Film Roman is an American animation independently owned company. It was originally owned by Starz Inc., which is now a division of Lionsgate and later by Waterman Entertainment, the production company of producer Steve Waterman. Founded by veteran animator and director Phil Roman in 1984, it is best known for producing source animation for series such as The Simpsons (1992–2016), King of the Hill and Family Guy for 20th Century Fox Animation, as well as Garfield and Friends and various Garfield animated television specials.
|Industry||Animation, motion pictures, television|
|Founded||October 26, 1984|
|Headquarters||Woodland Hills, California, United States|
|Divisions||Film Roman Baja J.V.|
Phil Roman Entertainment
Phil Roman, veteran alumnus of MGM Animation/Visual Arts and Bill Melendez Productions, founded Film Roman in 1984 as a means to continue the production of the Garfield series of animated prime time television specials, since Melendez's own studio was unable to work on both the Garfield and Peanuts series of specials. Peanuts executive producers Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez and their aforementioned studio had produced the first two Garfield specials (Here Comes Garfield (1982) and Garfield on the Town (1983) respectively, both specials directed by Roman), but due to both Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz' and Garfield creator Jim Davis' concerns about conflicting interests in allocating production priority at Melendez's boutique studio, the production had to be moved. While he was leaving him and Melendez for his already-established studio, Roman was offered the opportunity to produce the next Garfield prime time special, Garfield in the Rough (1984), for CBS by Mendelson, which he accepted and went on to produce and direct all by himself, winning an Emmy in the process.
In 1985, CBS' head of children's programming Judy Price had commissioned an animated television series based on the Garfield prime time special series, later ultimately titled Garfield and Friends, which took three years for Roman to decide developing and producing the program before it eventually aired on the network's Saturday morning time slot, premiering on September 17, 1988. The aforementioned show was Film Roman's first regular series. In 1986, in an effort to expand and diversify the studio, Roman hired Marvel Productions VP of Business Affairs and his own personal attorney, Michael Wahl, as President and Bill Schultz, Marvel's Director of Development, to join in the company as the fledgling studio's VP of Production and Development. Garfield and Friends was expanded to an hour on CBS' number one rated Saturday Morning block and the studio grew to increase its capacity.
In 1988, the new management team developed, sold and produced a new series, Bobby's World, to the brand new Fox Kids Network, headed up by former Marvel Productions president Margaret Loesch. In 1992 to 2016, Film Roman took over the source production of 20th Century Fox's The Simpsons from Klasky-Csupo who had produced the one-minute teaser cartoon shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show as well as the animation for the first three seasons and the first two episodes of the fourth season (in total 61 episodes). The studio went on to grow and produce many popular animated series now seen all around the world.
Waterman Entertainment ownershipEdit
In 2015, Film Roman was acquired from its parent company Starz Distribution by Waterman Entertainment, the production company of executive producer Steve Waterman. As such, it now does business with Starz, which owns the company's catalogue. However, Waterman Entertainment closed on December 24, 2015, resulting Film Roman becoming independent again.
On November 22, 2016, the company formed a joint venture based in Tijuana, called Film Roman Baja J.V. (also known as Film Roman Baja Productions), with Boxel Studios, a Baja California-based animation facility.
The original studio was located on Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake, California, where Roman was also joined by Melendez producer Lee Mendelson. Years later, the studio moved to a new location on Chandler Blvd. in Studio City, before settling into another location at Starz Plaza on Hollywood Way in Burbank, which it shares with the former Hub Network and Hasbro Studios, and finally settling into its present location in Woodland Hills.
