Atomic Cartoons grows exec team at Ottawa outpost

In his new role as studio creative director, David Gerhard will oversee projects created for NBCUniversal as the U.S. conglomerate ramps up production on its pipeline of originals.
David Gerhardt

Thunderbird Entertainment’s kids and family animation company Atomic Cartoons has hired veteran animation director David Gerhard (Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, Breadwinners) as its studio creative director based out of Ottawa.

In the new position, Gerhard will lead Atomic’s production hub, which opened in December 2018, reporting to supervising producer Joel Bradley based in Vancouver. Gerhard’s main responsibility is to oversee the teams working on projects for NBCUniversal. In June, Atomic told Playback that it would be working on a feature length-project with Universal Animation Studios and onboarding 55 additional staff members to handle the work.

Before joining Atomic, Gerhard worked as the creative director of alternate media for Nickelodeon Animation, where he developed VR experiences Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Loudhouse Live. Prior to that he was an animation director for Nickelodeon and supervised animation for the JoJo and BowBow ShowShow; directed animation for Breadwinners; and served as animator and designer on Fairly Odd Parents and Hey Arnold Jungle Movie. He’s previously worked at L.A.-based animation studio Titmouse as revision director and animator.

Atomic plans to continue growing with new artists and production staff in Ottawa over the next year. On the executive level, the company upped its VP of originals Matthew Berkowitz to CCO of Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons. And this past July, the studio promoted Nadine Westerbarkey and Chris Buckley to head of 2D animation and head of 3D animation, respectively.

Meanwhile, on the production front, Atomic’s preschool series Hello Ninja is set to premiere on Netflix later this year. Mark Palmer (Kim Possible) is showrunner on the CG-animated series, with Susan Kim (Wonder Pets) serving as the story editor and Michael Dowding (Slugterra) directing.