Expanding their streaming empire, Netflix has announced a new multi-year licencing deal with the Universal Entertainment Group, an agreement that will see Animated Universal films brought to Netflix following their four-month window on American streaming service, Peacock.
The new deal expands upon a current agreement between the two companies, with the inclusion of DreamWorks animation titles a new amendment to the previous deal. Netflix will also license rights to particular titles in the Universal library and will acquire all animated and live-action releases four years after their release.
Director of Studio Licensing for Netflix, Colin Morawski, said of the recent deal, “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with UFEG to bring more films from Illumination and DreamWorks Animation to our Netflix audience”. Continuing, Morawski comments, “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”.
Striking the deal during a healthy time for animation, upcoming titles that will soon appear on Netflix’s slate include DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys, and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, along with fan favourite Minions: The Rise of Gru.
The deal with the major film company joins the agreement of HBO Max, who currently have a deal with Warner Brothers to stream all new releases the same day they hit theatres. This deal, however, only runs until the end of 2021, with all new releases to be streamed exclusively on Peacock after leaving cinemas, starting in 2022.
HBO’s deal resulted in heavy criticism once it was agreed, with British director Christopher Nolan commenting at the time, “It’s very, very, very, very messy. A real bait and switch. Yeah, it’s sort of not how you treat filmmakers and stars and people who, these guys have given a lot for these projects. They deserved to be consulted and spoken to about what was going to happen to their work”.