|Founded||July 6, 2011|
Animated TV shows
Number of employees
Paramount Animation is an American animation studio, serving as the animation division and label of Paramount Pictures, a subsidiary of Paramount Global. The division was founded on July 6, 2011, following the box office success of Paramount's own Rango and the end of their distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation in 2012.
The studio's first film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was released on February 6, 2015, and its latest release was Rumble on December 15, 2021, with their next release being The Tiger's Apprentice on January 19, 2024.
Films produced by Paramount Animation have grossed a total of $604.1 million at the box office. Its highest-grossing film to date is The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which grossed $325.1 million.
After the closure of Paramount Cartoon Studios (formerly named Famous Studios) in December 1967, Paramount distributed a few animated films from 1973 to 1992 that were produced by outside studios, including Charlotte's Web, Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!), and Bébé's Kids.
Following Paramount's merger with Viacom, the studio started releasing several animated films based on Nickelodeon's TV shows, including the Rugrats film trilogy, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. The studio also released features based on MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head and Comedy Central's South Park.
In 2005, Paramount's new CEO Brad Grey considered building an in-house animation division, because he saw family films as the "sweet spot" of the movie business. The following year, Paramount signed a distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation, starting with Over the Hedge and ending with Rise of the Guardians. During this deal, the studio released Barnyard in 2006 and Beowulf in 2007.
On March 4, 2011, the studio released its first in-house animated film, Rango. The film was critically acclaimed and grossed over $245 million at the box office. The success of Rango helped Paramount discover its potential in making successful animated features on its own. In June of that year, the studio acquired the rights to produce an animated film based on Penny Arcade's 2010 webcomic The New Kid.
In July 2011, in the wake of Rango's success, the high hopes for The Adventures of Tintin, and the departure of DreamWorks Animation upon completion of their distribution contract with Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Rise of the Guardians in 2012, Paramount announced the formation of a new animation division. The studio would initially produce one animated film a year with a maximum budget of $100 million. A key portion of the films would be co-produced with Nickelodeon and they would be cross-promoted at Nickelodeon's theme parks and hotels.
In October 2011, Paramount named a former president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, David Stainton, president of Paramount Animation. In February 2012, Stainton resigned for personal reasons, with Paramount Film Group's president, Adam Goodman, stepping in to directly oversee the studio. It was also announced that The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, a standalone sequel to 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, would be the studio's first film and would be released in 2014. A short time after, the film was delayed to early 2015.
In August 2012, Variety reported that Paramount Animation was in the process of starting development of several animated films in collaboration with Nickelodeon, Mary Parent, and J. J. Abrams. Besides the SpongeBob sequel, Paramount Animation considered adapting Dora the Explorer, The Legend of Korra, and Monkey Quest into films. The increase in animated film production was due to DreamWorks Animation being in talks with other studios to distribute their post-2012 animated films.
On July 31, 2013, Paramount Animation announced that they were developing a new live-action/animated franchise in the vein of the Transformers series, which was titled Monster Trucks. Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger were set to write the film's script, Chris Wedge (director of 2002's Ice Age) was set to direct the film, and Mary Parent was set to produce the film, with an initial release date set for May 29, 2015.
The studio's first film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, was released on February 6, 2015, to positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing over $325 million worldwide and becoming the fifth highest grossing animated film of 2015. That same month, Paramount fired Adam Goodman due to the studio's thin film slate and Goodman greenlighting box office bombs at the studio. Paramount announced another SpongeBob film later that year.
In the summer of 2015, Paramount Pictures participated in a bidding war against Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Animation for the rights to produce The Emoji Movie, based on a script by Tony Leondis and Eric Siegel. Sony won the bidding war in July and released the film in 2017. The studio's head Bob Bacon also left Paramount Animation that summer.
In June 2015, it was revealed that Spain's Ilion Animation Studios (the studio behind 2009's Planet 51) won a bidding war against other animation studios to produce a 3D animated tentpole film for Paramount Animation, which was already in production since 2014. In November 2015, Paramount Animation officially announced the project as Amusement Park, (later renamed Wonder Park) with former Pixar animator Dylan Brown helming. The studio also announced Monster Trucks, The Little Prince, Sherlock Gnomes, and the third SpongeBob film.
The studio's second film, The Little Prince, was released on July 29, 2015, in France. It was scheduled to be released on March 18, 2016, in the United States, but Paramount canceled the American release due to the French producers not paying an additional, previously agreed $20 million for the North American prints and advertising budget, however they still retained the distribution rights in France. It was later released onto Netflix on August 5, 2016, as a Netflix original film.
The studio's third film, Anomalisa, was given a limited release on December 30, 2015, while getting a wider release in January the following year. It received positive reviews, but grossed $5.7 million on an $8 million budget.
On May 4, 2016, Paramount Pictures announced that they had signed a deal with UK-based Locksmith Animation to co-develop and co-produce three original animated projects to be released under the Paramount Animation label (with animation produced by DNEG).
The studio's fourth film, Monster Trucks was released to mixed reviews and became a box office failure, grossing $64.5 million on a $125 million budget and losing the studio $120 million.
In March 2017, Skydance Media formed a multi-year partnership with Ilion Animation Studios, forming Skydance Animation.
In April 2017, Paramount ended its deal with Locksmith Animation when Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey was replaced by Jim Gianopulos, who decided that their projects did not fit in with Paramount's other upcoming releases. Locksmith formed a multi-year production deal with 20th Century Fox four months later.
In July 2017, Paramount Pictures named former DreamWorks Animation co-president Mireille Soria as the president of the studio. Soria restructured the studio, increasing its number of employees from 10 to over 110, and created a new goal of releasing two tentpole animated films a year with different animation styles and genres. She would also look over the completion of Sherlock Gnomes and Wonder Park, which were in production before her arrival. That same month, Skydance announced its first two animated feature films for Skydance Animation — Split (later retitled Spellbound) and Luck. Both films would be distributed by Paramount Pictures as part of their deal with Skydance. On October 10, 2017, Bill Damaschke was hired to head the division as president of animation and family entertainment.
The studio released its fifth film, Sherlock Gnomes on March 23, 2018, and became a critical and financial disappointment, grossing $90.3 million on a $59 million budget.
In April 2018, Paramount Pictures named former Blue Sky Studios and Nickelodeon Movies producer Ramsey Naito as the executive vice president of the studio. She later left the company in order to become the head of animation at Nickelodeon. In the same month, Soria greenlit the studio's first three animated features under her leadership to be released in 2020 and beyond: The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge (later renamed Sponge On the Run), Reel FX's Monster on the Hill (later renamed Rumble), and Skydance Animation's Luck.
On January 14, 2019, Mireille Soria announced that the team at Paramount Animation will no longer work with Skydance Animation because of their hiring of former Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar CCO John Lasseter as the head of animation. Luck and Spellbound were still going to be released by Paramount Pictures without the Paramount Animation brand until Apple TV+ acquired the distribution rights to both films in December 2020 and made a larger pact with Skydance Animation in February 2021. Apple Original Films would replace Paramount for both Luck and Spellbound.
The studio's sixth film, Wonder Park was released on March 15, 2019. It received mixed reviews and it became a box office flop, grossing only $119.6 million worldwide on a budget of less than $100 million.
In June 2019, Paramount Animation announced a new slate of animated features, including an animated Spice Girls film, a live-action/animated Mighty Mouse film, an animated film adaptation of The Tiger's Apprentice, a musical film titled Jersey Crabs (later Under the Boardwalk), and the Imagine Entertainment co-production The Shrinking of Treehorn.
The studio's seventh film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run theatrically released only in Canada on August 14, 2020, with a March 4, 2021, release in the United States on Paramount+ and a November 5, 2020, release internationally on Netflix due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film received positive reviews from critics, and grossed $4.4 million worldwide with a $60 million budget.
In January 2021, Paramount Animation picked up two new films: an adaption of the upcoming Tom Wheeler book C.O.S.M.O.S. and an original animated film from the Comedy Central star Trevor Noah.
On September 30, 2021, shortly after Brian Robbins replaced Jim Gianopulos as the chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, it was announced that Ramsey Naito would replace Mireille Soria as the president of Paramount Animation in addition to her current role as the president of Nickelodeon Animation Studio.
The studio's eighth film Rumble was released on December 15, 2021, on Paramount+. It was originally expected to be released on February 18, 2022, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was later moved to Paramount+. It received mixed reviews.
On January 20, 2022, Latifa Ouaou (a veteran of both Illumination and DreamWorks Animation via Universal Pictures) was hired as the executive vice president of movies and global franchises for both Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation Studio. In this position, Ouaou will oversee both streaming and theatrical films for the two companies. It was also revealed that The Tiger’s Apprentice (which was originally being directed by Carlos Baena) will now be directed by Raman Hui, with Paul Watling and Yong Duk Jhun being co-directors. Bob Persichetti (the Academy Award-winning co-director of Sony Pictures Animation's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) had also joined the film as a producer.
On July 26, 2023, Brian Robbins revealed in a Variety article that the upcoming original film Under the Boardwalk would be released straight to Paramount+ instead of theaters (similar to the studio’s Rumble). He stated, “We’re not going to release an expensive original animated movie and just pray people will come,” while also pointing to the box office underperformances of Pixar animated films such as Lightyear and Elemental. This statement received widespread criticism on social media, including from those in the industry such as Guillermo del Toro, Jorge R. Gutierrez, and Christopher Miller. This also contradicts an earlier statement by the division’s president Ramsey Naito, who stated in a Deadline interview that she plans to release original animated features to continue building franchises.
Initially, Paramount Animation did not have its own opening logo. Its first six features just used the standard Paramount logo. On September 19, 2019, Paramount Animation introduced a new animated logo featuring a character nicknamed "Star Skipper". When Mireille Soria came to Paramount Animation, one of the first goals set by Jim Gianopulos was to make a logo for the division. The crew wanted to put a female character in the logo because the studio's team is mostly female, and according to Soria, it captures "the magic" of the division. The logo and the character of Star Skipper were designed by Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie lead visual development artist and art director Christopher Zibach and animated by ATK PLN and Reel FX Creative Studios. This logo debuted in front of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run in 2020. The logo's music is the same as the standard Paramount Pictures logo, which is composed by Michael Giacchino.
Similar to Warner Bros. Pictures Animation, Illumination Entertainment, and Sony Pictures Animation, Paramount Animation outsources its animation production to other animation studios such as Mikros Image and Reel FX. Rumble was developed outside of Paramount Animation by Reel FX, but the studio acquired the rights to the film and co-produced it.
Like 20th Century Animation with animated films under 20th Century Studios, the studio also acts as somewhat of a distribution label for animated films that are made under or acquired by Paramount Pictures. The earliest case of this would be the aborted deal with Locksmith Animation. Additionally, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, originally expected to be distributed by Open Road Films and STX Entertainment, was acquired by Paramount to be distributed under Paramount Animation, later being distributed under Nickelodeon Movies.
Paramount Animation does not have an in-house animation style. According to Mireille Soria, each film has their own unique style created by the filmmakers, which would be helped by outsourcing animation to different vendors.
When Ramsey Naito took charge of Paramount Animation in September 2021, she brought over the culture of the Nickelodeon Animation Studio, which she describes as "artist-driven" and "creative". Both companies are now united under one team, in a move different from Disney and Universal's animation studios (Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar post-Lasseter for the former and Illumination and DreamWorks for the latter).
|Title||Release date||Co-production with||Animation service(s)||Directors||Composers|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water[a]||February 6, 2015||Nickelodeon Movies
United Plankton Pictures
|Rough Draft Studios Korea
Mike Mitchell (live-action sequence)
|The Little Prince||July 29, 2015[b]||ON Animation Studios
|Mark Osborne||Hans Zimmer|
|Anomalisa[d]||December 30, 2015||Starburns Industries||—||Charlie Kaufman
|Monster Trucks[a]||January 13, 2017||Disruption Entertainment
Moving Picture Company
|Chris Wedge||Dave Sardy|
|Sherlock Gnomes||March 23, 2018||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Reel FX Creative Studios
|John Stevenson||Chris Bacon|
|Wonder Park||March 15, 2019||Nickelodeon Movies||Ilion Animation Studios[c]
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run[a]||August 14, 2020[e]||Nickelodeon Movies
United Plankton Pictures
|Mikros Animation (Montreal)||Tim Hill||Hans Zimmer|
|Rumble||December 15, 2021[f]||WWE Studios
Reel FX Animation Studios
|Reel FX Creative Studios||Hamish Grieve||Lorne Balfe|
|Title||Release date||Ref.||Co-production with||Animation service(s)||Directors||Production Status|
|The Tiger's Apprentice||January 19, 2024||||New Republic Pictures||Mikros Animation
(Montreal and Paris)
|Raman Hui||In production|
|Transformers One||September 13, 2024||||Entertainment One
Di Bonaventura Pictures
|Industrial Light & Magic||Josh Cooley|
|Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie[g]||2024 on Netflix||||Nickelodeon Movies
United Plankton Pictures
|Sinking Ship Entertainment||Liza Johnson|
|Untitled Smurfs musical animated film||February 14, 2025||||Nickelodeon Movies||Cinesite (Vancouver)||Chris Miller|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Search for SquarePants||May 23, 2025||||Nickelodeon Movies
United Plankton Pictures
|Reel FX Animation||Derek Drymon||In development|
|Untitled Avatar animated film||October 10, 2025||||Nickelodeon Movies
|Flying Bark Productions||Lauren Montgomery||In production|
|Under the Boardwalk||TBA on Paramount+||||New Republic Pictures
Big Kid Pictures
|Rainbow Serpent||Co-production with Imagine Entertainment and Animal Logic|
|Stray Dogs||Co-production with Image Comics|
|Untitled Mighty Mouse film[a]|||
|Untitled Spice Girls film|||
|Untitled second and third SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off films||Co-production with Nickelodeon Movies and United Plankton Pictures; distributed by Paramount+|
|Untitled Trevor Noah animated film|||
All films listed are distributed by Paramount Pictures unless noted otherwise.
|Title||Release date||Studio||Animation service(s)||Notes|
|The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie||November 19, 2004||Nickelodeon Movies
United Plankton Pictures
|Rough Draft Studios Korea||Directed and story by Stephen Hillenburg.|
|Rango||March 4, 2011||Nickelodeon Movies
|Industrial Light & Magic||Directed by Gore Verbinski. Success led to the creation of Paramount Animation.|
|Sonic the Hedgehog||February 14, 2020||Sega Sammy Group
Marza Animation Planet
|Moving Picture Company
|Directed by Jeff Fowler. Based on the Sega video game series of the same name.|
|PAW Patrol: The Movie||August 20, 2021||Spin Master Entertainment
|Mikros Animation||Directed by Cal Brunker. Based on PAW Patrol by Keith Chapman|
|The Loud House Movie||Nickelodeon Movies||Top Draw Animation||Directed by Dave Needham. Based on The Loud House by Chris Savino. It was originally slated to be released theatrically by Paramount Pictures.|
|My Little Pony: A New Generation||September 24, 2021||Entertainment One||Boulder Media[c]||Directed by Robert Cullen and José Luis Ucha. Originally slated to be released theatrically by Paramount Pictures, later removed in February 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as eOne sold the rights to Netflix.|
|Clifford the Big Red Dog||November 10, 2021||Entertainment One
New Republic Pictures
The K Entertainment Company
|Moving Picture Company||Directed by Walt Becker. Based on the children's book of the same name by Norman Bridwell|
|Sonic the Hedgehog 2||April 8, 2022||Sega Sammy Group
Marza Animation Planet
|Moving Picture Company
|Directed by Jeff Fowler. Based on the Sega video game of the same name. Sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank||July 15, 2022||Nickelodeon Movies
Blazing Productions, Ltd.
Flying Tigers Entertainment
HB Wink Animation
|Cinesite[c]||Directed by Rob Minkoff and Mark Koetsier. Acquired by Paramount Pictures in January 2022 to be released under Paramount Animation. It was later released under Nickelodeon Movies.|
|Luck||August 5, 2022||Apple Original Films
|Skydance Animation Madrid[c]||Directed by Peggy Holmes. Announced as part of a deal between Paramount Animation and Skydance Animation; the former pulled out after John Lasseter came to Skydance. Distributed by Apple TV+.|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem||August 2, 2023||Nickelodeon Movies
Point Grey Pictures
(Montreal and Paris)
|Directed by Jeff Rowe.|
|PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie||September 29, 2023||Spin Master Entertainment
|Mikros Animation||Directed by Cal Brunker. Based on PAW Patrol by Keith Chapman. Sequel to PAW Patrol: The Movie|
|Sonic the Hedgehog 3||December 20, 2024||Sega Sammy Group
Marza Animation Planet
|TBA||Based on the Sega video game of the same name. Sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 2|
|Spellbound||2024||Apple Original Films
|Skydance Animation Madrid||Directed by Vicky Jenson. Announced as part of a deal between Paramount Animation and Skydance Animation; the former pulled out after John Lasseter came to Skydance. To be distributed by Apple TV+.|
|The Shrinking of Treehorn||TBA||Imagine Entertainment||Animal Logic[c]||Directed by Ron Howard. Originally slated to be released theatrically by Paramount Pictures, later sold the rights to Netflix.|
|Clifford The Big Red Dog 2||Entertainment One
New Republic Pictures
The Kerner Entertainment Company
|Moving Picture Company||Directed by Walt Becker. Based on the children’s book of the same name by Norman Bridwell. Sequel to Clifford the Big Red Dog.|
|The New Kid||Feature film based on the comic Penny Arcade. Announced in June 2011, the project was canceled by 2016 due to leadership changes at Paramount Pictures despite the script being complete.|
|Shedd||Announced on January 2014 with John Kahrs joining as the director and was based on an original idea by Adam Goodman.|
|Giant Monsters Attack Japan||Originally announced in 2006 as a live-action Nickelodeon Movies production from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the film moved to Paramount Animation in 2015 with a script written by Matt Lieberman.|
|Bodacious||Announced in October 2015 as an animated feature produced by Eddie Murphy based on the infamous bull of the same name.|
|Untitled sci-fi film||Paramount Animation acquired the rights to an untitled sci-fi pitch from screenwriter David Frigerio in October 2015, which was described as "tonally Cars set in space."|
|The Flamingo Affair||Announced in June 2016 as a co-production with J.J. Abrams through Bad Robot Productions with a script written by Pamela Pettler. The film was described as a comedic Ocean's Eleven-style heist film with animals in Las Vegas.|
|Adventures in Wonder Park||Prior to Wonder Park's release, Paramount Animation announced that a television series based on the film, titled Adventures in Wonder Park, would debut on Nickelodeon after the film's theatrical release. Although a trailer for the series was attached to the Blu-ray release of the film, and its first season, consisting of 20 episodes, was completed between 2019 and early 2020, there have been no updates from Nickelodeon on the project as of 2023. The animatic of the pilot was later posted online in December 2022.|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||$74 million||$55,365,012||$162,994,032||$162,192,000||$325,186,032|||
|The Little Prince||$60 million||$116,927||$1,339,152||$96,232,098||$97,571,250|
|Monster Trucks||$125 million||$10,950,705||$33,370,166||$31,123,749||$64,493,915|||
|Sherlock Gnomes||$59 million||$10,604,774||$43,242,871||$47,254,907||$90,497,778|||
|Wonder Park||$80–100 million||$15,853,646||$45,216,793||$74,342,317||$119,559,110|||
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run||$60 million||$865,824||$4,810,790||—||$4,810,790|||
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||81%||62|
|The Little Prince||93%||70|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run||67%||65|
|2015||Anomalisa||Best Animated Feature||Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson, and Rosa Tran||Nominated|||
|2016||The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Brice Mallier, Paul Buckley, Brent Droog, Alex Whyte and Jonothan Freisler||Nominated|||
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature||Tom Kenny|
|Anomalisa||Best Animated Feature||Rosa Tran, Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman and Dino Stamatopoulos|
|Best Directing in a Feature Production||Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson|
|Best Music in a Feature Production||Carter Burwell|
|Best Voice Acting in a Feature Production||Jennifer Jason Leigh|
|Best Editing in a Feature Production||Garret Elkins|
|2018||Sherlock Gnomes||Worst Actor||Johnny Depp||Nominated|||
|Worst Screen Combo|
|His fast-fading film career|
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