MARCH 3 VHS HISTORY : THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF DIC
Cinar 20th Century
After their 1976 meeting in New Orleans, future spouses Micheline Charest and Ronald A. Weinberg organized an event for a women's film festival, and worked at distributing foreign films to US theatres. The couple moved to New York and formed Cinar, a film and television distribution company.
In 1984, Cinar changed their focus from media distribution to production, and moved operations to Montreal, where they concentrated on children's television programming including Animal Crackers, Emily of New Moon, Mona the Vampire, and The Wombles, as well as the English and French dubs of the anime series Adventures of the Little Koala and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the Spain-originating TV series The World of David the Gnome. As a production company, Cinar was also involved in the work of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Madeline, The Real Story of Happy Birthday to You, Space Cases, The Shoe People and, its most famous work, Arthur and Zoboomafoo. The firm became a public company in September 1993. By 1999, Cinar boasted annual revenues of 0 million CAD and owned about .5 billion CAD of the children's television market. In the late 1990s, Cinar bought the rights to all the shows owned and made by British animation company FilmFair. The company had become known for its children's programs, broadcast in more than 150 countries.
The success of Charest, Weinberg, and Cinar ended in March 2000, when an internal audit revealed that about 2 million US was invested into Bahamian bank accounts without the boardmembers' approval.
In 2001, as part of a settlement agreement with the Société des Valeurs Mobilières du Québec Quebec Securities Commission Charest and Weinberg agreed to pay million each and were banned from serving in the capacity of directors or officers at any publicly traded Canadian company for five years. There was no admission of guilt and none of the allegations have been proven in court. In 2004, Cinar was rebranded the Cookie Jar Group.
In September 2008, William A. Urseth published an insider's book called Death Spiral. It details the CINAR scandal and how it tied into two other companies called Norshield and Mount Real.
After 14 years of legal wrangling, on August 26, 2009, the Superior Court of Quebec ruled that CINAR would have to pay author Claude Robinson .2 million dollars in damages for plagiarizing Robinson's work for the CINAR-produced Robinson Sucroe. Robinson had originally presented the work to CINAR in 1986, and was turned down.
Purchase And Rebranding
In March 2004, Cinar was purchased for more than CA$190 million by a group led by Nelvana founder, Michael Hirsh. and former Nelvana President, Toper Taylor.
On June 20, 2008, Cookie Jar Group announced a deal to merge with DIC Entertainment. On July 23, 2008, both studios completed their merger, and DIC was then absorbed into Cookie Jar's entertainment division. As part of Cookie Jar's merger with DIC, Cookie Jar acquired Copyright Promotions Licensing Group and a one-third interest in international children’s television channel, KidsCo. The acquisition doubled Cookie Jar Entertainment's library of programming. Cookie Jar now has more than 6,000 half-hours of programming as well as rights to several children's brands.
On July 23, 2008 it was announced that Cookie Jar was in negotiation with American Greetings to buy the Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, and Sushi Pack franchise. The deal is not finalized yet in late 2008 and with the current scenario, the transaction did not progress. On March 30, 2009, Cookie Jar made a million counter bid for Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. Cookie Jar had until April 30, 2009 to complete a deal with American Greetings. In May 2009 American Greetings filed a 0 million lawsuits against Cookie Jar and Cookie Jar filed a million lawsuits against American Greetings over the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake deal.
On April 29, 2009 it was announced that Cookie Jar will develop primetime television series and hired Tom Mazza to head its new primetime label, The Jar.