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Ex-Cookie Jar vets launch prodco

The guessing game is over. Former Cookie Jar Entertainment execs Pam Slavin and Toni Stevens have resurfaced to launch their own boutique animation studio, Wizard Hat Productions, in partnership with Canadian media heavyweight Bill Fox.
October 13, 2010

The guessing game is over. Former Cookie Jar Entertainment execs Pam Slavin and Toni Stevens have resurfaced to launch their own boutique animation studio, Wizard Hat Productions, in partnership with Canadian media heavyweight Bill Fox.

‘It’s time to pick our own projects,’ says Slavin, a former production head at Cookie Jar and now partner and executive producer at Toronto, Canada-based Wizard Hat.

Slavin and Stevens production credits include a who’s who of marquee Canadian animation characters and series, including Little Bear, Johnny Test, Caillou and Arthur.

Slavin insisted that, rather than oversee production or development of new animation series at a large company like Cookie Jar, she and Stevens want to do both for a smaller Wizard Hat slate tailored for Canadian and international broadcasters.

‘When you’re a large company, volume is something you’re striving to deliver,’ she explains.

Now Slavin and Stevens, who have been quietly talking to North American broadcasters in recent months about a few early and unspecified projects, are bound for the Ottawa International Animation Festival next week to formally take the wraps off of their new venture.

And to get Wizard Hat off the ground, the duo turned to Bill Fox, a former Toronto Star reporter and spokesman for former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney and phone giant BCE.

‘He (Fox) has helped us make the dream a reality,’ Slavin says.

She adds Wizard Hat will focus on kids and family TV programming for the global market, with a target audience of preschoolers and tweens, and animated comedies for six- to 11-year-olds.

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