CloudKid Says Goodbye

In 2009 when we started CloudKid, we set out to create an artist-driven studio that took risks, collaborated with top talent, and found the sweet spot where technology meets creative. Above all, we wanted freedom to work on internal projects that inspired us and challenged us to grow, even in the thick of client productions. Our initial team was small, dedicated and very passionate about children’s media.

Fast-forward six years, we fulfilled that vision and achieved many more successes – we were nominated for four Emmy awards, built an amazing team and network of artists and collaborators from all over the world, partnered with the top children’s media companies, landed a TV development deal, and even generated $1.6 million revenue in 2015. And while CloudKid’s run has been impressive, our growth has required us to focus exclusively on a myriad of client projects to sustain the studio.

Over the last year, it became apparent that we’ve veered from our original vision and goals, and running a service-based studio was not sustainable for us or our employees. Recently, a friend told us “enough is a feast” and we could relate. We live in a bigger-is-better culture, and we’re told to keep going, keep building, keep making, but to what extent? With so many other studios generating a dizzying amount of kids content for the same platforms, we asked ourself if anyone (other than our clients or employees) would notice if CloudKid ceased to exist. The answer was no. We have made the very tough decision to walk away from CloudKid while we’re on top.

While the decision is a bittersweet one, we’re extremely excited to announce we have accepted an offer to join social robotics startup, Jibo. Jibo has the potential to positively transform our relationship to technology in the home, classroom and beyond, and for that reason we feel like it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Moreover, Jibo is a perfect fit for our team: It enables us to explore innovative ways of telling stories and building experiences no one has seen; represents a fun and thrilling creative and technical challenge; and gives us the opportunity to work with literally some of the smartest people in the world. Most of all, we’ll be building a fucking robot! 

Over the next two months, we will be fulfilling all our existing commitments to our wonderful clients and contractors, end on a high note, and make the transition to Jibo.



Several years ago after moving into our current space, CloudKid began a weekly tradition of shout-outs during our Friday team lunch. This popcorn-style sharing organically began as a way to acknowledge the hard work between peers that often went unmentioned in the flurry of production. The generosity that CloudKids showed each other became one of our most successful achievements. In this tradition, we’d like to give some final shout-outs to those individuals and organizations that supported us creatively, professionally and personally.

First, to our wonderful clients: you paid our bills, kept us fed, challenged us, and enabled us to do what we love for a living. A “front hug” shout-out goes to Houghton Mifflin, Random House, WGBH, Sesame Workshop, Fred Rogers Company, Spiffy Pictures, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Scholastic, PBS KIDS, Hasbro, Sprout, 9ate7 Productions, and Romotive.

Second, to our amazing friends at PBS: you have inspired us to do some of our best work, you’ve allowed us to take risks making games and producing animation, and to help define new formats for kids. Without your support, CloudKid would not have existed or flourished. For that, we will always be indebted to the power of public media. An “ugga mugga” shout-out goes to Linda Simensky, Sara Dewitt, David Lowenstein, Jen Rodriguez, Karin Jue, Jer Roberts, Aaron Morris, Shannon Bishop and Chris Bishop.

To all those who provided these humble and eager art school graduates with business advice and helped us navigate the ins-and-outs of running a business: A “Warren Buffett” shout-out goes to Bill Shribman, Nancy Kay, Steve Schlafman, Andrew Goloboy, Laurie Megery, Jay Francis, Kevin Morrison, Scott Scornvacco, and Scott Nash.

To our network of creative offsite collaborators: you’ve helped us pull off projects intended for industry titans and wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. You trusted us with your creations and made our jobs so much easier. A “brotha from anotha motha” shout-out goes to Adam Shonkoff, Daniel Koren, Joe Gaudet, Joe Pleiman, Brian Smith, Dan Flynn, Jon Renoni, Isaac Orloff, John Loren, Geoff Marian, Allison Craig, Patt Kelley, and Louie Zong.

A “tear-soaked” shout-out goes out to each and every CloudKid, no matter where you are today. You’ve been like family and have made this journey all worth it. You took enormous risks and believed in what we were doing. Your creative passion and enthusiasm inspired us all and made everything we did better. In particular, we’d like to give Mike Annear and Kendra Mattozzi a special “poo on the wall” shout-out for being with us since day one. These two took the biggest leap of faith and for that we are eternally grateful.

