Tang dynasty’
wooden displays on the wall
LOVE the decor!
case of sculptures
Sculpts…from Shrek? Either way they’re amazingly intricate. Oh yeah the bust sculpt is ‘Handsome Shrek’ lol
dragon illustration
Cute dragon! 😀
No idea where this is from
Must have been a movie I haven’t watched
Shifu sculpt
Shifu is so darn strong
Beauty and the beast?
garden miniature
miniature garden pano!
statues of the storyboard sizes to compare
Stacks to compare the size of the storyboards for several of Dreamworks’ movies
Kungfu Panda - 100,000 storyboards
The tallest one
Me next to kungfu panda storyboard
A me for size I think I’m taller. Marginally.
miniature scene from madagascar the zoo
Madagascar miniature!

illustration of madagascar zoo

madagascar theme wall

kung fu panda theme wall

kung fu panda illustration
You really have to see it in person

kungfu panda illustration

kungfu panda sketch of training area

Full world map from How to train your dragon. Cooler than the Marauder's Map tbh
Hiccup’s map!

Theme wall for How to train your dragon


cinematic display dragon flight view of Berk
Cinematic display! Panoramic wide screen in a mini theatre
Miniature castle
Miniature with amazing details

Shrek's hut miniature

Landscape design of Shrek's hut from three angles with notes
Such detail!

There were even miniature displays on the way out towards the gift shop –

miniature dragons
You can never have enough miniatures

and more dragon miniatures

To scale gingerbread plushie
Hahahahaha I so wanted one. It’s even to scale wtf
Mort plushie madagascar
Nawwww he/she was so annoying in the anime tbh
more penguins with crates
Another madagascar feature next to the cafe! Love all the bits and pieces dotted around the museum for everyone to enjoy ^^

And finally, a few complimentary photos of the view from the 6th floor. It was a beautiful day 🙂

view of the waterfront

out to the sea. Sea? Ocean?


Some of the displays were difficult to showcase through photos, so I also took videos. Here are the interactive displays such as modifying character features/settings, layers of modelling behind scenes, and more: