On Monday, DreamWorks Animation made news with its $155 million purchase of Classic Media. What is Classic Media? It's a rights-holding company for several beloved, but dormant, cartoon franchises, like "Casper," "Richie Rich" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." The plan for the re-christened DreamWorks Classic is to develop new adventures for this library of characters on the big screen.
However, it's not going to be without some complications: Classic Media doesn't own all of its characters outright so it's going to take a couple of years to get rights issues sorted out (in this regard, it's very similar to Disney's acquisition of Marvel Comics). Either way, DreamWorks has already gotten started on a "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" movie, set for November 2013.
So what could be next for DreamWorks Classic? Let's take a look at some of the newly-acquired classic cartoons that could be making a comeback to the big screen.
Archie and Friends
Round out the voice cast with the likes of "Glee" actors, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift as Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, then you'll have the tween soundtrack hit of the year. We can already hear the updated version of "Sugar, Sugar" playing in our heads.
Casper, the Friendly Ghost
We'll always have a soft spot for the Christina Ricci classic of the '90s, but a new version of "Casper" would make a perfect Halloween season movie for a new generation.
Warren Beatty did an admirable job recreating the unique square-jawed style of Detective Tracy, but only a cartoon can depict bad guys like Flattop, Pruneface and Big Boy in all their freakishly weird glory.
Dudley's well-meaning, but dim-witted attempts at heroism are a perfect match for Tom McGrath, director of "Megamind" and the "Madagascar" series.
We'll let Keenan Thompson reprise the role -- and this time, he won't need to wear an uncomfortable fat suit. But he's got to bring the Roots along to provide the junkyard funk soundtrack of the Cosby kids.
Felix the Cat
Unlike Pixar, DreamWorks has never really perfected the art of a great short film to accompany the main attraction. =Why not use the godfather of animated shorts and revive a tradition from Hollywood's golden age?
George of the Jungle
George's big, bumbling clumsiness would be handled perfectly by the "Kung Fu Panda" team.
The Gold Key Superheroes
"Magnus, the Robot Fighter," "Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom" and "Turok, Dinosaur Hunter" have been around for decades in comic books and video games. It's time to give them the epic blockbuster big-screen adventures they deserve (and beat Disney and Warner Bros. to the punch)!
Gumby's trippy, surreal claymation effects are actually perfect for a 3D movie.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
No matter how hard they try, no real human is ever going to be taken seriously in that loincloth. Slip in some of the cheekiness of "Puss in Boots" and you'll have a rollicking action-adventure movie.
Make this a retro-set, country-side adventure, and the world's most famous border collie can be as endearing as Toothless from "How to Train Your Dragon."
The Lone Ranger
Considering the budget woes that are affecting the Johnny Depp-starring version over at Disney, an animated classic Western sounds like a much safer bet.
Steve Martin has already taken over as Inspector Clouseau; he feels like the perfect fit for the near-sighted socialite.
The Poky Little Puppy
As long as they don't try to make the Puppy talk, they could have the most adorable movie ever.
The Rankin-Bass Christmas Specials
Imagine what Rudolph, Frosty and the Island of Misfit Toys would look like if they were given an animated feature as lush as "The Polar Express" or "Happy Feet."
Rich could set a great example for our economically-troubled times by acting like a pint-sized Tony Stark and using his wealth for good.
Rocky and Bullwinkle
Hire the funniest screenwriters you can find and let them jam on a sketch-filled movie with the moose and squirrel evading Boris and Natasha at every turn.
A "Despicable Me"-style take on the superhero vs. mad scientist classic would probably help us forget that awful 2007 live-action attempt.
Let's just go nuts: wrangle up as many DreamWorks characters as you can -- from Shrek to "Bee Movie" to "Monsters vs. Aliens" -- and load up the screen with colorful visual puzzles involving the search for the red-and-white-striped traveler as he hides throughout the world.