Film Roman

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Film Roman, LLC
IndustryAnimation, motion pictures, television Production
PredecessorMendelson/Melendez Productions
FoundedOctober 26, 1984; 37 years ago (1984-10-26)
FounderPhil Roman
HeadquartersWoodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Key people
  • Steve Waterman (CEO)
  • Phil Roman
  • (chairman emeritus)
  • Dana Booton
  • (president of production)[1]
ProductsGarfield television specials
DivisionsFilm Roman Baja J.V.
Phil Roman Entertainment
Film Roman's former headquarters in Burbank.

Film Roman, LLC is an American independent animation studio currently based in Woodland Hills, California and formerly in Burbank. It was previously owned by Starz Inc., which is now a division of Lionsgate, and later by Waterman Entertainment, the production company of producer Steve Waterman.[2] Founded by veteran animator and director Phil Roman on October 26, 1984, it is best known for providing animation for the Garfield primetime specials, based on Jim Davis' comic strip of the same name. The studio also produced the animated series The Simpsons, The Critic, King of the Hill, Family Guy, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, The Goode Family, and Dan Vs..[3]



Phil Roman, veteran alumnus of MGM Animation/Visual Arts and Bill Melendez Productions, founded Film Roman on October 26, 1984 as a means to continue the production of the Garfield television specials, since Melendez's own studio was unable to work on both the Peanuts and Garfield specials. Peanuts executive producers Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez and their aforementioned studio had produced the first two Garfield specials, but due to both Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz' and Garfield creator Jim Davis' concerns about conflicting interests in allocating production priority at Melendez's boutique studio, the production had to be moved. While he was leaving him and Melendez for his already-established studio, Roman was offered the opportunity to produce the next Garfield prime time special, Garfield in the Rough (1984), for CBS by Mendelson, which he accepted and went on to produce and direct all by himself, winning an Emmy in the process.


In 1985, CBS' head of children's programming Judy Price had commissioned an animated television series based on the Garfield prime time special series, later ultimately titled Garfield and Friends, which took three years for Roman to decide developing and producing the program before it eventually aired on the network's Saturday morning time slot, premiering on September 17, 1988. The aforementioned show was Film Roman's first regular series. In 1986, in an effort to expand and diversify the studio, Roman hired Marvel Productions VP of Business Affairs and his own personal attorney, Michael Wahl, as President and Bill Schultz, Marvel's Director of Development, to join in the company as the fledgling studio's VP of Production and Development. Garfield and Friends was expanded to an hour on CBS' number one rated Saturday Morning block and the studio grew to increase its capacity.

In 1988, the new management team developed, sold and produced a new series, Bobby's World, to the brand new Fox Kids Network, headed up by former Marvel Productions president Margaret Loesch. In 1992 to 2016, Film Roman took over the source production of 20th Century Fox's The Simpsons from Klasky-Csupo who had produced the one-minute teaser cartoon shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show as well as the animation for the first three seasons and the first two episodes of the fourth season (in total 61 episodes).[4][5] The studio went on to grow and produce many popular animated series now seen all around the world.

Waterman Entertainment ownership[edit]

In 2015, Film Roman was acquired from its parent company Starz Distribution by Waterman Entertainment, the production company of executive producer Steve Waterman. As such, it now does business with Starz, which owns the company's catalogue.[1] However, Waterman Entertainment closed on December 24, 2015, Film Roman eventually became independent again.[citation needed]

On November 22, 2016, the company formed a joint venture based in Tijuana, called Film Roman Baja J.V. (also known as Film Roman Baja Productions), with Boxel Studios, a Baja California-based animation facility.[6]


The original studio was located on Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake, California, where Roman was also joined by Melendez producer Lee Mendelson. Years later, the studio moved to a new location on Chandler Blvd. in Studio City, before settling into another location at Starz Plaza on Hollywood Way in Burbank, which it shared with the former Hub Network and Hasbro Studios, and finally settling into its present location in Woodland Hills.

