Fox Entertainment’s Bento Box Entertainment and Princess Pictures have signed a first-look animation development deal, with all projects to be fully produced in Australia with local talent and crews.
The aim is to give animation’s next wave of creators the chance to showcase their work across US and international platforms.
Bento Box co-founder and CEO Scott Greenberg and Princess Pictures’ founder Laura Waters announced the partnership.
“Australia punches above its weight in animation talent with scores of Oscar nominations and wins, and very successful children’s animation series,” said Waters. “There’s a slew of Australian talent making hilarious animation online, all with dedicated audiences.
“In collaboration with Bento Box, we’re excited to support this new wave of comedy talent with professional budgets and access to opportunities on major platforms.”
All projects will be executive produced by Greenberg, Waters, Bento Box co-founder and president of production Joel Kuwahara and creative director Ben Jones, Princess Pictures’ senior producer Mike Cowap and MD Emma Fitzsimons.
Bento Box, which earlier this year hired animation and VFX veteran Brooke Keesling as head of animation talent development, has a first-look arrangement with Fox Entertainment for the US and internationally.
Cowap tells IF: “Like anyone else with a love of animation, we were big fans of several of Bento’s shows, but especially the amazing and massively successful Bob’s Burgers.
“We met and forged a strong relationship and mutual appreciation with them when we joined forces to jointly develop an Australian project, as yet unannounced.
“We can’t talk about any talent at this stage because nothing is under contract. Suffice to say there are some really exciting Australian creators doing some wildly creative world-class work, and conversations have begun. We’re very much open for business and looking forward to seeing who else is out there.”
Earlier this week WarnerMedia’s Adult Swim announced it had commissioned Princess Pictures to produce the eight-part animated comedy Yolo: Crystal Fantasy, created by Michael Cusack.
In production at Princess Pictures’ Melbourne studio and at Monkeystack in South Australia, the series will premiere on Adult Swim in August.
Bento Box’s prolific recent and current output includes projects for Adult Swim (Lazor Wulf), Apple TV+ (Central Park), Comedy Central (Brickleberry, Legends Of Chamberlain Heights), HBO Max (The Prince), Hulu (The Awesomes) and Netflix (Mulligan, Paradise PD, Hoops, The Who Was? Show).