10 Best Animation Studios In the World

Animation movies have become very visible and viable aspects of the entertainment industry across the world.  Many animation TV shows, video games, and anime programmes are popular in the industry as they appeal to both the young and old. What many might not be aware of is that it is pretty difficult to bring our favorite animated characters to life. Putting together every little detail is very tasking and painstaking and some studios do it better than others. This is why there are animation studios that are very outstanding in the world entertainment industry. This article presents the top 10 animation studios in the world. This list was compiled by Arena Animation based on the accomplishment of these studios

1. Pixar

One name that will always come up when talking about top quality animation studios the world has ever seen is Pixar. It is a typical of how creativity breeds excellence. Over the years, the studio has been able to create characters that we have all grown to love. Pixar has managed to tell stories that appeal to all ages and not just the younger audience. From the Toy Story franchise to WALL-E, Pixar has managed to captivate the audience time and their exploits show that they will continue to impress for years to come. Despite the entry of several other good studios into the animation industry, Pixar continues to impress fans with new titles like Cars 3, Coco and Incredibles 2. Their movies are among the most sought-after in the industry.

2. Walt Disney

This is a household name in the world entertainment industry. Disney brand is literally everywhere, and the foundation of its success was laid by classic animation films that brought the studio to life. Walt Disney Animation Studios was founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney in 1923. The two siblings were initially responsible for producing short cartoon films. The studio created famous characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is also among the most popular films in their stable. Walt Disney is among the leaders in the animation movie world.

3. Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli is arguably the most loved anime studio in the world. Behind this hugely successful studio is Hayao Miyazaki and the team of exceptionally talented animators who are part of the company. The amount of detail and heartfelt emotion that goes into every single one of Ghibli’s movies is astounding. Its first film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind which released in 1984 was quite the success, and it allowed Studio Ghibli to become the organization it is today. To show how successful this studio is, eight of the fifteen highest earning anime films of all time were produced by Studio Ghibli. From The Tale of Princess Kaguya to Grave of The Fireflies, the studio has captured every possible human emotion in its films.

4. Dreamworks

DreamWorks Animation is an American animation studio which is a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, itself a subsidiary of Comcast’s NBCUniversal. The studio is based in Glendale, California, and produces animated feature films, television programs, and online virtual games. This is another hugely successful animation studio in the world. Though Dreamworks Animation has always lived under the shadow of giants like Pixar and Disney, the studio is one of the best at producing fine animated films. From theaters to televisions, the studio is yet to fail at delivering compelling stories that are beautifully crafted. The studio was co-founded by none other than the great Steven Spielberg and along with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. With some of the best animators working at the studio, Dreamworks is home to some of the world’s most popular franchises among which are Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Trolls, The Boss Baby, The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon. Dreamworks studio has very great prospects going forward.

5. Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon is a mojor pillar in the animation industry anywhere in the world. This studio is responsible for some of the best cartoons ever released on televisions. Kids born in the 80s and 90s can testify to the captivating animation movies produced by this studio such as Spongebob Squarepants, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Jimmy Neutron, among others. Their original programs like Rugrats have also been massively successful, and there has been no stopping them over the years. There may be better contenders for the top spot when it comes to movies but Nickelodeon is undoubtedly the best when it comes to television. Spongebob, in particular, has continued to dominate over the years, and it is one of the most recognizable cartoons ever made. It is one movie that keeps kids captivated every time it’s on.

6. Warner Brothers

Warner Brothers is popular for classic animation movies such as seethe of nostalgia and craftsmanship, Looney Tunes, Batman: The Animated Series and Space Jam. Their shows are a different class act altogether. The studio faced serious challenges which even led to its shutting down for 11 years – from1969 to 1980. It reopened with a huge bang and has grown over the years. It is not just TV shows that Warner Brothers has broken into but also movies and video games. The LEGO video game series boasts of over a dozen games and more in the works. With the studio growing at a rapid pace, it will definitely remain among the leading animation studios in the world for many years to come.

7. Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network (CN) is one of the most watched channels in the world. It has produced classic movies in the past such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Scooby-Doo and The Powerpuff Girls. Though the studio is facing serious challenge from popular competitors like Nickelodeon, it still boasts of good quality shows and huge audience base. Shows like Adventure Time and Ben 10 have been fairly popular amongst the younger audience. Cartoon Network is capable of withstanding the level of competition in the animation industry today if it keeps upgrading its quality.

8. Toei Animation

Toei Animation is among the popular anime studios in the world with Dragon Ball being their most popular franchise. Other shows that are massively popular include the likes of Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and One Piece. Even though Toei’s fanbase is predominantly from Japan, anime is becoming more popular across the globe. The studio has a number of high-profile franchises under its belt and has great prospects of remaining on top of the food chain for a long time.

9. Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pictures Animation is an American animation studio which is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment through their Motion Picture Group division. The animation wing was founded on May 9, 2002. It is a popular film company in the world with very successful animation wing. It has one of the most prolific animation studios in the world. While the studio is still very young compared to the likes of Dreamworks, Disney or Pixar, it has been growing exponentially over the years. Some of its best movies include Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Hotel Transylvania. The studio caught the attention of many fans with the fairly recent Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Sony has proven its worth as a masterful animation company over the years with prospects of producing more animation movies in future that will captivate the industry.

10. Oriental Light and Magic

Oriental Light and Magic, now transformed into OLM, is a Japanese animation and film studio with headquarters in Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan. It was founded on October 3, 1990. This is one of the few Japanese studios that became successful in the United States as well as other countries. It went through a rapid transformation over the years after which it rebranded itself from Oriental Light and Magic to just OLM. Though many animation movie lovers may not have heard of most of the titles OLM has produced over the years, one name thoroughly resounds across generations of people, and that is Pokemon. The animated series is still running successfully, and it is, in fact, the most valuable franchise in the world.

 

In summary, you can have a great career as an animator and possibly work at some of the biggest animation studios in the world with the appropriate skills. You can study more about these companies and their animators to get a lead on how to develop your animation skills to their level.

(Facts from Arena Animation)

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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