The Worlds Greatest 50 Animation Companies (Choose Your Next Adventure)

Top 50 best animation studios in the world

Whether a hand-drawn masterpiece of the past or a modern CGI film, the art of animation has been charming us with captivating characters, stories, and worlds for nearly a century.

As always, studios all over the globe are looking for the best animators to help them create their next big project.

Check out our list of the top 2d animation software to get you started in the industry and our list of the top 100 best animated movies of all time. And to help give aspiring animators an idea of the best places they could find themselves working at, the following is a list of the top animation companies across the world.

Note: After the top 10, the rankings become much more subjective and much less precise

The Best Animation Studios


Pixar Animation Studios
Headquarters: Emeryville, CA

Pixar was co-founded by Apple visionary Steve Jobs and was purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 2006 for more than $7 billion.

Breaking into the film industry with Toy Story, the American studio has gone on to produce some of the most critically and financially successful films. These include:

  • The Toy Story films
  • WALL-E
  • Brave
  • Ratatouille
  • Inside Out

Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios
Headquarters: Burbank, CA

Disney’s acclaimed studio has been making feature films since 1937 with the release of the critically successful Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Since then, they have been behind some of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, including The Lion King and Aladdin.

Although the studio suffered a recent decade-long decline, they bounced back stronger than ever with hits like:

  • Frozen
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Big Hero 6

DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation Logo
Headquarters: Glendale, CA

DreamWorks Animation films have been distributed all over the world, earning them 22 Emmys, several Annie Awards, 3 Academy Awards, and many BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.

They are behind major franchises like:

  • Shrek
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Madagascar
  • Kung Fu Panda

Industrial Light & Magic

Industrial light & Magic Animation Studio
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

ILM has worked on hundreds of projects, including countless box office hits. They are pioneers of many innovative computer technology feats such as being the first to do human skin, a partially-computer-generation main character, photo-realistic hair and fur, and more.

Notable projects include every Star Wars film, all but the first Terminator films, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Avatar, and Jurassic World.

animation studio headquarters

Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli logo
Headquarters: Koganei, Tokyo, Japan

Arguably one of the top Japanese film animation studios in the entire country, if not the world. Out of the 15 top-grossing anime films made in Japan, eight of them have been their work.

Among their numerous awards are four Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, an Animage Anime Grand Prix, countless Academy Award nominations in the U.S., and an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.


Framestore animation studio
Headquarters: London, England

Founded in 1986, Framestore has helped create some of the most successful films in recent times.

This includes Guardians of the Galaxy, several of the Harry Potter films, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, including several scenes for 2009’s Avatar.

The British company has also won several Oscar and BAFTA awards in recent years for their projects.

Cartoon Network Studios

Cartoon Network Studios logo
Headquarters: Burbank, CA

Despite only being around since 1994, this animation studio has risen to become one of the most successful in the industry.

Early hits like Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, The Powerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack helped them become a household name in America. Current popular series include Adventure Time, Regular Show, Clarence, Uncle Grandpa, We Bare Bears, and Steven Universe.

Blue Sky Studios

Blue Sky Studios logo
Headquarters: Greenwich, Connecticut

Blue Sky Studios was founded in 1987 and has been owned by 20th Century Fox since 1997. Between 2002 and 2014 they have released some of the most successful animated films, including the Ice Age series, Rio and Rio 2, educational toys and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!

Weta Digital

Weta Digital Animation Studio
Headquarters: Wellington, New Zealand

Weta Digital is one of the many companies co-owned by legendary director Peter Jackson and winner of five Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects.

The New Zealand digital visuals effects company is behind some of the biggest films of the last decade, including the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, 2005’s King Kong, and Avatar.

Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Nickelodeon logo
Headquarters: Burbank, CA

This Nickelodeon-owned was founded in 1990 and hit the ground running with popular original shows like Rugrats, Doug, and The Ren & Stimpy Show.

The American studio has gone on to produce an incredible number of recognizable shows like Hey Arnold!, Invader Zim, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, the two Avatar series, and of course, SpongeBob SquarePants.

Warner Bros Animation

Warner Bros Animation Studio
Headquarters: Burbank, CA

Warner Bros’ animation division got its start in the early 70s and went on to help American animation into a golden era.

They grew to compete directly with Disney thanks to Looney Tunes and its popular characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and also provided memorable DC Comic shows like the animated series starring Batman and Superman.

