Search form

Big Idea Bought by Classic Media, Files Bankruptcy

Big Idea Prods has announced an agreement with Classic Media LLC to purchase the companys assets. As required by the deal, Big Idea has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

This move comes in reaction to Big Ideas lose of a $11 million breach of contract lawsuit with its original video distribution company Lyrick Studios Inc. The ruling stated that Big Idea broke a verbal agreement when it moved its mainstream distribution to Warner Home Video in 2001. The lawsuit, combined with the companys dash to expand while producing its feature JONAH: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE, spurred its owners to announce earlier this year that the company was up for sale. As a result of the firms financial woes, Big Idea has begun outsourcing production and streamlining fixed overhead costs. These changes allow the firm to continue to develop and own its creative content.

Phil Vischer, founder of Big Idea Prods, said, To call the last year difficult is an understatement. In the midst of VEGGIETALES success, we made several key strategic errors that led us to this point. Due to their great enthusiasm for both our business and our ministry, I believe Classic Media is a wonderful partner to help guide Big Idea back to financial health.

Big Idea and VEGGIETALES are a great addition to the portfolio of kids and family entertainment properties we currently own. We look forward to supporting their mission, growing the brand and expanding our important business ties, said Eric Ellenbogen, chairman and ceo of Classic Media. Although Big Idea has experienced considerable financial difficulties, it has never let down its audience. We will commit everything it takes to advance Big Ideas unique franchise.

Terry Pefanis, coo for Big Idea, said, In retrospect, slowing our half-hour video production schedule while simultaneously self financing JONAH was a mistake. In our desire to keep the artists at Big Idea together, we carried staff that was underutilized due to the ebb and flow of production cycles. Our products continue to sell well - we just allowed our overhead to grow too quickly and will certainly seek financing partners for our future film projects.

Classic Media owns and manages some of the world's most recognizable family properties across all media including feature film, television, home video and consumer products. The company's library features LASSIE, THE LONE RANGER, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, PAT THE BUNNY, ROCKY & BULLWINKLE, the Harvey library and the Golden Books brand. For more information, visit

Rick DeMott's picture

Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks