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Ex-Rovio Head Launches New Animation Company Haruworks

Finland-based studio will focus on building an international development slate with a Nordic flair.

HELSINKI -- Animation and mobile entertainment expert Nick Dorra has opened the doors of Haruworks, a newly formed animation studio based in Finland.

Following a successful round of investment, Haruworks will discuss its development slate at Kidscreen in Miami, with a view to presenting the final slate at MIP TV in April.

The company is based in Helsinki and is focused on building international character brands with a Nordic flair. The slate currently comprises four TV shows across various age groups from preschool to 8 years old that will also be designed for co-viewing with parents and siblings.

Haruworks embraces a Scandinavian style of story-telling and Nordic design heritage, taking inspiration from the works of Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson. Approaching properties with a multiplatform strategy, the team has a deep understanding of apps, games and digital distribution and a commitment to engage audiences wherever they are.

It has appointed an advisory board of experts including industry veteran Fred Seibert, Cake’s Tom Van Waveren, e-One Family’s Nick Gawne and Original Talent Ltd.’s Simon Flamank. Haruworks has also appointed former child psychologist Maija Arponen as head of development. Arponen will draw on her expertise to help shape creative that is nourishing for children’s psychological and emotional growth.

Dorra spent four years at Rovio Entertainment, heading up animation and content strategy as well as acquisitions for Toons TV. He grew the animation team from 10 to 100 artists and led Angry Birds from game to screen, resulting in 2 billion views in the first 20 months. He also enjoyed a stint at New York-based video start-up incubator Thirty Labs.

 “We are delighted to officially launch and start conversations about our slate at Kidscreen,” says Dorra. “Haruworks has been founded with the mission to create content that is worth your child’s precious time and attention. Experience tells us that kids and parents long for safe, witty and non-condescending stories and that’s what we are offering. We want to create worlds and characters that families love and pass on to the next generation.”

“Haruworks is a truly exciting and promising proposition,” says Siebert. “The breadth of talent and experience within the company offers a great foundation for the development of high quality, sought after global hit shows which can thrive on all platforms.”

Source: Haruworks

Thomas J. McLean's picture

Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.