- Spawn: The Animation (TBA)
- This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow (TBA)
- Heathcliff (TBA)
- The Untamed (TBA)
Subcontracted from others:
|The Simpsons||Matt Groening||1992–2016||Seasons 4–27 only|
|King of the Hill||Mike Judge||1997–2010|
|Family Guy||Seth MacFarlane||1999–2000||Seasons 1–2 only|
for Marvel Animation:
|X-Men: Evolution||Marty Isenberg
Robert N. Skir
|2000–2003||Now distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|The Super Hero Squad Show||Stan Lee||2009–2011||Now distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes||Ciro Nieli
|2010–2013||Now distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Ultimate Spider-Man||Marvel Animation||2012–2017||Now distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.||Paul Dini
|2014–2015||Now distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
various other studios:
- Klutter (1995–1996) (as part of Eek! Stravaganza)
- The Critic (1994–1995)
- Mission Hill (1999–2002)
- The Oblongs (2001–2002)
- The Goode Family (2009)
- Beavis and Butt-Head (2011)
- Garfield in the Rough (1984, the studio's inaugural production)
- Garfield's Halloween Adventure (1985)
- Garfield in Paradise (1986)
- Garfield Goes Hollywood (1987)
- A Garfield Christmas (1987)
- Happy Birthday, Garfield (1988)
- Garfield: His 9 Lives (1988)
- Garfield's Babes and Bullets (1989)
- Garfield's Thanksgiving (1989)
- Garfield's Feline Fantasies (1990)
- Garfield Gets a Life (1991)
- Nick and Noel (1993)
- A Cool Like That Christmas (1994)
- The Bears Who Saved Christmas (1994)
- Izzy's Quest for Olympic Gold (1995)
- The Story of Santa Claus (1996) (co-production with Arnold Sharpio and CBS Productions)
- The Magic Pearl (1997)
- Puss in Boots (1997)
- Johnny Tsunami (1999) (live-action)
- Hairballs (2000) (Unsold TV series pilot created by Mr. Lawrence)
- Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2000)
- Motocrossed (2001) (live-action)
- The Santa Claus Brothers (2001)
- The Happy Elf (2005, co-production with IDT Entertainment)
- Weebles: Welcome to Weebleville! (2005)
- Weebles: Sharing in the Fun! (2005)
- Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006)
- Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007)
- Turok: Son of Stone (2008, co-production with Classic Media and Starz Media)
- Dead Space: Downfall (2008, co-production with Electronic Arts)
- The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009) (Planned for theatrical release)
- Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic "Prologue", "The Arrival", "Entry to Hell" (2010, co-production with Electronic Arts)
- Dead Space: Aftermath (2011, co-production with Electronic Arts)
- Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992, co-production with Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Miramax Films and LIVE Entertainment)
- The Simpsons Movie (2007, produced by 20th Century Fox and Gracie Films, co-animation with Rough Draft Studios, AKOM, Rough Draft Korea and Rough Draft Feature Animation)
Special effects for other moviesEdit
- The Simpsons Game (2007, produced by Electronic Arts) (cutscenes only)
- The Simpsons Ride (2008, amusement simulator ride film produced for the attraction of the same name at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood)
- The Simpsons: Tapped Out (2012, freemium mobile game produced for Fox Digital Entertainment and Electronic Arts) (cutscenes only)
- McNary, Dave (November 12, 2015). "'Simpsons' Animator Film Roman Bought by Waterman Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
- McNary, Dave (12 November 2015). "'Simpsons' Animator Film Roman Bought by Waterman Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- Hofmeister, Sallie (April 2, 1998). "COMPANY TOWN; Drawing on Creativity; A Struggling Film Roman Tries to Reanimate Itself". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- Kirkland, Mark (2004). The Simpsons The Complete Fourth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Kamp Krusty" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Bernstein, Sharon (1992-01-21). "'The Simpsons' Producer Changes Animation Firms". The Los Angeles Times. p. 18. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- N'Duka, Amanda (21 November 2016). "Film Roman Teams With Boxel Studios To Form Film Roman Baja J.V." deadline.com.
- "Film Roman, Boxel Studios form animation JV in Mexico". kidscreen.com.
- "Video Games, News, Reviews". wwg.com.
- "WWE Studios". wwe.com.