California’s Kuku Studios, Tonko House and Baobab Studios have joined forces to create the Bay Area Animation Alliance. The goal of the newly formed group is to create a bigger community for indie animation professionals and studios in the Bay Area. The Alliance will focus on shared values of creating the best work possible, celebrating artists and creating community. It’s ultimate goal is to raise the bar for animation worldwide, according to its website.
The Alliance is formed by former Pixar creatives Alex Woo (CEO of Kuku Studios), Dice Tsutsumi (co-founder of Tonko House), Robert Kondo (CEO of Tonko House) and Maureen Fan (CEO of Baobab Studios) who all worked together on various Pixar projects.
The Bay Area Alliance is kicking off with an art auction to fight for racial justice. Starting today and running until June 14, the three studios are creating original art for auction and donating the proceeds to the Equal Justice Initiative. EJI’s mission is to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the US as well as protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. The auction will feature 50 pieces of original art from Tsutsumi and Kondo, as well as artists including Kal Athannssov, Darren Marshall, and Glenn Hernandez.
Kuku Studios, which has an overall deal with Netflix, is best known for its new animated preschool series Go! Go! Cory Carson, Tonko House meanwhile, recently signed a deal with Netflix for its hybrid series ONI. Baobab Studios has created several VR shorts for kids, including the award-winning Invasion! Narrated by Ethan Hawke.