Animation studio
An animation studio is a company
A company is a form of business organization. It is an association or collection of individual real persons and/or other companies, who each provide some form of capital. This group has a common purpose or focus and an aim of gaining profits. This collection, group or association of persons can be...

 producing animated media. The broadest such companies conceive of products to produce, own the physical equipment for production, employ operators for that equipment, and hold a major stake in the sales or rentals of the media produced. They also own rights over merchandising and creative rights for characters created/held by the company, much like authors holding copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

s. In some early cases, they also held patent rights over methods of animation used in certain studios that were used for boosting productivity. Overall, they are business concerns and can function as such in legal terms.


Winsor McCay
Winsor McCay
Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator.A prolific artist, McCay's pioneering early animated films far outshone the work of his contemporaries, and set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in later decades...

 was widely renowned as the father of the animated cartoon, having converted his cartoon strip Little Nemo
Little Nemo
Little Nemo is the main fictional character in a series of weekly comic strips by Winsor McCay that appeared in the New York Herald and William Randolph Hearst's New York American newspapers from October 15, 1905 – April 23, 1911 and April 30, 1911 – July 26, 1914; respectively.The...

 into a 10 minute feature film,co-directing it along with J. Stuart Blackton
J. Stuart Blackton
James Stuart Blackton , usually known as J. Stuart Blackton, was an Anglo-American film producer of the Silent Era, the founder of Vitagraph Studios and among the first filmmakers to use the techniques of stop-motion and drawn animation...

, released on April 8, 1911. However, the idea of a studio dedicated to animating cartoons was spearheaded by Raoul Barré
Raoul Barré
Raoul Barré was a Canadian and American cartoonist, animator of the silent film era, and artist.Barré was born in Montreal, Quebec, the only artistic child of an importer of communion wine...

 and his studio, Barré Studio
Barré Studio
Barré Studio was, in all probability, the first film studio dedicated to animation . It was founded by Raoul Barré and William Nolan in 1914. They began with advertising films , then got a series with Edison called the Animated Grouch Chaser...

, co-founded with Bill Nolan
Bill Nolan (animator)
William "Bill" Nolan was an Irish-American animated cartoon writer, animator, director, and artist. He is best-known for creating and perfecting the rubber hose style of animation and for streamlining Felix the Cat. From 1925 to 1927, he worked on a loose animated adaptation of George Herriman's...

, beating out the studio created by J.R. Bray, Bray Productions
Bray Productions
Bray Productions was the dominant animation studio based in the United States in the years before World War I.- History :The studio was founded in December 1914 by J. R. Bray, perhaps the first studio entirely devoted to animation, and series animation at that...

, to the honour of the first studio dedicated to animation.

Though beaten to the post of being the first studio, Bray's studio employee, Earl Hurd
Earl Hurd
Earl Hurd was a pioneering American animator and film director. He is noted for creating and producing the silent Bobby Bumps animated short subject series for early animation producer J.R. Bray's Bray Productions...

, came up with patents designed for mass producing the output for the studio. As Hurd did not file for these patents under his own name, but handed them to Bray, they would go on to form the Bray-Hurd Patent Company and sold these techniques for royalties to other animation studios of the time. The patents for animation systems using drawings on transparent celluloid sheets and a registration system that kept images steady were held under this firm. Bray also developed the basic division of labor still used in animation studios (animators, assistants, layout artists, etc.). Across the world, Japanese animation, also called Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

, was also in its initial stages, the first known example being dated around 1907, but it would take till 1956 for the Japanese animation industry to successfully adopt the studio format as used in America and Europe and it would take till 1961 for the productions to be aired in America. Till the formation of Toei Animation
Toei Animation
Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is a Japanese animation studio owned by Toei Co., Ltd. The studio was founded in 1948 as Japan Animated Films . In 1956, Toei purchased the studio and it was reincorporated under its current name...

 in 1956, the first Japanese animation studio of importance, the animators remained as independent anime artists, though some still exist.
The biggest name in animation studios during this early time was Disney Brothers Animation Studio (now known as Walt Disney Animation Studios), co-founded by Walt
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

 and Roy O. Disney
Roy O. Disney
Roy Oliver Disney was, with his younger brother, Walt Disney, the co-founder of what is now The Walt Disney Company.-Early life:...

. Started on October 16, 1923, the studio went on to make its first animated short, Steamboat Willie
Steamboat Willie
Steamboat Willie is a 1928 American animated short film directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. It was produced in black-and-white by The Walt Disney Studio and released by Celebrity Productions. The cartoon is considered the debut of Mickey Mouse, and as his girlfriend Minnie, but the characters...

 in 1928, to much critical success, though the real breakthrough was in 1937, when the studio was able to produce a full-length animated feature film i.e. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated film based on Snow White, a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, as well as the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full...

, which laid the foundation for other studios to try and make full length movies. This period, from the 1920s to the 1950s or sometimes considered from 1911 to the death of Walt Disney in 1966, is commonly known as the Golden Age of American Animation as it included the growth of Disney, as well as the rise of Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 and MGM as prominent animation studios. Disney continued to lead in technical prowess among studios for a long time afterwards, as can be seen with their achievements.
In 1941, Otto Messmer
Otto Messmer
Otto James Messmer was an American animator, best known for his work on the Felix the Cat cartoons and comic strip produced by the Pat Sullivan studio....

 created the first animated television commercials for Botany Tie ads/weather reports. They were shown on NBC-TV in New York until 1949. This marked the first forays of animation designed for the smaller screen and was to be followed by the first animated series specifically made for television, Crusader Rabbit
Crusader Rabbit
Crusader Rabbit is the first animated series produced specifically for television. The concept was test marketed in 1948, while the initial episode - Crusader vs. the State of Texas - aired on KNBH in Los Angeles, California on August 1, 1950....

, in 1948. Its creator, Alex Anderson, had to create the studio 'Television Arts Productions' specifically for the purpose of creating this series as his old studio, Terrytoons
Terrytoons was an animation studio founded by Paul Terry. The studio, located in suburban New Rochelle, New York, operated from 1929 to 1968. Its most popular characters included Mighty Mouse, Gandy Goose, Sourpuss, Dinky Duck, Deputy Dawg, Luno and Heckle and Jeckle; these cartoons and all of its...

, refused to make a series for television. Since Crusader Rabbit however, many studios have seen this as a profitable enterprise and many have entered the made for television market since, with Bill Hanna refining the production process for television animation on his show Ruff and Reddy. It was in 1958 that the The Huckleberry Hound Show claimed the title of being the first all new half-hour cartoon show. This, along with their previous success with the series Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry are the cat and mouse cartoon characters that were evolved starting in 1939.Tom and Jerry also may refer to:Cartoon works featuring the cat and mouse so named:* The Tom and Jerry Show...

, elevated Hanna's animation studio, Hanna-Barbera Productions, to dominate the North American television animation market during the latter half of the 20th Century.

Ownership Trends

With the growth of animation as an industry, the trends of ownership of studios has changed with time. Current studios such as Warner Bros. and early ones such as Fleischer Studios
Fleischer Studios
Fleischer Studios, Inc., was an American corporation which originated as an Animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York...

, started life as small, independent studios, being run by a very small core group. After being bought out or sold to other companies, they eventually consolidated with other studios and became larger. The drawback of this setup was that there was now a major thrust towards profitability with the management acting as a damper towards creativity of these studios, continuing even in today's scenario.

Currently, the independent animation studios are looking to ensure artistic integrity by signing up with big animation studios on contracts that allow them to license out movies, without being directed by the bigger studios. Examples of such co-operation are the joint ventures between DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

 and that of Blue Sky Studios
Blue Sky Studios
Blue Sky Studios is an American CGI-animation studio which specializes in high-resolution, computer-generated character animation and rendering. It is owned by 20th Century Fox and located in Greenwich, Connecticut...

 and 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...


