Sony Pictures Animation

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Sony Pictures Animation Inc.
Subsidiary
Industry Computer animated film industry
Founded May 9, 2002; 16 years ago (2002-05-09)
Headquarters Culver City, California, U.S.
Key people
Kristine Belson (president)[1]
Mike Moon (senior vice president)[2]
Products Theatrical animated short films
Theatrical animated feature films
Television animated series
Owner Sony
Number of employees
50 (2013)[3]
Parent Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Sony Entertainment)
Website Official website

Sony Pictures Animation Inc. is an American animation studio that is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures through their Motion Picture Group division, founded on May 9, 2002. The studio works closely with Sony Pictures Imageworks, which handles digital production and has animated nearly all of their films. All of its theatrical releases are distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing under their Columbia Pictures label, and all home video releases are distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The studio's movies and franchises include Open Season, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Smurfs, Hotel Transylvania, Goosebumps, the 2007 Academy Award nominated film, Surf's Up, and the 2017 Golden Raspberry Award winner, The Emoji Movie.

History[edit]

In 2001, Sony Pictures considered selling off its visual effects facility Sony Pictures Imageworks. After failing to find a suitable buyer, having been impressed with the CGI sequences created for Stuart Little 2, and seeing the box office success of DreamWorks Animation's Shrek and Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc., SPI was reconfigured to become an animation studio. Astro Boy, which had been in development at Sony since 1997 as a live-action film, was set to be SPI's first all-CGI film.[4] On May 9, 2002, Sony Pictures Animation was established to develop characters, stories and movies, with SPI taking over the digital production while maintaining its visual effects production.[5] Meanwhile, SPI produced two short films, the Academy Award-winning The ChubbChubbs! and Early Bloomer, as a result of testing its strengths and weaknesses in producing all-CG animation.[6]

On its first anniversary on May 9, 2003, Sony Pictures Animation announced a full slate of animated projects in development: Open Season, an adaptation of a Celtic folk ballad Tam Lin, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Surf's Up, and a feature-length version of the short film The ChubbChubbs!.[7]

Its first feature film was Open Season, released in September 2006, which became Sony's second-highest-grossing home entertainment film in 2007 and spawned three direct-to-video sequels. Its second feature film, Surf's Up was released in June 2007, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and won two Annie Awards. A motion-captured animated film, Neanderthals,[8] written and produced by Jon Favreau, was cancelled sometime in 2008,[9] after four years in development. SPA's first 3D movie since the IMAX 3D release of Open Season, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, was released in September 2009, and was nominated for four Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature. The Smurfs (2011) was the studio's first CGI/live-action hybrid and is currently its most successful release. SPA's parent company Sony Pictures had partnered in 2007 with Aardman Animations to finance, co-produce and distribute feature films.[10] Together, they produced two films; Arthur Christmas (2011), and The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012), which was SPA's first stop-motion film. In September 2012, SPA released Hotel Transylvania, which grossed over $350 million worldwide and launched a successful franchise with two sequels and a TV series. SPA's latest releases are Peter Rabbit, a live-action and CGI hybrid film based on the book stories created by Beatrix Potter, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, the third installment of the Hotel Transylvania film series, and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, the sequel to the first Goosebumps film. SPA has since signed Genndy Tartakovsky to a long-term deal with the studio to develop and direct original films.[11]

The studio is currently working on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Wish Dragon (2019), The Mitchells vs. the Machines, a robot apocalypse/road trip film written and directed by Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe while produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (2020),[12][13] and Vivo (2020). It has many other projects in development, including an animated Ghostbusters spin-off film,[14][15] an untitled film from Jon Saunders,[16] Harold and the Purple Crayon,[16] Medusa,[17] an animated film based on Popeye,[18][19] Fixed, Black Knight,[20] and three untitled projects slated for April 3, 2020,[21] July 24, 2020,[22] and September 25, 2020 respectively.[23]

On November 3, 2014, the studio made a deal with Cartoon Hangover to create GO! Cartoons, an incubator series consisting of 12 short films, with at least one short film being developed into a series. The short films were funded by SPA, with the additional goal of attracting new talent for the studio.[24][25]

According to Kristine Belson, president of SPA, the studio produces films on a 1:1 development-to-production ratio, meaning that the studio puts films into development as much as it places films in production, unlike other animation studios.[12]

The studio also currently has plans to produce adult animated content for digital platforms.[12]

Process[edit]

In a similar fashion to the Warner Animation Group and Paramount Animation, the studio relies on other animation studios to provide the animation for their films, with the majority of their theatrical films animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Filmography[edit]

Theatrical feature films[edit]

Released films[edit]

