9 Story Media to rebrand animation arm as Brown Bag Films

Move comes two years after Canadian company acquired the Irish animation studio

Canadian entertainment company, 9 Story Media, is to rebrand its animation arm as Brown Bag Films. The move comes just more than two years after it acquired the award-winning Irish company for an undisclosed sum.

The decision reflects Brown Bag's growing reputation in the animation industry. 9 Story Media Group is to remain as the parent company with distribution handled by 9 Story Distribution International following the rebrand.

The story was first reported in Variety and later confirmed in a tweet by Cathal Gaffney, managing director for Brown Bag Films and chief operating officer of 9 Story Media Group.

The move comes after 9 Story Media recently relocated its animation studio headquarters from Toronto to Dublin.


Founded in Dublin in 1994, Brown Bag Films has produced a number of popular children's programmes over the years, including Doc McStuffins and the Octonauts. Two of its shows, Give Up Yer Aul Sins and Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty, were nominated for Oscars.

The studio has also worked with many of the world's biggest entertainment names including Disney, Nickelodeon, BBC, Chorion and Silvergate Media.

The company employs more than 300 people across Dublin, Manchester and Los Angeles.

‘Makes perfect sense’

"As a brand, Brown Bag Films is recognised internationally for the quality of work we produce, and this rebranding makes perfect sense to the market as it separates production from our distribution business," Mr Gaffney told The Irish Times.

9 Story Media Group is one of North America's largest animation studios with more than 600 staff. Founded in 2001 by industry veterans Vince Commisso and Steven Jarosz, 9 Story is owned by senior management, ZMC (Zelnick Media Capital) and media entrepreneur Neil Court.

The company has produced more than 2,500 half hours of animated and live action programming with well known titles including Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood, Wild Kratts, Numb Chucks and Peg + Cat.

Its international distribution arm meanwhile distributes a number of children's classics including Barney and Garfield.

Brown Bag is in Cannes this week for the launch of a new half-hour animated show. Angela's Christmas is based on a Frank McCourt book and is voiced by Ruth Negga.

Set in Ireland in the 1910s, it “tells the story of the power of family and the innocent desire of a child to ensure everyone is safe, warm and loved at Christmas time”.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist