Award Winning Animation Studio ‘Brown Bag Films’ Opens New Flagship Studio and Expands Animation Team in Dublin


Award Winning Animation Studio ‘Brown Bag Films’ Opens New Flagship Studio

and Expands Animation Team in Dublin

Dublin 27th May 2016 – Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor joined Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director, Brown Bag Films/COO 9 Story Media Group and Neil Court, Executive Chairman of 9 Story Media Group today at the inauguration of its new 30,000 square foot animation studio in Smithfield, Dublin.

A subsidiary of Toronto based 9 Story Media Group, Brown Bag Films employ 184 creative and production staff in its headquarters in Dublin, a studio in Manchester and an office in Los Angeles, and is known for producing hit animated children’s series including Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bing and Henry Hugglemonster.   Brown Bag is currently producing the CG adaptation of Richard Adams’ beloved novel Watership Down for Netflix and BBC.

The company intends to grow its footprint to a team of 255 by 2018, as continues to expand its global reach with award winning content.  Recruitment is ongoing with a number of open positions currently available on the company’s website.

Speaking at the opening event Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “I am delighted to be here in Smithfield at the opening of Brown Bag Films’ new flagship studio.  It is hugely encouraging to see this company move into an expanded space with plans for future job growth.  Brown Bag is a great Irish success story since its foundation 22 years ago and is a fine example of what an innovative Irish company can achieve in the global market.  This exciting company is successfully competing in the dynamic and very competitive world of creative animation. It is clear to me that this announcement is a further illustration of the range of Irish talent available for dynamic companies across diverse sectors.  I wish Brown Bag Films’ and their team every success for the future.”

Founded in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell, Brown Bag Films is renowned for its rich heritage in 3D animation and content, which includes producing four of the top ten pre-school TV shows in the U.S. and entertaining 100 million kids across the globe.  9 Story Media Group is best known as an industry-leading 2D animator, with one of the largest studios in North America, and a highly successful international distribution division. Following last year’s acquisition, Brown Bag Films and 9 Story Media Group have joined forces to become a global leader in providing best-in-class content for young audiences. The combined company now boasts a team of almost 500 staff, locations in 4 different countries, 14 Emmy® awards and 2 Oscar nominations. As part of the integration following the acquisition, Cathal Gaffney was appointed Chief Operating Officer of 9 Story Media Group.

Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director, Brown Bag Films/COO 9 Story Media Group, said: “With an eight year history in Smithfield, we were keen to maintain our roots here.  Our new studio sets an incredibly high standard and is the perfect home for our outstanding creative and technical talent. This is a very exciting time to be working in the kids content business and we are currently recruiting for talent to work with us on exciting shows like Watership Down and Doc McStuffins.”

Neil Court, Executive Chairman of 9 Story Media Group, said: “I am so proud to be part of the exciting expansion of Brown Bag Films. The Smithfield site is one of the most creatively driven and technically advanced studios in the world. The investment in the new space demonstrates our unwavering commitment to growing our production capabilities in Ireland.”

Commenting on the expansion, Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said “Brown Bag Films continues to draw international attention to the vibrant animation sector in Ireland through its award winning productions.  Ireland’s combination of creative and technical talent, and our love of storytelling and the visual arts makes it the perfect location from which to grow and develop global content.   IDA Ireland warmly support this investment, and the opportunity to create high quality jobs for talented people in this exciting growth area.”

BBF is a client company of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

About Brown Bag Films

Brown Bag Films are one of Europe’s most exciting, original and successful creative-led animation studios. After 22 years in business, their Dublin-based headquarters continue to produce cutting-edge animation for the international market, bagging numerous awards along the way. These include Oscar® nominations for Give Up Yer Aul Sins, Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, seven Emmy® awards for Peter Rabbit, A Peabody award for Doc McStuffins and a host of BAFTA, Emmy® and Annie nominations.

Brown Bag Films’ much-loved TV shows are viewed by millions of children worldwide and include Doc McStuffins, Henry Hugglemonster, Bing, Peter Rabbit, Olivia, Noddy in Toyland, and Octonauts.  With a second studio in Manchester and an office in LA, Brown Bag Films are committed to producing the highest-quality, cross-platform animation with strong stories and engaging characters.