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation service(s) Budget Gross RT MC
1 Open Season September 29, 2006 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks $85 million $197 million 48% 49
2 Surf's Up June 8, 2007 $100 million $149 million 79% 64
3 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs September 18, 2009 $243 million 87% 66
4 The Smurfs[S] July 29, 2011 The Kerner Entertainment Company $110 million $564 million 22% 30
5 Arthur Christmas[R] November 23, 2011 Aardman Animations $100 million $147 million 92% 69
6 The Pirates! Band of Misfits[R] April 27, 2012 Aardman Animations
Double Negative
$55 million $123 million 86% 73
7 Hotel Transylvania September 28, 2012 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks $85 million $358 million 44% 47
8 The Smurfs 2[S] July 31, 2013 The Kerner Entertainment Company $105 million $347 million 13% 34
9 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 September 27, 2013 N/A $78 million $274 million 71% 59
10 Hotel Transylvania 2 September 25, 2015 LStar Capital $80 million $473 million 55% 44
11 Goosebumps[R][S] October 16, 2015 LStar Capital
Village Roadshow Pictures
Original Film
Scholastic Entertainment
Moving Pictures Company $84 million $150 million 77% 60
12 Smurfs: The Lost Village April 7, 2017 The Kerner Entertainment Company
LStar Capital
Wanda Pictures
Sony Pictures Imageworks $60 million $197 million 38% 40
13 The Emoji Movie July 28, 2017 N/A $50 million $217 million 8% 12
14 The Star November 17, 2017 The Jim Henson Company
Franklin Entertainment
Walden Media
Affirm Films
Cinesite Studios $20 million $62 million 44% 42
15 Peter Rabbit[R][S] February 9, 2018 Olive Bridge Entertainment
2.0 Entertainment
Screen Australia[not in citation given]
Screen NSW[not in citation given]
Animal Logic $50 million $351 million 64% 51
16 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation July 13, 2018 Media Rights Capital Sony Pictures Imageworks $80 million $516 million 59% 54
17 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween[R][S] October 12, 2018 Original Film
Scholastic Entertainment
Silvertongue Films
Double Negative $35 million $19 million 43% 54

Upcoming films[edit]

# Title Release date Ref(s) Co-production with Animation service(s)
18 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse December 14, 2018 [26][27] Marvel Entertainment Sony Pictures Imageworks
19 Wish Dragon July 26, 2019 [28] Beijing Sparkle Roll Media Corporation
Flagship Entertainment Group
Boss Collaboration
Sony Pictures Imageworks
Base FX
20 The Mitchells vs. the Machines January 10, 2020 [29][30][31][32][12] Lord Miller Productions Sony Pictures Imageworks
21 Peter Rabbit 2[R][S] February 7, 2020 [33] Olive Bridge Entertainment
2.0 Entertainment
Animal Logic
22 Untitled films April 3, 2020 [21][22][23] TBA
23 July 24, 2020
24 September 25, 2020
25 Vivo November 6, 2020 [34][12] TBA Sony Pictures Imageworks

Films in development[edit]

Title Ref(s)
Fixed[A] [20]
Black Knight [20]
Untitled Ghostbusters animated spin-off film [14][35][15][36]
Harold and the Purple Crayon [37][38][16]
Medusa [39][40][17]
Popeye [41][42][43][44][45][18][19]
Untitled Jon Saunders film [16]
S Combines live-action with animation.
R Not produced, but released by Sony Pictures Animation under its label.[46][47][48][49][50]
A An adult animated production.

Direct-to-video feature films[edit]

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation service(s)
1 Open Season 2 January 27, 2009 (North America) N/A Reel FX Creative Studios
2 Open Season 3 January 25, 2011
3 Open Season: Scared Silly[51] March 8, 2016 Rainmaker Entertainment
4 Surf's Up 2: WaveMania January 17, 2017 WWE Studios

Television shows[edit]

Television series[edit]

# Title Premiere date End date Network Co-production with
1 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs[52] February 20, 2017[53] TBA Cartoon Network[53][54] (United States) (2017)
Boomerang SVOD (United States) (2018–present)
YTV (Canada)
Corus Entertainment
DHX Media
2 Hotel Transylvania: The Series[55][53] June 25, 2017 Disney Channel[53] (United States)
(2017)
Netflix (United States)
(2018–present)
Teletoon (Canada)
Corus Entertainment
Nelvana
3 Ghostbusters: Ecto Force[53] TBA[15] TBA Ghost Corps

Online series[edit]

# Title Premiere date End date Network Co-production with
1 GO! Cartoons November 7, 2017[56] April 10, 2018[57] Cartoon Hangover Frederator Studios

Short films[edit]

