Universal Animation Studios

Universal Animation Studios, formerly known as Universal Cartoon Studios, is an American animation studio which is a division of Universal Studios. It has produced sequels to Universal-released feature films, such as The Land Before Time, An American Tail, Balto, as well as other films and television series.

The actual animation production is done overseas, usually by either Wang Film Productions or Rough Draft Studios, while pre-production and post-production is United States-based.

On August 22, 2016, the television animation divisions of Universal and DreamWorks merged after Universal completed its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.[2]

Universal Animation Studios
Universal Cartoon Studios (1991–2006)
PredecessorWalter Lantz Productions
Key people
Margie Cohn (Head of DWA Television)
ProductsAnimated films
Animated television shows
ParentUniversal Pictures


Feature films

Theatrical feature films

Title Release date Co-production with
Curious George February 10, 2006 Imagine Entertainment
The Tale of Despereaux December 19, 2008 Relativity Media, Framestore Feature Animation
Woody Woodpecker October 5, 2017 Universal 1440 Entertainment

Direct-to-video feature films

Title Release date Co-production with
as Universal Cartoon Studios
The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure December 13, 1994
The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving December 12, 1995
The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists December 10, 1996
The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island December 9, 1997
Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus January 6, 1998 Renaissance Pictures
The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock December 1, 1998
Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein September 28, 1999 Bagdasarian Productions, LLC.
An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island February 15, 2000
An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster July 25, 2000
Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman August 29, 2000 Bagdasarian Productions, LLC.
The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire December 5, 2000
The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze December 4, 2001
Balto II: Wolf Quest February 19, 2002
The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water December 10, 2002
Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure March 18, 2003 Paramount Pictures
Nickelodeon Movies
The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration December 2, 2003
Van Helsing: The London Assignment May 11, 2004
The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses January 11, 2005
Balto III: Wings of Change February 1, 2005
The Adventures of Brer Rabbit March 21, 2006
as Universal Animation Studios
The Land Before Time XII: The Great Day of the Flyers February 27, 2007
The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends November 27, 2007
Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey! March 2, 2010 Imagine Entertainment, Toon City Animation
The Little Engine That Could March 22, 2011 Crest Animation Productions
Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle[3] June 23, 2015 Imagine Entertainment, Universal 1440 Entertainment
The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave[4] February 2, 2016 Universal 1440 Entertainment
Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You November 14, 2017 Universal 1440 Entertainment, Splash Entertainment, Telegael and Magic Carpet Productions

Television series

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original run Network Co-production with
Back to the Future: The Animated Series Robert Zemeckis
Bob Gale
1991–1992 CBS Amblin Television
Zaloom/Mayfield Productions
BIG Pictures
Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories Shelley Duvall 1992–1993 Showtime
Fievel's American Tails Characters:
David Kirschner
David Kirschner
1992 CBS Amblin Television
Exosquad Jeff Segal 1993–1994 Syndication
Problem Child Characters:
Robert Simonds
Scott Alexander
Larry Karaszewski
Scott Alexander
Larry Karaszewski
USA Network Imagine Television
D'Ocon Films Productions (Season 1)
Lacewood Productions (Season 2)
Monster Force 1994 Syndication Lacewood Productions
Beethoven 1994–1995 CBS Northern Lights Entertainment
Earthworm Jim Doug TenNapel 1995–1996 Kids' WB Shiny Entertainment
Savage Dragon USA Network Lacewood Productions
(Season 1)
Studio B Productions
(Season 2)
P3 Entertainment
USA Studios
The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper Characters:
Seymour Reit
Joe Oriolo
Sherri Stoner
Deanna Oliver
1996–1998 Fox Kids Amblin Television
Wing Commander Academy Universal Cartoon Studios 1996 USA Network
Vor-Tech: Undercover Conversion Squad Syndication
The New Woody Woodpecker Show Characters:
Walter Lantz
1999–2002 Fox Kids
The Mummy: The Animated Series Characters:
Stephen Sommers
Thomas Pugsley
Greg Klein
2001–2003 Kids' WB Studios USA Television (Season 1)
The Sommers Company
Rough Draft Studios
Sunwoo Entertainment
Curious George Characters:
Margret Rey
H.A. Rey
Alan J. Shalleck
Joe Fallon
2006–2015 PBS Kids Imagine Television
WGBH Boston
The Land Before Time Characters:
Charles Grosvenor
Judy Freudberg
Tony Geiss
Ford Riley
2007–2008 Cartoon Network Amblin Television
Woody Woodpecker Characters:
Walter Lantz
2018–present YouTube Universal 1440 Entertainment
Splash Entertainment

Short films

Television specials

Miscellaneous work

Cancelled projects

  • Escape from Jurassic Park, an animated TV series that takes place after the first Jurassic Park movie and before The Lost World: Jurassic Park. While a pitchfilm was made and character designs, outlines and backgrounds had been created, Steven Spielberg never saw it and cancelled it after the storyboards were finished.
  • Crash Bandicoot cut scenes, cut scenes that were unused for the first Crash Bandicoot video game due to Sony wanting to push the 3D graphics. It has been theorized that these were going to be used as the basis for a Crash Bandicoot animated series.
  • Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect, another animated Jurassic Park TV series which takes place after The Lost World and before Jurassic Park III. It would also be accompanied by the toy series under the same name by Kenner Toys. It would've involved a group of scientists having created dinosaur hybrids consisting of DNA from different creatures. However, like its predecessor series, its production was cancelled.

See also


  1. ^ "Registration Certificate". United States Patent and Trademark Office. October 6, 1992. Retrieved September 25, 2014. First use 4-5-1991, in commerce 4-5-1991.
  2. ^ Rainey, James; Rainey, James (23 August 2016). "NBCUniversal Sets New DreamWorks Animation Chain of Command".
  3. ^ "Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle". Universal Studios Entertainment. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  4. ^ "Rawr: Reba's Voice Will Be In The Next Land Before Time Movie". US99.5. August 18, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  5. ^ Oscars (7 July 2015). "Short Film Winners: 1991 Oscars" – via YouTube.
  6. ^ "The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (1999) - IMDb" – via www.imdb.com.

External links

All I Want for Christmas Is You (film)

All I Want For Christmas Is You (also known as Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You) is a 2017 direct-to-video computer-animated Christmas film based on the song by Mariah Carey and the book by Carey herself and Colleen Madden. The film stars the voices of Mariah Carey, Breanna Yde, and Henry Winkler.

Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein

Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein is a 1999 American animated comedy horror film produced by Bagdasarian Productions, LLC. and Universal Cartoon Studios and distributed by Universal Studios Home Video. It is directed by Kathi Castillo, written by John Loy and based on characters from Alvin and the Chipmunks and Mary Shelley's 1816 novel Frankenstein. This is the first of three Alvin and the Chipmunks direct-to-video films, and the first of three Universal Cartoon Studios productions to be animated overseas by Tama Productions in Tokyo, Japan.

It was followed up a year later by Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman, which serves as a spiritual sequel, as it contains no mention of this film's events.


Amblimation was the animation production arm of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. It only made three films: An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) and Balto (1995), which were all distributed by Universal Pictures. The studio was shut down in 1997 and some of the Amblimation staff went on to join DreamWorks Animation, which was later acquired in 2016, by Universal's parent company NBCUniversal for $3.8 billion, making it Universal's third animation unit following Universal Animation Studios and Illumination. The company's mascot, Fievel Mousekewitz (An American Tail), appears in its production logo. A project to adapt the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats was in the making, but was abandoned with the studio's closure.

Beethoven (TV series)

Beethoven is an American animated television series loosely based on the 1992 motion picture of the same name. The series was produced by Northern Lights Entertainment, Universal Cartoon Studios and Universal Television, and aired for one season (1994–1995) on CBS, with 26 fifteen-minute episodes produced. Dean Jones, who played Dr. Varnick in the movie, voiced the role of George Newton; Nicholle Tom, who played teenage daughter Ryce in the movie and Beethoven's 2nd, was the only cast member from the films to reprise her role in the series.

Curious George (film)

Curious George is a 2006 animated adventure comedy film based on the book series by H.A. Rey and Margret Rey. It was directed by Matthew O'Callaghan, who replaced Jun Falkenstein. Ken Kaufman wrote the screenplay based on a story by him and Mike Werb. Ron Howard, David Kirschner, and John Shapiro produced. It was released on February 10, 2006 by Universal Pictures. It stars Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, and Dick Van Dyke, with Frank Welker voicing the titular character. It was Imagine Entertainment's first fully animated film, as well as Universal Animation Studios' first theatrically released film.

The film had been under development at Imagine Entertainment for a long time, dating back at least 1992, but it is possible that it was conceived years before. Although a traditionally animated film, it blends animation with computer generated, 3D scenery and objects that take up 20% of its environment. It features a musical score by Heitor Pereira, with songs produced by the musician Jack Johnson.

The film grossed $69.8 million from a $50 million budget and has a 70% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, which calls it "a bright, sweet, faithful adaptation". The film received a Satellite Award nomination for the song "Upside Down".

A television series based on the film premiered seven months later.

The Adventures of Brer Rabbit

The Adventures of Brer Rabbit is a book, a play, and a film inspired by the Uncle Remus stories. The central character's actual name is Br'er Rabbit (short for Brother Rabbit), but in the title "Br'er" is simplified as "Brer".

The Land Before Time (TV series)

The Land Before Time is an American animated television series, based on The Land Before Time film series created by Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss. It was developed for television by Ford Riley for Cartoon Network and was produced by Universal Animation Studios and Amblin Television (Amblin Entertainment produced the first film), and premiered on YTV in Canada for a test on January 5, 2007 and premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on March 5, 2007.

It was made as traditionally animated with computer-animated backgrounds, which the past sequels from The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration onwards have used, with occasional cel-shaded computer animated characters in wide shots. The main antagonists in the series are Red Claw, an evil villainous Tyrannosaurus, and Screech and Thud, two henchmen Velociraptor. The TV series takes place after the events of The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends, due to Chomper and Ruby being absent in that film.

The Savage Dragon (TV series)

The Savage Dragon is a half-hour animated television series aired as part of the Cartoon Express on the USA Network. Produced by Universal Cartoon Studios, it ran for 26 episodes from 1995 to 1996 and featured numerous supporting characters from the comic book series, including She-Dragon, Horde, Barbaric, Mako and Overlord. The Dragon was voiced by Jim Cummings. Additional voices were provided by Mark Hamill, Michael Dorn, Jennifer Hale, René Auberjonois, Frank Welker, Paul Eiding, Rob Paulsen and Tony Jay.

Episode 21 of Savage Dragon, "Endgame", served as the second part of a four-part crossover with three other shows in USA's "Action Extreme Team" programming block: Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, and Wing Commander Academy.

The Tale of Despereaux (film)

The Tale of Despereaux is a 2008 British-American computer-animated adventure fantasy family film directed by Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen and produced by Gary Ross and Allison Thomas. Loosely based on the 2003 book of the same name by Kate DiCamillo, the movie is narrated by Sigourney Weaver and stars Matthew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Ciarán Hinds, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Kevin Kline, Frank Langella, William H. Macy, Charles Shaughnessy, Stanley Tucci, Tracey Ullman, and Emma Watson.

It was released on December 19, 2008, by Universal Pictures. The movie is the second theatrically released computer-animated film distributed by Universal Pictures. It was also produced by Universal Animation Studios, Framestore Feature Animation, and Relativity Media. The film grossed $86.9 million on a $60 million budget and received mixed reviews, where many critics praised the film for its excellent animation and the charming title character, but complained that it had an unoriginal and scrambled story.

Wang Film Productions

Wang Film Productions Co., Ltd. (also known as Hong Guang Animation (宏廣) and Cuckoo's Nest Studio) is one of the oldest and most prolific Taiwanese-American animation studios. The company, based in Xindian, Taipei and Los Angeles, California, has done animation/ink and paint for various TV shows and films for studios in North America, Europe and Asia.

Wing Commander Academy

Wing Commander Academy is an American animated television series created and produced by Universal Cartoon Studios, along with a team led by Larry Latham. The show was based on the Wing Commander franchise and loosely served as a prequel to Wing Commander. The show's premiere airdate was September 21, 1996 on the USA Network's "USA Action Extreme Team" block. The series' last episode aired on December 21, 1996.

Woody Woodpecker (2018 web series)

Woody Woodpecker is an American animated web series based on the animated film series and cartoon character of the same name created by Walter Lantz. It premiered on YouTube since December 3, 2018.

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Universal Animation Studios
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Theatrical films
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