You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nelvana takes ‘Puff’

Kiddie outfit acquires rights to 'Dragon'

MONTREAL — Canuck kids producer and distrib Nelvana Ltd. has acquired all global development, production, distribution, and merchandise licensing rights to the property “Puff the Magic Dragon” from Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton, who penned the famous folk song.

Yarrow is a member of the folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, which popularized the song.

Nelvana is set to simultaneously produce an animated feature-film and TV series inspired by the song, with Emmy-winning writer Peter Sauder (“Rolie Polie Olie”) already at work on scripts for the two projects. The folk song chronicling the adventures of Little Jackie Paper and his friend Puff the Magic Dragon was first published in 1963 and has sold 50 million copies worldwide.

The tune is popular with everyone from boomers to today’s school kids, said Michael Hirsh, co-CEO of Nelvana.

“One of Nelvana’s core competencies is adapting classic children’s characters, and we think the song is a terrific vehicle,” said Hirsh. “We have a lot of faith in the property. We think it has great appeal. It’s a song that kids know and love, and it’s multigenerational.”

The “Puff” feature and TV series will go into production in 1999 or 2000. Yarrow and Lipton will likely write new songs for both projects.

Nelvana also announced its third-quarter financial results on Thursday, reporting a major boost in earnings thanks to its increased production of proprietary TV shows. Net earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 surged 300% to C$2.4 million ($1.5 million) or 21¢ per share, compared to $360,000 or 6¢ per share in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter increased 21% to $13 million, up from $10.4 million the previous year.

“The results are driven by the substantial growth in the number of proprietary productions,” said Nelvana chief financial officer Sally Moyer Kent. “We’re not doing any service work at all.”

Deliveries in the third-quarter included new episodes of “Little Bear,” “Franklin,” “Birdz,” “Anatole,” “Rolie Polie Olie” for the Disney Channel in the U.S. and CBC in Canada and “Bob & Margaret,” Nelvana’s first primetime series.

More Biz

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Disney-21st Fox Layoffs: TV Divisions Brace for Deep Cuts

    A second day of layoffs has begun on the Fox lot in the wake of Disney completing its acquisition of 21st Century Fox on Wednesday. Longtime 20th Century Fox Television Distribution president Mark Kaner is among the senior executives who were formally notified with severance details on Friday morning. 21st Century Fox’s international TV sales [...]

  • anthony pellicano

    Hollywood Fixer Anthony Pellicano Released From Federal Prison

    Anthony Pellicano, the Hollywood private eye whose wiretapping case riveted the industry a decade ago, was released from a federal prison on Friday, a prison spokeswoman confirmed. Pellicano was sentenced in 2008 to 15 years, following his conviction on 78 charges of wiretapping, racketeering, conspiracy and wire fraud. He had been in custody since 2003, [...]

  • This image taken from the Twitter

    HBO’s Reaction to Trump’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Campaign

    Everyone wants a piece of the “Game of Thrones” lemon cake. From Bud Light to Red Bull the world of Westeros is open to a lot of brand partnerships, unless you’re using that iconic typeface to push a political agenda. In November of 2018 President Donald Trump unveiled a “Thrones” inspired poster with the words [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    'Leaving Neverland' Lawsuit Proves to Be a Judicial Hot Potato

    The Michael Jackson estate sued HBO last month for airing the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which accuses the late King of Pop of serial child sexual abuse. Since then, the case has had a difficult time finding a judge to handle it. Three federal judges have recused themselves in the last week, citing potential financial conflicts [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Guy Oseary’s New Zealand Fundraiser Nears $150,000, Continues Raising Money

    In the wake of the horrific shootings at New Zealand mosques last week that killed some 49 people, Maverick chief Guy Oseary launched a GoFundMe campaign to “support those affected by this tragedy at this very difficult time,” and began it with an $18,000 donation. Boosted by donations from many celebrities — including Amy Schumer, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content