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Mainframe Studios is Celebrating 30 Years of Bringing Stories to Life

Mainframe Studios

Mainframe Studios is celebrating 30-years of making life more animated. The industry pioneer has grown into a global powerhouse of animation, producing both premium original content and world-class shows for many of the industry’s biggest names, including Mattel, Sony Pictures, Spin Master, Hasbro, DreamWorks, Netflix and YouTube.


“With our 30-year track record of Mainframe Studios producing some of the most iconic animated properties, we approach every day like a startup – challenging ourselves to deliver new and exciting creative innovation to every project we undertake,” says Michael Hefferon, President/Chief Creative Officer at Mainframe Studios.


“As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’re proud of the impact that Mainframe Studios has had on helping to shape the animation industry, including being a catalyst for many studios started over the years whose founders are Mainframe alumni,” says Kim Dent Wilder, Executive Vice President. “In a business where trust is built over time, Mainframe’s longevity is a testament to the studio’s quality of work and its partnership approach with clients,” says Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO Genius Brands International (NASDAQ: GNUS). “As someone who has a history of building legacy companies, Mainframe Studios has uniquely positioned itself to continue this amazing track record for the next 30 years,” says Michael Hirsh CEO Wow Unlimited Media.


Founded in 1993, Mainframe has been a trailblazer since day one, having created and produced the very first fully-CG TV series, ReBoot in 1994, and then producing Spider-Man: The New Animated Series for MTV, the first large-scale, toon-shaded CG series, an idea well ahead of its time, and most recently Mainframe’s ReBoot: The Guardian Code, the studio’s first live action production and the first TV series to use the Unreal Game Engine, delivering in 4K.


Balancing between the creative vision and the power of technology to bring stories to life, Mainframe Studios has pushed creative and technological boundaries to deliver engaging content with hundreds of partners over the years. In total, the Vancouver-based studio has produced well over 1,000 television half hour episodes, 70+ long form projects that include three theatrical feature films, along with producing content for huge brands such as Barbie, Octonauts, Madagascar and CoComelon. Just recently, Octonauts & The Ring of Fire won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing & Sound Editing in 2022.


“Our relationship with Mainframe has spanned multiple series and specials over 5+ years. They continue to be collaborative partners in producing top quality animation and helping to build our brands. We look forward to our continued work together.” saidJoe D’Ambrosia, EVP & General Manager, Sony Pictures Television — Kids


Mainframe’s unwavering commitment to their creative-driven approach is reflected in the nearly 25-year relationship (60+ projects) with Mattel. To date, the studio has delivered numerous Barbie titles, including movies, series, shorts, and the Barbie Vlog, as well as the first interactive adventure, Barbie: Epic Road Trip. In 2001, Mainframe Studios was the first to use motion-capture technology for animation and built their own state-of-the-art mo-cap theater.


“Collaborating with Mainframe over the years to provide fans of the iconic Barbie brand with highly entertaining, animated content has been a true pleasure,” said Christopher Keenan, SVP Creative & Executive Producer at Mattel Television. “With several of our latest projects, including Barbie: Epic Road Trip and Barbie Mermaid Power ranking impressively on global streaming platforms, we are proud to be working with Mainframe and to be celebrating our relationship of nearly thirty years.”


Mainframe’s other notable accomplishments include: being added to the Smithsonian’s Innovation Collection for creating the first CG animated TV series, ReBoot, in 1994; producing the first non-theatrical animated feature, Casper’s Haunted Christmas; launching a relationship with Silvergate Media (now Sony Pictures Television — Kids) with three feature-length productions: Octonauts and the Caves of Sac Actun, Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef, and Octonauts & The Ring of Fire; along with producing the Madagascar: A Little Wild series for DreamWorks Animation and Team Zenko Go, the studio’s first Co-Production with DreamWorks Animation.


With 30 accomplished years behind them, Mainframe has no plans of slowing down. The studio is looking forward to building more strong partner relationships and expanding its diverse roster of creators. The studio was founded on its own IP with the original ReBoot, and original content continues to be a studio mainstay. In 2012 the company produced Escape From Planet Earth, a theatrical feature film developed in-house that went on to do $75 million in worldwide box office, and followed that success with the Ratchet & Clank feature film released in 2016. On the series side, Mainframe created and produced ReBoot: The Guardian Code and Team Zenko Go, both Netflix Original Series, and recently released its first 2D original series, The Guava Juice Show, produced with YouTube Originals. Mainframe is currently producing The EggVenturers in partnership with GoldieBlox for YouTube, along with Coyote & The WildAways, working with Coyote Peterson whose Brave Wilderness YouTube channel has 20M subscribers.