Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation Inc. is an American animation studio that is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures through their Motion Picture Group division, founded on May 9, 2002. The studio works closely with Sony Pictures Imageworks, which handles digital production and has animated nearly all of their films. All of its theatrical releases are distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing under their Columbia Pictures label, and all home video releases are distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
|Industry||Computer animated film industry|
|Founded||May 9, 2002|
|Headquarters||Culver City, California, U.S.|
Kristine Belson (president)|
Mike Moon (senior vice president)
Theatrical animated short films|
Theatrical animated feature films
Television animated series
Number of employees
Sony Pictures Entertainment|
The studio's movies and franchises include Open Season, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Smurfs, Hotel Transylvania, Goosebumps, the 2007 Academy Award nominated film, Surf's Up, and the 2017 Golden Raspberry Award winner, The Emoji Movie.
In 2001, Sony Pictures considered selling off its visual effects facility Sony Pictures Imageworks. After failing to find a suitable buyer, having been impressed with the CGI sequences created for Stuart Little 2, and seeing the box office success of DreamWorks Animation's Shrek and Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc., SPI was reconfigured to become an animation studio. Astro Boy, which had been in development at Sony since 1997 as a live-action film, was set to be SPI's first all-CGI film. On May 9, 2002, Sony Pictures Animation was established to develop characters, stories and movies, with SPI taking over the digital production while maintaining its visual effects production. Meanwhile, SPI produced two short films, the Academy Award-winning The ChubbChubbs! and Early Bloomer, as a result of testing its strengths and weaknesses in producing all-CG animation.
On its first anniversary on May 9, 2003, Sony Pictures Animation announced a full slate of animated projects in development: Open Season, an adaptation of a Celtic folk ballad Tam Lin, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Surf's Up, and a feature-length version of the short film The ChubbChubbs!.
Its first feature film was Open Season, released in September 2006, which became Sony's second-highest-grossing home entertainment film in 2007 and spawned three direct-to-video sequels. Its second feature film, Surf's Up was released in June 2007, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and won two Annie Awards. A motion-captured animated film, Neanderthals, written and produced by Jon Favreau, was cancelled sometime in 2008, after four years in development. SPA's first 3D movie since the IMAX 3D release of Open Season, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, was released in September 2009, and was nominated for four Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature. The Smurfs (2011) was the studio's first CGI/live-action hybrid and is currently its most successful release. SPA's parent company Sony Pictures had partnered in 2007 with Aardman Animations to finance, co-produce and distribute feature films. Together, they produced two films; Arthur Christmas (2011), and The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012), which was SPA's first stop-motion film. In September 2012, SPA released Hotel Transylvania, which grossed over $350 million worldwide and launched a successful franchise with two sequels and a TV series. SPA's latest releases are Peter Rabbit, a live-action and CGI hybrid film based on the book stories created by Beatrix Potter, and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, the third installment of the Hotel Transylvania film series. SPA has since signed Genndy Tartakovsky to a long-term deal with the studio to develop and direct original films.
The studio is currently working on Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Wish Dragon (2019), The Mitchells vs. the Machines, a robot apocalypse/road trip film written and directed by Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe while produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (2020), and Vivo (2020). It has many other projects in development, including an animated Ghostbusters spin-off film, an untitled film from Jon Saunders, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Medusa, an animated film based on Popeye, Fixed, Black Knight, and three untitled projects slated for April 3, 2020, July 24, 2020, and September 25, 2020 respectively.
On November 3, 2014, the studio made a deal with Cartoon Hangover to create GO! Cartoons, an incubator series consisting of 12 short films, with at least one short film being developed into a series. The short films were funded by SPA, with the additional goal of attracting new talent for the studio.
According to Kristine Belson, president of SPA, the studio produces films on a 1:1 development-to-production ratio, meaning that the studio puts films into development as much as it places films in production, unlike other animation studios.
The studio also currently has plans to produce adult animated content for digital platforms.
