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Tuesday, January 24, 2017


the bean has a friend whose cousin is an animator for a show on nickelodeon called "the loud house."  and so when he offered to take them on a tour of the studios, we were lucky enough to be able to tag along.  the kids had a day off from school, and so we all piled into their car and headed out to burbank to the nickelodeon animation studios.  at the parking structure, we were given these guest passes to wear:

they recently moved into a brand new building right next to the old facility and he explained that they'd just had the grand opening the previous weekend, hosted by nick cannon with a concert by pitbull and lots and lots of nickelodeon tv cast members, both new and old.  we got to check out the lobby of the new building first:

and this is also where their archives are stored.  all of the shows that have ever been on nickelodeon can be found here:

portions of the old building that used to house offices are now art galleries and event rooms.

the entire complex is bright and colorful and fun.

employees can keep up with breaking entertainment-related news on screens like this throughout the building.

and here's where the voice-over actors come to do their thing.

spongebob squarepants has been airing for over 15 seasons, with the first episode dating back to 1999.

 we got to tour the side of the building where spongebob comes to life.

also, this explains a lot.  heh.

we got to take a quick peek inside the office of the show's executive producer, stephen hillenburg.

and the kids got to meet two of the show's storyboard editors.

these drawings on their door are featured on nickelodeon's social media on a regular basis.

the arcade was a big hit with the kids...of all ages.

this is the new building:

as you can see, the courtyard between the buildings is still under construction.

we made our way back into the new building through a different door and found some pretty fun art:

and the kids had fun spinning around in these fun colorful rubber chairs.

i'm not gonna lie, i kinda wanted to eat in their cafeteria.

we didn't stop, though.  instead, we hopped into an elevator and went up to the fourth floor to continue our tour.  their walls are painted with chalkboard paint, and they invite everyone to add to the artwork.

this is the conference room where the writers and animators pitch storylines and new shows to executives in their new york offices.

the working areas where all of the cubicles are located were mostly dark and very quiet.  as we passed by, we noticed that the artists were all hard at work with headphones on and drawing and working on computer screens and tablets.  the lights are usually left off to avoid the glare on their screens.

the animators that we stopped to chat with were all happy to take pictures with the kids.  this gentleman is a former marine who went to art school after getting out of the military and found himself working here.

every floor has a "fun zone" where people can go to relax, catch a quick nap, play video games, whatever they need to destress and decompress a little.

there's even a fully equipped gym.

we came across lots of non-nickelodeon memorabilia, too.

there were jars of candy and snacks on every floor.

and it was just so fun to see all of the artwork on the walls.

 one of the floors had swings for chairs.

she was in awe of all the animators she got to see at work.

she even got to try her hand at drawing on the tablet that the storyboard artists work on.

one last silly picture on our way out:

it was such a fun afternoon, and i think the bean is even more fired up about becoming an animator than ever.  we learned that most of the animators either went through cal arts in valencia or did the animation program at cal state northridge or fullerton.

and now we have a plan.  heh.

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