Canadian FX houses launch ani offshoot


TORONTO -- Canadian producer Screen Door and Rocket Science Visual Effects on Thursday unveiled plans to launch an offshoot cartoon producer, Fandango Animation.

Former Nelvana executive Heather Walker will head up Fandango as executive director, development and production.

Fandango will set up shop in Rocket Science's Toronto facility and aims to focus on the production of animated content for new-media platforms. Initially, about 18 animators will work at Fandango. Walker said the animation house's first projects will be announced in the next few weeks.

Rocket Science is best known for the production of visual effects for feature films and TV movies. Its recent credits include Disney's "The Game Plan," Warner Bros.' "License to Wed" and Lifetime's "Custody."

"We are consistently asked to quote on animation-based projects, both 3-D and 2-D," Rocket Science co-founder Tom Turnbull said. "With our proven capabilities along with the expansion of the animation market both into new media and to an older tech-savvy demographic, the time seems right to commit ourselves in this direction," he added.

Fandango co-founder Screen Door is best known for award-winning TV series and telefilms. Its credits include the upcoming Canadian Broadcasting Corp. drama "MVP," a series about professional hockey players and their wives and mistresses, and the CBC miniseries "Everest," which stars Jason Priestley and William Shatner.