Introducing DreamWorksTV

Technically, DreamWorks Animation has had a production branch for television since 1996, but the creators of ShrekMadagascar and How to Train Your Dragon are now getting their own channel.

Check out the “Welcome to DreamWorksTV” video below:

Now, you’re probably wondering, “What about Nickelodeon?” For years, DreamWorks Animation and Nickelodeon have had a strong partnership, with Nick being the host for several DreamWorks-inspired hit shows like “Kung Fu Panda” and “Penguins of Madagascar.”

I was wondering that too, so I looked into what DreamWorks has been up to this past year leading up to the announcement. It turns out they actually hired a former Nickelodeon executive, Marjorie Cohn, as their Head of Television. Cohn was with Nick for 26 years, and she’s joining two other Nick employees who are shifting to DreamWorks: Mark Taylor and Peter Gal.

dreamworkstv

Of course, this was announced unceremoniously last August, but the plan remains the same. DreamWorks wants a channel where they can produce new series based on their hit movie franchises, including the following:

  • Shrek,
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman,
  • How to Train Your Dragon,
  • Madagascar,
  • Kung Fu Panda,
  • Turbo,
  • The Croods,
  • Rise of the Guardians,
  • Puss in Boots,
  • Monsters vs. Aliens,
  • Megamind,

And hey, maybe that list will also include Antz

The move makes plenty of sense as the market for computer-animated movies grows as competitive as ever, with Disney, Disney Pixar, Sony and Blue Sky all producing blockbuster animation movies around the same time each year. The market for television, however, has yet to be fully tapped in this author’s opinion.

dreamworkstv

Sure, you couldn’t get away with producing CGI cartoons as the bulk of your programming a decade ago, but as the technology grows more efficient, the costs of making a great show like Nickelodeon’s Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius becomes an easier sell to investors and studio execs.

I’m having a hard time feeling sorry for Nickelodeon, if you can believe it. While I believe Nick has made some smarter moves in the last 10 years compared to their biggest rivals Disney and Cartoon Network, they’ve still dropped the ball when it comes to ramping up the production of good animated shows. With the exception of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, Nickelodeon has pretty much played it safe.

dreamworkstv

At the same time, the above trailer for DreamWorksTV admittedly looks like the same format: a mixture of cheap live-action dribble blended in with animated productions. It’s a decent business model, but we’ll see how the ratio between cheap and valuable shows truly match up in the coming months.

Oh, and don’t worry about the new channel’s relationship with Netflix. They’ve already signed (allegedly) broad content deals that will undoubtedly spread the word. Yet another area Nickelodeon has been slacking in.

dreamworkstv

In the end, I’m excited about the prospect of animated television experiencing a revival, especially when it comes to computer animation, and it makes perfect sense for a studio with such a rich library of movie content to be one of the evangelists.

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12 thoughts

  1. Hello there! I’m not surprised DreamWorks is expanding its field to cash in on their franchises. At least it may be better, and perhaps draw less attention, than financial flops at the box office. It looks like nothing revolutionary, but at least it’ll help their financial situation.

    Just a point, and I’m sorry for the upcoming blatant advertising, but has anyone realised that DreamWorks has not put out a traditionally animated movie in nearly eleven years? It seems weird that while Disney have decided that they’ll make a traditionally animated movie every two years after the moderate success of The Princess and the Frog, that DreamWorks haven’t gone back to this form. Especially since computer animated films are costing too much to make a profit now.

    I’ve been reviewing their small collection of traditionally animated films (seriously, there are only five and one is DreamWorks’ only direct-to-video release Joseph: King of Dreams) to see whether it was just about money or whether they were bad films. I’ve done The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado so far, but I’d like to see (and I hate to be putting ideas you don’t want to do your way) what your take on these films are? Were they too much costs for so little profit? Were the films complete rubbish? Was it both?

    This comment has gone way too long, so I’ll just leave some links and leave you to your blog. Anyway, thanks for the DreamWorks info!

    http://chronicchronicler.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/the-prince-of-egypt-biblical-certainly-brilliant-well/

    http://chronicchronicler.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/the-road-to-el-dorado-its-fun-to-be-a-god/

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      1. I’ve not forgotten Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, I’m just doing the reviews chronologically and so haven’t got it it yet. But I absolutely agree with you, Spirit, for me, is their best traditionally animated film.

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        1. It was my childhood movie and my siblings and I gather at least once a year to watch it!
          I’ve watched the other two films and honestly, to me Spirit is the best!
          Yesterday I went to a polo club and there was a horse their that looked like Rain and another one who looked EXACTLY like his mom, Esperanza.

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  2. I’m honestly REALLY excited!
    Riders and Defenders of Berk were AWESOME!
    Rise of the Guardians is my fave animated movie of all time. Sorry Frozen…
    HTTYD is my third and I am SOOOO excited for this!
    I honestly can’t get enough of RotG
    It has loads of emotional scenes. The only animated movie where the main character dies. It had its jokes. I honestly loved it!
    I really really hope they make a show for it since they don’t plan to make a sequel =(

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  3. I personally think it’s a shit idea when ever deem works turns there AMAZING MOVIES into TV there never good i adore rise of the gardians ad shrek and the croods and madiagcare mind you they have done thee how to train your dragon show really well an I would love to see the show move forward with the movies so the shows can fill in the gaps inbetween movies the croods is getting another one and the guardians sure as hell deserve one and mega mind needs another movie two it was good and toubo has his horrible show too

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  4. i know this is off-topic but, can you butt in with the cards? (like Yu-gi-oh, Cardfight Vanguard, Future Card Buddyfight and those kind of stuff)
    I know those stuff are not famous but Yu-gi-oh became history and Yu-gi-oh is named after the main character, Yugi. (That was just an example what you should talk about).
    Some of us are really interested (like me) into these useless stuff.
    Just a suggestion….

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  5. I know everyone is going to kill me for this- and they totally should-
    But I actually really like the show The Penguins of Madagascar. It gets better as it goes and has very well developed characters, and there’s only one or two absolute imbeciles in the entire show- and they actually do a pretty good job with them. Most of the character, however, are really witty and clever and there’s a lot of dark humour.
    I tried watching some of the other Dreamworks series and they seemed stupid to me, but I’ll admit that I didn’t get more than a minute into that HTTYD series before I turned it off. Also, I really like military commando stuff and I’m sure that impaired my judgment at least a little bit.

    I just had to get that off of my chest.
    :3

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