90. DHX Media/Vancouver
Studio B Productions was founded in 1988, and in late 2007 the Canadian animation studio was acquired by DHX Media to form this subsidiary. Not only do they handle the animation for the popular show Pound Puppies, but they also are responsible for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Thanks to the power of Internet “Bronies” this show receives a surprisingly large audience that spans many age groups.
This legendary anime studio has completed several stories that are considered by millions to be some of the best anime and animated films of all time. Back in 2010 they experienced a rise in popularity with their odd and insane show, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, but recently they’ve released the less acclaimed Magica Wars and Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³. However, this is almost entirely because they’re busy completing the last installment of their immensely popular “Rebuild of Evangelion” remake of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series. Look for their influence to bounce back high in the rankings again next year once it’s completed.
This famous animation studio in Japan ranked as one of my Top 100 Most Influential Animation Studios of All Time, and as usual, they’ve been extremely busy lately. Their 2014 workload alone includes Noragami, Space Dandy, Chaika – The Coffin Princess, Soul Eater Not!, Captain Earth, Space Dandy II, Tenkai Knights, and Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle. While their influence has dipped in recent years, it’s undeniable that they still have a huge fan following in the industry. With anime it’s always best to just dive in and not be afraid to try new shows that interest you!
87. Rainmaker Entertainment
After years of making Barbie films, this studio finally released a full feature film in the box office in 2013. Escape from Planet Earth had a budget of $40 million and brought in over $75 million. Next year they’ll reveal the first Ratchet & Clank film, based off the successful video game series from Insomniac Games! Then in 2016 they’ll be doing another adaptation with director Kevin Munroe when they release their Sly Cooper film based on another successful video game series. This studio could easily be one of the biggest movers in next year’s rankings!
This Toronto studio was started in 2002 by a graduate of the Vancouver Film School. Since then, they’ve worked on huge hits like Babel, The Fountain, and Watchmen. In recent years they’ve handled the majority of the special effects in the first and second season of the television series Orphan Black. Aside from that they’ve also contributed to a few scary movies such as Stage Fright.
85. Reel FX Creative Studios
This studio was founded in 1993 and has locations in Texas and California. After its 2013 feature film, Free Birds, earned twice its $55 million budget, the future of the studios feels entirely in their own hands. Their next animated film, The Book of Life, is about to be released and looks as unique as it does interesting. If it does well then their success will become a pattern and there’s no telling how far up in our rankings they could move on our list next year. They already have Rock Dog in development for a 2015 release with four more films in the works after that, so judging by their actions they’re betting heavily on themselves. This is a studio to keep a close eye on!
84. Plastic Wax
Most visual effects studios dive into the music, movie, or television industry, but Plastic Wax boldly focuses on video game cinemas. A few years ago their influence was immense after they contributed cinematics for popular games like Saints Row: The Third, BioShock Infinite, and Civilization V: Brave New World, but these days they’re suspiciously quiet. Earlier this year they posted their work from Dungeons and Dragons: The Sundering, Infinite Crisis, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, and a hub for LittleBigPlanet 3, but it’s unknown what they’re currently working on going into 2015.
83. Baked FX
One of the newer VFX studios on the block, this small company began in 2005 in Culver City, California. They’ve worked on big name movies and television shows over the years, but what they really focused on in their early years were high profile music videos for Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber. In recent years they’ve contributed slightly to the Game of Thrones series again, but mostly have focused on commercials for clients like Verizon, Legos, Lego Star Wars, State Farm, Cisco System, Cash Explosion, and La-Z-Boy.
82. Studio Mir
South Korea is no stranger to outsourced animation projects, but few studios have ever accomplished as much as Mir in such a short period of time. The company was founded in 2011 and it’s worked on every single season of Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra to date, as well as the most recent season of The Boondocks. That alone is impressive, but recently news spread that they have concluded an agreement to work on four unannounced new animated series with DreamWorks Animation! Given their recent works and their consistent animation quality, don’t be surprised if this studio shoots up in our rankings on next year’s list!
81. Anime International Company
This anime company has been around since the early 1980s and was largely responsible for the highly influential anime series Bubblegum Crisis, Oh My Goddess!, Blue Gender, Armitage III, Tenchi the Movie, and Now and Then, Here and There. In recent years they’ve worked on Japanese projects such as Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT, Kotoura-san, Date A Live, Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyo, Super Seisyun Brothers, Pupipo!, Strike Witches: The Movie, and Aura: Maryuinkoga Saigo no Tatakai. The work that has gotten them the most fame globally in recent years though has been Persona 3 The Movie: Chapter 1, Spring of Birth.