×
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

  • David Lubliner Moves to UTA From

    Veteran WME Agent David Lubliner to Join UTA

    William Morris Endeavor agent David Lubliner is departing the company for a post at United Talent Agency, individuals familiar with the move told Variety. The parting of ways was amicable, the insiders added. Lubliner was a veteran in WME’s motion picture literary department. Rumors of his exit had been floating since Hollywood reopened for the new [...]

  • Bruce Tufeld Dead: Hollywood Agent and

    Hollywood Agent and Manager Bruce Tufeld Dies at 66

    Bruce Tufeld, a Hollywood agent and manager who once repped stars like Rob Lowe, Laura Dern, and Kelsey Grammer, died Tuesday in Los Angeles as a result of complications from liver cancer. He was 66. The son of respected television announcer Richard “Dick” Tufeld and Adrienne Tufeld, Bruce began his career as an assistant at ICM [...]

  • R Kelly protest

    Protesters Rally Outside Sony Music Headquarters, Demand the Company Drop R. Kelly

    Standing in the cold with megaphones outside of Sony Music’s New York headquarters, a group of activists delivered the company, parent of Kelly’s longtime label RCA, a petition signed by over 217,000 people demanding that the singer be dropped from the label. The rally comes less than a week after a plane carrying a banner [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Fake Washington Post

    Fake Editions of Washington Post Distributed in D.C.

    The Washington Post was forced to issue a statement on Wednesday morning after commuters were handed fake print copies of the newspaper with a headline claiming President Donald Trump had fled the White House. “There are fake print editions of The Washington Post being distributed around downtown DC, and we are aware of a website [...]

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. The record level of spending [...]

  • Sinclair Enters Streaming Arena With Local

    Sinclair Enters Streaming Arena With Entertainment Bundle and Local Channels

    Sinclair Broadcast Group is diving into the increasingly crowded streaming platform arena with the launch today of Stirr, a free OTT entertainment bundle offering local news and general entertainment, sports and lifestyle channels. Sinclair aims to leverage the near-national reach of its sprawling station group with its strong local presence in markets across the country [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content