'Yo Gabba Gabba' co. expands to L.A.
Wildbrain, the entertainment shingle behind kids fave “Yo Gabba Gabba,” is opening an animation studio in Los Angeles.Expansion comes as the San Francisco-based Wildbrain continues to expand its animation work in TV, film, gaming and commercials — and is also busy producing product for other studios, including 20th Century Fox TV’s animated pilot featuring Jeff Foxworthy. The new Wildbrain space — located in Sherman Oaks — was announced by Marge Dean, Wildbrain Animation Studios general manager. Dean said the growth of Wildbrain’s work-for-hire business, as well as its own production slate, led to the decision to open an L.A. outpost. “There are a number of studios that are looking to produce 3-D CGI television series based on their respective 3-D animated box office hits,” Dean said. “This creates a great opportunity for us to expand our future work-for-hire business as one of the few studios that has an experienced and tested CG pipeline for television.” Chris Staples and Michelle Papandrew (“Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends”) have been tapped to head up the L.A. studio. Wildbrain’s San Francisco operation will continue to serve as the studio’s primary hub. Wildbrain’s CG animation, meanwhile, is supervised by Josh Book, who developed the CG department at Nickelodeon. Besides “Yo Gabba Gabba,” which includes animated interstitials between its live-action scenes, Wildbrain was behind the Disney Channel’s CG animated series “Higglytown Heroes,” and is developing the animated variety show “Bubble Guppies” for Nickelodeon. Wildbrain is also working on the shortform animated series “Team Smithereen,” from Dan Clark; a live-action/animated feature film, set up at Paramount, based on its Kidrobot toys; and a movie based on “Gabba.”