Animator's Contracts

Although there are permanent/full time positions in studios, most animators work on a contract basis. There are some animators that are considered to be in the core group of the studio, which can either be as a result of being there since the inception of the company or being talented recruits from other animation studios. These are the more secured positions in an animation studio, though the studio might have policies with regard to possible tenure of animators. Since studios can hire animators on a work for hire
Work for hire
A work made for hire is an exception to the general rule that the person who actually creates a work is the legally recognized author of that work...

 basis nowadays, many artists do not retain rights over their creations, unlike some of the early animators. The extent of these copyrights is subject to local Intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...


The animators must also be aware about the contracts laws and labour laws
Labour law
Labour law is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. As such, it mediates many aspects of the relationship between trade unions, employers and employees...

 prevalent in the jurisdiction to which the animation studio is subject to. There have been numerous legal battles fought over the copyright of famous franchises, such as Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda is a 2008 American computer-animated action comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures...

 and SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series, created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. Much of the series centers on the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the underwater city of "Bikini Bottom"...

. This has come about as a result of the clause in Copyright contracts that states that an idea cannot be protected, only an actual piece of work can be said to be infringed upon. This means that though the animators may have forwarded ideas to the animation studios about certain characters and plots, these ideas alone cannot be protected and can lead to studios profiting on individual animator's ideas. However, this has not stopped many independent artists from filing claims to characters produced by different studios.

Japanese Studios

After the formation of Toei Animation Co. Ltd. in 1956, the Japanese studios churned out minor works of animation. But with the release of Toei's first theatrical feature, The Tale of the White Serpent
The Tale of the White Serpent
is the first color anime feature film, released in 1958. It was also the first to be released in America, under the title Panda and the Magic Serpent, preceding Magic Boy by three months...

released in October 1958, the animation industry in Japan came in to the eye of the general public. Toei followed the Disney formula for their first few animated featured films, i.e. they usually retold a folk tale
Fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

, produced and distributed only one feature per year and the heroes had animal companions.

Due to their lack of popularity in the American markets, Japanese theatrical productions were not screened in America for the better part of the next two decades. However, the success of Alakazam the Great
Alakazam the Great
is a 1960 Japanese anime film, based on the Chinese novel Journey to the West, and was one of the earliest anime films to be released in the United States. Based on the manga by Osamu Tezuka, he was named as a director of the film by Toei Company. However, Tezuka later stated that the only time he...

 led to the finding of artist Osamu Tezuka
Osamu Tezuka
was a Japanese cartoonist, manga artist, animator, producer, activist and medical doctor, although he never practiced medicine. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and Black Jack...

, who would go on to become the father of Japanese manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 with his brand of modern, fast paced fantasy story lines. He became influenced by Hanna-Barbera productions of the late 1950s and made Japan's first made for television animation studio, Mushi Production
Mushi Production
Mushi Production , or Mushi Pro for short, is a Japanese animation studio headquartered in Nerima, Tokyo, Japan....

s. The success of the studios' first show in 1963, Astro Boy, was so immense that there were 3 other television animation studios by the end of the year and Toei had opened their own made for television division. The greatest difference between Japanese studios and North American studios was the difference in adult themed material to make way in Japan. Tezuka's thought that animation should not be restricted to kids alone has brought about many studios that are employed in the production of adult themed adaptations of classic stories such as Heidi
Heidi is a Swiss work of fiction, published in two parts as Heidi's years of learning and travel and Heidi makes use of what she has learned.It is a novel about the events in the life of a young girl in her grandfather's care, in the Swiss Alps...

(Heidi, Girl of the Alps
Heidi, Girl of the Alps
is a 1974 anime series by Zuiyo Enterprises based on the Swiss novel "Heidi's Years of Wandering and Learning" by Johanna Spyri . It was directed by Isao Takahata and features Yoichi Kotabe , Hayao Miyazaki .Heidi is one of several World Masterpiece Theater titles produced around the "classical...

), One Thousand and One Nights and The Diary of a Young Girl
The Diary of a Young Girl
The Diary of a Young Girl is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944 and Anne Frank ultimately died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen...

to name a few.

In the 1980s, animation studios were led back to their theatrical roots due to the success of Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki
is a Japanese manga artist and prominent film director and animator of many popular anime feature films. Through a career that has spanned nearly fifty years, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of animated feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli,...

