Kartoon Studios and GFM Animation Partner to Develop and Produce First Slate of Five Animated Feature Films From Stan Lee Universe

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kartoon Studios, Inc. (NYSE AMERICAN:TOON), the controlling partner of Stan Lee Universe, LLC “SLU”, signs a transformative deal with the U.K.’s GFM Animation Limited “GFM,” (10 Lives, X Factor In The Jungle, The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie) to develop, finance, and produce a dynamic slate of five animated feature films, marking a significant milestone in the development of projects from the extensive SLU catalogue featuring stories and characters created by legendary comic book creator Stan Lee.

Kartoon Studios’ new partnership with GFM, which develops, produces, finances, and sells independent movies, aims to bring to life select properties from the SLU catalogue, each project chosen through mutual selection for their potential to appeal to a broad audience demographic and families. GFM has assembled team of LA-based talented writers with previous experience of working across Marvel projects, to develop the first scripts, working alongside the GFM team in London and Kartoon Studios. The first three treatments will be ready for presenting to distributors at the forthcoming Cannes Film Festival.

“Through Stan Lee Universe, we are dedicated to continuing the legacy of one of the most iconic and prolific creators in the world, who continues to inspire fans globally with recent mega-hits such as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. These new projects, developed from Stan’s original ideas, will introduce his magic to younger generations and continue to engage his loyal fans,” commented Gregg Goldin, SVP, Development & Production, Kartoon Studios. “Our new partner, GFM, has a history of producing quality films for the entire family, and fresh off their successful debut of “10 Lives” at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, they continue to prove their expertise in the independent animation landscape. We are excited to partner with them on this ambitious slate of projects.”

“Stan Lee is a singular creator. The stories and characters Stan created and co-created have mesmerized multiple generations of fans across the globe for many decades,” stated Guy Collins, Chairman, GFM Animation.   “We are honored to partner with Kartoon Studios and Stan Lee Universe to celebrate Stan’s tremendous contributions to pop culture and entertainment by bringing quality animated films for all ages to big screens around the world.”

About Stan Lee
Known by his signature phrase “Excelsior!”, Stan Lee is one of the most prolific and legendary creators of all time. As Marvel's editor-in-chief, Stan "The Man" Lee helped build a universe of interlocking continuity, one where fans felt as if they could turn a street corner and run into a superhero from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, and more. Stan went on to become Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972 and was eventually named chairman emeritus. He was the co-creator of characters appearing in 4 of the top 10 box office movies of all time, which featured Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, and of course the Avengers, accounting for billions of dollars of revenue for Marvel and the Walt Disney Company.

Among Stan’s many awards are the National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Bush in 2008, and the Disney Legends Award, received in 2017. He was also inducted into the comic industry’s Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame.

About Kartoon Studios
Kartoon Studios (NYSE AMERICAN: TOON) is a global end-to-end creator, producer, distributor, marketer, and licensor of entertainment brands. The Company’s IP portfolio includes original animated content, including the Stan Lee brand, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal, on Kartoon Channel!; Rainbow Rangers on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; the Netflix Original, Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, and more.

In 2022, Kartoon Studios acquired Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media and made a strategic investment becoming the largest shareholder in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment AG (FRA:RTV), one of Europe’s leading distributors and broadcasters of high-quality programs for children and families.

Toon Media Networks, the company’s wholly owned digital distribution network, consists of Kartoon Channel!, Frederator Network, and Ameba. Kartoon Channel! is a globally distributed entertainment platform with near full penetration of the U.S. television market and international expansion underway with launches in key markets around the world, including Germany, Malaysia, India, Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, and Maldives. Kartoon Channel! and Ameba are available across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android Mobile, Web, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Pluto TV, Comcast, Cox, Dish, Sling TV, Android TV, Tubi, Xumo, Samsung and LG Smart TVs. Frederator Network owns and operates the largest global animation network on YouTube, with channels featuring over 2,000 exclusive creators and influencers, garnering billions of views annually.

For additional information, please visit www.kartoonstudios.com

About GFM Animation

We are a production, financing and distribution sales company focused on working with first class filmmakers to create a pipeline of quality animated movies, with engaging stories, that can delight family audiences worldwide.

Current titles on the GFM Animation slate include: newly announced HitPig featuring the voices of Jason Sudeikis and Lilly Singh; The Day The Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie starring Porky Pig and Daffy Duck; Sundance 2024-selected 10 Lives, featuring the voices of Mo Gilligan, Simone Ashley, Sophie Okonedo, Zayne Malik, Bill Nighy, Jeremy Swift and Dylan Llewellyn; Ozi Voice of the Forest, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio & Mike Medavoy; Stitch Head, based on the book series by Guy Bass and featuring the voices of Asa Butterfield and Joel Fry; and Sneaks, an animated adventure featuring the voices of Laurence Fishburne, Martin Lawrence, Anthony Mackie, Roddy Ricch, Ella Mai, Macy Gray, Swae Lee, and Chris Paul.

Great Family Movies…it’s what we’re all about.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The information contained herein includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. These statements include, among others, statements regarding the proposed public offering and the timing and the use of the proceeds from the offering. Forward-looking statements generally include statements that are predictive in nature and depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, and include words such as "may," "will," "should," "would," "expect," "plan," "believe," "intend," "look forward," and other similar expressions among others. These statements relate to future events or to the Company’s future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond the Company’s control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects the Company’s current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to the Company’s operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. More detailed information about the Company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors and security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Except as may be required by applicable law, The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.