Animation studio A Productions brings in Disney executive for key development role

Award-winning UK animation studio A Productions is bringing in Katie Barba, an experienced development executive, to help grow its slate of kids and family entertainment by developing its own IP-driven content.

Barba joins A Productions from Disney where she has worked for the past five years in production and development across a number of its popular kids’ animated shows such as 101 Dalmatian Street, Chip N Dale: Park Life S1 & 2 and Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire.

At A Productions, Barba will be working closely on development with the company founder and joint managing director Mark Taylor. The company believes that Barba’s experience in identifying and developing creative talent alongside her production background will be instrumental in delivering this new direction for the business.

Taylor said: “We are excited to welcome Katie to the team at this pivotal time in the company’s evolution. Her wealth of experience at Disney will help us to develop new relationships with creatives and partners, enabling us to realise our own IP and make new home-grown, innovative, creator-driven content for kids’ TV and film.”

Barba said: “I am delighted to be joining A Productions where I can continue to develop my passion for discovering new animation talent and producing original content.  A Productions has a great reputation for making creative, authentic shows that truly speak to their audience and I can’t wait to get started.”

A Productions – which is part of Cybergroup Studios – provides animation for children’s TV and films. It has worked on shows including CBeebies’ JoJo & Gran Gran, Magic Light’s Pip & Posy Let’s Learn and Sesame Workshop’s first-ever animated special Sesame Street: The Nutcracker, which recently won an RTS (Royal Television Society) award.

Barba joins the company at a busy time, with new action animation series Digital Girl in production, the new Bea’s Block show from the makers of Sesame Street just launched and series 2 and 3 of JoJo & Gran Gran becoming the number one ranking kids’ show in its slot in the UK.

In the past five years, the company has provided animation for broadcasters and SVoDs including CBeebies, CITV, Channel 4, Max and Sky.  Since receiving investment from Europe’s Cybergroup Studios, the studio is planning to develop its own original creator-driven content which is a key plank in its long-term strategy for growth.