DIC Entertainment was an international film and television production company.
The company was also known as The Incredible World of DiC, DiC Audiovisuel, DiC Enterprises, DIC Animation City and DIC Productions at various times in its history. In 2008, DIC was acquired by the Cookie Jar Group and was folded into it. The DIC library is currently owned by DHX Media after DHX acquired the Cookie Jar Group in October 2012.
In addition to animated and live-action television shows such as Inspector Gadget (1983–1986), Heathcliff (1984–1988), Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990–1993), Madeline (1993–1994), Sonic the Hedgehog (1993–1994), Sabrina: The Animated Series(1999–2000), Liberty's Kids (2002–2003), Super Duper Sumos (2002–2003), Strawberry Shortcake (2003–2008), and Trollz (2005–2006), while under Disney, DIC produced live-action feature films, including Meet the Deedles (1998) and Inspector Gadget (1999), and licensed various anime series such as Sailor Moon, Saint Seiya, and Speed Racer X.
DiC was founded in Paris as OGAP (Office de Gestion et d'Action Publicitaire), an advertising company.In 1971, with an investment from the tabloid newspaper La Nouvelle République du Centre-Ouest, OGAP was incorporated as Diffusion Information Commercial (DiC). DiC developed into a full production company during the following decade, specializing in animation, and was renamed Diffusion Information Communications.
DIC's American arm, DIC Enterprises, was founded in 1982 in Burbank, California by Andy Heyward, a former employee of Hanna-Barbera, along with Jean Chalopin and Bruno Bianchi. The company produced television animation for both network broadcasts and syndication, out-sourced its non-creative work overseas, and hired staff on a per-program basis to cut costs. For some in the industry DIC stood for "Do It Cheap".
In 1985, DIC opened its own Japan-based animation facility for animation production on their shows to bypass overseas animation subcontractors.
In December 1986, Heyward and other investors bought the company from Jean Chalopin in a $70 million leveraged buyout financed by Prudential Insurance Co, making the US headquarters the main base of operations, After the buyout, Chalopin, Bianchi and producer Tetsuo Katayama left the company to be replaced by Robby London and Michael Maliani. After selling his shares in DIC, Chalopin formed the company C&D (Créativité et Développement) in 1987 and continued to make animated shows during the late 1980s and the 1990s.
After the buyout, DIC was heavily in debt and the foreign rights to the DIC library were sold to Saban Productions, who then sold the rights back to Chalopin. At the time, Heyward considered Chalopin an enemy because of the purchase and the situation permanently poisoned their relationship. DIC sued Saban for damages; in 1991, both companies reached a settlement.
In 1989, the company's name was changed to DiC Animation City. In 1993, DiC Animation City and Capital Cities/ABC formed a joint venture called DIC Entertainment LP. With ABC in 1994, DiC programmed two children's blocks, Dragon Club and Panda Club, in China. In 1996, DIC became a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, following Disney's acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC. In May 1998, DIC agreed to provide a children's programming block, Freddy's Firehouse, to soon to be launched Pax Net In 2000, with an investment by Bain Capital and Chase Capital Partners, Heyward re-purchased DIC Enterprises. He purchased Bain Capital's interest in 2004 and took the company public the following year. In January 2003, DIC announced three syndicated children's programming E/I blocks called DiC Kids Network. While in July, DIC Entertainment signed with POW! Entertainment on a TV series production deal starting with Stan Lee's Secret Super Six, about alien super powered teens taught by Lee about humanity
In 2005, Mexico City-based Ánima Estudios was considering a partnership with DIC Entertainment. However, the latter studio wanted to focus independently on its own projects
DIC Entertainment and CBS Corporation agreed to a new 3-hour long programming block for Saturday mornings on CBS called KOL Secret Slumber Party, which was launched on September 15, 2006. On September 15, 2007, a new programming block KEWLopolis premiered, a joint venture between DIC, CBS, and American Greetings.
In April 2007, DIC Entertainment, Nelvana and NBC Universal Global Networks announced plans to launch KidsCo, a new international children's entertainment network.
On June 20, 2008, it was announced that DIC Entertainment would be acquired by Cookie Jar Group. The deal was completed on July 23, 2008 and the company was immediately folded into Cookie Jar Entertainment. Cookie Jar was in turn acquired by DHX Media on October 22, 2012.