Marvel Productions

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Marvel Productions (1981–1993)
New World Animation (1993–1996)
Industry Television and movie studio
Fate Defunct
Predecessor DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
Successor Marvel Films Animation (as MEG/ME internal animation division)
Founded 1981
Defunct 1996
Headquarters Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Key people
Alternate logo; as seen in a joint logo with Sunbow Productions.

Marvel Productions Ltd., later known as New World Animation Ltd., was the television and film studio subsidiary of the Marvel Entertainment Group, based in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.[2] It later became a subsidiary of New World Entertainment and eventually of News Corporation (Fox Entertainment Group).

Marvel Productions produced animated television series, motion pictures, and television specials such as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, My Little Pony: The Movie, The Transformers: The Movie, The Incredible Hulk, as well as G.I. Joe: The Movie. Most of Marvel Productions' back catalog is currently owned by The Walt Disney Company.


DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (1963–1981)[edit]

The company began in 1963 as DFE Films and was sold to Cadence Industries, Marvel Comics Group's owner, in 1981 after DFE founder and company executive Friz Freleng departed the company to return to his former job at Warner Bros. Animation.[3][4] Freleng's business partner and DFE co-founder David H. DePatie continued to work for the company under the Marvel banner for several years until his retirement.[5]

Marvel Productions (1981–1993)[edit]

Marvel Productions opened its Los Angeles studio in 1981.[4] In 1984, Margaret Loesch joined Marvel Productions as President and Chief Executive Officer.[6] Marvel Comics Group, owned by Cadence Industries Corporation since 1968, was sold to New World Pictures in 1986 along with Marvel Productions and incorporated as Marvel Entertainment Group (MEG).[7]

With New World having cash flow problems, MEG was sold in January 1989 to Andrews Group, a MacAndrews and Forbes subsidiary, owned by Ronald Perelman. However, New World kept Marvel Productions and merged it with its own television business.[7] MP moved their offices from Van Nuys to West Los Angeles in May 1989.[2] New World's problems continued, which led them to also be acquired by the Andrews Group within the year.[8] Loesch left for Fox Kids in 1990.[9] In December 1992, New World formed New World Family Filmworks and New World Action Animation, headed by Marvel Productions president Rick Ungar, to produce $20 million worth of family entertainment programming.[10][11]

New World Animation (1993–1996)[edit]

Marvel Productions was renamed New World Animation in November 1993.[12] In 1994, Marvel and New World started up Marvel Films including Marvel Films Animation.[7][13][14][15] New World Animation (The Incredible Hulk), Saban (X-Men), and Marvel Films Animation (Spider-Man), each produced a Marvel series for television.[16] Tom Tataranowicz was in charge of both Marvel Films Animation and New World Animation during this period.[17]

News Corporation subsidiary[edit]

New World Pictures, along with New World Animation and Marvel Films Animation, was sold by Andrews Group to News Corporation/Fox in August 1996.[18] At the same time, Saban Entertainment secured the rights from Marvel Entertainment Group for Captain America, Daredevil and Silver Surfer and additional characters to be developed into four series and 52 episodes over the next seven years.[19]

Fox Children's Productions and Saban Entertainment merged to form Fox Kids Worldwide, a holding company and joint venture, in 1996.[20][21][22]

Fox Family, along with its subsidiaries, was purchased by the Walt Disney Company for $5.3 billion in 2001,[23][24] with Saban Entertainment renamed to BVS Entertainment after the purchase.[25] On August 31, 2009, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, reunifying both Marvel Productions and Marvel Entertainment under the same corporate banner.[26][note 1]


Animated series[edit]

