EXCLUSIVE: Universal 1440 Entertainment, the production arm of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, has signed a first-look deal with Threshold Animation Studios for CG-animated family features adapted from recognizable family-oriented brands. Universal will distribute films spawned from the deal. The companies first teamed on straight-to-DVD titles Lego: The Adventures Of Clutch Powers and Bionicle: The Legend Reborn. The pact gives Universal 1440 a stream of potential CG fare for its library of home video releases geared toward family audiences including the feature-length The Little Engine That Could film, the Emmy-winning PBS series Curious George, and the Barbie DVD film franchise.
In addition to the children’s titles, Universal 1440 has bolstered its home video offerings with non-theatrical franchise spinoffs including Death Race 3: Inferno, Curse Of Chucky, and the upcoming Scorpion King 4: Quest For Power. These VOD, DVD, and Blu-ray releases have built a burgeoning business for Universal’s home video development and production banner. Threshold, led by CEO Larry Kasanoff, will be developing feature projects based on recognizable entertainment brands from outside the Universal IP library in hopes of launching new franchises.