By Gary Symons
TLL Editor in Chief
The veteran kids’ production exec Mevelyn Noriega announced she is launching a new animation studio called Wonderworld.
Wonderworld.fun LLC is described as a new production and distribution company “specializing in premium cutting-edge animation content.”
It is being established and will be under the direction of Noriega, who takes on the role of CEO.
With more than 30 years of experience and an extensive career in theatrical and TV distribution, Noriega’s skills are in managing the complexities of global distribution and production, and she also brings extensive experience in financing and development. Noriega worked for many years for multiple-award-winning animation studio Splash Entertainment, departing the company as President of Distribution. Prior to that, Mevelyn worked with Mark Damon’s Vision Pictures and then at Kushner Locke as Vice President of Sales Administration in the film sector.
As well, the new studio will operate in partnership with existing, well-established studios and production companies. Those include Deepak Nayar’s prodco Kintop Pictures; the VFX and animation studio ReDefine (part of the DNEG Group), and Namit Malhotra’s production company Prime Focus Studios.
“Our mission is to create animation that is representative of everyone,” says Noriega. “We want to tell stories that reflect the diversity of our world and that celebrate the richness of different cultures, music and backgrounds.
“Animation is an incredibly powerful art form, and we believe that it has the ability to bring people together,” Noriega adds. “We are excited to harness that power and look forward to also furthering our collaborations and friendships with creatives and executives through this new production and distribution company, Wonderworld.Fun”.
Kintop and Prime Focus are also providing funding for the startup studio, which has says its mission is to “create, produce, and distribute innovative, high-quality animated content for a global inclusive audience.” Wonderworld.Fun will also seek to produce and distribute third-party developed and owned IPs with strong international appeal.
Kintop was founded in 1996 by the acclaimed producer Deepak Nayar, as an independent financing and production company. The company has had a number of notable successes, including the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated Bend It Like Beckham, the Oscar nominated Buena Vista Social Club, David Lynch’s critically acclaimed Lost Highway, Paul Schrader’s The Walker, and Taylor Sheridan’s critically successful film Wind River. Kintop Pictures has produced/financed over 80 films and 10 TV series and is currently in production with 10 films/TV shows that are in varying stages of production.
Commenting on the partnership, Nayar said, “This venture marks an exciting new chapter for us all and I am thrilled to be a part of this strategic partnership. Animation is a great medium for creativity and storytelling and with Mevelyn at the helm, WonderWorld.Fun will be a dynamic and innovative force in children’s entertainment offering exceptional content which will travel the world.”
Prime Focus is an equally powerful partner for the new studio. It is among the world’s largest independent media services companies. Based in India, Prime Focus has more than 11,500 employees across five continents. Its subsidiary Prime Focus Studios is a production company led by Prime Focus founder Namit Malhotra, with current and upcoming production credits on projects such as Brahmastra: Part 1 – Shiva; the upcoming Garfield (alongside Alcon Entertainment); and Animal Friends (alongside Legendary Entertainment and Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort).
On the technical side, Wonderworld gets an experienced and high tech partner in ReDefine, a global VFX and animation company providing high-quality, tailored creative services to studios, filmmakers, and streaming companies. As part of the DNEG Group, ReDefine has the benefit of access to over 20 years of innovation and award-winning creative excellence, as well as a market-leading technology infrastructure.
Its global team of artists and talent works across design, storyboarding, editorial, and all stages of CG animation production, and is currently working on an exciting slate of pre-school and 8-12 animated series, as well as select feature-length animation projects.
With partners and funding in hand, Wonderworld says it will be unveiling three new shows, using a fresh and dynamic approach to the art of animation. The three original, action comedy series are targeted to the kids and family markets, and are currently in production with animation and production studios Number9VFX, Number 9 Greece and ReDefine Originals.