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Titmouse, maker of ‘Big Mouth’ and other animated series, expands into Burbank

‘Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart’
An image of “Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart,” a show Titmouse is co-producing for Cartoon Network
(Cartoon Network)

Titmouse, the independent animation house known for cult shows such as the edgy comedy series “Big Mouth” and “Metalocalypse,” is expanding its footprint in Los Angeles.

The Emmy-winning producer, first established in Hollywood in 2000, plans to occupy a new 95,000-square-foot office space in Burbank, its fourth office in North America, later this year.

The company struck a deal with property developer GPI Cos. for a new long-term lease on the North Naomi Street building, the companies said in a statement Friday.

Titmouse needs the extra space because of a growing slate of cartoons and to accommodate an additional 250 staff members who will join the animator’s 700-person workforce spread among offices in New York, Vancouver and Hollywood, where its headquarters will remain.

The lease — one of the biggest in Burbank in recent years — highlights how entertainment companies are expanding in L.A. in response to an explosion in demand for content, driven by the launch of many new streaming platforms. That has created an opportunity for real estate investors to buy and develop properties, then lease them out to entertainment companies.

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Streaming services and cable networks are hungry for adult-oriented animated fare, which is cheaper to produce than live-action dramas. Adult-themed animation has taken off with hits such as “Bojack Horseman,” “Rick and Morty” and “Bob’s Burgers.”

The expansion comes on the heels of Titmouse signing an overall multiyear production deal last month with Netflix for which it has produced several adult animated series, including the Emmy-nominated “Big Mouth” and the upcoming series “The Midnight Gospel.” Last year Titmouse teamed with Cartoon Network to produce a new adventure comedy series, “Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart,” which features a samurai cat.

Major Hollywood studios in Burbank including Warner Bros and Universal Pictures have also been growing their lots. As streamers such as Netflix and Amazon take up increasing chunks of Los Angeles office and production space, filmmakers are facing a shortage of studio space with amenities such as parking.

“My head exploded when I saw all of that asphalt,” said Titmouse President Chris Prynoski. “It’s always tough to find the right kind of space in the right location with the right timing.”

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Prynoski began his career as a storyboard artist for MTV’s “Beavis and Butt-Head” and moved to L.A. from New York in 2000 to start the company with his wife, Shannon Prynoski.

With the boom in television production, there is a race to lock in production space across the city and its surrounding areas.

GPI bought the building, at 2835 N. Naomi St., for $23 million in 2017; it owns another property in the area and is looking to buy more in Burbank, the company said in its statement.

The demand for entertainment space has surged in the last five to seven years, GPI founder and managing partner Drew Planting said in an interview. “There is a severe shortage.”

Times staff writer Roger Vincent contributed to this report.


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