Last but not least, a “home is where the heart is” shout-out goes to our families, partners, roommates, friends, and pets who put up with the ebbs and flows of running CloudKid. You kept us grounded and supported us unconditionally through the challenging times and cheered us on during the exciting ones.


Thirteen years ago, we met in the MassArt café and decided to collaborate on a small project. That small project became the genesis of a friendship and CloudKid. Just as the creative process brought us together, it has connected us with so many amazingly kind, thoughtful, and creative people over the last six years. And while CloudKid will fade, these friendships will remain for the rest of our lives. So, this isn’t goodbye, it’s catch you on the flip side.

– Dave and Matt

Cartoon Tuesday


We’re suckers for a good tradition at CloudKid HQ: we never miss apple picking in the fall, we gather every Friday for a team lunch, and now we’ve officially added Cartoon Tuesday to our roster of rituals. As content creators, we love dreaming up new characters, worlds and ideas. A huge part of this creative process is finding inspiration from and looking critically at the works of others. Enter Cartoon Tuesday, a weekly gathering of the CloudKids to watch animated content.

We’ve watched everything from the Power Puff Girls (taking a look at the story and shot composition from an early episode of the break-out series) to Gumball (discussing the unique multi-media style of the series) to Gravity Falls (talking about the challenges of making a complicated plot accessible). So far, it’s been a great new tradition, and we’d love to hear some of your suggestions for must-watch toons!

2013 Recap


It’s that time of year again… you know, the time for complaining about how much snow we’ve already gotten, for recovering from holiday food comas, and, yup, you guessed it: for the annual CloudKid Year-in-Review! We know we say this every year, but seriously guys, this was a crazy year! Check out some of the highlights:

  • Produced 2 pilots for Nick Digital, slated to launch in their app in early 2014!
  • Created the transmedia suite for Peg + Cat.
  • Launched our first original web series, OZMAT.
  • Produced three games for Sesame Workshop: Jessica’s Joyride, Let’s Build It, and Grover’s Winter Games (launching early 2014).
  • Redesigned and animated Romo, everyone’s favorite iPhone robot, .
  • The App Store featured two of our apps: Hectic Harvest and The Big Gig.
  • LA Unified School District chose Fresh Pick to be installed on student tablets.
  • Helped kick off a Boston chapter of the Children’s Media Association.
  • Landed our first TV development deal (stay tuned!).
  • Landed our next big transmedia suite gig for an upcoming PBS KIDS show.
  • And last but not least, our greatest accomplishment of 2013: Donut Thursday.

As always, we’re proud of everything we accomplished in 2013, and we can’t wait to see what this year brings! Stay tuned, and Happy New Year to all!

Happy (Treat-Filled) Holidays!


It’s no secret that CloudKids like a treat from time to time (after all, we do celebrate Donut Thursday, and we have a year-round, candy-filled Jack-o-Lantern). So for the past few years, our holiday party has also included a homemade treat exchange. The gang really outdid themselves this year, so we thought we’d share some of our favorite recipes with you all.

Want to impress your Grandma with some fancy french macarons? You’re welcome! Wishing Hanukkah hadn’t come and gone already? Get festive again with these Nutella rugelach. Want to show your Italian pride for Christmas Eve today? Try these yummy Spumoni cookies. You can thank us later! And if you’re still hungry, check below the break for more CloudKid approved recipes. Happy Holidays!

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Nickelodeon Digital Short


We know we always say we’re busy with exciting work, but this time, we REALLY mean it. It’s been a crazy packed spring here at CloudKid HQ, and it’s shaping up to be an even busier summer. We’re thrilled to announce that one of many exciting projects we’re working on is our first short pilot for Nickelodeon Digital. With all of the exciting coverage recently about Nick’s app and shorts, we’re pumped to be working on our first project with them at such an innovative time.

We wish we could share more about the project, but just trust us that it’s going to be worth the wait! Stay tuned!

Children’s Media Association Boston


It’s been a crazy busy couple of months at CloudKid HQ. We’ve been hard at work on a ton of exciting projects, and can’t wait to share more with you all in the upcoming months (we promise, the blog is officially coming out of winter hibernation!).

