Author: Bob Feb 21, 2022 11 min read
Animation is a form of visual storytelling that has captivated audiences for decades. From classic hand-drawn pictures to the latest computer-generated graphics, animation has come a long way in terms of technology and creative expression. Behind these captivating stories and characters are the professional studios that bring them to life.
These are companies that specialize in creating animated productions, from short films to feature-length movies, TV series, and commercials. Such cartoon studios employ a wide range of creative professionals, including animators, storyboard artists, writers, voice actors, and more. The goal of these studios is to create engaging stories and characters that capture the imagination of audiences and leave a lasting impact.
Over the years, the animation industry has seen the emergence of many studios that have become household names. Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, and Studio Ghibli are just a few examples of the most successful animation studios in the world. These companies have created some of the most beloved animated production pieces and TV shows, including “Toy Story”, “Spirited Away” and “Shrek.”
As the demand for animated production continues to grow, studios play a critical role in shaping the future of storytelling. They offer a platform for creative expression and provide a source of inspiration for future generations of animators and storytellers.
Nowadays, great studios create top-class animations that inspire and entertain. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the animation studios whose new creations we’re looking forward to in 2023.
They say Steve Jobs changed the course of animation after creating Pixar. The studio leads the pack among 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 computer rendering software that had a huge impact on the global film industry.
Do you remember Shrek? Well, that’s the baby of this cartoon 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 the 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 productions stand out for a very particular storytelling style. And three Oscars and 41 Emmys simply prove that.
The cartoon studio definitely stands out among animation companies for its distinctive style, mainly stop-motion. Initially, LAIKA was a successor to the Will Vinton Studios, which 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 cartoon business specializes in spooky fantasy movies, which is now it’s 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 most 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 American animation studio founded in 1972. Yet, what makes it the best character 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 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 famous 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 American animation studio in the industry.
In May 2020, the owners of animation company 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 in 2006, which turned out to be a box-office hit at the 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 Generation Y adults. It started in 1990 as Games Animation and got successful 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! It 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.
Animation 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, animation 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 the 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 with a group of professionals to bring your ideas to life.
Animated videos can inspire in a number of ways. Here are a few possible reasons:
Overall, animated videos engage viewers on an emotional and intellectual levels, and inspire them to think, feel, or act in new ways.
To sum up, the animation industry is constantly evolving, and it’s vital to keep an eye on emerging studios that bring fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to cartoon businesses. As we look forward to 2023, there are several animation teams that are worth watching closely. Some of the best animation studios that are expected to make a significant impact in the industry include Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Studio Ghibli, DreamWorks Animation, and Illumination Entertainment.
These studios in the world of animation have a reputation for creating high-quality projects that captivate audiences worldwide. Additionally, new studios in the world like Tangent Animation, Blue Sky Studios, and Laika are showing great potential in producing animated films. Overall, the animation industry is thriving, and there’s never been a better time to be a part of this exciting world.
The abovementioned animation companies just prove that animation is as popular as ever. Many have started as subsidiaries or just as passion projects and grown into giants in the field. People relate to 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 to. Moreover, it’s just one side of the iceberg of how technology affects the human mind. Explore other blog articles on the site to find out all the advantages of animations and learn more about the wonders and power of animated videos.