The 1982 animated feature The Last Unicorn is being dusted off for a number of international licensing deals for Carlton Intenational. With these latest deals, the company has reaped more than ’1 million ($1.6 million) in gross revenue from the property in the past five years.
Now a cult favorite, The Last Unicorn has recently been licensed for broadcast to Roadshow Television in Australia, and video deals have been struck with NVC Felix Film in Poland and Goldvision for France and French-speaking territories.
In the U.S. Ripple Junction is producing Last Unicorn-branded womens tops, sleepwear/loungewear, socks, buttons, lunchboxes, stickers and patches. The line is being shown at the MAGIC international apparel show in the U.S. this week.
Due to high consumer demand, The Last Unicorn will also be re-released on VHS and DVD in the U.K. later this year. Initially launched on DVD in 2002, it sold 70,000 units. Similar success is expected for Christmas 2003 launch, which will include a plush toy originally developed for the German market by Concorde Home Entertainment and Tip Top Toys.
The movie, based on a novel by Peter S Beagle, tells the tale of a sole surviving unicorn’s quest to find another of its kind somewhere in the world. It features the voices of Jeff Bridges (K-PAX, The Big Lebowski), Mia Farrow (Hannah and Her Sisters, The Great Gatsby ), Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings, The Wicker Man) and Angela Lansbury (TV’s Murder She Wrote, Bedknobs and Broomsticks ).
To date, the film has been licensed for broadcast in more than 40 countries around the globe. Carlton International owns the rights through its acquisition of the ITC Film library and has entered into an agreement with Continent Film Ltd. regarding a live action re-make.
Emma Simpson, international licensing manager at Carlton Consumer Division comments, “The Last Unicorn has a timeless and magical appeal that still captures the imagination of children and families worldwide. The fairytale story is particularly popular in German-speaking areas of Europe and is experiencing a revival in the U.S., with merchandise being developed to meet that interest. There’s currently a real nostalgia for ’80s animation, and this is a great example of the genre.”