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Netflix, Universal Extend Animated Film Agreement, Giving Streamer Even More Cartoons

Aubrey Meister

Netflix and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) have decided to both extend and expand their animated film agreement under a new a multi-year deal, according to Variety.

As a result, Netflix will license rights to Universal’s animated and live-action content. Netflix will also have the option to select titles from Universal’s library.

With this agreement in place, Netflix will have access to Universal’s movies that feature the Minions, Shrek, and other popular characters. Since Universal’s parent company, Comcast, also owns its own streaming arm in Peacock, movies including Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and The Bad Guys will first be available to stream there for four months. Then, those movies will be available on Netflix.

The new deal features content from DreamWorks Animation, which was not previously included. Starting in 2022, DreamWorks Animation movies, including Minions: The Rise of Gru will be available on Netflix.

According to Forbes, Netflix’s most-watched movies in 2020 and 2021 have been Universal films, so this looks like a wise move. Two family-friendly movies, The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Despicable Me, have outlasted other films on the most-watched list.


Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Mindhunter, Queer Eye, and Russian Doll. They are constantly adding new shows and movies — and have even begun creating original films like The Irishman (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino) and Dolemite is My Name (Eddie Murphy).

Netflix offers three plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($8.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($13.99) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($17.99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with UFEG to bring more films from Illumination and DreamWorks Animation to our Netflix audience,” said Colin Morawski, director of studio licensing at Netflix. “As we’ve seen with our own slate, Netflix families love watching and rewatching animated films, and this deal allows us to expand our library to bring our audience more of what they want to watch.”

“Netflix has been a terrific partner and we‘re thrilled to expand our relationship,” said Peter Levinsohn, vice chairman and chief distribution officer of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. “Universal Filmed Entertainment Group produces some of the biggest animated franchises and boldest originals from some of the most influential, impactful and inspiring creators in the industry. This exciting agreement further demonstrates the importance of that content to our distribution partners as they grow their audiences and deliver the very best in entertainment.”

This isn’t the only big film licensing deal that Universal has been involved recently. IMDb TV and Amazon Prime Video secured a licensing deal with the company just last week. That agreement allows Prime Video to have an exclusive pay-1 window for Universal’s live-action films in the United States, plus it grants IMDb TV an exclusive window for films from Universal’s 2020-2021 theatrical slate and rights to a package of animated titles for AVOD and SVOD distribution.

In another move, Peacock and Universal came to an agreement about new theatrical releases. Starting in 2022, new releases will be available to stream on Peacock rather than HBO Max after they leave theaters.

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