DreamWorks Animation is seeking to buy Classic Media for $150 million, The New York Times reports.
If completed, the deal would give DreamWorks ownership of a number of well-established if rather worn intellectual properties, including Casper the Friendly Ghost, He-Man, Fat Albert, Frosty the Snowman, Lassie, Mr. Magoo, Postman Pat, Richie Rich, and Where’s Waldo?
DreamWorks’ ability to exploit the properties may be somewhat hampered by deals already in place, the newspaper cautions. The Walt Disney Company is already working on a big-screen adaptation of Classic’s The Lone Ranger, and the estate of Jay Ward still retains a minority interest in such Ward-produced properties as Rocky & Bullwinkle.
Separately, Animation Magazine says that DreamWorks is negotiating with Sony, Fox and Warner Bros. for a distribution pact when its current deal with Paramount ends this year. The studio is looking for a lower distribution fee, and wishes to partner with a studio that does not have a competing in-house animation division.