EXCLUSIVE: Veteran animation producer Rick Mischel has formed a studio in Canada after acquiring Yeti Farm Creative Animation Studio.
Artists Animation Studio will be headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia. Mischel, a Sony and Technicolor producer and exec, will be CEO of the venture and its founder. He completed the deal through his Reach Media vehicle. Financial details were not revealed.
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The studio will be located the former Yeti Farm facility and will offer full-scale animation services and access to British Columbia’s Canadian tax credit incentives. It will primarily focus on 2D Harmony and hand-drawn animation for children’s and adult animation series, films, adverts and digital content.
Yeti Farm Creative Animation Studio’s co-founder Todd Ramsay (Hotel Transylvania: The Series, Angry Birds) will join Artists Animation Studio as Head of Animation, while another Yeti Farm co-founder, Ashley Ramsay, is departing “to pursue new opportunities.”
Dan Christman (Agent Elvis, Invincible) has joined as supervising producer, with Rachel Bepple (My Little Pony, Frog and Toad, Hotel Transylvania: The Series) named as producer.
Mischel has also held several C-suite roles in a career spanning over 30 years, including a four-year spell as CEO of Bardel Entertainment between 2018 and 2022, where he received an Emmy for work on Rick and Morty. He was an exec producer at Sony Pictures Animation, working on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Hotel Transylvania: The Series and launched the Vancouver studio behind the likes of Hotel Transylvania, Smurfs and Academy Award-feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse while Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sony Pictures Imageworks.
He was also Executive Vice President of Technicolor, CEO of Mainframe Entertainment and President and COO of The Harvey Entertainment Company, which owns brands as Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich and is now part of NBCUniversal-owned DreamWorks Classics. Mischel also has produced independent features films, including Suicide Kings and The Specials and began his career as an entertainment attorney at O’Melveny & Meyers.
“Artists Animation Studio reflects my mission to deliver a full suite of animation services, driven by artists who are committed to creative excellence and client satisfaction,” said Mischel. “Todd and Ashley have built a top-tier animation studio, which provides us with a solid platform to further expand our service capabilities.
“I look forward to working together with Todd, Dan and Rachel, all whose work I have admired over the years, as well as the amazing creative talent based in Kelowna and British Columbia as we continue to grow the studio’s roster and range of projects globally.”
Todd and Ashley Ramsay launched Yeti Farm Creative Animation from their basement, growing the business to over 150 employees. Their 4,350 sq ft facility has worked on the likes of Hotel Transylvania: The Series, Pete the Cat, D.N. Ace and Angry Birds shorts, and created video game assets for EA Sports and worked on advertising agency projects.
“Building Yeti Farm Creative Animation Studio from the ground-up has been a thrilling experience, and Ashley and I are extremely proud of our work,” added Ramsay. “It is a privilege to continue our legacy by joining Rick in this new venture as Head of Animation where we will continue to push creative boundaries as we work together to deliver high-caliber entertainment to our clients and to audiences around the world.”
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