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Netflix and Universal Sign Exclusive Animated Film Deal

New multi-year licensing agreement gives streamer window on Illumination and DreamWorks Animation features after their initial 4-month Peacock run.

Netflix and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group have just announced a multi-year licensing deal in the U.S. that provides the streaming giant an exclusive window on the company’s animated feature films after their initial 4-month run on Peacock. The new deal extends Netflix’s previous Illumination film output deal with Universal to include films from DreamWorks Animation.  Upcoming 2022 films such as Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, and DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish will be among the first titles to stream under the agreement. 

As part of the deal, Netflix also secured license rights to UFEG’s full animated and live-action slate beginning around four years after release as well as rights to select titles from Universal’s vast movie library. 

The new deal comes on the heels of last week’s Universal feature film pay window move to Peacock from long-time partner HBO, designed to boost subscribers to the new streaming service. The move should also ensure a steady flow of Illumination animated films that according to Forbes, have been among Netflix’s most popular; the magazine claims that in 2020, Despicable Me was the service’s most-watched film, which The Grinch and The Lorax were the second and ninth most-watched films in 2020.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with UFEG to bring more films from Illumination and DreamWorks Animation to our Netflix audience,” said Colin Morawski, Director of Studio Licensing, Netflix. “As we’ve seen with our own slate, Netflix families love watching and rewatching animated films, and this deal allows us to expand our library to bring our audience more of what they want to watch.”

“Netflix has been a terrific partner and we‘re thrilled to expand our relationship,” said Peter Levinsohn, Vice Chairman and Chief Distribution Officer, UFEG. “Universal Filmed Entertainment Group produces some of the biggest animated franchises and boldest originals from some of the most influential, impactful and inspiring creators in the industry. This exciting agreement further demonstrates the importance of that content to our distribution partners as they grow their audiences and deliver the very best in entertainment.”

Source: Netflix

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.