DreamWorks Bidding on Rights to He-Man, Voltron, and Gumby
DreamWorks is desperate for new ideas — so desperate that they’re bidding on the rights to characters under the Classic Media umbrella, the entity that controls familiar faces like He-Man, Gumby, and Voltron.
So what happens when your stock takes an 8% dive and you’re afraid to take risks (read: spend money) on new ideas? You buy someone else’s old ideas, obviously. DreamWorks Animation has placed a bid of $150 million for Classic Media, far outbidding the amounts others have offered, according to a source in this New York Times report.
The characters of Classic Media include Casper the Friendly Ghost, Gumby, Voltron (somewhere Michael Bay laughs and laughs), He-Man, Where’s Waldo, Lassie, and Big Idea Entertainment — the producers of the Christian animated franchise ‘VeggieTales.’
It’s a smart business move for DreamWorks Animation, as the marketing for properties based on these characters would inevitably be cheaper than creating marketing for new characters and stories from scratch.
But is it a smart creative move? Picture, if you will, a Gumby movie. The jokes write themselves. How about Where’s Waldo: The Movie? It’s 90 minutes of you trying to figure out where the hell Waldo is while an entire theater of children and stoned adults shout out guesses to his location. It’s like ‘Dora the Explorer’ meets Bonnaroo.
All we ask is that they let Devon Sawa and Christina Ricci reprise their roles from ‘Casper,’ but this time it’s like ‘Drop Dead Fred,’ and Ricci is a mentally unstable adult with an imaginary ghost friend. Cha-ching.
DreamWorks Animation’s most recent films have included ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,’ ‘Puss in Boots,’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda 2.’ Their upcoming slate includes the whimsical holiday hero film ‘Rise of the Guardians‘ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2.’ Not a bad collection of films, but we’re not sure how these old characters are going to offer anything better.