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DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:11 pm
by TheButcher
Jeffrey Katzenberg Talks DreamWorks Animation Sequels: Four MADAGASCARS, Three HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGONS and Six KUNG FU PANDAS

Here’s what Katzenberg had to say about the Madagascar franchise:
“So today I can tell you pretty succinctly where Madagascar goes. Ultimately they will come back to New York, and they will come to terms with that, which they will do in this next chapter. Because of the way that movie concludes there’s probably one more for them…”

Katzenberg says that there will be at least three chapters to the How to Train Your Dragon saga, and possibly more since they’re based on a series of eight books. However, the movie was different from the books thus far. Replied Katzenberg:
“Yes. But there are elements of them that actually… as you know, there are many islands in the world of Berk, and different things there, so we’ll see. But right now, today, we know that there are three for sure that we want to tell and there may be more. We haven’t thought, you know, how do we continue beyond that.”

Katzenberg also says they’ve mapped out all six chapters of Kung Fu Panda. I don’t really see the appeal of the series thus far as the first film seemed to be mostly slapstick and studly jokes. But maybe the sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, will be an improvement. The film is due out in 3D on May 27, 2011.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:15 pm
by TheButcher
Katzenberg Talks DreamWorks Sequels
Helen O'Hara wrote:We sat down with DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg this week in London, and asked him about the future of the company. You can read the full interview over here, but we thought we'd particularly draw your attention to what he had to say about planned animation sequels to Kung-Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon and more. Namely, that we're looking at a total of four Madagascar films, six Pandas (which was already rumoured) and at least three Dragons.

We asked Katzenberg about his comments that Shrek Forever After (out on DVD Monday, and the reason he was in town) would be the last in that franchise. He replied, "What our movies and our franchises also share in common with Shrek is that they have a beginning, a middle and an end; they’re not open-ended. Each of the films is a chapter of a story and in every instance we knew what that journey was or could be before we even started.

"So today I can tell you pretty succinctly where Madagascar goes. Ultimately they will come back to New York, and they will come to terms with that, which they will do in this next chapter. Because of the way that movie concludes there’s probably one more for them…"

So a fourth?

Katzenberg: "Yeah, there’s probably a fourth there. Kung Fu Panda actually has 6 chapters to it, and we’ve mapped that out over the years. How To Train Your Dragon is at least three: maybe more, but we know there are a least three chapters to that story. There are actually 8 books."

But they’re very different from the film.

Katzenberg: "Yes. But there are elements of them that actually… as you know, there are many islands in the world of Berk, and different things there, so we’ll see. But right now, today, we know that there are three for sure that we want to tell and there may be more. We haven’t thought, you know, how do we continue beyond that."

So, is this good news or bad? Those of you who have been combing Cressida Cowell's book series - can you guess what he's hinting at on those other islands in the Dragon world? And do you want to see six Kung-Fu Panda movies? The first was gorgeously animated and rather likeable, so it might about have the pudgy legs to sustain a few sequels - right?

The DreamWorks Animation boss talks Shrek, Dragons and the future

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:44 pm
by TheButcher
From Variety:
DreamWorks Animation enters 'Shadow' world
Pamela McClintock & Peter Debruge wrote:DreamWorks Animation has set a March 2013 release date for "Me and My Shadow." The original 3D toon will seamlessly combine CG and traditional animation, marking a first for the company.

"The way 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' combined hand-drawn and live-action, this does the same, but with CG and hand-drawn," said Bill Damaschke, DWA co-prexy of production.

"Shadow" tells the story of Shadow Stan, an incredibly frustrated shadow that yearns for a more dynamic life but happens to be stuck with Stanley Grubb, the world's most boring human.Eventually pushed to the brink, Shadow Stan breaks the singular rule of the Shadow World -- "they lead, we follow" -- and takes control of Stanley.

Steve Bencich and Ron Friedman's original screenplay is being revised by the writing team of Tom Astle and Matt Ember ("Get Smart").

According to Damaschke, the creative team behind the film "are all ambidextrous, in a way. Everybody has a significant 2D movie and a significant 3D movie under their belt."

Helmer Mark Dindal previously co-directed CG feature "Chicken Little" and hand-drawn pic "The Emperor's New Groove."

Producers are Teresa Chang ("Shrek Forever After," "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron") and Melissa Cobb, who hails from Fox Animation and produced the "Kung Fu Panda" franchise for DWA.

Other members of the team include head of story Shane Prigmore.

It's an ambitious effort for the studio, which also blended traditional toon elements with CG for one sequence in "Kung Fu Panda."

Although DreamWorks Animation's previous hand-drawn toon was "Spirit" in 2002, Damaschke estimated that half the studio's animators have 2D experience.

"Shadow" will combine "the time-honored tradition of hand-drawn animation with the magical sophistication of CG characters and worlds in ways that have never been experienced by audiences before," Damaschke said.

He said the team is already well along in production.

In the toon, the Shadow and everything in the Shadow World will be hand-drawn, while the human character and human world will be CG. The movie will alternate between the two worlds.

