Rubicon Revamps Pink Panther and Pals using the Toon Boom Pipeline

"Creating the animatics in Storyboard Pro allowed us to screen them faster, make changes on the fly and export them into Harmony without having to deal with the problems of time delays from shipping and faxing." — Carrie Kost, Production Manager at RGH Entertainment

Rubicon Revamps Pink Panther and Pals using the Toon Boom Pipeline

With it's global team of over 300 employees in four locations: Amman (Jordan), Los Angeles (United States), Manila (Philippines) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates), RGH is a developer/co-producer of world class IP. To make a global digital production work at the highest level possible, RGH relies on its world class team of artists and animators who collaborate to provide a unique perspective into the realization of compelling digital content and immersive entertainment.

Combining award winning creative and cutting-edge technology, RGH has an established reputation for innovation in four distinct business segments: Animation - television and features (www.rghentertainment.com), Themed Entertainment (www.rghthemedentertainment.com), Games (www.rghgames.com) and Education (www.rgheducation.com).

The Animation division at RGH has worked on acclaimed television series such as Asia Lee, Postman Pat, Ben & Izzy, Blake: Double Identity as well as Pink Panther & Pals, which will be the focus of this article.

Co-produced with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television and created using the Toon Boom pipeline, Pink Panther & Pals continues the hilarious adventures of one of the most-beloved animated characters of all time, the one-and-only Pink Panther. In his new incarnation, Pink Panther is a bit younger – more teen than grown-up. But while he may be young, he has all the attributes that made the grown-up pink panther the icon that he is today – cool and savvy, curious and confident.

Pink Panther & Pals remains true to the original series with great storytelling, great animation and great comedy. Kids will love the fresh cleverness of the Pink Panther and his jaunty attitude, and those who grew up with him will be happy to see that the Pink cat has not lost one ounce of his integrity.

Pink Panther & Pals is based upon the animated Pink Panther character created by David DePatie and Friz Freleng for the Pink panther films of Blake Edwards. David J. Corbett, Isam S. Ayoubi and Walter Mirisch served as Executive Producers with Joe Patrick, Executive Vice President of Domestic Television, overseeing the series for MGM.

David Corbett wrote the series bible and executive produced the project together with Isam S. Ayoubi and Walter Mirisch. In addition, he wrote and edited multiple stories and scripts, and provided voice direction.

David is a highly regarded animation industry veteran who has contributed to a number of television's most successful animated properties over the past 30 years. Winner of the Humanitas Prize, three Silver Angels, a Golden Marble, a New York Times Critic's pick and an Emmy nomination, a partial list of his credits include: Transformers, GI Joe, Defenders of The Earth, Flash Gordon, Blondie & Dagwood, Prince Valiant, Phantom 2040 and most recently, Pink Panther & Pals and the Pink Panther Christmas special, A Very Pink Christmas, among many others. David is now Executive Director of RGH's North American operations.

Team

Acting as Supervising Producer, Kerry Valentine joined the Pink Panther & Pals production team at RGH in 2008 after serving as a post production supervisor at Funny Garbage on Young Person's Guide to History for Adult Swim and on Harden High for MTV. Prior to Funny Garbage, she was an associate producer at Six Point Harness where her credits include: El Tigre for Nickelodeon, Slacker Kats for ABC Family, Read A Book for BET, Bamimation and Where My Dogs At for MTV, Medium for NBC, and Wacky Races for Warner Bros. She began her career in television production at VH1 after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Television Arts at California State University, Northridge. Kerry currently oversees all of RGH's very active production slate.

Another important team member includes Carrie Kost who manages animation production at RGH Entertainment. During her time there she has served as production manager on Pink Panther & Pals and A Very Pink Christmas as well as producer on Sesame Street Road Safety PSA's. Earlier in her career she served as head of production at Six Pont Harness. Carrie's many illustrious television credits include second unit production manager on El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera; assistant animation director on The Adventures of Chico and Guapo and Drew Carey's Green Screen Show; and puppet fabrication coordinator on Robot Chicken and Robot Chicken: Star Wars.

