JibJab Takes On the Holidays

During Thursday night’s animation-themed Producers Guild mixer and panel discussion in Culver City, Calif., featured panelist Greg Spiridellis of JibJab Media Inc. revealed plans for the next political satire from the company behind the animated web sensation, This Land.

"We’re working on a holiday piece that is going to be a spoof of ‘We are the World.’" Notes Spiridellis. "It’s got all the world leaders including George Bush, and it’s going to be called We Own the World." He says they hope to have it finished in time for Christmas. "That’s the problem," he notes, "before we were just tinkering but now we really have to deliver."

Greg and brother Evan Spiridellis have been producing web toons since the late ’90s but were thrust into the spotlight this year when their George W. Bush/John Kerry spoof, titled This Land, drew 80 million online views and grabbed the attention of the news media and TV personalities such as Jay Leno. They appeared as guests on The Tonight Show, which later premiered their sequel, Good to Be in D.C.

JibJab has recently expanded into home video distribution. Spiridellis says they have sold more than 17,000 DVDs featuring This Land and Good to Be in D.C. He describes their distribution pipeline as "Three guys in an 800-square foot space panicking." He explains, "Each day I would look at our online store and see like 8,000 orders and say to [my assistant] ‘Um, we’re going to be packing a lot of boxes.’ I would love it if we could outsource that."

At the The Producer Guild meeting, Spiridellis was joined on the panel by Sony Imageworks exec producer/senior VP of production infrastructure Debbie Denise (The Polar Express, Monster House), DreamWorks Feature Animation producer Teresa Cheng (Madagascar), Disney Feature Animation producer Randy Fullmer (Chicken Little), Universal Cartoon Studios producer John Kafka (The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, Van Helsing: The London Assignment) and TOKYOPOP director of film and TV Steve Galloway.

Produced by New Media Council Events Committee chairs James Fino and Duncan Wainheld, the Producers Guild animation mixer was held in the Ince theater at Culver Studios. See this site forfurther coverage of the event.