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DreamWorks Launches Animation Label

18 Sep, 2002 By: Brendan Howard

Building on the success of Shrek and anticipating the success of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, DreamWorks is releasing its stable of family animated films under the “DreamWorks Animation”label starting Nov. 19.

Spirit, which made $73.2 million in theaters, will debut that day on VHS and DVD, and will be joined by “DreamWorks Animation”-labeled VHS and DVD re-releases of Shrek, Antz, Chicken Run, Joseph: King of Dreams, The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado. Prebook on the titles is Oct. 1. Spirit and the newly labeled titles include a mail-in coupon offering a free cassette or DVD of any of the “DreamWorks Animation” titles.

“One of the things Shrek did is put DreamWorks as an animation studio on the map,” said Kelly Sooter, DreamWorks head of domestic home video. “We've continued to track consumer awareness, and what we've found is DreamWorks is associated with high quality and hipper, newer animation.”

DreamWorks wide network of animation studios includes a partnership with the London stop-motion animation studio of Aardman Animations (the makers of Chicken Run); a computer-animation studio in Northern California; and a traditional animation studio in Glendale, Calif., soon to be joined by a CG animation studio in Glendale.

When people think of animation, it used to only be Disney they thought of, Sooter said.

“What you find is there are certain names that mean something, and we're finding DreamWorks [animation] means a lot to a pretty large group,” she said.

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, a Matt Damon-narrated adventure about a stallion on the American Frontier, is the tentpole for “DreamWorks Animation's” debut.

“When you're going to launch a brand, it's good to launch it with a new product,” Sooter said.

The new label's debut will also get help from DreamWorks' “Instant Win” contest promotion, now in its third year. Buyers of Spirit and the newly labeled catalog titles will get an “Instant Win” prize: a Ford Mustang convertible, a Game Boy Advance system with Spirit video game, a Hewlett-Packard digital cameras or a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone.

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