Animation Studios

July Animation News Round Up!

1. Disney's D23 Expo excitement!

So many events, panels and performances that fans waited many hours in line for, and it seems like it was worth their time. The D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center by the Walt Disney Company gave us "a whole new world" of animations and attractions to look forward to. 

Keep up with the updates here!

2. The beginning of the end for Game of Thrones!

(No spoilers here, don't worry.) But, "shall we begin?" the season finale of "Game of Thrones"?! The show that seems to have a 99% following, how do we feel about it all coming to an end soon? Still very stoked to see who will take the throne!

Read more about the GoT panel at Comic Con here!


3. San Diego Comic Con, another year for the books!

Every year a diversity of people wait anxiously for San Diego Comic Con to come around. The inspiring studios, hardworking animators and artists of all kinds, comic book fanatics, creative cosplayers, and all the curious passerby's. So many great reveals for animation this year! (Okay maybe we think that every year, but exciting nonetheless!)

Read more about all the announcements here

4. All the nostalgia!

We're not in the 90's anymore, but it sure feels like it! Nickelodeon announced movies for "Rocko's Modern Life" and "Hey Arnold"! "Duck Tales" is also coming back bringing nostalgia for an even larger range of generations. We can say the same for "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" fans since Matt Groening announced a new animated series!

5. What a month for Anniversaries!

This month was the 3 year anniversary for Eric Miller Animation Studio! We've worked with so many great companies and such amazing talent on this adventure, and look forward to working with more along the way.

The Creator's Society, sponsored by Eric Miller Animation Studio, also had an anniversary! It's been an inspiring 2 years of meeting a diverse group of creatives at our monthly mixers! Need a space to network, get invited to future events here!



Virtual Reality and the Future of Animation

Within the last couple of years, virtual reality has taken off and companies continue to use the latest technology to advance us within this realm. As virtual reality becomes something that is accessible to all consumers, it's important to think about how filmmakers are and will be creating content for VR. Today we'll look at products and trends in virtual reality and think about how this could be a mainstream way of watching animated content in the future. 

Multiple production companies are thinking about how they can produce quality content for VR. One of the biggest problems for animators is that it's so time consuming to create the content, and the technology is improving quickly. An article on The Verge explains how most animated content only lasts about 10 minutes. Baobab which has over $6 million in funding from Comcast Ventures recently explained that "From a technology viewpoint, tech changes so quickly that by the time we could finish a full length film, the tech would be obsolete." (Read the full article from The Verge here.) 

Although animated content for VR can be hard to produce, that doesn't mean it's not being produced. In fact, there's been an incredible amount of VR content produced for the Sundance Film Festival and most recently, the Tribeca Film Festival. 

Not only is virtual reality a way for us to view content for the purpose of entertainment or gaming, it's making waves in education by giving students who are visual learners a new way to experience the lesson plan. Virtual reality has even been used for surgeons to map out brain activity and remove a tumor during brain surgery. 

Some of the most common virtual reality viewers include the Samsung Gear VR (powered by Oculus), PlayStation VR, HTC Vive (pre-order available now), and of course the extremely accessible, Google Cardboard

So should you go out and buy a headset? VR is extremely new and there are still quite a few kinks to work out before it becomes a mainstream way of viewing animated content. However, it sure is fun to play with for now! 

We think this is a very exciting space and have started to explore how we can create animated content for VR. We look forward to sharing more as we get into it deeper. 

Animation Studios of the Past: Part 1

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana

For animation studios like us, it’s important to acknowledge animation studios of the past, learn from their journey as a business, and learn why they are no longer here. This is part one of a series that we'll be revisiting on our blog from time to time. Today we’ll be looking at studios that all have some sort of relation to Disney.

Laugh-O-Gram Studio

This was Walt Disney’s first Animation Studio and housed many great animators. Disney said that this was the place that inspired him to create Mickey Mouse, he was inspired by a mouse at his desk at Laugh-O-Gram. The studio signed a contract with the company Pictoral, for 6 animated shorts. Pictoral was going to pay Laugh-O-Gram $11,000 but only paid $100 upfront. Pictoral went bankrupt and the studio fell into financial problems. Disney continued to make cartoons but rather than paying off his creditors, decided to invest his profits in upcoming projects. The studio went bankrupt in 1923. The former studio building is in Kansas City, Missouri and is going to be converted into a museum where many of the original cartoons will be screened. 

Skellington Productions

Skellington Productions was a company between Tim Burton, and Henry Selick. The company specialized in the stop-motion style of animation. The production company was only around for two films, The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and The Giant Peach. The company was sold to Disney in 1992 before James and The Giant Peach was released in 1993. James and The Giant Peach was a hit but didn’t make enough of a profit. 

DIC Entertainment

DIC was founded in Paris but the American arm, DIC Enterprises was founded in Burbank. This studio was responsible for films like Inspector Gadget and Dennis the Menace. DIC became a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company in 1996. It wasn't until 2008 that DIC was acquired by Cookie Jar Entertainment. 

Sullivan Bluth Studios

This studio was founded by Don Bluth who worked at Disney and created his own animation studio along with other ex-Disney workers. His animation studio went bankrupt in 1984 and he co-founded Sullivan Bluth studios in 1985. The studio is best known for features like All Dogs Go To Heaven and Land Before Time. Funding was withdrawn from the studio due to poor box-office profits and over-spending on production budgets. The studio was continually suffering losses at the box-office and eventually decided to shut down in 1995.

These studios have all left some kind of impact on the animation industry. We were anxious to learn why the studios were no longer around, and what some of their biggest accomplishments were. Many of the studios did poorly at the box-office and were not able to make enough of a profit off of their work. Others decided to strategically disband and go pursue other ventures, while other companies got acquired by larger studios. Have you had any experiences with the above studios? We'd love to hear about it, please comment below!