Mouse House Teams With Tyro Animators To Score New Hits

Ever on the lookout to find the next Pixar, Disney is teaming with a brand new animation house stocked with recent grads from a top design college to develop hoped-for future hits.

Pasadena-based Shadebox has signed with the Mouse House to develop the animated feature Let’s Get Francis. Set in a pet store, the tale revolves around two brother hamsters who are split up when one of them is bought by a little girl. After the other sibling runs away in a fit of jealousy, the other pets in the store set on a journey to rescue him.

The Shadebox team is made up of recent Art Center of Pasadena grads Joey Jones, Wira Winata, Mike Frantum and Jason Du, and UC Santa Barbara grad Kazu Kibuishi. Formed just two years ago, the company recently won a Student Emmy Award for its animated short Little Red Plane. Among other things, Shadebox is also working on a video game for Sony, doing visual development work for Shrek producer John Williams and completing commercial work for various clients.