Produced in the same classic 2D animation style used in the original Pink Panther cartoons, each show contains two seven-minute episodes of a teenage Panther and his buddies, and one short of the classic Ant & the Aardvark characters.

Premiering in the spring 2010 to high ratings and critical acclaim, Pink Panther & Pals airs on all Cartoon Network and Boomerang channels around the world, and has been sold in an additional forty plus territories, including the Middle East and North Africa. The Pink Panther Christmas Special, A Very Pink Christmas, also developed in association with Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer Television, continued RGHs successful string of animation success stories when it debuted with high ratings on ABC Family and Cartoon Network in the UK. MGM Television International will distribute the property worldwide.

The production of Pink Panther & Pals spanned about two years, which included eight months of preproduction, eight months to produce the animation and approximately four months of post production work. Relying on Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony, the entire production was handled digitally, 100% paper free, between RGH in Los Angeles, RGH in Manila and RGH in Amman.

Pre and post production was handled at RGH in Los Angeles by a staff of 45 full-time employees. Each team was overseen by a director who oversaw a team of storyboard and clean-up artists.

  • Using Harmony
  • Using Harmony

Directors at RGH's Los Angeles facility worked closely with the animation teams at their studios in Amman and Manila to ensure that the integrity of the overall vision of the show was communicated flawlessly across the company. The Storyboard Pro files created in Los Angeles were converted into Harmony animation files in each of the overseas locations.

"Storyboard Pro was an invaluable asset that enabled our directors to seamlessly transfer files to their own desktops, which provided for great back and forth flow between the directors and storyboard artists without the need to continuously print out copies on paper. The digital files were then uploaded across the world to our animation facilities, giving them immediate access to accurate representations of our timing and staging. The addition of dialogue and scratch music and effects tracks allowed for a greater understanding of the director's intention for gags and timing in each episode. Creating the animatics in Storyboard Pro allowed us to screen them faster, make changes on the fly and export them into Harmony without having to deal with the problems of time delays from shipping and faxing. In production, every day counts," commented Carrie Kost, Production Manager at RGH Entertainment.

2011 was an incredible year of growth for RGH Entertainment. The studio's history of success as a producer of animation and educational content in the Middle East opened doors for the company in the U.S. where they continued to build on their reputation for producing high-quality award winning animation at their facilities in Los Angeles, Amman and Manila with the production of Pink Panther & Pals. The series was honored to win four KidScreen Awards at the event in New York in 2011, including Best Animated Series.

  • Using Storyboard Pro
  • Using Storyboard Pro

A Very Pink Christmas was a ratings winner on ABC Family in 2011, and RGH was proud to produce a series of animated PSAs for Sesame Workshop in support of the UN's Decade of Action for Road Safety. The PSAs were distributed around the world and "Grover Safari Road Safety" was recently awarded a CINE Golden Eagle Award.

Currently, RGH is well into production on Classic Media's property Postman Pat – The Movie – You Know You're the One. The CG 3-D Stereoscopic film is slated to be released worldwide in spring 2013. The company is also in preproduction on a second feature based on L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.

In addition, RGH Games released two entertaining apps for iOS, Dragon Eggs and Trashers, and is in development on a number of new titles for iOS and other emerging platforms. Trashers debuted with rave reviews and was named "Best Kids Game" in the iOS division at the 2011 Best App Ever Awards.

RGH Themed Entertainment began the design and project management of The Red Sea Astrarium, a 184-acre themed entertainment resort with a budget of $1.5 billion opening in Aqaba, Jordan, in 2014. In addition, the division was recently invited to serve as master planner and concept designer for InspireWA, a multi-billion dollar integrated themed resort planned for Perth, Australia.

About Rubicon Group Holding (RGH)

Rubicon Group Holding (RGH), a diversified entertainment company founded by CEO Randa Ayoubi, is devoted to the creation of incomparable entertainment experiences and interactive educational content across all media channels.