Animation Start Up Haruworks Unveils Two Brand New Shows for MIPTV

Today, newly formed Finland-based animation start-up, Haruworks, announces its first two shows to be presented at MIPTV this month: One Thousand and One Animals and Everyone’s Invited.

The company’s founder and CEO (ex-Rovio Head of Animation) Nick Dorra and former child psychologist turned head of development Maija Arponen are meeting with broadcaster, SVOD, distributor and creative partners from Monday to Wednesday (9th to 11th April) with view to advancing the shows into the next stages of pre-production.

Dorra says: “We are excited and delighted to present Haruworks’ first two shows. Both align with our mission to create positive social and behavioural change, whether that is through helping kids with issues like bullying or getting them interested in nature and wild animals. Both promise to engage and delight young audiences and empower them to interact and get involved. We are looking forward to confirming further partners and moving to the next stages.”

About the shows

  • One Thousand and One Animals is a 52 x 11-minute show based on the award-winning picture book of the same name by artist Laura Merz and published by Helsinki-based Etana Editions.
  • In the series, city girl Amber leaps through a portal in her tablet to vlog in the wilderness – together with her little brother Moss. Who gets the GoPro? Are pigeons better off than penguins? The story-world works across platforms.
  • Haruworks are working with Emmy and BAFTA award winners Karrot Entertainment on the visual and story development and have also appointed Sharna Jackson (Hopster, CMC Playground) as a writer.
  • Worst Best Friends is a 52 x 11-minute animated series based on the Finnish children’s novel Kaikkien juhla (Everyone’s Invited) by author Miikka Pörsti published by Tammi, part of the Swedish Bonnier group.
  • Everyone’s invited to misadventure with neighbours-and-classmates Fox-Peter, Cheese-Moutard, Pomps and co as they battle small stuff apocalypse and soar seven heavens. The show has an underlying curriculum of strengthening mentalisation skills in the 7-11 space.
  • Haruworks has appointed leading Finnish design and animation studio Brink Helsinki on the visual development and the wonderful Lucy Heavens (Space Chickens in Space) as a writer.



Ex Rovio Head Launches New Animation Company Haruworks

2nd February 2018: Today marks the official opening of newly formed Finland-based animation start-up studio Haruworks. The company is headed up by seasoned animation and mobile entertainment expert Nick Dorra – Founder, Producer and CEO.

The news follows a successful round of investment meaning Haruworks is now officially open for business and will begin initial conversations about its development slate at Kidscreen in Miami, with view to presenting the final slate at MIP TV this April.

The company is based in Helsinki and is focused on building international character brands with a Nordic flair. The slate currently comprises four TV shows across various age groups from pre-school to eight-years old that will also be designed for co-viewing with parents and siblings.

Haruworks embraces a Scandinavian style of story-telling and Nordic design heritage, taking inspiration from the works of Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson. Approaching properties with a multi-platform strategy, the team has a deep understanding of apps, games and digital distribution and a commitment to engage audiences wherever they are.

It has appointed an advisory Board of experts including industry veteran Fred Seibert, Cake’s Tom Van Waveren, e-One Family’s Nick Gawne and Original Talent Ltd’s Simon Flamank. Haruworks has also appointed former child psychologist Maija Arponen as head of development. Arponen will draw on her expertise to help shape creative that is nourishing for children’s psychological and emotional growth.

Dorra spent four years at Rovio Entertainment Ltd, heading up animation and content strategy as well as acquisitions for Toons TV. Here he grew the animation team from ten to one hundred artists and led Angry Birds from game to screen resulting in two billion views in the first twenty months. He also enjoyed a stint at New York based video start up incubator Thirty Labs.

Dorra says: “We are delighted to officially launch and start conversations about our slate at Kidscreen. Haruworks has been founded with the mission to create content that is worth your child’s precious time and attention. Experience tells us that kids and parents long for safe, witty and non-condescending stories and that’s what we are offering. We want to create worlds and characters that families love and pass on to the next generation.”

Fred Seibert adds: “Haruworks is a truly exciting and promising proposition. The breadth of talent and experience within the company offers a great foundation for the development of high quality, sought after global hit shows which can thrive on all platforms.”