Disney isn’t the Only Animation Studio

I’m sure we are all from different backgrounds, went through different experiences to become the person we are now. There is not one single case of separate people sharing the same memory of life from start to end. However, I believe it is safe to say we all have the great, the legendary “Disney” at the center of our childhood. In fact, it is still at the center of my adulthood. But it is high time that Disney isn’t the only animation studio that was in charge of our childhood, and they should also get some credit for making our lives awesome. 


Source: All Disney PIXAR Movies Trailers (1995-2018) by Entertainment Access

Let’s start with Pixar first. Why shouldn’t we? Pixar is creativity itself. The studio shows how creativity breeds excellence. It is an example for other industries of how they should run their business. Ever since its establishment in 1986, it succeeded in introducing the audience to all sorts of characters that all ages can love. They target to make a movie that is for both children and adults.

Toy Story 1, Pixar’s first film proves it all. It is almost a fact that making a great movie into a series is not a good idea. It ruins the whole story. But Pixar proved it wrong, by producing Toy Story 3, finishing the series perfectly, and welling up the adult audiences who were once children who played with all the toys in Toy Story 1. We all know we are about to see something good when it starts with a hopping desk lamp. 

Studio Ghibli

Source: Top 10 Best Studio Ghibli Movies- Best of WatchMojo by

This Japanese production company creates something totally different from other studios. Whereas big production studios such as Pixar and Disney provided some friendly features with heartwarming stories and happily ever after finales, Ghibli introduces its most imaginative figures to the world. It started off quite smoothly with its first movie, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and never failed to put up dazzling stories on screen. If you don’t agree, or new to the name Ghibli, here is some numerical value to help your understanding; among the fifteen highest earning animation movies, eight of them are productions of Studio Ghibli. With the perfect OST, detailed animation, warm color palettes, and “over the moon” imagination, it seems that this non-English studio successfully captured the world’s heart. 


Source: Every DreamWorks Movie Ranked by Schaffrillas Productions

Dreamworks may be pushed to the side by Pixar and Disney, but the studio has also dedicated its work to color our lives. You might not be able to think fast, but the list is in fact impressive. Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, The Boss Baby, ANTZ….and the list just goes on. Their artwork is just beautifully made, you can see the efforts of the creators in every scene. Actually, their brilliance is kind of obvious if you think about the fact that the studio was co-founded by Steven Spielberg. Despite the enormous shadow that Pixar and Disney create, Dreamwork animators have managed to power through and list its name among one of the greatest animation studios of all time.

Sony Pictures Animation 

A fairly new studio, Sony Pictures Animation is working its way up to the list as well. Although the studio went through a rather rough start with its first release Open Season, it did not stop getting better. Every time Sony Pictures releases a movie, it is better than the previous ones; they seem to develop and never be satisfied. Some of its most well-known work is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Hotel Transylvania, which both series are very much loved by both children and parents.

Source: SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE – Official Trailer(HD) by Sony Pictures Entertainment

However, the film that caught the world’s attention was its most recent film, Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse. They managed to in all ways including story, animation, voice acting, visuals, and soundtrack. Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse is the first non-Disney/Pixar film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature when their film was in contention since Happy Feet(2006). As I said, they never seem to be satisfied.

Illumination Entertainment

Next up is our baby brother, Illumination Entertainment. You might not believe this, but it has been only 14 years since this studio was founded. It was founded by the former President of Twentieth Century Fox Animation, so it makes sense that this young studio managed to get in line with all the other industries. He knew what he was doing. So in conclusion, the company had a big success with its first release of “Despicable Me”, and led to some more victories with “The Secret Life of Pets”.

Source: Evolution of Illumination Movies (2010-2019) by Arlo TV

Putting aside the fact that the founder’s early experience in the field, it is pretty impressive to see how such a young studio managed to create something so flawless. The animation, story, characters are all so perfectly polished. It’s like a well-made machine. So we don’t have a choice but to support its constant growth and see it find its spot in the competitive land of animation.

Aardman Animations

Source: Chicken Run(2000) – The Pie Machine Scene (6/10) | Movieclips by Movieclips

Mankind usually prefers an easier way. However, there is always that one guy who pursues the path that no one cares to go, and then wins the trophy. Aardman is that one guy. Aardman refused to walk the moving-picture animation path. Instead, it breaks people’s prejudice of animations with stop-motion claymation. There is a reason why claymation is not mainstream. It is extremely time-consuming, laborious, and difficult. You have to fix the figures in every frame. It takes more than just interest and a small dedication to keeping up such work for almost half a century. And for this, the studio didn’t just win a trophy. It received ten Oscar nominations and four wins since its foundation in 1972. I think it is safe to say that they are the true pioneers of the animation world, and they nailed it.

You see an animation movie and think it’s Disney’s or maybe Pixar’s. They do indeed take a great amount of credit for an amazing childhood, and heck, adulthood as well. However, you should know to give the rest of the credit to the studios above. Creators from different studios work hard to make our tiresome lives better, bring out the child inside all of us, and that’s something. So if you happen to watch an animation movie, focus to acknowledge the production company when the movie starts. It’s not going to be all Cinderella castle.

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