Jul 23rd 2012 By: Graeme McMillan
For those who have been dreaming of a CGI animated Lassie movie
, your time has come. Classic Media
, the company that owns the rights to Casper The Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, Bravestar, Where's Waldo and a host of other childhood favorites, has been bought by DreamWorks Animation
for more than $150 million.
The deal, rumored for weeks now, was confirmed today
, with DWA revealing that it had acquired the company for $155 million in cash. "Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation's franchise business," DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg explained in a statement about the purchase, "and we plan to leverage it across our motion picture, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital, theme park and live entertainment channels."
Classic Media was founded in 2000 by a former Marvel Entertainment CEO, Eric Ellenbogen, going on to such companies as Filmation, Rankin/Bass, Harvey Comics and Jay Ward Productions (the company behind Rocky and Bullwinkle), as well as Golden Books and certain related rights to characters such as Voltron, Godzilla and Dick Tracy.
The company has been up for auction with several bidders interested, but DreamWorks Animation reportedly bid far higher than any other parties. The deal is expected to be completed before the end of the current financial quarter.