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

Peg + Cat Emmy Nomination!

High five! Last week CloudKid was notified that we have been nominated for a 2015 Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding New Approaches – Enhancement To a Daytime Program or Series category for our work on Peg + Cat. While we have been nominated three other times for Fizzy’s Lunch Lab, it’s especially exciting because this is the first nomination for a client project. We have been so fortunate to work on the Peg + Cat interactive content alongside our awesome partners at The Fred Rogers Company, 9ate7, and PBS KIDS. They’ve created a show with so much heart and vision and it has been inspiring to watch it unfold and contribute.

A huge thank you goes out to our awesome team at CloudKid. Over the last three years, we’ve produced A LOT of Peg + Cat content: a responsive website, 18 HTML5 games and activities, and the Big Gig app. It’s the result of countless hours by our artists, designers, animators, producers, and last but not least, our developers. Shout out!

The 2015 Daytime Emmys take place on April 24th in Los Angeles. Hopefully, we’ll have some good news to report though it will require taking down Elmo and Ellen. Not an easy task. In the meantime, our fingers are crossed.

Pixar Pops


Last week, the The Boston Pops played a very special show that we had to check out. Pixar in Concert featured key scenes and moments from all thirteen Pixar movies synced with live music played by the incredible Boston Symphony Orchestra. Being huge fans of Pixar and soundtrack music, the work of Pixar composers such as Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo and Wall-E), Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up) and Randy Newman (Toy Story and Bug’s Life) was even more inspiring in person; we were especially moved by Michael Giacchino’s theme for UP.

Sitting there, we were reminded that an army of musicians create the emotional backbone to Hollywood’s most iconic moments. With so much digital music playing in our earbuds nowadays, it was helpful to witness the sheer magic of a live orchestra and understand the physicality and beauty of the art form.

The Pops makes orchestral music very accessible to the masses. So, if you’ve never been, we highly recommend it. We guarantee there are few things as moving and inspiring!

We Love Games


We think it goes without saying that here at CloudKid, we love making games. We also love playing games. We even love making sure our fellow cube-mates have seen this video for this really cool game that we’re playing. This one, on my screen. Look here. I’m serious. You need to – no stop doing that, download this game right now.

So, we decided we would share our wealth of information with you…as well as give us an excuse to talk about games.

Read the rest of this entry »

Custom Weather Cards

Negative Nimbus has been submitted to the App Store and we’re so close to release! As we lead up to launch, we wanted a fun way to thank loyal Facebook and Twitter followers for helping spread the love. So, we’ve been whipping up our own versions of weather reports (see above), and sharing them with our fans. We like to think that these are a bit more fun than your average, run-of-the-mill weather forecasts!

If you haven’t already, please like/follow Nimbus and Bill, and you may find a custom weather card coming your way soon!

Remembering Jerry Nelson

Those of us at CloudKid HQ were extremely sad to hear of the passing of Jerry Nelson, the voice and original puppeteer of Sesame Street’s Count Von Count. We all grew up learning to count with the help of Jerry, and we were honored that he was able to provide the voice-over for the Count Me to Sheep game that we produced earlier this year. We know that Jerry’s legacy will live on for future generations, and we hope you all take a moment to think of your favorite Count memory today, in honor of Jerry.

Aaron Stewart at CloudKid HQ

Last Friday, our friend Aaron Stewart took a field trip from Brooklyn up to Boston to hang out at CloudKid for the day. He gave a talk about his work, process, and artistic influences. Needless to say, we were all inspired. Aaron is a super awesome animation director and illustrator who has directed projects for companies such as Chipotle, VH1, MTV, Wendys, Orbitz, and more. Be sure to check out Aaron’s photo blog, Plaid Orangeswhen you get a sec. It’s brilliant.

Daytime Emmys Escapades

Last week, four members of the CloudKid team ventured to the City of Angels for the Daytime Emmy Awards.  It was our third nomination in as many years for our work on Fizzy’s Lunch Lab.  While we didn’t win (again), our good friends and neighbors from WGBH took home the bling in our category.  A big congrats goes out to Dave Peth and the Design Squad team for a rad project that encourages kids to build stuff and share it online.

Overall, the night was a blast. Some highlights included: our friend Jack Ferraiolo winning his second Emmy for his writing on Wordgirl, Lunch Lab writer Ryan Raddatz taking home two Emmys for his writing on Wordgirl and The Ellen Show, as well as hanging out with Linda Simensky, Chris Bishop and a handful of the PBS Kids crew.

While it’s always nice to get recognized, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and dive back in.


Art for Awareness

One of our very own CloudKids, Kendra Mattozzi, was honored this week at the International OCD Foundation’s event, “A Night to Believe.”  Kendra’s short film “OCD+Me=5” was featured at the event, which served as part of the organization’s efforts for OCD Awareness Week. Kendra and her work were also featured in an NPR on-air report and online piece last week.

We are very proud of Kendra, and hope you get the chance to check out her amazing work!

The Boat

It has been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That may be true, but here at CloudKid, we go pretty nuts for lunch. And when it comes to our favorite place to get some lunchtime noms, there’s no doubt about it: it’s the BoatHouse Deli in Brighton, MA … otherwise known as “The Boat”.

At first glance, The Boat is slightly suspect. After all, it is a deli hidden deep inside a nondescript gas station. The term “gas station sandwich” conjures up all sorts of horrifying images — slimy pre-made subs tightly wrapped in plastic, sitting for days next to a greasy rotating hot dog warmer. Happily, the BoatHouse Deli is nothing like that terrifying vision. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Once inside The Boat, you are greeted by a veritable cornucopia of delicatessen deliciousness — freshly baked breads, crispy veggies, tasty meats and cheeses, warm soups, toasty slices of pizza, and a great selection of sandwiches made to order. The friendly staff expertly crafts every sandwich with an extra helping of TLC (and if you’re lucky, special sauce). A testament to their patience and friendliness, the ladies of The Boat have even humored a certain member of CloudKid who wanted to create and name his own custom sandwich. It’s called The Dinghy … order it at your own risk.

So if you happen to be on this side of the Charles River and are jonesing for a sandwich, sammy, san-doozle, or Adam Sandler, check out The Boat. Deli-cious!