Waterman Entertainment, the animation and live-action production company founded by Alvin & The Chipmunks executive producer Steve Waterman, has acquired Film Roman, the animation house that had been a subsidiary of Starz. The tie-up will allow Film Roman to expand its business model to acquire, develop and produce original ideas/concepts for television, feature film and digital media. It also will take on Waterman’s development slate that includes such titles as Brave Little Toaster, Heathcliff and Mr. Ed.

As part of the new structure, Film Roman GM Dana Booton has been promoted to President of Production, continuing to oversee day-to-day business while taking on her new responsibilities of managing co-productions and development. In addition, Film Roman founder Phil Roman is returning to the company he founded in 1984 as Chairman Emeritus.

Image (3) The-Simpsons-image-5__130806024809.jpg for post 711956Film Roman will remain committed to its core studio-for-hire business with current projects including Fox’s The Simpsons with Gracie Films and Disney XD/Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man. It will also continue to do business with Starz as part of the acquisition, the financial terms of which were not disclosed. It had been under the Starz Animation umbrella.

“Film Roman is one of the defining names in animated content,” Waterman said in a release announcing the deal this morning. “Their track record is unparalleled and their team’s passion for executing top-shelf animation is evident in every frame they’ve created. Once it became clear how thoroughly our companies’ assets complemented each other, this deal was almost a foregone conclusion.”

Said Booton: “Now with Waterman, Film Roman enters a new phase where we have the additional resources required to fully support development of projects and new IP while continuing to work with our long time clients and productions. “Equally, we are delighted to welcome Phil is back as our chairman emeritus and have his legend return to the studio created. Phil hired and mentored many of our leading artists in the industry today.”