Established in 2008, One Animation is a CG animation company that operates in Indonesia, Singapore and London.
Since its incorporation, One Animation has received two Emmy nominations for the Kids: Animation category, and has released a slate of award-winning animated shows that is viewed across more than 180 countries worldwide. Their list of clients and partners include several prominent players in the media industry, such as Disney, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Behind the Scenes of One Animation
One Animation’s Oddbods stars seven eccentric characters with distinct personalities. With its loveable protagonists and witty storylines, Oddbods’ popularity has skyrocketed across multiple territories.
As of 2018, Oddbods is carried by established OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and has more than 6 billion cumulative views through its online channels, generating a whopping 450M views per month on YouTube alone.
It is also broadcast on over 50 platforms globally, including Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Canal+ and CITV amongst others.
One Animation also works with several prominent licensees in order to turn Oddbods into a range of toys, mascots, and other forms of interactive content.
One Animation started on Oddbods by conceptualising the characters, and designing them with 3D Modelling software.
They did a number of tests, which caught the attention of Next Media, which had a mobile platform in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
One Animation ensured that Oddbods could be viewed through mobile applications, by making their content was “short-form”.
As a result, their partners regarded Oddbods as a property with strong potential. This led to the production of Oddbods’ first 300 episodes, which were all one-minute long.
Through the use of mobile technology, new episodes appeared in the market on a daily basis. One Animation transformed their mobile content, which had been distributed in Taiwan and Hong Kong, into different formats.
They took two approaches to further develop and franchise the brand:
According to One Animation’s representatives, Nickelodeon was the first to purchase Oddbods in Asia. Soon, Oddbods became a global project once One Animation made sales to Disney (USA) and Cartoon Network (Europe and Latin America).
Oddbods’s Commercial Success
As mentioned in our previous article about One Animation, a combination of factors have led to Oddbods’s the commercial success:
One Animation ensured that their characters were well designed, and that their different personalities made them relatable to their target audience.
Oddbods communicated its humour through physical comedy instead of dialogue. Without any language barriers, audiences could fully appreciate its humour.
According to Enrique Caballero, the head of One Animation’s R&D, One Animation strives to create high-quality footage “as [they’re] not relying on dialogue to communicate. The show relied on very subtle acting, very clear setup and staging for the gags.”
According to Richard Thomas, Creative Director, Comedic shows are extremely successful. Each broadcaster has their own mandates, and they focus on different target audiences.
One Animation places their characters in “everyday scenarios”, which draws its viewers in. Furthermore, Richard explains how Comedy is a universal concept, and appeals to all viewers.
Image © One Animation
As compared to Insectibles, One Animation’s other projects (specifically, Rob the Robot and Oddbods) were a lot simpler to produce. One Animation’s first animated series (Rob the Robot) was for a preschool audience.
Although their second series (Oddbods) had an ambiguous demographic, it was a big step for them. Oddbods applied different textures, its storyline appealed to an audience that was more mature, its rendering process was more complex, and its animation had improved.
One Animation’s third series, Insectibles, was a quantum leap above their previous ones.
It follows the adventures of a teenage boy (Zak) and his grandfather, who have been shrunk down to the size of insects, and are trying to find a way to return to normal.
The show is co-produced by Discovery Kids Asia and KiKa (German children’s channel), and ZDF Enterprises (European broadcaster). It is successful in Europe and South America.
During Insectibles’s development, One Animation actively approached broadcasters for advice, and revised their ideas according to the broadcasters’ suggestions. They started with a pitch bible with the characters, and it evolved from there.
With each meeting, One Animation refined their product, and eventually found broadcasters who were interested in commissioning their project.
According to One Animation’s representatives, their broadcasters were highly impressed with the first episode of Insectibles.
However, because they were relatively unknown at that point in time, the studio had to prove that they could produce several episodes.
If a producer intends to invest heavily in animated project, they will question the project’s applicability to their channel, as well as the firm’s ability to produce it.
Image © One Animation
Sashim Parmanand, One Animation’s Chief Executive Officer, has created a business strategy that allows One Animation to progress at such an impressive rate. She states how her strategy includes following steps:
According to Sashim, One Animation should create content that an international audience may relate to.
Although many studios tend to struggle with global content, One Animation has an international crew with 30 different nationalities at the studio whose experiences ensure that their shows are universally relatable.
Sashim also stresses the importance of diversity within a project’s licensing portfolio.
For instance, Oddbod’s boasts a diverse portfolio of licensing deals, which have enabled them to expand their show into a wide range of interactive products.
Sashim also states how a diverse animation portfolio allows One Animation to mitigate risk.
For example, She explains how One Animation’s current shows may be viewed over linear platforms, and video-on-demand, content education. Furthermore, One Animation accepts service work for prominent clients, and intends to build original series with OTT content providers.
Sashim recollects pitching Oddbods several times to Netflix before securing a deal.
Furthermore, broadcasters’ decisions may change over time, and different personnel within broadcaster have different opinions about project. Sashim explains how these factors will influence whether or not a project is greenlit, hence the importance of timing.
One Animation currently has two CG Animated projects in development.
As per Sashim’s policy, One Animation is waiting for 80% of their shows to be funded before they are greenlit.
Sashim stresses the importance of developing a strong culture within her studio.
For instance, One Animation encourages team building and creative expression. Employees are invited to seasonal parties, commemorative events, and are highly encouraged to decorate their individual workplaces.
Developing a Good Story
Sashim also stresses the importance of developing quality ideas. She suggests the following steps for aspiring creators:
Creators should identify the factors that make a project unique.
Sashim explains that broadcasters must review a staggering number of pitches per year – often up to 3000 or more – and creators must ensure that their projects are memorable enough to stand out from the mush pile.
For example, creators may integrate Southeast Asian characteristics into multimedia projects in order to differentiate it in the global marketplace.
Sashim also warns against creating a project by following commercial trends that will allow it to sell, as an audience’s tastes are highly unpredictable.
Instead of thinking about a story’s commercial viability, Sashim encourages creators to “create the story that you want to make”, and to determine its overarching mission.
In the future, One Animation intends to expand its slate of original ideas, and work with its partners to bring quality content to its audiences.
Cover Image © One Animation