DreamWorks deal largest in Netflix history

By Dmitry Sheynin , Jun 18, 2013 11:37 AM EDT

Netflix has announced a deal with DreamWorks Animation to produce a slate of original children's programming that will feature characters from some of the studio's biggest animated hits, including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon. Netflix said the agreement was the largest deal for original content in the company's history.

DreamWorks will create over 300 hours of first-run content to premiere exclusively on Netflix, with shows based on already-established franchises as well as future animated feature films.

The two companies already enjoy an established working relationship. A Netflix series based on DreamWorks' upcoming film Turbo was announced in February and many of the studio's theatrical releases are also slated to debut on Netflix next year.

"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 press release, Monday. "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 first new series is slated to debut sometime in 2014. DreamWorks said that its partnership with Netflix was the result of an initiative to broadly expand the scope of its worldwide distribution. The new shows will be available to subscribers in all markets so it's a safe bet that the animation studio will be able to reach many new consumers.

"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."

Like all Netflix content, the new shows will be commercial-free.

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