Pen­guin An­i­ma­tion:

Brazil’s an­i­ma­tion pow­er­house spreads its wings around the world.

Animation Magazine - - Vr -

An­i­ma­tion fans all over the world are familiar with the work of São Paulo, Brazil-based stu­dio Pen­guin An­i­ma­tion (aka TV Pin­guim), thanks to hit shows such as Fishtro­naut and Earth to Luna!. Founded in 1989 by an­i­ma­tion vi­sion­ar­ies Kiko Mistror­igo and Celia Catunda, the stu­dio fo­cuses on the cre­ation and de­vel­op­ment of orig­i­nal con­tent, both 2D and CG for two to 12-year-old au­di­ences. Pen­guin An­i­ma­tion re­cently opened a new of­fice in the U.S. to ex­pand its slate of orig­i­nal con­tent as well as ser­vice work.

Pen­guin An­i­ma­tion’s big­gest hits to date are the top-rank­ing se­ries Fishtro­naut, which airs in 80 coun­tries and the In­ter­na­tional Emmy-nom­i­nated sci­en­tific pre-school suc­cess Earth to Luna!, which is also seen world­wide and is now in the 5th sea­son. The stu­dio has has pro­vided projects and se­ries for Dis­cov­ery Kids, NBC Sprout, Car­toon Net­work, Dis­ney Ju­nior, Net­flix, Yoopa, Al Jazeera Chil­dren’s Chan­nel, TV Globo, SBT, TV Cul­tura, and more.

“We spe­cial­ize in pos­i­tive, fun and in­for­ma­tive kids con­tent,” says Celia Catunda, “We cur­rently have 65 em­ploy­ees in the stu­dio. Fishtro­naut was a pioneer in deal­ing with sus­tain­abil­ity con­tent for kids, back in 2009. In ad­di­tion to the TV se­ries (104 x 11 min­utes), Fishtro­naut has launched two fea­ture films and three live shows. Our secret agent fish also made a very suc­cess­ful ca­reer in con­sumer prod­ucts, with over 600 prod­ucts in a wide range of cat­e­gories.”

Catunda points out that Earth to Luna!, which is now in its fifth sea­son (and is distributed world­wide by Mon­ster En­ter­tain­ment) is an­other ex­cep­tional case. “We have a girl pro­tag­o­nist in a Stem-based show. The fourth and fifth sea­sons of­fer a so­cial stud­ies fo­cus, as Luna and her fam­ily travel around the world, learn about other cul­tures and dis­cover dif- fer­ent ways to ap­proach science. Luna is also a very suc­cess­ful con­sumer prod­ucts brand.”

Among the stu­dio’s other projects are two new se­ries Char­lie, the In­ter­viewer of Things (52 x 11’) and Ping and Friends (52 x 7’) and two up­com­ing an­i­mated fea­tures: Tar­sil­inha, a 3D an­i­mated movie in­spired by the ground­break­ing work of Brazil­ian mod­ernist paint- er Tar­sila do Amaral, and Ni­hon­jin, which is based on Os­car Nakasato’s award-win­ning book about the mul­ti­cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences of a Ja­panese-brazil­ian fam­ily.

Full Speed Ahead

With about 60 full-time em­ploy­ees, Pen­Guin An­i­ma­tion is buck­ling up for a very busy pro­duc­tion pe­riod. “Ear­lier this year, we opened a new of­fice in Mi­ami,” says Catunda. “The U.S. of­fice is now the sales hub for co-pro­duc­tions and world­wide con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion. We would like to work with suit­able part­ners to con­tinue cre­at­ing, de­vel­op­ing and pro­duc­ing world-class brands that ap­peal to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. Our big­gest chal­lenge is manag­ing a large num­ber of pro­duc­tions si­mul­ta­ne­ously, since the com­pany is un­der­go­ing a fast grow­ing process. At the same time we have to keep up with the ex­ist­ing IPS, mak­ing them stronger and alive in many dif­fer­ent plat­forms.”

She points that be­cause the com­pany is founded by two creative di­rec­tors, pro­duc­ing its own con­tent is a ma­jor goal. “Al­though the global an­i­ma­tion mar­ket is made up of large cor­po­ra­tions that in­vest tons of money to cre­ate their brands, we un­der­stand that the creative pas­sion is the most im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent for a show to suc­ceed,” says Catunda. “We’d like to work with creative com­pa­nies that share our view and pas­sion, com­pa­nies that un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate our work and can make our brands stronger and to which we can also give our creative ideas.”

Ul­ti­mately, what is clearly the driv­ing force is Catunda and her team’s love for an­i­ma­tion. “We love to have our daily lives filled with imag­i­na­tion, fan­tasy and fun,” she shares. “We also love to talk to our young au­di­ence and get their feed­back, es­pe­cially be­cause they’re al­ways hon­est and spon­ta­neous. When you go to the movies and watch your an­i­mated film in a the­ater full of kids, you can hear their com­ments and laugh­ter. That’s a truly price­less ex­pe­ri­ence!”

Work­ing with fans all over the world also has its spe­cial re­wards. “We love to know peo­ple from dif­fer­ent parts of the globe, have our show broad­cast in­ter­na­tion­ally and know that kids from far away are en­joy­ing the sto­ries we cre­ated,” con­cludes Catunda. “In ad­di­tion, an­i­ma­tion is a truly col­lec­tive ac­tiv­ity, and it’s a priv­i­lege to work with the creative and won­der­ful team we have at Pen­Guin An­i­ma­tion!”

‘Al­though the global an­i­ma­tion mar­ket is made up of large cor­po­ra­tions that in­vest tons of money to cre­ate their brands, we un­der­stand that the creative pas­sion is the most im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent for a show to suc­ceed.’— Pen­guin An­i­ma­tion co-founder/ artis­tic di­rec­tor Celia Catunda

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