"It will be super-challenging but very cool," Damaschke said.

Production designers are Scott Wills and Raymond Zibach. Nick Fletcher is editor.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:22 pm
by Tyrone_Shoelaces
Six Pandas? I enjoyed the hell out of the first one, am looking forward to the second one, and saw the Christmas special but even I think that's a few too many trips to the well.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:05 pm
by TheButcher
DreamWorks Animation Nabs Movie Rights to 'Maintenance' Comic
Borys Kit wrote:Sneaking in one last deal before Hollywood shuts down, DreamWorks Animation has picked up the movie rights to Maintenance, an Oni Press comic book, nabbing it out of turnaround from Warner Bros.

The comic, published by Oni in December, 2006, followed the exploits of two janitors who work for TerroMax, Inc., the world's biggest and best evil science think tank. When they're not dealing with toxic spill monsters and menial time machine repairs, they have to contend with their boss, a multitude of mad scientists, jetpack-equipped cavemen, alien repomen, and the cute girl who works at reception

The comic was written by Jim Massey and illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez.

Whilst at Warners, Maintenance was being developed as a directing vehicle for McG, who was also producing via his Wonderland Sound and Vision banner. Joe Ballarini worked on the script.

While it’s unclear why exactly Warners let it go, the humorous and pop cultural-referencing tone combined with a large scope described in Maintenance may be best suited for the animated world. And it seems like a project perfectly matched for DWA, which has had great success with similarly themed movies such as 2009’s Monsters vs. Aliens and the recent Superman-infused Megamind.

Maintenance is coming into DWA free and clear, with no writer, director or producers attached.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:20 am
by TheButcher
From Variety:
DreamWorks swings with 'Monkeys of Bollywood' - Animation studio readies first feature musical
Rachel Abrams wrote:DreamWorks Animation has gone ape for "Monkeys of Bollywood," roping in composer A.R. Rahman, Broadway lyricist Stephen Schwartz and husband-and-wife producing team Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges to fast-track the studio's first animated feature musical.

Hindu epic poem "The Ramayana" inspired the Bollywood-style animated musical. Mumbai-set project revolves around two monkeys who try to stop an ancient demon from conquering the world.

"As soon as I heard that DreamWorks Animation envisioned making an animated Bollywood movie, I knew I wanted to be a part of it," said Schwartz in a statement. "The fact that A.R. Rahman got involved made it an even more exciting project."

DreamWorks chief creative officer Bill Damaschke and development exec Chris Kuser will oversee "Monkeys of Bollywood."

Chadha and Berges have teamed for films including "Bend It Like Beckham" and "Bride and Prejudice." Rahman scored Danny Boyle's "127 Hours" and "Slumdog Millionaire." Broadway vet and "Wicked" lyricist Schwartz scored DreamWorks' "Prince of Egypt" in 1998 and has worked on TV series including "Glee" and "Army Wives."


PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:04 pm
by TheButcher
Frances McDormand Gets Animated, and Evil, for 'Madagascar 3'
Borys Kit wrote:Frances McDormand has been cast to voice the villain in Madagascar 3, DreamWorks Animation’s latest installment of the zoo animal-based franchise.

Eric Darnell, who co-directed the previous two movies and was a writer on them as well, is helming solo with this new venture. Noah Baumbach wrote the script with Mireille Soria and Mark Swift producing.

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith are slated to reprise their roles as big-game animals who escaped a New York zoo and end up on the island off the African coast. The new story sees the animals reunite to try to find their way home by joining a traveling circus.

A host of new characters will be introduced, expanding the ethnic flavor of the group. Among the new additions are an Italian sea lion, a Russian tiger and a Latina jaguar. Due to the rather fluid nature of the animation, however, the nationalities could change.

McDormand will voice a calculating and goal-oriented animal control officer who leads her team to capture the animals. The movie will mark the first time that WME and D/F Management-repped McDormand, mostly known for her indie work, is lending her pipes for an animated feature.

The Madagascar movies have been a huge moneymaker for DWA. The 2005 original grossed $532.6 million worldwide while the second movie, 2008’s Escape 2 Africa, made $603.9 million. The franchise also gave birth to a TV spin-off titled The Penguins of Madagascar.

Madagascar 3 is slated for release on May 18, 2012.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:00 pm
by TheButcher

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:00 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Rise of the Guardians

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:36 pm
by TheButcher
From Variety Nov. 2, 2009:
DreamWorks sets scribe for 'Guardians' - Lindsay-Abaire to adapt Joyce series
Michael Fleming wrote:Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire has been set to adapt "The Guardians," a DreamWorks Animation adaptation of the upcoming series of children's books by William Joyce.

The film extends the studio's relationship with Lindsay-Abaire, who was Tony-nominated for writing the book and lyrics to "Shrek the Musical."

"The Guardians" will be directed by Peter Ramsey, who steps up to features after helming "Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space," the Halloween TV special that was a spinoff of the DreamWorks Animation pic. Ramsey had been head of story for the original "Monsters vs. Aliens."

