EXCLUSIVE: Snipple, the Philippines-based animation studio that has worked on series including Where’s Waldo? and Dora And Friends: Into the City!, is launching an originals unit in the UK with £6M ($8M) of backing from investment firm BGF.
London-based CEO Kaine Patel quietly hatched Snipple Originals last year, hiring veteran Karina Stanford-Smith as animation development director. Vincent James was brought on as creative director. The unit is now ready to announce itself to the world, with BGF taking a minority stake.
Patel founded Snipple more than a decade ago and the move into originals represents the realization of a plan that he first mapped out in 2012. He has a long-standing relationship with former Zodiak Kids and Beano Studios producer Stanford-Smith, who has been engaged on a freelance basis by Snipple over the years.
“Animation is having a real moment and that has a lot to do with people being at home,” Patel said. “The timing felt right. People are hungry for content and we’ve come up with a slate of seven shows, three of which are ready to take to market.”
Stanford-Smith, who has a team of two as well as freelance support, said: “We’ve had the freedom to create the IP that we want to work on. It’s been a dream for me.” She added that Snipple wants to create “loveable, relatable, strong character-driven ideas that are full of warmth and comedy.”
The shows ready to take to market include children’s titles Peeled Prawn & Shaved Sheep, about prawn superhero; Snö, a magical adventure story about a little girl and her dog; and metaphysical mystery series Cassidy’s Castle.
Snipple is also developing a comedy-action road trip series, titled Trippin’, which Stanford-Smith described as “the Griswolds meets Grand Theft Auto — it’s a riot.” The animation is her first project aimed at the adult market.
BGF investor Tom McDonnell said: “Snipple is well-placed to capitalise on significant and increasing demand for new content from the likes of Netflix, Disney and Amazon… Animation has proved particularly resilient to the headwinds of Covid and this represents an exciting opportunity.”
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