's film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which led publishing house Tokuma Shoten
Tokuma Shoten
is a publisher in Japan, that was established in 1954.The company was also the parent company for the film studio Daiei Motion Pictures, bought in 1974, and the record label Tokuma Japan Communications, bought in 1972, until both were sold off when Yasuyoshi Tokuma, who established this company,...

 to finance a new animation studio, Studio Ghibli
Studio Ghibli
is a Japanese animation and film studio founded in June 1985. The company's logo features the character Totoro from Hayao Miyazaki's film My Neighbor Totoro...

, which would be used for the personal works of Miyazaki and his close friend, Isao Takahata
Isao Takahata
is a Japanese anime filmmaker that have earned critical international acclaim for his work as a director. Takahata is co-founder of Studio Ghibli with long-time collaborative partner Hayao Miyazaki. He has directed films such as the war-themed Grave of the Fireflies, the romantic-drama Only...

. Many of Ghibli's works have become Japan's top grossing theatrical films, whether in live-action or animated form.

OAV/OVA Market

The market for OAV's or Original Anime Video
Original video animation
, abbreviated as media , are animated films and series made specially for release in home-video formats. The term originated in relation to Japanese animation...

, began in 1984. These are basically tended towards the home video market, while not tending to the television or theatrical audience as such. They refer to those movies that are launched as direct-to-video releases and not meant to be released in theatres. Their acronym was changed to OVA from OAV to avoid confusion with Adult Video. Video productions can run from half an hour productions to well over two hours. They require that premise or story be original in order to be counted as an OVA, though sometimes, the story can be derived from a longer running manga or animated series. As the OAV market is not adapted to the rigours that are faced by television shows or feature films, they have been known to show gratuitous amounts of violence and/or pornography. Some OAV's have registered such strong acclaim that they have been remade as television anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 series as well as theatrical releases.

Since most new OVA's are derived from other animated media, many animation studios that have previously worked on animated series or movies, and adaptations of Japanese manga, have now entered the OVA market, looking to capitalise on the popularity of their flagship shows. Studios participating in such circumstances include Production I.G, Studio Deen
Studio DEEN
is a Japanese company that produces anime. Three years after Sunrise was founded in 1972, Studio Deen was established by Sunrise's members in 1975. As a result of this, anime shows such as Cowboy Bebop that were produced by Sunrise may have had assistance from Studio Deen.-Produced anime:* Urusei...

 and Studio Pierrot
Studio Pierrot
is a Japanese animation/animation studio, founded in 1979 by former employees of Tatsunoko Production. Its headquarters is located in Mitaka, Tokyo.The company has a simple logo of the face of a clown...

. This market is mainly aimed at 25-40 year old adults in Japan, however it has also seen a rise, as a concept, in the Western markets. With many comic characters receiving their versions of OVA's, under the Westernized title of direct-to-video
Direct-to-video is a term used to describe a film that has been released to the public on home video formats without being released in film theaters or broadcast on television...

 animations, the OVA market has spread to American animation houses. Though the term direct-to-video carries negative connotations in the North American and European markets, their popularity has resulted in comic characters ranging from Hellboy
Hellboy is a comic book superhero created by writer-artist Mike Mignola. The character first appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 , and has since appeared in various eponymous miniseries, one-shots and intercompany crossovers...

, Green Lantern: First Flight
Green Lantern: First Flight
# "Main Title" # "The Ring Chooses Hal" # "Hal Meets / The Flight of The Lanterns" # "Labella's Club" # "Going After Cuch" # "The Way I Heard It" # "Bugs in the Baggage" # "Teleport Pursuit"...

 and Ultimate Avengers
Ultimate Avengers
Ultimate Avengers is a direct-to-DVD animated film based on the Marvel comic book The Ultimates, and released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The DVD was released on February 21, 2006 in America, and in Europe on October 2, 2006...

, to television shows such as Family Guy
Family Guy
Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

 and Futurama
Futurama is an American animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J...

