Even with its fledgling success in the recent years, DreamWorks Animation was purchased by (Comcast) NBCUniversal for $3.8 billion and is now pending approval by the FTC to ensure healthy competition would still remain after the buyout.
The animation studio, founded by entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg back in 2004, announced the buyout earlier today saying “Having spent the past two decades working together with our team to build DreamWorks Animation into one of the world’s most beloved brands, I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential,” said Katzenberg.
That potential means the ability to compete toe-to-toe with Disney Animation and The Walt Disney Company in a variety of businesses. NBCUniversal now owns the rights of some of the animation world’s big franchises like Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. Additionally, DreamWorks Classics, a large library of classic characters that include Where’s Waldo, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will become part of the NBCUniversal portfolio. All that IP can then be translated into more entertainment offerings thanks to the massive amounts of resources that NBCUniversal has.
NBCUniversal is very similar to Disney in that it has so many business operations in so many industries: theme parks with Universal Studios Hollywood, Consumer Products with their already busy licensing transactions, just to name a few. It wouldn’t be surprising if the new parent company would create more theme park attractions and products featuring some of DreamWorks most popular characters.
“DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal,” said Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal commenting on the purchase. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property. DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come.”
And its those years that will really be the validation if NBCUniversal’s purchase would have been worth it. Disney still dominates when it comes to creating products for all ages, namely the all-too-important and competitive kids and family entertainment space.
It’s likely a competition that Katzenberg has been looking forward to for quite some time now, especially ever since he was denied a promotion at Disney after serving the Company successfully for years.
Like what you see here on DisneyExaminer? Help support us grow and be rewarded with even more content and experiences by becoming a DisneyExaminer Patron!