Classic Media is an American animation studio and production company merged from DreamWorks Classics, and owned by DreamWorks Animation. It was founded in 2000 by former Broadway Video executives Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman. Its portfolio consists of various acquired intellectual property libraries and character brands as well as licensing rights for various third-party properties. In 2012, DreamWorks Animation won the bidding to acquire Classic Media from its owner, Boomerang Media, and renamed it DreamWorks Classics.
After its founding in May 2000, Classic Media acquired the UPA catalog from the estate of Henry Saperstein. Classic Media then brought the Harvey Entertainment catalog in March 2001. In August 2001, Classic Media and Random House won a bankruptcy court auction for the assets of Golden Books, with Classic Media receiving its entertainment division and Random House receiving the publishing properties. In January 2003, Classic Media purchased the assets of the bankrupt Big Idea Entertainment.
In April 2005, the company was recapitalized by an investment group led by Spectrum Equity Investors, Pegasus Capital Advisors, and Random House Ventures. In August 2006, Classic Media teamed up with ION Media Networks, NBCUniversal, Corus Entertainment, and Scholastic Corporation in a joint venture to launch Qubo, a kids entertainment network.
On December 14, 2006, it was announced that Classic Media would be acquired by UK-based rival Entertainment Rights for $210.0 million. Before the acquisition was completed, both companies announced distribution and production agreements with Genius Products, LLC, replacing the Sony Wonder deal.
Entertainment Rights fell in to administration on April 1, 2009. On the same day, Boomerang Media, LLC (also formed by Ellenbogen and Engelman) announced that it would acquire Entertainment Rights' principal U.K. and U.S. subsidiaries, including Classic Media, Inc. and Big Idea Entertainment, from its administrators. On May 11, 2009, Boomerang Media announced that the former U.K. and U.S. subsidiaries of Entertainment Rights would operate as a unified business under the name Classic Media while Big Idea would operate under its own name.
- UPA catalog (Mr. Magoo, Gerald McBoing-Boing, etc.).
- Western Publishing catalog (Magnus, Robot Fighter, Doctor Solar, Turok, Little Lulu, etc.).
- Big Idea Entertainment catalog (VeggieTales).
- The Harvey Entertainment catalog (Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, Baby Huey, Little Audrey, etc.).
- Rankin/Bass Productions' Videocraft International catalog (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Reluctant Dragon and Mr. Toad Show, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town, The Last Unicorn, The Jackson 5ive, The First Easter Rabbit, Festival of Family Classics, Frosty the Snowman, etc.)
- Cosgrove Hall catalog (Chorlton and the Wheelies, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Danger Mouse, Foxbusters, Cinderella, Avenger Penguins, Victor and Hugo, Oakie Doke, Rocky and the Dodos, Engie Benjy, The Reluctant Dragon, Count Duckula, etc.).
- Entertainment Rights catalog, including the Filmation (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, BraveStarr, etc.), Trumptonshire (Camberwick Green), Little Entertainment Co. (Merlin the Magical Puppy, Little Red Tractor), The CMTB Animation/Queensgate Productions (The Trap Door, Stoppit and Tidyup, Bump). and Tell-Tale Productions (Tweenies) catalogues.
- The Noddy, Mr. Men and Olivia brands.
- The Lassie and Lone Ranger brands.
- The Mr. Bean and Preston Pig brands.
- The Shari Lewis's brands (Lamb Chop's Play-Along and The Charlie Horse Music Pizza).
- The Shelldon and Dream Defenders brands.
- The Woodland Animations brands (Postman Pat, Charlie Chalk).
- Licensing rights for Gumby.
- Licensing rights for Voltron.
- Licensing rights for Total Television (Underdog, The Beagles, King Leonardo, Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, etc.).
- Licensing rights for the Ward Productions catalogue (The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, George of The Jungle, etc.).
- Licensing rights for the Tribune Media Services catalogue (Dick Tracy, Brenda Starr, Reporter, Gasoline Alley, Broom-Hilda, etc.).