Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation logo used since 2011
|Type||Subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment|
|Industry||CGI animation |
|Headquarters||Culver City, California, USA|
|Key people||Michelle Raimo Kouyate, President|
|Parent||Sony Pictures Entertainment|
Sony Pictures Animation is an American computer-animated film production company owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, founded in May 2002. It is working closely with Sony Pictures Imageworks, which takes care of the digital production. Theatrical releases are distributed by Columbia Pictures, and direct-to-video releases are distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Their first feature film Open Season was released on September 29, 2006 (along with some direct-to-video sequels Open Season 2 and Open Season 3). The SPA logo seen at the beginning of their movies features original music composed by James Newton Howard. Its most successful movie to date is The Smurfs. However, its most critically acclaimed film is Arthur Christmas, which it co-produced with Aardman Animations.
In 2001, Sony Pictures Entertainment considered selling off its visual effects facility Sony Pictures Imageworks. After failing to find a suitable buyer, and having been impressed with the CGI sequences created for Stuart Little 2, and seen great box office success of Shrek and Monsters, Inc., SPI was reconsidered 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. In May 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. Meanwhile, SPI produced two short films, The ChubbChubbs! and Early Bloomer, as a result of testing its strengths and weakness in producing all-CG animation.
On its first anniversary, 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!.
Its first full feature film was Open Season; it was released in September 2006 and it became the studios #2 home entertainment film in 2007 and followed by two direct-to-video sequels: Open Season 2 and Open Season 3. Its second film, Surf's Up was released in June 2007. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and won two Annie Awards. A motion captured animated film Neaderthals, written and produced by Jon Favreau, was cancelled sometime in 2008, after four years in development. SPA's first 3D movie, 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 the most successful release. SPA's parent company Sony Pictures Entertainment has partnered in 2007 with Aardman Animations to finance, co-produce and distribute upcoming feature films. The first film made in this parthership, a computer-animated film Arthur Christmas, was released in November 2011.
The studio is currently in production with Aardman Animations on a stop-motion film The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012). SPA is also working on its own films, Hotel Transylvania (2012), The Smurfs 2 (2013) and The Familiars (2014), and has many other projects in development, including Popeye, a sequel to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Rollercoaster Tycoon.
- The Smurfs (2011)
- Arthur Christmas (2011)
- Open Season (2006–)
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