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DreamWorks Buys Trolls from Dam Things

Ogres are so yesterday. DreamWorks Animation just announced that they have acquired the IP for the Trolls franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things of Denmark. DreamWorks now becomes the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights for the humorously-deformed Don King-hairstyled Troll Dolls, with the sole exception of Scandanavia where Dam Things will remain the licensor. The studio had previously announced that they were developing a Trolls feature.

DreamWorks also announced that they have tapped American Girl veteran Shawn Dennis to lead the Trolls brand development. “Trolls is a brand with over fifty years of deep heritage and we are thrilled to bring this iconic, multi-generational property to DreamWorks Animation,” said Chief Operating Officer Ann Daly. “We have big plans for this franchise and Shawn Dennis is uniquely suited to lead this charge. She helped grow the American Girl brand into a household name and by bringing this expertise to Trolls she will introduce these characters to legions of new fans around the world.”

Dennis joins DreamWorks from American Girl, where she was Senior Vice-President of Marketing (Product Development and Publishing). Prior to that, she was group head of global branding at Dell, and Chief Marketing Officer and Vice-President of the NFL.

Calle Ostergaard, CEO of Dam Things, said, “DreamWorks Animation is renowned for telling wonderful stories about imaginative worlds while bringing characters with universal appeal into the hearts and homes of families everywhere – I can think of no better future for Trolls. We are confident that the time-honored legend of the Trolls, which holds such special significance to the Dam family and the people of Scandanavia, will now live on in new and exciting ways with DreamWorks Animation.”

  • They’ll be updated to be Internet Trolls…

  • Dang.

  • Trolls were the Pet Rock of the 60’s. Everyone had one. No one knew why.

    • And that time they came back in the 90’s without our consent!

  • John

    Did they really need to buy the whole IP? Wasn’t acquiring the film rights enough? So, they have enough money to buy this crap but not to retain their employees and had to have those major layoffs? Seriously, DreamWorks?

    I don’t think these ugly things are going to sell much in todays market anyway. They were just a stupid fad. This was a bad business move.

    • Employees, no matter how good, are not the same as IP (property).

  • Dana B

    Awesome! I can’t wait for a new movie based on the Troll dolls!

    (Said no one ever…)

    • Tom Ruegger

      Made me laugh, Dana.

  • Laika is also developing the Boxtrolls. I must say I am looking forward to the prospect of that being a film a tad more.

  • jonhanson

    Why? Kids don’t care about trolls and are adults excited to see a troll movie? Who is this for?!!?

  • MaskedManAICN

    Holy crap! This is the best idea ever- NOT!

  • z-k

    And here I was on the Disney layoff thread, rhetorically throwing out that studios would just as soon manufacture plastic if they felt it a better market than animation.

  • rewmnb

    This was a dumb move. Nobody cares about Troll dolls anymore, and most kids today have never even held one. They’re trying to sell nostalgia to a target audience that doesn’t even know what they’re talking about. I don’t understand the logic behind this executive decision. Surely there were better ideas being pitched from someone with a, to put it nicely, younger perspective.

  • They tried bringing the Trolls back as Trollz. DiC made a cartoon and everything, it wasn’t a hit at all. I’ll be shocked if any good actually comes out of this.

  • While I won’t go as far as to say animation is dead, the chance of anything good being made with corporate money from now on is probably too slim to even consider.

    I wonder how many animators could have kept their jobs with the money they blew on this dead fad.

  • FakeNina

    What does this mean for the Troll dolls in the Toy Story movies? Will they have to be cut out? Replaced with Gonks? Does Dreamworks now own .004% of the Toy Story franchise? Let the wild speculation begin!

  • Tünde

    Hahaha the one memory I have of the Trolls is that of trying to sell them on the flee market every year but failing every time…

  • Shazbot

    God, I hate the sight of those things. Always did. I can understand the appeal of the Smurfs, but the Trolls…ugh…

  • Maybe it’s because I’m of Norwegian blood, but I freakin’ hate trolls. I always thought these dolls were ugly and creepy.

    Also, where’s the wisdom is making a film based on a short fad from over a decade ago? I’d rather see a movie based off Furby.

    • Natalie Belton

      Not Furbies! My sister had one of those toys. It stayed on the shelf for years, until one day I tried to move it while dusting. The little gremlin woke up and I franticly reached for a screwdriver to shut up the creepy thing.

  • Wait, guys, this can still be salvaged! They could make it a horror movie about kids who find themselves inexplicably wanting one of these creepy dolls, and then they come to life and steal the children’s souls! Then it’s up to one person to kill all the trolls! I’d watch it.

  • Noël Ill

    I LOVE TROLLS! I collected them IN THE 90’s! I still love them. They are a kitschy thing. I do some Troll inspired artwork so Dreamworks better not try to sue me, because I doubt they would freelance hire me to character design. That might make their movie actually be good. I hope they don’t ruin Trolls and give them bad VO and make them live tragic people lives like most animated movies out today, but they probably will :( oh well, moving on…

  • You Must be kidding me

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  • TheDirtyVicar

    I was born in the sixties and I just barely remember them. My older brother collected them briefly, when they were known as “Wishniks.” Perhaps that was just a colloquial term. You used to be able to buy little outfits for them, like Barbie dolls. Ugly, yes — but at least they’re not as hideous or offensive as BRATZ dolls.

  • TKeen

    Next up…. The ‘Pet Rock’ Movie!