Top 10 Animation Studios in the World

With animation dominating the entertainment industry through movies, TV shows, anime, and video games, we tend to forget how difficult it can be to bring our favorite animated characters to life. All the little details matter and some studios do it better than others. Here is our take on what we consider to be the top 10 animation studios in the world based on their accomplishments.

1. Pixar

Pixar is a prime example of how creativity breeds excellence. For decades, the studio has managed to create characters that we have all grown to love. Pixar has managed to tell stories that appeal to all ages and not just the younger audience. From the Toy Story franchise to WALL-E, Pixar has managed to captivate the audience time and again and we have no doubt that they will continue to do so for years to come. It is not just the movies that make it to theaters that stand out; even the short films manage to surprise us with the sheer amount of detail. Even after all these years, Pixar continues to impress us with new titles like Cars 3, Coco and Incredibles 2.

2. Walt Disney

Disney is a name that is synonymous with a range of emotions. We can’t imagine the amount of effort that goes into the studio’s movies, games and TV shows. The brand is literally everywhere, and the foundation of its success was laid by classic animation films that brought the studio to life. Walt Disney Animation Studios was founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney in 1923. The two siblings were initially responsible for producing short cartoon films. Over the years, we have seen characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck being brought to life. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the most popular film from the studio, and if we accounted for inflation in the price of movie tickets, it would be one of the most profitable animated movies ever made.

3. Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli is arguably the most loved anime studio in the world, and it is all thanks to Hayao Miyazaki and the team of insanely talented animators who are part of the company. The amount of detail and heartfelt emotion that goes into every single one of Ghibli’s movies is astounding. Its first film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind which released in 1984 was quite the success, and it allowed Studio Ghibli to become the organization it is today. Not a single time has the studio faltered when it comes to delivering on top-notch storytelling and animation. If that doesn’t impress you, eight of the fifteen highest earning anime films of all time are under the belt of Studio Ghibli. From The Tale of Princess Kaguya to Grave of The Fireflies, the studio has captured every possible human emotion in its films. We haven’t had a Ghibli film since 2014, but good news is just around the corner. “How Do You Live?” is expected to release sometime before the Summer Olympics 2020 and we can’t wait to see what Miyazaki has to offer this time around.

4. Dreamworks


Dreamworks Animation has always lived under the shadow of giants like Pixar and Disney, but no matter how you look at them, the studio is one of the best at producing fine animated films. From theaters to televisions, the studio is yet to fail at delivering compelling stories that are beautifully crafted. After all, the studio was co-founded by none other than the great Steven Spielberg and along with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. With some of the best animators working at the studio, we experienced some of the best franchises over the years with Shrek and Kung Fu Panda being two of their most notable movie series. While other studios may have the edge over Dreamworks, the studio will be regarded as one of the greats as time goes by.

5. Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon is responsible for some of the best cartoons ever released on televisions. 80s and 90s kids are living testaments to the studio’s rise in the world of animation including Spongebob Squarepants, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Jimmy Neutron. Their original programs like Rugrats have also been massively successful, and there has been no stopping them over the years. While there are better contenders for the top spot when it comes to movies, Nickelodeon is undoubtedly the best when it comes to television. Spongebob, in particular, has continued to dominate over the years, and it is one of the most recognizable cartoons ever made.

6. Warner Brothers

Warner Brothers seethe of nostalgia and craftsmanship, and many of us grew up watching shows like Looney Tunes, Batman: The Animated Series and Space Jam. Their shows are a different class act altogether. The journey of the studio has been less than perfect with the studio shutting down for 11 years in 1969. After reopening in 1980 with the industry seeing a resurgence in animated content, the loyal fanbase returned and grew over the years. It is not just TV shows that Warner Brothers has broken into but also movies and video games. The LEGO video game series boasts of over a dozen games and more in the works. With the studio growing at a rapid pace, we can only expect great things to come our way.

7. Cartoon Network

While not everyone may be on the same page when talking about Cartoon Network with its recent shows being letdowns compared to the studio’s classics like Dexter’s Laboratory, Scooby-Doo and The Powerpuff Girls, it still is one of the most watched TV studios of all time. Nickelodeon may have the edge currently, but not too long ago, both studios were neck to neck when it comes to the quality of the shows. Shows like Adventure Time and Ben 10 have been fairly popular amongst the younger audience, and we hope the studio revives some of its older franchises to rekindle the competition between CN and Nickelodeon.

8. Toei Animation

If you are familiar with anime, then you must have heard about Toei Animation with Dragon Ball being their most popular franchise. Other shows that are massively popular include the likes of Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and One Piece. Even though Toei’s fanbase is predominantly from Japan, anime is becoming more popular across the globe. With a number of high-profile franchises under its belt, we don’t expect the studio to slow down anytime soon.

9. Sony Pictures Animation

Sony’s animation wing is one of the most prolific studios in the world. While the studio is still very young compared to the likes of Dreamworks, Disney or Pixar, it has been growing exponentially over the years. Some of its best movies include Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Hotel Transylvania. But the studio really caught everyone’s eye with the fairly recent Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Sony has proven its worth as a masterful animation company over the years, and we expect more films to cement its place as one of the all-time greats over time.

10. Oriental Light and Magic

The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Oriental Light and Magic went through a rapid transformation over the years, and it rebranded itself to just OLM. It is one of the few Japanese studios that found success in the United States as well as other countries. While you may not have heard of most of the titles OLM has produced over the years, one name thoroughly resounds across generations of people, and that is Pokemon. The animated series is still running successfully, and it is, in fact, the most valuable franchise in the world. And we are not talking about animated films; we are talking about any entertainment franchise at all including the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

If you too want to live your dream of becoming an animator and potentially working at some of the biggest animation studios in the world, feel free to reach out to us at Arena Animation Siliguri. Together we can help you find your calling as a budding animator.

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