Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation
Type Subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment
Industry CGI animation
Motion pictures
Founded May 2002
Headquarters Culver City, California, USA
Key people Michelle Raimo Kouyate, President[1]
Products Animated films
Owner(s) Sony
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.



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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

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!.[5]

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,[6] written and produced by Jon Favreau, was cancelled sometime in 2008,[7] 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.[8] The first film made in this parthership, a computer-animated Arthur Christmas, was released in 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.


Feature films

Released films

# Title Release date Budget Gross RT IMDb
1 Open Season 02006-09-29 September 29, 2006 $85,000,000 $197,309,027 47% 6.1
2 Surf's Up 02007-06-08 June 8, 2007 $100,000,000 $149,044,513 77% 6.9
3 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 02009-09-18 September 18, 2009 $100,000,000 $243,006,126 86% 7.1
4 The Smurfs 02011-07-29 July 29, 2011 $110,000,000 $559,615,167 24% 5.1
5 Arthur Christmas 02011-11-11 November 11, 2011 93% 6.8

Upcoming films

Title Release date Ref(s)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits 02012-03-30 March 30, 2012 [9][10]
Hotel Transylvania 02012-09-21 September 21, 2012 [11][12]
The Smurfs 2 02013-08-02 August 2, 2013 [13]
The Familiars 02014 2014 [14][15]

Films in development

Title Ref(s)
Popeye [16]
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 [17]
Rollercoaster Tycoon [18]
Futuropolis [19][20][21]
Make My Own Monster [19]
Muncle Trogg [22]
How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack [23]
Instant Karma [24]
Chickenhare [25]
Harold and the Purple Crayon [26]
How to Live Forever [27]
Secret Histories [27]
Untitled David Sussman Project [28]
Pooch Café [29]


# Title Release date
1 Open Season 2 02008-09-24 September 24, 2008
2 Open Season 3 02010-10-21 October 21, 2010

Short films

# Title Release date
1 The ChubbChubbs! 02002-07-03 July 3, 2002
2 Early Bloomer 02003-05-09 May 9, 2003
3 Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run 02007-01-30 January 30, 2007
4 The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas 02007-08-08 August 8, 2007
5 The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol 02011-12-02 December 2, 2011


  1. ^ Finke, Nikki (2010-11-04). "EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Raimo Named New President of Sony Pictures Animation". Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  2. ^ Brodesser, Claude (December 9, 2001). "Sony finds Rx for its f/x". Variety. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment Establishes Feature Animation Unit; Animation Executives Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox Named to Top Posts" (Press release). 2002-05-09. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  4. ^ Raugust, Karen (2006-05-30). "The Value of Shorts". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  5. ^ "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). 2003-05-09. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  6. ^ Adler, Shawn (2008-01-09). "Jon Favreau Gets Animated For 'Neanderthals'". MTV. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  7. ^ Serrano, Armand (2010-04-19). "Neanderthals". Armand Serrano Blog. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  8. ^ BBC News (2007-04-02). "Gromit animators sign Sony deal". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  9. ^ "Pirates!", IMDB
  10. ^ "Columbia Pictures'/Sony Pictures Animation's 3D Film "The Smurfs" Comes to the Candy Shop as My Idolpops Lollipops" (Press release). My Idolpops via PR Newswire. 2011-04-19. Retrieved 2011-04-24. 
  11. ^ Fritz, Ben (2006-07-31). "'Hotel' key to Sony toons". Variety. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  12. ^ Finke, Nikki (2010-06-16). "Changing Release Dates: Sony Pics Sked". Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  13. ^ "Sony Pictures Moving Forward with Smurfs 2". 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  14. ^ Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson (2010-09-24). ""The Familiars" movie gets a director". The Familiars. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  15. ^ Charaipotra, Sona (2011-05-13). "Debut Author Q&A: Endcap Entertainment’s Andrew Jacobson and Adam Epstein On ‘The Familiars’". Teen Writers Bloc. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  16. ^ Siegel, Tatiana; McNary, Dave (2010-03-22). "Sony's 'Popeye' to pop eyes in 3D". Variety. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  17. ^ Woerner, Meredith (2010-04-12). "Cloudy With Meatballs 2 Is Happening — Minus The Original Directors". Io9. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (2010-05-13). ""Rollercoaster Tycoon" riding to the screen". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  19. ^ a b Idelson, Karen (2010-09-30). "Gotham builds new model on tooned-up frame". Variety. Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  20. ^ Fleming, Mike (2010-12-15). "'Finding Nemo' Scribe Writes Sony Pictures Animation Pic". Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  21. ^ "Screenwriting Expo: About Bradley Gallo of Troika and a Gotham Group producer". Screenwriting Expo. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  22. ^ Kit, Borys (2011-03-31). "Sony Pictures Animation Acquires 'Muncle Trogg'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  23. ^ Sneider, Jeff (2011-04-14). "Sony Animation, Zemeckis dig 'Gnome'". Variety. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  24. ^ Kit, Borys (2011-04-27). "Sony Pictures Animation Acquires 'Instant Karma'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  25. ^ "Sony Animation Catches Chickenhare" (Press release). Sony Pictures Animation via Animation World Network. 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  26. ^ Rowles, Dustin (February 25, 2010). "Exclusive: Harold and the Purple Crayon Headed to the Big Screen". Pajiba. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  27. ^ a b "Gotham builds slate". Variety. September 30, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  28. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 18, 2011). "Sony Animation buys 'Enchanted' helmer's pitch". Variety. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  29. ^ Kit, Borys (October 7, 2011). "'Gnomeo and Juliet' Filmmaker Penning 'Pooch Cafe' for Sony Pictures Animation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 

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