Reel FX Creative Studios

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Reel FX
Industry Entertainment
Genre Various
Predecessor Radium/Reel FX
Founded 1993
Founder Dale Carman
David Needham
Headquarters 301 North Crowdus Street, Dallas, Texas, United States
Number of locations
2115 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California, United States
Area served
Key people
Steve O'Brien (CEO, Chairman)[1]
David Ross (President)
Kyle Clark (COO)[2]
Products Feature films
Special Attractions
Services CG Animation
Visual Effects
Motion design
Number of employees
350 (2013)[3]

Reel FX is an American digital studio based in Dallas, Texas and Santa Monica, California. The studio develops and produces award-winning animated films, short form content and virtual reality experiences.[4] Its first animated feature film, Free Birds, was released in 2013 and grossed over $110 million worldwide. Its next film, The Book of Life was also released in 2014 and received several nominations, including Best Animated Feature Nominations from the Golden Globe's, Critics’ Choice Awards, Producers Guild Awards and Annie Awards.[5]


In March 2007, Reel FX merged with Radium, a California-based digital studio that was founded in 1996 by Jonathan Keeton and Simon Mowbray.[6] As part of the merge, the studio re-branded itself in 2010 to Radium/Reel FX, and in February 2012 to Reel FX.[7] Since 2007, Reel FX has been presenting the Texas Avery Animation Award, created by the studio to "celebrate career achievement in animation".[8][9] The award, which is named after the Texas-born animator and cartoonist Tex Avery, is awarded each year at Dallas International Film Festival in a form of a bronze casting of Avery's Wolf character.[8]

On December 2010, it was announced that Reel FX produced an untitled 3D film with producer Andrew Adamson and Cirque du Soleil.[10] In January 2012, it was announced by Paramount Pictures that it had acquired worldwide rights to the film, now titled Worlds Away directed by Adamson and executive-produced by James Cameron.[11] In October 2012, The Hollywood Reporter revealed Reel FX's connection to the 2012 feature film, Rise of the Guardians. The film is based on Reel FX's short film, The Man in the Moon, directed by William Joyce. It is also based on Joyce's book series, The Guardians of Childhood.[12]

Beginning with Free Birds in 2013, all Reel FX's in-house feature films are released under its Reel FX Animation Studios banner [13]

From 2009 to 2013, Reel FX completed its first animated feature film Free Birds.[14] Originally titled Turkeys[15] and scheduled for the release of 2014, but it is pulled back to November 1, 2013.[14] Jimmy Hayward directed the film, which tells a story about two turkeys who travel back in time to prevent their species from being the traditional Thanksgiving meal.[14] In February 2012, the studio announced a new CG-animated film, The Book of Life, directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez and produced by Guillermo del Toro. It is described as a "Romeo and Juliet-style love story set against a Mexican Day of the Dead backdrop."[16] In December 2012, it was reported that the studio has partnered with 20th Century Fox Animation to produce the film,[17] and scheduled for October 3, 2014, but it is pushed back to October 17.[18]

A CG-animated feature film adaptation of Beasts of Burden is set to be produced by Andrew Adamson.[19] In February 2015, Reel FX and Gutierrez announced a multi-year, multi-picture deal. The terms and lengths of it were not immediately disclosed, but the first of the new films was announced as the Untitled Kung Fu Space Western.[20] In December 2015, Reel FX announced more details on WISH Police. This film is directed by Spanish directors Victor Maldonado, Adria Garcia (who also directed Nocturna) and Alfredo Torres who are known as Headless Productions [21] The film is being produced at Reel FX by Kirk Bodyfelt. It is scheduled to release in late 2017 or early 2018. Reel FX also announced that Patrick Hanenberger and Margaret Wuller of The Neuland would lead visual development on the film at Reel FX.[21]


Own productions[edit]

Released films[edit]

# Title Release date Budget Gross RT MC
1 Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away December 21, 2012 $25 million $34.2 million 47% 51
2 Free Birds November 1, 2013 $55 million $110.4 million 18% 38
3 The Book of Life October 17, 2014 $50 million $98.8 million 82% 67

Films in development[edit]

Title Refs.
Beasts of Burden [19]
Honeymoon with Dad [22]
Monument 14 [23]
W.I.S.H. Police [20][21][24]
Untitled Kung Fu Space Western [20]
Monster On The Hill [20]
Giant Girl [20]

Short films[edit]

Contract work[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Direct-to-video films[edit]


Short films[edit]

Virtual worlds[edit]


