DIC Entertainment was an animation studio based in Burbank, California that focused on the production of animated material.
Connection with Disney
DIC originally signed a home video deal with Buena Vista Home Video in 1991 to all the company to distribute DIC shows onto VHS in a semi-exclusive contract. On July 12, 1993, Disney signed a new video deal with the company, allowing Disney to distribute DIC releases under their own video label which would eventually be called DIC Toon-Time Video. The Home Video deal remained semi-exclusive, as DIC would continue on to release some shows through other distributors.
In 1993, DIC's parent company DIC Animation City formed a limited partnership with Capital Cities/ABC called DIC Entertainment L.P. which Andy Heyward, DIC's CEO took a smaller ownership stake in. Eventually the former company was folded, meaning CC/ABC fully owned DIC through DIC Entertainment L.P. Due to the Limited Partnership status, the company was allowed to continue to produce shows outside of ABC as well as make their own marketing decisions.
In August 1995, the Walt Disney Company announced they would acquire Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion. The purchase was closed in January 1996 and so DIC became a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. continuing to trade the same way as before as a Limited Partnership. All of DIC’s newer programmes began to be distributed by Buena Vista International Television outside the United States and Canada after the purchase, with some shows in the United States being distributed through Buena Vista Television.
DIC also launched a film division titled DIC Films in 1996, which would produce live action movies. The division signed a first-look deal with Walt Disney Pictures in the same year and through this deal, the movies Meet the Deedles, the Disney Channel Original Movie Genius and the live action Inspector Gadget were all created.
On November 18, 2000, Disney announced they would sell the company back to Andy Heyward through Bain Capital, Inc. The deal was closed on November 25, 2000, but the 2 companies still continued on with a partnership, which would include:
- Sabrina: The Animated Series to remain part of the Disney's One Saturday Morning and Disney's One Too blocks (And later Disney Channel and Toon Disney)
- A third season of The New Adventures of Madeline to air on Disney Channel
- Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action! to air on Disney's One Saturday Morning (And later Toon Disney)
- DIC programs remaining as part of a portion of Toon Disney's schedule.
- 2 direct-to-video movies distributed through Buena Vista Home Entertainment
- International distribution (Buena Vista International Television) and broadcast rights to future DIC shows alongside the existing post-1990 library in some regions
DIC Toon-Time Video
DIC Toon-Time Video was a video label distributed by Buena Vista Home Video, that focused on distributing most DIC shows onto VHS. The label was created in 1994, replacing the regular DIC branding on tapes, and was retired in 2000 after the sellout of DIC by Andy Heyward.
In 2001, The Walt Disney Company purchased Fox Family Worldwide, who owned Saban Entertainment, who themselves owned the distribution to DIC’s pre-1990 catalogue. Eventually, DIC re-acquired the International distribution rights to the Post-1990 catalogue while Disney (through BVS Entertainment) remained with the Pre-1990 catalogue.
In 2004, Heyward purchased Bain Capital's stake in DIC Entertainment and took the company public in the United Kingdom stock market the following year.
In 2006, the international distribution to DIC’s Pre-1990 catalogue was purchased back from Disney by the company.
In July 2008, Cookie Jar Entertainment purchased and folded DIC Entertainment. Since 2019, most of DIC's former assets and library are owned by DHX Media, who acquired Cookie Jar in October 2012. Some exceptions include the live action films they produced with Disney, which the latter retains full ownership to.