Megaresorts To Feature Dreamworks Animation Characters
DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who cut his teeth at the Walt Disney Co., may not be ready to build a DWA version of Disneyland, but he's certainly busy playing with the idea of using the characters from his popular franchises in popular outdoor settings. Today's (Thursday) New York Times reported that DWA has agreed to license characters from the Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar franchises to Gaylord Entertainment, which operates megaresorts in Tennessee Florida, Texas and Maryland. The deal follows a similar one made last year with Royal Caribbean, the cruise operator, and comes one day after DreamWorks Animation said in an SEC filing that its first-quarter profits fell 60 percent, largely due to declining DVD sales. In an interview with the Times, Katzenberg said that the studio is considering other ways to exploit its popular characters -- like developing "themed hotel rooms," using the characters as greeters, and providing Shrek wake-up calls. "We're still fine tuning."