Finnish animation IP studio Gigglebug Entertainment has hired on Thatcher Mines as Director of Digital and Linnea Karlsson-Autio as Chief Financial Officer. These senior posts have been appointed as the studio moves to expand its digital business and drive the next phase of its growth, by developing a digital-first content strategy.
“Thatcher brings incredible insight into engaging with digital audiences across emerging online platforms. His domain experience with properties in this space will help us bring new shows to market faster and serve traditional broadcasters as well as the direct-to-digital audience,” said Anttu Harlin, CEO and Producer at Gigglebug Ent. “On top of this, Linnea’s expertise with finance and investment funds is something we’ve been looking to introduce to the team for some time. Funding growth in kids content is not limited to subsidies and license fees.”
Founded by Harlin and Joonas Utti, Gigglebug Ent.’s credits include the international kids’ favorite and multi-platform brand Gigglebug (Milkshake!/ YLE), concept development and short form content production for Disney’s 101 Dalmatian Street, and buddy comedy Best & Bester, which launched at last year’s Cartoon Forum and secured a co-production deal with UK-based Eye Present.
“We’ve always been entrepreneurial, and in order to build the best brands of tomorrow we need the best tools and team to enable our creators. We want to be a changemaker. Everyone is looking at existing IP, but we want to be the company that introduces and nurtures new IP for audiences on every platform. At the end of the day, we’re just looking to deliver on our mission to cultivate joy worldwide through positive kids’ and family animation brands,” Harlin added.
Thatcher Mines joins the company from Power Animals United, where he was responsible for guiding the international creative and strategy for the animated preschool series Kid-E-Cats, which is now available across 150 territories. Distributed by APC Kids, the international series was executive produced by Nigel Pickard. At Gigglebug Entertainment he will be responsible for developing new digital properties and driving new content creation and partnerships.
As CFO, Linnea Karlsson-Autio brings her expertise in managing multi-million pound investment funds across Finland, the Nordics and the DACH-region at Nordic Mezzanine. She will also be responsible for driving the company’s fundraising objectives and business growth as it enters the next stage of its expansion.
Mines commented: “Gigglebug Entertainment is an exceptional place for creative and professional growth. Anttu and Joonas have developed this remarkable talent for finding simple, universally playful and meaningful ideas and turning them into top-notch content. As a company we have some inspiring ambitions for creative development, prototyping and beyond. My focus for the next few months is putting our theories and strategy into practice and experimenting with how some of these might scale.”