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USAnimation, Inc. was an American traditional animation studio and software development company based out of Los Angeles, California. The studio produced animation for television series and commercials, and provided ink and paint services to animated TV series such as The Ren and Stimpy Show and The Simpsons and films such as We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. Its software division was best known for developing USAnimation, a high-end software package designed to facilitate the traditional animation process using digital technologies.


USAnimation, Inc. was founded in early 1992 by John Whitney Jr. after he decided to use the power of the technology he created to change how animation was produced. The animation industry was immediately receptive to this concept since digital capabilities were a powerful creative tool for the animation producer to improve the look of shows and do it more efficiently. USAnimation completed episodic projects such as Beavis and Butt-Head, The Ren & Stimpy Show and the first digitally colored episodes of The Simpsons, as well as commercial projects ranging from Lucky Charms cereal to Levi's jeans.

In 1996, USAnimation sold its software development business to Canadian competitor Toon Boom Technologies and its animation production services were renamed VirtualMagic USA.[1] Toon Boom continues development of the USAnimation software, today known as Harmony. With resources now dedicated solely to its production expertise, VirtualMagic USA diversified itself by taking on a significant amount of interactive CD-ROM work for clients such as Disney Interactive, Broderbund, and Digital Domain.

In late-1997, the company changed its name to VirtualMagic Animation and moved into a new production space in the San Fernando Valley. In order to economically compete in the animated episodic series and motion picture market, VirtualMagic Animation evaluated potential affiliate foreign animation companies with digital capabilities as well as joint venture possibilities. In 1999, VirtualMagic Animation and ImagineAsia Studio formed VirtualMagic Asia, a digital ink, paint and compositing service based in Manila, Philippines. VirtualMagic Animation and VirtualMagic Asia closed in 2003.


USAnimation/VirtualMagic AnimationEdit

VirtualMagic AsiaEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ (Aug. 6, 1996). "Toon Boom Technologies enters merger transaction with USAnimation Inc" [Business Wire]. Retrieved March 17, 2008.