John Attanasio, CEO of Toonstar, mentioned his objective is to create “a new Cartoon Network.”
Attanasio and his co-founder Luisa Huang have been each executives at Warner Brothers, in order that they each labored below the similar company umbrella because the Cartoon Community. Attanasio mentioned the important thing to Toonstar’s means is to create animated content material that’s “mobile, snackable, interactive.”
In particular, the startup’s iOS app permits customers to customise cartoon characters after which animate them the use of their very own facial expressions. The ensuing cartoons can also be livestreamed (each on Toonstar itself and different services and products like Fb Are living, YouTube Are living and Musical.ly) and audience can engage via including their very own animations, similar to losing an anvil into the scene.
This will remind you of animojis, the emojis animated via facial recognition era that Apple introduced final month. Then again, Attanasio mentioned the 2 services and products are attempting to do various things — animojis are communique equipment, whilst Toonstar is all about leisure. (Plus, you don’t want to look forward to an iPhone X to use Toonstar’s app.)
He additionally argued that the facial recognition era wanted to do this type of factor has existed for some time now. What’s new, he mentioned, is “this idea of a selfie culture,” which Toonstar extends via permitting customers to change into themselves into different characters, or even complete casts of characters.
The Toonstar app is popping out of beta checking out lately. The corporate says that right through its 3 months in beta, the app attracted 20,000 customers, and the cartoons created have been considered 50 million instances.
The corporate has additionally partnered with Skybound Leisure, the corporate at the back of The Strolling Useless, on an initiative to flip a number of Skybound comics into Toonstar displays.
“We’re excited to partner with Toonstar because we believe cartoon livestreaming has many unique advantages from both a consumer and production perspective,” mentioned Skybound North CEO Catherine Winder within the announcement. “Realtime interaction allows fans to connect directly with their favorite characters in a ground-breaking way.”
Ultimately, Attanasio hopes that Toonstar no longer simply some other channel for animated content material, however a supply of latest highbrow assets: “Maybe the next Rick and Morty comes from Toonstar, maybe the next Bojack Horseman comes from Toonstar.”
The startup has raised a seed spherical of undisclosed dimension led via Science Inc., with participation from Jon Goldman’s GC VR Gaming Tracker Fund, Manta Ray and Social Begins.