Animation Industry Veterans Jay Ahn and Chris Henderson Launch New Venture: Astro-Nomical Entertainment

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Animation industry veterans Jay Ahn and Chris Henderson launch Astro-Nomical Entertainment, a full-service development and production company focused on making high-quality independent animated family films. With backing from China-based Characterplan, Astro-Nomical Entertainment is preparing to commence production on its first animated feature film, "Mean Margaret."

Animation vets Jay Ahn and Chris Henderson launch Astro-Nomical Entertainment

We feel we are poised to be the ‘go to’ place for creators and producers who want to develop and produce high-quality animated films in the independent CGI family film space.

Animation industry veterans Jay Ahn and Chris Henderson have partnered to launch
Astro-Nomical Entertainment, a full-service development and production company focused on making high-quality independent animated family films. Backed by China-based Characterplan, Astro-Nomical Entertainment is preparing to commence production on its first animated feature film, “Mean Margaret,” and is in talks with Barry Cook (“Mulan”) to direct.

Based in Burbank, Astro-Nomical Entertainment is focused on developing intellectual property and sourcing production financing to develop and produce mid-budget animated family films and film franchises, generating ongoing revenue streams across multiple media platforms, including home entertainment, merchandising and licensing, television, videogames and interactive, location-based entertainment, digital streaming, theme parks, stage shows, mobile, online, and music. Astro-Nomical Entertainment will cater to both the domestic and international markets, with a particular strategic focus on China, based on established relationships with investors, distributors and production partners.

Astro-Nomical Entertainment is pleased to have innovative film and entertainment expert Dr. Kevin Niu on board as the company’s business advisor. Film industry expert David Alper will also serve as an advisor.

First up for Astro-Nomical Entertainment is the feature film “Mean Margaret,” based on the National Book Award-nominated, children’s book by Tor Seidler, about a cranky toddler from a family of nine who is taken in by two woodchucks and raised as their own among a community of wacky animal characters. The project was most recently incubated at Marza Animation Planet, which will lead on story and design. Astro-Nomical Entertainment’s Jay Ahn and Chris Henderson will produce with production handled by Digital Dimension based in Montreal.

Astro-Nomical is working with Pelagius Entertainment’s Joe Fries and Natalie Khoury, who will serve as executive producers, committing equity funding to “Mean Margaret,” marking the first of multiple collaborations in the works. IM Global will handle worldwide sales on “Mean Margaret.”

Astro-Nomical Entertainment will soon announce other projects in active development as well as several projects it is executive producing. Astro-Nomical Entertainment is also co-developing projects with Warner Bros.-based Gulfstream Pictures and Marina Martin’s Pigmental Studios.

"We feel we are poised to be the ‘go to’ place for creators and producers who want to develop and produce high-quality animated films in the independent CGI family film space,” said Henderson. “With our experience and relationships we can maximize the investment in all stages--from development and strong story telling, through physical production. We’re in a golden age of animation right now. It’s the right time to bring these films to market.”

Jay Ahn is a Los Angeles-based independent film and television producer with more than 20 years of experience in production, financing and distribution of features and television in Korea and the U.S. Ahn is one of the key founders and shareholders of ToonBox Entertainment, where until recently he held the position of co-CEO/co-President for three years and executive produced “The Nut Job,” which earned the biggest box office opening ever for an independent, animated film and surpassed $120 million at the global box office. He continues to serve as an advisor to ToonBox, which is currently in production on “The Nut Job 2.”

Chris Henderson began his career in 1984, working on the Anime classic “Tranzor Z,” before founding the independent animation studio, Kookanooga Toons, which produced the series “Monster Mania” for Hallmark Entertainment and Madison’s Adventures “Growing Up Wild” for BBC Worldwide Americas. Henderson also worked for Walt Disney TV Animation, where he served as showrunner for the series “101 Dalmatians” and “Hercules.” Henderson produced hundreds of animated interstitials for Buena Vista Television before being tapped to produce two long form feature animated DVD releases, the award-winning “Hunchback of Notre Dame 2,” and the theatrical sequel to “Peter Pan, Return to Never Land.” He produced “Clifford’s Really Big Movie” (2004) for Scholastic Entertainment and Warner Bros.

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Astro-Nomical Entertainment is a full-service development and production company focused on making high-quality independent animated family films. Backed by China-based Characterplan, Astro-Nomical Entertainment is preparing to launch production on its first film, “Mean Margaret,” and will soon announce other projects in active development. More information at Astro-Nomical.com

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