Beyond Ent. & Custom Nuts Unite as Animation Prodco Beyond Custom Nuts

Beyond Entertainment, part of content powerhouse Banijay, today announces it has entered into a new partnership with independent animation and creative studio Custom Nuts.

Under the banner Beyond Custom Nuts, the partners have agreed a slate development deal to co-produce cutting-edge animated series for the international market, with the first three projects (Jock & Sunny, Shape & Shapers and Classical Chaos) launching this month at Kidscreen Summit. Further developments will be added from the pipeline through 2023 and into future years.

Melinda Wearne Silas Hickey
Melinda Wearne [Beyond Ent.] | Silas Hickey [Custom Nuts]

Melinda Wearne, Beyond Entertainment’s executive charged with scripted development and production across kids and premium drama, has been driving the new relationship. Her wealth of experience includes overseeing the production of numerous award-winning animated and live-action series for prominent networks including Warner, Netflix, ABC and China’s CCTV. These include Netflix Original Beat Bugs, winner of the 2017 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Pre-school Animated Program; Motown Magic for Netflix; and Hoopla Doopla, a co-production between ABC and CCTV in China, which she also created.

“This new co-production venture combines Beyond’s strength in scripted storytelling and its international reach, with the unique creative talents of the Custom Nuts team to present an exciting opportunity for us both,” said Wearne. “Our partner’s knowledge of, and expertise in, both anime and western cartoon narratives gives it a unique edge and together we are well placed to create and deliver truly global entertainment. We are thrilled to announce this new partnership and cannot wait to formally introduce Beyond Custom Nuts titles at Kidscreen.”

Custom Nuts was co-founded in 2019 by Silas Hickey (formerly APAC regional head of development and original production for Cartoon Network) and Matthew Howison. With a diverse slate of original and co-developed content with major studios and media
platforms across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, the company was established with the goal to combine the best of Japanese anime and western cartoons into a new kind of hybrid animated entertainment. Based in Tokyo, Custom Nuts also has offices in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

“The opportunity to combine anime and western cartoon storytelling and formal aesthetics is a creative vision that I have always been driven to fulfil. Beyond Custom Nuts was formed to solve these kinds of complex transnational conundrums,” noted HIckey. “Beyond’s scale and expertise will help us to accelerate the time from script to screen without compromising on quality — or our creative vision — and will allow us jointly to retain more control and ownership over our IP as we take it out to the market. We have exciting times ahead.”

Beyond Custom Nuts launch slate:

  • Jock & Sunny: (52 x 7′) anime hybrid sci-fi/slapstick comedy for kids with strong co- viewing potential.
    Jock and Sunny are stranded in a fantasy sci-fi version of Tokyo and must survive shady odd jobs, the local rock scene and deportation if they’re ever going to build awesome new lives.
  • Shape & Shapers: (26 x 11′) factual/slapstick anime for a 13+ audience.
    An anime inspired series about surfing, subculture and the evolution of the modern surfboard.
  • Classical Chaos: 26 x 11′ + feature-length specials for kids with strong co-viewing potential.
    A specially curated collection of kid-relatable animated classic literary adaptations, combining the aesthetics of anime and golden-era vaudevillian cartoons. |



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