In 2008, in Moscow, a small group of professionals headed by Pavel Muntyan and Vladimir Ponomarev launched a new animation studio and named it Toonbox. The newly-baked enterprise was specializing in high-quality animation movies and series for kids and adults. This May 2017, many ups and downs later, we are celebrating our 9th anniversary. A lot has changed in the past years: the studio has moved from Moscow to Cyprus and gained a lot of strength in terms of its team – today various professionals from Russia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Philippines, the U. S., Ukraine and Belarus are proud to call themselves Toonbox employees.
We are happy to share our achievements for the past 9 years with our partners and friends:
We are looking forward to the years to come with global plans and endeavours.
Two of our features series have been extended for new seasons which are already in production. Kit^n^Kate can boast 72 new episodes to be released by 2019 with a slightly different format. Qumi-Qumi has been extended for two full seasons, or 104 episodes. The series has totally changed the format and is being done using the 3D CGI animation with VR-elements. The updated project has also slightly changed the time-keeping with 7-minute episodes instead of 11-minute ones in the first season consisting of 15 episodes. First 10 episodes are to be released by the end of 2017. We have also started the production of two brand-new series for kids which we will announce in the nearest future.
We sincerely thank all our partners and friends who supported us on our way and hope you will stay with us in many more years to come!
Toonbox animation studio and licensing agency Megalicense are happy to announce the start of collaboration in terms of Kit^n^Kate brand: Megalicense shall from now on be the agent of the brand on the whole territory of Russia and former CIS countries.
Megalicense is one of the leading Russian licensing agencies working in the Russian and CIS licensing market with local and international brands. The agency is the first member in Russia of International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association LIMA. In 2016, it was also announced as the best agent of Rovio Entertainment, creator of Angry Birds.
Kit and Kate now can be also found on the pages of interactive app made by AmayaSoft. The app the name of which can be translated as "Wonder Book" has been already launched in Apple App Store и Google Play Market.
Young fans of Kit and Kate now can interact with the kitties, become part of the action, help the heroes overcome all the obstacles on their way and, of course, gain new knowledge. All the content inside the app had been created by talented and creative artists, and, thanks to sound- and 3D effects no kiddo will ever feel bored with this Wonder Book.
Our animated series Qumi-Qumi and Kit^n^Kate are gonna be broadcasted by a brand new HD-channel for kids starting from February 1. The channel called Multik ("cartoon" in Russian) is a new initiative of a major television broadcaster 1TVCH.
Kids being the target audience of the channel, it will only broadcast animated series and movies and cartoons. Both series shall be broadcasted during morning hours.
In December, Toonbox partnered with Maurizio Distefano Licensing in terms of licensing management of Kit^n^Kate in Italy. New licensing program is already on the way! Kit and Kate are already looking forward to tasting top-notch Italian seafood pizza!
We will keep you posted about all the developments.
We are 100% sure that change is always for the better. Especially with the new year coming up!
In December, Toonbox has moved to a new cosy office downtown with a view on the Mediterranean sea. Our current address is as follows: Nikola Nikolaide Ave., 33, Kleanthis Savva Tower, office № 5 and № 6, CY-8010, Paphos, Cyprus.
Toonbox is partnering with Rovio Entertainment to create a comprehensive consumer products licensing program for Kit^n^Kate, Toonbox’s educational short-form animated series for preschoolers. Kit^n^Kate, which airs terrestrially and on Rovio’s own ToonsTV VOD platform, has also been extended for two full seasons, or 72 additional episodes – which makes 104 episodes in total that will be available by the end of 2018.
Rovio will also act as Kit^n^Kate’s master licensee globally (excepting Russia and China) across a wide range of consumer product categories, including clothing and toys, and develop a licensing program that builds on and enhances the highly imaginative Kit^n^Kate storyworld. Kit^n^Kate is the first IP outside of the Angry Birds universe in Rovio’s consumer products portfolio.
“Through Kaiken Publishing and ToonsTV, we have already gained valuable experience working with the Kit^n^Kate brand, and it was the logical next step to expand our cooperation with Toonbox to consumer products licensing,” says Alex Lambeek, Rovio’s Chief Commercial Officer. “The Kit^n^Kate series has steadily built up a loyal fanbase around the world, and we see healthy demand for high-quality, meaningful products that can contribute to Kit^n^Kate’s playful, teaching mission.”
