Ramsey Naito has been named President of Nickelodeon Animation, it was announced today by ViacomCBS Kids & Family President Brian Robbins, to whom Naito will continue to report. In this position, Naito oversees the network’s animation content across all formats and platforms–spanning linear, digital, TV movies, theatrical motion pictures and SVOD. Formerly Executive Vice President of Animation Production and Development for the Nickelodeon Group, Oscar®-nominated producer Naito joined Nickelodeon in 2018 and has since overseen a renaissance at the studio of animation content and production in scale and creativity.
“Ramsey has led the transformation of our Animation Studio through the combination of impeccable creative vision and on-point business instincts, and her appointment to President reflects the scope of talent and soul she brings to our organization,” said Robbins. “In very short order, she has re-energized and rebuilt our animation teams while bringing in a string of new talent, storytellers, artists, production teams and voice actors to elevate Nick’s overall animation output and leadership position even further.”
Naito has been a driving force in bringing new projects, top talent and key partnerships to Nickelodeon Animation, to further bolster its content pipeline across preschool, kids, theatrical and its studio business. Notable projects include: the highly anticipated Star Trek: Prodigy from Nickelodeon and CBS Television Studios; best-selling book adaptations Real Pigeons Fight Crime, produced by James Corden and Ben Winston, and the critically acclaimed Big Nate; Tiny Chef in partnership with Imagine Kids+Family; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theatrical motion picture in partnership with Point Grey Pictures’ Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver, helmed by Jeff Rowe, and PAW Patrol: The Movie targeting a 2021 release; and the first-ever SpongeBob SquarePants spinoff Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years.
Simultaneously, Naito manages the day-to-day operations of Nickelodeon’s current series and development slate, overseeing the network’s key franchises including: SpongeBob SquarePants, The Casagrandes, The Loud House, Baby Shark, Blue’s Clues & You!, Santiago of the Seas, the upcoming Rugrats reboot and the recently announced original series Middlemost Post.
To continue growing Nickelodeon’s animation business beyond linear, in 2019, Naito oversaw the network’s multi-year output deal with Netflix to produce original animated feature films and television series, based both on the Nickelodeon library of characters as well as all-new IP for kids and families globally. This deal marked an expansion of the existing relationship between the companies, which has already brought several popular titles to Netflix, including animated specials Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, and specials based on The Loud House and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Building an inclusive and diverse culture at the animation studio and developing emerging and homegrown talent has been a strong point in Naito’s mission throughout her time at Nickelodeon. Naito has brought in more than 500 new employees across dozens of animation productions, and since employees began working remotely in March, over 150 new positions have been filled with studio productions operating virtually at 100%. Nickelodeon currently has over 40 animated shows in production across series, its studio business and movies, and is pacing to nearly double its production slate by end of 2020. Under Naito’s leadership, Nickelodeon also held its first-ever virtual job fair this year, garnering nearly 6000 attendees globally, exemplifying a commitment to hire inclusively and to reflect authenticity and diversity in storytelling.
Prior to Nickelodeon, Naito oversaw production on Paramount Pictures’ upcoming theatrical Sponge on the Run, slated to debut on CBS All Access early 2021. Naito produced DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar®-nominated feature, The Boss Baby, while also earning her a PGA nomination for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures. Prior to DreamWorks Animation, Ramsey worked as a producer for Blue Sky Studios, at Cartoon Network as Head of Movies and at Nickelodeon Movies as Vice President of Development & Production. Her executive and producer credits include: Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins(2009), Barnyard (2006), The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004), The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002), Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002), the Oscar®-nominated Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000), and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999).
Naito is a member of Women in Animation, the Producers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art and her Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts. Naito is based in Nickelodeon’s Burbank, Calif. studio.