  • Mass Animation - Live Music


  1. ^ Beck, Jerry (October 25, 2012). ""Turkeys" get Greenlit at Reel FX". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ Wilding, Robin (September 1, 2011). "Kyle Clark of Reel FX talks Animation and Education". Animation Career Review. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  3. ^ Mallory, Michael (October 12, 2013). "Get Ready for a Real Turkey Feast!". Animation Magazine. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ "With New Film The Book of Life, Studio Launches Virtual Reality Unit". Wall Street Journal. September 23, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Book of Life from Dallas Scores Golden Globe Nomination". Dallas Morning News. December 11, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Radium Merges with Dallas' Reel FX" (PDF). Pharos. March 7, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Behind The Scenes: The Reel FX Rebrand". Reel FX News. February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b King, Darryn (April 18, 2015). "Phil Lord and Chris Miller Honored with 2015 Texas Avery Award". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved April 30, 2015. 
  9. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (April 20, 2015). "Phil Lord and Chris Miller Receive Texas Avery Award". Animation Magazine. Retrieved April 30, 2015. 
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike (December 7, 2010). "Andrew Adamson, James Cameron team with Cirque du Soleil on 3D Feature". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike (February 10, 2012). "Paramount Acquires Worldwide Rights To Andrew Adamson And James Cameron's Cirque Du Soleil 3D Feature". Deadline Hollywood. 
  12. ^ McCarthy, Todd (October 11, 2012). "Rise of the Guardians: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  13. ^ CEC Entertainment, Inc. (May 20, 2014). "Chuck E. Cheese's Introduces Oculus Rift for Birthday Parties in Select Markets" (Press release). Reuters. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c Shaw, Lucas (February 22, 2013). "Relativity Moves 'Turkeys' Up a Year; Amy Poehler Joins Voice Cast (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ Rebecca, Murray (March 27, 2013). "Turkeys is Now Free Birds". Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (February 21, 2012). "Guillermo del Toro to Produce CG-Animated 'Day of the Dead' With Reel FX". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ McClintock, Pamela (December 12, 2012). "Fox Animation Teaming With Guillermo del Toro on 'Book of Life' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Fox Dates 'Frankenstein' & 'Chipmunks 4,' Sets 2017-2018 Animated Slate". Deadline. June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Kit, Borys (June 13, 2011). "Andrew Adamson Bringing Dark Horse Comic 'Beasts of Burden' to Big Screen". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b c d e Fleming Jr., Mike (February 18, 2015). "Reel FX Makes Multi-Picture Pact With 'Book Of Life' Helmer Jorge R. Gutierrez; Kung Fu Space Western, Anybody?". Deadline. Retrieved April 30, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c Amidi, Amid (December 17, 2015). "Reel FX Reveals First Artwork, New Details for 'Wish Police' Directed by Headless (EXCLUSIVE)". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  22. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 10, 2012). "Danny DeVito to direct 'Honeymoon' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  23. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (December 12, 2012). "Brad Peyton To Write, Direct 'Monument 14′ For Reel FX And Strange Weather". Deadline. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  24. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (September 30, 2013). "Reel FX Sets Animated Film 'W.I.S.H. Police'". Deadline. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ McLean, Tom (January 26, 2015). "'Book of Life' Comes to Home Video Libraries". Animation Magazine. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  26. ^ Amidi, Amid (August 3, 2015). "5 Things You Need To Know About The Chinese/American Feature 'Rock Dog'". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved August 3, 2015. Although Rock Dog originated in China and has Chinese backers, the film has an American director — Ash Brannon — and was animated by an American studio — Reel FX... 
  27. ^ Kit, Borys (March 17, 2010). "Granat, Reel FX form Bedrock Studios". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  28. ^ Animation Mentor (April 2010). "Animator Interview with Mentor Ray Chase". Animation Mentor. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  29. ^ Qidong, Zhang (November 23, 2012). "Animation studio sees role for China". China Daily. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  30. ^ Desowitz, Bill (July 30, 2010). "O'Callaghan Talks Coyote Falls". Animation World Network. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  31. ^ a b "Looney Tunes "Daffy's Rhapsody"". Reel FX. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  32. ^ Hopewell, John (June 9, 2014). "Studios, France, Emerging Industries Energize Annecy". Variety. Retrieved June 24, 2014. Closing ceremony, featuring Official Selection award announcements and Warner Bros.’ 3D short “A Flash in the Pain” 
  33. ^ "Reel FX Live from Annecy!". Reel FX. June 11, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014. Peil wrapped up the presentation with the 6th installment in the series of Looney Tunes shorts “Flash in the Pain”. 
  34. ^ Reel FX (July 2, 2012). "It's Time For Minion Mayhem at Universal Orlando". Reel FX. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 

External links[edit]