A new 15th episode “The Portals” has premiered in September via various TV channels as well as on YouTube and Toons TV video-platforms.
A crazy mix of adventures of Yusi, Juga and Shumadan from Qumi-Qumi universe will not leave you blase: everyday routine of Qumi residents is being intensified by wizardly portals which appear here and there and pull funny tricks.
Don’t miss out!
Toonbox became partners with Kaiken Publishing, a book publishing arm of Rovio Entertainment, who are now acting as master publishing licensee for Kit^n^Kate and Qumi-Qumi IPs.
“We’re glad to appoint Kaiken Publishing as a master publishing licensee and believe they would ensure the expansion of our animated universes into books globally. Our aim is to provide kids and their parents with high-quality content which would not only entertain, but also help kids develop various skills,” says Pavel Muntyan, CEO at Toonbox Animation.
“We are hugely excited to start working with Toonbox, as we can clearly see how well Qumi-Qumi, for example, has been received by fans on YouTube and ToonsTV. As for Kit^n^Kate, we will build on the learning aspect of the brand and develop in co-operation with educational experts a line of storybooks and accompanying activity books,” says Laura Nevanlinna, Publisher at Kaiken.
Toonbox studio jointly with a developer Friendly Orange have launched a brand new game Qumi-Qumi Bubbles based on the bigtime series Qumi-Qumi. During the first week alone, the game which is now available on all the popular platforms has already attracted 34 000 players! Start playing right now!
In September 2015, a joint Russian and Cyprus animation studio Toonbox and a French enterprise Ankama signed a license agreement concerning the promotion of “Kit^n^Kate” brand on the global market. In the frame thereof, Ankama shall represent the media brand on all global markets except for Russia and the CIS where Toonbox shall reserve the licensing rights. The agreement covers broadcasting rights, digital rights and consumer product rights.
Cross-platform media brand “Kit^n^Kate” is being released in two languages (Russian and English) and includes 32 five-minute episodes, a cycle of mobile games, a series of printed books, video colouring books and interactive play-books.
Ankama was founded in 2001 and at the present moment is considered one of the leaders in the niche of animation and online games on the European arena. Series Dofus and Wakfu based on the similar MMORPG games with an overall number of active players exceeding 10 million people are the signature company brands. In 2015, Ankama launched a license agency working on a 360° basis. “Kit^n^Kate” shall be the first media brand created by a third-party developer under the auspices of the agency.
Toonbox animation studio was founded in 2008. The portfolio of the studio includes more than 260 projects (overall time-keeping exceeds 12 hours of animation) such as animated series Qumi-Qumi, Cut the Rope and Mr. Freeman. Animated series for kids are the major focus of the studio.
Toonbox Studio finished the new season of comic animated series about Took, a brave samurai of the snow desert, fearless fighter with the upcoming hunger, warming, penguins’ outrage, snowman’s egoism and peevishness of his wife. He keeps order and balance at the edge of the earth.
For 6 weeks Valentin Stoll, a student of Gobelins school and studio will be working on our most well-known series - Qumi-Qumi, Om Nom Stories and Shaman’s Quest as part of our team. Valentin is the first Gobelins student to come to Russia and we’re happy to be the first Russian studio to partner with the best animation studio in the world. We will share our experience after Valentin’s practical work is done. For now you can watch Valentin’s show real (https://vimeo.com/68572764) which will soon include our animated movies as well.
It so happened that we decided to conquer Kilimanjaro on behalf of our animation studio – Toonbox. Despite the fact that the challenge seems to be quite popular in the world, we could not find a single full-scale report on how to get ready and what to take with you. So here we go – please read our detailed story for Kili warriors-to-be!
Qumi-Qumi episode called the “The Third Eye” won the main prize from Newsground.com while the series itself was named the Movie of the Year 2013.
Newsground.com is a major website in English dedicated to flash-animation and games. Every day new masterpieces from both professional studios and single artists from all over the world are uploaded here.
Qumi-Qumi had already won Newsground awards before. One of the first episodes that was uploaded on the website – “The Fishing” – won Daily Feature Gold Award as the most popular movie of the day. All Qumi episodes that were uploaded later won Daily Places as the most popular pieces on the website.
However our main winner is now “The Third Eye” which won Review Crew Pick Award for the highest number of positive reviews on the site. While conferring the award the Newsground team also called Qumi the Movie of the Year in 2013. “The Third Eye” is also a recurrent winner of Daily Feature Award.
