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DreamWorks, Mattel Pact on Panda; Shrek at Macy's Parade

In conjunction with Licensing 2007, DreamWorks Animation SKG has announced licensing deals for KUNG FU PANDA, as well as a Shrek balloon for the 81st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

DreamWorks Animation SKG and Mattel Inc. have entered into an exclusive licensing arrangement on DreamWorks Animation's June 2008 release, KUNG FU PANDA, with Mattel serving as the worldwide master toy licensee for the film. The deal is the first such partnership between the studio and the world's premier toy company. The announcement was made last evening at DreamWorks Animation's Consumer Products division launch party for KUNG FU PANDA in New York City.

Mattel will be creating a wide range of products across multiple categories of action figures, games, plush and role play for the forthcoming release. Mattel also includes the Fisher-Price and Radica Brands in its Mattel Brands portfolio.

DreamWorks Animation's head of worldwide consumer products Kerry Phelan commented, "We are thrilled to be working with Mattel, and consider it a truly collaborative and special relationship. Mattel shares our passion for KUNG FU PANDA, and we felt that they were uniquely qualified to develop and execute a premiere toy program for our product around the globe."

Mattel's gm of boys/entertainment Tim Kilpin said, "We're incredibly enthusiastic about KUNG FU PANDA. It's a wonderful and imaginative film that gives us great content to work with to develop an innovative and compelling toy program."

Moreover, this Thanksgiving, Shrek makes his grand debut flying high as a giant helium balloon in the 81st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. On Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007, at 9:00 am, fans will see the big green ogre flying down the streets of New York City for the first time reaching more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million television viewers nationwide. Shrek will not only help mark the start of the holiday season at the Parade, but he will also serve as Macy's Official Holiday Ambassador this year, with an exclusive plush toy available at all Macy's stores nationwide.

The Shrek balloon designed by the magicians of the Macy's Parade Studio measures approximately 50 feet tall, 44 feet long and 35 feet wide. Dressed in his signature woodsman outfit complete with oatmeal sweater, plaid pants and brown vest, Shrek will be filled with more than 10,000 cubic feet of helium for his trip down the Great White Way.

As the official Macy's Holiday Ambassador, Shrek will help Macy's usher in the spirit of the season as a cute collectible plush toy, wearing a festive red vest, and uttering three custom phrases when his left foot is pressed. As a special bonus, Shrek will be accompanied for his holiday duties by best pals, Donkey and Puss In Boots, who come along for the ride as highly detailed 3D plush finger puppets. The Shrek Macy's holiday plush will be available beginning Nov. 1, at all Macy's locations nationwide and on Fans can purchase Shrek for $14.95 with any purchase of $35 or more.

Shrek's first ever participation in the Parade will coincide with the DVD release this holiday season of SHREK THE THIRD, which enjoyed a record-breaking bow in theaters last month as the largest opening ever for an animated film.

"Shrek is a new American icon," says Robin Hall, exec producer of Macy's Parade. "There's never been a character like Shrek, and I think it's safe to say there's never been a Macy's Parade balloon quite like Shrek, either. All of us at Macy's Parade are totally immersed in 'Project Shrek,' and we're thrilled to be working with the team from DreamWorks Animation in the creation of this new Parade classic."

DreamWorks Animation's head of worldwide marketing & consumer products Anne Globe stated, "We're honored to be a part of this great holiday tradition, and doubly proud to be represented by our most recognizable personality, Shrek. People have grown to love Shrek around the world, and this parade gives his fans a unique opportunity to see their favorite ogre in a whole new way."

The 81st annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is broadcast live nationally on NBC-TV, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon in all time zones.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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