DreamWorks Animation has set a November 2, 2012, release.

The Guardians are a group of iconic figures sworn to protect children from the forces of evil. Their ranks include Santa Claus, Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny and the Man in the Moon. The books, a mix of text and illustrations, will be published in 2011 under the title "The Guardians of Childhood." Each book focuses on one of the Guardians. Joyce, the creator of "Rolie Polie Olie" and "Meet the Robinsons," will be co-director.

Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein will produce, and Michael Siegel is exec producer.

Lindsay-Abaire was previously a writer on the Fox Animation pic "Robots," also based on Joyce's artwork. The writer, who won his Pulitzer for "Rabbit Hole," adapted that play for a film starring and produced by Nicole Kidman for release next year. He also co-wrote "Spider-Man 4," which Columbia Pictures puts into production early next year.

From Variety Dec. 3, 2009:
DiCaprio set for animated feature - Actor to voice Jack Frost in 'The Guardians'
Leonardo DiCaprio is getting animated for the first time in his career. He'll make his toon debut in DreamWorks Animation's "The Guardians," voicing a twist on the Jack Frost character.

Just as DWA's "Shrek" offered a revisionist view of the fairy-tale universe, "The Guardians" reimagines five popular childhood heroes -- Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost -- as members of an elite superhero squad who join forces to fight an evil spirit named Pitch (which suggests there are at least five more juicy voice parts yet to be filled).

The high-concept variation hails a forthcoming series of books by William Joyce to be called "The Guardians of Childhood." Produced by Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein, toon is targeted for release on Nov. 2, 2012, and marks the feature debut of director Peter Ramsey, who helmed the DWA Halloween special "Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space."

From Variety:
DreamWorks Animation draws up talent - Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman among stars of 3D 'Rise of the Guardians'
Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Alec Baldwin and Isla Fisher will voice the lead roles in DreamWorks Animation's 3D epic "Rise of the Guardians."

Peter Ramsey is directing the pic based on "The Guardians of Childhood," an upcoming series of children's books by William Joyce, who will co-direct.

Guillermo del Toro and Michael Siegel are exec producing, while Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein will serve as producers.

Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire wrote the screenplay, which follows a group of heroic childhood legends, each with extraordinary abilities. When Pitch (Law), an evil spirit akin to the Boogeyman, lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.

The project was originally announced in December 2009, with Leonardo DiCaprio voicing Jack Frost, a role than Pine will be taking over. He'll be joined by Jackman's Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny), Baldwin's North (Santa Claus) and Fisher's Tooth (the Tooth Fairy).

"It's a thrill to be working with such an all-star team of actors and filmmakers," Bill Damaschke, DWA's Chief Creative Office, said in a statement to Variety. "When we bring Bill Joyce's imaginative vision to the screen in 2012, audiences will experience an incredible story with a truly epic sense of adventure."

DWA will release the film on Nov. 21, 2012.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:05 pm
by The Garbage Man
TheButcher wrote:Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Alec Baldwin and Isla Fisher will voice the lead roles in DreamWorks Animation's 3D epic "Rise of the Guardians."

If you listen closely, you can hear Billy West vomiting into his bowl of Cheerios at this news.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:46 pm
by TheButcher
From Variety:
DreamWorks to bring 'Lidsville' to bigscreen - Krofft brothers characters go 3D
Dave McNary wrote:DreamWorks Animation is developing a big-screen 3D version of Sid & Marty Krofft's characters from the 1970's TV series "Lidsville."

Project will be the first based on characters developed by the Krofft brothers that's been made into a feature film.

Studio, in an announcement Tuesday, said Conrad Vernon ("Monsters vs. Aliens," "Shrek 2") brought the project in. The Krofft brothers will exec produce while Vernon, DreamWorks Animation's head of development Alex Schwartz and development exec Chris Kuser oversee the project.

"Sid and I have had a longstanding relationship with Jeffrey Katzenberg and we're excited to bring Lidsville to DreamWorks Animation," said Marty Krofft in a statement. "It's incredible to envision a high-quality 3D animated movie being made out of one of our favorite shows."

The "Lidsville" film will be based on the premise of the series, in which a rebellious kid falls into an alternate reality world of living hats and talking caps.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:51 pm
by TheButcher
D'Works goes to 'Dogs' with Breathed - Picture book, novel to be adapted for bigscreen
DreamWorks Animation will adapt picture book and novel "Flawed Dogs," by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, for the bigscreen.

Story centers around a dachshund who must reclaim his place in the family after being wrongly exiled by a jealous show dog.

Breathed, who will exec produce the project, is best known for creating "Bloom County," the 1980s comicstrip featuring Opus the Penguin.

DreamWorks Animation head of development Alex Schwartz and development exec Damon Ross will oversee the project.

"All my stories are sparked by a nugget of truth hiding in plain sight," Berkeley said in a statement. "In this case, it's that all animals dream… but only dogs dream of us."

