DreamWorks Animation, Partner to Create 'Shrek' Attraction in London

DreamWorks Animation LLC

DreamWorks Animation's lovable green ogre has nearly 45 million Facebook fans, including 7.6 million supporters in the U.S.

UPDATED: The deal marks the first collaboration with a Hollywood studio for Merlin, Europe's largest visitor attraction operator and the company behind the London Eye Ferris wheel.

LONDON – DreamWorks Animation has partnered with theme park operator Merlin Entertainments to create "Shrek's Far Far Away Adventure," a themed visitor attraction in London based on the Shrek franchise.

"This landmark attraction, which will transport visitors through a live interactive adventure featuring Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and other favorites from the beloved franchise, will see an initial rollout of six attractions over nine years," the companies said.

The first attraction will open in London in the summer of 2015. This will be the first time that Merlin, Europe's largest and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, has worked with a Hollywood studio to create an entertainment experience.  

PHOTOS: Olympics: Sochi Mascots Reimagined by Hollywood’s Top Animation Talent

It is also the first time that DreamWorks Animation will help to produce an attraction of this magnitude via a licensing deal. The attraction will be at County Hall alongside Merlin's other attractions on London's South Bank — the London Eye, the London Sea Life Aquarium and The London Dungeon.

"The 20,000-square-foot experience will be based on a brand-new adventure being written by the DreamWorks team," the partners said. "It will feature a Shrek interactive walk-through adventure, a character courtyard where visitors will be able to meet Shrek and his swamp friends, along with characters from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon."

The Shrek films have generated more than $3.5 billion in global box-office revenue. The original Shrek won the first Academy Award for best animated feature.

VIDEO: Oscars: Watch the Trailers for the Best Animated Short Nominees

"We're excited to work with Merlin to build something that we think is going to be a singularly unique way to experience Shrek and his world," said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. "This attraction is going to be unlike anything that currently exists and will undoubtedly become a new type of destination for families."

Said Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin: "Developing an attraction based on Shrek and his friends is hugely exciting for Merlin Entertainments and the start of what we hope will be a wider collaboration with DreamWorks Animation. Merlin's expertise in delivering memorable days out for visitors and DreamWorks' skill in developing globally recognized entertainment franchises will be a winning combination."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai