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Twentieth Century Animation, Inc. (formerly Fox Family Films and Twentieth Century Fox Animation and stylized as 20th Century Animation) is an animation subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company. Originally formed in 1994 as a subsidiary of 20th Century Studios, the studio is located in Century City, Los Angeles, and is tasked with producing feature-length animated, stop motion, mixed media and digitally-produced films.

The first film produced by 20th Century Animation, Anastasia, was released on November 21, 1997. Its latest release was Jose Maldonado: The Second Biggest Movie Ever on July 10, 2020, with their next scheduled release set to be Sunnie 2 on February 12, 2021.

Background

Before 20th Century Fox started its animation division, Fox released its first ten animated films, such as Hugo the Hippo (1975), Wizards, Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977), Fire and Ice (1983), Orbis (1986), Gools (1987), FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) with Interscope Communications, Once Upon a Forest and Operation Blue (1993) and The Pagemaster (1994).

In May 1993, Fox agreed to a two-year first-look deal with Nickelodeon for family films. The deal would mostly include original material, though a Nickelodeon executive did not rule out the possibility of making films based on The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rugrats and Doug. However, no films came out of the deal due to the 1994 acquisition of Paramount Pictures by Nickelodeon's parent company, Viacom, and they would distribute the film projects instead.

History

The division initially started in February 1994 as Fox Family Films, as one of four film divisions of 20th Century Fox under executive John Matoian. The division was planned to produce six feature films a year as part of a plan to produce more films per year overall. Fox senior vice president of production Chris Meledandri was transferred into the unit as executive vice president in March 1994 after having being hired the previous year. The week of May 6, 1994, Fox Family announced the hiring of Don Bluth and Gary Goldman for a new $100 million animation studio which began construction that year in Phoenix, Arizona. In three years, the animation studio would produce and release its first film, Anastasia. In September 1994, Matoian was promoted by Rupert Murdoch to head up the Fox network. Meledandri was selected to head up the unit in 1994.

It produced live-action films such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), Dunston Checks In (1996) and Home Alone 3. By August 1997, Fox Family had decreased the number of live films. R.L. Stine agreed with Fox Family Films in January 1998 for a film adaptation of the Goosebumps book franchise with Tim Burton producing.

Fox Animation

Logo used as 20th Century Fox Animation.

In 1998, following the success of Anastasia, the division was renamed to Fox Animation Studios, refocusing on animated feature films, including stop-motion, mixed media and digital production. The division's live-action films in development at the time included Marvel Comics' Silver Surfer, the disaster film spoof Disaster Area, Fantastic Voyage and Goosebumps. Ever After (1998), a Cinderella adaptation, was the division's last live-action film. At this time, there were several animated films on the company's development slate: Dark Town with Henry Selick, Chris Columbus and Sam Hamm, Santa Calls at Blue Sky, Thalia Ward (Alaina Gleen), and Matt Groening (The Simpsons) projects, Steve Oedekerk and Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The Phoenix studio at the time was producing Planet Ice expected in 1999 and directed by Art Vitello and Anastasia producer/directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman's then soon to be announced project. Chris Meledandri remained as the president of the division, which was known by 1999 as 20th Century Fox Animation.

20th Century Fox Animation vice president of physical production Chuck Richardson was sent in early December 1999 to Fox subsidiary Blue Sky Studios as general manager and senior vice president. Richardson was sent to prepare Blue Sky for feature animation production.

The Phoenix studio, which kept the Fox Animation Studios name, laid off 2/3 of its employee workforce in February 2000 before its closure in late June of that year. Fox Animation looked to produce films at Blue Sky and its Los Angeles headquarters.

In January 2007, Meledandri left for Universal Pictures to set up Illumination there with Vanessa Morrison as his replacement while answering to newly appointed 20th Century Fox Film Group vice-chairman Hutch Parker. Morrison moved from the live-action division where she handled family-children fare as senior vice president of production. Morrison was making deal with outside producers like she approved a Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox stop-motion adaptation.

In September 2015, Fox Animation introduced its new mascot, which is an anthropomorphic fox named Felix and began featuring him in the studio's logos starting with 2016's The Pixelators.

In September 2017, Locksmith Animation formed a multi-year production deal with 20th Century Fox, who will distribute Locksmith's films, with Locksmith aiming to release a film every 12-18 months. The deal was to bolster Blue Sky's output and replace the lost of distributing DreamWorks Animation films, which are now owned and distributed by Universal Pictures.

On October 30, 2017, Morrison was named president of a newly created 20th Century Fox division, Fox Family, which as a mandate similar to this company when it was called Fox Family Films. Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird were named co-president of Fox Animation the same day and would also have direct oversight of Blue Sky and oversee the Locksmith Animation deal and grow Fox Animation with other partnerships and producer deals.

Disney era

On October 18, 2018, it was announced that 20th Century Fox Animation would be added alongside 20th Century Fox to the Walt Disney Studios following their acquisition, with co-presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird retaining leadership while reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman, Alan Horn and Twentieth Century Fox vice chairman Emma Watts.

On March 20, 2019, Disney announced that the 20th Century Fox Animation label (including Blue Sky Studios) would be integrated as new units within the Walt Disney Studios with Co-Presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird continuing to lead the studio reporting directly to Alan Horn. Miloro steps down as co-president in late July 2019. In August 2019, Walt Disney Animation Studios head Andrew Millstein was named as co-president of Blue Sky for day-to-day operations alongside Baird, while Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris would also be taking a supervisory role over Millstein. With the Disney take over, the Locksmith deal left 20th Century Fox for Warner Bros. in October 2019 except for the first and only film under the deal, Ron's Gone Wrong.

On January 17, 2020, it was announced that the "Fox" name would be dropped from several of the Fox assets acquired by Disney, with 20th Century Fox Animation being renamed "20th Century Animation" on January 28.

Process

In a similar fashion to other animation studios such as the Warner Animation Group, Sony Pictures Animation and Paramount Animation, the studio outsources their animated films to different animation and visual effects studios, with the majority of their films being animated in-house by the main Fox Animation studio in Century City and Blue Sky Studios in Greenwich, Connecticut. Some films, such as Fantastic Mr. Fox, Sunnie, and The Book of Life, were created outside of 20th Century Fox Animation, although they were released under the studio's label.

Filmography

See also: List of 20th Century Fox Animation productions

Fox Family Films

  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
  • Dunston Checks In (1996)
  • Home Alone 3 (1997)
  • Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997)
  • Ever After (1998), a Cinderella adaptation, was the division's last live-action film

Fox Animation Studios

Main article: Fox Animation Studios

From 1994–2000, Fox operated Fox Animation Studios, a traditional animation studio which was started to compete with Walt Disney Animation Studios, which was experiencing great success with their releases of films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. The Fox studio, however, was not as successful. Their first feature Anastasia made nearly $140 million at the worldwide box office on a $53 million budget in 1997, but their third feature, Titan A.E., was a large financial loss, losing $100 million for 20th Century Fox in 2000. The lack of box office success, coupled with the rise of computer animation, led Fox to shut down the Fox Animation Studios.

Fox Animation

# Title Release date Distributor Budget Gross Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 Mice Tales November 21, 2001 20th Century Fox $45 million $201 million 76% 67
2 History Island May 7, 2004 $65 million $101 million 52% 50
3 Puppet Pals June 30, 2006 $90 million $659.2 million 89% 76
4 Kate & Chris September 28, 2007 $80 million $541.4 million 61% 56
5 Crystal November 26, 2008 $100 million $505 million 87% 72
6 Puppet Pals 2 April 16, 2010 $105 million $952 million 78% 71
7 Alaina Gleen October 22, 2010 $103 million $551 million 86% 81
8 Crystal: Coming of Darkness November 4, 2011 $109 million $657 million 88% 86
9 Little Lily March 23, 2012 $122 million $237 million 51% 46
10 Puppet Pals 3 December 14, 2012 $116 million $629 million 43% 41
11 Alaina Gleen 2 September 13, 2013 $119 million $959 million 77% 62
12 Crystal: The Lost Realms May 29, 2015 $118 million $890 million 74% 71
13 The Pixelators December 9, 2016 $155 million $592 million 47% 46
14 Alaina Gleen: Imaginary Vacation July 21, 2017 $165 million $891 million 53% 46
15 Cool Spot June 29, 2018 $150 million $1.145 billion 78% 69
16 Puppet Pals Forever September 21, 2018 $200 million $1.204 billion 58% 54
17 Havoc on the Planet of the Apes May 17, 2019 $200 million $108 million 63% 51
18 Crystal: The Rise of Darkness September 13, 2019 $175-200 million $1.091 billion 86% 74
19 The Pixelators: Level Two February 7, 2020 $175 million $589 million 86% 71
Upcoming
20 Alaina Gleen: World's Most Wanted November 5, 2021 20th Century Studios TBA TBA TBA TBA
21 Cool Spot 2: Spot Goes to Hollywood March 18, 2022 TBA TBA TBA TBA