Show Year Network Notes
Spider-Man 1981 Syndication Marvel property[28]
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends 1981 NBC[29] Marvel property, paired with The Incredible Hulk[28][30]
The Incredible Hulk 1982 NBC Marvel property, paired with Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends[28][30]
Meatballs & Spaghetti 1982 CBS co-production with InterMedia Entertainment Company[31]
Pandamonium 1982 CBS co-production with InterMedia Entertainment Company
Dungeons & Dragons 1983 CBS co-production with TSR Entertainment/Dungeons and Dragons Entertainment Corp[32]
Jim Henson's Muppet Babies 1984 CBS based on Jim Henson's Muppets,[33] paired with Little Muppet Monsters as Muppets, Babies and Monsters[34]
The Transformers 1984 Syndication based on Hasbro toyline of same name[35]
Pink Panther and Sons 1984 NBC as DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, co-production with Hanna-Barbera Productions[citation needed]
Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters September 14, 1985 - September 28, 1985 CBS based on Jim Henson's Muppets, paired with Muppet Babies as Muppets, Babies and Monsters[34]
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero 1985 Syndication based on Hasbro toyline of same name
Super Sunday (aka Super Saturday) 1985 Syndication based on Hasbro toyline of same name
Jem and the Holograms 1986 based on Hasbro toyline of same name[36]
Inhumanoids 1986 based on Hasbro toyline of same name
My Little Pony 'n Friends 1986 Syndication based on Hasbro toyline of same name
Defenders of the Earth 1986 Syndication co-production with King Features Syndicate
Fraggle Rock 1987 NBC based on Henson's Fraggle Rock[33]
Little Wizards 1987 ABC
Dino-Riders 1988 Syndication aired as part of the Marvel Action Universe block
RoboCop 1988 Syndication co-production with Orion Pictures; aired as part of Marvel Action Universe
X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men 1989 Syndication aired on the Marvel Action Universe block as a pilot for an X-Men series
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes 1990 FOX co-production with Fox Children's Productions
Kid 'n Play 1990–1991 NBC co-production with Saban Entertainment
Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars 1991–1992 Syndication co-production with Abrams/Gentile Entertainment, Continuity Comics, IDDH, and Sunbow Productions[37]
Biker Mice from Mars 1993 Syndication studio known as New World Animation onwards, co-production with Brentwood Television Funnies
The Pink Panther 1993 Syndication as DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation
The Incredible Hulk 1996 UPN

Original specials[edit]

Airdate Title Network Notes
February 14, 1981 Pink at First Sight ABC production carried over from DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
May 20, 1982 The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat ABC production carried over from DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Dr. Seuss
October 25, 1983 The Charmkins syndication based on Hasbro toyline of same name
1984 My Little Pony: Rescue at Midnight Castle syndication based on Hasbro toyline of same name
1985 My Little Pony: Escape from Catrina syndication based on Hasbro toyline of same name
1987 Blondie and Dagwood CBS co-production with King Features Syndicate
1989 Blondie and Dagwood: Second Wedding Workout CBS co-production with King Features Syndicate
1993 The Magic Paintbrush CBS CBS prime time special sponsored by McDonald’s[10]

Henson properties

Note: All programs are co-productions with Henson Associates. Except where noted,[note 1] the rights to these series are held by The Muppets Studio, LLC, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company.[40]

Hasbro properties

Note: All programs based on Hasbro properties are co-productions with Sunbow Productions. These programs are owned by Hasbro Studios.

Theatrical films[edit]

Airdate Title Notes
June 20, 1986 My Little Pony: The Movie
1986 The Transformers: The Movie
1987 G.I. Joe: The Movie
January 1993 Gahan Wilson’s Diner Theatrical short[10]



  1. ^ a b The only Marvel Productions programming, related to Henson, not owned by the Walt Disney Company is Fraggle Rock, which is owned by The Jim Henson Company,[27] and programming involving characters and trademarks owned by other companies, such as Hasbro and others.


