Sony Pictures Animation

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Sony Pictures Animation
TypeSubsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment
IndustryAnimated film industry
FoundedMay 2002
HeadquartersCulver City, California, United States
Key peopleMichelle Raimo Kouyate, President[1]
ProductsAnimated films
OwnersSony Corporation
Employees50 (2013)[2]
ParentSony Pictures Entertainment
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Sony Pictures Animation
TypeSubsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment
IndustryAnimated film industry
FoundedMay 2002
HeadquartersCulver City, California, United States
Key peopleMichelle Raimo Kouyate, President[1]
ProductsAnimated films
OwnersSony Corporation
Employees50 (2013)[2]
ParentSony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Animation is an American animated film production company owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, founded in May 2002. It works closely with Sony Pictures Imageworks, which handles digital production. Theatrical releases are distributed by Columbia Pictures, and direct-to-video releases are distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The studio's first feature film Open Season was released in 2006, followed by a series of direct-to-video sequels. Other work includes The Smurfs film series and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.


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 seeing the box office success of Shrek and 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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!.[6]

Its first feature film is Open Season, released in September 2006 which became Sony's second-highest-grossing home entertainment film in 2007 and spawned two direct-to-video sequels. Its second feature film, Surf's Up was released in June 2007, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and won two Annie Awards. A motion captured animated film Neaderthals,[7] written and produced by Jon Favreau, was cancelled sometime in 2008,[8] 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 its most successful release. SPA's parent company Sony Pictures Entertainment has partnered in 2007 with Aardman Animations to finance, co-produce and distribute feature films.[9] Together, they produced a computer-animated film, Arthur Christmas (2011), and The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012), Sony's first stop-motion film, although made entirely by Aardman. Sony's latest release, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, was released in September 2013. SPA has since signed Tartakovsky to a long-term deal with the studio to develop and direct original films.[10]

The studio is currently working on Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), a completely-animated Smurfs film (2016), and Popeye (2016).[11] It has many other projects in development, including Kazorn and the Unicorn,[12] Genndy Tartakovsky's Can You Imagine?[11] Lauren Faust's Medusa,[13] and a live-action/stop-motion film Superbago.[14]


Feature films[edit]

Released films

#TitleRelease dateBudgetGrossRT
1Open SeasonSeptember 29, 2006$85,000,000$197,309,02748%
2Surf's UpJune 8, 2007$100,000,000$149,044,51378%
3Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsSeptember 18, 2009$100,000,000$243,006,12687%
4The SmurfsJuly 29, 2011$110,000,000$563,749,32322%
5Arthur ChristmasNovember 23, 2011$100,000,000$147,419,47291%
6The Pirates! Band of MisfitsApril 27, 2012$55,000,000$123,054,04186%
7Hotel TransylvaniaSeptember 28, 2012$85,000,000$358,375,60345%
8The Smurfs 2July 31, 2013$105,000,000$347,545,36014%
9Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2September 27, 2013$78,000,000$274,325,94970%

Upcoming films

TitleRelease dateRefs.
Hotel Transylvania 2September 25, 2015[15]
Untitled The Smurfs rebootAugust 5, 2016[16][17][18][19]
Untitled filmSeptember 23, 2016[20]
Untitled filmSeptember 22, 2017[21]

Films in development

RollerCoaster Tycoon[22]
Make My Own Monster[23]
Muncle Trogg[24]
How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack[25]
Instant Karma[26]
Harold and the Purple Crayon[28]
How to Live Forever[29]
Secret Histories[29][30][31]
Untitled David Sussman Project[32]
Untitled Tonka Trucks film[33]
Kazorn and the Unicorn[2][34]
The Familiars[37][38][39]
Genndy Tartakovsky's Can You Imagine?[11]
The Lamb[40]


#TitleRelease date
1Open Season 2January 27, 2009
2Open Season 3January 25, 2011

Short films[edit]

#TitleRelease date
1The ChubbChubbs!July 3, 2002
2Early BloomerMay 9, 2003
3Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun RunJanuary 30, 2007
4The ChubbChubbs Save XmasAugust 8, 2007
5The Smurfs: A Christmas CarolDecember 2, 2011
6So You Want to Be a Pirate!August 28, 2012
7Goodnight Mr. FootOctober 26, 2012
8The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy HollowSeptember 10, 2013
9Super MannyOctober 2, 2013
10Earl ScoutsOctober 11, 2013
11Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi BearJanuary 28, 2014
12Steve's First BathJanuary 28, 2014


