|Formerly||Sib Tower 12, Inc. (1962–1964)|
|Predecessor||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio|
Turner Entertainment Co.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
MGM Animation/Visual Arts was an American animation studio established in 1962 by animation director/producer Chuck Jones, producer Les Goldman and animator Ken Harris as Sib Tower 12 Productions. Its productions include the last series of Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts, the TV specials Horton Hears a Who! and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and the feature film The Phantom Tollbooth, all released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The studio was founded in 1960 as "S I B Productions, Inc.", which in 1962 had hired the just developing Filmation Associates to animate a syndicated series called Rod Rocket. It afterward evolved into "Sib Tower 12, Inc.", being taken over by Chuck Jones after he was fired from Warner Bros. Cartoons, because he was in violation of his contract where he had served for over 30 years directing the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. A number of animators who had worked under Jones during his Warner Bros. career followed him to Sib Tower 12, as did voice actor Mel Blanc and storyman and writer Michael Maltese. Sib Tower 12 Productions received a contract from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to produce a new series of Tom and Jerry cartoons, which proved successful. As a result, MGM purchased the Sib Tower 12 studio and renamed it MGM Animation/Visual Arts in 1964. This studio continued with Jones' Tom and Jerry shorts until 1967.
In addition to the Tom and Jerry cartoons, Jones worked on the short, The Dot and the Line (1965), an abstract piece based upon a children's book by Norton Juster, which won that year's Academy Award for Animated Short Film.
The studio also turned to television, producing two highly acclaimed TV specials based on books by Dr. Seuss. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which aired in 1966, and Horton Hears a Who! in 1970.
The studio's most ambitious work was its 1970 feature film The Phantom Tollbooth, adapted from another Norton Juster book.
After the studio closed in late 1970, Chuck Jones went on to found Chuck Jones Film Productions which produced television specials based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling and of The Cricket in Times Square series. In 1993, MGM opened a new animation studio, MGM Animation.
Majority of studio's output were Tom and Jerry cartoons, but the studio also produced standalone shorts.