In simple terms, Animation is the process of designing, drawing, making layouts, and preparation of photographic sequences which are integrated into multimedia and gaming products. It involves the exploitation and management of still images to generate the illusion of movement. There are five types of animation- Traditional, 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Motion Graphics, and Stop Motion.
Animation is used worldwide and offers a variety of career options. Let’s look at the top 10 countries and their cities around the globe where animation industries are flourishing.
1. United States
Walt Disney is one of the most successful companies in one of the most powerful sectors of any economy: entertainment and animation. For decades the US has dominated other countries by their fantastic skills and marvelous production and kept themselves at the top of the chart. Everyone is a fan of the film Beauty and the Beast, and till date it is considered the best-animated movie. You must be familiar with or heard somewhere about Frozen. Since its release, “Frozen” has earned $1.2 billion worldwide, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time and by far the highest-grossing animation. Other hits include- Incredibles, Toy Story, Jungle Book, Aladdin, The Lion King and many more. The US has the most popular and best studios for animation- Pixar, Walt Disney, Studio Ghibli, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros, Cartoon network, which not only produces top-rated films but top-rated cartoons as well.
If you want to be an animator or enhance your animation skills, then Canada is the right place for you. It has a booming animation industry with several major studios. Canada owns many top rated institutions and offers all kinds of animation techniques courses. The top among them is- Sheridan College, the top animation institute in the world. Next comes the Vancouver Film School, The LA times ranked VFS as one of the Top schools favored by video game industry recruiters. Other institutes are- Seneca College, Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, Think Tank Training Centre and many more. The Canadian faculties have worked with top studios and have produced the finest animated films. History was made when Resident Evil was released in 2010 and grossed more than $280 million at the box office internationally.
3. United Kingdom
As a child, you must have seen Shaun-The Sheep, Bob-the builder, Thomas-the tank engine, Spot the dog, and Percy-the park keeper. Have you ever wondered who created these television hits and where they belonged to? These all hits belonged to the United Kingdom. The UK is known for their creative sector since ages and has bagged many international awards such as Oscars and international Emmys. Not only animated cartoons, but they have also produced many super hits films (Water ship down, Christmas Carol, and chicken run), and video games(Smurfs-The lost village, Casino royal strategy game and onion). There are around 469 animation studios in the UK, and since 2017, the gaming sector is the fastest-growing sector in the UK.
The Indian animation industry is the newest and the youngest in comparison to other countries. But in a very short span of time, the industry has gained popularity and is selling its shows to over 100 countries worldwide. Since past years the industry is growing rapidly as many international studios are getting interested in setting up studios in India.
India has worked on many domestic projects with the support of CG content creation, for example-Baahubali (a film that was released on 9,000 screens across the world and grossed over 1,000 crores in a month). The prominent animated cartoons made in India are- Chhota Bheem, which also gave birth to the most popular Netflix property in the preschool space. How can we forget Motu Patlu, which has a wax statue at Madame Tussauds.
Do you know that French animation is one of the oldest in the world and has also invented various animation technology. Phantasmagoria was the first-ever animated cartoon by Emile Reynaud. He also created an advanced successor to the zoetrope that could project animated films up to 16 frames long and films of about 500~600 pictures. The industry has produced many award-winning movies, and many among them are prize-winners at international film festivals. The eye-catching factor is that France’s animated feature film industry brings around six features per year, making them the highest among the European countries. The country leads the world of animation with films such as Les Minions and Les Gobelins was voted the best animation schools in the world, followed by three other French schools making its position in the top 10 list.
The Malaysian animation industry had grown globally since 2000 when MDeC produced Saladin: The Animated Series for Al Jazeera Children’s Channel. The Major boom came in 2019 when the local cartoon films banged the box office.
Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal won the Best Feature Film at Montreal International Animation Film Festival plus The Golden Wing Award for Best Animation of The Year at the Animation Game Industry Annual Conference & Anime Beijing Awards, all in 2019. Ejen Ali: The Movie is the 2nd highest-grossing animated film in Malaysia, bested by Frozen II and crossing Toy Story 4 and Frozen. BoBoiBoy The Movie 2 was nominated for the Best Animated Film in Florence Film Awards and the Best Animation 3D Film at NY Animation Film Awards.
Films like Tad, the lost explorer produced in Madrid, and the multi-awarded Klaus have made an international reputation for Spanish animation. Day-to-day improvement in the animation sector is making the industry one of the most competitive in the world. At Bordeaux’s Cartoon Movie, Europe’s biggest animated movie showcase, no country made a bigger impact than Spain. Madrid-based Latido Films won Distributor of the Year for “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles,” about Luis Buñuel’s shooting of 1933’s “Land Without Bread.” If you see the growth of Spanish animation to date, you will see that the animation sector has never stopped growing.
Belgium is a flourishing place for animation. It’s producers are active participants on the international level, helping to co-produce and co-fund numerous animated shorts, series, and feature films every year. Belgian companies are mostly minority co-producers on projects, i.e., they put forward some funding for a TV series or feature film but do not contribute the most towards a single project. Belgian producers are often involved in high-profile projects involving many financial partners, like the animated feature ‘Where Is Anne Frank?’. ‘The Smurfs’ released in 2011, grossed over $142.61 Million becoming the top animated movie in Belgium.
Even if Singapore is associated with games and digital media, the animation industry more rightfully belongs to the film and television industry. Robot Playground Media’s managing director and co-founder, Mr. Ervin Han, said about the intrinsic connection between the media landscape and animation over the next 20 years in Singapore. The company was founded almost five years ago, and they made a splash in the local scene with their 2015 animated comic drama, “Heartland Hubby.”
Moreover, they’ve produced three animated short films for Starhub’s TimeScapes anthology series- Little Red Bricks, The Girl and The Cat, and Playgrounds.
Previously, Mr. Han worked in animation development and production for more than 10 years, concentrating on children’s animation for international broadcasters like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.
Ireland is becoming a growing animation industry that has gained global recognition on the international level. Cartoon Forum, one of the world’s leading casting and co-pro forums for animation, has given special attention to Ireland at the event. Irish animation studios are working with some of the biggest global broadcasting names that are Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and the BBC.
Some of the recent successes are: Song of the Sea (Cartoon Saloon) got nominated for an Oscar while Doc McStuffins (Brown Bag) won an award.