The seventh Qumi episode with the name of “Oilo” is a nominee of XVIII Russian Festival of Visual Arts in the category “Animation”.
The festival traditionally takes place in an all-year children’s camp and center “Orlyonok” with over 3000 young participants from all over Russia and abroad. The winners of the festival are chosen by the young jury while well-known actors, animators and directors are only presenters here.
“Oilo” tells the story of a small oil drop who is being chased by the vicious general from Shumi-Qumi tribe, who wants to use Oilo as fuel for his rocket. After finding out the cruel plan of the general the main Qumi characters – Yusi, Juga and Shumadan face him to save little Oilo. The story of the little oil drop found its way to the heart of the audience and the jury. According to the regulations of the festival both full-length and short movies can be nominees in the category “Animation”.
The Festival of Visual Arts is one of the most important projects for the youth in Russia. Its program includes the best examples of cinematography, animation, television and computer games available. This year the festival will take place on July 1-9.
Toonbox studio will present its Qumi-Qumi program in Saturn cinema theatre on June 26 from 11 am to 3 pm. All visitors will be able to watch all Qumi episodes on the big screen and take part in the animation work-shop.
Qumi-Qumi workshop is a perfect combination of entertainment and developing creative and communicative skills of the kid. The simple and catchy design of the series can be easily reproduced by a kid and the result turns out to be awesome both for the kids and their parents. The Qumi world is inhabited by amazing creatures and kids can both reproduce existing characters and create new ones!
In the workshop the kids will get all the necessary equipment for making their first animated movie: stop-motion-camera, microphone, professional light and supervision of Toonbox animation artists. The kids go through all the stages of movie-making: from creating the characters to sound-recording. The ready-made movies will be available for downloading on Qumi-Qumi website after the files are processed by our specialists. It really is an experience to remember. The kids can show their movies to friends and classmates.
The event in Saturn cinema includes:
- All Qumi episodes on the big screen;
- New episodes (“The Small Worm” and “the Third Eye”);
- Animation workshop;
- Master-class on Qumi-style dreadlocks.
The show starts at 11 am, the workshops start at 12:15 (till 15.00). The price of one ticket is RUR250.
Polycloud.ru, a website for computer animation and visual effects professionals, published an interview with Toonbox creative team. The meeting itself took place during the Multimatograf festival. Therefore it was carried out as a round table discussion with Toonbox key teammates from different continents. The participants included:
Alexander Lipilin, Polycloud.ru editor-in-chief presented the discussion. In the introductory part of the interview he claimed that the discussion was profound and long so the material will be published step-by-step. At the moment two parts of the discussion out of three were already published.
Read the first part of the discussion in which Mr. Ponomarev tells about his career, shares his opinion on how to create catchy characters and answers the question if Mr. Freeman had a real prototype.
In the second part of the round table Mike de Seve, Anatoly Dobrozhan and Vasily Filatov joined the conversation so a lot of various issues were discussed, from sound tracking to postmodernism.
All episodes of Qumi-Qumi – an animated movie for kids from Toonbox animation studio – are now available on the studio’s website. You can watch them in our Portfolio section on Qumi-Qumi webpage. The episodes are being displayed with the help of ivi.ru online cinema system. Qumi-Qumi is an animation movie aimed at kids from 8 to 12 old.
Qumi-Qumi characters were initially created in 2005 for a comic festival, while in 2007 an animated Qumi song with the dancing characters became unexpectedly popular online. Now the animated series is being shown on Karusel and Multimania channels, as well as in all major online cinemas.
On June 1, Toonbox short movies were shown in ZIL cultural center. The event was timed to the Teen’s Day and consisted of two parts.
In the afternoon, starting from 2 pm, animated movies for kids over 6 years old were being shown in the Lecture Hall of the cultural center. Animated series Qumi-Qumi was the key part of the program. The action in the movie takes place in an imaginary world full of amazing landscapes and wonderful creatures. The three friends from different tribes are the main characters of the series. In each episode one of them starts a mess they have to clean up together.
Other Toonbox animated movies were shown as well:
· Russian short fairy-tales, a series based on folk fairy-tales;
· Om Nom Stories – a web-series based on a popular game Cut the Rope; the series won iKids Award (New York, the U. S.) as the best animated movie for kids over 6 years old;
· Shaman’s Quest – the newest series by Toonbox.
