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Innovation + Job News

Puny Entertainment finds its fun style works for kids, adults, and social media

"We usually just say we're an interactive entertainment company," says Shad Petosky.

He and his team of creative minds at Puny Entertainment in Northeast Minneapolis have had their heads down of late, cranking out everything from cartoon and Flash game animations to restaurant and TV-show concepts.

The company's official capabilities list reads like this: Interactive Programming, Design, Animation, Illustration, Concept/Scripting. And Petosky says Puny is expanding those capabilities, too, branching out into social media work and digital media purchasing.

Petosky co-founded the company in 2007. It's biggest success has been winning animation and web design work for the Nick Jr. show Yo Gabba Gabba! Other clients include the Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, General Mills, and The New Yorker.

The Yo Gabba Gabba! work typifies Puny's aesthetic. The show is aimed at preschool kids, but it appeals to hip adults, too, with cameos by indie musicians and actors. "We like to do stuff that works on two levels, where it works for kids and adults," says Petosky, citing The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show as inspiration.

Another common thread that ties the company's varied, multi-media work together: Petosky says "clients tend to want something that's more playful, fun, humorous. I guess it's mostly light-hearted, but with a classic, strong design sense."

That fun, playful vibe often translates well into social media, he says, which is why Puny is preparing to add new services related to social media.

After a quick growth spurt out of the gate in 2007, Petosky says the company is being more deliberate these days. With 20 employees, they're being more selective about clients and jobs and looking to avoid growing faster than they can integrate new employees.

And a new development: One of Puny's partners has acquired a 25 percent stake in the company. Petosky wasn't yet ready to announce details, but said the investment and the expertise it comes with should help Puny Entertainment manage growth.

Source: Shad Petosky, Puny Entertainment
Writer: Dan Haugen
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