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:44 am
by TheButcher
DreamWorks Animation Unveils Release Dates Through 2014
DreamWorks Animation has announced its feature-film release slate through 2014, a list that begins with the sequel Kung Fu Panda 2, which is set for May 26. The rest of the schedule:

Nov. 4, 2011: Puss In Boots (Chris Miller director; Joe Aguilar and Latifa Ouaou, producers)

June 8, 2012: Madagascar 3 (Eric Darnell, director; Mireille Soria and Mark Swift, producers)

Nov. 21, 2012: Rise of the Guardians (Peter Ramsey, director, William Joyce, co-director; Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein, producers)

March 1, 2013: The Croods (Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco, directors; Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell, producers)

June 7, 2013: Turbo (David Soren, director; Lisa Stewart, proudcer)

Nov. 8, 2013: Me and My Shadow (Mark Dindal, director; Melissa Cobb and Teresa Cheng, producer)

March 21, 2014: Mr. Peabody & Sherman (Rob Minkoff, director; Jason Clark and Denise Nolan Cascino, producers)

June 20, 2014: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Dean DeBlois, director; Bonnie Arnold, producer)

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:41 pm
by TheButcher
Paramount Expects DreamWorks Toon Exit; Studio Starts Paramount Animation Unit; Jeff Katzenberg Zeroing In Time Warner
NIKKI FINKE wrote:The studio's new unit called Paramount Animation will start producing one toon a year in 2014 and beyond. The studio will launch immediately a search for the top executive who will report to Paramount Motion Picture Group President Adam Goodman. There's no word yet if Gore Verbinski's recent Rango will have a sequel, but if it does it would be produced under this new banner. But what does this mean for Paramount's distribution relationship with DreamWorks Animation which ends on December 31st of 2012? "We did offer them a one-year extension on the same terms of what we have," a Paramount exec tells me.

"But Jeffrey has indicated his desire to get a better deal. And so for us long term, it only makes sense if it's improved beyond that. Given everything else that we have going on, it's the only thing that makes sense for us." Word is from folks whom Katzenberg has approached that he's interested in a sale as part of a new distribution deal. And I've learned that his current energies are focused on Time Warner after being turned down by Comcast (DWA & Comcast: Who's Pursuing Whom?), Disney, Universal, Fox, and Sony which all have their own animation units.

Exactly a year ago at 2010's Camp Allen investment conference, Comcast quashed rumors spread by Katzenberg that the new owners of NBCUniversal supposedly wanted to buy DreamWorks Animation and make him head of NBCU. Comcast's Brian Roberts and Steve Burke mentioned to several power players that Katzenberg has been pursuing them to buy DreamWorks Animation and lobbying them to make him head of NBCU. (Burke, the son of former Capital Cities/ABC president and icon Dan Burke, spent a dozen years in key Walt Disney Co positions but never got along with Katzenberg. Besides, NBCU has Illumination Entertainment.) At that time, Jeffrey already had offered up DWA to every Hollywood studio, but they and their parent companies had passed. Before Comcast, the most recent "no" had come from Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes. But now it sounds as if Katzenberg is trying there again.

Lackluster sales of 3D tickets for DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 2 seemed to confirm that audiences are fed up with the higher ticket prices. Then again, it was Katzenberg who went around convincing those exhibitors to raise their prices before DWA got into the 3D biz. Now investors appear to be disenchanted with DreamWorks Animation, which is making all of its films in 3D. Its shares have been down nearly 20% vs this time last year.

UPDATE: Here's the Paramount Animation release:
(Los Angeles, CA – July 6, 2011) -- Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA and VIA.B), will launch an in-house animation division, with its first title slated for release in 2014. In making the announcement, Paramount Chairman & CEO Brad Grey said the initiative was part of the studio’s long-term strategy for growth and that the new division, Paramount Animation, will focus on high quality animation with budgets per picture of up to $100 million.

Paramount Animation’s mandate will be the development of the broadest range of family CGI animated films, with a key piece being titles under the label of Viacom’s Nickelodeon, the number one entertainment brand for kids worldwide. Paramount will also look to build on Viacom’s already thriving global consumer products business by seeking to capitalize on merchandising opportunities tied to all Paramount Animation releases.

The division will be part of the Paramount Motion Picture Group, reporting to the group’s president, Adam Goodman, and will initially target one release per year. Vice Chair Rob Moore, COO Frederick Huntsberry and Goodman are now conducting a search for the leader of the division.

“We’ve come a long way over the last six years," said Grey. "Our team has worked hard to build best in class production, marketing and distribution divisions which have proven they consistently execute at the highest level across all genres and price points. Establishing an in-house animation division was the logical next step for us.”

“The marketplace has never offered as many opportunities to create wonderfully imaginative pictures at very appealing budget levels, so we feel this is a perfect moment to launch this effort. We are now eager to expand in animation with appropriate and prudent overhead and production budgets in a way that will allow us to be nimble, creative and innovative,” added Grey. “Paramount also has the distinct advantage of being part of the Viacom family, giving us the ability to leverage its portfolio of powerful and youthful brands to create and market great films and consumer products.”

