This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's notability guidelines for companies and organizations. Please help to demonstrate the notability of the topic by citing reliable secondary sources that are independent of the topic and provide significant coverage of it beyond a mere trivial mention. If notability cannot be shown, the article is likely to be merged, redirected, or deleted.Find sources: "Mercury Filmworks" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Mercury Filmworks" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Mercury Filmworks
IndustryAnimation
Founded1997; 25 years ago (1997) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada[1]
FounderClint Eland[1]
Headquarters,
Canada[1]
Key people
Clint Eland (CEO, President)[2]
Number of employees
250[1] (2016)
DivisionsLighthouse Studios (50%)
Websitemercuryfilmworks.com

Mercury Filmworks is a Canadian independent animation studio based in Ottawa, Ontario. The studio was originally founded in Vancouver by Clint Eland, the current CEO, in 1997. Mercury Filmworks has produced animated television series and feature films for a variety of companies, including Disney, Netflix, Amazon Studios, and Warner Bros. Its recent projects include Kid Cosmic, Centaurworld, Hilda, The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse, and The Ghost and Molly McGee. The studio has won Emmy Awards for its work in several categories, most recently for Hilda.[3]

Mercury has over 340 employees employed at its Ottawa location, and continues to show steady growth.[4] In 2020, it was named one of the best offices in Ottawa by the Ottawa Business Journal.[5]

History

Mercury Filmworks was founded in 1997 in Vancouver by current Chief Executive Officer Clint Eland. The studio started with a small investment from friends and family, including Reg Eland, who became a partner overseeing finances from 1997 to 2002 and managing partner of the Vancouver studio from 2003 to 2006.

In the late 1990s, technology was evolving to allow artists to paint and render images at a much faster pace and with greater and more consistent results. Mercury Filmworks was one of the first companies in North America to specialize in digital ink and paint services in Canada.

In 2000, Mercury opened a studio location on King Street East in Toronto to satisfy a multi-year output deal for its services. Meanwhile, in its Vancouver studio, they produced D'Myna Leagues using digital ink & paint plus CG integration, creating the first Canadian animated television series to integrate 3D locations in a 2D series.

In 2004, Mercury moved its Toronto studio to Ottawa, where local animation director, Jerry Popowich, joined the company as a partner.[6]

The studio was already a leader in the field of computer assisted traditional animation. However, in its Ottawa studio with the help of people like Director Christian Larocque, Rob Buchanan, Anthony Ng, Dave Merrit, Phil Lafrance, Graham Macdonald, Emma Gignac, and Craig Berry, it leveraged this to become one of the world's first companies to produce an animated television series entirely in one studio using the beta version of Toon Boom Animation’s Harmony software. Using this software, they produced the series Mischief City for Shaftesbury Films and YTV.

The following year, the studio animated Gerald McBoing-Boing. This production was widely regarded as a new benchmark for quality in digital animation.

In 2007, the studio developed and co-produced Toot & Puddle with National Geographic for Nick Jr. This was the first use of advanced builds and rigging techniques resulting in a level of animation that was indistinguishable from hand drawn. This series set the new world bar for digital animation. Toot & Puddle was also one of Mercury's first proprietary series.

In 2008, Mercury Filmworks collaborated with Walt Disney Television Animation on Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil. The series was the first full television series project with Disney and one of Mercury’s first hybrid productions where characters were animated interchangeably and indistinguishably in both 2D and 3D. The series was one of the first examples of character-based CG Assists in a long form series.

The studio again collaborated with Disney on Jake and the Never Land Pirates in 2009. The animation project pushed advanced builds and rigging techniques to a new level.

From 2012 to this day, Mercury Filmworks animates the Mickey Mouse shorts and television specials for Disney Television Animation,[7] once again collaborating with Disney and Director Paul Rudish on the award-winning reinvention of the character. The shorts have been widely regarded as the new benchmark when it comes to making digital animation look indistinguishable from the highest quality hand drawn animation.

2013 brought the fourth Disney-Mercury production, The Lion Guard, based on the theatrical animated film The Lion King. The series involved advanced builds and rigging and heavy use of CG integration techniques for character and location assists. The series set the standard for feature-quality animation in long form television animation.

Two years later, the studio produced Disney's Repunzel's Tangled Adventure, a television adaptation of another Disney theatrical animated film, Tangled. The production methodologies used in the production were built upon the innovative techniques developed for The Lion Guard, and pushed animation and character performance levels to a new high.

Mercury Filmworks has been producing Hilda for Silvergate Media and Netflix since 2017. The series is one of the first that didn’t push the bar in terms of process or technology. The artists involved focused on art, craft, and storytelling. The series has gone on to critical acclaim and is one of Netflix’s best and most successful animated series. It is widely referenced as a benchmark in storytelling.

Television series

Show Year(s) Co-production with Notes
The Harveytoons Show 1998 Harvey Films intro and film restoration
Ned's Newt 1998–99 Nelvana/Studio B Productions Season 2
Yvon of the Yukon 1999–2003 Studio B Productions digital ink and paint
Mega Babies 2000 CineGroupe
Rainbow Fish 2000–2001 Decode Entertainment
Rescue Heroes 2000–2002 Nelvana Season 2–3
D'Myna Leagues 2001–2002 Studio B Productions digital paint
Undergrads 2001 Decode Entertainment digital ink and paint; first time working on an adult animated series.
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast 2002 Nelvana Season 3
The New Woody Woodpecker Show Universal Cartoon Studios Season 3 (digital ink and paint)
Dark Oracle 2004–2005 Cookie Jar Season 1
6teen 2004–2006 Nelvana Seasons 1–2
Mischief City 2005 Shaftesbury Films
Krypto the Superdog Warner Bros. Animation compositing, ink and paint
Gerald McBoing-Boing 2005–2007 Cookie Jar
Class of the Titans 2005–2008 Studio B Productions digital ink and paint
Grossology 2006–2007 Nelvana Season 1
Ruby Gloom
Weird Years 2006 Lenz Entertainment
Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs 2007–2008 CCI Entertainment Season 2
Wilbur Chilco Productions
Wayside Nelvana
World of Quest 2008–2009 Cookie Jar
Toot and Puddle 2008 National Geographic Kids
Jimmy Two-Shoes 2009–2011 Breakthrough Entertainment
Producing Parker
Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil 2010–2012 Disney Television Animation
Doodlebops Rockin’ Road Show 2010 Cookie Jar
Fish Hooks 2010–2014 Disney Television Animation
Jake and the Never Land Pirates 2011–2016 Seasons 1–4
Kirby Buckets 2013 Disney XD Pilot (Animation Only)
Bad Seeds 2013 Nickelodeon Animation Studios pilot
Mickey Mouse 2013–2019 Disney Television Animation
Stella and Sam 2013–2014 Radical Sheep Productions Season 1 and specials
Wander Over Yonder Disney Television Animation Season 1
Fangbone! 2014 Radical Sheep Productions pilot
Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero 2014–2015 Disney Television Animation Season 1
Star vs. the Forces of Evil 2015 Season 1
Pickle and Peanut "Greg"
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie 2015–present Amazon Studios season 2 co-animated with Lighthouse Studios
The Lion Guard 2016–2019 Disney Television Animation
Atomic Puppet 2016–2017 Gaumont Animation
Technicolor Animation
Tangled: The Series 2017–2020 Disney Television Animation
Legend of the Three Caballeros 2018 Disney Digital Network co-animated with Atomic Cartoons
Hilda 2018–present Silvergate Media
Guardians of the Galaxy 2019 Marvel Animation "Black Vortex, Part 1"
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse 2020–present Disney Television Animation
Kid Cosmic 2021–2022 Netflix Animation Animation services
Centaurworld 2021
The Ghost and Molly McGee 2021–present Disney Television Animation
Hailey's On It! 2023
Pangors of Puddle Peak TBA TBA [8]
Badjelly the Witch Mukpuddy [9]

Lighthouse Studios

Show Year(s) Client Notes
The Bug Diaries 2019 Amazon Studios
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie 2019–present Amazon Studios season 2
Little Ellen 2021–present Warner Bros. Animation
The Cuphead Show! 2022–present Netflix Animation
El Deafo 2022 Apple TV+

Specials/shorts

Feature Year(s) Client Notes
Little Witch 1999 Sony Wonder digital paint and effects
Something Else 2000 Pearson Television short pilot
Santa Mouse and the Ratdeer Sony Wonder digital ink and paint
Timothy Tweedle the First Christmas Elf Evening Sky
Animated American 2008 James Baker and Joe Haidar short film
Rapscallions 2012 Disney Television Animation pilot
Shred Force
Thunderbeards
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar 2015
Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special 2016
Tangled: Before Ever After 2017
The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!
Oh Canada! A Coast to Coast Celebration of 150 Years short film
The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar Disney Television Animation
Canticos 2018-present Encantos Media
Mercury Shorts
  • Shroud
  • Sweet
  • The Gate
  • Royal Pain
2021

Films

Film Year Client Notes
The Tigger Movie 2000 DisneyToon Studios "Someone Like Me" sequence
Joseph: King of Dreams 2000 DreamWorks Animation
The Kid 2001 Nelvana
The Little Bear Movie 2001 Nelvana
The Powerpuff Girls Movie 2002 Cartoon Network Studios
Looney Tunes: Back in Action 2003 Warner Bros. Feature Animation
Fat Albert 2004 20th Century Studios animation
Legend of Frosty the Snowman 2005 Classic Media additional digital ink and paint, compositing
Curious George 2006 Universal Animation Studios digital ink and paint services
Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome 2014 Mattel
Hilda and the Mountain King 2021 Silvergate Media
The Bob's Burgers Movie 2022 20th Century Studios
Bento Box Entertainment
Wilo Productions
co-animated with Lighthouse Studios
Once Our Land TBA Goodbye Productions [10]

Theme parks

Attraction Year Client Notes
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway[11] 2020 Walt Disney Imagineering Animated sequences

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Capital a tough draw for animation firms". Ottawa Business Journal. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  2. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (May 7, 2014). "Mercury Filmworks Opens Dublin Studio". Animation World Network. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  3. ^ "Streaming wars an exciting time for Ottawa's animation industry | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  4. ^ Zahed, Ramin (2020-10-16). "Studio Spotlight: Mercury Filmworks". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  5. ^ "Best Offices Ottawa: Beyond the walls". Ottawa Business Journal. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  6. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (2017-09-28). "Mercury Filmworks Makes Key Promotions, Management Hires". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  7. ^ "Mercury Filmworks, Cartoon Saloon launch Irish studio". Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  8. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (2021-02-02). "Mercury Filmworks Starts New Adventure with 'Pangors of Puddle Peak'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  9. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (2021-11-01). "Mercury Filmworks Joins Co-Pro Coven for Mukpuddy's 'Badjelly the Witch'". Animation Magazine.
  10. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (2021-04-26). "Peter Ricq's 'Once Our Land' Gets Animated with Mercury Filmworks, Goodbye Prod". Animation Magazine.
  11. ^ "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway has officially left the station at Disney's Hollywood Studios!..." Mercury Filmwork's Facebook. Retrieved September 30, 2020.