Vic Atkinson a trained animator migrated from England to Canada and joined Crawly Films [Ottawa]. In 1978 he broke away to form Atkinson Film – Arts Ltd.

It began business with a Christmas special The Little Brown Burro (1977/8) which was animated by Pino Lamsweerde who also animated The New Misadventures of Ichabod Crane (1979). Tukiki and His Search For A Merry Christmas was the next Christmas special followed by The Christmas Racoons, (17 Dec. 1980) developed for the CBC by Kevin Gillis and Gary Dunford, writers on Bruno Gerrusi’s Celebrity Cooks series, and Atkinson Film’s The Trolls and The Merry Christmas Express (1981).

Later in 1981, Vic was hospitalized after supervising two segments: “Harry Cannon”, director Pino Lamsweerde, and “Gremlins”, director Barrie Nelson, for the feature film Heavy Metal, produced by Ivan Reitman and directed by Gerald Potterton. He returned to the company only long enough to produce The Raccoons On Ice (1981). He sold his shares to his partner Bill Stevens, apparently because he didn’t like the commercial direction the studio was taking. “I ‘ve been in this business a long time, and I won’t produce garbage. I never will.” Karen Mazurkewich reported him saying. In 1982, after Bill bought out Vic, he bought out Budge Crawley. Crawley Films was burdened with a debt of $1.2 million. Budge sold it for $1. The Company was renamed Atkinson Crawly Film Arts Ltd.

The new company continued its association with the Heavy Metal working on the segment “Harry Cannon and moved on to produce The Care Bears: The Land Without Feelings (1983), The Care Bears: Battle The Ice Machine (1984), Tukiki and His Search For a Merry Christmas, the specials The Raccoons And The Lost Star (1983), The Raccoons Let’s Dance (1984) and the first season 1985/86 of the Racoons series. It produced the sci-fi TV movie The Body Electric (1985) featuring the music of the rock band RUSH and For Better Or For Worse: The Bestest Present (1985) based on the cartoon strip “For Better or for Worse” by Lynn Johnston. In 1986 it produced Babar and Father Christmas.

In 1987, Atkinson Crawley Film Arts Ltd changed its name to Crawley’s Animation. With Shanghi Animation Studio it produced The Nightingale (1987). In association with DIC Animation City Enterprises it did The Adventures of Teddy Raxpin 1987/8, 13 episodes of Dennis The Menace (1988) and 11 episodes of COPS.

It went bankrupt and discontinued operations in 1989.


Article book:

The Art Of The Movie Heavy Metal. Writ., Carl Macek, Research, Christina Miner, Ed., Susan Cohn. New York: Zoetrope, 1981.

Cartoon Capers; The History of Canadian Animators. Writ., Karen Mazurkewich. McArthur & Co., 1999: 116-120.

Press Kit:

“Titlecraft Presents The Little Brown Burro.” Media Information Kit For General Media Release. Ottawa: Titlecraft Ltd., July 1978.


“Atkinson Film – Arts.” Wikipedia the free encyclopedia. Accessed 2 Oct. 2016.