World Events Productions is a U.S. animation and distribution company founded in 1980.
Most famous for localizing the Toei Animation series GoLion to the United States back in the 80s, which became Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Voltron then went on to become a major pop culture icon, especially since it was the only mecha show on U.S. television (as opposed to being one of many back in Japan).
The company is based in St. Louis, Missouri where it's owned by the Koplar family, the previous and founding owners of KPLR-TV, now the St. Louis CW affiliate. Most of World Events' properties were licensed to DreamWorks Classics, a unit of NBCUniversal.
Aside from WEP's website, they also have a separate website for Voltron.
The company has produced the following:
- World Events, a current events production, and the company's first production.
- Voltron series
- "Lion Voltron" (from Beast King GoLion)
- "Vehicle Voltron" (from Dairugger XV)
- Voltron: The Third Dimension, a CG-Animated sequel to "Lion Voltron". It won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing, but has garnered mixed reactions from fans.
- Voltron Force, a joint production with Kickstar Productions and Classic Media.
- Voltron: Legendary Defender, a joint production with DreamWorks Animation
- Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs (from Sei Juushi Bismarck)
- Denver the Last Dinosaur (an original production by WEP)
- Vytor The Starfire Champion (another original WEP production)
- Widget the World Watcher (yet another WEP original)
- GoLion (as the U.S. licensor)
- Dairugger XV (as the U.S. licensor)
Tropes associated with World Events Productions include:
- Artifact Title: WEP's name was derived from their first television series of the same name, which was a documentary series relating to current events of the time. Although the studio rolled with the name throughout the 80's by claiming it was meant to represent their goal to create animated content that would be seen as "an event" by viewers.
- Descended Creator: Co-founder Peter Keefe was the narrator for the studio's first TV series World Events.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The above mentioned TV series was live-action and aimed for an adult audience with its topics of social-political events of the time.
- Frankenslation: Voltron and Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs are notable examples of this; to the point where both are considered their own shows because of how different they are from their original cuts.
- Lost Episode: World Events appears to have been lost to time as trying to find any info on it beyond its synopsis will lead to dead-ends on the web.
- Pop Culture Urban Legends: In his obituary, it's claimed that Peter Keefe had served as a voice actor for Voltron. But since the article doesn't go into details regarding any specific roles or even the possible use of an alias, most fans tend to dismiss it.