, all releasing direct to video animations under the animation studio moniker. DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 have even unveiled their own direct to video studio, producing animated movies for the sole purpose of sale in the direct-to-video market, under the name DC Universe Animated Original Movies. With growing worries about piracy, direct to video animation might become more popular in the near future

Animation Specialities

Certain animation studios may have certain specialties in a certain kind of animation. They can be, but not restricted to, the following:
  • 2D/ Traditional
    Traditional animation
    Traditional animation, is an animation technique where each frame is drawn by hand...

    - The method of of creation of movement of pictures in a 2D environment. This is done by sequencing images that show a progression of movement at a rate of 24 frames per second. Some companies providing this service are Toon Boom and DigiCel.
  • 2D Computer Animation
    2D computer graphics
    2D computer graphics is the computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from two-dimensional models and by techniques specific to them...

    - Creation of the seeming movement of pictures in a 2D environment, aided by specialty computer programs, is known as 2D computer animation. This can also be used for the branch of computer science that enables the creation of software for this technique or the models being manipulated. Companies including Walt Disney and Pixar employ this technique.
  • 3D Computer Animation
    3D computer graphics
    3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...

    - Animation of objects in a three- dimensional space. Their movement can be changed to mimic those of real objects. Major studios include Pixar and Pacific Data Images (PDI).
  • Animated Objects
    Object animation
    Object animation is a form of stop motion animation that involves the animated movements of any non-drawn objects such as toys, blocks, dolls, etc...

    -Is a form of stop motion
    Stop motion
    Stop motion is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence...

     animation that involves the animated movements of any non-drawn objects such as toys, blocks, dolls, etc. which are not fully malleable, such as clay or wax, and not designed to look like a recognizable human or animal character.
  • Clay
    Clay animation
    Clay animation or claymation is one of many forms of stop motion animation. Each animated piece, either character or background, is "deformable"—made of a malleable substance, usually Plasticine clay....

    - Also called claymation, it is a subset of stop motion that utilises clay figures and objects. Studios utilising this animation are Vinton Studios and Aardman Animation.
  • Cut-Outs-
  • Digital/Visual Effects
    Visual effects
    Visual effects are the various processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the context of a live action shoot. Visual effects involve the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, costly, or...

    - Studios in this line of animation are Sony Pictures Imageworks
    Sony Pictures Imageworks
    Sony Pictures Imageworks, Inc. is a visual effects and character animation company headquartered in Culver City, California, USA. SPI is a division of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, which oversees the digital production and online entertainment assets of Sony Pictures Entertainment.The company...

     and Tippett Studio
    Tippett Studio
    Tippett Studio is a visual effects company specializing in computer-generated imagery for movies and television commercials. Phil Tippett founded the studio in 1984, which employs effects artists who work with his partners Jules Roman and Craig Hayes....

  • Engraving on Film
  • Ink on Paper- Also known as the traditional cel
    A cel, short for celluloid, is a transparent sheet on which objects are drawn or painted for traditional, hand-drawn animation. Actual celluloid was used during the first half of the 20th century, but since it was flammable and dimensionally unstable it was largely replaced by cellulose acetate...

     shaded animation which utilises transparent materials known as cels in order to paint borders and use paint on the objects to be animated on different cels giving a a layered feeling to the animation. The last known studio house to employ this for a major motion picture was Studio Ghibli
    Studio Ghibli
    is a Japanese animation and film studio founded in June 1985. The company's logo features the character Totoro from Hayao Miyazaki's film My Neighbor Totoro...

  • Flash/Internet Animation- It is the animated media created out of the Adobe Flash
    Adobe Flash
    Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast...

     software package, that enables a user to create vector graphics based animation programmes. Studios utilising this software are Six Point Harness
    Six Point Harness
    Six Point Harness Studios is an animation studio located in Los Angeles, California. 6PH has provided animation for MTV's series Where My Dogs At? and Good Vibes, animated sequences for feature films Black Dynamite, Eurotrip, and produced The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!. Greg Franklin serves...

     and Disney.
  • Live Action- It is a film or media that combines non-animated actors or objects interacting with animated elements. A studio specialising in this form of animation would be DreamWorks Pictures
    DreamWorks Pictures, also known as DreamWorks, LLC, DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC, DreamWorks Studios or DW Studios, LLC, is an American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games and television programming...

