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Universal Animation Studios

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Universal Animation Studios
FormerlyUniversal Cartoon Studios (1991–2006)
PredecessorWalter Lantz Productions
Founded1991; 31 years ago (1991)[1]
Number of locations
Key people
Margie Cohn (Head of DWA Television)
ProductsAnimated films
Animated television shows
ParentUniversal Pictures

Universal Animation Studios (formerly known as Universal Cartoon Studios) is an American animation studio and a division of Universal Pictures, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast. It has produced direct-to-video sequels to Universal-released feature films, such as The Land Before Time, An American Tail, Balto, as well as other films and television series.

The actual animation production is done overseas, usually by either Wang Film Productions or Rough Draft Studios, while pre-production and post-production is United States-based.

The television animation divisions of Universal and DreamWorks merged in August 2016 after Universal completed its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.[5] But while DreamWorks Animation would be in charge of most of Universal's upcoming family friendly animated shows, Universal Animation Studios will be in charge of producing adult animated shows in their own banner, while still continuing to produce their own family friendly movies.


Universal Animation Studios was established in 1990 as Universal Cartoon Studios, the animation division of MCA Inc.[6] Its debut work was Back to the Future: The Animated Series, which was announced on March 22, 1991 and premiered on CBS on September 14 the same year.[7][8]

In 2006, Universal Cartoon Studios was renamed to Universal Animation Studios.


This is not including the original films of Charlotte's Web, An American Tail, The Land Before Time and Balto made by either Hanna-Barbera Productions, Sullivan Bluth Studios or Amblimation.

Titles Release dates Movies TV Seasons
Woody Woodpecker 19991–present 1 4
Charlotte's Web 1973–2003 2 0
An American Tail 1986–1999 4 1
The Land Before Time 1988–2016 14 2
Balto 1995–2004 3 0
Alvin and the Chipmunks 1999–2000 2 0
Curious George 2006–present 5 13

1:The date reflects the first appearance of Woody Woodpecker in a production from Universal Animation Studio rather than the date when the character was originally created in 1940 by Walter Lantz.


Feature films[edit]

Theatrical feature films[edit]

# Title Release date Co-production with
1 Curious George February 10, 2006 (2006-02-10) Imagine Entertainment
2 The Tale of Despereaux December 19, 2008 (2008-12-19) Framestore Animation
3 Woody Woodpecker[R] October 5, 2017 (2017-10-05) Universal 1440 Entertainment
R Not released theatrically in the United States

Direct-to-video feature films[edit]

# Title Release date Co-production with
as Universal Cartoon Studios
1 The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure December 13, 1994 (1994-12-13) N/A
2 The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving December 12, 1995 (1995-12-12)
3 The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists December 10, 1996 (1996-12-10)
4 The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island December 9, 1997 (1997-12-09)
5 Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus January 6, 1998 (1998-01-06) Renaissance Pictures
6 The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock December 1, 1998 (1998-12-01) N/A
7 Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein September 28, 1999 (1999-09-28) Bagdasarian Productions, LLC.
8 An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island February 15, 2000 (2000-02-15) N/A
9 An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster July 25, 2000 (2000-07-25)
10 Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman August 29, 2000 (2000-08-29) Bagdasarian Productions, LLC.
11 The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire December 5, 2000 (2000-12-05) N/A
12 The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze December 4, 2001 (2001-12-04)
13 Balto II: Wolf Quest February 19, 2002 (2002-02-19)
14 The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water December 10, 2002 (2002-12-10)
15 Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure March 18, 2003 (2003-03-18) Paramount Pictures
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
16 The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration December 2, 2003 (2003-12-02) N/A
17 Van Helsing: The London Assignment[A] May 11, 2004 (2004-05-11)
18 The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury[A] June 15, 2004 (2004-06-15)
19 Balto III: Wings of Change September 30, 2004 (2004-09-30)
20 The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses January 11, 2005 (2005-01-11)
21 The Adventures of Brer Rabbit March 21, 2006 (2006-03-21)
as Universal Animation Studios
22 The Land Before Time XII: The Great Day of the Flyers February 27, 2007 (2007-02-27) N/A
23 The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends November 27, 2007 (2007-11-27)
24 Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey![R] July 10, 2009 (2009-07-10) Imagine Entertainment
25 The Little Engine That Could March 22, 2011 (2011-03-22) Crest Animation Productions
26 Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle[9] June 23, 2015 (2015-06-23) Imagine Entertainment, Universal 1440 Entertainment
27 The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave[10] February 2, 2016 (February 2, 2016) Universal 1440 Entertainment
28 Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You November 14, 2017 (2017-11-14) Universal 1440 Entertainment, Splash Entertainment, Telegael and Magic Carpet Productions
29 Curious George: Royal Monkey[11] September 10, 2019 (2019-09-10) Imagine Entertainment, Universal 1440 Entertainment
30 Curious George: Go West, Go Wild[P][12] September 8, 2020
31 Bobbleheads: The Movie December 8, 2020 Threshold Animation Studios, Universal 1440 Entertainment
32 Curious George: Cape Ahoy[P][13] September 30, 2021 Imagine Entertainment, Universal 1440 Entertainment
P Released on Peacock.

