Stainton hired to head Paramount’s animation unit

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David Stainton

David Stain­ton

Para­mount Pic­tures announced Mon­day that it has appointed vet­eran ani­ma­tion exec­u­tive David Stain­ton as pres­i­dent of its new in-house ani­ma­tion division.

Stain­ton joins Para­mount after a 17-year run at Dis­ney, where he served as Pres­i­dent of Walt Dis­ney Fea­ture Ani­ma­tion. Dur­ing his stu­dio tenure, he over­saw sev­eral dozen releases across var­i­ous plat­forms that brought in $3.5 bil­lion in world­wide rev­enue. He spear­headed Disney’s tran­si­tion from its hand-drawn roots to fully dig­i­tal ani­ma­tion pro­duc­tion, led the suc­cess­ful Dis­ney Video Pre­mieres divi­sion, and over­saw the studio’s 150-person ani­ma­tion facil­ity in Paris. More recently, Stain­ton served as CEO of fam­ily enter­tain­ment pro­ducer Henry’s World Media, which he founded in 2007.

In his new role, which takes effect this week, Stain­ton will report to Adam Good­man, Pres­i­dent of the Para­mount Motion Pic­ture Group.

Para­mount Ani­ma­tion aims to focus on high-quality ani­ma­tion with bud­gets per pic­ture of up to $100 mil­lion, with an ini­tial tar­get of one release per year. The division’s man­date will be the devel­op­ment of the broad­est range of fam­ily CGI ani­mated films, with a key piece being titles under the label of Viacom’s Nick­elodeon, the No. 1 enter­tain­ment brand for kids world­wide. Para­mount will also build on Viacom’s already thriv­ing global con­sumer prod­ucts busi­ness by seek­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on mer­chan­dis­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties tied to all Para­mount Ani­ma­tion releases.

The suc­cess of Rango this year helped us rec­og­nize our poten­tial and abil­ity to cre­ate won­der­fully imag­i­na­tive ani­mated pic­tures with global appeal,” said Brad Grey, Chair­man and CEO of Para­mount Pic­tures. “David is a proven leader with a broad port­fo­lio of expe­ri­ence in ani­ma­tion and fam­ily enter­tain­ment. He will be a wel­come addi­tion to Adam’s highly tal­ented team.”

David’s accom­plish­ments speak for them­selves, and I am glad to wel­come him to the lot as we start this excit­ing new chap­ter,” Good­man added. “With David’s lead­er­ship, we will look to build on what has been a very strong year for our stu­dio in ani­ma­tion, with Rango and the upcom­ing Adven­tures of Tintin point­ing to the kind of artist-driven, broad-appeal films we intend to make at Para­mount Animation.”

Today’s mar­ket­place affords ter­rific flex­i­bil­ity as we set out to cre­ate fresh, new and dif­fer­ent films and seek to attract great tal­ent to Para­mount,” Stain­ton said. “It is a great honor to be join­ing a com­pany as sto­ried and suc­cess­ful as Para­mount and to be able to shape its future in ani­ma­tion. I look for­ward to help­ing usher in this new era.”

While Para­mount has released an array of suc­cess­ful ani­mated films in its his­tory, the company’s first fully owned CGI ani­mated prop­erty was Rango, released to great acclaim in March. The West­ern, directed by Gore Verbin­ski and fea­tur­ing the voice of Johnny Depp in the title role, has grossed more than $240 mil­lion world­wide and is the best reviewed ani­mated movie so far this year. Due for release in Decem­ber by Para­mount is The Aven­tures of Tintin, an ani­mated film from direc­tor Steven Spiel­berg and pro­ducer Peter Jackson.

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