In a similar fashion to the Warner Animation Group and Paramount Animation, the studio relies on other animation studios to provide the animation for their films, with the majority of their theatrical films animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Theatrical feature filmsEdit
|#||Title||Release date||Co-production with||Animation service(s)||Budget||Gross||RT||MC|
|1||Open Season||September 29, 2006||N/A||Sony Pictures Imageworks||$85 million||$197 million||48%||49|
|2||Surf's Up||June 8, 2007||$100 million||$149 million||79%||64|
|3||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||September 18, 2009||$243 million||87%||66|
|4||The Smurfs[S]||July 29, 2011||The Kerner Entertainment Company||$110 million||$564 million||22%||30|
|5||Arthur Christmas[R]||November 23, 2011||Aardman Animations||$100 million||$147 million||92%||69|
|6||The Pirates! Band of Misfits[R]||April 27, 2012||Aardman Animations
|$55 million||$123 million||86%||73|
|7||Hotel Transylvania||September 28, 2012||N/A||Sony Pictures Imageworks||$85 million||$358 million||44%||47|
|8||The Smurfs 2[S]||July 31, 2013||The Kerner Entertainment Company||$105 million||$347 million||14%||34|
|9||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2||September 27, 2013||N/A||$78 million||$274 million||71%||59|
|10||Hotel Transylvania 2||September 25, 2015||LStar Capital||$80 million||$473 million||55%||44|
|11||Goosebumps[R][S]||October 16, 2015||LStar Capital
Village Roadshow Pictures
|Moving Pictures Company||$84 million||$150 million||76%||60|
|12||Smurfs: The Lost Village||April 7, 2017||The Kerner Entertainment Company
|Sony Pictures Imageworks||$60 million||$197 million||38%||40|
|13||The Emoji Movie||July 28, 2017||N/A||$50 million||$217 million||8%||12|
|14||The Star||November 17, 2017||The Jim Henson Company
|Cinesite Studios||$20 million||$62 million||45%||42|
|15||Peter Rabbit[R][S]||February 9, 2018||Olive Bridge Entertainment
Screen Australia[not in citation given]
Screen NSW[not in citation given]
|Animal Logic||$50 million||$351 million||63%||51|
|16||Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation||July 13, 2018||Media Rights Capital||Sony Pictures Imageworks||$80 million||$504 million||59%||54|
|#||Title||Release date||Ref(s)||Co-production with||Animation service(s)|
|17||Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween[R][S]||October 12, 2018||||Original Film
|18||Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse||December 14, 2018||||Marvel Entertainment||Sony Pictures Imageworks|
|19||Wish Dragon||July 26, 2019||||Beijing Sparkle Roll Media Corporation
Flagship Entertainment Group
|20||The Mitchells vs. the Machines||January 10, 2020||||Lord Miller Productions||Sony Pictures Imageworks|
|21||Peter Rabbit 2[R][S]||February 7, 2020||||Olive Bridge Entertainment
|22||Untitled films||April 3, 2020||||TBA|
|23||July 24, 2020|
|24||September 25, 2020|
|25||Vivo||November 6, 2020||||TBA||Sony Pictures Imageworks|
Films in developmentEdit
|Untitled Ghostbusters animated spin-off film|||
|Harold and the Purple Crayon|||
|Untitled Jon Saunders film|||
- S Combines live-action with animation.
- R Not produced, but released by Sony Pictures Animation under its label.
- A An adult animated production.
Direct-to-video feature filmsEdit
|#||Title||Release date||Co-production with||Animation service(s)|
|1||Open Season 2||January 27, 2009 (North America)||N/A||Reel FX Creative Studios|
|2||Open Season 3||January 25, 2011|
|3||Open Season: Scared Silly||March 8, 2016||Rainmaker Entertainment|
|4||Surf's Up 2: WaveMania||January 17, 2017||WWE Studios|
|#||Title||Premiere date||End date||Network||Co-production with|
|1||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||February 20, 2017||TBA||Cartoon Network (United States) (2017)
Boomerang SVOD (United States) (2018–present)
|2||Hotel Transylvania: The Series||June 25, 2017||Disney Channel (United States)
Netflix (United States)
|3||Ghostbusters: Ecto Force||TBA||TBA||Ghost Corps|
|#||Title||Premiere date||End date||Network||Co-production with|
|1||GO! Cartoons||November 7, 2017||April 10, 2018||Cartoon Hangover||Frederator Studios|
|#||Title||Release date||Animation services||Release with||Notes|
|1||The ChubbChubbs!||July 3, 2002||Sony Pictures Imageworks||Men in Black II||Theatrical release|
|2||Early Bloomer||May 9, 2003||Daddy Day Care|
|3||Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run||January 30, 2007||Open Season||Home video release|
|4||The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas||October 8, 2007||Sony Pictures Imageworks
|Surf's Up||Theatrical release|
|5||The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol||December 2, 2011||Sony Pictures Imageworks
|The Smurfs||Home video release|
|6||So You Want to Be a Pirate!||August 28, 2012||Aardman Animations||The Pirates! Band of Misfits|
|7||Goodnight Mr. Foot||October 26, 2012||Rough Draft Studios||Hotel Transylvania||Limited theatrical release|
|8||The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow||September 10, 2013||Sony Pictures Imageworks
|The Smurfs 2||Home video release|
|9||Super Manny||October 2, 2013||Sony Pictures Imageworks
6 Point Harness
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2|
|10||Earl Scouts||October 11, 2013|
|11||Steve's First Bath||January 28, 2014|
|12||Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear||6 Point Harness|
|13||Puppy!||July 28, 2017||Sony Pictures Imageworks||The Emoji Movie||Theatrical release|
|14||Flopsy Turvy||March 30, 2018||Animal Logic||Peter Rabbit||Limited theatrical release|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||2009–present|
