Beyond Entertainment, Custom Nuts draw animated series partnership | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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Kicking off with titles to be launched at Kidscreen Miami, Banijay-owned Beyond Entertainment has entered into a new partnership with independent animation and creative studio Custom Nuts to create new entity Beyond Custom Nuts.
Beyond Ent MelindaWearne SilasHickey 7Feb2023
The partners have agreed a slate development deal to co-produce what they call “cutting-edge” animated series for the international market, with the first three projects launching this month. Further developments will be added from the pipeline through 2023 and into future years.

52 x 7’ anime hybrid Jock and Sunny is described as a sci-Fi slapstick-comedy for kids with strong co-viewing potential. Shape & Shapers (26 x 11) is a factual / slapstick anime for a 13+ audience and covers surfing, subculture, and the evolution of the modern surfboard. Classical Chaos has 26 x 11’ episodes and feature-length specials for kids and is a specially curated collection of kid-relatable animated classic literary adaptations, combining the aesthetics of anime and golden-era vaudevillian cartoons.

Custom Nuts was co-founded in 2019 by Silas Hickey (formerly APAC regional head of development and original production at WBD’s Cartoon Network) and Matthew Howison. With a slate of original and co-developed content with major studios and media platforms across the APAC region and beyond, the company was established to combine the best of Japanese anime and western cartoons into a new kind of hybrid animated entertainment. Based in Tokyo, it also has offices in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Melinda Wearne, Beyond Entertainment's executive charged with scripted development and production across kids and premium drama (pictured left), has driven the new relationship. Commenting on what she believes that it could bring, she said: “This new co-production venture combines Beyond’s strength in scripted storytelling and its international reach, with the unique creative talents of the Custom Nuts team to present an exciting opportunity for us both. Our partner’s knowledge of, and expertise in, both anime and western cartoon narratives gives it a unique edge and together we are well placed to create and deliver truly global entertainment. We are thrilled to announce this new partnership and cannot wait to formally introduce Beyond Custom Nuts titles at Kidscreen.”

Silas Hickey (pictured right) added: “The opportunity to combine anime and western cartoon storytelling, and formal aesthetics, is a creative vision that I have always been driven to fulfil. Beyond Custom Nuts was formed to solve these kinds of complex transnational conundrums. Beyond's scale and expertise will help us to accelerate the time from script to screen without compromising on quality – or our creative vision - and will allow us jointly to retain more control and ownership over our IP as we take it out to the market. We have exciting times ahead.”