Tuesday, May 02, 2006

DreamWorks Swallowed by a Conglomerate?

The L.A. Times has an article in today's Biz Section about the likelihood of DreamWorks Animation going on the sales block... I got a call from the TIMES a few days back asking for general info about what conglomerates own what animation studios, what congloms are doing what projects, etc. For a long time, Hulett's theory has been that "stand alone" animation studios were going the way of the dodo bird. Where once there was Hanna-Barbera, Filmation (see below), DePatie-Freleng, and (if you want to go waay back) Leon Schlesinger Productions, there are now only huge, vertically-integrated, multi-national entertainment conglomerates with animation divisions. There are also small "boutique" studios that pick up sub-contracting work from conglomerates, and small "boutique" studios that specialize in overseas co-productions (Mike Young Productions and DIC fall into this category.) My point here: the large, independent animation studio that creates and controls its own product -- and destiny -- is pretty much a thing of the past. The big conglomerates control the distribution pipelines, so they have kind of a...what's the word?...monopoly. Pixar and DreamWorks were really the last two examples of the indy studio. And we know what happened to Pixar.


Anonymous said...

How about Aardman? They have a distributiondeal with DreamWorks, but I've read they are setting up their own distribution channels (for tv series).

Steve Hulett said...

You have a point. But Aardman is a Brit studio. I understand the situation is somewhat different in the U.K.

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