Short films[edit]

Television series[edit]

# Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original run Network Co-production with
as Universal Cartoon Studios
1 Back to the Future Robert Zemeckis
Bob Gale
1991–1992 CBS Amblin Television
Zaloom/Mayfield Productions
BIG Pictures
2 Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories Shelley Duvall 1992–1993 Showtime Think Entertainment
3 Fievel's American Tails David Kirschner 1992 CBS Amblin Television
4 Exosquad Jeff Segal
Eric Lewald
Michael Edens
1993–1994 Syndication N/A
5 Problem Child Scott Alexander
Larry Karaszewski
USA Network Imagine Entertainment
D'Ocon Films Productions (season 1)
Lacewood Productions (season 2)
6 Monster Force Marv Wolfman 1994 Syndication Lacewood Productions
7 Beethoven Universal Cartoon Studios 1994–1995 CBS Northern Lights Entertainment
8 Earthworm Jim Doug TenNapel
Doug Langdale
1995–1996 Kids' WB Shiny Entertainment
9 Savage Dragon Dean Stefan
Bob Forward
USA Network Lacewood Productions
(season 1)
Studio B Productions
(season 2)
P3 Entertainment
USA Studios
10 The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper Sherri Stoner
Deanna Oliver
1996–1998 Fox Kids Amblin Television
11 Wing Commander Academy Michael Edens
Mark Edens
1996 USA Network N/A
12 Vor-Tech: Undercover Conversion Squad Universal Cartoon Studios Syndication
13 The New Woody Woodpecker Show Bob Jacques
Kelly Armstrong
1999–2002 Fox Kids
14 The Mummy: The Animated Series Thomas Pugsley
Greg Klein
2001–2003 Kids' WB Studios USA Television (season 1)
The Sommers Company
as Universal Animation Studios
15 Curious George Joe Fallon 2006–present PBS Kids (2006–2015)
Family Jr. (2018–2020)
Peacock (2020–present)
Imagine Entertainment (seasons 1–9, 14–present)
WGBH Boston (seasons 1–12)
Universal 1440 Entertainment (season 10–present)
16 The Land Before Time Ford Riley 2007–2008 Cartoon Network Amblin Entertainment
17 Woody Woodpecker Alex Zamm 2018–2020 YouTube Universal 1440 Entertainment
Splash Entertainment
18 Q-Force[A] Gabe Liedman 2021 Netflix LOL... Send
Hazy Mills Productions
3 Arts Entertainment
Titmouse, Inc.
19 Saturday Morning All Star Hits![A] Ben Jones
Dave McCary
Kyle Mooney
2021-present Netflix Ben Jones Studio, inc.
Bento Box Entertainment
Broadway Video
A An adult animated production.

Television specials[edit]

Miscellaneous work[edit]

Cancelled projects[edit]

