Wildbrain Entertainment, Inc.
FormerlyWild Brain (1994–2007)
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryEntertainment
Animation
PredecessorColossal Pictures
BIG Pictures
Founded1994; 30 years ago (1994)
FoundersJohn Hays
Phil Robinson
Jeff Fino
Defunct2017; 7 years ago (2017)
FateDissolved
Successors
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, U.S.
New York City, New York, U.S.
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
ProductsTelevision series, specials, television commercials, licensed merchandise
ParentDHX Media (2010–2017)
DivisionsWildbrain Animation
Kidrobot
Ghostbot
The evolution of WildBrain
1968FilmFair London is founded
1971DIC Audiovisuel is founded
1972Strawberry Shortcake brand is first developed
1974CPLG is founded
1976CINAR and Colossal Pictures are founded
1982DIC Enterprises is founded
1984Ragdoll Productions is founded
1987DIC Audiovisuel closes
1988Studio B Productions is founded
1992Epitome Pictures is founded
1993DIC Enterprises becomes DIC Entertainment
1994Wild Brain is founded‚ and Red Rover Studios is founded, DIC Entertainment brands as The Incredible World of DIC
1995Platinum Disc Corporation is founded
1996CINAR buys FilmFair's library
1997Decode Entertainment is founded
1999Wild Brain acquires Colossal Pictures' employee base
2002Nerd Corps Entertainment is founded
2004Halifax Film Company is founded, CINAR rebrands as Cookie Jar Group
2005Platinum Disc Corporation merge as Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
2006Decode and Halifax Film merge as DHX Media, DIC acquires CPLG, and Ragdoll Worldwide is formed with BBC Worldwide
2007DHX Media buys Studio B Productions and Wild Brain becomes Wildbrain Entertainment
2008Cookie Jar Group absorbs DIC and House of Cool absorbs Red Rover Studios
2010DHX Media buys Wildbrain Entertainment‚ and Peanuts Worldwide is founded
2011Decode Entertainment and Red Rover Studios closes
2012DHX Media buys Cookie Jar Group
2013DHX Media buys Ragdoll Worldwide
2014DHX Media buys Epitome Pictures, Nerd Corps, and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment's family content library; Cookie Jar Group is absorbed
2016The WildBrain multi-channel network launches and Studio B and Nerd Corps merge as DHX Studios
2017Wildbrain Entertainment closes; DHX Media buys Peanuts Worldwide and Strawberry Shortcake
2018Halifax Film becomes Island of Misfits
2019DHX Media rebrands as WildBrain, Epitome Pictures closes, and the WildBrain MCN becomes WildBrain Spark
2020CPLG becomes WildBrain CPLG
2021Echo Bridge Home Entertainment closes
2023WildBrain acquires House of Cool
2024WildBrain Spark merged into its parent company as WildBrain London through its YouTube network, digital studio and media solution businesses

Wildbrain Entertainment, Inc. (commonly known as Wildbrain, stylized as W!LDBRAIN, formerly known as Wild Brain, and later known as DHX Media Los Angeles) was an American entertainment company and animation studio that developed and produced television programming, motion pictures, commercial content, and licensed merchandise. Established in 1994, it maintained offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco.

Its film productions included the Annie Award-winning computer-animated short film Hubert's Brain, while its television work included the Nick Jr. series Bubble Guppies and Yo Gabba Gabba!, and the Disney Channel series Higglytown Heroes. Wildbrain also produced earlier animated shorts and television specials of Monster High for Mattel.

They have produced national commercials for clients such as Esurance,[1] Chiclets, Target, Nike, Honda, Kraft, The Wall Street Journal, and Lamisil (featuring Digger the Dermatophyte). Their ad work has won Clio Awards, ADDY Awards, BDA Awards, and Annie Awards. A subsidiary, Kidrobot, creates limited edition toys, clothing, artwork, and books. It had stores in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami.

History

In 1994, John Hays, Phil Robinson, and Jeff Fino founded Wild Brain in the Castro District of San Francisco, California. The new company bootstrapped with contract work from local game companies such as Broderbund, LucasArts, and Living Books. In 1996, Wild Brain moved to a 17,000 square foot warehouse at the corner of 18th St. and York St. in the Mission District spearheading the growth of what came to be known in San Francisco as Multimedia Gulch. In 1999, Austin, Texas-based Interfase Capital invested almost $17 million in Wild Brain.

Over the next few years, Wild Brain's staff ballooned from a staff of about 20 to about 250. It struck deals with Yahoo! and Cartoon Network to produce animated shorts for the web. It launched wildbrain.com, creating animated web shorts such as "Groove Monkee", "Mantelope", and numerous web series including Joe Paradise, Glue, Graveyard, and Space is Dum.

After legendary studio Colossal Pictures closed down in 1999, and with the financial backing of the Interfase companies, Wild Brain expanded further, providing employment for former Colossal directors and staff. Around this period, they produced the series Higglytown Heroes and Poochini.

In 2004, Charles Rivkin, former CEO of The Jim Henson Company, joined Wild Brain as president and CEO. Rivkin oversaw the creation and development of the series Yo Gabba Gabba! for Nick Jr.

In 2007, former founder Jeff Fino left to start Nuvana, an educational web-based company with former Colossal Pictures producer, Joe Kwong. Wild Brain rebranded to Wildbrain Entertainment that same year.

In 2008, Rivkin left Wildbrain after being named U.S. ambassador to France and Monaco. Michael Polis, the marketing director of Wildbrain, then became the new CEO.

Around this time, John Hays left Wildbrain to work on indie features La Mission and Howl, which opened the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

By 2009, the original founders of the company had all left Wildbrain. The company expanded its animation studios to Sherman Oaks in March, then closed its San Francisco office in June. It had been an independent company until Canadian studio DHX Media purchased Wildbrain in 2010. That same year, Phil Robinson and Amy Capen, executive producer of Wildbrain's San Francisco studio, started an independent company called Special Agent Productions. Robinson died in 2015 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.[2][3][4]

In 2016, DHX Media announced the formation of a new London-based multi-channel network under the name WildBrain, focusing primarily on YouTube channels aimed towards children, such as content and original series from DHX's properties, as well as other forms of educational and toy-oriented content.[5] In September 2019, DHX Media announced that it would change its name to WildBrain outright, with the MCN unit being renamed WildBrain Spark.[6]

Filmography

Television series

Films

Short films

Video games

Commercials

Staff

Executives

Directors

Animators

References

  1. ^ Alex Miller, "Cross-Media Case Study: Secret Agent of Change", OMMA, March 2006.
  2. ^ "Phil Robinson". FALLOUT: JaMie BaKeR's BLOG. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  3. ^ "Wild Brain Co-Founder Phil Robinson, RIP". Cartoon Brew. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  4. ^ "Director and Studio Co-Founder Phil Robinson Dies". Animation Magazine. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  5. ^ "DHX Media unveils online kids net WildBrain". Kidscreen. April 25, 2016. Retrieved 2019-09-23.
  6. ^ "DHX rebrands as WildBrain". Kidscreen. September 23, 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-23.