Blue Sky Studios

Main article: Blue Sky Studios

Since 1997, Fox owns Blue Sky Studios, a computer animation company known for the Ice Age franchise. Fox has had much more success with this studio, and the box office receipts of their films are competitive with those of Pixar, DreamWorks and Universal. On March 21, 2019, Blue Sky Studios was integrated as a separate unit within Walt Disney Studios, but they will still report to Fox Animation presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird. They have released twelve feature films, numerous short films and television specials. Major feature films include:

# Title Release date Distributor Budget Gross Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 Ice Age March 15, 2002 20th Century Fox $59 million $383 million 77% 60
2 Robots March 11, 2005 $75 million $260 million 64% 64
3 Ice Age: The Meltdown March 31, 2006 $80 million $660 million 57% 58
4 Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! March 14, 2008 $85 million $297 million 79% 71
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs July 1, 2009 $90 million $886 million 46% 50
6 Rio April 15, 2011 $90 million $484 million 72% 63
7 Ice Age: Continental Drift July 13, 2012 $95 million $877 million 38% 49
8 Epic May 24, 2013 $93 million $268 million 64% 52
9 Rio 2 April 11, 2014 $103 million $500 million 46% 49
10 The Peanuts Movie November 6, 2015 $99 million $246 million 87% 67
11 Ice Age: Collision Course July 22, 2016 $105 million $408 million 17% 34
12 Ferdinand December 15, 2017 $111 million $296 million 72% 58
13 Spies in Disguise December 25, 2019 TBA TBA 70% 53
Upcoming
14 Nimona January 14, 2022 20th Century Studios TBA TBA TBA TBA

Co-productions

Title Release date Co-production with Distributor Budget Gross Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Star Wars T.I.E. December 8, 2000 Industrial Light & Magic
Lucasfilm
20th Century Fox $90 million $346 million 76% 67
Jose Maldonado: The Biggest Movie Ever July 18, 2003 Maldonado Studios
Klasky Csupo
Film Roman
Rough Draft Feature Animation
$50 million $343 million 91% 88
The Alaina Gleen Movie September 17, 2004 Thalia Ward Productions
Film Roman
Rough Draft Feature Animation
$65 million $166 million 46% 41
The TeenV Movie June 17, 2005 Glass Ball Productions
Film Roman
Rough Draft Feature Animation
$74 million $288 million 78% 62
The Simpsons Movie July 27, 2007 Gracie Films
Film Roman
Rough Draft Studios
$75 million $527 million 88% 80
Fantastic Mr. Fox November 13, 2009 American Empirical Pictures $40 million $46 million 92% 83
The Book of Life October 17, 2014 Reel FX $50 million $99 million 82% 67
Sunnie October 13, 2017 Frenzy Animation $70 million $347 million 53% 46
Jose Maldonado: The Second Biggest Movie Ever[S] July 10, 2020 Maldonado Studios 20th Century Studios $80 million TBA 71% TBA
Upcoming
Sunnie 2 February 12, 2021 Frenzy Animation 20th Century Studios TBA TBA TBA TBA
Ron's Gone Wrong April 23, 2021 Locksmith Animation TBA TBA TBA TBA

Other

  • FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue (1998) Wild Brain and Wang Film Productions
  • Monkeybone[S] (2001) (co-production by 1492 Pictures)
  • Kung Pow: Enter the Fist[S] (2002) (co-production by O Entertainment)
  • Isle of Dogs (2018) (Co-production by Studio Babelsberg, Indian Paintbrush, and American Empirical Pictures; distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures)
SCombines live-action with animation.

Franchises

Titles Movies Release years
The Simpsons 1 1989–present
Alaina Gleen 4 1990–present
FernGully: The Last Rainforest 2 1992–present
Jose Maldonaldo 2 1996–present
Anastasia 2 1997–1999
Ice Age 5 2002–present
Puppet Pals 4 2006–2018
Crystal 4 2008–2019
Rio 2 2011–present
The Pixelators 2 2016–present
Sunnie 1 2017–present
Cool Spot 1 2018–present

See also

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