Transforming Animation with AI: Toonstar’s Success Story

  • Toonstar, a Los Angeles animation studio, utilizes AI to enhance animation efficiency and collaborate with new creators.
  • Founded by former Warner Bros. and Disney executives, Toonstar focuses on creating animated content for social media platforms like YouTube.
  • AI integration across animation stages reduces production time and costs, enabling quicker project delivery.
  • Partnership with TikTok influencer Parker James led to the creation of the animated series “StEvEn & Parker,” using AI to adapt James’ style.
  • AI-driven multilingual dubbing technology expands audience reach globally, enhancing viewer engagement.
  • Backed by VC funding, Toonstar aims to build multimedia franchises and empower emerging storytellers.

Main AI News:

Los Angeles-based animation studio Toonstar is leveraging cutting-edge AI technologies to revolutionize its animation processes and forge successful partnerships with emerging creators, resulting in the creation of highly popular intellectual properties (IPs). Recently teaming up with Parker James, a TikTok luminary celebrated for his unique characters, Toonstar exemplifies how AI optimizes production efficiency, accelerates project delivery, and addresses longstanding challenges within the entertainment sector.

Founded by former Warner Bros. and Disney executives John Attanasio (CEO) and Luisa Huang (COO), Toonstar specializes in crafting animated content tailored for social media platforms like YouTube, backed by investments from Snap. The studio meticulously evaluates projects based on creative originality, adaptability for animation, target demographics, and social media impact. “Our focus is on cultivating multimedia entertainment franchises through advanced technology and collaborating with the next wave of narrative innovators,” remarked CEO Attanasio.

Toonstar integrates AI across various stages of animation production, from pre-visualization to post-production, significantly reducing time and costs associated with producing top-tier animated content. The studio has developed AI engines that customize visual styles and animation techniques specific to each project, enhancing efficiency and affordability in animation production—a departure from the traditionally resource-intensive processes prevalent in major studio environments.

Animation historically faced substantial time and cost constraints,” noted COO Huang. “AI and machine learning have dramatically lowered these barriers, making animation production more accessible and agile.”

In collaboration with TikTok sensation Parker James, Toonstar employed AI to transform his live-action, effects-laden TikTok videos into the animated series “StEvEn & Parker.” James, renowned for his use of face filters and voice modulation on TikTok, collaborated closely with Toonstar to translate his signature style into animation while preserving the authenticity that resonates with his nine million TikTok followers. “Collaborating with Toonstar has been an extraordinary journey,” said James. “They’ve brought my characters to life in ways I never imagined possible.”

Toonstar also utilized AI for multilingual dubbing of “StEvEn & Parker,” incorporating native performance dubbing technology into their animation engine to replicate James’ voice across multiple languages, thereby expanding the series’ global appeal and attracting viewers from diverse linguistic backgrounds. “Our dubbing technology has significantly broadened the series’ audience reach,” added Attanasio. “Parker’s series now garners over 30 million weekly viewers.”

Backed by venture capital from Founders Fund, Greycroft, Snapchat, and former NBA star Baron Davis, Toonstar operates with a core team of approximately 20 full-time employees, supplemented by contract professionals recruited for specific projects.

Our frontier technologies amplify our production capabilities and community engagement,” emphasized Attanasio. “To create the next South Park or Simpsons, collaboration with exceptional storytellers is paramount. It’s not just pressing a button for a hit franchise; it’s about empowering visionary creators.”

Parker James shared his enthusiasm for the collaborative process: “I’ve always envisioned creating cartoons, but lacked animation skills. Toonstar transformed my ideas into a fully-fledged animated series. They’ve been instrumental in refining storylines and bringing my characters to life.”

Attanasio elaborated on discovering Parker’s potential: “We found Parker on TikTok, where his use of voice modulation created an endearing and comedic character. Testing short animations on TikTok proved successful, leading to exponential growth on YouTube with channels in multiple languages garnering 30 million weekly viewers and 3 billion lifetime views across five continents. This model inspired a partnership with Random House to produce graphic novels based on ‘StEvEn & Parker.’

Our mission is to cultivate cutting-edge IPs through AI and machine learning, fostering opportunities for emerging creators and diverse narratives,” added Attanasio, reflecting on the evolving landscape of entertainment. “With industry consolidation limiting creative opportunities, we aim to unlock new pathways for storytellers.”


Toonstar’s strategic integration of AI not only accelerates animation production and expands creative capabilities but also demonstrates a scalable model for leveraging technology to foster new IP development in the competitive entertainment market. This approach positions Toonstar at the forefront of innovation, poised to influence the industry’s future by democratizing access to advanced animation tools and nurturing diverse storytelling voices.