What would the animation industry be without the animators & animation companies who work hard to bring beautiful stories to the big screen? Animators are responsible for bringing characters to life. Even though freelancing is an option available most of the animators work with high end production houses. The important thing for them is job satisfaction, work appreciation, along with the money coming in. Animators are the life-line of the industry. We take a look at the top animation companies who create magic with their work.
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) (http://www.ilm.com/)
Popularly known as ILM it was started by George Lucas in 1975. Apparently he was not satisfied with the skill level in technology and started this company and took on the first project of Star Wars. And the rest is history. Even when 2D and 3D animation was still being explored ILM took animation to another level and was successful in it. Terminator 2, Jurassic park etc would have been the same without their special effects and animation. In a way ILM is the pioneer in animation and still continues to explore new avenue to enrich the industry.
Walt Disney Animation Studios (http://www.disneyanimation.com/)
The name is worth its weight in gold in the animation world. For decades, this company has influenced the industry & charmed the audience with its work. It has been a leading company to take 2D animation to a new level. Now it’s setting standards in the 3D segment as well. There seems to be no sign of them slowing down as they continue to make animation movies, which entertain & influence the lives & thinking of many around. Undoubtedly, the development of the animation industry will always be linked with the Walt Disney Animation Studios.
When talking about animation, Pixar cannot be left out of the conversation. With a growing list of 3D films & numerous Academy Awards in its pocket, Pixar has changed the way we look at 3D animation. With a massive inflow of work from Pixar, it is hard to imagine that 3D animation is relatively new in animation film history. Their works have been appreciated & have been a source of inspiration for many & continues to do so.
Nippon Animation (http://www.nipponanimation.com/)
Japan is the country of Anime & Manga stories. Nippon Animation is a leading animation studio in Japan, which has brought a new lease of life to Japanese animation. They have created their own versions of Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, Jungle Book & Pinocchio. They ran their own TV series – World Masterpiece Theater – for three decades & continue to fill up the animation void in the country. Such has been the influence of this company that for generations Japanese people have been entertained by them.
Nickelodeon Animation Studios (http://nickanimationstudio.com/)
Owned & operated by the popular television network, Nickelodeon, animation studio started in 1990. Since then it has successfully produced popular creations like The Fairly Odd Parents, SpongeBob SquarePants &, the recent, The Penguins of Madagascar. But their work is not limited to entertainment. They are known to include life lessons in their stories that have influenced generations.
Warner Bro’s Animation (http://www.warnerbros.com/)
They have been one of the major contributors to the golden age of American animation. With characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck & Porky Pig, they revolutionised the way entertainment was seen. They competed with Walt Disney Studios on many fronts. And this competition provided much entertainment & enrichment to audience & the animation world alike. Their successful franchisees like Looney Tunes & Merry Melodies are synonymous with generations that grew up watching them & continue to be a big hit.
Hanna- Barbera Productions
Animators William Hanna & Joseph Barbera started their animation studio in 1957. They created many successful shows like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Yogi Bear Show, Scooby Doo, The Addams Family & The Smurfs. But their most memorable work remains Tom & Jerry that continues to rule the entertainment industry till date. They enriched the animation world with their techniques. They encouraged more animators to try unique storylines. Still one of the best production companies, they keep trying new things & working wonders in the industry.
This is another animation studio from Japan, which has entertained people globally with shows like Death Note, Cardcaptor Sakura & Claymore. They competed with noted companies & upheld quality animated work with stories & experiments on animation styles. They are still a major force in the industry & continue to raise the level.
Pacific Data Images/ DreamWorks Animation
Pacific Data Images forms a part of DreamWorks Animation, as the latter owns 40% shares in the company & hence, is known as PDI/DreamWorks. They have done most of the 2D & 3D animation for DreamWorks. With Shrek, Bee Movie, Over the Hedge & Kung Fu Panda, they carved a niche for themselves in the market. Shrek became one of their highest grossing franchises & with the How to Train Your Dragon movies they reached immeasurable heights in the animation industry. Their animation has been appreciated & they continue with their work independently and for DreamWorks as well.
Toei Animation (http://www.toei-animation.com/en)
Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT & the Digimon Series are just a few names that highlight the level of quality from this company. They have been successful in creating a global fan following & franchise for its shows & characters. One Piece, one of the longest running shows in the country, has all their episodes created by this firm. This Japanese firm continues to lead the way in animation & attract competition while raising the level at the same time.
Toon City (http://www.tooncityanimation.com/)
An animation company situated in the Philippines, they are keeping up with global competition & making quality films. They have made 2D & 3D animation look easy & provide cost-saving measures to other big production houses. The work outsourced to them includes the Aladdin Series, The Lost Empire, The Looney Toons Show & 101 Dalmatians. They have also been responsible for a lot of other Disney Studio productions.
Sony Pictures Imageworks (http://www.imageworks.com/)
A part of Sony Animation, they have done some groundbreaking work in movies like Surf’s Up & Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. They have Created Arnold Renderer; One of the most Influential global Illumination and shading software creation in 3D. They have worked on other projects as well which include Godzilla, Narnia, Polar Express, etc. They would always be competing in the vast industry and coming up with acts and creations of their own.
They have been the only competitor to Hanna-Barbera Productions & have been able to match the style of their shows in the 50’s & the 60’s. They made television shows like Aquaman, Superman/Batman, Tarzan & He-Man. Currently they work as independent contractors & continue to influence the animation scenario.
Cartoon Network Studios (http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/)
No list is complete unless we mention the Cartoon Network. They have been an integral part of every generation’s childhood. Their work is unparalleled with quality animation & story. Dexter’s Laboratory, Ed, Edd n Eddie, Samurai Jack & Ben 10 are just a few names that are still watched world over.