French Animation House TeamTO to Open New Studio (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Haut et Court
TeamTO's 'Yellowbird'

France's leading indie animation studio will double its capacity with a new facility in the South of France.

TeamTO, the studio behind last year’s Seth Green- and Dakota Fanning-voiced Yellowbird, is set to open a new studio in southern France.

The new 11,000-square-foot facility will open in the animation hub of Bourg-les-Valence, which is anchored by the prestigious animation directors’ school La Pudriere. The new studio will double the current capacity of TeamTO’s Paris office. It’s set to house 220 staff by the end of the year.

Since the full-service studio was co-founded by president Guillaume Hellouin, head of development Corinne Kouper and studio manager Caroline Souris in 2005, it has collaborated on Disney’s Sofia the First, Ubisoft’s Rabbids Invasion, Gaumont’s Calimero and eOne’s Pyjamasques, among others, and its own created series, including the Emmy-nominated Angelo Rules.

In that time, the studio has become the largest indie animation player in the French market that has seen a surge with the success of American-owned Illumination MacGuff. It’s maintained its “French touch” by growing its facilities within France instead of outsourcing to Asia.

When the company moved into its airy Paris headquarters in 2012, "I thought it would be big enough to last the next 10 years," said Hellouin. The three-story space is now at capacity.

The new Bourg-les-Valence facility is aimed at helping France’s top indie animation studio step up its ambitious slate. Most animation will move to the new facility, with development, marketing and management remaining in Paris.

TeamTO’s production will grow an additional 25 percent this year. It’s ramping up on television shows, including My Knight and Me, as well as its next feature, the English-language sci-fi story The Artificials, a live-action and CGI mix aimed at a young-adult audience. That project follows the younger-skewing Yellowbird, which sold to over 35 territories.

The company is also developing proprietary software for the animation industry with a 20-person-strong tech research and development team. That project, which will merge 2D and 3D styles, will be completed in about a year and a half, Hellouin said.

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