Founded in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell, Brown Bag Films have worked with some of the world’s biggest entertainment names, including Disney, Nickelodeon, BBC, Amazon Studios, Acamar Films and Silvergate

About 9 Story Media Group

9 Story Media Group Inc. is a leading content creator, marketer and distributor of kids & family focused intellectual property. Recognized around the world for best-in-class brands such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, Wild Kratts, Numb Chucks andPeg + Cat, 9 Story represents over 2,150 half hours of animated and live action programming, seen on some of the most respected international channels and platforms.  With one of North America’s largest animation studios, 9 Story employs almost 300 creative and production staff in its Toronto facility and has produced over 900 half hours of award-winning children’s content. Last year 9 Story acquired the award winning animation studio Brown Bag Films, which employs over 184 staff members across Dublin, Manchester and Los Angeles.  Brown Bag is recognized for producing leading animated children’s series such as Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bing and Henry Hugglemonster.  9 Story is owned by senior management, ZMC (Zelnick Media Capital) and media entrepreneur Neil Court.


Aardman and Braun Create Magical Video ‘Beardimation’

Rotoscopers has an interesting and crazy stop motion commercial from Shaving and styling product company Braun and Aardman Animations who teamed up to create a magical and intriguing stop-motion short Beardimation.

From the article:

The animated film uses over fifty male beards to show the brand new Braun Styling Range. Aardman created the film by combining together the sequence of still images to create the “illusion of life.” The creative hair designs were aligned in a way that allowed the pattern to move effortlessly from one frame to the next, and projection guides for the animators were lined up well in advance of filming. Thus, creating perhaps one of the most precise showcases of stop-motion animation you will see.

DreamWorks Animation Hires Exec From Paramount As New Head Of Development


Deadline is reporting that Jennifer Howell, who was Paramount’s Head of Comedy for the past two-and-a-half years, has joined DreamWorks Animation as the company’s new Head of Development. She is taking over for Gregg Taylor who began producing duties last August on DreamWorks’ Larrikins, the animated musical film. Like Taylor (who had the gig before her), Howell will report to Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria.

You can read the entire article here.

DreamWorks Animation Will Stay in Glendale

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock (5610023w) Jeffrey Katzenberg 'Kung Fu Panda 3' film premiere, London, Britain - 06 Mar 2016

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock (5610023w)
Jeffrey Katzenberg
‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ film premiere, London, Britain – 06 Mar 2016

Variety is reporting that DreamWorks Animation Will Stay in Glendale as a great sigh of relief can be heard from their campus.

From their article:

Comcast leaders Brian Roberts and Steve Burke have offered reassurances to DreamWorks Animation staffers that they plan to keep making movies at the DreamWorks’ Glendale headquarters.

The duo made the promises in a Tuesday morning meeting with over 1,000 staffers in Glendale, five days after Comcast announced it was buying the animation company for $3.8 billion.

“This came together really fast, but has been in our hearts for a long time,” Comcast CEO Roberts said following opening remarks by DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We will absolutely continue to make animated films here. Today for me, Jeffrey, it’s the awesome responsibly of trying to find a way to take your dream and try to carry on your legacy and celebrate it in a way that will make you proud.”

You can read the entire article on DreamWorks staying in Glendale here.

Dan Harmon meets ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ in ‘Harmonquest’

USA Today has a first look at the upcoming series Harmonquest created by Dan Harmon of Community. Directed by Dominic Polcino and animated by Starburns Industries (Ricky and Morty and Anomalisa)

From the article:

Adapted from an improv segment on his Harmontown podcast, the part animated, part live-action series brings Harmon and his comedian friends together to play fantasy roleplaying game Pathfinder. All 10 episodes were shot in front of a live audience last year, and feature comedians Erin McGathy, Jeff B. Davis and “Game Master” Spencer Crittenden. Special guests include Aubrey Plaza, Ron Funches and Paul F. Tompkins, who join Harmon and Co. as they dream up increasingly absurd characters within the Dungeons realm.

Harmonquest premieres on NBC’s subscription streaming channel Seeso July 14.

You can read the entire article on Harmonquest here.