While mostly focused on television, Warner Bros Animation has produced several memorable feature-length hits like The Lego Movie, Space Jam, and The Iron Giant.


Headquarters: Suginami, Tokyo, Japan

A Japanese animation studio with more Animage Anime Grand Prix Awards than any other studio in on the globe, including serving as the runner-up more than a dozen times. Sunrise is behind many popular anime series like Cowboy Bebop and every Gundam series.

As of this writing, 6 studios have been founded by former Sunrise animators, including the new Bandai Namco Pictures in 2015.

Moving Picture Company

MPC animation studios
Headquarters: London, England

MPC is a subsidiary of Technicolor that provides computer animation and digital visual effects for films and other mediums. Notable projects by them include Furious 7, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-men: First Class, and Terminator Genisys.

They now boast studios all over the world, including Mexico City, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Paris, New York, London, Amsterdam, Bangalore, Shanghai, and Montreal.

Toei Animation

Toei animation company
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Toei is one of the top Japanese animation companies and known across the globe for a large number of works. They are largely recognized for working with big manga artists to produce iconic anime shows like Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Saint Seiya, and Sailor Moon.

They are also known for their anime adaptation of Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, numerous feature-length films, and work on several video games.

Double Negative

Headquarters: Fitzrovia, London

This British visual effects and computer animation company began with only 30 people in 1998 but now boasts more than a thousand employees.

They have received many Visual Effects Society, Academy Award, BAFTA awards for films such as Interstellar, Inception, Sherlock Holmes, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. They also helped work on the acclaimed Batman trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan.

Method Studios

Method Studios Animation Company
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

Method Studios produces visual effects for high-end feature films, games, commercials, television, and more. They have worked in collaboration with the best Hollywood studios, including Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox, to create box office hits like The Wolf of Wall Street, Iron Man 3, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more.

OLM, Inc

Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan

Although OLM, has provided several different TV shows and films, it is known for the long-running anime TV series based on a Nintendo game– Pokémon. The show began in 1997 and continues today with more than 900 episodes.

OLM has also developed nearly 20 Pokémon films and is also making shows and films based on another Nintendo RPG sensation, Yo-Kai Watch.

Sony Pictures Imageworks

Sony Pictures Imageworks - Animation Studio
Headquarters: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Canadian character animation and visual effects company is a unit of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group and has earned several accolades, including Oscars for Spider-Man 2.

They have worked on nearly 100 films, including Watchmen, the Men in Black sequels, both the Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man films, and more.

Image Engine

Image Engine Visual Effects Studio
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Image Engine is a Canadian visual effects company founded in 1995.

They got their start with a few feature films before growing in recognition for their work on military science fiction series Stargate SG-1. Recent major projects include The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Elysium. Their work on Peter Jackson’s District 9 earned them an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects nomination.

Nippon Animation

Nippon Animation Company
Headquarters: Koganei, Tokyo, Japan

Like Toei, Nippon Animation boasts a talent for producing anime shows based on other works and at one time employed the legendary Hayao Miyazaki.

Nippon Animedia, a department of Nippon Animation, has helped anime shows for popular Takara toys like the Beyblade series, Crash B-Daman, and Zero Duel Masters.

Illumination Mac Guff

Headquarters: Paris, France

A French animated feature production company created only in 2011. Their first film, Despicable Me, was well-received by critics and has the third biggest opening of the year behind Toy Story 3 and Shrek Forever After.

Their most recent film, Minions, is one of the highest-grossing films of 2015 and served as the first non-Disney animated film to break $1 billion worldwide.

Toon City

Toon City Animation Inc
Headquarters: Manila, Philippines

Founded in 1993 with only 10 animators, their studio today is large enough to accommodate more than 1,000 artists. Toon City grew by collaborating with big companies like Warner Bros, Universal, Nickelodeon, and The Walt Disney Company.

Notable projects include Aladdin: The Animated Series, Hercules, Kim Possible, and Gravity Falls.


Pixomondo Animation Studio
Headquarters: Frankfurt, Germany

Pixomondo has several studios worldwide producing visual effects for film, television, and more. Combined, their Los Angeles, Shanghai, Frankfurt, Munich, Beijing, Toronto, Stuttgart, and Baton Rouge studios employ over 400 artists.

Some of their recent works include Furious 7, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Studio Pierrot

Headquarters: Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan

Started by former employees of other renowned Japanese studios, Pierrot produced many popular anime series known across the globe.