  1. ^ Finke, Nikki (November 4, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Raimo Named New President of Sony Pictures Animation". Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Hulett, Steve (September 20, 2013). "Back at the SPA". The Animation Guild Blog. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Brodesser, Claude (December 9, 2001). "Sony finds Rx for its f/x". Variety. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment Establishes Feature Animation Unit; Animation Executives Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox Named to Top Posts" (Press release). May 9, 2002. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ Raugust, Karen (May 30, 2006). "The Value of Shorts". Animation World Network. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation Announces Projects for Directors Jill Culton, Anthony Stacchi, Roger Allers, Brenda Chapman and the Brizzi Brothers Cox Named to Top Posts" (Press release). May 9, 2003. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  7. ^ Adler, Shawn (January 9, 2008). "Jon Favreau Gets Animated For 'Neanderthals'". MTV. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ Serrano, Armand (April 19, 2010). "Neanderthals". Armand Serrano Blog. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  9. ^ BBC News (April 2, 2007). "Gromit animators sign Sony deal". BBC News. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (July 11, 2012). "Genndy Tartakovsky Signs Overall Deal with Sony Pictures Animation". Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
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  13. ^ a b Sony Pictures Animation (June 5, 2014). "Sony Pictures Animation Announces New Original Feature Project MEDUSA, With Emmy® Winner Lauren Faust To Direct" (Press release). PRNewswire. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b McNary, Dave (July 9, 2014). "Sony Pictures Animation Developing ‘Superbago’". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Kit, Borys (November 9, 2012). "'Hotel Transylvania 2' in the Works for 2015 Release". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ Sneider, Jeff (May 10, 2012). "Sony already smurfing 'Smurfs 3'". Variety. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  17. ^ "The Smurfs 3 Trailer, News, Videos, and Reviews". May 28, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2012. 
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  19. ^ "A Sony Switcheroo: 'Smurfs' Reboot Pushed To 2016, 'Goosebumps' Moved Up To Summer 2015". 2014-05-01. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  20. ^ "SPA TBA (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  21. ^ "SPA TBA (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
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  24. ^ Kit, Borys (March 31, 2011). "Sony Pictures Animation Acquires 'Muncle Trogg'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  25. ^ Sneider, Jeff (April 14, 2011). "Sony Animation, Zemeckis dig 'Gnome'". Variety. Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  26. ^ Kit, Borys (April 27, 2011). "Sony Pictures Animation Acquires 'Instant Karma'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Sony Animation Catches Chickenhare" (Press release). Sony Pictures Animation via Animation World Network. July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  28. ^ Rowles, Dustin (February 25, 2010). "Exclusive: Harold and the Purple Crayon Headed to the Big Screen". Pajiba. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  29. ^ a b "Gotham builds slate". Variety. September 30, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  30. ^ Kit, Borys (July 13, 2012). "'Vacation' Team Tapped to Rewrite 'Secret Histories' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  31. ^ Chitwood, Adam (March 6, 2013). "John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein Talk VACATION and SECRET HISTORIES; Reveal VACATION Starts Filming in June in Atlanta and New Mexico". Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  32. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 18, 2011). "Sony Animation buys 'Enchanted' helmer's pitch". Variety. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation Drives Tonka Trucks to the Big Screen". June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  34. ^ Patten, Dominic (June 23, 2012). "Sony Animation In Talks With Kelly Asbury For ‘Kazorn & The Unicorn’". Deadline. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  35. ^ Kit, Borys (August 8, 2012). "'ALF' Movie Lands at Sony Animation With 'Smurfs' Producer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  36. ^ Kit, Borys (September 17, 2012). "'Manimal' TV Series Being Turned Into Movie at Sony Pictures Animation (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  37. ^ Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson (September 24, 2010). ""The Familiars" movie gets a director". The Familiars. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  38. ^ Charaipotra, Sona (May 13, 2011). "Debut Author Q&A: Endcap Entertainment’s Andrew Jacobson and Adam Epstein On ‘The Familiars’". Teen Writers Bloc. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  39. ^ Jardine, William (January 7, 2013). "UPDATED: Warner Bros. Looks to Rejuvenate its Animation House". A113 Animation. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  40. ^ Sneider, Jeff (September 2, 2014). "Sony Pictures Animation Developing Faith-Based Movie About Nativity Story (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  41. ^ Siegel, Tatiana; McNary, Dave (March 22, 2010). "Sony's 'Popeye' to pop eyes in 3D". Variety. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  42. ^ Jardine, William (May 17, 2013). "Sony Pushes Genndy Tartakovsky's Popeye Back to 2015". A113Animation. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  43. ^ Hill, Jim (September 18, 2014). "Will This Eye-popping CG Animation Test Power Up Genndy Tartakovsky's Popeye ?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 19, 2014. "That way, once we finish working on Hotel Transylvania 2, we just move on over and begin working on Popeye. And then have that film out in theaters in a year or two." 

External links[edit]