  1. ^ "10-K Annual Report for the Period Ending 06/30/14" (PDF). Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. August 14, 2014. p. 181. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Marvel Productions Plans Move to West Los Angeles". Los Angeles Times. 1989-05-02. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  3. ^ Mangel, Andy (May 1991). "Reel Marvel". In Jim Salicrup. Marvel Age Issue 100. Marvel Comics. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Marvel Grows into $100 Hulk". Variety. 17 September 1986. p. 92. Archived from the original (jpeg) on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "DePATIE, David H.". ASIFA-Hollywood Cartoon Hall Of Fame. The International Animated Film Society: ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Margaret Loesch To Leave Position As President And CEO, Crown Media United States; Lana Corbi To Assume Post". Business Wire. the Free 2001-09-25. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  7. ^ a b c Hicks, Jonathan P. (1988-11-08). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Marvel Comic Book Unit Being Sold for $82.5 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  8. ^ "History of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. – FundingUniverse". Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  9. ^ a b "Margaret Loesch Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c "New World forms two new kidvid banners". Variety. December 8, 1992. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ "New World Expands TV Program Activities". Los Angeles Times. December 9, 1992. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ Freeman, Mike (November 1, 1993). "New world of animation: former Marvel Entertainment chief Rick Ungar will head new division concentrating on original animated series, including upcoming 'Stealth Warriors.'". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 27, 2014. (subscription required)
  13. ^ "MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT AND AVI ARAD TO DEVELOP MEDIA PROJECTS". The Free Farlex, Inc. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "John Semper on "Spider-Man": 10th Anniversary Interview". Marvel Animation Age. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  15. ^ Cawley, John. "Marvel Films Animation 1993-1997". Home of John Cawley. John Cawley. Archived from the original on May 22, 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  16. ^ Goldman, Michael. "Stan Lee: Comic Guru". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Materna, Marisa (February 24, 2005). "Gang of Seven Goes Employee-Owned Route". Animation World Network. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "August Issue News Section:Time Warner-Turner Merger Approved and Fox to Take Over New World.". Animation World Magazine. August 1996. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "August Issue News Section:Marvel Super Heroics To Continue On Fox Kids Network". Animation World Magazine. August 1996. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  20. ^ "Fox Family Worldwide Inc". Saban. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  21. ^ "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 5. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  22. ^ Hillier, Barry (November 1, 1996). "Fox Kids Worldwide is born". Kidscreen. Retrieved November 21, 2010. 
  23. ^ "News Corp. and Haim Saban Reach Agreement to Sell Fox Family Worldwide to Disney for $5.3 Billion". Saban. July 23, 2001. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  24. ^ DiOrio, Carl (Oct 24, 2001). "Fox Family costs Mouse less cheese in final deal". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  25. ^ "Company Overview of BVS Entertainment, Inc.". Bloomberg Business. Bloomberg. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Disney to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4B". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  27. ^ "Disney Newsroom | The Walt Disney Company". Archived from the original on 2004-12-07. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  28. ^ a b c "Spider-Man on TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  29. ^ "Top 100 Animated Series. 59. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends". IGN. Ziff Davis. p. 59. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  30. ^ a b "The Incredible Hulk (1982)". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  31. ^ Avengers Annual 11: Starcade advertisement (1982), Marvel Comics
  32. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  33. ^ a b "Animation Industry Finding Cost Of Laughter Is In Serious Trouble". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  34. ^ a b Criddle, Jack (October 24, 2015). "Lost Saturday Mornings: "Little Muppet Monsters" (1985)". Jerry Beck. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  35. ^ Goodman, Martin (October 12, 2010). "Dr. Toon: When Reagan Met Optimus Prime". AWN. ANIMATIONWorld. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  36. ^ a b "Cartoon Character Puts Singer Into Spotlight". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  37. ^ "Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars Ep.1". YouTube. Retrieved February 18, 2015. [dead link]
  38. ^ Anderson, Jack (January 11, 1985). "Young Astronaut Program Is Taking Off". The Tuscaloosa News (111). p. 4. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  39. ^ Carter, Robert L. (August 1, 1990). "Marvel Entertainment Group v. Young Astronaut Council". Leagle, Inc. Retrieved August 7, 2016. Because of this, the show was postponed by CBS from the fall projected airing, although it was not cancelled. Eventually, YAC restrained the consultant and gave Marvel the freedom to go ahead with CBS' plans, and there was a meeting with CBS, Marvel and YAC in January, 1986, to discuss the show. The day after this meeting the space shuttle exploded and CBS notified the parties that the show was being cancelled. 
  40. ^ "Her Name Was Skeeter: The Mystery of the Missing Muppet". Mental Floss. 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  41. ^ "Rick Ungar, president of New World Animation since 1991". Broadcasting & Cable. August 28, 1995. Retrieved May 27, 2014. (subscription required)
  42. ^ a b c d e Gilroy, Dan (1986-09-17). "Marvel Now a $100 Million Hulk: Marvel Divisions and Top Execs". Variety. p. 81. Archived from the original (jpeg) on October 13, 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 

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