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Andy Frain (born 2 November 1959) is an animation producer and the founder & managing director of Touchwood Animation Ltd.
Frain’s career started in the music industry, working as a product manager for CBS Records and latterly as marketing director for Island Records. In 1987 Island boss Chris Blackwell asked Frain to become managing director of Island subsidiary, Island Visual Arts.
At Island Visual Arts, Frain produced and distributed numerous long-form music videos and concerts, including artists such as U2, Bob Marley, Free, Grace Jones, Robert Palmer, Steve Winwood, Womack & Womack and Anthrax. He was the executive producer of the award-winning natural history feature film LifePulse, which was directed by Keenan Smart and featured music by The Started Insects. The film has been broadcast several times by BBC in the UK, The Disney Channel in the USA and in over 30 countries worldwide.
In 1991 Frain founded Manga Entertainment Ltd and within five years (1991 to 1995), the company had popularised Japanese animation in western markets and Frain’s relationships with Japanese animation directors, producers, studios, distributors and publishers led to the first ever animated feature co-production between Japanese and Western companies. The film Ghost in the Shell (on which Frain also acted as executive producer) has become one of the most successful films of the “anime” medium. During Frain's tenure as the CEO of Manga Entertainment, he established a US distribution division (Manga Entertainment Inc), a comic book division (Manga Publishing), and a CGI animation studio (Manga Studios). During that time, the company also developed and produced other animated features and TV series including Dave Borthwick’s award-winning film The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb, and Cobra directed by Japanese comic book artist Buichi Terasawa. At the end of 1995, Frain left Manga Entertainment to start his own animation production company Touchwood Animation. Some claim he was fired for the heavy investment in Ghost in the Shell, (which was nicknamed Frain's Folly at one point) but it turned out to be one of the most successful films in the company's history. Following his departure from Manga Entertainment, Frain retained a minority share in the company which he sold back to Blackwell prior to the sale to IDT.
Since 1996 Andy Frain has been involved in the development and production of several animation TV series including Backpackers, an adult animation series for Tinopolis, Yazzoo Wazzoo, a pre-school series for Granada, Spheriks a 26 x ½ hour CGI TV series for FIFA and Tractor Tom a 52 x 11 minute pre-school series for Contender & CITV and Free Jimmy a CGI Feature Film for Sarah Radclyffe Productions. His company also produced the animation for Brush Head a series of shorts made for The Disney Channel & Dandy Productions and which won The BAFTA Animation Award in 2004. The company has also produced a series of commercials and a short film for Nestle (via HRA and Ogilvy & Mather) and their Munch Bunch brand as well as a series of animated shorts based on BBC’s popular comedy series Little Britain.
- "Company Info". Touchwood Animation. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Special Edition "Ghost in the Shell"". Anime News Network. December 2, 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Andy Frain". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Past Winners and Nominees - Children's - Awards". BAFTA. Archived from the original on 15 September 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.