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An expert’s view: Not just big-budget animation studios can succeed in this game

As the Co-Founder and Art Director at DeeDee Animation Studio, Mr. Hoang has many years of work and research experience about animation, animation trends, and the development of worldwide animation studios. From his perspective, other than the big-budget Hollywood animation studios like Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, Sony there is a list of animation studios outside of that realm that he highly appreciates their incredible animated products. Our article fill provides detailed information about them.

1. Studio MIR (Korean)

They have a unique "anime-esque” house style that works well and appeals to audiences and critics just as much as any other Japanese anime. It is indescribable how well the figures are structured and how some of the angular lines work, which speaks to the majority taste. And obviously, the action is unbelievable.

animation studio - Studio MIR (Korean)
DOTA: Dragon's Blood (Source: Netflix)

2. Cartoon Saloon (Irish)

Cartoon Saloon is best known for the unique house style that can be pretty flexible as they go on with newer projects. It feels boundless, limitless, but at the same time, intentional in its vision. The Cartoon Saloon’s animation style is also totally beautiful. It's traditional full animation but looks different when applying to their art direction than what we have been using with all the Disney-esque productions. And they have this illustrative, flat and decorative, and sometimes can be an experimentative approach to the whole thing that is different in each film.

“This is the kind of style that I LOVE more than anything in the world”, per Mr.Hoang.

Look into Cartoon Saloon’s past projects: The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner, The Wolfwalkers.

animation studio - Cartoon Saloon (Irish)
The fantasy film “Song of the sea” (Source: Alphacolders)

3. Mercury Filmworks (Canada)

Mickey Mouse Shorts, Tangled The Series, The Lion Guard, Kid Cosmic, Centaurworld, Hilda are famous animated films from the Canadian animation studio Mercury Filmworks.

The first compliment is definitely for the team of animators at Mercury Filmworks. It feels like there is no limit to what they can do since they have done things in so many different styles. But the most noticeable thing about Mercury Filmworks is how high quality their animation is in every single series, especially considering that they’re utilizing an almost perfect combination of traditional hand-drawn animation with the character rigging technologies from Toonboom. All techniques are secret, so it is crazy to see their shows.

animation studio - Mercury Filmworks (Canada)
Mercury Filmworks worked with Disney on Mickey Mouse (Source: Cartoonbrew)

4. Flying Bark (Australian)

Have you ever watched Glitchtechs, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lego Monkie Kid, animated series from Flying Bark?

Flying Bark is an animation studio that perfectly captures all the best about Western animation and Japanese anime. All of the mentioned series have unique and expressive art styles, consistent high-quality in almost every single scene, but at the same time have some of the most impressive "sakuga-Esque" action sequences in any cartoon ever.

“This is exactly the kind of mindset I want to put into my work personally, combining the best things of both worlds”, added Mr.Hoang.

animation studio - Flying Bark (Australian)
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Source: Pinterest)

5. Studio Lacachette (French)

“I have never seen a lot of productions from this studio aside from Primal and Love, Death & Robots. However, from what I have seen, not only are their animation wonderful with traditional techniques, but they also have this ability to handle this sense of "looseness" in their line art that is unique”, shared Mr.Hoang.

animation studio - Studio Lacachette (French)
The most famous production of Studio Lacachette - Primal (Source: Pinterest)

6. The Line Studio (British)

The Line Studio is one of the best Western studios out there with an "anime-esque" style. They have only done TVCs, short pitch videos, and MVs so far. They also have this great combination of western sensibilities with the impressive "sakuga-esque" kinetic action sequences with complex camera moves. Their drawing style in most of their newer videos is anime-inspired, while other productions look completely different.

You can enjoy The Line Studio’s projects such as Giants - True Damage (League of Legends MV), Take Over (LOL MV), Gorillaz MVs.

animation studio - The Line Studio (British)
Giants - True Damage (League of Legends MV) (Source: Pinterest)

7. SPA Studio (Spain)

SPA Studio has done only one film, Klaus. However, this film blew both fans and critics out of the water because of the Disney-esque art direction and high-level animation combined with an amazing technique to create lighting for the characters. This style fits better into beautifully painted backgrounds than the traditional cell-shading one.

animation studio - SPA Studio (Spain)
Klaus - the only and most successful animated film of SPA Studio (Source: SPA Studio)

8. Stoopid Buddies Stoodios (U.S.)

Stoopid Buddies is the animation studio that is most productive and consistent with their quality in stop motion animation, with a crazy amount of productions throughout the years. They have this unique animation style to their stop motion, but at the same time, there is this out-of-the-box approach with humor as well. Even though their work might be kind of low budget compared to some other big-budget feature films, the animation is still totally bonkers and charming.

Check out Robot Chicken and M.O.D.O.K produced by Stoopid Buddies Stoodios

animation studio - Stoopid Buddies Stoodios (U.S.)
Robot Chicken is an American adult animated stop motion sketch comedy television series (Source TV Series Finale)

9. Aardman Animation (British)

One of the OGs out there, this British group of masters in stop motion does not need more praises with their classics like Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. Their house style has dominated some of us during our childhood. They are still going strong now with more quality films that are going to be released in the theatres.

animation studio - Aardman Animation (British)
A scene from Wallace and Gromit (Source: Daily Mail)

10. LAIKA (US)

LAIKA is the best stop motion studio out there. Not only do they look mind-blowing in terms of visuals, but they also maintain this genuine style of storytelling that rivals some of Disney and Dreamworks' best. All of their films are on a higher level of writing while still mesmerizing and boggling our minds with their out-of-this-world stop motion skills.

“I do not even know if they are still cooking up stop motion anymore, but everything they have done is a masterpiece”, per Mr.Hoang.

animation studio - LAIKA (US)
The Boxtrolls is a 2014 American stop-motion animated fantasy comedy film (Source: IMDb)

Conclusion

DeeDee Animation Studio is a medium-scale animation studio, based in VietNam. Our team never stops learning, improving, changing, and adapting to come up with animation projects that are not only interesting but also inspiring and valuable. Enjoy our past projects and contact us today to create lasting values together!

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