While Paramount has released an array of successful animated films in its history, the company’s first fully owned CGI animated property was Rango, released to great acclaim in March 2011. The Western, directed by Gore Verbinski and featuring the voice of Johnny Depp in the title role, has grossed over $240 million worldwide and is the best reviewed animated movie so far this year.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:47 am
by TheButcher

Re: DreamWorks Animation's Monkeys of Mumbai

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:17 pm
by TheButcher
'Enchanted' Director Takes on DreamWorks Animation's 'Monkeys of Mumbai' (Exclusive)
Kevin Lima, who helmed Disney's "Tarzan" before transitioning to live-action films, is returning to his roots with a Bollywood-style animated musical adventure.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:45 pm
by TheButcher
Madagascar 3 - Official Trailer (HD)

Re: The Croods

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:59 am
by TheButcher
From BC:
Meet Dreamworks’ The Croods – First Look Image Of The Characters
Brendon Connelly wrote:The Croods is the next project from Chris Sanders, the cult animation director who worked on Lilo & Stitch and How To Train your Dragon, and Kirk DeMicco, a screenwriter on the in-development Hong Kong Phooey film. In earlier iterations, it was an Aardman animation called Crood Awakening and with John Cleese on the writing staff but… well, things like that change, in animation, and Chris Sanders will know that better than most.

Not much has been seen of the film so far, outside of some fuzzy shots of a poster at a licensing show, but a Little Bleeder sent me this nice quality image. Click through to make it nice and big.

Some of those characters will be getting voices from Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener and Cloris Leachman. I think it’s fairly easy to match them up.

Accompanying the poster was this new, official blurb for the film:
The Croods takes us back to the beginning – to a previously undiscovered era known as the Croodacious – a time when Mother Nature was still experimenting and the flora and fauna we know today had yet to evolve. At the heart of this comically chaotic world is the Crood family, led by Grug, an over-protective father who, like all dads, is doing everything he can to hold his family together as the world around them changes at a dramatic pace. The Croods is scheduled for release in the spring of 2013.

That sounds okay, sure, but I have to be honest: they had me at Chris Sanders.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:54 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Rise of the Guardians

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:48 am
by TheButcher

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:37 pm
by TheButcher
From Variety:
D'Works Animation eyes 'Casper' company
Studio in talks to buy Classic Media for over $150 million
Marc Graser wrote:DreamWorks Animation is in talks to acquire Classic Media for more than $150 million.

While DWA and Classic Media have declined to comment, sources close to the situation confirmed to Variety that the offer has been made.

Should the deal close, DWA would own a vast library of characters, including Archie, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Waldo of "Where's Waldo?," Voltron, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, the VeggieTales characters, Lassie and the Lone Ranger -- the last of which is being turned into a bigscreen actioner by Jerry Bruckheimer at Disney.

Gotham-based Classic Media also owns "Veggie Tales" producer Big Idea Entertainment.

Classic Media's characters are exploited mostly through consumer products and licensing deals, primarily because it doesn't own other elements like film or TV rights to all the characters. That could pose a problem for DWA down the line, but the privately owned company generated $376 million last year through licensing.

DreamWorks Said to Bid for Owner of ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’
MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED and BROOKS BARNES wrote:DreamWorks Animation is leading the bidding for Classic Media, the closely held owner of characters like Casper the Friendly Ghost and the Lone Ranger, according to a person briefed on the matter.

DreamWorks Animation has offered more than $150 million, far outpacing what others had offered for Classic Media, said this person, who asked for anonymity because no deal had been completed. That high valuation has prompted other media companies to consider walking away from the sales process, this person said.

A spokeswoman for DreamWorks Animation declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Classic Media did not have an immediate comment.

Like all studios, DreamWorks Animation needs a constant supply of source material for its movies. Existing franchises like Casper the Friendly Ghost, however faded, are coveted because studio marketers don’t have to build marketplace recognition from scratch.

DreamWorks Animation has suffered a steep erosion in its stock price, with its shares down more than 8 percent over the past year. Under that backdrop, it has been looking to build more of a consumer products business.

Classic Media properties could hold promise in that area. Founded in 2000 and based in New York City, Classic Media owns an eclectic mix of older media properties, including Where’s Waldo, Lassie and He-Man. It also owns Big Idea Entertainment, the producer of the VeggieTales series of Christian animated home videos.

The company has been sold a number of times, including to private equity firms.

But while Classic Media has a number of prominent characters in its portfolio, the company does not control all of the rights associated with those properties. That limits the value of the company, since it may not receive lucrative licensing fees for some of its more coveted holdings.

For instance, Walt Disney Studios is producing a $225 million big-screen remake of “The Lone Ranger,” set for release next year and starring Johnny Depp as Tonto. But it is unclear how licensing and merchandise rights are arranged between Disney and Classic.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:29 am
by TheButcher
Two Spinoffs, Animated Pilot From 'SpongeBob' Scribe Part of Ambitious Nickelodeon Slate
Monsters vs. Aliens (Nickelodeon series): An extension of the 2009 movie, the CG-animated series features the lovable monsters and a whole new group of nefarious aliens living and working together at Area 50-something. Greenlighted for 26 episodes, the series will be executive produced by Bob Schooley, Mark McCorkle and Brett Haaland (The Penguins of Madagascar).

