Ballantine to Lead Flying Bark Studio

American animation veteran Jim Ballantine is the new managing director of Flying Bark Studio, the Australian animation studio of Studio 100. Ballantine succeeds Eric Claeys, who left for Australia over a year ago to carry out a one-year reorganization assignment.

Ballantine has held various management posts at Disney and Nickelodeon and exec produced Bambi 2 and Brother Bear 2 and worked on numerous animated features including The Little Mermaid and The Rescuers Down Under. He also produced The Ren & Stimpy Show for Nickelodeon. He comes to Flying Bark after a two-year stint as creative producer for Animation Lab in Israel.

Flying Bark Studio is currently putting the finishing touches to the 26-part half-hour series, Enyo, in co-production with its Danish partner Funkhauser Films. The second series of the successful Dive Olly Dive, a co-production with Mike Young Productions, is also nearing completion. Also on the studio’s pipeline is Santa’s Apprentice, an animated c feature co-produced with French studio Alphanim, slated for Christmas 2010. A relaunch of Blinky Bill, the cartoon icon of Australia, with a full-length feature film and a series of 26 episodes, is also in the works for 2010.