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Sony Pictures Animation Inc. is an American animation studio owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment through their Motion Picture Group division and founded on May 9, 2002. The studio's films are distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing under their Columbia Pictures label, while all direct-to-video releases are released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Its first film Open Season was released on September 29, 2006, and its latest release was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on December 14, 2018 with their next confirmed release being The Angry Birds Movie 2 on August 14, 2019.

Sony Pictures Animation Inc.
Subsidiary
IndustryComputer animated film industry
FoundedMay 9, 2002; 17 years ago (2002-05-09)
Headquarters,
U.S.
Key people
Kristine Belson (president)[1]
Pam Marsden (head of production)[2]
ProductsTheatrical animated short films
Theatrical animated feature films
Television animated series
OwnerSony
Number of employees
255 (2018)[3]
ParentSony Pictures Entertainment
(Sony Entertainment)
WebsiteOfficial website

Contents

HistoryEdit

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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!.[7]

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,[8] written and produced by Jon Favreau, was cancelled sometime in 2008,[9] 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. SPA's parent company Sony Pictures had partnered in 2007 with Aardman Animations to finance, co-produce and distribute feature films.[10] 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 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, the third installment of the Hotel Transylvania film series and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, an animated superhero film based on the Spider-Man comics. SPA has since signed Genndy Tartakovsky to a long-term deal with the studio to develop and direct original films.[11]

The studio is currently working on 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),[12][13] Vivo (2020), and Hotel Transylvania 4 (2021). It has many other projects in development, including an animated Ghostbusters spin-off film,[14][15] an untitled film from Jon Saunders,[16] Fixed, and Black Knight.[17]

On November 3, 2014, the studio collaborated with Frederator Studio's Cartoon Hangover on 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.[18][19]

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.[12]

The studio has plans to produce adult animated content for digital platforms.[12]

ProcessEdit

In a similar fashion to the Warner Animation Group and Paramount Animation, the studio outsources their films to other animation companies and visual effects studios, with the majority of their films being animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks. Some films, such as Arthur Christmas, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Wish Dragon, were acquired by Sony Pictures Animation to be released under their banner while others, such as Goosebumps and Peter Rabbit, was made with no involvement with the studio.

FilmographyEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kristine Belson Named New President of Sony Pictures Animation". The Hollywood Reporter. January 27, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  2. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation Promotes Pam Marsden to Head of Production". Variety. March 14, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation Promotes Pam Marsden to Head of Production". Variety. March 14, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  4. ^ Brodesser, Claude (December 9, 2001). "Sony finds Rx for its f/x". Variety. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  5. ^ "Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment Establishes Feature Animation Unit; Animation Executives Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox Named to Top Posts" (Press release). May 9, 2002. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  6. ^ Raugust, Karen (May 30, 2006). "The Value of Shorts". Animation World Network. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  7. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation Announces Projects for Directors Jill Culton, Anthony Stacchi, Roger Allers, Brenda Chapman and the Brizzi Brothers Cox Named to Top Posts" (Press release). May 9, 2003. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  8. ^ Adler, Shawn (January 9, 2008). "Jon Favreau Gets Animated For 'Neanderthals'". MTV. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Serrano, Armand (April 19, 2010). "Neanderthals". Armand Serrano Blog. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  10. ^ BBC News (April 2, 2007). "Gromit animators sign Sony deal". BBC News. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  11. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (July 11, 2012). "Genndy Tartakovsky Signs Overall Deal with Sony Pictures Animation". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c "Annecy: Kristine Belson on Sony Pictures Animation's upcoming slate". Variety Magazine. June 15, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  13. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation". Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  14. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 1, 2015). "'Ghostbusters' Animated Movie in the Works at Sony Pictures Animation". The Wrap. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  15. ^ Takao (August 7, 2017). "Ghostbusters: Ecto Force postponed for new film". ToonBarn. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  16. ^ "A List Of American Animated Features Currently In Development". Cartoon Brew. August 10, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  17. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 25, 2018). "'Hotel Transylvania' Helmer Genndy Tartakovsky Sets New Projects At Sony Pictures Animation". Deadline. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  18. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (November 3, 2014). "Sony Partners with Cartoon Hangover to Find New Talent". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  19. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (November 7, 2017). "Sony Animation & Cartoon Hangover Launch 1st Incubator Film 'The Summoning'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 28, 2017.

External linksEdit