Paramount Animation is the animation division and label of Paramount Pictures. The division was founded on July 6, 2011 in response to the success of Rango and DreamWorks Animation's departure from Paramount in 2012. Its first animated film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was released on February 6, 2015, and its latest release Wonder Park was released on March 15, 2019 with its next release being Sonic the Hedgehog on February 14, 2020.
|Founded||July 6, 2011|
Animated television shows
Number of employees
After the closure of the New York-based Paramount Cartoon Studios (it was formerly named Famous Studios until 1956) in 1967, Paramount released eight animated features between 1972 and 1992, all of which were produced by outside studios. These features included: Charlotte's Web, Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Alice in a New Wonderland , Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!), Heidi's Song, Cool World, and Bébé's Kids (along with the short film The Itsy Bitsy Spider).
After Viacom's purchase of Paramount Pictures in 1994, the studio started releasing animated films that were based on Viacom's Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central brands from 1996 to 2006, many of which were box office successes. The films included: Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, The Rugrats Movie, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Rugrats Go Wild, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and Barnyard. Starting in 2006 with Over the Hedge and Flushed Away, Paramount Pictures became the primary distributor of animated features produced by DreamWorks Animation, many of which, such as Over The Hedge, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon, were notable critical and financial successes.
In July 2011, in the wake of critical and box office success of their animated feature, Rango and the departure of DreamWorks Animation upon completion of their distribution contract with Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Rise of the Guardians in 2012, Paramount announced the formation of a new division, devoted to the creation of animated productions. It marks Paramount's return to having its own animated division for the first time since the shut down of Paramount Cartoon Studios.
Brad Grey era (2011–2017)
In October 2011, Paramount named a former president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, David Stainton, president of Paramount Animation. In February 2012, Stainton resigned for personal reasons, with Paramount Film Group's president, Adam Goodman, stepping in to directly oversee the studio. It was also announced that The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, a standalone sequel to 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and based upon the popular Nickelodeon TV show, SpongeBob SquarePants, is the studio's first film and would be released in 2014.
In August 2012, in the same month that DreamWorks Animation confirmed that it will be working with 20th Century Fox as distributor beginning in 2013, Variety reported that Paramount Animation was in the process of starting development of several animated films with budgets of around US$100 million.
On July 31, 2013, Paramount Animation announced that they were developing a new live-action/animated franchise in the vein of the Transformers series, which was titled Monster Trucks. Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger were set to write the film's script, Chris Wedge (director of 2002's Ice Age) was set to direct the film, and Mary Parent was set to produce the film, with an initial release date set for May 29, 2015.
The studio's first film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water on February 6, 2015 to positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing over $325 million worldwide and becoming the fifth highest grossing animated film of 2015. That same month, Paramount fired Adam Goodman due to the studio's thin film slate and Goodman greenlighting box office bombs at the studio. Paramount announced another SpongeBob film later that year.
In the summer of 2015, Paramount Pictures participated in a bidding war against Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Animation for the rights to produce The Emoji Movie, based on a script by Tony Leondis and Eric Siegel. Sony won the bidding war in July and released the film in 2017. The studio's head Bob Bacon also left Paramount Animation that summer.
In June 2015, it was revealed that Spain's Ilion Animation Studios (the studio behind 2009's Planet 51) won a bidding war against other animation studios to produce a 3D animated tentpole film for Paramount Animation, which was already in production since 2014. In November 2015, Paramount Animation officially announced the project as Amusement Park, (later renamed Wonder Park) with former Pixar animator Dylan Brown helming. The studio also announced Monster Trucks, The Little Prince, Sherlock Gnomes, and the third SpongeBob film.
On May 2016, Paramount Pictures announced that they had signed a deal with UK-based Locksmith Animation to co-develop and co-produce three original animated projects to be released under the Paramount Animation label (with animation produced by DNEG).
On March 2017, Skydance Media formed a multi-year partnership with Ilion Animation Studios and in July, announced its first two animated feature films — Luck and Split — which would be distributed by Paramount Pictures as part of their deal with Skydance. On October 10, 2017, Bill Damaschke was hired to head the division as president of animation and family entertainment.
Jim Gianopulos era (2017–present)
In April 2017, Paramount ended its deal with Locksmith Animation when Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey was replaced by Jim Gianopulos, who decided that their projects did not fit in with Paramount’s other upcoming releases. Locksmith formed a multi-year production deal with 20th Century Fox four months later.
The studio's next film, Wonder Park was released on March 15, 2019. It received mixed reviews and it became a box office flop, grossing only $119.6 million worldwide on a budget of less than $100 million.
Similar to Warner Animation Group and Sony Pictures Animation, the studio outsources their films to different animation services and visual effects companies, including Rough Draft Studios (The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water), Moving Picture Company (Monster Trucks and Sonic the Hedgehog), Mikros Image (Sherlock Gnomes and The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge), Allspark Animation (Untitled Hanazuki: Full of Treasures film), Ilion Animation Studios (Wonder Park and Luck), and Reel FX Creative Studios (Rumble and Sherlock Gnomes).
Unlike other animation studios, Paramount Animation doesn't have an in-house animation style. According to Mireille Soria, each film will have their own unique style created by the filmmakers, which would be helped by outsourcing animation to different vendors.
|#||Title||Release date||Distributor/Co-production with||Animation service(s)||Directors||Composers||Budget||Gross||Rotten Tomatoes||Metacritic|
|1||The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water[S]||February 6, 2015||Paramount Pictures
United Plankton Pictures
|Rough Draft Studios
Mike Mitchell (live-action sequence)
|John Debney||$74 million||$323.4 million||80%||62|
|2||Monster Trucks[S]||January 13, 2017||Paramount Pictures
Moving Picture Company
|Chris Wedge||Dave Sardy||$125 million||$64.5 million||31%||41|
|3||Sherlock Gnomes||March 23, 2018||Paramount Pictures
(London and Paris)
Reel FX Creative Studios
|John Stevenson||Chris Bacon||$59 million||$90.3 million||27%||36|
|4||Wonder Park||March 15, 2019||Paramount Pictures
Midnight Radio Productions (Uncredited)
|Ilion Animation Studios
||Dylan Brown (uncredited)||Steven Price||$80–100 million||$119.6 million||33%||45|
|#||Title||Release date||Ref(s)||Distributor/Co-production with||Animation service(s)||Directors||Composers|
|5||Sonic the Hedgehog[S][R]||February 14, 2020||||Paramount Pictures
Marza Animation Planet
hedgehog Films, Inc.
|Industrial Light & Magic
Moving Picture Company
|Jeff Fowler||Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL)|
|6||The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge[S]||May 22, 2020||||Paramount Pictures
United Plankton Pictures
|Mikros Image (Montreal)||Tim Hill||Hans Zimmer|
|7||Rumble[R]||July 31, 2020||||Paramount Pictures
|Reel FX Creative Studios||Hamish Grieve||TBA|
|8||Clifford the Big Red Dog[S]||November 13, 2020||||Paramount Pictures
|9||Luck[R]||March 19, 2021||||Paramount Pictures
|Ilion Animation Studios||Alessandro Carloni|
|11||The Tiger's Apprentice||February 11, 2022||||Paramount Pictures||TBA||Carlos Baena|
|12||Jersey Crabs||Summer 2022||||TBA|
|Title||Premiere date||Network||Co-production with|
|Wonder Park||2019||Nickelodeon||Ilion Animation Studios and Nickelodeon Animation Studio|
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|2015||The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Brice Mallier, Paul Buckley, Brent Droog, Alex Whyte and Jonothan Freisler||Nominated|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature||Tom Kenny|
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