PR: DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations to End Production Agreement
GLENDALE, Calif., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE: DWA) and Aardman Animations, Ltd. today announced that they will no longer continue their exclusive partnership in creating animated films. Together the two companies have collaborated on three feature films: Chicken Run (2000), Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), and Flushed Away (2006).
“I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Nick Park and the Aardman team for almost ten years and highly respect their storytelling and filmmaking talents,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation. “I am proud ofthe work we have created together and also greatly admire Aardman’s passion and expertise for stop motion filmmaking and brilliant storytelling.”
Mr. Katzenberg continued: “Today, DreamWorks Animation is focused on producing two computer animated movies per year, with a full film slate laid out into 2010. While I will always be a fan and an admirer of Aardman’s work, our different business goals no longer support each other.”
The multi-picture deal between the two companies began in 1999 as an exclusive arrangement under which Aardman would produce and deliver up to five pictures to DreamWorks Animation. The companies’ three collaborations were met with critical acclaim and received numerous awards, including a 2005 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. With no new co-productions in development and DreamWorks Animation’s slate announced for the next several years, DreamWorks Animation and Aardman decided to end the multi-picture deal.
“We’ve enjoyed a hugely successful and creative relationship with Jeffrey and DreamWorks Animation,” stated Peter Lord and David Sproxton, co-owners of Aardman Animations, “but both companies are aware that our ambitions have moved apart, and it feels like the right time to move on. Aardman has an ambitious slate of feature film projects in development and we will announce our future production and distribution plans shortly.”
About DreamWorks Animation SKG
DreamWorks Animation is principally devoted to developing and producing computer generated, or CG, animated feature films. The Company has theatrically released a total of 13 animated feature films, including Antz, Shrek, Shrek 2, Shark Tale, Madagascar, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Over the Hedge and Flushed Away.
Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, television series and television commercials for both the domestic and international market. Their multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterized and full of charm that reflects the
unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercials productions.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This document includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company’s plans, prospects, strategies, proposals and our beliefs and expectations concerning performance of our current and future releases and anticipated talent, directors and storyline for our upcoming films and other projects, constitute forward-looking statements, as does the statement concerning the expected closing date for the offering. These
statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry in which we operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions which are difficult to predict. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due to changes in economic, business, competitive, technological and/or regulatory factors, and other risks and uncertainties affecting the operation of the business of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. These risks and uncertainties include: audience acceptance of our films, our dependence on the success of a limited number of releases each year, the transition to a new distribution and servicing partner, the increasing cost of producing and marketing feature films, piracy of motion pictures, the effect of rapid technological change or alternative forms of entertainment and our need to protect our proprietary technology and enhance or develop new technology. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and our most recent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The Company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.
SOURCE DreamWorks Animation SKG