Nelvana is a Canadian animation studio and children's media company owned by Corus Entertainment Since 2000. Founded in 1971, it was named by founders Michael Hirsh, Patrick Loubert and Clive A. Smith after a Canadian comic book superheroine created by Adrian Dingle in the 1940s. The company's production logo is a Polar Bear looking at the North Star. Most of its films, shows, and specials are based on licensed properties, mainly children's literature, but original programming is also part of its roster. It ventured into the world of live-action from its establishment and continues to do so.
Nelvana also distributes internationally two Nickelodeon shows: Taina and The Fairly OddParents. As of 2001, its library comprises more than 1,650 cumulative half-hours of original programming. The company has international offices in France, Ireland, and Japan.
Nelvana started in 1971 when two graduates of York University, Michael Hirsh and Patrick Loubert, teamed up with a Vitaphone animator-designer Clive A. Smith in Toronto, Ontario. Hirsh and Loubert, who had a passion for underground film making, had founded a small company called Laff Arts in the late 1960s. Smith, whose interest was in rock n' roll music, had previously been among the crew for the Beatles' animated series and their 1968 film, Yellow Submarine. Hirsh has commented on the background of Nelvana's founding:
|“||Clive is an animator, and Patrick and I became interested in animation when we were in university together. At the time, there was no production industry per se in Canada, either in animation or in television production. There were stations making local shows, but you didn't have people making programs for sale around the world. So, blissfully unaware of all it would involve, we decided to start a company in Toronto.||”|