October 1, 2004


Calabash's new owners, Sean Henry and Wayne Brejcha.

CHICAGO - Ed Newmann and Monica Kendall, founders and owners of Calabash Animation (www.calabashanimation.com), have sold the company to long-time staffers Wayne Brejcha and Sean Henry.

Brejcha, who joined Calabash in 1990, takes over as chairman and animation director. Henry came to the studio in 1998, and will serve as president. Both Newmann and Kendall will remain involved in Calabash?s day-to-day operations as independent contractors: Newmann will be a freelance animation director and Kendall a producer.

The two founded Calabash in 1984, with their first project being a commercial for Coors Light beer through FCB/Chicago. Over the past two decades they have built the company into a leading resource for cel and computer animation, catering mainly to the advertising industry. Recent projects coming through the facility include TV spots for The California State Fair, Hawaiian Punch and Keebler Club Crackers.

Brejcha and Henry have collaborated on numerous animated projects since joining Calabash, including spots for Lucky Charms, Trix, and HoneyNut Cheerios cereals and Little Caesar?s Pizza.

They have also collaborated on independent feature films such as The Secret (directed by Melinda Roenisch) and Suspended Animation (directed by John Hancock). Newmann and Kendall will remain at Calabash in their present roles for at least five years while also pursuing longform projects, including animated films and children?s books. Calabash?s first original animated short, Stubble Trouble was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Animated Short Subject) in 2002.