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Kartoon Studios Announces Winnie-The-Pooh Business and Creative All-Star Team on the Heels of Securing $30m of Non-Dilutive Production Funding


Former Paramount Pictures Executive, Ryan Gagerman, to Lead the Worldwide Consumer Products Rollout; Peppa Pig Writer Sam Morrison to Serve as Head Writer; Multi-Emmy Award Winner Michael Maliani Set to Direct

Kartoon Studios

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June 24, 2024 – Following Kartoon Studios’ (NYSE American:TOON) landmark announcement last week regarding the 2025 Christmas Eve premiere of “Kartoon Studio’s Winnie-The-Pooh,” the company today announced a team of proven executives to drive the development, production, retail, and global distribution strategy for the property. The development, production, and growth of the property is funded by a non-dilutive production financing of $30 million, led by Catalyst Venture Partners.

The global consumer products business will be led by veteran licensing executive, Ryan Gagerman, who has held senior positions at Paramount Pictures, Electronic Arts, and DIC Entertainment. Gagerman, has been appointed Head of Global Licensing for “Kartoon Studios’ Winnie-The-Pooh,” responsible for building the brand across all major license categories, including toys, electronics, publishing, apparel, and more.

Kartoon Studios Winnie-The-Pooh,” currently in pre-production, will be directed by multiple Emmy Award-winning director Michael Maliani. Adding to the production is Sam Morrison, a member of the acclaimed writing team for the hit children’s series, “Peppa Pig,” and serves as Head Writer. Former Managing Director of Disney Channel Worldwide and current President of Kartoon Channel! Worldwide & Head of International Sales, Paul Robinson, will drive international sales.

“Content sales are essential, but it is the sale of licensed consumer products that drive outsized returns and truly excites our group,” stated Steven A. Horowitz, Sr. Managing Director of the Winnie the Pooh SPV and its parent company, Catalyst Venture Partners. “During a week where an animated film dominated the global box office for the second week in a row, we are reminded of the importance of proven brands and stories that speak to families and the fundamental appeal of animation. The team Kartoon Studios has assembled to lead this exciting new Winnie-The-Pooh is world class and knows exactly how to make great content for kids, build impactful global entertainment brands, and drive a global consumer products business.”

Kartoon Studios Chairman and CEO, Andy Heyward, added, “Years ago, I had the privilege to work with Ryan Gagerman when he oversaw the global rollout of ‘Strawberry Shortcake,’ which generated over $5 billion dollars of retail sales under his leadership. He is the perfect executive to spearhead our global consumer products and retail program for this brand. Similarly, Paul Robinson, a renowned industry executive and our head of international, will no doubt deliver on the global distribution, creating global awareness for this new and exciting version of the A.A. Milne classic.”

Gagerman is an accomplished executive with a dynamic career in entertainment and consumer products. Prior to joining Kartoon Studios, Gagerman served as Global Licensing Director at Electronic Arts, where he delivered high-profile partnerships, expanded the global location-based entertainment business, and supported top games like FIFA, Madden, Mass Effect, and Plants vs. Zombies.

Previously, Gagerman was Vice President at Paramount Pictures in the Consumer Products and Recreation Group, where he supported the launch of blockbuster features such as the “Transformers” franchise. Additionally, he also helped monetize Paramount’s iconic catalog with films, including “The Godfather,” “Grease,” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Gagerman began his career at DIC Entertainment, where he rose to the role of Vice President of Global Consumer Products, working on high-profile brands, including the multi-billion-dollar “Strawberry Shortcake” and leading his division to become the largest revenue generator in the organization.

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