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Comcast Buys DreamWorks Animation For $3.8 Billion In Race Against Disney

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MINIONS ")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As Minions, speaking Minion language).

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The company that brought you "Minions" has a strategy to bring you more animated characters. A subsidiary of Comcast distributed the computer animated film. And now Comcast has acquired DreamWorks Animation. The company paid $3.8 billion for DreamWorks. NPR's Andrew Limbong reports on what Comcast is planning.

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: The DreamWorks Animation roster includes, "How To Train Your Dragon."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON")

JAY BARUCHEL: (As Hiccup) Once they see you as one of their own, even the testiest dragons can be trained.

LIMBONG: "Kung Fu Panda."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "KUNG FU PANDA")

DUSTIN HOFFMAN: (As Shifu) That flabby panda can't possibly be the answer to our problems.

LIMBONG: And of course, "Shrek."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SHREK")

MIKE MYERS: (As Shrek) I mean, when have you ever heard the phrase, as sweet as an Ogre, or as nurturing as an Ogre? Or how about...

CRAIG MOFFETT: What Comcast is trying to do here is steal a page from the Disney playbook.

LIMBONG: Craig Moffett is the founder and senior analyst at MoffettNathanson. That's a research group that provides analysis of the cable industry. What he means by that isn't Comcast necessarily going toe-to-toe with Disney on the big screen, more like the little screen, the roller coaster and everywhere else.

MOFFETT: Comcast has a lot more than just physical cable networks now. They've got a very large themepark business with theme parks not just in Orlando and Hollywood, but now in Asia as well. They've got cable networks where they can cross-promote.

LIMBONG: And if all that adds up to an even bigger "Shrek" movie, great. But that Ogre is supposed to be an underdog anyway.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL STAR")

SMASH MOUTH: (Singing) somebody once told me the world is going to roll me. I ain't...

LIMBONG: Andrew Limbong, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL STAR")

SMASH MOUTH: (Singing) Hey now... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.