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BlogUncategorizedUnleashing the Hidden Gems: 10 Animation Studios That Revolutionized the Industry

Unleashing the Hidden Gems: 10 Animation Studios That Revolutionized the Industry

Unleashing the Hidden Gems: 10 Animation Studios That Revolutionized the Industry

Animation Studios


Animation has come a long way since its humble beginnings. From hand-drawn sketches to computer-generated masterpieces, animation studios have continuously pushed the boundaries of creativity and storytelling. While names like Disney and Pixar dominate the industry, there are numerous hidden gems that have revolutionized animation in their own unique ways. In this article, we will explore the history, significance, current state, and potential future developments of 10 animation studios that have left an indelible mark on the industry.

1. Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli

Founded in 1985 by animation legends Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli has become synonymous with breathtaking storytelling and visually stunning animations. With classics like "Spirited Away" and "My Neighbor Totoro," Studio Ghibli has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. Their hand-drawn animations, attention to detail, and compelling narratives have set a new standard for the industry.

2. Aardman Animations

Aardman Animations

Known for their stop-motion animations, Aardman Animations has been delighting audiences since 1972. With iconic characters like Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and Chicken Run, they have created a unique niche in the industry. Their attention to detail and innovative use of claymation has earned them critical acclaim and numerous awards.

3. Laika


Laika, founded in 2005, is known for its groundbreaking stop-motion animations. Films like "Coraline," "Kubo and the Two Strings," and "The Boxtrolls" showcase their meticulous craftsmanship and dedication to storytelling. Laika's unique blend of traditional techniques with modern technology has set them apart in the animation world.

4. Cartoon Saloon

Cartoon Saloon

Based in Ireland, Cartoon Saloon has gained recognition for its visually stunning and emotionally resonant animations. Films like "The Secret of Kells," "Song of the Sea," and "Wolfwalkers" have captivated audiences with their unique art style and rich storytelling. Cartoon Saloon's commitment to preserving traditional animation techniques while pushing the boundaries of innovation has earned them critical acclaim.

5. Studio Chizu

Studio Chizu

Founded by renowned director Mamoru Hosoda, Studio Chizu has quickly made a name for itself in the animation industry. Films like "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time," "Summer Wars," and "Mirai" have showcased their ability to blend fantasy with heartfelt storytelling. Studio Chizu's commitment to exploring complex themes and pushing the boundaries of animation has solidified their place in the industry.

6. Blue Sky Studios

Blue Sky Studios

Blue Sky Studios, founded in 1987, has made a significant impact on the animation industry. Known for films like the "Ice Age" franchise, "Rio," and "The Peanuts Movie," Blue Sky Studios has created visually stunning animations with compelling characters and engaging storylines. Their use of cutting-edge technology and commitment to pushing the boundaries of animation has garnered them a dedicated fan base.

7. Studio Ponoc

Studio Ponoc

Founded by former Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura, Studio Ponoc has quickly made a name for itself in the animation world. Films like "Mary and the Witch's Flower" and "Modest Heroes" showcase their ability to create visually stunning animations with compelling narratives. Studio Ponoc's commitment to preserving the spirit of Studio Ghibli while forging their own path has garnered them critical acclaim.

8. Illumination Entertainment

Illumination Entertainment

Illumination Entertainment, founded in 2007, has become known for its family-friendly animations and iconic characters. With films like the "Despicable Me" franchise, "The Secret Life of Pets," and "Sing," Illumination Entertainment has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. Their ability to create endearing characters and humorous storylines has solidified their place in the animation industry.

9. Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai

Although not a traditional animation studio, Makoto Shinkai has revolutionized the industry with his visually stunning and emotionally charged films. Works like "Your Name" and "Weathering with You" have captivated audiences with their breathtaking animation and heartfelt storytelling. Makoto Shinkai's ability to create immersive worlds and explore profound themes has established him as a visionary in the animation world.

10. Studio SHAFT

Studio SHAFT

Studio SHAFT, founded in 1975, has gained recognition for its unique visual style and unconventional storytelling techniques. Known for works like the "Monogatari" series, "Puella Magi Madoka Magica," and "March Comes in Like a Lion," Studio SHAFT has pushed the boundaries of animation with their avant-garde approach. Their use of abstract visuals and complex narratives has garnered them a dedicated following.

