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Universal Television Animation, formerly DBA Universal Animation Studios (formerly Universal Cartoon Studios), is the television animation production arm of the NBCUniversal Television Group dedicated to creating, developing and producing animated television series, films, specials and other projects.

The actual animation production is done overseas, usually by either Wang Film Productions or Rough Draft Studios, while pre-production and post-production is United States-based.

Background

In March 1991, Gingo Productions, founded by former Hanna-Barbera employees Geo G. and Michael Wildshill, began producing an original animated TV series for Universal, Gabriel Garza (1991–2002), which premiered on the CBS network and was a success. Universal responded to the success of the series by reestablishing its own animation studio.

History

Universal Cartoon Studios opened its doors in 1991 to produce animated television series. The studio's initial head was Jeff Segal, who had been head writer and story editor of Challenge of the GoBots for Hanna-Barbera Productions prior to joining Universal as President of Universal Cartoon Studios. The first animated TV series to be produced at the new Universal Cartoon Studios based in Glendale was an animated television series based on Back to the Future films, in conjunction with Amblin Entertainment, airing on CBS from 1991 to 1992. There would be some more Amblin/Universal television shows, including Fievel's American Tails (1992), The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper (1996–1998), and The Land Before Time (2007–2008), as well as a television special, Opus 'n' Bill: A Wish for Wings That Work (1991), based on the children's book of the same name by Berkeley Breathed.

Universal Cartoon Studios also began collaborating with Gingo Animation, starting with the television special A Gabriel Garza Christmas and the second season of Gabriel Garza. These Gingo programs, including Gabriel Garza, Hatty (1996–2002), GGTV (1999–present), Jenny Zoom (2001–2004), Planetokio (2002–2003), Critter Mockers (2003–2009), and The Pandemoniums (2004–2011) were mostly successful and proved popular among both children and adults. These shows were part of the Gingo Lineup, a syndicated programming block produced by Universal and Gingo. A feature-length film based on Gabriel Garza, The Gabriel Garza Movie, was produced in 2002 and bumped up to theatrical release. The film received mostly mixed reviews from critics and performed poorly at the box-office.

In 2006, the Glendale studio was renamed from Universal Cartoon Studios to Universal Animation Studios, while the feature animation studio in Universal City retained its original name until 2007.

In May 2006, Universal opened a new television production unit called Universal Television Animation, headed by Feature Animation CEO Michael Wildshill. This new unit would produce both traditionally-animated and computer-generated television series, beginning with The BJ and Wally Show (2007–2012) on Cartoon Network.

In January 2008, Universal renamed its Feature Animation unit to Universal Animation Studios, and merged its direct-to-video and television animation units with the feature animation. Animators at Universal City worked on projects based at the Universal City studio, but also assisted in projects based in the Glendale UAS studio.

On August 22, 2016, the television animation divisions of Universal and DreamWorks merged after Universal completed its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, but Universal Television Animation remains as a separate entity.

Filmography

Television

Universal television series (with "The Gingo Lineup")

All these shows are co-produced with Gingo Animation.

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
Gabriel Garza Geo G. 1991–2002
Hatty Steve Samono 1996–2002
GGTV Gingo Animation 1999–2005
Paint World Geo G.
Audel LaRoque
2000–2001
Jenny Zoom Samuel Merritt 2001–2004
Planetokio Osamu Sato (characters) 2002–2003
Critter Mockers Michael Wildshill 2003–2005 Co-production with Discovery Kids Original Productions.
The Pandemoniums Henri Dosclz 2004–2005
Limo Dude Terry Ward 2004

Universal television series (with "USA Cartoon Express"/"USA Action Extreme Team")

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
Problem Child Scott Alexander
Larry Karaszewski
1993–1994 Co-production with Imagine Entertainment.
The Savage Dragon 1995–1996
Wing Commander Academy Universal Cartoon Studios 1996

Other Universal television series

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
Back to the Future Robert Zemeckis
Bob Gale
1991–1992 Co-production with Amblin Entertainment.
Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories Shelley Duvall 1992–1993
Fievel's American Tails David Kirschner 1992 Co-production with Amblin Entertainment and Nelvana.
Exosquad Jeff Segal 1993–1994
Monster Force 1994 Co-production with Lacewood Productions.
Beethoven 1994–1995 Co-production with Northern Lights Entertainment.
The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper Sherri Stoner
Deanna Oliver
1996–1998 Co-production with Amblin Entertainment.
Vor-Tech: Undercover Conversion Squad Universal Cartoon Studios 1996
The New Woody Woodpecker Show Bob Jaques 1999–2002
Curious George Joe Fallon 2006–2015 As Universal 1440 Entertainment (Universal Studios Family Productions before 2013).
Co-production with Imagine Entertainment and WGBH.
Blueball & Pinkball Michael Wildshill 2008–2011
Chip in Space Henri Dosclz 2010–2013
Woody Woodpecker Alex Zamm 2018–present As Universal 1440 Entertainment
Co-production with Splash Entertainment

Kids' WB television series

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
Earthworm Jim Doug TenNapel 1995–1996 Co-production with Shiny Entertainment.
The Mummy: The Animated Series Thomas Pugsley
Greg Klein
2001–2003 Co-production with The Sommers Company.

