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Underscoring the further expansion of its animation division, leading VFX and animation studio DNEG has tapped Erika Burton, its president of VFX Production since October last year, to lead DNEG Animation with Tom Jacomb as co-president.

The former DreamWorks Animation and Disney Animation exec will focus on production, resource management, training, and operations while Jacomb will oversee creative, client management and outreach as well as the development of IP and original content.

Expressing his delight at welcoming Burton to the DNEG Animation fold, Jacomb said: “We have more exciting projects, more growth and expansion, and more original content and co-productions on the horizon, and Erika will be absolutely instrumental in helping to ensure that we have a rock-solid foundation upon which to continue building.”

“I’m also delighted that she will be contributing her compassion, warmth, and experience to the amazing work that our teams are already doing in putting equality, diversity and inclusivity at the heart of everything that we do here at DNEG Animation,” he continued.

Said Burton: “I have been fortunate enough to work with some immensely talented VFX and animation teams during the course of my career, and I love both disciplines equally.”

“There is something really compelling and challenging about animated filmmaking that keeps drawing me back and this is just a tremendous new opportunity,” she added. 

“Working with DNEG’s VFX teams over the last year has been a career highlight for me, but when the invitation came to join Tom, David [Prescott, SVP Creative], Crosby [Clyse, Head of Production] and all of the other talented folks on the animation side of our business, it was one that I could not turn down,” Burton explained.

In recent years, DNEG Animation has flourished, growing from a small unit in London to a global team of some 850 employees across studios in London, Montreal, Mumbai, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Toronto.

The company’s first full-length animated feature, Locksmith Animation’s “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” was theatrically released in October 2021 and later nabbed multiple Annie Award nominations, winning best feature at the 2022 British Animation Awards.

DNEG Animation is currently in production on the buzzy ‘Nimona’ (Annapurna Pictures/Netflix), ‘Garfield’ (Alcon Entertainment/Sony), ‘That Christmas’ (Locksmith Animation, just announced as part of Netflix’s European slate) and an unannounced episodic animated series for a major streaming service.

Burton and the DNEG Animation team are leading two presentations on Thursday, June 16 at the Annecy Animation Festival.