Happy 21st Anniversary to Mackinnon & Saunders

Mackinnon & Saunders

Leonherman would like to wish a very happy 21st anniversary to Mackinnon & Saunders, one of the world’s leading puppet makers and animation houses who we are proud to call a client.

The Altrincham based business specialises in making puppets used in stop motion animations for leading film producers, bringing their characters to life. If you have visited the cinema or watched TV in the past two decades you will have more than likely seen the work undertaken from Ian Mackinnon and Pete Saunders.

They have worked on films such as Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, Disney’s Frankenweenie and Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, with all three of these films being nominated for the best animated feature Oscar at the Academy Awards.

The company’s services are sought today by clients such as DreamWorks Classic Media and with the company celebrating their 21st anniversary, there is every indication that their success will continue. Last year heralded the opening of their Digital Studio, which is already producing a new series called Wanda and the Alien for Channel 5.

After launching the business in 1993, Pete explains “I clearly remember finding the whole process of setting up a company extremely nerve-wracking, we were puppet makers and pretty quickly had to make the transition into business people.”

I am sure many of our clients can relate to this, both Pete and Ian still have their own workbenches, but as any business grows they are mindful of managing the company and their team with their team playing an integral part of the company’s ongoing success.

Like many businesses they have not been immune to the effects of the recession with many series being made with the same budget as 10 years ago. Ian has said “It remains a tough business, the animations process is intense. A lot of work is being made abroad now with projects increasingly going to companies in the Far East, where labour is cheaper and France where there are tax breaks.”

Today Mackinnon and Saunders has 75 full time staff, although this figure can be higher depending on the projects being worked on and with many exciting projects in the pipeline we are sure they will have many more successful years to come, we wish them every success for the future and look forward to supporting them with their ongoing plans.