  • Motion Capture
    Motion capture
    Motion capture, motion tracking, or mocap are terms used to describe the process of recording movement and translating that movement on to a digital model. It is used in military, entertainment, sports, and medical applications, and for validation of computer vision and robotics...

    - Motion capture involves measuring an object's position and orientation in physical space, then recording that information in a computer-usable form. Objects of interest include human and non-human bodies, facial expressions, camera or light positions, and other elements in a scene. A good many number of studios now employ this technique, especially when there is a need to associate live action elements in to an animation.
  • Paint on Glass
  • Pencil on Paper
  • Pastel on Paper
  • Photos
  • Photocopies
  • Pixilation
  • Puppets
    Puppetry is a form of theatre or performance which involves the manipulation of puppets. It is very ancient, and is believed to have originated 30,000 years BC. Puppetry takes many forms but they all share the process of animating inanimate performing objects...

    - It is the process of moving of puppets through the armature inside them for fluid motion. It has been used extensively on the hit, non-profit American television show Sesame Street
    Sesame Street
    Sesame Street has undergone significant changes in its history. According to writer Michael Davis, by the mid-1970s the show had become "an American institution". The cast and crew expanded during this time, including the hiring of women in the crew and additional minorities in the cast. The...

  • Rotoscoping-Rotoscoping is the rotated projection of a sequence of usually photographed action image frames so that the artist can trace from the frame or create an image to superimpose on it. It can be thought of as "painting on movies" efficiently. StudioCanal
    StudioCanal is a French-based production and distribution company that owns the third-largest film library in the world...

     and Warner Bros. Television
    Warner Bros. Television
    Warner Bros. Television is the television production arm of Warner Bros. Entertainment, itself part of Time Warner. Alongside CBS Television Studios, it serves as a television production arm of The CW Television Network , though it also produces shows for other networks, such as Shameless on...

     are two major studios currently employing this form of animation.
  • Sand


Based on the work for which animators and studios are contracted, there are various projects on which animation studios might be asked to perform. They can be, but not restricted to, the following:
  • Animated Characters
  • Animated Web Graphics
  • Commercials
  • Educational/Industrial films
  • Feature Films
  • Interstitals/Logos/Bumpers
  • Games
  • Multimedia/New Media
  • Music Videos
  • Rides/Simulators
  • Short Films
  • Television Series
  • Television Specials
  • Title sequences
  • Webisodes
  • Websites

Many of the aforementioned projects are done on a contract basis with other parties and are may not be directly used by the studios for sale, distribution, etc.


As with any other form of media, animation too has instituted awards for excellence in the field. The original awards for animation were given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures...

 for animated shorts from the year 1932, during the 5th Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 function. The first winner of the Academy Award was the short Flowers and Trees
Flowers and Trees
Flowers and Trees is a 1932 Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney, directed by Burt Gillett, and released to theatres by United Artists on July 30, 1932...

, a production by Walt Disney Productions and United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

. However, the Academy Award for a feature length animated motion picture was only instituted for the year 2001, and awarded during the 74th Academy Awards in 2002. It was won by the movie Shrek
Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow. Loosely based on William Steig's 1990 fairy tale picture book Shrek!...

, produced by DreamWorks
DreamWorks Pictures, also known as DreamWorks, LLC, DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC, DreamWorks Studios or DW Studios, LLC, is an American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games and television programming...

 and Pacific Data Images
Pacific Data Images
Pacific Data Images is a computer animation production company that was bought by DreamWorks SKG. The company is now known as PDI/DreamWorks and is half of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., the public company formed by merging PDI and the feature animation division of DreamWorks.-History:PDI was...

