A major Irish animation studio has been snapped up by Hasbro

14 Jul 2016

A screenshot of one of Boulder Media's animation pieces

Boulder Media, one of Ireland’s largest animation studios, has been snapped up by US toy giant Hasbro to allow the Dublin-based company to make Hasbro cartoons.

Boulder Media has found international success with its production of a rebooted version of the animated classic Danger Mouse, which is currently broadcast on the BBC, and it will now produce for an even bigger audience in the US.

In a statement issued by Hasbro, the deal was confirmed. It will see Boulder Media continue its operations in Ireland with 150 employees where it will act as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US corporation.

This means that the Irish animation studio will continue to produce content for third-party clients like the BBC, but will now also be put to work creating content that falls under the Hasbro brand.

Founded at the turn of the millennium, Boulder Media, under the leadership of creative director Robert Cullen, has had a successful return producing a number of shows over the course of 16 years for not only the BBC, but Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Cullen has described the deal as a way to expand Boulder Media’s presence in Ireland in the future with the help of the “entertainment powerhouse” that is Hasbro.

Joining an ‘entertainment powerhouse’

“Boulder and Hasbro have ambitious plans for growth and, working together, we will substantially expand our team and our business,” said Cullen.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring to life the Hasbro stories and characters that mean so much to our team, and join a company that’s emerging as an entertainment powerhouse.”

In describing the importance of this acquisition, which now gives Hasbro a foothold in animation, the company’s chief content officer and executive vice president, Stephen Davis, said it was the right time for the acquisition.

“As one of the largest independent studios producing animation in Hollywood, the time is right for Hasbro to acquire its own animation studio, allowing us to expand our animation and storytelling capabilities even further,” Davis said.

“In Boulder, we have found one of the most progressive, innovative and creative teams in the business. We are thrilled to partner with Rob Cullen, Pete Lewis, Jenni MacNeaney and the entire Boulder team as we significantly enhance the execution of our story-led Brand Blueprint strategy.”

Boulder Media now joins Brown Bag Films as major Irish animation studios that have been acquired in the last year, with the latter being acquired by the 9 Story Media group in August 2015.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic