Terry Thoren has been recognized by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most important figures in the marketing and promotion of independent animated films in the United States."
For twelve years Thoren served as CEO/President of Klasky Csupo. Klasky Csupo, Inc. was the first animation studio to produce the TV series “The Simpsons.” Under Thoren’s leadership the “Rugrats” skyrocketed to success and the characters enjoyed popularity in movies, television and all media worldwide. Thoren’s televison divisions produced a slate of top-rated series for Nickelodeon including "The Wild Thornberry’s", the Emmy nominated "As Told By Ginger", "Rocket Power" "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters," two Rugrats spinoffs called "The Rugrats All Grown Up" and “Pre School Daze." He also supervised "Duckman," for the USA Network and "The Immigrants" for the Spike network. Thoren was the Executive in Charge of Production on more than 600 episodes of TV animation. Thoren oversaw the development and production of four successful animated features. "The Rugrats Movie" marked the first time a non-Disney animated feature grossed over $100 million.
Thoren began his film studies career at the University of Colorado. Upon graduation in 1975 he built a film school called the Visions Film Program and in 1976 became the Director of the Western States Film Institute./
Managing Denver's Flick Theatre while an undergraduate, he served as an original staff member of the Telluride Film Festival in 1976 and then in 1977 he co-founded the Denver International Film Festival. In 1979 he was recruited by Americas’ largest art theatre chain Landmark Theaters and moved to Hollywood to learn the business of distribution and marketing by working as a film buyer and a marketing Vice President.
In 1984, he founded Expanded Entertainment, a production and distribution company specializing in compilations of animated shorts. Seeking to open new markets for the promotion and exhibition of Expander’s product line, he acquired the rights to the then little-known International Tourney of Animation. He soon transformed that sleepy specialized feature film into a North American success story with each year’s release appearing on the top-ten list of highest grossing foreign and specialty releases. The Wall Street Journal said that Thoren turned "a once-obscure event for aficionados into a moneymaking product palatable to mainstream moviegoers."
Thoren produced nineteen feature length animation compilations, each of which were distributed to 350 cities in North America. This list included six editions of the International Tourney of Animation, four editions of the Animation Celebration, The Computer Animation Show, Outrageous Animation, The National Film Board of Canada’s Animation Festival and The British Animation Invasion.
Leaving no avenue of promotion unexplored, in 1985 Thoren created and launched Animation Magazine as a way to publicize his movie offerings. After 25 years of publishing success, today Animation Magazine is still the animation industry’s leading trade publication and the only magazine of its kind in the world. As the global ambassador of animation, Thoren inaugurated the Los Angeles International Animation Celebration (re-named the World Animation Celebration), a biennial affair that has hosted more than 100,000 animators, filmmakers, studio heads, dignitaries and industry creatives from around the world since 1985.
When Thoren left Klasky Csupo, he had the vision to build a legacy business using his animation experience. His goal was to build an immersive world on the Internet to engage children emotionally, and educate them through animated games and cartoon rewards. He knew that going into the education system, effecting change and providing hope for children and their families would hit the bull's-eye of his lifelong vision for positively impacting children. Along this impassioned journey, Terry met Dan Feshbach and Dr. Chris Whalen of TeachTown, and an inevitable partnership developed.
With his 35 years of experience Thoren is uniquely situated to understand and navigate the much-heralded convergence of traditional entertainment with new media in education. Today, Terry Thoren is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of TeachTown. He is leading his team on this impassioned journey to create a world of engaging products for children with special needs and autism.