YouTube’s Bucket List Family channel has raised $10 million to create their own next-generation animation studio, which will be called “the next Pixar.” The channel chronicles the adventures of the Gees, who sold all their belongings to travel the world.
The Gee family includes parents Garrett and Jessica and kids Dorothy, Manilla, and Calihan. They have traveled for three years and visited more than 100 countries before settling on the beach in Hawaii, though they still intend to travel, as mentioned on the official website. They have 1.3 million subscribers and grab four million monthly views.
The family has now resorted to Republic, a platform that curates private investing opportunities across the startup, gaming, real estate, and crypto spaces, to raise money for their new studio startup called The Bucket List Studios. The campaign has already reached its maximum funding goal of $3 million from a total of 27,992 investors, with some more days to spare. Participants will receive Series Seed preferred shares in the company.
This amount comes in addition to the $7 million that the family has already raised from VCs and accredited angels, the Republic campaign explains. The Gees say that they turned down a $10 million offer from a major studio, and have sought to raise that same money independently. They also claim to have opted to form an indie studio in order to be able to pursue interactive learning activities, tell global stories with complete creative freedom, and develop “software to bring a new age of animation to life.”
“We love Pixar and the way they forever changed the world of cartoons through the development of new animation technologies. We are creating the next Pixar by becoming a nimble animation studio focused on inspirational stories from around the world. We will judge our own success on how well our content, products, and services inspire people around the world to open their hearts, come together, and try new experiences with the people they love,” they told Republic.
The collected funds will be allocated for hiring and commencing production and the Gee family will continue licensing and acquisition meetings with Disney+ and Netflix along the way. They’ve swam with Humpback whales in Tonga, had breakfast with giraffes in Kenya, and are now creating their animation studio, starting off with a unique cartoon about their real life adventures. The first series from Bucket List Studios will be a cartoon following the family’s travels, with each episode featuring local artists, writers, and musicians. It will include snippets from their actual footage as well.
The Bucket List Cartoon will also feature shoppable elements, including activity and coloring books coordinated with each episode, as well as links to buy featured apparel, travel gear, and more. In the near future, the Gees plan further monetization via licensing and software development.