Once upon a time, Eric Ellenbogen was at Marvel and then he was… let go, and he went off with some money and he made Classic Media. This was a safe haven where maligned and undernourished pop culture characters could find a new lease of life. It was the Second Chance Saloon for folk like Archie, Casper the Friendly Ghost and He-Man, that sometime Master of the Universe. Classic Media have got lots more of these “friends” too, and can call themselves one of the biggest libraries of character rights.
And now, Classic Media might be about to become part of Dreamworks Animation. In theory, this means Dreamworks would be able to make movies featuring these characters. Presumably much-franchised, 3D CG movies.
The NY Times are saying Dreamworks have stacked chips to the value of $150 million on this deal.
That’s right, fanpeople, that BADASS computer generated cartoon of Lassie you always wanted may be just around the corner.
One of the odd quirks is that Classic Media own the rights to The Lone Ranger, though I can only suppose there’s some sort of deal with Disney that allows the upcoming film in such a way it won’t suddenly fall into the lap of Dreamworks.
Here’s a far from exhaustive list of characters that come under the Classic Media umbrella. Some of these will mean almost nothing to Americans, some will mean almost nothing to people outside of America.
- Basil Brush
- Postman Pat
- Felix the Cat
- Roger Ramjet
- Pat the Bunny
- Lamb Chop
- Rocky and Bullwinkle
- Tennessee Tuxedo
Interestingly, there’s also something called Charlie Horse Music Pizza that they own the rights to. Disappointingly, it’s apparently a TV show and not some Exec’s wish list for tonight’s party Dreamworks Deal party.
Has to be a good show, though, because it features a dumpster-dwelling, giant, purple raccoon called Fingers.
I don’t know which of these characters will be cleared as potential Dreamworks franchise topliners, but I can’t help but hope it’s as few as possible. How many “They better be true to the character!” rants will I have to put up with in my life?