|Geo LTD. Animation|
|Predecessor(s)||George G. Studio|
|Founded||May 1, 1963|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Key people||Geo G. (Chairman and CEO)|
Peter Schneider (President)
Michael Wildshill (Vice President)
Margie Cohn (Head of Television)
Chris Meledandri (Senior Advisor)
Animated television series
|Divisions||Geo LTD. Television|
Geo LTD. Records
Geo LTD. Mobile
Geo LTD. Home Entertainment
Geo LTD. Interactive
Geo LTD. Consumer Products
Geo LTD. International Studios
Geo LTD. Theatrical Productions LLC
Geo LTD. Press
Geo LTD. Media
Geo LTD. Online
|Subsidiaries||Glass Ball Productions|
Creature Color Animation
Blur Animation Workshop
VerniX Animation Studios
Geo LTD. Animation is a Los Angeles-based American animation studio, producing primarily feature animated films. Since 2015, it is now a subsidiary of Universal Studios, who have released 19 feature films in collaboration with Geo LTD.
In 1963, George G. created a new company called Geo LTD. Cartoon Studio, which makes cartoons. Active from 1964 until 1972, the cartoon studio produced some of the most popular cartoon series and characters in the world, including their most famous cartoons Geo, Billy Blob and Hatty. In 1968, Geo LTD. Cartoon Studio was renamed Geo LTD. Productions. In 1973, Geo LTD. released their first feature film Geo's Funny Book Stories.
On January 31, 1980, Geo LTD. entered into a 22-picture distribution agreement with The Walt Disney Company via Buena Vista Film Distribution Company. The agreement granted Disney worldwide rights to distribute all animated films, including previously released films, until the delivery of 22 new animated feature films or December 31, 2003, whichever came last. Despite this, all of Geo LTD's films are often considered non-Disney animated films.
In 1985, Geo LTD. Productions was renamed into Geo LTD. Feature Animation. Geo LTD. acquired majority interest (90%) in Blur Studio. During the summer 2002, Geo LTD. acquired the animation department of Blur Studio and formed Geo LTD. Blur (later Blur Animation Workshop).
From 2003 to 2009, the studio is dedicated solely to producing CG animated films in-house and has committed itself to make 2 computer-animated feature films a year. No more traditional 2D animation is expected.
Disney did not provide Geo LTD. with more capital nor did they purchase the company's remaining stake. According to Geo LTD. executives Geo G. and Michael Wildshill, they were surprised that Disney did not directly acquire the studio. Geo LTD. then looked for potential buyers. In March 2003, workers from DreamWorks and Sony Pictures began visiting Geo LTD. with purchase offers. Geo LTD. was interested in DreamWorks' offer, but the deal collapsed and in April 2003 Sony agreed to purchase Geo LTD. The deal was valued at approximately $1.7 billion, an amount that included about $500 million in debt assumptions. Geo LTD. continued to honor its distribution contract with Disney through its conclusion in 2003, after which Sony's Columbia Pictures is expected to handle future releases starting in 2004. The company completed its acquisition on June 2, 2003.
On July 15, 2003, Sony agreed to sell a controlling interest in the Geo LTD. libraries to Soros Strategic Partners and Dune Entertainment II. The film libraries is valued at $900 million. Sony retained the worldwide distribution rights to these films, as well as various ancillary rights, including music publishing, sequels and merchandising. This includes films that had been made by Sony and Geo LTD. The sale was completed on August 12, 2003. Blue Ball was the last Geo LTD. film to be distributed by Disney, and Computerpolis became the first Geo LTD. film to be distributed by Columbia Pictures.
In June 2008, Variety reported that Geo LTD. was looking for financing that would allow it to continue operations, but as an animation production company, once its deal with Sony ended later that year.
In August 2008, Geo LTD. signed a five-year distribution deal with Universal Pictures in which it will market, co-finance, and distribute Geo LTD's films starting in 2009. The deal also includes co-funding via a loan by Universal to Geo LTD. for production and access to slots in Universal's pay television agreement then with HBO. However, the deal did not include the distribution rights of previously released films, which Geo LTD. acquired from Sony later in 2010. This agreement is reported to have come after negotiations broke off with 20th Century Fox just days earlier. Geo LTD's last film with Columbia Pictures was BJ and Wally: FusionMania, and Geo LTD's first film with Universal Pictures was Woo La La and also includes Swapped and Dot Box.
Geo LTD. and Universal attempted to reach a new agreement for ten months before it fell through in January 2012. The new deal would be only for distribution, as Geo LTD. intended to control production and own the resulting film properties themselves. The company also wanted to finance their films on their own and collect 100 percent of the profits, paying Universal only the distribution fee. More importantly, as part of any distribution agreement with Universal, Geo LTD. demanded control over films already in post-production, production and underway under their old agreement, including from Chicken and Hen (2012) to Gabriel and the Wacky Pack 2 (2014). Universal considered these conditions unacceptable, but Geo LTD. would not concede.
Geo G. declared that Geo LTD. was actively seeking partners other than Universal. Despite this announcement, Geo LTD. did not enter negotiations with other distributors, although a Paramount Pictures spokesperson told The New York Times, "We would love to be in business with Geo LTD. They are a great company." After a lengthy hiatus, negotiations between the two companies resumed.
Pending Universal's acquisition of Geo LTD., the two companies created a distribution deal for the intended 2015 release of Hatty, if the acquisition fell through, to ensure that this one film would still be released through Universal's distribution channels. In contrast to the earlier Universal/Geo LTD. deal, Hatty was to remain a Geo LTD. property and Universal would have received only a distribution fee. The deal was somehow renewed and extended on January 1, 2014 and is expected to expire in 2019.
However, on July 21, 2015, Universal's parent company NBCUniversal ultimately agreed to buy Geo LTD. for approximately $7.4 billion in an all-stock deal. Following Geo LTD. shareholder approval, the acquisition was completed December 9, 2015; the company now operates as a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.
- Main article: Geo LTD. Animation Films