It was no ordinary day that set events in motion that would impact the lives of 500+ people within the next 10 years. Our CEO and Founder, Vikas, and his Co-Founder Nadim, along with a team of 6 people started the legacy of Digitoonz on that day in the year 2009. In a flat, with one computer and not even a table, began the work that would lay the foundation for years to come. That is how it all began.
The vision for our company was clear from the very beginning and visible in the choices we made. We wanted to make sure we were working with partners we looked up to and could build long-term relationships with. Along with that, we wanted to make sure we were working on the kind of projects that would build us up as a respectable brand from the very beginning. Our vision led us to tough choices that served us well in the years that followed.
Our first few projects led us into the field of Education and Publishing. We began work on projects in this field for domestic as well as international clients and continued to work with those clients for a long time. The projects revolved around teaching children concepts from early childhood education about culture, festivals, seasons, numbers, values, etc.
We were well established in the education sector within the year, but we wanted to expand our horizons. We began to pitch for TV series and a lot of effort was spent before we had our first breakthrough. After one long year, we got the chance to work on Bondi Band, an Italian-Spanish animated television series created by IAM Cartoon Projects. The series was released in 2011 and the following year, it was distributed by Disney XD in several countries. We learned a lot of new things to match the level of work that was expected. It set a precedent for the years that followed, as we have always found ourselves working on challenging projects that make us grow.
As we were nearing the end of Bondi Band’s production, we began actively looking for something new to work on in order to continue our mainstream business. Soon after the completion of Bondi Band, we managed to crack the next production titled ‘Ronaldinho Gaucho’s Team’; an Italian animated television series based on the Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho Gaúcho. We ended up creating 52 episodes of 11 minutes each for this series.
With two TV series already in production, getting a third was much easier. Our third project was another Italian TV series called Gino il Pollo (Gino the Chicken). Here is a fun fact: It was initially an Internet meme before it was turned into an animated series!
2013 was one of the most memorable years of our story, as we landed our first co-production deal. It was a preschool TV series titled Misha the Purple Cat based on a series of books for kids created by Philip Stanton. We produced one season successfully and secured the production of the second season as well soon after. This series met with great success and global viewership, bringing us a lot of recognition as well. Currently, in the year 2020, we are working on the third season for this series.
Raven the Little Rascal happens to be the first 2D animated feature film we have worked on. It was an adventure for multiple reasons, one of them being; exposure to new technology for our studio. We used software that was completely new to us; TV paint. We learned it quickly enough and made sure to achieve the quality standards that we demanded by the project.
We entered a whole new world of technology yet again to deliver our latest project; Mirette Investigates. To be able to create the animation for this project, we began using a new software: Toon Boom Harmony. It was extremely challenging to learn a whole new software, but we could see its value in the future. Our time window to adapt to the new technology was extremely short, but we made that transformation and were rewarded with great appreciation from our client. The hard work we put in paid off, as Mirette Investigates put Digitoonz on the map in the global animation industry.
An animated series titled Galaxi Taxi was our next project. This project came with a lot of valuable lessons. We learned how to plan and track projects meticulously to be able to deliver this series. Our team was also required to create a feel of traditional animation by using rigged characters, something that was a new approach for us and really boosted our productivity.
During the same year, we also worked on a CGI Feature Film titled ‘Sheep & Wolves: Sheep Happens’. We worked on a small part of the whole film and it proved to be a great learning experience.
The next year brought us extreme challenges that we had not faced before but we managed to handle them well. We landed two projects at the same time, Dallas & Robbo and Adam Ruins Everything. Dallas & Robo is an American adult animated series created by Mike Roberts and starring John Cena and Kat Dennings. Adam Ruins Everything is an American educational comedy television series starring Adam Conover. Both projects had worldwide popularity due to the star-studded casts and had quality standards that were strictly defined. We learned quickly how to maintain quality and manage a tight schedule together for both projects. We are proud to share that no deadlines were missed and all quality standards were met and our capability to produce efficient results increased.
We also worked on a CGI TV Series titled Ziggy and the Zoo Tram within the same year, an adorable animation about an Australian freshwater crocodile.
In 2018, we started work on an animation called The Tuis, an animated series about a Pacific Island family living in Northern Australia. We had a big hand in creating this project as we handled it from beginning to the final product. We were just provided with the script, audio, and basic design and we created the rest.
‘Little Luke and Lucy’, as well as ‘YOYO’, are both 3D TV series. Handling both the projects back-to-back for the same client was indeed a new challenge of its own kind. It helped us increase our efficiency to greater levels and develop a stronger foundation in 3D animation.
This 2D animated TV series needs no introduction, as it is a world-renowned show that has won many awards. The most recent award it was nominated for was the ‘Primetime Emmy Awards’ for ‘Outstanding Animated Program’ and it won! It is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Cartoon Network’s late-night programming block Adult Swim. It is currently one of the most popular shows on Netflix. We are proud to be part of such a well-crafted production and it is definitely one of our favourite projects in recent times. We worked on some parts of the third season of the series and continued to work on the fourth season’s production as well.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are definitely the most famous turtles worldwide! The launch of a new animated series based on them was definitely the addition of a star project in our portfolio. Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an American 2D-animated television series that was announced by Nickelodeon in 2017. It is also an award-winning show, winning an Annie Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production’ and was nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards under the category ‘Outstanding Children’s Animated Series’. We have worked on its first season and are now working on the second season as well.
This project was a particularly challenging one for us in recent years. The quality standards were extremely high for this show along with an extremely tight schedule. We developed new tools to match the expected quality of details like line quality and stroke, the shading, etc. The technology used for the project was Toon Boom Harmony 14 and 17.
With our partners expecting delivery of one episode per week, the task seemed next to impossible. Training our team took up a lot of time and we added a large number of people to meet the schedule. We had complete help from the partners at every step, with support in terms of how much workforce would be required, and weekly training for the employees. Every week we ended up letting go of some people and added more, to match the required standards. At the end of the production, 90 percent of the crew had been shuffled!
Solar Opposites is an American animated sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan for Hulu. On Rotten Tomatoes the show has an approval rating of 90% based on reviews from 29 critics and it is definitely a popular show. It centers around a family of aliens from a better world who must take refuge in middle America. We have successfully delivered one season for this show.
Glitch Techs is an American animated web television series created by Eric Robles and Dan Milano for Nickelodeon and streaming on Netflix. For us, Glitch Techs has been one of the most complicated projects. We were hired to do all the Harmony rigs. The quality level of the design for this show was very high and we delivered it well. Now that the show is a great success, we feel proud to be part of this prestigious series.
This is an exciting and action-oriented project for Digitoonz, with a style guide that is very different from what we have worked on before. We have already worked on season one and are now working on season two.
With each progressing year, we have been able to work on bigger and bigger brands, and 2020 has brought to us one of the biggest, most well-known brands: Doctor Who. Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television program produced by the BBC since 1963. Work on its conversion into an animated series began in 2019, and we stepped into the project in Season one during the phase of production. However, for season two and three, we are all set to handle the entire series from pre to post-production. We couldn’t be more excited and feel lucky to be involved in this series from the very beginning.
It has been a long amazing journey so far, but we believe we have many many more miles to go and many many more milestones to accomplish. We will keep sharing the updates of our exciting journey every year!
This is one of the most challenging project we have worked on as half of the project were completed during lockdown. We are really thankful to our Producer for their great support.
The Movie, directed by Beauty and the Beast’s Kirk Wise and produced by Mortal Kombat’s Lawrence Kasanoff, will be available on Digital, DVD, and on demand from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment this Dec. 8. It will also stream on Netflix at a later date.