After four films, a spin-off movie, and more than a dozen shorts and TV specials, it seems extremely likely that Shrek is about to get a TV show. NBCUniversal has announced that it will launch Universal Kids, a TV channel featuring all-new cartoons from Dreamworks Animation this September. Does that make an ogre-centric cartoon series totally inevitable? Not necessarily, but it does make it really likely, which is great news for fans of the original film and also Smashmouth.
Last year, NBCUni purchased Dreamworks Animation for $3.8 billion. It’s a smart move by NBC to leverage the Dreamworks film catalog into new content. It’s also not a new formula. Disney started doing this in the early nineties with “Disney Afternoon” and, more recently, with their Disney Channel series Tangled Before Ever After .
Universal can now treat the Dreamworks filmography as an intellectual property buffet. It’s not hard to imagine a Kung Fu Panda prequel series featuring toddler Po and Master Shifu as a babysitter or a PAW Patrol like series featuring the Minions and their gibberish language (the franchise is owned by NBCUniversal). The options are endless, just like Shrek sequels.
Dreamworks, however, has already retooled some of its films into successful animated cartoons. Netflix currently airs the How to Train Your Dragon cartoon series and there’s already a Madagascar cartoon, All Hail King Julien. Both will air on the network. What will air before and after, well, that’s still up for grabs.