These include YuYu Hakusho, Bleach, Naruto, Saiyuki, and Tokyo Ghoul. They have won the prestigious Animage Anime Grand Prix Award twice and helped produce several episodes for Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra.

Hybride Technologies

Headquarters: Piedmont, Quebec

Hybride originally focused on creating digital visual effects for advertisements for major companies like Volkswagen, Coca Cola, and CCM.

They now have signed visual effects for many big budget titles, including Jurassic World, 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hunger Games series, and Avatar. In 2008 they were acquired by Ubisoft, one of the largest video game developers and publishers in the world.

Rodeo FX

Rodeo FX Animation Company
Headquarters: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Rodeo FX is an international visual effects company with studios in Quebec City, Montreal, and Los Angeles.

They specialize in film, advertising, and television and have won many awards for their work, including a VES Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects. Recent projects include Furious 7, Cinderella, Edge of Tomorrow, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Digital Domain

Headquarters: Playa Vista, California

Digital Domain has studios in both California and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada that both produce visual/digital effects for games, films, and advertising.

The company has more than 100 films under its belt, including the acclaimed Titanic, and is the winner of five Academy Awards. Other recent films include Furious 7, Maleficent, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Luma Pictures

Luma Pictures Animation Company
Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA

A visual effects studio founded in 2002 recognized for their talent in creating environments and creatures.

Every year they work on between 3 and 8 big-budget films, with recent ones being Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Luma Pictures has two studios, one in Santa Monica and another in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

South Park Studios

Headquarters: Culver City, CA

This company is of course known for South Park, one of the longest-running and most successful animated shows of all time.

With 260 episodes across 19 seasons and counting, South Park has received many accolades: a Peabody Award, five Primetime Emmy Awards, and more than ten nominations for Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.

Rising Sun Pictures

Headquarters: Adelaide, Australia

An Australian visual effects company founded in 1995.

In less than 20 short years Rising Sun Pictures has been able to work on some of the biggest of the last two decades, including The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Batman Begins, Superman Returns, The Hunger Games, The Wolverine, and three Harry Potter films.

Animal Logic

Animal Logic logo
Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

Animal Logic was founded in 1991 and quickly rose to prominence with films like Babe, The Matrix, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

The studio has helped produce many other successful movies and has won many awards, including five for The Lego Movie alone. Animal Logic currently has two studios in Sydney and Los Angeles.

Encore Hollywood

Headquarters: Hollywood, CA

Encore Hollywood is a post-production team that has been producing high-quality visual effects since 1985.

Despite not being a household name, Encore Hollywood has worked on some of the most recognizable shows in America. These include The Flash, Glee, Gotham, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, House of Cards, NCIS, CSI, and more.

Shade VFX

Shade Animation Studio
Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA

Shade VFX has studios in Los Angeles in New York that together handle 4K VFX, virtual reality, concept art, stereoscopic, beauty work, pre-viz, photo real VFX, and design.

They have worked with other top companies to create recent films like The Wolverine, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Aardman Animations

Headquarters: Bristol, England, UK

A British studio that is known for their proficiency in stop-motion clay animation. Although they do a lot of television series and short films, Aardman Animations has collaborated with DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, and StudioCanal to make feature films.

All their films between 2000 and 2015 have grossed more than their budget and received very high Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pictures Animation Company
Headquarters: Culver City, CA

Sony Pictures Animation was founded in 2002 to work alongside Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Almost every one of their feature films between 2006 and 2015 have been a commercial success. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Arthur Christmas, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits earned a Rotten Tomato aggregate score of 87%, 92%, and 86%, respectively.

Disney Television Animation

Headquarters: Glendale, CA

An animation production studio focused on creating films, television series, and other content for Disney Channels Worldwide.

It was founded in 1984 and developed some of the most popular cartoons of the late ’80s and ’90s, including DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop, and Timon & Pumba. More recent hit shows done for Disney Channel are Kim Possible, The Proud Family, and Phineas and Ferb.

Production I.G

Production IG Studios
Headquarters: Kokubunji, Tokyo, Japan

A Japanese anime studio responsible for many feature films and TV shows, including Ghost in the Shell, The Last Vampire, Pokemon the Movie: Black, Pokemon the Movie: White, and Guilty Crown. They won an Animage Anime Grand Prix Award in 2013 and are known for their animated sequences for Kill Bill Volume 1.

Scanline VFX

Headquarters: Munich, Germany

A German visual effects company with studios in Munich, Vancouver, and Los Angeles.

They are recognized for their Flowline software used to create fluid effects like fire and water. Notable projects they were involved with include 300: Rise of an Empire, Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Man of Steel, and The Wolf of Wall Street.


WhiskyTree logo
Headquarters: San Rafael, CA

Whiskytree is another low profile VFX studio that works on several high profile projects a year, including films, games, TV shows, and commercials. They also provide concept art and have worked on recent hits like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Elysium, as well as big MMO games like Rift and Defiance.

Fuzzy Door Productions

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

Also known as The Spotted Door, Fuzzy Door Productions was founded in 1996 by Seth MacFarlane to create many of his notable animated series. These include Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show. The company has also produced a few films, including Ted, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and Ted 2.

Rise FX

Rise Visual Effects Studios
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Starting with only four artists in one room, Rise FX has grown to employ almost 100 artists. They have worked mostly on European projects but have also provided their services on various American films, including Iron Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier

DisneyToon Studios

DisneyToon Studios
Headquarters: Glendale, CA

DisneyToon Studios was founded in 1988 to work on direct-to-video films, although they have produced many theatrical feature films.

They have created more than 47 films based on top Disney IPs like Aladdin, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Tarzan, 101 Dalmatians, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.

Rough Draft Studios

Headquarters: Glendale, CA

An animation production company founded in 1991 inside the garage of Gregg and Nikki Vanzo, two animators working on The Ren & Stimpy Show at the time.

Rough Draft Studios has two studios, one in California and the other in South Korea, and has helped with many recognizable films and shows like Futurama, The Simpsons Movie, Star Wars Clone Wars, Rocko’s Modern Life, and more.

Rhythm & Hues Studios

Rythm and Hues Studios
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

A character animation and visual effects studio that has won four scientific and Technical Academy Awards and an Oscar for their work on 2012’s Life of Pi.

The company has also won three Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for 1995’s Babe, 2008’s The Golden Compass, and Life of Pi.

9 Story Entertainment

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

A Canadian animation and distribution company known for their children’s television shows. They also work with Arthur, the longest-running children’s animated show in the U.S. and only behind The Simpsons for longest-running animated series.

Arthur has also received many awards, including four Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program.

Brand New School

BrandNewSchool Animation Studios
Headquarters: New York City, New York

A creative design and production studio, they’ known as one of the best when it comes to making content for commercials and interactive media. Brand New School has helped develop commercials for big names like Starbucks, Target, Pepsi, Cartoon Network, IKEA, Coca-Cola, and Apple. Their work on National Geographic’s Brain Games earned them an Emmy nomination.

Lucasfilm Animation

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Founded by legendary director George Lucas, Lucasfilm Animation’s first production was the acclaimed and Emmy-winning TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

They currently produce the 3D CGI series Star Wars Rebels which has already earned several accolades since its premiere in October of 2014, including 42nd Annie Awards and Best Animated Series at the 5th Critics Choice Television Awards.

Zoic Studios

Zoic Animation Company
Headquarters: Culver City, CA

An American visual effects company that specializes in visual effects for video games, advertising design, films, television, commercials, and online media. They have worked on several important films and television shows like Firefly, Mad Men, District 9, The Day After Tomorrow, Fast & Furious, Once Upon a Time, Van Helsing, and Falling Skies.

Studio 4°C

Studio 4 degrees animation Company
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

A Japanese animation studio that has worked on a good number of feature films, OVA projects, and TV series. The studio has several films with many awards under their belt, including 2006’s Tekkon Kinkreet that won Best Animated Film, the Lancia Platinum Grand Prize at the Future Film Festival, and Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.


Headquarters: Honchō, Nakano, Tokyo

Founded more than 40 years ago in 1972, Madhouse is a Japanese animation studio that has always focused mostly on television shows and theatrical features.

They have worked on more than 100 projects and have collaborated with big companies, including Square Enix (OVA for Last Order: Final Fantasy VII), Capcom (Devil May Cry: The Animated Series), and several Studio Ghibli, Disney, and Marvel Entertainment works.

Written by Dustin Tyler [Updated June 14, 2022]

dustin_founderInitially focused on web dev, Dustin was introduced to game design by a friend after college and was immediately attracted to the combination of technical skill and creativity required to make an awesome game.

While not a professional game developer himself, he’s utilized his web dev skills and desire to help others by creating a resource where expert game designers can share what they’ve learned with the next generation of aspiring game makers.