In the meantime, we couldn’t contain our excitement about one of our favorite organizations, Children’s Media Association, making its official Boston debut next week. CloudKid’s very own Dave Schlafman had the pleasure of presenting a talk to their NYC members back in December, and we’ve been itching for more CMA in our lives ever since!

Well, the wait is up, as CMA’s kicking off Boston membership with a happy hour mixer after Sandbox Summit next Tuesday. We’re honored to be involved in bringing this amazing organization to our city, and can’t wait to attend this and future events with fellow Boston-based kids’ media folks.

We hope to see lots of you there on Tuesday!

Highlights of 2012


Continuing our annual tradition of recapping the past year’s highlights, we put together a hit list for 2012. It was quite the year at CloudKid and included some amazing accomplishments:

  • Finished production on Lunch Lab Season 3
  • Won our 2nd Ready to Learn grant for Fresh Pick
  • Launched our new company website
  • Nominated for our 3rd straight Daytime Emmy
  • Wrapped production on Scholastic Education’s iRead
  • Launched Negative Nimbus, our first original mobile game
  • Reached an average of 1 million unique visitors/month on the Lunch Lab site
  • Won the award for best visuals/design at the Boston Festival of Indie Games
  • Produced OZMAT, our 1st original web series (to be released in 2013)
  • Launched the Hectic Harvest App for iOS and Android devices
  • Produced our first game for Sesame Street, starring Count von Count
  • Finished and launched Fresh Pick online and as a mobile app
  • Got a new fridge (if you saw how small the old one was, you’d know this is big)
  • Survived 12/21/12

As you can see, 2012 was a great year for us. We’re already full steam ahead into 2013’s projects, and are wicked psyched for another productive year here at CloudKid HQ. Stay tuned!

Namaste From CloudKid HQ

Earlier this year, we decided to start doing regular “skill shares” at CloudKid HQ. We think it’s important to learn about things outside of the realm of our usual day-to-day tasks. This helps us stay well-rounded as artists and helps break up our routines by learning something new. We started with some internal job-related shares: animator CloudKids taught others about animation basics; a graphic designer gave an intro to typography (and type crimes never to commit!); our Technical Producer showed us all how she creates wireframes for the experiences we make. These were just a few of our original skill shares, and they were a great way to kick off this exciting new tradition.

In addition to these interesting internal shares, we’ve also started to think outside the box a bit when it comes to what we’re sharing. More recently, the amazingly talented Larry Sampson did a guest skill share on production design. While he tends to work more on live action shoots, it was inspiring for all of us to hear about another artist’s process. We’ve also gone even further “outside of the box” with origami and yoga skill shares (as pictured above). These were really rad experiences that helped us refresh, recharge, and inspired us to consider potential new hobbies.

We strongly suggest taking some time every now and then to learn a new skill. We’d also love to hear any of your suggestions for future skill shares!

Student Visit

Last Friday, our welcoming committee (aka Mike and Sulley) greeted ten sophomores from Boston Preparatory Charter Public School on their visit to CloudKid HQ. The school has a focus on college and career readiness, and students take field trips to local businesses throughout the year. While many members of our staff have spoken at local universities and colleges, this was the first time we’ve hosted high school students in our offices.

After giving the students an intro to CloudKid and a tour of the office (which of course resulted in many a “This is where you work? There are so many toys!” reaction), we held a panel discussion with four of our employees. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and hear answers about everything from “what were you all like in high school” to “what advice do you have for us as we start to think about college and our careers?”. Our day was made when one student proclaimed “I didn’t think today was going to be that cool… but this is actually really cool!”.  We also loved getting to see the students interact with some of our games, including Negative Nimbus and Snacker Stacker, and we really enjoyed answering their questions about our work.

We hope we inspired some of the students to think more about potential career and college paths. Likewise, we hope any of you reading this may consider what you can do in your area to help local students. We promise, it will be well worth your time!

It’s That Time of Year Again…

To celebrate the wonder that is New England fall properly, last week we went on our 3rd Annual Apple Picking Palooza to Honeypot Hill. As in years past, we had a wonderful time picking apples, feeding goats, and breathing in the crisp fall air. Oh, and eating cinnamon sugar covered apple cider doughnuts from the farm store wasn’t too bad either!

We’re big believers in getting out of the office from time to time for a quick refresh, and this is definitely one of our favorite ways to do so. We’re already excited for next year’s outing, but in the meantime, check out the photos from this year’s trip!