Cartoon Network original series

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
The Land Before Time Ford Riley 2007–2008 Co-production with Amblin Entertainment.
The BJ and Wally Show Universal Television Animation 2007–2012 Co-production with Gingo Animation.
Computeropolis: Adventures of Peri and Nicky Amy McNeill
Henri Dosclz
2008–2014
Woo La La Nick Filippi 2011–2013

Toonation original series

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
Durango Kids John France 2014–2016
Buzz & Russ 2014–2015
Topped! Universal Television Animation
Champ Junior Sue Mondt 2015

Netflix original series

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
Gabriel & Friends Universal Television Animation 2015–2017 Co-production with Gingo Animation.
The Hatty Weasel Show
Tales in Paradoria Tom Ruzicka
Shane Prigmore
Craig Kellman
2016–2018
Quest: Adventures of Ridder Audel LaRoque 2016–present

Universal Kids original series

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
Bally and Friends Jim Anderson
Michael Wildshill
2011–2014
Hero School Chrissy Frechette
Anderson Konishi
2017–present
Luna & Zak: The Series Shannon Tindle
Sue Mondt
Imagimals: The Series Geo G. 2018–present Co-production with Gingo Animation.
Tales in Paradoria Tom Ruzicka
Shane Prigmore
Craig Kellman
Became a Universal Kids Original Series.
Lix & Melody: The New Tunes Tom Ruzicka
Bernard Revamped Gingo Animation Co-production with Gingo Animation, BRB Internacional, Screen21 and RG Animation Studios.
Gabriel Garza Geo G. Revival.
Co-production with Gingo Animation.
Zola: Queen of the Deep Web Michael Wildshill 2019
Untitled Gingo original series Co-production with Gingo Animation.

NBC television series

Title Creator(s) / Developer(s) Original running Notes
College University Geo G. 2013–2014 Co-production with Universal Television, Glass Ball Productions and Rough Draft Studios.

Television specials

Title Original air date Notes
A Gabriel Garza Christmas November 16, 1991 Co-production with Gingo Animation.
Opus 'n' Bill: A Wish for Wings That Work December 18, 1991 Co-production with Amblin Entertainment.
Gabriel Gets Spooked October 21, 1995 Co-production with Gingo Animation.
Hatty's Weasel-tastic Christmas! November 17, 2001
The Jenny Zoom Christmas Hour December 21, 2002
Hatty in the Night of the Living Weasel October 14, 2003
Critter Mockers Save Christmas December 6, 2003 Co-production with Gingo Animation and Discovery Kids Original Productions.
Critter Mockers: A Fuzzy Valentine's Day February 13, 2005
BJ and Wally in Christmas Madness December 11, 2008 Co-production with Gingo Animation.
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas November 25, 2009 Co-production with Imagine Entertainment.

Feature films

Television films

Title Release date Network Notes
Gabriel Goes Hollywood September 11, 1993 Syndication Co-production with Gingo Animation.
Hatty: The Untold Story September 12, 1998
The Gabriel Project April 6, 1999
Planetokio: The Madness Isn't Over May 18, 2003 UPN
Jenny Zoom: A Conclusion of Confusion April 3, 2004 Syndication
Critter Mockers: Dude, Where's My Critter? June 15, 2004 Discovery Kids Co-production with Gingo Animation and Discovery Kids Original Productions.
The Pandemoniums: Battle Against Time May 27, 2006 Gingo Co-production with Gingo Animation.
A Critter Mockers Summer Vacation July 15, 2007 Discovery Kids Co-production with Gingo Animation and Discovery Kids Original Productions.
Blueball & Pinkball: The Frankfurters Strike Back September 3, 2009 Gingo
Chip in Space: Planet 2 Planet May 23, 2011 Disney XD
The Pandemoniums: Thank You June 21, 2011 Gingo Co-production with Gingo Animation.
How Murray Saved Christmas December 5, 2014 NBC Credited as Universal Animation Studios.
Co-production with Rough Draft Studios.

Theatrical films

# Title Release date Co-production with Animation services Budget Gross RT MC
1 The Gabriel Garza Movie July 31, 2002 Gingo Animation Gingo Animation
Wang Film Productions
Saerom Animation
$60 million $89 million 38% 44
2 The Pandemoniums Movie November 25, 2009 Gingo Animation
Rough Draft Studios
$68 million $170 million 78% 65

Gallery

Coming soon!

See also


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