37. Disney Television Animation
40. Mr. X
This Toronto VFX studio launched in 2001, and wow have they been busy lately! In previous years they worked on hits like Tron: Legacy and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and in 2013 and 2014 alone they were involved with 18 different film and television projects ranging from The Giver to RoboCop to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and even the Vikings TV series. The most exciting projects that they’re currently working on are additional seasons for both Vikings and Penny Dreadful, as well as Guillermo del Toro’s 2015 film, Crimson Peak.
39. Image Engine
This Vancouver VFX studio began in 1995 and last year they helped the box office excel with their work on Lone Survivor, Elysium, RIPD, White House Down, Now You See Me, Fast & Furious 6, and the highly successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Next year looks busy as usual for them with their film VFX workload currently including Jurassic World, Chappie, Point Break, and Straight Outta Compton.
38. Rising Sun Pictures
This Australian VFX company was founded in 1995 in Adelaide, South Australia. In the past two years combined they’ve worked on The Great Gatsby, The Wolverine, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, I, Frankenstein, X-Men: Days of Future Past, ANZAC Girls, and Gravity! They’ve also sponsored VFX projects Earth, Pyshake, Affogato, and the Sun Grid Engine.
Disney is certainly entering another golden age lately with each year bringing countless more Disney hits in theaters and living rooms alike. With help from other studios and varying levels of outsourcing, in recent years this studio has helped release the following Disney shows: Phineas and Ferb, Gravity Falls, Mickey Mouse, Wander Over Yonder, Motorcity, Tron; Uprising, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, The 7D, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Sofia the First, The Adventures of Disney Fairies, Douglas Furs, Very Important House, and Billy Dilley’s Super Duper Subterranean Summer. With some of its most influential shows reaching out to the youngest demographics on the planet it’s likely their influence will keep growing each year.
36. South Park Studios
Not much to say here: Matt Stone and Trey Parker continue to dominate the animation industry with their simple South Park animations. Thanks to an unending amount of topics to choose from each year, they keep adding their hilarious social commentary on recent events to the praise of millions around the world. As the years pass the online outlets for their show become more sophisticated and ubiquitous. As if having a legendary television show wasn’t enough for the studio, South Park also entered the video game industry yet again this year with the highly successful South Park: The Stick of Truth.
35. Rhythm & Hues Studios
This is one of the most famous studios in recent years, but not for good reasons. After they finished working on Life of Pi and received an Academy Award and BAFTA Award for their efforts, they sadly also needed to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy and later released a documentary called Life After Pi detailing the difficult events they were faced with. In March of last year an affiliate of Prana Studios won the bidding of the of the bankruptcy auction for about $30 million. While that slowed this studio down, it didn’t stop them from working on The Secret Life of Mitty, R.I.P.D., Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, X-Men: Days of Future Past, 300: Rise of an Empire, and the upcoming Seventh Son. It will be interesting to see if this studio moves up or down in next year’s rankings.
34. Brand New School
It’s no secret that advertising works, and this is a studio that specializes in branding and rebranding of advertising campaigns. If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck when launching a new tool or television series, many companies look to Brand New School for help. Their client list spans some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Apple, Coca-Cola, IKEA, Old Navy, Starbucks, Target, Pepsi, Cartoon Network, Fox Fuel, VH1 Classic, MTV, MTV 2, and they recently were nominated for an Emmy for their work on National Geographic’s Brain Games. This studio helps other companies reach their full sales potential in every corner of the planet and with each passing year they only get more and more influential.
33. Rough Draft Studios
This studio has locations in both California and South Korea, and they’ve used both to work on highly influential animations around the clock. Over 100 different famous and influential animated productions from the past decade have outsourced the bulk of their animation needs to this famous company, including industry shattering legendary series like SpongeBob SquarePants, Futurama, and even at times The Simpsons. With the exception of 2013, they’ve received a prestigious industry award every single year since 1999. Few studios in the world – of any artistic medium – can top that level of bragging rights. However, with the Futurama series now over, it will be interesting to see what’s next for this studio.
32. OLM, Inc.
Formerly Oriental Light and Magic, this studio gained its fame for the Berserk and Pokemon television series, and due to the widespread success of their Inazuma Eleven creations they have received Animage Anime Grand Prix Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Last year they released Pokémon: XY, and this year they followed it up with two more influential films in the Pokemon franchise: Pokémon the Movie XY Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, and Pokémon the Movie XY Pikachu, Kore Nanno Kagi?. They’ve also brought the world Inazuma Eleven GO Galaxy, Yokai Watch, Oreca Battle, Dragon Collection, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, Argevollen, The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, Inazuma Eleven - Chō jigen Dream Match, Yo-Kai Watch The Movie, and they’ve even begun getting involved with live action productions such as Kuime, Shield of Straw, As the Gods Will, and Cardfight!! Vanguard Movie: The Three Games.
31. DisneyToon Studios
No, this is not the Disney studio that unleashed Frozen on the world. After the Disney acquisition of Pixar for $7.4 billion in 2006, this studio has begun changing in recent years. Whereas it had spent decades making direct-to-video 2D animated spinoff films of the main Disney movies, they slowly started adventuring into the world of 3D animation. They’re still handling spinoff films, but in the past two years they released Planes, The Pirate Fairy, and Planes: Fire & Rescue. The three films combined earned over $400 million globally, which makes me wonder if their workload will be expanded in the next few years!