As we move ahead into the New Year, there are a few companies that any animation degree student should pay attention to. From the Japanese animation giant Studio Ghibli to Ice Age producers Blue Sky Studios, these three studios deserve your attention in 2013.
Studio Ghibli is most known for crafting grand stories of magic within beautiful worlds. Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Ponyo have been critically acclaimed and well received in both America and Japan. Miyazaki, one of the studios founders, has been called “Japan’s Walt Disney” and that nickname is more than well deserved.
In 2013, another one of Ghibli’s films will hit American shores and inspire another generation of animation students. From Up on Poppy Hill is directed by Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki, and features a much less majestic story when compared to the studios previous entries. A story about high school students fighting for their clubhouse in the 1960’s seems a lot different from the usual Ghibli fare of talking vegetables and magic creatures.
A more reined-in experience from Studio Ghibli should be on any animation degree student’s spotlight in 2013.
Pixar should be on every animation degree student’s mind regardless of what they produce but 2013 holds the return of one of the studio’s most beloved franchises.
Pixar brings Monster’s University to the table in 2013 and features the writing talents of Pete Docter, the director of the original Monster’s Inc. After a down year with Brave (criticized for being too traditional), Pixar looks to bounce back strong with the revival of a fairly classic series.
Monster’s University features a large cast of famous stars and looks to be a revival of the classic Pixar brand in 2013. Animation degree holders with the hopes of being hired should pay attention to this one.
Blue Sky Studios
Blue Sky Studios used to be one of the biggest animation studios around with hits like Ice Age and Robots. After that, the studio has struggled to keep up with the big hitters at Pixar and Disney. Since Blue Sky’s inception, they have released seven 3D CGI films. In the same amount of time, Disney has released 11 films (two in 2D and two being a blend of 2D and 3D) and Pixar has released nine.
Blue Sky has struggled to produce as many films as fast as the two big powers in animation, but is slowly catching up. In 2013, Blue Sky Studios, for the third straight year in a row, will release Epic. Epic is a retelling of a William Joyce story named “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs”. With another star-studded cast, Blue Sky Studios may finally break through and give Pixar and Disney some legitimate competition in the New Year.
While there may be a few studios that hold the top spot in the industry like Disney and Pixar, companies like Blue Sky Studios and Studio Ghibli are slowly appearing on animation degree student’s radars. Not only as a source of inspiration but as a source of work as well.
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