Film Roman

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Film Roman, LLC
Subsidiary of Waterman Entertainment
Industry Animation, motion pictures, television
Founded 1984; 32 years ago (1984)
Headquarters Woodland Hills, California, USA
Key people
Phil Roman, founder
Parent Starz (2006–2016)
Waterman Entertainment (2015–present)
Divisions Phil Roman Entertainment
Film Roman's former headquarters in Burbank

Film Roman is an American animation studio, owned by Waterman Entertainment, owned by producer Steve Waterman.[1] Founded by veteran animator and director Phil Roman in early 1984, it is best known for producing the source animation for The Simpsons, King of the Hill for 20th Century Fox Animation, as well as Garfield and Friends and various Garfield animated TV specials.[2]



Phil Roman, veteran alumnus of MGM Animation/Visual Arts and Bill Melendez Productions, originally founded Film Roman in 1984 as a means to continue the production of the Garfield series of animated prime time television specials, since Melendez's own studio was unable to work on both the Garfield and Peanuts series of specials. Peanuts executive producers Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez and their aforementioned studio had produced the first two Garfield specials (Here Comes Garfield (1982) and Garfield on the Town (1983) respectively, both specials directed by Roman), but due to the wishes of 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 executive producer Margaret Loesch. In 1992, 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).[3][4] The studio went on to grow and produce many popular animated series now seen all around the world.


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 its present location at Starz Plaza on Hollywood Way in Burbank, which it shares with the former Hub Network and Hasbro Studios.

Television series[edit]

Subcontracted from others:

for 20th Century Fox Television:

for Marvel Animation:

various other studios:

Puppet/CGI shows:

Television specials[edit]

Garfield specials[edit]

Other specials[edit]



Theatrical features[edit]


Web series[edit]

Canceled ideas[edit]

  • Garfield's Judgment Day - a Garfield special that was supposed to be made in the '90s and co-produced by Disney where Garfield and every cat and dog in the neighborhood must warn all the humans that the end of the world is coming. While Jim Davis made a picture book of what the story would be like, the special's production was canceled due to its dark nature that was seen by Disney and that Film Roman was being asked by 20th Century Fox to animate the new episodes of The Simpsons.
  • The Blue Brothers - Developed in 1995, an animated sitcom with Jake and Elwood was planned, By 1997, actor Dan Aykroyd sold to the TV network UPN the rights to the film The Blues Brothers, which he starred in 1980 with the late John Belushi. Eight of the thirteen episodes was also ordered by the network. However, later in 1997 the series was canceled, and the eight episodes made were never aired.
  • 21 - When the comic book series was in previews not only was it supposed to be a comic book, but also a cartoon series and action figure lineup. As far as people know nothing has been released but a few comics.


  1. ^ The film's distribution rights were transferred to Warner Bros. in 1996.


  1. ^ McNary, Dave (12 November 2015). "'Simpsons' Animator Film Roman Bought by Waterman Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Kirkland, Mark (2004). The Simpsons The Complete Fourth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Kamp Krusty" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  4. ^ Bernstein, Sharon (1992-01-21). "'The Simpsons' Producer Changes Animation Firms". The Los Angeles Times. p. 18. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  5. ^ WWE Studios and Film Roman announce 'Camp WWE' irreverent animated web series

External links[edit]