Hi. I'd say don't worry. Specially if you are altering the characters. Some time back i put together a couple of animated lo-fi commercial music videos starring Barbie & Ken unaltered. So far so good. No complains. I guess it's all to do with the context; For instance, if you want to animate figures that base their identity on being "animated characters" as opposed to being perceived as toys, I reckon you'd have to ask permission. I don't think Aardman would be too pleased if you go animate "Shaun the sheep" without their consent.
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