|Headquarters||São Paulo, Brazil|
Vídeo Brinquedo (also known as Toyland Video, and formerly known as VBF Produções and Spot Films) is a Brazilian animation studio, located in São Paulo, that produces direct-to-video animated films widely viewed as mockbusters of comparable films from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation, 20th Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios, Hasbro Studios, Sony Pictures Animation and Astley Baker Davies. The company was founded in 1994 to distribute children's animation with the intention of distribution in its home market of Brazil, as well as to other global markets. The company has been active since 1994.
One of the studio's early distributions was an obscure religious-themed cartoon called United Submarine; this title sold only a few copies until the release of the 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo. United Submarine and Finding Nemo had several similarities, such as the presence of a clownfish and a story centered on parent-child relationship. From the huge number of sales the company had on the cartoon, Brinquedo wanted to start not only distributing cartoons but also create their own.
Brinquedo's first animations were traditional, 2D-styled, based on fairy tales and classics such as Pinocchio and the Three Little Pigs, but with scripts that modernized the characters. They later expanded to 3D animation, their first title being The Little Cars (Portuguese: Os Carrinhos), loosely based on the 2006 Pixar animated film Cars. Originally aimed at children between two and three years old, over 3,000 copies were sold in more than 12 countries.
The original idea of the company was to jump on trends raised by the major studios and start production of animation with two to three years in advance. With the company borrowing ideas established in Hollywood, company director Mauricio Milani stated: "We tried to imagine what it will be in evidence".
Originally released with a Brazilian Portuguese soundtrack, many of Vídeo Brinquedo's titles were co-produced with Rexmore Company do Brasil, and distributed in North America by Branscome International, and MorningStar Entertainment with English and Spanish soundtracks.
Besides producing its own animated movies, Vídeo Brinquedo has also distributed DVDs of foreign cartoons like Sonic X, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Little Lulu, Batfink, and a number of lesser-known fairy tale films made by Video Treasures (now Anchor Bay Entertainment). However, one of its most controversial distributions is Mega Powers!, which bears a close resemblance to the series Power Rangers and Super Sentai, but was not produced by Vídeo Brinquedo themselves. The series is a production of Intervalo Produções.
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Vídeo Brinquedo's films have been heavily criticized for their unfinished-looking animation, voice acting, and questionable writing alongside scenes which merely exist to fill the running time so the film in question can qualify as 'feature length'. Erik Henriksen, a reporter from The Portland Mercury, criticized Vídeo Brinquedo as being "the laziest/cheapest movie studio of all time," due to similarities between its releases and the films of other animation studios, such as Pixar.
In his review of Ratatoing, a reviewer on ToonZone said: "If you ate a copy of the worst cartoon you could think of, you'd still probably crap something better than Ratatoing", and went on to bemoan the animation quality, calling the movie as a whole "a senseless waste of raw materials" and "a waste of time, energy and effort for all parties concerned".
Marco Aurélio Canônico of Folha de S. Paulo, who criticized the Little Cars series as a copy of the Pixar film Cars, and likewise Ratatoing and Ratatouille, discussed whether lawsuits from Pixar would appear. The Brazilian Ministry of Culture posted Marco Aurélio Canônico's article on its website. Virgin Media also stated, "Even by the ocean-floor-scraping standards of Vídeo Brinquedo, it's a shameless knock-off".
Disney's legal department was contacted by a reporter through a spokesperson about a potential lawsuit, but Milani did not comment.
- "Estúdio brasileiro, 2007" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- "Empresa". Vídeo Brinquedo. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
- "Vídeo Brinquedo". Vídeo Brinquedo. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- "The Little Cars in the Great Race". All Movie. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- "Os Carrinhos". Vídeo Brinquedo. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
- "Branscome International". Branscome International. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
- "RIP, Pixar. Archived 2 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.", The Portland Mercury
- Review on Toonzone.net
- "Vídeo Brinquedo faz sucesso com desenhos como “Os Carrinhos” e “Ratatoing” Archived 29 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.." Folha de S. Paulo at Ministry of Culture (Brazil). 2 September 2007. Retrieved on 16 April 2011.
- Most blatant movie rip-offs: The Little Cars (2006). Virgin Media Accessed from 23 September 2012.