Television series[edit]

Show Creator(s) Year(s) Co-production(s) Notes
Garfield and Friends Jim Davis 1988–1994 United Media (Season 1)
United Media/Mendelson (Seasons 2–3)
United Media/Lee Mendelson Productions (Seasons 4–6)
Lee Mendelson Productions (Season 7)
Paws, Inc.
Now owned by 9 Story Media Group
Bobby's World Howie Mandel 1990–1998 Alevy Productions
Fox Children's Productions
Currently distributed by Splash Entertainment
Zazoo U Shane DeRolf 1990–1991 Fox Children's Productions Currently distributed by Disney–ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution
Mother Goose and Grimm Mike Peters 1991–1993 Tribune Media Services
Grimmy, Inc.
Lee Mendelson Productions (owner)
MGM Television
Animated Classic Showcase 1993–1994 Soyuzmultfilm
Cro Mark Zaslove Children's Television Workshop (owner)
Mighty Max Mark Zaslove
Rob Hudnut
The Baby Huey Show Bob Jaques 1995 Harveytoons
Claster Television
Season 2 only
Currently distributed by NBCUniversal Television Distribution
The Mask: Animated Series Duane Capizzi 1995–1997 Sunbow Entertainment
New Line Television
Dark Horse Entertainment
Currently distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat Pat Sullivan
Otto Messmer
Currently distributed by NBCUniversal Television Distribution
C Bear and Jamal Earl Richey Jones
Todd R. Jones
Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm Sean Catherine Derek 1996 Threshold Entertainment
New Line Television
Currently distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
Richie Rich Timothy Williams Harveytoons
Claster Television
Currently distributed by NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Bruno the Kid Joel Madison 1996–1997
Free For All Brett Merhar 2003 Showtime Networks (owner)
Eloise: The Animated Series Kay Thompson
Hilary Knight
2006 Anchor Bay Entertainment
HandMade Films
Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Bob Boyle 2006-2010 Bolder Media
Slacker Cats Andy Riley
Kevin Cecil
2007–2009 Will Vinton Studios/Laika
ABC Family Original Productions (owner)
Dan Vs. Dan Mendel
Chris Pearson
2011–2013 The Hatchery

Subcontracted from others:

for 20th Television/Animation:

Show Creator(s) Year(s) Notes
The Simpsons[1] Matt Groening 1992–2016 Seasons 427 only
King of the Hill[7] Mike Judge 1997–2010
Family Guy[7] Seth MacFarlane 1999–2000 Seasons 12 only

for Marvel Animation:

Show Creator(s) Year(s) Notes
X-Men: Evolution Marty Isenberg
Robert N. Skir
David Wise
2000–2003 Currently owned by Marvel Entertainment
The Super Hero Squad Show Stan Lee 2009–2011
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Ciro Nieli
Joshua Fine
Christopher Yost
2010–2012 Currently distributed by Disney–ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution
Ultimate Spider-Man Marvel Animation 2012–2017
Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Paul Dini
Henry Gilroy
Marvel Animation

with other studios:

Puppet/CGI shows:

Television specials[edit]

Garfield specials[edit]

Other specials[edit]



Theatrical features[edit]

Cancelled films[edit]

  • Untitled Camp WWE film
  • Garfield's Judgment Day

Special effects for other films[edit]



Web series[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McNary, Dave (November 12, 2015). "'Simpsons' Animator Film Roman Bought by Waterman Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  2. ^ McNary, Dave (12 November 2015). "'Simpsons' Animator Film Roman Bought by Waterman Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  3. ^ Hofmeister, Sallie (April 2, 1998). "COMPANY TOWN; Drawing on Creativity; A Struggling Film Roman Tries to Reanimate Itself". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  4. ^ Kirkland, Mark (2004). The Simpsons The Complete Fourth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Kamp Krusty" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ Bernstein, Sharon (1992-01-21). "'The Simpsons' Producer Changes Animation Firms". The Los Angeles Times. p. 18. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (21 November 2016). "Film Roman Teams With Boxel Studios To Form Film Roman Baja J.V."
  7. ^ a b c "Film Roman, Boxel Studios form animation JV in Mexico".
  8. ^ "Film Roman To Produce Animation For The Man Show". June 5, 2001.
  9. ^ a b "AdamKlein_resume.qxd" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Credits".
  11. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Honey Nut Cheerios with Garfield (1993)". YouTube.
  12. ^ "Film Roman Gets Shagged For Sho Too". May 29, 2002.
  13. ^ Head, Steve (May 6, 2003). "Angels Ready for Animated Debut". IGN. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  14. ^ "WWE Studios Film Roman Announce Camp WWE Animated Web Series". WWE. Archived from the original on 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2020-01-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

External links[edit]