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:54 am
by TheButcher
Guillermo del Toro Talks PUSS IN BOOTS 2, KUNG FU PANDA 3 & TROLLHUNTERS; Says PANDA 3 Has the “Most Formidable Villain in the Series”
Adam Chitwood wrote:Finally, del Toro has been developing a film of his own at DreamWorks called Trollhunters for the past few years. The filmmaker reiterated that he intends to direct the feature once the script is in top shape:

“The relationship with DreamWorks Animation actually started with me approaching them and saying ‘I want to direct an animated movie,’ and we started developing that screenplay Trollhunters three years ago. We’re on the fourth or fifth draft and I’m doing designs for it, and when the screenplay’s ready and the designs are ready I’m gonna set aside 18 months of my life and dedicate them only to the animated movie.”

The filmmaker revealed that the film will feature child protagonists, but he intends to deal with kids in a very real way:
“It’s about a group of kids that basically are Trollhunters at night, and they have to still do the math exam during the day; they get fit with braces and go through all the growing pains. I love the idea of creating a sort of nuanced portrait of kids that they’re not all perfect. They’re kind of misfits but not in a picturesque, hip way, they’re really, really kids that are not entirely great (laughs).”

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:34 am
by TheButcher

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:53 pm
by TheButcher
DreamWorks Animation announces $83 million net loss
No word on layoffs as 4th quarter sees 'Rise of the Guardians' writedown
Rachel Abrams' wrote:DreamWorks Animation announced a net loss of $82.7 million in its fourth quarter, in large part due to an $87 million write-down for "Rise of the Guardians."

The financial results come weeks after reports surfaced that DWA would lay off an unspecified number of staffers in the coming months, a result of 20th Century Fox's decision to push the toon shop's "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" to next year and bump "Me and My Shadow" off next year's calendar temporarily.

Pushing "Me and My Shadow" back to development cost DWA $54 million, according to a statement announcing the earnings on Tuesday. DWA also took $20 million in other write-offs on a number of projects in development. The company also pegged $4.6 million on "restructuring activities."

The company reported total revenue of $749.8 million and a net loss of $36.4 million for the twelve months ending Dec. 31.

"While 'Rise of the Guardians' did not achieve the level of box office success that we have come to expect from a DreamWorks Animation film, we have made several changes to our future slate that we believe will position us well for the next two years," said DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg in a statement announcing the financial results. "We are now looking ahead to our next release -- and our first under our new distribution agreement with Twentieth Century Fox -- 'The Croods' on March 22, 2013."

Though "Guardians" has crept up to $300 million worldwide, analysts have called it one of the company's most disappointing releases to date. The film ended DWA's seven-year distribution pact with Paramount. The studio has already begun its relationship with new distributor Fox, with which it has dated 12 pics through 2016.

Fox will release DWA's next pics "The Croods" and "Turbo" on March 22 and July 19, respectively. DWA said it expects the former film to drive financial results this year.

The DWA library contributed approximately $63.4 million in revenue to DWA's fourth quarter. Other content including holiday television specials and live theatrical properties contributed about $53.1 million of revenue. The Classic Media library, which DWA purchased last year, contributed about $31.6 million.

DWA stock was down 2.5% in after-hours trading to $16.20 per share after falling 1.3% during regular trading.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:57 pm
by TheButcher
Bill Murray Joins DreamWorks Animation’s ‘Bureau of Otherworldly Operations’
Justin Kroll wrote:No stranger to ghostly settings, Bill Murray will voice the villain in DreamWorks Animation’s “B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations.”

Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy, Rashida Jones, Octavia Spencer and Matt Bomer will also be voicing characters.

The supernatural action comedy follows two bumbling apparitions who find themselves in an extraordinary after-life adventure when they join the Bureau of Otherworldly Operations (B.O.O.) – the ghost world’s elite counter-haunting unit – and ultimately must face off against the planet’s greatest haunter.

Pic bows June 5, 2015.

“Bill Murray is the perfect actor to bring this character to life – or should I say after-life?” said Director Tony Leondis. “Along with Jennifer and Octavia, this is a dream cast. I can’t imagine a team more capable of packing a funnier punch to this broadly comedic ghost story.”

Murray can be seen next in Sony’s “The Monuments Men” in February.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:09 pm
by TheButcher
'Croods' Sequel in the Works From DreamWorks Animation
Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders are back as writers and directors.

Siggraph: Chris Sanders Talks 'Croods 2,' 'Dragon 2' and Why He Loves Animated Sequels
Carolyn Giardina wrote:ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Chris Sanders -- co-director of The Croods and Oscar-nominated How to Train Your Dragon -- admits that he really looks forward to seeing sequels to animated films.