In the evening, the program for adults was shown in the same venue. First, the audience had a chance to enjoy a well-known Mr. Freeman series which has over 200 million viewings online and was translated into 20 languages by certain enthusiasts. Then social animated movie “Cone” and author’s animated project “Chepurnas” were shown.
On May 23, the best animated movies made by Toonbox studio within a span of 5 years were shown in Moscow Library of Cinematic Art. Afterwards the audience could talk to the team: Dmitry Gorbunov (linear producer), Artur Merkulov (director), Stas Mikhailov (scriptwriter). Such well-known movies as Mr. Freeman, Om Nom Stories, The Cone, Russian short fairy-tales and some of the ad videos were among those shown.
PR professional and media sociologist Dmitry Markin made a report “Micro groups and creativity” to Toonbox team. Dmitry has 10 years of experience in the media sphere which includes printed mass media, television, online editorials and PR. Starting from 2008 he is studying media sociology and social technologies.
According to Dmitry, profound understanding of how a micro group works can essentially change team characteristics of a group and improve your relationship with family, business partners and friends. A micro group presents a ready-made proven by time pattern of communication among people. We subconsciously use the rules of a micro group during all our life. However, not all patterns are effective in certain situations. Mistakes in choosing the rules of a certain micro group can cost you a lot especially while building up a business. Micro groups are essential in creating your own company thus their proper organization is a key to success.
Toonbox animation studio is giving its own domain name multikov.net to ivi.ru. The domain is being given for free with a purpose of further development of animation platforms in Runet.
On April 19, Pavel Muntyan, Toonbox CEO claimed he wants to pass the domain name and the database of Multikov.net to a decent company. Ivi.ru was picked among individuals and companies that got interested in the offer.
According to Pavel Muntyan, ivi.ru has a similar project which is called deti.ivi.ru. “Its name and concept really suit the ones of Multikov.net. They also have content age filters and other features we were the first to initiate. This is the perfect option for the further development of Multikov.net”.
Multikov.net was launched in 2001 as the first flash animation platform for industry professionals. The website became well-known and popular. About 2000 animators were part of the project’s life. A great number of contemporary animation artists started their career in Multikov.net not in VGIK (Russian State University of Cinematography).
In 2006, the website changed its orientation from professional to mass and became an aggregator of animated content. It was the first to launch a new technology – personalized content filters which protect kids from watching the movies they are not authorized to see due to young age.
According to Sergey Kornikhin, ivi.ru head producer, they are really happy with the choice Toonbox made as ivi.ru’s main focus nowadays is developing its service for kids (deti.ivi.ru) which gives access to the largest catalogue of animated films in the country. The users who want to enter multikov.net will be automatically re-addressed to this service. Video content for kids is in high demand now as kids tend to learn how to use devices much faster than their parents, said Sergey. He also claimed this segment is expected to develop really fast within the next years.
You can read more by following the link.
Vasily Filatov, composer and sound-designer, presented a new company called Toonbox Sound and revealed some secrets about sound design in animation.
Vasily is one of the most well-known sound design professionals in Russia. He recorded Dolby Digital 5.1 versions of over than 100 movies in Gorky cinema studio. He also designed the sound for the movies of Timur Bekmambetov, Andrey Konchalovky and Igor Apasyan. In 2002, he created the first 7.1 movie in Russia.
According to Vasily, Toonbox Sound is a new independent sound design company based in Barvikha. At the moment it is the most expensive studio in the country due to high-quality and unique type of equipment for sound insulation.
His speech gives a profound understanding of why sound insulation is so important. Sound professionals need to create unique atmosphere of the movie and record high-quality live sound which is impossible without proper equipment and environment. Equipment is not a problem for a professional studio, as for the environment, it often becomes a problem.
Mike de Seve, famous New York scriptwriter and film director, carried out a storytelling master-class for Toonbox team. Mike is mostly known for a famous animated series about Beavis and Butt-head and a full-length animated movie with the same characters. Moreover, he worked on a number of Sesame Street episodes, Viva Pinata series, was one of the directors of Monsters vs. Aliens and a consultant in Shrek-2.
According to Mike, the story itself is a key part of any movie, it can fail the whole movie or bring it on top of the hit list. Creating the story is a very complicated art full of important details. Though there is no single formula of how to do it, there always exist certain rules that will lead to success.
In May 2008, a new animation studio called Toonbox appeared on the Russian arena. Now it is one of the most well-known studios in the country and its potential is appreciated in the whole world. In February 2013, Toonbox proved to be a highly professional team by winning a prestigious iKids award from Kidscreen – a leading analytical edition and an organizer of an international summit in the sphere of entertainment for kids.
