9 Story Media Group Options Bestselling Children Series OTIS THE TRACTOR


9 Story Media Group Options Bestselling Children Series


Toronto, Canada –May 12, 2015 – 9 Story Media Group is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Penguin Young Readers for the option to produce an animated television series based on the #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book series, Otis the Tractor. Written and illustrated by Loren Long, the series is published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. The Otis book series debuted in 2009, selling over 1.5 million copies to date across 9 titles. Under the terms of the deal, 9 Story has also optioned merchandising and licensing rights for the property.

“We are thrilled to bring Loren Long’s beloved characters into the 9 Story family,” said Natalie Dumoulin, Vice President of Creative Affairs for 9 Story. “Otis the Tractor is a character kids connect with universally – he may be small in stature, but he has a heart of gold and teaches his audience the values of loyalty, courage and friendship.”

“Otis is the person, or in this case, tractor, that we all want to be—brave, loyal, patient, determined, and a true friend to the end,” said Michael Green, President & Publisher, Philomel Books. “I can’t think of a better role model or companion for kids. And I’m so grateful that Otis has found a quality partner in 9 Story.”

“I’m excited to team up with 9 Story, and for Otis to putt-puff his way into even more homes, and make even more friends!” said Loren Long, author and illustrator of the Otis series.

#1 New York Times bestselling picture book Otis spent almost 20 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2009. Loren Long’s “majestic, whimsical, and rousing” (Publishers Weekly) artwork and comforting, satisfying story immediately turned Otis into a beloved picture book character. Otis has continued to putt-puff-puttedy-chuff all over the bestseller list in titles such as Otis and the Puppy, Otis and the Tornado, an Otis Christmas, and Otis and the Scarecrow. In addition to the Otis series, Loren also illustrated such acclaimed books as Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could, Madonna’s Mr. Peabody’s Apples, and President Barack Obama’s book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

9 Story Media Group 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, Arthur and Peg + Cat, 9 Story represents over 1800 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 over 250 creative and production staff and has produced over 900 half hours of award-winning children’s content. 9 Story is owned by senior management, ZM Capital and media entrepreneur Neil Court. www.9story.com

Penguin Young Readers is one of the leading children’s book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarksincluding Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Puffin, Speak, Firebird, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Viking, Razorbill, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Ally Condie, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Anna Dewdney, John Flanagan, Gayle Forman John Green, Oliver Jeffers, Mike Lupica, Richelle Mead, B.J. Novak, Richard Peck, Judy Schachner, Jacqueline Woodson and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Strega Nona, Madeline, Mad Libs, Alex Rider, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Flower Fairies, and Pippi Longstocking, among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Group LLC, a Penguin Random House company.

For further information: 

Jennifer Ansley, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, 9 Story Media Group

+1 416 530-9900 ext 230, jennifera@9story.com


10 Animators to Watch


Variety has an article on the 10 animators to watch in 2015. Among them is Daron Nefcy who is already knee-deep in storyboards for season two of her first animated series, Disney’s “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.” based on a drawing she created during her junior year at CalArts and Lorelay Bove, who brought her Spanish background to the design of “Wreck-It Ralph.” and is set for larger role on Disney’s still-secret 2018 feature.

You can read the whole article here.


Virtual Manikin: 6 Apps for Artists (Free and Pay)


Artist and teacher Jon LeMond posted a quick note about six Android virtual mannequin apps that will allow you to replace the old school wood mannequins from the days of yore before computers took over the art world. You can rotate light, and pose all of the digital mannequins right on your phone. Cool stuff, if you need some sort of funky foreshortened arm pose or an’t quite get a down shot right.

You can read the whole article here.

SunTrust buys DreamWorks Animation property


The L.A. Times is reporting that an investment arm of SunTrust Banks Inc. has acquired DreamWorks Animation’s plush, Tuscany-style campus in Glendale.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, DreamWorks Animation disclosed that SunTrust Equity Funding had signed an agreement earlier this week to purchase the DreamWorks campus for $185 million.

The sale includes 10 buildings on about 15 acres of land, which was developed two decades ago and is dotted with olive trees, oaks and a koi pond.

DreamWorks isn’t exiting the property, however. Instead, the studio behind the “Shrek” movies will lease the property from SunTrust Equity Funding, a subsidiary of the bank holding company based in Atlanta.

You can read the full story at LA times.com.

Animation Credits Demystified

Artifice logo

The Artiface has an interesting article by Lauren Carr, about the credits of an animated film (thanks Lisa!) and interviews some animators in the process.  As one of those lingerers who watches the entire credits of a film,  I feel it’s important to respect the hard work of others if only to see if I know anyone who worked on the film (I always do). Besides they usually have entertaining bits of animation throughout and sometimes they even have a little button at the end which is always a great finisher.

From the site:

The movie ends; the crowd wants out as if tear gas was released. Nevertheless, there are a few lingerers sitting through the credits keeping extreme focus on the screen, not willing to risk looking down while grasping for a piece of popcorn. How do they still have popcorn? Regardless, those last few keep a profound stare at tiny names racing down the screen. Perhaps the majority who glimpse at the credits might wonder how those names became crew members on an animated film. Some envision the crew thoroughly savor their employment. What in the name of all that’s holy can be cooler than working on a feature?


Check it out the entire article on their site The Artiface.