Vancouver-based Thunderbird Entertainment Group has announced the expansion of its kids and family division, Atomic Cartoons, by opening a new animation studio in Los Angeles. The new studio’s debut project is already in production for a major global broadcaster.
Helmed by Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons chief creative officer Matthew Berkowitz, the new L.A. studio will also find Atomic Originals co-vice presidents Aaron Behl and Kristin Cummings in 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. 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,” said Berkowitz.
2019 saw the size of the streaming market for animation and VFX content reaching $3.5 billion, and is growing at an annual rate of eight percent. The opening of a new studio in L.A. demonstrates Thunderbird’s incredible ability to scale up to meet the continually increasing demand for on-demand content amidst the streaming wars through their kids and family division, Atomic Cartoons.
Having partners like Netflix, Disney, NBCUniversal, PBS, LEGO and Spin Master, Atomic Cartoons is well-positioned to continue providing service for the growing industry to meet the demand for high-quality animated content. The L.A. animation studio will house the Atomic Originals team and primarily focus on pre- and post-production – including writing, directing, storyboarding, design, casting and recording, and editorial.
Formed in October 2016 with the appointment of Berkowitz, The L.A. Atomic Originals team has developed and produced recent high-profile projects in collaboration with the Vancouver studio including The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier and Hello Ninja by N.D. Wilson, both presently streaming on Netflix. The studio’s upcoming slate includes an adaptation of the #1 New York Times bestselling Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim, Eerie Elementary by Max Brallier, and a series in collaboration with global lifestyle brand tokidoki, as well as other projects which are yet to be announced.
Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons CEO Jennifer Twiner McCarron mentioned, “The opening of our third animation studio [at L.A.] is another major milestone for Thunderbird and Atomic, allowing greater access to incredible talent and the ability to continue to create premium content across the industry. I am so proud of Matt Berkowitz and the entire L.A. Atomic team! Our new L.A. studio will continue to build on the success of our last three years in L.A. and I am beyond thrilled about what is ahead for Thunderbird, not only at our new L.A. hub, but across the entire Company.”
With the studio now open at North Ontario Street in Burbank, California, Atomic has capacity for 880 crew members across its three facilities. The existing offices for Atomic Cartoons in L.A. will also be integrated into the new facility to create a full-fledged production hub.