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Sony Pictures Animation Inc. is an American animation studio that is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures and division of their Motion Picture Group, founded on May 9, 2002. The studio works closely with Sony Pictures Imageworks, which handles digital production. All of its theatrical releases are currently distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing under their Columbia Pictures label, and all home video releases are distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The studio's movies and franchises include Open Season, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Smurfs, Hotel Transylvania, the 2007 Oscar-nominated film Surf's Up, the Academy Award-winning film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and the lowest of them all, The Emoji Movie. They were not involved with the first Angry Birds Movie and they will not be involved with the second Peter Rabbit film.


In 2001, Sony Pictures considered selling off its visual effects facility Sony Pictures Imageworks. After failing to find a suitable buyer, having been impressed with the CGI sequences created for Stuart Little 2, and seeing the box office success of DreamWorks Animation's Shrek and Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc., SPI was reconfigured to become an animation studio. Astro Boy, which had been in development at Sony since 1997 as a live-action film, was set to be SPI's first all-CGI film. On May 9, 2002, Sony Pictures Animation was established to develop characters, stories and movies, with SPI taking over the digital production while maintaining its visual effects production. Meanwhile, SPI produced two short films, the Academy Award-winning The ChubbChubbs! and Early Bloomer, as a result of testing its strengths and weaknesses in producing all-CG animation.

On its first anniversary on May 9, 2003, Sony Pictures Animation announced a full slate of animated projects in development: Open Season, an adaptation of a Celtic folk ballad Tam Lin, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Surf's Up, and a feature-length version of the short film The ChubbChubbs!.

Its first feature film was Open Season, released in September 2006, which became Sony's second-highest-grossing home entertainment film in 2007 and spawned three direct-to-video sequels. Its second feature film, Surf's Up was released in June 2007, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and won two Annie Awards. A motion-captured animated film, Neanderthals, written and produced by Jon Favreau, was cancelled sometime in 2008, after four years in development. SPA's first 3D movie since the IMAX 3D release of Open Season, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, was released in September 2009, and was nominated for four Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature. The Smurfs (2011) was the studio's first CGI/live-action hybrid and is currently its most successful release. SPA's parent company Sony Pictures had partnered in 2007 with Aardman Animations to finance, co-produce and distribute feature films. Together, they produced two films; Arthur Christmas (2011), and The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012), which was SPA's first stop-motion film. In September 2012, SPA released Hotel Transylvania, which grossed over $350 million worldwide and launched a successful franchise with two sequels, a TV series, and an upcoming fourth installment, which is slated for a 2021 release. SPA's latest releases are Smurfs: The Lost Village, the fully animated reboot to the live-action Smurfs films; The Emoji Movie, a computer-animated film based off emojis, and The Star, an animated comedy based on the Nativity of Jesus. SPA has since signed Genndy Tartakovsky to a long-term deal with the studio to develop and direct original films.

The studio is currently working on Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), and Vivo (2021). It has many other projects in development, including an robot apocalypse/road trip film titled Connected directed by Michael Rianda; an animated Ghostbusters film, and an untitled superhero film directed by Shannon Tindle, creator of Focus Features/Laika's Kubo and the Two Strings. Additionally, SPA has three currently untitled projects slated for 2020; the release dates are April 3, 2020, July 24, 2020 and September 25, 2020.

On November 3, 2014, the studio made a deal with Cartoon Hangover to create GO! Cartoons, an incubator series consisting of 12 short films, with at least one short film being developed into a series. The short films were funded by SPA, with the additional goal of attracting new talent for the studio.

According to Kristine Belson, president of SPA, the studio produces films on a 1:1 development-to-production ratio, meaning that the studio puts films into development as much as it places films in production, unlike other animation studios.

The studio also currently has plans to produce adult animated content for digital platforms.


Theatrical feature & direct-to-video films

Released films

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation service(s)
1 Open Season September 29, 2006 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks
2 Surf's Up June 8, 2007 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks
3 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs September 18, 2009 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks
4 The Smurfs July 29, 2011 The Kerner Entertainment Company Sony Pictures Imageworks
5 Arthur Christmas November 23, 2011 Aardman Animation Sony Pictures Imageworks
6 The Pirates! Band of Misfits April 27, 2012 Aardman Animation Double Negative
7 Hotel Transylvania September 28, 2012 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks
8 The Smurfs 2 July 31, 2013 Columbia Pictures and Universal Cartoon Studios Sony Pictures Imageworks
9 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 September 27, 2013 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks
10 Hotel Transylvania 2 September 25, 2015 LStar Capital

Media Rights Capital

Sony Pictures Imageworks


October 16, 2015 LStar Capital

Village Roadshow Pictures

Original Film

Scholastic Entertainment

Moving Picture Company
12 Smurfs: The Lost Village April 7, 2017 The Kerner Entertainment Company

LStar Capital

Wanda Pictures

Sony Pictures Imageworks
13 The Emoji Movie July 28, 2017 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks
14 The Star November 17, 2017 The Jim Henson Company

Franklin Entertainment

Walden Media

Affirm Films

Cinesite Studios
15 Peter Rabbit February 9, 2018 Olive Bridge Entertainment

2.0 Entertainment Screen

Australia Screen NSW

Animal Logic
16 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation July 13, 2018 N/A Sony Pictures Imageworks
17 Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween October 12, 2018 Original Film Scholastic Entertainment Silvertongue Films Moving Picture Company
18 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse December 14, 2018 Marvel Entertainment Sony Pictures Imageworks
19 The Angry Birds Movie 2 August 14, 2019 Rovio Entertainment Sony Pictures Imageworks

Upcoming films

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation service(s)
20 The Mitchells vs. The Machines 2021 Lord Miller Productions Media Rights Capital Sony Pictures Imageworks
21 Wish Dragon 2021 Beijing Sparkle

Roll Media Corporation

Flagship Entertainment Group Boss Collaboration

Base FX
22 Vivo June 4, 2021 Laurence Mark Productions Sony Pictures Imageworks
23 Hotel Transylvania 4 August 6, 2021 Media Rights Capital

Perfect World Pictures

Sony Pictures Imageworks
26 Untitled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel October 7, 2022 Marvel Entertainment Sony Pictures Imageworks

Films in development

Harold and the Purple Crayon
Black Knight
The Dreamstone
Untitled Jon Saunders film

Direct-to-video films

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation service(s)
1 Open Season 2 September 24, 2008 N/A Reel FX Animation Studios
2 Open Season 3 January 25, 2011 N/A

Reel FX Animation Studios

3 Open Season: Scared Silly March 8, 2016 N/A Rainmaker Entertainment
4 Surf's Up 2: WaveMania January 17, 2017 WWE Studios Rainmaker Entertainment

Short films

# Title Release date Distribution/co-production with Animation service(s) Release with Notes
1 The ChubbChubbs! July 3, 2002 Columbia Pictures Sony Pictures Imageworks Men in Black II Theatrical release
2 Early Bloomer May 9, 2003 Daddy Day Care
3 Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run January 30, 2007 Open Season Home video release
4 The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas October 8, 2007 Sony Pictures Imageworks
Prana Studios
Surf's Up Theatrical release
5 The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol December 2, 2011 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Sony Pictures Imageworks
Duck Studios
The Smurfs Home video release
6 So You Want to Be a Pirate! August 28, 2012 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Aardman Animations
N/A The Pirates! Band of Misfits
7 Goodnight, Mr. Foot October 26, 2012 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Rough Draft Studios Hotel Transylvania Limited theatrical release
8 The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow September 10, 2013 Sony Pictures Imageworks
Duck Studios
The Smurfs 2 Home video release
9 Super Manny October 2, 2013 Sony Pictures Imageworks
6 Point Harness
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
10 Earl Scouts October 11, 2013
11 Steve's First Bath January 28, 2014
12 Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear 6 Point Harness
13 Puppy! July 28, 2017 Columbia Pictures Sony Pictures Imageworks The Emoji Movie Theatrical release
14 Flopsy Turvy March 30, 2018 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Animal Logic Peter Rabbit Limited theatrical release
15 Hair Love August 14, 2019 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Lion Forge Animation The Angry Birds Movie 2 Theatrical release

Television series

# Title Premiere date End date Network
1 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Series February 20, 2017 present Cartoon Network
2 Hotel Transylvania: The Series June 25, 2017 Disney Channel
3 Ghostbusters: Ecto Force TBA TBA TBA




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