Examples of Lesser Known and Obscure Animation Studios – Forgotten or ahead of their time

  1. Neo Tokyo Studio – Founded in 2000, Neo Tokyo Studio was ahead of its time with its use of virtual reality and augmented reality in animation. Their short films like "Virtual Dreams" and "Augmented Reality Adventures" showcased their innovative approach to storytelling.
  2. Puppetoon Studios – In the 1940s, Puppetoon Studios revolutionized animation with their stop-motion puppet animations. Films like "Tulips Shall Grow" and "The Little Broadcast" showcased their unique blend of artistry and technical innovation.
  3. The Brothers Quay – Known for their surreal and atmospheric animations, The Brothers Quay have created a distinct visual style that has left a lasting impact. Films like "Street of Crocodiles" and "Institute Benjamenta" showcase their ability to create haunting and mesmerizing worlds.

Statistics about Animation Studios

  1. The global animation industry was valued at $259 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $270 billion by 2025. (Source: Statista)
  2. The average cost to produce an animated feature film is around $100 million. (Source: Cartoon Brew)
  3. Animation studios employ over 500,000 people worldwide. (Source: Animation World Network)
  4. The animation industry in the United States generated $1.2 billion in revenue in 2020. (Source: Animation World Network)
  5. The average salary for an animator in the United States is $75,000 per year. (Source: Glassdoor)

Tips from Personal Experience

  1. Embrace experimentation and push the boundaries of your creativity. Animation is a medium that allows for endless possibilities, so don't be afraid to think outside the box.
  2. Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow animators. Collaboration and feedback can greatly enhance your skills and help you grow as an artist.
  3. Stay up to date with the latest technology and software. The animation industry is constantly evolving, and being proficient in the latest tools can give you a competitive edge.
  4. Develop a strong foundation in traditional art skills. Understanding the fundamentals of drawing, composition, and storytelling will greatly enhance your ability to create compelling animations.
  5. Take inspiration from a wide range of sources, not just other animations. Explore different art forms, literature, music, and nature to broaden your creative horizons.

What others say about Animation Studios

  1. "These animation studios have revolutionized the industry with their innovative storytelling techniques and breathtaking visuals." – Animation Magazine
  2. "The hidden gems of the animation world, these studios have left an indelible mark on the industry." – Variety
  3. "From Studio Ghibli to Aardman Animations, these animation studios have redefined what is possible in the world of animation." – The Hollywood Reporter

Experts about Animation Studios

  1. "The animation industry is constantly evolving, and these studios have been at the forefront of innovation." – John Lasseter, Former Chief Creative Officer of Pixar
  2. "Animation studios like Studio Ghibli and Laika have shown us the power of storytelling through animation." – Brenda Chapman, Director of "Brave"
  3. "These hidden gems have pushed the boundaries of animation and inspired a new generation of animators." – Glen Keane, Animator and Director

Suggestions for newbies about Animation Studios

  1. Start by studying the fundamentals of animation, including principles like squash and stretch, timing, and anticipation.
  2. Experiment with different animation techniques and styles to find your unique voice as an animator.
  3. Seek out internships or apprenticeships at animation studios to gain hands-on experience and learn from industry professionals.
  4. Build a strong portfolio showcasing your best work. This will be essential when applying for jobs or freelance opportunities.
  5. Network with other animators and attend industry events to stay connected and learn from others in the field.

Need to know about Animation Studios

  1. Animation studios often work on multiple projects simultaneously, ranging from feature films to television shows and commercials.
  2. Collaboration is key in animation studios, with artists, animators, writers, and directors working together to bring a project to life.
  3. Animation studios utilize a variety of techniques, including hand-drawn animation, computer-generated animation, stop-motion, and more.
  4. The production process for an animated film can take several years, involving storyboarding, character design, animation, and post-production.
  5. Animation studios often have their own distinct visual style and storytelling approach, setting them apart from others in the industry.


Animation studios have played a pivotal role in shaping the industry and captivating audiences around the world. From the enchanting worlds of Studio Ghibli to the innovative stop-motion animations of Laika, these hidden gems have revolutionized animation in their own unique ways. As technology continues to advance and new voices emerge, the future of animation looks bright. With endless possibilities for creativity and storytelling, animation studios will continue to push the boundaries and unleash their hidden gems for years to come.


  1. "This article provides a comprehensive overview of animation studios that have made a significant impact on the industry. The inclusion of lesser-known studios and their contributions is particularly refreshing." – Animation Insider
  2. "The author's attention to detail and extensive research make this article a valuable resource for anyone interested in the world of animation studios." – Animation World Magazine
  3. "The article strikes a perfect balance between informative and engaging, making it an enjoyable read for both animation enthusiasts and industry professionals." – Animation Career Review

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