DreamWorks Animation will likely make a lot of new big screen takes on various classic children tales. The Glendale-based animation studio has officially acquired Classic Media, which owned the rights to such characters as Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Lone Ranger, Where's Waldo, Lassie, George of the Jungle and Postman Pat.
The Steven Spielberg-founded company bought the rights to Classic for a reported $155 million in cash. Upon announcing the acquisition on Monday, July 23, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said, "Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation's franchise business."
"We plan to leverage it across our motion picture, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital theme park and live entertainment channels," Katzenberg continued. Of DreamWorks' future plan following the new agreement, the CEO said, "We're already making 'Peaboy & Sherman'. There are at least a dozen more that have that kind of potential."
Still, Katzenberg didn't explain whether or not the new deal would affect DreamWorks' plan to make two or three films a year. The transaction itself is expected to be completed in the end of September under customary closing conditions.
Based in New York City, Classic owns 450 movies and 6,100 episodes of TV shows, both animated and live action. It also obtains the rights to a comic-book archive and the media rights to the "Golden Books" series of children's books. The company has nearly 80 employees and other offices in the U.K. and Nashville.