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DreamWorks and Netflix Chase Kids with Streaming Partnership

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by Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
December 26, 2013 12:36 PM
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'Turbo FAST'

DreamWorks has taken one of its lowest-grossing films of all time to the small screen. That's because in today's transmedia universe, stretching brands across multiple platforms--and repurposing valuable R & D and labor--is the way to go. And for DreamWorks' new partner Netflix, building a kids audience is the ticket for a robust future.

In a landmark deal, the animation studio has unveiled a new series, "Turbo FAST," a spinoff of its 2013 snail-racing comedy "Turbo," on Netflix. The five-episode first season is now available to stream. Trailer below.

"Turbo FAST" is the first of 300 hours of animated programming DreamWorks will produce for Netflix, making this the streaming service's biggest foray yet into the realm of animated kids' series. Over the next three years, DreamWorks will continue to roll out original animated programming featuring characters from its films, and from a newly acquired library of classics including "Casper the Friendly Ghost," "Rocky and Bullwinkle" and "Lassie."

The LA Times writes that the series, which plays like a sequel to the film, "is more of a 'cartoon' cartoon than its parent film, able to do its work in 11 minutes, and easy to read, with old-fashioned musical cues and sound effects." NYT says the move from 3-D to 2-D animation is an improvement. Forbes writes that "creating original programming will only help bind kids to Netflix," which will benefit the company otherwise known for adult fare such as "Orange Is the New Black" and "House of Cards."

In the more expensive feature realm, DreamWorks is currently pushing animated Oscar contender "The Croods," which picked up a Golden Globe nom and 17 Annie nominations including Best Animated Feature.

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