New studio and sound stage sketch out screen growth

17 March 2021

Victoria’s screen industry is poised for growth in jobs and projects as we safely recover from the pandemic with a new, globally focused animation studio to call Melbourne home and the expansion of Docklands Studios Melbourne reaching the next stage.

Illustration of inside of new animation studio
Illustration of inside of new animation studio at Docklands Studios Melbourne

Melbourne has been selected as the home of Princess Bento Studio – a major new animation house created through a partnership between Emmy Award-winning US animation studio Bento Box Entertainment and Victorian production powerhouse Princess Pictures.

Founded by animation leaders Scott Greenberg and Joel Kuwahara, producers of landmark shows including The Simpsons and King of the Hill, Bento Box is responsible for hugely popular series such as Bob’s Burgers. Owned by FOX Entertainment and with studios in LA and Atlanta, Melbourne is the studio’s first international outpost.

Princess Pictures is the Victorian company behind much-loved television and online productions including How to Stay MarriedWrong King of Black and Superwog. Recent animation projects include the Yolo Crystal Fantasy and AACTA-nominated short, Koala Man.

Princess Bento Studio will create 150 full time technical and creative jobs for Victoria’s animation sector. As well as generating new ideas, the team will work on a pipeline of animation projects bound for local and international audiences.

In a further boost, foundations have now been laid for the sixth sound stage at Docklands Studios Melbourne and work has begun on the main structure – backed by $46 million from the State Government. The 40,000sqft stage will expand the capacity of the studios by 60 percent, so it can cater for more local and international screen projects.

The sound stage will feature a massive 900,000-litre water tank giving it flexibility to attract a greater range of productions. The sound stage project is on track for completion later this year.

In 2018-19 Victoria’s screen industry generated $2.2 billion and created 17,000 full time jobs. Following the global COVID-19 hiatus, the local industry is powering back, with work on COVIDSafe films, television series, commercials and more now underway in Melbourne and regional Victoria.