“As you make these movies, you generate more material that you can use, and a lot of other storylines start growing,” he told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday at CG conference Siggraph. “To have a chance to go back and work on those branches is amazing. We [Sanders and Croods co-director Kirk De Micco] are working on Croods 2, and the first thing we did was go back and find [parts that were unused in the first film]."

OSCARS: DreamWorks Animation’s ‘The Croods’ Deals With “Questions About Life”
Thomas J. McLean wrote:Released March 22, The Croods stomped its way to an impressive $600 million worldwide tally. A strong critical reception praising the story and the inventive visuals in the computer-generated 3D movie have made The Croods the strongest Oscar contender to come from the studio that Shrek built since 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon.

The Croods’ journey to the screen was far from straight forward. It began as a story DeMicco and Monty Python alumnus John Cleese (who gets a story-by credit on the movie) had devised for Aardman to produce as a stop-motion feature during the days when DreamWorks and the British animation darlings had a now long-defunct co-production deal. DeMicco says that original idea was vastly different from the version that got made.

“It was really a buddy movie about two guys going off and going on an adventure and coming back with their knowledge,” he says. The cavemen returning and trying to explain what they’d seen to their families were the funniest scenes in that version, so when Sanders came over to DreamWorks from Disney in 2007 and joined the project, he and DeMicco ditched the buddy and took the family along in the best Little Miss Sunshine tradition.

The success of The Croods means DiMicco and Sanders are already back on board for a sequel, tentatively scheduled for release in 2019, which surely will pose a new set of challenges. For now, though, the duo is pleased The Croods came together the way they wanted.

Re: Mr. Peabody & Sherman

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:05 pm
by TheButcher
Review: 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' errs by favoring sentiment over laughs
If only someone had a time machine they could use to go back and show the finished film to the creative team two years ago so they could fix all the things that don't work. Ah, if only.

‘Peabody & Sherman’s’ Weaker Than Expected Open Leaves Analysts Divided About DreamWorks Animation

Matt Goldberg wrote:DreamWorks Animation has established a brand, and it’s a mediocre one. Their goal is to turn out as much product as possible, and turn the hits into franchises. With the exception of How to Train Your Dragon, their movies feature lukewarm emotions, serviceable animation, a dearth of style, and humor that’s clearly delineated between jokes for kids and jokes for adults. Kids tend to eat these movies up, and they’re tolerable enough for parents. The studio’s latest, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, is yet another movie adults will have to tolerate as a smattering of weird, fun, and inspired moments occasionally break into a rote, forgettable family film.

DreamWorks Animation’s movies are rarely joyless affairs. They’re just nothing special, and when the studio is so bent on releasing multiple movies every year, they become the standard for animated family films. They leave a lasting influence on kids, and whereas my generation’s animated movies—films such as Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King—had a wide appeal and continue to hold up today, DreamWorks Animation movies are made to last only because the studio keeps making them. Perhaps films like Mr. Peabody & Sherman will have lasting appeal to young viewers (the kids at my screening ate it up), and at best this one will encourage children to seek out the charming source material. But in DreamWorks Animation’s machine, the property loses a piece of its identity, and is subsumed into a machine that puts more of an emphasis on being hip and easy rather than emotional and enduring.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:52 pm
by Spandau Belly
Did people really expect the compelling drama or box office gold of THE LION KING from a movie based on MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN? Seems a bit out of whack. Considering the source material, it was only ever going to be a nice light comedy distraction. I thought the money it made was really good, especially considering it's competing against that LEGO MOVIE that everybody thinks is the greatest thing ever.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:59 pm
by so sorry
I think the general consensus is that every kid movie should make a killing at the box office because kids have no taste, and parents are willing to sit their kids in a theater for 1.5-2 hours just to give them something to do.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:59 pm
by TheButcher

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:57 am
by TheButcher

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:04 am
by TheButcher
DreamWorks Animation’s CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS & THE CROODS 2 Open in 2017,
HITMAN Sequel in 2015

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:54 pm
by TheButcher
‘Dragon 2' Must Soar in Overseas Box Office to Boost Lagging Domestic Grosses
The DreamWorks Animation sequel looks unlikely to match the original's haul in the U.S.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:33 am
by bastard_robo
TheButcher wrote:‘Dragon 2' Must Soar in Overseas Box Office to Boost Lagging Domestic Grosses
The DreamWorks Animation sequel looks unlikely to match the original's haul in the U.S.

Too damn bad, this movie was brilliant. Though.. packed summer just hurts everyone in the end

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:04 am
by TheButcher
Dean DeBlois Talks HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 and Potential Spinoffs; Says He’s Talked Jeffrey Katzenberg Down from the Idea of DRAGON 4
Adam Chitwood wrote:As for the task at hand, DeBlois said How to Train Your Dragon 3 is coming along nicely:
“Just this past Thursday I presented the outline for the film and I’m gonna take a two week break, but after that I’ll be working on the screenplay and hopefully turning the first draft in by the end of the year. So all is going well. It continues to be the third act of this trilogy and we get to see Hiccup’s coming of age come to a completion.”

