Following up on plans for a Trolls feature film back in 2010, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. has now acquired the IP for the iconic franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things of Denmark with plans to introduce the beloved brand to a new generation of fans around the world.
In support of the brand’s enormous global potential, DreamWorks Animation has named American Girl veteran Shawn Dennis as head of brand development to cultivate this classic franchise.
“Trolls is a brand with over fifty years of deep heritage and we are thrilled to bring this iconic, multi-generational property to DreamWorks Animation,” said Chief Operating Officer Ann Daly. “We have big plans for this franchise and Shawn Dennis is uniquely suited to lead this charge. She helped grow the American Girl brand into a household name and by bringing this expertise to Trolls she will introduce these characters to legions of new fans around the world.”
“Trolls is one of those rare, proven and universally adored brands,” added Dennis. “There is incredible potential here to engage kids across multiple platforms in a way that is fun, enduring and meaningful. It is truly an amazing opportunity to be able to re-launch a brand like this one.”
Dennis joined DreamWorks Animation to oversee its Trolls franchise in addition to other businesses within the company’s vast portfolio of branded intellectual property. Dennis’ extensive background in franchise management most recently saw her serve as Senior Vice President, Marketing, Product Development and Publishing at American Girl. Previously, Dennis served as group head and Vice President, Global Branding at Dell, Inc. and Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President for the National Football League, which followed eight years with MasterCard International and seven years at Universal Studios in a variety of roles.
“DreamWorks Animation is renowned for telling wonderful stories about imaginative worlds while bringing characters with universal appeal into the hearts and homes of families everywhere I can think of no better future for Trolls,” said Calle Ostergaard, Chief Executive Officer of Dam Things. “We are confident that the time-honored legend of the Trolls, which holds such special significance to the Dam family and the people of Scandanavia, will now live on in new and exciting ways with DreamWorks Animation.”
The Troll doll phenomenon was born in 1959 when Danish fisherman and woodcutter Thomas Dam, too poor to afford a Christmas present for his young daughter Lajla, carved a doll for her based on the legendary Scandinavian troll. This modern-day Geppetto couldn’t have imagined that the Troll dolls would soon become one of the biggest toy crazes of the 1960s. The Trolls experienced a resurgence in the 1990s, and in 2003, the Toy Industry of America named Trolls on its list of One Hundred of the Century’s Most Treasured Toys. Their uniquely endearing faces and shocks of colorful hair continue to capture the hearts and imaginations of fans with rare Troll dolls still being coveted by collectors around the globe.
DreamWorks Animation is now the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights for the classic Troll Dolls with the sole exception of Scandanavia, the birthplace of the Trolls, where Dam Things will remain the licensor.