One of the most popular series made by Toonbox is Mr. Freeman – an online series symbolizing the revolution of the contemporary minds. The monologues of the main character – Mr. Freeman – have over 200 million viewings online and were translated into 20 languages by certain enthusiasts. Another Toonbox series - Cut the Rope - created after a mobile game was shown in the U. S. cinemas before Tim Burton’s movie Frankenweenie. The first season of the latest Toonbox creation – Qumi-Qumi – is now being shown on Karusel and Multimania channels.
Like every other studio, Toonbox achieved its high level of efficiency thanks to its team. From a tiny enterprise with only 5 employees we grew into a large studio with a team of over 50 professionals from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, New York, Budapest, Spain and France. We love animated movies and know how to make them. We aim at further development and achieving perfection!
During the IX International Festival of Multimedia Art “Multimatograf”, Toonbox studio will show selected episodes of the infamous Mr. Freeman series to the audience. The event is called “Through the screen and back”. The exact program is still a mystery even for the organizers of the festival. The series will be shown on the big screen and the audience will have the chance to interact with the authors of the project - Pavel Muntyan (producer), Vladimir Ponomarev (director), Anatoly Dobrozhan (script writer), Vadim Demchog (actor). The tagline of the event (“Direct contact practice”) presupposes interaction with the audience as it already happened on the first (and one and only so far!) event “Mr. Freeman LIVE”.
Starting from 2013 Toonbox animation studio is a general partner of a top-rank multimedia festival Multimatograf!
The ninth edition of the festival will take place on April 26-28 in Vologda – 3 days of various seminars, master-classes and the competition program itself which includes around 90 movies. The available nominations are: Video-art, Multiplication, Short Film, Video-Clip. Toonbox CEO Pavel Muntyan and actor Vadim Demchog are part of the jury.
Apart from the competition program the audience will be able to enjoy well-known movies including the infamous Mr. Freeman followed by a live discussion with the authors of the project.
The festival will be of interest for both professionals and general public. Young movie lovers will be able to watch a new animated series Qumi-Qumi made by Toonbox studio and take part in an animation workshop. Simple and catchy Qumi design is easy to reproduce and the result will amaze the kids and their parents.
Media resource on computer graphics and 3D technologies Render.ru is the general media sponsor of the festival.
We are happy to announce that a web-series Om Nom Stories made by Toonbox and Zeptolab was awarded a prestigious iKids Award by the leading U. S. experts on digital entertainment for kids. The project became the best web series/application for kids over 6 years old.
Here you can also watch the “making of” video.
We are happy to announce that Alexander Dorogov’s animation school attached to Toonbox has moved to a great place – Russian State Library for Young Adults (www.rgub.ru) which is equipped with the newest technical devices. The new address is:
4 build. 1 B. Cherkizovskaya Moscow 107061
Tel: +7 499 922-66-77
Fax: +7 499 161-01-01
The first festival of non-professional movies “Gold Arrow” took place in Nizhny Novgorod on November 25-27. Russian most well-known filmmakers and actors were following the festival program on Skype. The list includes such personalities as Nikita Mikhalkov, Rustam Ibragimbekov, Fedor Bondarchuk, Vadim Demchog, Pavel Muntyan (Toonbox general producer), Evgeny Mironov, Sergey Bezrukov and Andron Konchalovsky.
A presentation of Toonbox latest creation – Qumi-Qumi series – took place in Neformat cinema club. Other animated movies made by the studio were also shown to the public. Afterwards Vladimir Ponomarev (art director of the studio) and Pavel Muntyan (general producer of the studio) were answering the questions of the audience. http://www.flickr.com/photos/qumi-qumi/sets/72157626245443825/
On March 23, 2011, the audience will be able to enjoy a whole collection of animated movies made by Toonbox studio in the cinema club “NEFORMAT”. The club was launched in November 2009 and is acting under the auspices of the Library of Cinema Art of Moscow Department of Culture. Starting from March 2010, the meetings in the club are held twice a month, every second Wednesday at 8 pm. The entry is free. The address of the library is 5 Karetny Ryad. After the show the authors of the project (Toonbox art director Vladimir Ponomarev, general producer Pavel Muntyan, directors and key animators) will be ready to answer the questions of the audience. Welcome!