We previously reported that DreamWorks was in talks to buyout Classic Media, the owner of the rights to many classic cartoon characters such as He-Man, Waldo, Archie and Casper. As of today, DreamWorks Animation officially announced in a press release that the they have sealed the deal with a $155 dollar all-cash deal.
This now makes DreamWorks the new owner of many, many classic film and cartoon characters. But hold your horses! Before you jump into dreaming about all the different animated adaptations that DreamWorks could do, it turns out that not all of these characters come with TV and film rights. So that “Voltron” or “He-Man” movie you’ve been hoping for for years, might not happen that quickly (if at all).
This is the first acquisition DreamWorks has made since the company went public in 2004. As previously mentioned, the Classic Media acquisition coincides with the announcement of a DreamWorks’ themed amusement park, so maybe we’ll be able to see a lot of the characters walking around that park in the near future.
In case you are wondering, here’s a full list of Classic Media’s characters, which appear in over 450 titles and 6,100 episodes of their respective shows:
Archie, Baby Huey, Basil Brush, Boris & Natasha, Bravestarr, Casper the Friendly Ghost, D*** Tracy, Doctor Solar Man of the Atom, Dudley Do-Right, Ethelbert the Tiger, Fabulous Funnies, Fat Albert, Felix the Cat, Finley the Fire Engine, Fractured Fairy Tales, Frosty the Snowman, George of the Jungle, Gerald McBoing Boing, Godzilla, Groovie Gollies, Guess with Jess, Gumby, He-Man, Hot Stuff, Lamb Chop, Lassie, The Little Drummer Boy, Little Golden Books, Little Lulu, The Lone Ranger, Magnus Robot Fighter, Mr. Magoo, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Pat the Bunny, Peter Cottontail, Postman Pat, Richie Rich, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Roger Ramjet, The Roy Rogers Show, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rupert Bear, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, The Secrets of Isis, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, Shazam!, She-Ra, Tinga Tinga Tales, Transformers: Animated, Turok, Underdog, Voltron, Wendy the Good Little Witch, Where’s Waldo?
Even if DreamWorks doesn’t make one single movie using these characters, this deal will still provide a constant source of revenue for the company. It seems silly that DreamWorks wouldn’t try to make its newly acquired properties into feature films, but legal battles and ownership rights are messy stuff. We’re very optimistic that DreamWorks will be hard at work to get a good chunk of these characters on the silver screen. Hey, they even already have a movie in production featuring two of these characters: Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
This acquisition definitely changes what we can expect from DreamWorks Animation in the future.
Which of Classic Media’s (now DreamWorks’) characters would you most like to see adapted into an animated feature film? Sound off in the comments below!