Netflix Partners With DreamWorks Animation on Original Series for Kids

By Devon Glenn 

Netflix will premiere a series of TV shows based on characters from DreamWorks Animation, the makers of “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda,” and “How to Train Your Dragon.” Today the companies announced a multi-year deal to bring 300 hours of original programming to the digital streaming service — Netflix’s largest original content deal yet — and exclusive access to existing films.

First on the list is “Turbo F.A.S.T,” a kids’ show premiering in December that follows the speedy snail character from the upcoming film “Turbo.” The other original series in the queue have yet to be announced, but some will draw inspiration from the Classic Media library that DreamWorks acquired in 2012.

“DreamWorks Animation is a valued partner in our global efforts to provide families the most engaging stories delivered however, whenever and wherever they want,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “This deal represents a major expansion of what’s already a phenomenal relationship, allowing us to bring beloved DreamWorks characters to the 40 countries where Netflix operates and setting the stage for us to innovate together as we expand into new markets.”

The animation studio has been planning to stream its existing films and television specials on Netflix since 2011, when DreamWorks ended its deal with HBO.

After its run in theaters, the film version of “Turbo” will go straight to Netflix in U.S. and Latin America, along with the prehistoric adventure “The Croods” and an upcoming film adaptation of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” called “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” 

Earlier this year, Netflix let its deal with Viacom expire, sending Nickelodeon shows like “Dora the Explorer” and “The Backyardigans” to Amazon Prime.

But the company has managed to build out its kids section through deals with Disney/ABC Television Group, which brought “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” and “Tron: Uprising” to the streaming service; and Hasbro, which has pledged episodes of “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic,” “Transformers Prime,” “Transformers Rescue Bots,” “Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters,” and “Littlest Pet Shop.”

Netflix will add the original kids’ series after releasing a number of new shows aimed at adults, like the original drama “House of Cards” and new episodes of the previously cancelled TV comedy “Arrested Development.”

“This is an unprecedented commitment to original content in the internet television space,” said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “Netflix is a visionary company that continues to redefine the way audiences watch television and it is a thrill to add to their growing momentum.”

Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Netflix Inc.