DreamWorks Animation already has the “Shrek” and “Madagascar” film series. Soon it’s also going to have “VeggieTales” — and “Rocky & Bullwinkle,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” “Richie Rich,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Lassie,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Golden Books,” and a whole lot more.
DreamWorks has entered an agreement to buy Classic Media, owner of many of the best-known and most-enduring franchises in all of family entertainment, for $155 million in cash from Boomerang Media. Classic Media’s library of intellectual property, which is focused on family characters and brands, features a vast collection of filmed entertainment with more than 450 titles and more than 6,100 episodes of animated and live-action programming. Classic Media owns one of the world’s largest comic book archives and media rights to the titles in the Golden Books library, which have sold over two billion copies worldwide.
Classic Media’s extensive library also includes “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Where’s Waldo?,” “George of the Jungle,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “Olivia,” and “Postman Pat,” among many others.
“Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation’s franchise business,” said DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “And we plan to leverage it across our motion picture, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital, theme park and live entertainment channels.”
“No company knows the family entertainment business better than DreamWorks Animation and we are excited to join their family in a natural extension of our long-standing relationship that began years ago on Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” said Classic Media’s Eric Ellenbogen. “Classic Media brings to the table extensive rights to some of the most beloved family entertainment brands in the world. Our combination with DreamWorks Animation will expand the opportunities for us and for our content and distribution partners around the globe.”
DreamWorks Animation’s 3D feature film Mr. Peabody & Sherman is scheduled for release in December 2013.
Classic Media has approximately 80 employees and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in the U.K. and a division, Big Idea Entertainment, in Nashville, Tenn.
Reuters reports that, with the expanded library, DreamWorks Animation is now considering whether to launch its own cable channel. Katzenberg told the news service, “A channel is one of the many opportunities we see for combining the DreamWorks brand with this extraordinary library of characters.”