Top 10 Most Successful Animation Production Companies In The World

Aug 7, 2023 | Articles

While animation is becoming more flexible and versatile by exploring other industries; it remains dominant in the entertainment industry, notably films. 

This doesn’t come as a surprise since thousands of animation production companies have continued to release award-winning animation movies over the decades. 

While there are many studios that have released quality films, we listed the top ten in the world and share their stories in this article.


Top 10 Most Successful Animation Production Companies In The World & Their Stories 

A poster of all popular Toei Animation characters; Goku, Usagi, Taichi, and Agumon, Luffy, and many more.

For many, Toei Animation introduces them to many anime series and continues to produce many iconic series.

  1. Toei Animation

For the 90-kids that grew up watching Japanese anime, Toei Animation remains near and dear to their heart.

This Japanese studio has been producing iconic series such as ‘Dragon Ball’, ‘Saint Seiya’, ‘Sailor Moon’, ‘Digimon’, and many more since 1956. 

Founded in 1948 by Kenzō Masaoka and Zenjirō Yamamoto, Toei Animation has won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award in Galaxy Express 999 in 1981, Saint Seiya in 1987, and Sailor Moon in 1992.

Creating a significant impact on the global animation industry, Toei Animation began to provide animation for American films and television series during the 1960s, particularly in the 1980s. 

Currently, Toei Animation continues to produce numerous animated episodes for One Piece, PreCure, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Super Dragon Ball Heroes, and more. 


A poster from the Nickelodeon Play Station 2 game; Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island.

With success from SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar, The Fairly OddParents, and many more; Nickelodeon appeals to children with its quirky stories and characters.
Image Credit: Youtube – 10min Gameplay

  1. Nickelodeon Animation Studio

When we mentioned Nickelodeon, what was the first series to come to mind? No other than the hit series; SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Fairly OddParents, The Adventure of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, to name a few.

With over 33 years (at the time of this writing) of experience, Nickelodeon animations are considered to be a success, even going far and beyond to release game adaptations for some of its series.


DC Universe Heroes from the Justice League series, gathering.

Warner Bros. did go through some turbulent times but they managed to rise and reopen in 1980 and since then, release many successful series with sharp animation details.
Image Credit: DC MOVIES

  1. Warner Bros. Animation

For DC Universe fans, Warner Bros. Animation is no stranger. Though many may consider their works flawless; that doesn’t mean the studio didn’t face any challenges.

Before their success, Warner Brothers had to shut down for 11 years in 1969. It was only on their reopening in 1980 that animation is creating such a buzz that they managed to gain momentum and grew their success.

Though they have released some hit TV movies and series, Warner Brothers also branched out and enter the gaming industry with titles such as; Matrix Online (2005), Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009), MultiVersus (2024), and many more.


A scene from the movie; Chicken Run.

Known for their stop-motion and clay animation, Aardman Animation is distinctive with quirky humor and characters.
Image Credit: Time Out

  1. Aardman Animation

Bringing stop-motion and clay animation to the mainstream media, Aardman Animation is a British animation studio based in Bristol, England.

Founded in 1972, Aardman Animations are well known for its animated series with a distinctive plasticine look such as; Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and Morph. 

Being well-received by the mass audience, Aardman Animation’s, Chicken Run is currently their top-grossing film, being the highest-grossing stop-motion film of all time.


A scene from the movie; Princess Mononoke.

Studio Ghibli has never failed to win the audience over with its strong details and effort in animation, characters, and storytelling.
Image Credit: LIT HUB

  1. Studio Ghibli

Founded in 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata in Tokyo, Japan, Studio Ghibli is no stranger to animation lovers.

Whether it’s due to the beautifully hand-drawn animation, captivating storytelling, details to themes and characters, or a combination of all; Studio Ghibli’s work has never failed to capture the audiences. 

With its first film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 1984 becoming a hit, Studio Ghibli continues to produce quality animation with meaningful stories such as; The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Grave of The Fireflies, My Neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, and many more. 


A poster for the film; Ice Age where the character - Scrat is holding the acorn nut.

Though Blue Sky became a hit with their Ice Age series, they unfortunately have to shut down in April 2021.
Image Credit: GEEK CULTURE

  1. Blue Sky Studios

An American computer animation studio based in Greenwich, Connecticut, it was founded in 1987 by Chris Wedge, Carl Ludwig, Eugene Troubetzkoy, Alison Brown, David Brown, and Michael Ferraro. 

Though their initial focus was on creating CGI rendering and graphics for TV commercials, the studio decided to explore and create the iconic Ice Age movie franchise.

Considering how they’re a subsidiary of the 20th Century Fox, any movies from the studio are owned by Walt Disney after the acquisition.

Though viewed as a success, Blue Sky, unfortunately, shut down in April 2021 due to the economic impact of COVID-19 on its operations. They released a short farewell video, as a little nod to their loyal audience. 


A scene from the Despicable Me movie- with Felonious, Agnes, Margo, and Edith.

Illumination may be a newbie to this list but their success has gained them the global recognition to continue producing hit series.
Image Credit: PEAK PX

  1. Illumination 

With the success of ‘Despicable Me’ in 2010, Illumination has made a name in the animation scene and gained global recognition. 

Although regarded as ‘the fresh face’ among this list, Illumination didn’t deter and continues to produce successful franchises such as; The Super Mario Bros., Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, and more.

As of today, they are operating in Santa Monica, California, United States of America.


A scene from the movie Kung Fu Panda, where Po is performing a kick pose.

DreamWorks have released many smash hit animated films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar that are beloved by many age groups.
Image Credit: COMPLEX

  1. DreamWorks Animation

Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and Madagascar are well-known series from DreamWorks Animation.

Founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen with its first feature film being The Prince of Egypt (1998), DreamWorks continues to produce quality animation that made its mark on the animation world.

What makes their animation unique and memorable are their stunning animation, sense of humor, and storytelling that appeals to adults as well as children.


A scene from the movie, Toy Story where the two main characters- Woody and Buzz are having an argument.

Pixar has revolutionized computer-generated animation with its debut feature film, Toy Story
Image Credit: BBC

  1. Pixar Animation Studio

Established in 1986, Pixar is regarded highly as they have revolutionized computer-generated animation with its debut feature film, Toy Story.

With a total of 26 feature films, Pixar’s films; Toy Story 3 (2010), Finding Dory (2016), Incredibles 2 (2018), and Toy Story 4 (2019) are among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time.

Not only that, they have also earned numerous awards and recognition; most notably 23 Academy Awards, 10 Golden Globe Awards, and 11 Grammy Awards – quite a feat for animation!

With such success over the years, it seems Pixar shows no sign of slowing down and continues to produce quality animation films.


A scene from the movie Frozen- where Anna searches for Elsa inside a snow castle.

Disney continues to dominate the animation industry, becoming the leading animation studio.
Image Credit: ROGER-ERBET

  1. Walt Disney Animation Studios

With the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Disney Animation has forever changed the animation film industry. 

Founded in 1923 by Walt and Roy Disney, the studio is widely recognized as ‘the leader in animated features’. 

In fact, Disney is credited not only for its popular animated films such as The Lion King (1994), Frozen (2013), Zootopia (2013), and more, but also for developing many techniques, concepts, and principles that became standard practices of traditional animation. Storyboarding became a standard technique in both animated and live-action filmmaking, thanks to Disney.

It’s important to note that the contribution of these companies has allowed the animation industry to grow into the billion-dollar industry it is today. 

While the competition is stiff, we believe that local animation studios have room to compete and showcase their talents as well. 

References: Arena Animation, Movie Web

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop