‘Primal’ Creator Genndy Tartakovsky Inks Overall Deal with Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation

Genndy Tartakovsky
Credit: CNS WBA HBO Max.

Tying up one of TV animation’s most consistent talents over the last three decades, Cartoon Network Studios (CNS) and Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) have inked an exclusive multiyear cross-studio overall deal with Emmy Award-winning creator, producer and director Genndy Tartakovsky.

Tartakovsky’s relationship with Cartoon Network stretches back over 25 years to Cartoon Network’s very first series, the seminal “Dexter’s Laboratory,” launched in 1996. It continued through “Samurai Jack” and “Star Wars: Clone Wars” to the recent “Genndy Tartakovky’s Primal.”

The overall TV deal, however, now opens the doors to Tartakovsky to work with and tap into the huge character and franchise libraries at not only Cartoon Network Studios but also Warner Bros Animation.

Under its terms, Tartakovsky will develop, create and produce original animated programming at both CNS and WBA intended for a variety of audiences and for all television platforms, including HBO Max, external streaming services, cable and broadcast networks, CNS and WBA announced Wednesday.

Developed by CNS and WBA, the cross-studio overall deal provides creators with maximum creative flexibility to develop original material and access to the extensive character and franchise libraries at each studio, they added.

That is a freedom which Tartakovsky has enjoyed pretty well for the whole of his career.

Winning two Emmy Awards over 2020-21 as well as an Annie, “Genndy Tartakovky’s Primal” was met with critical acclaim for a 10-episode show with no dialogue that pictured the unlikely bonding between a dinosaur and cave-man in a brutal, primordial world. “Epic in every sense, ‘Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal’ is a stunning feat of visual storytelling,” Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus ran.

On Tuesday, June 14, Tartakovsky unveiled at Annecy footage of his latest series, “Unicorn: Warriors Eternal,” which CNS and WBA announce as a family event series. Set in a steam-punk universe pictured in 2D-look textures, the series melds teen coming of age angst and supernatural fantasy as ancient unicorn heroes, reawakened too early in the bodies of teenagers, have to protect the world from the forces of darkness.

The sneak peek first look shown at Annecy caught a monster assailing townsfolk, only to to be fought off by a sword-bearing figure in Neo-Medieval garb and a side-kick with a top hat, luminescent green eyes and steel-barrelled body. Meanwhile a young Goth-looking girl – potentially one of the heroes of the series – watches on, here trembling with fear.

Season 2 of “Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal” premieres this Summer on Adult Swim.”Unicorn: Warriors Eternal” is coming soon to HBO Max and Cartoon Network, CNS, WBA and HBO Max announced Tuesday.

“Genndy is a true visionary who embodies the creator spirit of Cartoon Network Studios,” said Sam Register, President of Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation. As he continues to push the boundaries of storytelling and animation, we are excited to have a front row seat both here and now also at Warner Bros. Animation.”

“My time at Cartoon Network Studios, since its inception, has been the most creatively formative and fulfilling years of my career,” Tartakovsky added.

“I now find myself continuing that amazing relationship as well as bringing in Warner Bros. Animation – the home to everything that inspired me to become an animator in the first place. I am beyond excited to see what we do next!”

Tartakovsky is represented by WME.