Bix Pix “Doh Doh Island” Hasbro video hits national Toys ?R’ Us stores


Bix Pix Entertainment’s “Doh Doh Island” video hit stores June 1.

Starting June 1, Toys ?R’ Us stores across the country begin stocking “Doh Doh Island,” a 23-minute claymation video about a sextet of flightless birds that explore caves and go bowling in the South Pacific.

Kelli Bixler’s Bix Pix Entertainment created the video to complement the Doh Doh Island toy line that Hasbro launched last Christmas.

“We can’t wait to go to Toys ?R’ Us and buy our own video,” said Bixler. “If it’s well-received there will be more ?Doh Doh Island’ to come.”

Bix Pix is in development on two series, a primetime cable show for adults and a preschool program written by “Doh Doh Island” writer Michael Maler of L.A.(“Baby Loony Tunes.”)

“Anybody can come to us with an idea to do work for hire, which is great,” Bixler said. “Or what we really love to do it create our own ideas and go out and pitch them to the powers that be to get our own original programming on the air.”

Bix Pix’s first national commercial spot, “NBC Memories” was recognized at the New York Film Festival and won 2002 gold and silver Hugo Awards.

“I hope that opens the door and lets agencies in Chicago know we exist,” Bixler said. “Our saving grace has been that L.A. thinks it’s very cool to be from Chicago. It helps us when we go to the West Coast. I’d love it if it would help us to get clients here in Chicago.”

Bixler started as a live-action director in the early ?80s. She established Bixler Picture Shows in 1987, directing training videos, industrials, music videos, and documentaries including an award- winning doc about Iowa poet Helen Harrington.

Bixler was directing a show for Playskool that incorporated cell animation by Cioni Artworks when she met Cioni animator Greg Lontkowski.

“Greg blew me away at lunch time making these sculpted figures,” Bixler said. “A couple years later I was beating down doors in Hollywood trying to get some attention for my ideas, and I thought maybe if it was done in clay we could get attention.”

Bixler approached Lontkowski to create the claymation short “Ad Gab,” which won fans at Disney and paved the way in 1998 for “Dinner Time,” a Bix Pix interstitial series on the Disney Channel.

Bix Pix went on to create the “Squash and Stretch” series for Toon Disney and a set of bumpers for Dick Clark’s “Bloopers, Bleepers and Blunders.” Bix Pix’s 2001 adaptation of Dorothea Warren Fox’s children’s book “Miss Twiggley’s Tree” won awards from Parent’s Choice, Booklist Magazine, and the American Library Association.

“A lot of claymation that you see now is very smooth and shiny,” Bixler said. “You can see the fingerprints on our clay, it has the texture of clay. You can tell that it’s not out of an assembly line, it’s been sculpted by human hands.”

Bixler will be honored at the Women in Animation Chicago chapter launch party Thursday, June 5, 7:30-11 p.m. at 941 W. Lawrence. For info call 773/347-1120.

Bix Pix is at 1917 W. Belmont, 773/248-5430;
– by Ed M. Koziarski,