# Title Release date Animation services Release with Notes
1 The ChubbChubbs! July 3, 2002 Sony Pictures Imageworks Men in Black II Theatrical release
2 Early Bloomer May 9, 2003 Daddy Day Care
3 Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run January 30, 2007 Open Season Home video release
4 The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas October 8, 2007 Sony Pictures Imageworks
Prana Studios
Surf's Up Theatrical release
5 The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol December 2, 2011 Sony Pictures Imageworks
Duck Studios
The Smurfs Home video release
6 So You Want to Be a Pirate! August 28, 2012 Aardman Animations The Pirates! Band of Misfits
7 Goodnight Mr. Foot October 26, 2012 Rough Draft Studios Hotel Transylvania Limited theatrical release
8 The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow September 10, 2013 Sony Pictures Imageworks
Duck Studios
The Smurfs 2 Home video release
9 Super Manny October 2, 2013 Sony Pictures Imageworks
6 Point Harness
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
10 Earl Scouts October 11, 2013
11 Steve's First Bath January 28, 2014
12 Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear 6 Point Harness
13 Puppy! July 28, 2017 Sony Pictures Imageworks The Emoji Movie Theatrical release
14 Flopsy Turvy March 30, 2018 Animal Logic Peter Rabbit Limited theatrical release

Franchises[edit]

Title Release date
Open Season 2006–present
Surf's Up 2007–present
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2009–present
The Smurfs 2011–present
Hotel Transylvania 2012–present
Goosebumps 2015–present
Peter Rabbit 2018–present

Accolades[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2002 The Chubbchubbs! Best Animated Short Eric Armstrong Won
2007 Surf's Up Best Animated Feature Ash Brannon and Chris Buck Nominated
2012 The Pirates! Band of Misfits Peter Lord

Golden Globes[edit]

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Best Animated Feature Film Phil Lord and Christopher Miller Nominated
2011 Arthur Christmas Sarah Smith
2012 Hotel Transylvania Genndy Tartakovsky
2017 The Star Best Original Song "The Star"

Critics' Choice Awards[edit]

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Best Animated Feature Phil Lord and Christopher Miller Nominated
2011 Arthur Christmas Sarah Smith

Annie Awards[edit]

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2006 Open Season Best Animated Feature Nominated
2007 Surf's Up Best Animated Feature
Animated Effects Deborah Carlson Won
Animation Production Artist John Clark
Character Animation in a Feature Production Dave Hardin Nominated
Character Animation in a Feature Production Alan Hawkins
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Sylvain Deboissy
Directing in an Animated Feature Production Ash Brannon and Chris Buck
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Marcelo Vignali
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Denise Koyama
Writing in an Animated Feature Production Don Rhymer, Ash Brannon, and Chris Buck
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Best Animated Feature
Animated Effects Tom Kluyskens
Directing in a Feature Production Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Writing in a Feature Production
2011 Arthur Christmas Best Animated Feature
Character Design in a Feature Production Peter de Sève
Storyboarding in a Feature Production Kris Pearn
Voice Acting in a Feature Production Ashley Jensen
Bill Nighy Won
Writing in a Feature Production Sarah Smith, Peter Baynham Nominated
2012 The Pirates! Band of Misfits Best Animated Feature
Character Animation in a Feature Production Will Beecher
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Norman Garwood and Matt Berry
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Imelda Staunton
Writing in an Animated Feature Production Gideon Defoe
Hotel Transylvania Best Animated Feature
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Carlos Grangel
Carter Goodrich
Directing in an Animated Feature Production Genndy Tartakovsky
Music in an Animated Feature Production Mark Mothersbaugh
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Marcello Vignali
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Adam Sandler
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Catherine Apple
2013 The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Stephan Franck
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Craig Kellman
Music in an Animated Feature Production Mark Mothersbaugh
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Terry Crews
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 Outstanding Animated Effects in an Animated Production Chris Logan, Brian Casper, Gavin Baxter and William Eckroat
Outstanding Character Design in an Animated Production Craig Kellman and Stephen DeStefano
Outstanding Storyboarding in an Animated Production Mike Smukavic
2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Patrick Mate
The Star Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Louie del Carmen
Best Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Pamela Ziegenhagen

Kids' Choice Awards[edit]

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2006 Open Season Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Ashton Kutcher Nominated
2011 The Smurfs Favorite Movie
Favorite Movie Actress Sofía Vergara
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Katy Perry Won
2012 Hotel Transylvania Adam Sandler
2013 The Smurfs 2 Favorite Movie Nominated
Favorite Movie Actor Neil Patrick Harris
Favorite Movie Actress Jayma Mays
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Katy Perry
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Favorite Animated Movie
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 Won
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Selena Gomez Nominated
2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village Favorite Animated Movie
The Emoji Movie

Golden Raspberry Awards[edit]

Year Film Category Winner/Nominee(s) Result
2013 The Smurfs 2 Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel Jordan Kerner Nominated
2017 The Emoji Movie Worst Picture Michelle Raimo Kouyate Won
Worst Director Tony Leondis
Worst Screenplay Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel and Mike White
Worst Screen Combo Any two obnoxious emojis

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]