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

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

During 1981, Vic Atkinson was hospitalized after supervising two segments “Harry Cannon”, director Pino Lamsweerde, and “Gremelins”, 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 Stevens bought out Atkinson, he bought out Budge Crawley. Crawley Films had a debt of $1.2 million. Crawley sold it for $1. The Company was renamed Atkinson Crawly Films.

This new company produced The Care Bears: The Land Without Feelings (1983) and The Care Bears: Battle The Ice Machine (1984). and Tukiki and His Search For a Merry Christmas. The Christmas Raccoons (1980) In 1981, worked on the “Harry Cannon” segment of Heavy Metal the animated feature Produced by Ivan Reitman, and Directed by Gerald Potterton. The Trolls and The Merry Christmas Express (1981) The Raccoons On Ice (1981), In 1982 Atkinson Film – Arts absorbed Crawley Fiolms. The Raccoons And The Lost Star (1983) The Care Bears: The Land Without Feelings 1983) The Raccoons Let’s Dance (1984) The Care Bears: Battle The Ice Machine (1984) The Raccoons first season 1985/6

In association with DIC Enterprises they did The Adventures of Teddy Raxpin 1987/8 season.

The Body Electric (1985) featuring the music of RUSH. For Better Or For Worse: The Bestest Present (1985).

In 1987, Atkinson changed its name to Crawleys Animation. With Shanghi Animation Studio it produced The Nightingale (1987), and 13 episodes of Dennis The Menace (1988). It followed this with 11 episodes of COPS in association with DIC.

It went bankrupt and discontinued operations in 1989.


Book text and graphic:

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.

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.