The filmmaker also said the third film will delve deeper into the dragons themselves, especially Toothless:
“I’m also playing with the idea of what happened to the dragons and why they are no more, as suggested by Cressida Cowell’s books. So the whole mystery of where did they go? Did they come back? What transpired? I think it’s all compelling stuff and it’s definitely a story that’s gonna have a lot more Toothless emphasis in it. We continue to get more insight into the dragon world and shed light on their intelligence and all the aspects that we’ve been slowly cooking over the last two films.”

DreamWorks Animation recently shifted the film’s release date from 2016 to 2017, and I asked DeBlois if that had anything to do with story issues or if it was just a studio decision:
“It’s just that these movies take three years. I think it was a little ambitious to say 2016 (laughs). As is normally the case, they kind of throw darts out into the future and wherever they land they call that a release date until we start talking about it in practical terms, and then it’s like, ‘Uh yeah that’s not enough time.’ (laughs). So knowing that they take three years from this moment, from outlining and writing the screenplay through to the final lighting of it, it’s just a process of building models and doing tests and animating, storyboarding, the whole thing just adds up to about three years.”

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:20 pm
by TheButcher
DreamWorks Animation Trims Slate to Two Films Per Year
Paul Bond & Gregg Kilday wrote:In an effort to bring down costs as it eliminates about 500 jobs -- or 18 percent of its entire staff -- the studio said Thursday that, beginning in 2016, it will focus its efforts on one original film and one sequel per year.

The newly announced line-up consists of the sequel Kung Fu Panda 3, set for release on March 18, 2016, followed by an original Trolls on Nov. 4, 2016.

The following year will bring Boss Baby on Jan. 13, 2017 and The Croods 2 on Dec. 22, 2017. For 2018, the studio has set The Larrikins on Feb. 16, 2018 and How to Train Your Dragon 3 on June 29, 2018.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman Failed Because It Was "Too Clever"
Katharine Trendacosta wrote:Deadline reports that DreamWorks Animation will start releasing two films a year instead of three in an attempt to reduce costs and increase profit. Other shake-ups include the firing of 500 employees and the closing of its Northern California office. It's also losing its vice chairman, Chief Operating Officer, and chief of marketing. If all of that wasn't bad enough, B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations — which stars, among others Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray — is going back into production and has lost its June 5, 2014 release date. With no word on when it'll actually be seen.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:04 pm
by TheButcher
DreamWorks Animation: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Survival Plan Relies on Hit Toons
Jeffrey Katzenberg diverted his attention from his core business of making family films, and it contributed to DreamWorks Animation racking up a whopping $300 million in losses last year — nearly half of what it generated in overall sales.

That future is dependent on hit movies, something DWA has been sorely lacking. The Glendale, Calif.-based animation company’s recent success largely has ridden on the back of its “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise, and its 2013 hit “The Croods.” Other than that, the studio has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in writedowns from films like “The Penguins of Madagascar,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” “Turbo” and “Rise of the Guardians.”

Katzenberg has primarily been focused on growing the company’s television, consumer products and licensing, and digital businesses. But in order for those divisions to succeed, they must be driven by hit films. The disappointing performance of “Turbo,” for example, reduced interest in the movie’s Netflix series, hurt homevideo sales, and left Mattel holding a lot of unsold snail-shaped toy cars.

Analysts see diversification as a smart move for Katzenberg, considering a majority of DWA’s revenue still comes from films. Yet no one understands the importance of a hit franchise better than he does, having overseen animation at the Walt Disney Co. during its peak years.

Katzenberg is aiming to get DWA’s mojo back under the new leadership of Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, the dynamic duo behind the “Dragon” and “Madagascar” franchises. The company already has shaken up its release schedule, choosing six films to bow between 2016 and 2018. The only release on DWA’s slate this year is March’s alien adventure “Home.”

Much is riding on the studio’s late-2016 offering “Trolls,” starring the colorful big-haired characters, which is seen as a major consumer-products play. In the meantime, DWA’s divisions are largely left to fend for themselves. Yet Katzenberg believes the company will still be able to break even in 2015.

Consumer Products and Licensing:
After spending the past several years ramping up its consumer products business (partly to monetize its acquisition of Classic Media, which includes characters such as Casper the Friendly Ghost and George of the Jungle), the division reported $24 million in profits, up 28% over 2013, largely from “Dragon” merchandise. That’s expected to grow to $130 million this year, primarily from the exploitation of its library of characters, including those from “VeggieTales,” “Voltron” and “Dinotrux.”

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:05 pm
by TheButcher

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:12 am
by TheButcher
DreamWorks Animation and Universal Kill ‘Croods 2’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley met with workers at DreamWorks Animation’s Glendale headquarters Thursday to confirm that production of “The Croods 2” was being stopped immediately.

Re: DreamWorks Animation

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:10 am
by TheButcher
Watch the Entire Bee Movie, Except Every Time They Say 'Bee' It Gets Faster

Watch the Bee Movie Trailer, Except Every Word Is In Alphabetical Order