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Disney, Fox veteran joins toon house in IP push

Kids-logo-460_2John McKennaA former animation studio chief at Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. has joined Singapore’s One Animation to spearhead a push into original content creation, TBI has learned.

Industry veteran John McKenna will oversee One’s current slate, which comprises Oddbods and Insectibles, and look at developing new multiplatform IP.

“Development is my key priority,” he told TBI this morning. “We want to create the right atmosphere within our studio, where our people feel valued, which will cultivate a culture in which people want to create new intellectual property.”

McKenna career has seen him work on major television and film productions for major US studios, as well on projects in LA, Berlin, Mumbai and Paris. He ran London studios for Disney and Warner during the 1990s, and was senior VP and general manager of 20th Century Fox Animation between 1998 and 2001.

He joins another kids industry veteran, Bettina Koeckler, who joined One in July to lead a push into consumer products. She also has studio experience, having spells at Sony and Fox.

McKenna is now based in Singapore, and will report to Sashim Parmanand, CEO of eight-year-old One, who said: “Signing John up to One Animation is huge for us. Just a few years ago we were a small studio in Singapore, but now we produce one of the world’s biggest kids’ animated shows, we have a toy line and other licensed products about to launch, plus we’re on the cusp of realising some even bigger ambitions.”

Oddbods is One’s biggest series, having sold to the likes of CiTV and Boomerang in the UK, Boomerang in EMEA and Latin America, Disney XD in North America, Disney channels in Asia, Teletoon in France and Super RTL in Germany. It also has a major YouTube following, pulling in more than 500 million social media views in the past six months.

“Having worked with some of the biggest studios in the world this role at One Animation represents the chance for me to take all the best practice I have learnt throughout my career, whilst implementing new ideas to create a thriving studio,” said McKenna.

“There is a fantastic amount of real talent here at One Animation, from the creatives to the senior management team, and it’s my job to use the benefit of my experience to create an environment where this can really shine and take its place on the world stage.”