Netflix to license DreamWorks characters for new shows

Dora Shmora, now Netflix has Shrek and Po

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
June 17, 2013
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/301b

Netflix may have lost a Dora, but it’s gained a Shrek. And a Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon.

While it looked like Netflix’s kids programming took a huge hit last month with the expiration of its deal with Viacom, the company has surprised with a ninja Matrix move showing that it really is one step ahead of traditional TV networks. The company announced Monday that it has made a multi-year agreement with DreamWorks to license characters from movies like Shrek and Madagascar to create over 300 hours of original programming.

In other words: fuuuuuu*k you, Dora.

The agreement marks the largest deal for original content in Netflix history. The first series will premier in 2014 in all the territories in which Netflix operates.

"DreamWorks Animation is a valued partner in our global efforts to provide families the most engaging stories delivered however, whenever and wherever they want," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, in a statement. "This deal represents a major expansion of what's already a phenomenal relationship, allowing us to bring beloved DreamWorks characters to the 40 countries where Netflix operates and setting the stage for us to innovate together as we expand into new markets."

In December, Netflix and DreamWorks’ first original Netflix program Turbo F.A.S.T., based on the upcoming DreamWorks movie about…racing snails…will be released. Turbo will be released in theaters in July, and Turbo F.A.S.T. will pick up where the little garden snail left off. (So DreamWorks apparently has a storyline algorithm in which they plug in a creature and the impossible activity that they want to do, i.e. a panda that wants to do Kung Fu! Or a zoo zebra that wants to live in the wild! Or an ogre that wants to be the hero! Now…a snail that wants to be a racer…)

In 2011, Netflix and DreamWorks announced a deal that will bring DreamWorks movies to Netflix after they appear in theaters. Previously, DreamWorks had a similar deal with HBO. Recent DreamWorks hit The Croods (curious cavegirl who wants to do things differently) will appear in Netflix’s catalogue next year. That will be followed by DreamWorks’ big screen adaptation of Mr. Peabody and Sherman in March 2014.

Last month, Netflix’s deal with Viacom expired, which meant it lost valuable kids’ content like Dora The Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, Bubble Guppies, Go, Diego, Go!, and more. Amazon subsequently scooped those up, appearing to gain an edge on Netflix in the Internet TV battles. But Netflix’s bet on original kids’ programming using the characters from hit family movies is a brilliant way of maneuvering around winning and losing deals with the top networks. 


Image source: images-amazon.com

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