After a recent rumour that suggested NBCUniversal parent company, Comcast was about to acquire beloved animation studio, Dreamworks Animation, the news was made official today! Dreamworks Animation has become a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, with the movie and television animation studio being bought out for a lofty $3.8 billion price tag! The transaction will be official by the end of 2016.
With this buyout, Universal will have automatic distribution rights for future Dreamworks Animation movies, while NBC will have automatic dominion over any tie-in television shows, granting the studio exclusive claim over big animated movie brands like Shrek/Puss in Boots, Madagascar, How To Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda and The Croods, among others. Currently, Dreamworks Animation has a distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, but that will obviously be null and void soon.
NBCUniversal CEO, Steve Burke commented on the buyout, saying that acquiring Dreamworks Animation means that NBCUniversal can expand their libraries in film and television, as well as create new consumer products, and of course, further flesh out their popular Universal Studios theme park. Burke also mentioned that the acquisition means that Dreamworks Animation can now serve as an ally to the studio’s other animation outfit, Illumination Entertainment, best known for the Despicable Me/Minions franchise, as well as the recent animated movies inspired by the Dr. Seuss childrens’ books. This would theoretically create a similar arrangement at NBCUniversal as Disney and Pixar, who routinely share employees, producers and other such staffers to realize their respective animated movie projects.
Dreamworks Animation has already released one of their two planned movies for this year, with Kung Fu Panda 3 hitting theatres this past January. We loved the movie, and awarded it a lofty 88% overall score in our official review, where we praised its beautiful animation, charming cast, and interesting new story direction. The studio’s second 2016 movie release, Trolls, will arrive on November 4th, where it has the considerable task of competing at the box office with this year’s new Marvel Studios franchise starter, Doctor Strange, as well as a Warner Bros. comedy with unknown plot details, known tentatively as ‘Bastards‘.
Keep animating Eggplante for all major news and updates on Dreamworks Animation.