Burbank Animation Studios

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Burbank Animation Studios
Burbank Films Australia (1991–2002)
IndustryFilm animation studios
Sydney, New South Wales

Burbank Animation Studios is an Australian film animation production company, formerly named Burbank Films Australia.


The company's first animated productions in 1982 were a series of adaptations of books from Charles Dickens; these first few films characterized themselves by their grim appeal. The sketch-styled backgrounds and the simplicity of the original score, such as in Oliver Twist (1982), added to the dramatic tone of those first stories. The eight total Dickens adaptations were produced during two years. At the same time, in 1983, the company produced a short series of adaptations of Sherlock Holmes stories, adapted from the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the years that followed, until 1988, Burbank adapted the works of many other well-known authors and legends, including Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers among many others.[1]

In 1991, the company was resurrected under the name of Burbank Animation Studios. The new studio has continued the production of "animated classics" in association with Anchor Bay entertainment and Bridgestar entertainment.[2] David Field as managing director and executive producer and Roz Phillips as producer.

From 1991 to 1994, Burbank Animation Studios utilized Australia's Unlimited Energee as its production facility. The shows were traditionally drawn but then digitally inked, painted, and composited to first Betamax and then Ampex cartridge recording systems, which allowed for some unusually detailed backgrounds, various digital FX, and infrequent 3D (sparingly used due to low budgets). In 1994 Burbank Animation Studios chose to switch production facilities to Colorland Studios of China.


Burbank Films[edit]

Burbank Animation Studios[edit]

TV series[edit]

Copyright status[edit]

There has been confusion as to whether ownership of these films has fallen into the public domain. Despite the number of releases of these films, every Burbank film has a valid US copyright and cannot be considered an orphaned work or public domain. Burbank's catalogue is an example of the type of budget copyright content regularly parallel licensed to multiple home video distributors.

When Burbank's parent company Film Funding & Management went into liquidation, the distribution rights to the "Animated Classics" were transferred to ABR Entertainment[3] and the copyright was later fully assigned to Omnivision.[4] These are now owned by Pulse Distribution and Entertainment[5] and administered by digital rights management firm NuTech Digital.[6] These titles are currently available in the US on NuTech's Digital Versatile Disc (DVD), Ltd. label. They have also been licensed to Genius Entertainment.

Budget-priced releases from Digiview Entertainment have also been sighted, but their legality is unknown.

The distribution rights to "The Dickens Collection" (A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, The Old Curiosity Shop, Nicholas Nickleby and The Pickwick Papers), "The Sherlock Holmes Collection" (A Study in Scarlet, The Baskerville Curse, The Sign of Four and The Valley of Fear), Black Tulip and The Corsican Brothers were transferred to Rikini,[7] which later became International Family Classics (IFC), who onsold the films to H.S. Holding Corporation[8] who currently own the titles.[9] Alice Through the Looking Glass is now also owned by H.S.[10] who purchased the rights from INI Entertainment Group, the distributor of Burbank Animation Studios' post-1991 films. These titles are currently distributed by Liberty International Publishing in the US, through Liberation Entertainment and Genius Entertainment.

As with the "Animated Classics", budget-priced releases from Digiview have been sighted, but again, their legality is unknown.

Payless Entertainment, an Australian distributor, began reissuing the Burbank catalogue in 2008.[11]

Production credits for the Burbank Animation Studios shows vary. Some distributors, including INI, retain the original complete credits (blue pages at end of story describing entire production crew). Other distributors have trimmed production credits so that for the producing studio, only the animation director, primary producer and administration staff remain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burbank Films Australia on Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Burbank Animation Studios
  3. ^ US Copyright Office Document No V2555P425 1990-12-06
  4. ^ US Copyright Office Document No V2864P399 1992-09-15
  5. ^ US Copyright Office Document No V3285P205 1996-09-25
  6. ^ BTECH article on NuTech and Pulse distribution agreement.
  7. ^ US Copyright Office Document No V2542P018 1990-08-24
  8. ^ US Copyright Office Document No V3202P448 1996-01-31
  9. ^ Film Office v. HS Holding Corp. Archived 11 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine 2/24/2004.
  10. ^ US Copyright Office Document No V3205P164 1996-02-12.
  11. ^ "Storybook Classics". Payless Entertainment. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012.

External links[edit]