|2002||The Chubbchubbs!||Best Animated Short||Eric Armstrong||Won|
|2007||Surf's Up||Best Animated Feature||Ash Brannon and Chris Buck||Nominated|
|2012||The Pirates! Band of Misfits||Peter Lord|
|2009||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Best Animated Feature Film||Phil Lord and Christopher Miller||Nominated|
|2011||Arthur Christmas||Sarah Smith|
|2012||Hotel Transylvania||Genndy Tartakovsky|
|2017||The Star||Best Original Song||"The Star"|
Critics' Choice AwardsEdit
|2009||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Best Animated Feature||Phil Lord and Christopher Miller||Nominated|
|2011||Arthur Christmas||Sarah Smith|
|2006||Open Season||Best Animated Feature||Nominated|
|2007||Surf's Up||Best Animated Feature|
|Animated Effects||Deborah Carlson||Won|
|Animation Production Artist||John Clark|
|Character Animation in a Feature Production||Dave Hardin||Nominated|
|Character Animation in a Feature Production||Alan Hawkins|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Sylvain Deboissy|
|Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Ash Brannon and Chris Buck|
|Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Marcelo Vignali|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Denise Koyama|
|Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Don Rhymer, Ash Brannon, and Chris Buck|
|2009||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Best Animated Feature|
|Animated Effects||Tom Kluyskens|
|Directing in a Feature Production||Phil Lord and Christopher Miller|
|Writing in a Feature Production|
|2011||Arthur Christmas||Best Animated Feature|
|Character Design in a Feature Production||Peter de Sève|
|Storyboarding in a Feature Production||Kris Pearn|
|Voice Acting in a Feature Production||Ashley Jensen|
|Writing in a Feature Production||Sarah Smith, Peter Baynham||Nominated|
|2012||The Pirates! Band of Misfits||Best Animated Feature|
|Character Animation in a Feature Production||Will Beecher|
|Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Norman Garwood and Matt Berry|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Imelda Staunton|
|Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Gideon Defoe|
|Hotel Transylvania||Best Animated Feature|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Carlos Grangel|
|Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Genndy Tartakovsky|
|Music in an Animated Feature Production||Mark Mothersbaugh|
|Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Marcello Vignali|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Adam Sandler|
|Editorial in an Animated Feature Production||Catherine Apple|
|2013||The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow||Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production||Stephan Franck|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2||Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Craig Kellman|
|Music in an Animated Feature Production||Mark Mothersbaugh|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Terry Crews|
|2015||Hotel Transylvania 2||Outstanding Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Chris Logan, Brian Casper, Gavin Baxter and William Eckroat|
|Outstanding Character Design in an Animated Production||Craig Kellman and Stephen DeStefano|
|Outstanding Storyboarding in an Animated Production||Mike Smukavic|
|2017||Smurfs: The Lost Village||Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Patrick Mate|
|The Star||Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Louie del Carmen|
|Best Editorial in an Animated Feature Production||Pamela Ziegenhagen|
Kids' Choice AwardsEdit
|2006||Open Season||Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Ashton Kutcher||Nominated|
|2011||The Smurfs||Favorite Movie|
|Favorite Movie Actress||Sofía Vergara|
|Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Katy Perry||Won|
|2012||Hotel Transylvania||Adam Sandler|
|2013||The Smurfs 2||Favorite Movie||Nominated|
|Favorite Movie Actor||Neil Patrick Harris|
|Favorite Movie Actress||Jayma Mays|
|Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Katy Perry|
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2||Favorite Animated Movie|
|2015||Hotel Transylvania 2||Won|
|Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Selena Gomez||Nominated|
|2017||Smurfs: The Lost Village||Favorite Animated Movie|
|The Emoji Movie|
Golden Raspberry AwardsEdit
|2013||The Smurfs 2||Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel||Jordan Kerner||Nominated|
|2017||The Emoji Movie||Worst Picture||Michelle Raimo Kouyate||Won|
|Worst Director||Tony Leondis|
|Worst Screenplay||Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel and Mike White|
|Worst Screen Combo||Any two obnoxious emojis|
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A Sony Pictures Entertainment release of a Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation presentation of an Aardman production.
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A Sony Pictures Entertainment (in U.S.)/Sony Pictures Releasing (in U.K.) release of a Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation presentation of an Aardman production.
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A Sony Pictures Entertainment release of Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation presentation in association with LStar Capital and Village Roadshow Pictures of an Original Film and Scholastic Entertainment production.
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