The Mouse House’s loss is Stan Lee’s gain.
Five Disney Online producers and programmers and four Disney Feature Animation vets have ankled to Stan Lee Media, where the majority of whom will assist in the launch of Squnkwurx, the new special projects arm of Internet animation company.
According to Stan Lee Media co-founder Peter Paul, the Mouse House refugees approached the company several months ago.
“In order to exploit the Internet, you can’t be constrained by that traditional limitations imposed on established, branded content,” Paul said. “The biggest latitude we could give them was our ability to use their creativity under the aegis of Stan Lee, who has committed himself exclusively to the Internet.”
The Squnkwurx launch team includes: Jamie Wilkinson and Michael Drudzinski, former producers at Disney Online; Gary Manfredi, who designed applications for Disney Blast; Vince Golveo, former lead Flash engineer at Disney Online; Andrey Pavlovskiy, former director of Flash Animation; Grant Anderson and Iyan Michael Bruce, former producers of online work for the Disney Feature Animation team; Brooks Campbell, former Disney digital artist; and Jerry Bingham, who was a production illustrator at Walt Disney Imagineering.
Squnkwurx, named after the experimental division of aircraft manufacturer Lockheed during World War II, will focus on taking animation content to different platforms, including wireless services and games.
“Stan Lee really gave me the opportunity to develop franchises for the Internet first and then spring them off into traditional media,” said Wilkinson, who has been tapped as exec veepee of Internet strategy for Squnkwurx. “It’s the reverse of creating what I call brochure-ware, the rehashing of film or print content.”
A Disney spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment.