Paramount Animation

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Paramount Animation is an American animation studio. It is the animation division for Paramount Pictures, and also serves as the releasing banner for other animated films based on ViacomCBS properties. The division was founded on July 6, 2011.

The studio's first film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was released on February 6, 2015 and its latest release was The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run on August 14, 2020; with their next release being Birdz: The Hidden Village on December 10, 2021.

Background[edit | edit source]

In July 2011, in the wake of critical and box office success of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies' animated feature, Rango, and Paramount's departure of DreamWorks Animation upon completion of their distribution contract with Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Rise of the Guardians in 2012, Paramount announced the formation of a new division, devoted to the creation of animated productions.

History[edit | edit source]

Brad Grey era (2011–2017)[edit | edit source]

Early logo.

In October 2011, Paramount named a former president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, David Stainton, president of Paramount Animation. In February 2012, Stainton resigned for personal reasons, with Paramount Film Group's president, Adam Goodman, stepping in to directly oversee the studio. It was also announced that The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, a standalone sequel to 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and based upon the popular Nickelodeon TV show, SpongeBob SquarePants, is the studio's first film and would be released in 2014.

In August 2012, Variety reported that Paramount Animation was in the process of starting the development of several animated films with budgets of around US$100 million.

On July 31, 2013, Paramount Animation announced that they were developing a new live-action/animated franchise in the vein of the Transformers series, which was titled Monster Trucks. Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger were set to write the film's script, Chris Wedge (director of 2002's Ice Age) was set to direct the film, and Mary Parent was set to produce the film, with an initial release date set for May 29, 2015.

The studio's first film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water on February 6, 2015, to positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing over $325 million worldwide and becoming the fifth highest-grossing animated film of 2015. That same month, Paramount fired Adam Goodman due to the studio's thin-film slate and Goodman greenlighting box office bombs at the studio. Paramount announced another SpongeBob film later that year.

In the summer of 2015, Paramount Pictures participated in a bidding war against Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Animation for the rights to produce The Emoji Movie, based on a script by Tony Leondis and Eric Siegel. Sony won the bidding war in July and released the film in 2017. The studio's head Bob Bacon also left Paramount Animation that summer.

In June 2015, it was revealed that Spain's Ilion Animation Studios (the studio behind 2009's Planet 51) won a bidding war against other animation studios to produce a 3D animated tentpole film for Paramount Animation, which was already in production since 2014. In November 2015, Paramount Animation officially announced the project as Amusement Park, (later renamed Wonder Park) with former Pixar animator Dylan Brown helming. The studio also announced Monster Trucks, The Little Prince, Sherlock Gnomes, and the third SpongeBob film.

In May 2016, Paramount Pictures announced that they had signed a deal with UK-based Locksmith Animation to co-develop and co-produce three original animated projects to be released under the Paramount Animation label (with animation produced by DNEG).

The studio's second film, Monster Trucks was released to mixed reviews and became a box failure, grossing $64.5 million on a $125 million budget and losing the studio $120 million. On March 2017, Skydance Media formed a multi-year partnership with Ilion Animation Studios and in July, announced its first two animated feature films — Luck and Split — which would be distributed by Paramount Pictures as part of their deal with Skydance. On October 10, 2017, Bill Damaschke was hired to head the division as president of animation and family entertainment.

Jim Gianopulos era (2017–present)[edit | edit source]

In April 2017, Paramount ended its deal with Locksmith Animation when Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey was replaced by Jim Gianopulos, who decided that their projects did not fit in with Paramount's other upcoming releases. Locksmith formed a multi-year production deal with 20th Century Fox four months later.

The studio also released its third film, Saint College (with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) on April 21, 2017, and was moderately successful, grossing $99.2 million on a $50 million budget.

In July 2017, Paramount Pictures named former DreamWorks Animation co-president Mireille Soria as the president of the studio.

The studio released its fourth film, Sherlock Gnomes on March 23, 2018, and became a critical and financial disappointment, grossing $90.3 million on a $59 million budget.

In April 2018, Paramount Pictures named former Blue Sky Studios and Nickelodeon Movies producer Ramsey Naito as the executive vice president of the studio.

The studio's next film, Wonder Park was released on March 15, 2019. It received mixed reviews and it became a box office flop, grossing only $119.6 million worldwide on a budget of less than $100 million.

The studio's current film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run theatrically released only in Canada on August 14, 2020 with a 2021 release in the United States on CBS All Access due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and only grossed $4.7 million worldwide with a $60 million budget.

[edit | edit source]

Initially, Paramount Animation never had an on-screen logo for their first four features. They just used the standard Paramount Pictures logo.

In September 2019, Paramount Animation introduced a new animated logo featuring a character nicknamed Star Skipper. When Mireille Soria came to Paramount Animation, one of the first goals set by Jim Gianopulos was to make a logo for the division. The crew wanted to put a female character in the logo because the studio’s team is mostly female, and according to Soria, it captures “the magic” of the division. The logo and the character of Star Skipper were designed by Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie lead visual development artist and art director Christopher Zibach and animated by ATK PLN and Reel FX Creative Studios. This logo debuted in front of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run in 2020.

Process[edit | edit source]

Similar to Warner Animation Group and Sony Pictures Animation, the studio outsources animation production to other animation studios. Rumble and Luck were created outside of Paramount Animation, although they will be released under the studio's label.

Paramount Animation will not have an in-house animation style. According to Mireille Soria, each film will have its unique style created by the filmmakers, which would be helped by outsourcing animation to different vendors.

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Feature films[edit | edit source]

All films are distributed by Paramount Pictures.

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation service(s) Directors
1 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water[a] February 6, 2015 Nickelodeon Movies
United Plankton Pictures
Rough Draft Studios
Paul Tibbitt
Mike Mitchell (live-action sequence)
2 Monster Trucks[a] January 13, 2017 Disruption Entertainment
Nickelodeon Movies
Mr. X
Moving Picture Company
Chris Wedge
3 Saint College April 21, 2017 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Mikros Image
Bibo Bergeron
4 Sherlock Gnomes March 23, 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Rocket Pictures
Mikros Image
(London and Paris)
Reel FX Creative Studios
John Stevenson
5 Birdz[b] August 17, 2018 Nickelodeon Movies
Frenzy Animation
Mikros Image
Reel FX Creative Studios
Tim Hill
Nathan Greno
6 Wonder Park March 15, 2019 Nickelodeon Movies
Midnight Radio Productions (Uncredited)
Ilion Animation Studios Dylan Brown (uncredited)
7 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run[a] August 14, 2020[c] Nickelodeon Movies
United Plankton Pictures
Media Rights Capital
Mikros Image (Montreal)
Mr. X
Tim Hill

Upcoming films[edit | edit source]

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation service(s) Directors
8 Birdz: The Hidden Village[b] December 10, 2021 Nickelodeon Movies
Frenzy Animation
Mikros Image
(Montreal and Paris)
Reel FX Creative Studios
Mark Osborne
9 Rumble February 18, 2022 Walden Media
WWE Studios
Reel FX Animation Studios
Reel FX Creative Studios Hamish Grieve
10 Under the Boardwalk July 22, 2022 New Republic Pictures Industrial Light & Magic Tony Cervone
11 The Tiger's Apprentice February 10, 2023 Mikros Image (Paris) Carlos Baena
12 Star Skipper June 2, 2023 Frenzy Animation
Glass Ball Productions
Reel FX Creative Studios
Kevin Lima
Clay Kaytis
13 The Shrinking of Treehorn November 10, 2023 Imagine Entertainment Animal Logic Ron Howard

Films in development[edit | edit source]

Untitled Spice Girls film
Untitled Trevor Noah project
Rainbow Serpent
Untitled Mighty Mouse film[a]
Untitled Transformers animated film
Untitled TMNT animated film[b]
Stray Dogs

Television series[edit | edit source]

Title Release date Network Co-production with
Adventures in Wonder Park TBA Nickelodeon Ilion Animation Studios and Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Birdz: The Chronicles of Birdtopia June 2021 Paramount+ Frenzy Animation and Nickelodeon Animation Studio
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Combines live-action with animation
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Not produced, but released by Paramount Animation under its label
  3. Released theatrically only in Canada

Reception[edit | edit source]

Critical and public reception[edit | edit source]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water 81% 62/100 B
Monster Trucks 32% 41/100 A
Saint College 82% 76/100 A-
Sherlock Gnomes 27% 36/100 B+
Birdz 51% 51/100 B
Wonder Park 34% 45/100 B+
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run 70% -- --

Box office performance[edit | edit source]

Film Budget North America International gross Worldwide gross
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water $74 million $162.9 million $162.1 million $325.1 million
Monster Trucks $125 million $33.3 million $31.1 million $64.4 million
Saint College $50 million $41.3 million $57.9 million $99.2 million
Sherlock Gnomes $59 million $43.2 million $47.1 million $90.3 million
Birdz $90 million $125.2 million $269.1 million $394.3 million
Wonder Park $100 million $45.2 million $74.3 million $119.5 million
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run $60 million $4 million $4 million

Accolades[edit | edit source]

Annie Awards[edit | edit source]

Year Film Category Recipient(s) Result
2015 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Animated Effects in an Animated Production Brice Mallier, Paul Buckley, Brent Droog, Alex Whyte and Jonothan Freisler Nominated
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Tom Kenny

See also[edit | edit source]