DreamWorks has struck a multi-year deal with Netflix to supply a number of shows and movies to the streaming service, plus a commitment to produce 300 hours of original content with the first shows to go live next year.
The content will come from DreamWorks Animation, and will be inspired by past characters, like Shrek and The Croods, including feature films involving others. Older animated shows from Classic Media, which the studio acquired last year, will also be part of the package. These include She-Ra, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Mr. Magoo and Lassie among several others. The first show to begin streaming in December will be Turbo: F.A.S.T., a show about a snail that will make its debut in July when the movie hits theaters.
The move marks a stunning shift in direction for the studio, which has had a longstanding relationship with production firms. DreamWorks has traditionally only released two or three films per year, focusing on big budget animated blockbusters that provided great returns at the box office, but the agreement now gives Netflix exclusivity over the content the studio will create. This doesn’t mean DreamWorks won’t be doing business as usual for moviegoers, but it does put the onus on streaming services as opposed to cable providers.
For Netflix, the move signals an opportune replacement after the streaming service couldn’t come to terms with Viacom on extending the licensing deal for Nickelodeon’s content. In turn, Viacom signed a deal with Amazon to make the content available on Instant Prime. Netflix also inked a deal to get new Disney and Pixar films onto the service beginning in 2016.
Though financial terms haven’t been disclosed, more details about what the agreement entails are coming.