Thunderbird expands with opening of L.A. animation studio

Thunderbird Entertainment Inc. (CNW Group/Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.)

Vancouver-based Thunderbird Entertainment Group has announced the expansion of its kids and family division, Atomic Cartoons, with the opening of an animation studio in Los Angeles – it’s first in the U.S.

The L.A. studio will be led by Matthew Berkowitz, Chief Creative Officer, Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons. Aaron Behl and Kristin Cummings, Co-Vice Presidents, Atomic Originals, will also hold senior leadership roles.

“We are thrilled to expand our L.A. footprint with the opening of an animation studio to house our local showrunners, directors, writers, designers, storyboard artists and editorial teams. Similar to our studios in Vancouver and Ottawa, we plan to provide a supportive and creative environment for these tremendously talented individuals to achieve the best work of their careers,” said Berkowitz, in a release. “With the ever-increasing industry demand for premium original content, the new studio is a stellar opportunity to work with the amazing animation talent base in L.A., and partner up with our award-winning creative teams in Canada.”

The new studio will house the Atomic Originals team, which has produced projects including The Last Kids on Earth and Hello Ninja, which are both currently streaming on Netflix. Its primary focus will be on on pre-and-post production – including writing, directing, storyboarding, design, casting and recording, and editorial. Thunderbird says the studio’s first project is already in production for an unnamed global broadcaster.

Its upcoming slate includes an adaptation of the #1 New York Times bestselling Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie and Allison OppenheimEerie Elementary by Max Brallier, and a series in collaboration with global lifestyle brand tokidoki.

Thunderbird says by operating three studios across North America, it can scale up to expand both its owned-IP slate and its capacity to meet global demand for premium content. Thunderbird’s second animation studio, Atomic Ottawa, which opened 15 months ago, has grown from 14 to 90 animators.

Atomic now has capacity for 880 crew members across its three facilities. The existing offices for Atomic Cartoons in L.A. will be integrated into the new Burbank facility, creating a full-fledged production hub.

 


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