  • Escape from Jurassic Park,[16] an animated TV series that takes place after the first Jurassic Park film, was confirmed to be in development and awaiting Steven Spielberg's approval in June 1993.[17] The series would have centered on John Hammond's attempts to finish Jurassic Park and open it to the public, while InGen's corporate rival Biosyn is simultaneously planning to open their own dinosaur theme park in Brazil, which ultimately ends with their dinosaurs escaping into the jungles.[18][19][20] Artist William Stout was hired to work on the series and subsequently made a trailer to demonstrate how the series would look, and how it would combine traditional animation with computer animation. The series required Spielberg's final approval before it could go into production. However, Spielberg had grown tired of the massive promotion and merchandise revolving around the film, and never watched the trailer.[21] On July 13, 1993, Margaret Loesch, president of the Fox Children's Network, confirmed that discussions had been held with Spielberg about an animated version of the film. Loesch also said, "At least for now and in the foreseeable future, there will not be an animated Jurassic Park. That's Steven Spielberg's decision, and we respect that decision."[22]
  • A pair of traditionally animated cutscenes were produced for the 1996 video game Crash Bandicoot to serve as the game's intro and outro, as well as act as source material for a potential animated series if the game was well-received and commercially successful. The hand-drawn cutscenes were dropped after Sony Computer Entertainment picked up Crash Bandicoot for publication, as Sony desired to push the PlayStation's 3D polygonal graphics. The cutscenes were uploaded to YouTube by producer David Siller in 2015.[23][24]
  • Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect, an animated television series based on The Lost World: Jurassic Park, was confirmed to be in development within the third part of a four-part comic adaptation of the film published by Topps Comics in July 1997.[25][26] In November 1997, it was reported that the cartoon would be accompanied by Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect, a series of dinosaur toys produced by Kenner and based on a premise that scientists had created dinosaur hybrids consisting of DNA from different creatures.[27][28] That month, it was also reported that the cartoon could be ready by March 1998, as a mid-season replacement.[27] The Chaos Effect toyline was released in June 1998,[28] but the animated series was never produced, for unknown reasons.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Registration Certificate". United States Patent and Trademark Office. October 6, 1992. Retrieved September 25, 2014. First use 4-5-1991, in commerce 4-5-1991.
  2. ^ "Animation Production Companies". June 8, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2020 – via
  3. ^ "Motion Picture Almanac". June 6, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2020 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "2017 Studio List" (PDF). August 29, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2020 – via
  5. ^ Rainey, James (23 August 2016). "NBCUniversal Sets New DreamWorks Animation Chain of Command".
  6. ^ "Orlando theme park features characters". The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. July 19, 1991. p. 35. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  7. ^ "Future Has a Future". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. March 22, 1991. p. 480. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  8. ^ Boyar, Jay (September 6, 1991). "Short Subjects". The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. p. 68. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  9. ^ "Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle". Universal Studios Entertainment. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  10. ^ "Rawr: Reba's Voice Will Be In The Next Land Before Time Movie". US99.5. August 18, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  11. ^ Milligan, Kaitlin (July 24, 2019). "Curious George Royal Monkey arrives on DVD, Digital 9/10". Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  12. ^ White, Peter (2020-09-03). "'Curious George: Go West, Go Wild' Film Heads To Peacock As Part Of Kids' Slate". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-09-03.
  13. ^ Nash, Anthony (2021-09-30). "Exclusive Curious George: Cape Ahoy Clip From Peacock's Animated Film". Retrieved 2021-09-30.
  14. ^ Oscars (7 July 2015). "Short Film Winners: 1991 Oscars" – via YouTube.
  15. ^ "The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (1999) - IMDb" – via
  16. ^ Pugh, Chris (June 1, 2016). "Escape from Jurassic Park – 1993 animated series detailed". Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "'Jurassic' series?". The San Bernardino Sun. June 17, 1993. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  18. ^ Squires, John (December 6, 2016). "Art and Story Details from Cancelled 'Jurassic Park' Animated Series Finally Surface". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on December 8, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  19. ^ Scott, Ryan (December 6, 2016). "Canceled Jurassic Park Animated Series Full Season Details Revealed". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on December 8, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  20. ^ Pugh, Chris (December 5, 2016). "The Entire First Season of the Cancelled Jurassic Park Television Series Revealed (Exclusive)". Jurassic Outpost. Archived from the original on December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  21. ^ Stout, William (April 26, 2014). "My Top Ten Favorite Dinosaur Films – Part One". Archived from the original on November 6, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  22. ^ Duffy, Mike (July 15, 1993). "Dinosaur TV 'toons are extinct for now". The Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  23. ^ Fahey, Mike (July 19, 2015). "Crash Bandicoot Could Have Had These Sweet Animated Cutscenes". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  24. ^ Good, Owen S. (July 19, 2015). "Long-lost Crash Bandicoot animation was for the game first, a cartoon series second". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  25. ^ Finkelstein, Dan (July 20, 1997). "What's New". Dan's The Lost World Page. Archived from the original on June 3, 2000.
  26. ^ Finkelstein, Dan (July 22, 1997). "What's New". Dan's The Lost World Page. Archived from the original on June 3, 2000.
  27. ^ a b Finkelstein, Dan (November 11, 1997). "Chaos Effect". Dan's The Lost World Page. Archived from the original on September 9, 1999.
  28. ^ a b "Chaos Effect". Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  29. ^ "Interview With Tim Bradley". March 1, 2008. Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.