Licensing Quick Hits

DPS buys a majority share of Simpsons studio Film Roman
June 1, 2003

DPS buys a majority share of Simpsons studio Film Roman

Newark, New Jersey-based 3-D animation house Digital Production Solutions has reached a deal in principle to purchase a controlling stake in animation studio Film Roman, best-known for producing The Simpsons. A division of telcom IDT that was set up last year to take on low-cost 3-D CGI service work, DPS will pay US$900,000 in cash and has agreed to extend a credit line of US$2.1 million to Film Roman in exchange for 10 million shares. Provided the transaction is approved, the deal will give DPS the ability to handle 2-D as well as 3-D animated projects. DPS is currently co-producing a DTV feature called Monster Monster Trucks with New York-based Cartoon Pizza and Toronto, Canada’s CCI Entertainment. It also recently acquired the entertainment rights to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s kids properties Starpoint Academy and Char.

Lucas to launch a feature animation studio

Hoping to stake out some ground in the booming toon film market dominated by the likes of Pixar and DreamWorks, LucasFilm honcho George Lucas has formed a new animation group. Based in Port Richmond, California, Luscasfilm Animation will focus exclusively on creating feature-length animated movies for family audiences. Industrial Light and Magic senior VP Patty Blau will slide over to helm the new group, which will initially have a staff of nine. According to LucasFilm spokesperson Jeanne Cole, the new company is still in the planning stages and has no projects on its slate yet.

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