Author: Bob Feb 21, 2022 8 min read
The first animated video came out in 1937. It was Walt Disney Studios’ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Since then, the animation industry has won the hearts of many. Nowadays, great studios create top-class animations that inspire and entertain. In this article, we’ve compiled the best of the best animation studios whose new creations we’re looking forward to in 2022.
They say Steve Jobs changed the course of animation after creating Pixar. The studio leads the pack amongst 3D animation studios. After being ousted from Apple, Steve bought Pixar and invested another $5 million to make it an artistic powerhouse. He got the animation wizards – Lasseter and Ed Catmull to work with him.
One can hardly find a studio with such a portfolio of d hit movies like Pixar. Toy Story, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo, Cars, and other stories have shaped what a cartoon should be. They hit home with kids, their parents, and any age group out there. By the way, the team was the first to develop the computer rendering software that had a huge impact on the global film industry.
Do you remember Shrek? Well, that’s the baby of this studio. It was founded by three giants Spielberg, music executive David Geffen, and ex-Disney executive Jefferey Katzenberg. The bosses got some popular animators and had their first feature Antz come out in 1998. Since then, the animation company produced the Madagascar franchise, the Shrek franchise, the Kung Fu Panda franchise, How to Train Your Dragon films, etc.
Today, the animation company gave to the world 37 features, migrating from 90s traditional animation to computer-animated one. While Pixar is recognized for its original stories and emotional moments, DreamWorks remains unique, creating films that never copy the competition. Its animated films stand out for a very particular storytelling style. And three Oscars and 41 Emmys simply prove that.
The studio definitely stands out among animation companies for its distinctive style, mainly stop-motion. Initially, LAIKA was a successor to the Will Vinton Studios that had some struggles to survive. After Nike, Inc. owner Phil Knight invested in it and hired stop-motion wizard Henry Selick, things got better.
Since then, the studio specializes in spooky fantasy movies, which is now its signature aesthetic. The team can brag about the following movies: The Boxtrolls, Coraline, ParaNorman, Kubo, etc. The company is relatively new, yet it has already made an impact on the world of animation.
In 2007, the world saw the company Illumination Entertainment. Its founder, Chris Meledandri, left the post of the President of Twentieth Century Fox Animation in pursuit of new opportunities. At Fox, he’d cut his teeth on Robots and Alvin and the Chipmunks, which helped him become one of the popular animators in the industry.
Now, we’re having Minions, the studio’s mascot with a $1.159 billion box office globally. The comedy films Despicable Me 2 got $970.8 million and Despicable Me 3 – $1.034 billion at the box office worldwide. All three are on the list of the 50 highest-grossing films ever. The studio released ten feature films during the last ten years – all with resounding success – and was nominated at the Oscars, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs. The style of animation wins the hearts of kids and the young-at-heart with its nice and family-oriented characters.
It’s another stop-motion animation studio founded in 1972. Yet, what makes it the best animation is using claymation. The process is quite time-consuming, requiring several steps to change figures for every next frame. But when all the characters are fully displayed, there’s no doubt it’s worth it.
Moreover, most of them, such as Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Pirates! Band of Misfits joined the list of the highest-grossing stop motion movies ever made. Its stellar film Chicken Run tops all of them! Aardman won the hearts of many with his beloved animated characters, and his genius was awarded an unprecedented ten Oscar nominations, and four Oscar wins.
On June 15, 1958, brilliant director Hayao Miyazaki teamed up with producer Toshio Suzuki and fellow director Isao Takahata and founded Studio Ghibli. It was a kind of a passion project between buddies. Their achievements are pretty significant – eight of the fifteen highest-grossing anime movies in the country’s history.
Their hit films are My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Princess Mononoke, When Marnie Was There, and so on. Besides, their first fully CGI short film Boro the Caterpillar made the company one of the greatest animation studios not just in Japan, but worldwide.
Initially a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox, the studio dedicated itself to television advertising and special effects. After getting solid experience in diverse, character-based projects in 2002, there was a shift toward CGI animation production. The team felt the power to produce their own characters and appeal to little ones with cartoon movies.
Therefore, the world saw Ice Age, whose production budget paid off six times. The following movies Robots, Horton Hears a Who, The Peanuts Movie, Ferdinand also resonated with a young demographic and brought success to the company. However, there’s still a long way for it to become the best animation studio in the industry.
In May 2020 the owners of Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to sell its visual effects subsidiary Sony Pictures Imageworks. When no one got interested in the purchase, the shift to focus on animation was inevitable. Therefore, Sony Pictures Animation was born.
Later on, the animation production company would perfect its expertise and release character-based stories.
The first stellar movie was Open Season 2006, which turned out to be a box-office hit at a time. In 2012, the animated film Hotel Transylvania, voiced by Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez, was well-regarded by the public. The recent adventure fantasy film Wish Dragon came out in 2021 and was given a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But viewers can always have their own opinion by watching it on Netflix.
Nickelodeon is something stirring up a warm smile among all the Generation Y adults. It started in 1990 as Games Animation and got success with its amazing programs like The Ren and Stimpy Show, Rugrats, and Doug. Live-action game shows like Legends of the Hidden Temple and Figure It Out were marvelous as well, but a real ‘animation breakthrough’ was the animated series Nicktoons which both kids and adults warmly welcomed.
Other hit films include SpongeBob SquarePants, Invader Zim, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. The first theatrical film was The Rugrats Movie. Hey, Arnold! is another big screen Nicktoon favorite. The studio stays firm as the best in television animation thanks to its high-profile, popular animators and even strives to develop more as the film department.
Warner Bros. is a giant among animation companies. Its Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies franchises have been around since 1930. It has produced nearly 7,000 movies and about 5,000 TV shows. The company also released 3D animated films like Storks, Lego: The Movie, and Happy Feet.
Warner Bros. depicted such characters as Batman and Superman, Scooby-Doo, and The Flintstones in its animations. It can brag six Academy Awards, 35 Emmys, and 20 Annie Awards. Yet, it is still known for its original smear technique in hand-drawn cartoons that later became its signature style.
Animations proved not to be only for the heart and soul. These are powerful instruments for interest and loyalty generation in the business. Nowadays, brands strive to introduce a narrative into the messaging. So, animated videos depict a problem or pain point that can be solved with the service or product they are featuring. It’s a well-known promotion technique, and opportunities here are limitless.
Therewith, it’s crucial to partner up with the right animation studio, with good expertise in the field. What do you need nowadays? Explainer videos, commercials, and tutorials, or maybe crowdfunding ones for your local charity? Whatever your business vision is, you can always address it to a group of professionals to bring your ideas to life.
The abovementioned animation companies just prove that animation is as popular as ever. Many have started as subsidiaries or just as a passion project and grew into giants in the field. People relate with lively characters, extraordinary stories, emotional moments, and values that traditional live-action films cannot convey.
The audience wants to see crazy but kind things, bold, unspoken and unreal – something they can relate with. And it’s just one side of the iceberg of how technology affects the human mind. To find out all the advantages of animations and to learn more about the wonders and power of animated videos, explore other blog articles on the site.