It's just been one year since we first announced we joined the 9 Story family and a whole lot of amazing things have happened to us since. We wanted to celebrate our 1st anniversary by sharing some of both our and 9 Story's highlights over the past 12 months.
Here's just a few of our favourites:
Disney’s Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster, Silvergate Media’s Peter Rabbit and Captain Barnacles and Acamar Films’ Bing and Flop, from our co-productions were ‘seated’ along the bus’s exterior. The design also featured our beloved characters Mary from Give Up Yer Aul Sins, and Granny O'Grimm from Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty.
Equinox Charity Cycle
We LOVE our Equinox Cycle. September of last year marked the charity cycles fifth year and we are absolutely thrilled with the incredible 21K raised by The Equinox Charity Cycle this year resulting in a cumulative €97,000 raised over the past 5 years for Temple Street Children's Hospital and Headway!
Want to hear a cool stat to top it all off? The 250 Equinox Charity Cyclists have cycled a cumulative 300,000km over the past 5 years which is the equivalent of 7.5 around-the-world trips!
The past 12 months has seen us start production on four brand new shows: Gilbert & Allie, a co-production with Cyber Group Studios, Vampirina in association with Disney Junior, Bear, Bud & Boo, being developed with our fantastic partners Technicolor and creators Angela Salt & Stuart Harrison of Fun Crew and Watership Down, a four part mini-series which is a co-production with 42 and Biscuit Filmworks for the BBC and Netflix.
The word 'excited' just doesn't cover it. We really, truly can't wait to unveil these new shows!
We're also incredibly bowled over with having to expand our awards cabinet to add 2 wonderful Daytime Emmy Awards for Peter Rabbit and one for Bing. Not to mention Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup being awarded Toy of the Year and Doc McStuffins bagging NAACP Image Awards and a NAMIC Vision Award!
Our short film, An Ode to Love, has also seen a great festival run winning Best Irish Short at Dublin Animation Film Festival, Best Animation at Rome International Film Festival and Best Animation at Chicago Reel Shorts Film Festival.
Our incredibly hardworking pipeline team were delighted to have been awarded a Shotgun Pipeline Award at SIGGRAPH, the Pipeline Shotty Award for Shotgun Task Triggering Workflow, which recognises excellence in tool development!
Brand New Studio
It's definitely been a wonderful year for Brown Bag, and our team has grown considerably in the past year, so much so that we recently expanded our premises in Smithfield!
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor joined Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director, Brown Bag Films/COO 9 Story Media Group and Neil Court, Executive Chairman of 9 Story Media Group at the inauguration of our new 30,000 square foot animation studio in May!
Doc McStuffins Season 4 Tops Ratings
We were absolutely over the moon when we saw the stats for the recent Season 4 premiere of Doc McStuffins! The new season featuring new stories, new characters, and notable guest stars is all set in a magical NEW world - McStuffins Toy Hospital!
"Doc McStuffins: Toy Hospital" which aired on Friday 29th July on Disney Junior is the channel's #1 series telecast of 2016 among Kids 2-8 (2.8 rating) and for its premiere and encores, the episode has reached over 11 million Total Viewers!
Now that's a real, warm welcome to McStuffinsville!
And here's some of 9 Story Media Group's highlights as well!
9 Story made some very significant acquisitions over the last year. In October we announced our new long-term partnership with Mattel, to relaunch the iconic pre-school brands Barney & Friends and Angelina Ballerina. Both shows are in active development and we are excited to share more soon. And just this past May, we snatched up worldwide rights to the iconic series Garfield and Friends!
The Magic School Bus Reboot!
In the last 12 months, 9 Story solidified an important partnership with Scholastic and Netflix to reboot the incredibly popular and classic series,The Magic School Bus. The show is currently in production here at 9 Story and so far it’s been nothing but a magical ride!
It was a banner year for 9 Story on the awards circuit, with our shows getting oodles of accolades and shiny statues!
Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood had a BIG win at the TCA Awards this August, taking home the youth programming award and being the lone animated winner at the event!
Peg + Cat won TWO Daytime Emmy® Awards (Outstanding Music Direction and Composition and Outstanding Writing in A Preschool Animation Program).
The Numb Chucks swung some winning kicks at the WGC Screenwriting Awards with Evan Thaler Hickey’s script “Witless to the Prosecution” winning the WGC Award - Children’s Category! The show also won two Canadian Screen Awards for Best Performance in an Animated Program/Series going to actress Julie Lemieux and Best Writing in an Animated Program/Series going to writer Mark Steinberg.
And it should also be noted that Wild Kratts was named as a finalist for the prestigious Peabody Awards!
Top Wing Takes Flight!
This year we were also able to reveal that our new CG action-adventure preschool series TOP WING is soaring over to Nickelodeon and is set to launch in 2018. Top Wing follows a team of eager young birds as they flock together to help their community and earn their wings as full-feathered rescue birds. We are very excited to be partnering with Nickelodeon on this property and cannot wait to see them introduce our charming characters to preschoolers all over the world!
Cards for SickKids
In December of last year, our 9 Story animators designed hundreds of cards to be delivered to children at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital. The results were outstanding and it was a fantastic chance for our team to get together, take a break from the business of animating, and focus their creative efforts on towards doing something extra special, that brought joy and smiles to many of the children within the SickKids community. This was the second year in a row that the 9 Story crew has donated their art to SickKids in this fashion and we hope to do it again this holiday season!
Legendary Media Icon Geraldine Laybourne Joins the Story!
In November of last year, we made the thrilling announcement that Geraldine Laybourne would be the newest addition to the 9 Story board of directors. Gerry was a cable pioneer in the 80s and 90s, leading the team that created Nickelodeon and Nick at Night. She went on to serve as president of Disney/ABC Cable Network and later founded Oxygen Media which she sold to NBC Universal in 2007.
Gerry is a true media legend and now a very active part of our board. We are exceptionally fortunate to have her participation and mentorship. Take a look at her interview with Cynthia Littleton in Variety here.
As you can see it's been a rather special year, all in all, for both ourselves and our 9 Story family. Thanks for recapping a terrific year with us!
Now, on to the best bit... the obligatory, celebratory CAKE!