. Since then, Disney/Pixar have produced the most number of movies either to win or be nominated for the award. The list of both awards can be obtained here:
  • Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
    Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
    The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature is one of the annual awards given by the Los Angeles-based professional organization, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

  • Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film

The Annie Award
Annie Award
The Annie Awards have been presented by the Los Angeles, California branch of the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA-Hollywood since 1972...

 is another award given out for excellence in the field of animation. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Annie Awards are only received due to achievements in the field of animation and not for any other field of technical and artistic endeavor. They were re-organized in 1992, to create a new field for Best Animated feature. The 1990's were dominated by Walt Disney, however newer studios, led by Pixar, have now begun to consistently vie for this award. The list of awardees is as follows:
  • Annie Award for Best Animated Feature
    Annie Award for Best Animated Feature
    The Annie Award for Best Animated Feature is an Annie Award, awarded annually to the best animated feature film and introduced in 1992. In 1998 the award was renamed Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature, only to be reverted back to its original title again in 2001...

Active Animation Studios

Currently there are about 200 animation studios dedicated to the production and distribution of animated films that are active. They can be either actual production houses or corporate entities. The list can be obtained from this page- List of animation studios. The page also includes some studios that are now defunct.

Firsts in Animated Feature Films

Throughout the history of animated studios, there have been many firsts with regards to technology and techniques used to produce better graphics and innovate on already existing techniques. Some of these can be obtained from the following page- Firsts in animated feature films.

Corporate Social Responsibility among studios

In an attempt to keep their image as fun, wholesome family entities, many animation studios are currently setting up arms for conducting activities related to Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model...

. Though many studios are still waking up to the possibilities of branding under these initiatives,the Walt Disney Company has already set up many programs in order to cement its image as an entity that is socially responsible.

Among the many programs initiated by Disney are the annual Enviroports (i.e. environmental report) that Disney now publishes yearly to keep its shareholders in touch with exactly how it attempts to optimize the company's operational impact on environmental issues such as reduction of waste, fossil-fuel use, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as improved eco-system protection. This has led to appreciation by many third parties such as the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Institute, which ranks Disney 2nd in a Corporate Social Responsibility Index, with a score of 81.33, devised in 2010. The report also establishes that Disney has improved its performance year-on-year and is second on two out of the three categories listed for measurement. The CSR activities of The Walt Disney Company can be found here The Walt Disney Company#Corporate social responsibility.

See Also

  • Animation
    Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

  • Adult animation
    Adult animation
    Adult animation is a term used to describe animation that is targeted at adults. Animated films and television shows may be considered adult for a number of reasons. Some productions are noted for experimental storytelling and animation techniques, or sophisticated storytelling...

  • Animation database
    Animation database
    An animation database is a database which stores fragments of animations or human movements and which can be accessed, analyzed and queried to develop and assemble new animations...

  • Animation software
  • Blocking
    Blocking (animation)
    Blocking is an animation technique in which key poses are created to establish timing and placement of characters and props in a given scene or shot...

  • Computer generated imagery
  • History of animation
    History of animation
    Animation is a graphic representation of drawings to show movement within those drawings. A series of drawings are linked together and usually photographed by a camera, or scanned into, or generated by a computer...

  • List of movie genres
  • List of animation studios
  • List of animated feature-length films
  • List of animated shorts available on DVD
  • List of animated short series
  • List of animated television series
  • List of computer-animated films
  • List of stop motion films
  • List of traditional animated feature films
  • List of motion picture topics
  • Motion capture
    Motion capture
    Motion capture, motion tracking, or mocap are terms used to describe the process of recording movement and translating that movement on to a digital model. It is used in military, entertainment, sports, and medical applications, and for validation of computer vision and robotics...

  • Walt Disney
    Walt Disney
    Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

  • List of anime conventions
  • List of anime theatrically released in the United States
  • List of animated feature films
  • List of animated television series
  • Original video animation
    Original video animation
    , abbreviated as media , are animated films and series made specially for release in home-video formats. The term originated in relation to Japanese animation...

  • Q-version
    Q-version is the English translation for the Chinese term Q版 , referring to the cartoonification or infantilization in the artistic renderings of real life or serious human, animal figures or other characters or objects, especially in the styles of Anime...

  • Seiyū
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.