Underrated and Obscure Animation Companies

Discussion in 'The toonzone - General Animation Discussion' started by Rabbitearsblog, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. Rabbitearsblog

    Rabbitearsblog Well-Known Member

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    Over the years, there has been many animation companies created, but there were a couple of animation companies that were either obscured or overshadow by popular animation companies like Disney and Dreamworks. So, what are some animation companies that you remembered that are now underrated or unknown to the public? Here are some animation companies I think are heavily underrated:

    Rabbit Ears Productions (now known as Rabbit Ears Entertainment): This was a company I had grown up with ever since I was child and it has become a huge part of my childhood. Unfortunately, every time I tried to mention this company with anyone, they don't know what I'm talking about.

    Feature Films for Families: Some people might remember this company as they created works like the 2009 version of The Velveteen Rabbit, The Seventh Brother, and Willy the Sparrow, but I believe this company went out of business and these movies are barely referenced these days.

    Lacewood Productions:
    I think this is another animation company that went out of business, but they were well known for making movies like The Nutcracker Prince, For Better or Worse cartoons, and Katie and Orbie. This is also an animated company that is forgotten about in the long run.
     
    #1 Rabbitearsblog, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  2. Mandouga

    Mandouga Well-Known Member

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    There's also BRB Internacional of Spain, the creators of the David the Gnome TV series (which is based on a book). Their shows are pretty good. You might be interested in a show based on Elliot Ness and The Untouchables (a family friendly version of course), but with mice. Fittingly, it's called "The Untouchables of Elliot Mouse", and is set in "Cheesecago".

    There's also C&D ("Créativité et Développement"), a company started by Jean Chalopin after he left DIC ("Diffusion, Information, et Communication"), which he also helped to create. One show they created was The Bots Master, which uses one "3-D" scene in each episode. They were also responsible for the second season of Conan the Adventurer (the first season was made by Graz Entertainment with AKOM animating).

    Speaking of Graz Entertainment, they may be best remembered for "Ronin Warriors", the dubbed version of the anime series Yoroiden Samurai Troopers. They also did My Little Pony Tales (essentially "G1.5"), and the American produced Darkstalkers series (which some people think was made by DIC for some reason).

    Not too many people know about IDDH, a French company that started out making French dubbed versions of older anime shows (beginning in the 1970s). They helped out with Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars. Other than that, most of their original shows were mainly shown in France.

    Xilam Animation originally started out as division of the French motion picture company Gaumont. They made Highlander: The Animated Series (I think), Sky Dancers, Dragon Flyz (sic), and maybe one or two shows that aired on the Fox Network's Saturday morning block (one of them is a show called The Magician).

    The Australian company Yoram Gross Films might be best remembered for the Dot series of movies, which have animated characters and live-action settings. They also made the fully animated Blinky Bill series.

    That's all I can think of at the moment.
     
    #2 Mandouga, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  3. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    Oh yes, Xilam. I don't understand why Oggy and the Cockroaches turned out so popular around the world but not Floopaloo or Hubert & Takako.

    I'm afraid it's because Oggy doesn't need to be dubbed or subtitled.
     
  4. Rabbitearsblog

    Rabbitearsblog Well-Known Member

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    I've almost forgot about Oggy and the Cockroaches! I do wonder why that show is so popular though.
     
  5. Dr.Pepper

    Dr.Pepper Well-Known Member

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    I actually had The Lion and the Lamb on VHS as a kid. I also remember seeing some of their stuff at school.
     
  6. Frank98

    Frank98 Keep moving forward

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    Cartoon Saloon.
     
  7. Mandouga

    Mandouga Well-Known Member

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    I just thought of another one. There's a company called Perpetual Motion Pictures that usually makes commercials, Sesame Street shorts, and things like that, but they've also made all of The Berenstain Bears TV specials from 1979 to the early 1980s. They also made the second 1980s Strawberry Shortcake special (the first and third specials were made by Fred Wolf Films, back when they were known as Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, while all the others were made by Nelvana). The company is known today as Buzzco.

    There's also Atkinson Film-Arts. They made the first two Care Bears TV specials, along with The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin with DIC.
     
  8. wiley207

    wiley207 Well-Known Member

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    How about Golden Book Video and their infamous "Picturemation" VHS adaptations of existing Golden Books and such from the mid-80s? (not unlike the aforementioned "Katie and Orbie") They'd take the pictures from the books and add some cheesy limited Flash-esque animation effects to them at times (such as eyes blinking, having them slide to "walk" around, etc.) The visual "animation" production was typically handled by Animagination Inc. (which is still around today), along with David Kallaher Inc. (also still around) and Cioni Artworks (now defunct, Jon McClenahan used to work there for a couple of years). The soundtracks often utilized a full voice cast, and in many cases of adapting existing properties they would use substitute voice actors (there were a few exceptions: the "Sesame Street" ones had Fran Brill, Frank Oz and Caroll Spinney voicing their respective characters and a few others; the "Hugga Bunch Stories" video had several cast members from the live-action TV special reprise their roles.) Some original songs would be written, and they generally used the Associated Production Music library for background music (including familiar tracks from "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Ren & Stimpy!")

    The videos are usually pretty corny but they can be fun. A friend and I co-produce the YouTube series "Golden Book Video Killers" where we have puppet/plushie versions of Grumpy Dwarf and Daffy Duck riff on the videos!
     
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  9. Moleoman

    Moleoman Well-Known Member

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    One notable thing about C&D is that they once held (in years 1988-1996) non-US rights to the pre-1988 DIC library (including worldwide rights to "Cro and Bronto" and "Archibald the Magichien" assuming by this site: http://sec.edgar-online.com/abc-fam...istration-statement/1998/02/20/section85.aspx). Later (in 1996) Chalopin's company was bought by Saban (after which the pre-1988 DIC library became one of staples of Fox Kids' channels) and ulitmately in 2001 the whole Saban library (including ex-C&D titles) was bought as part of Fox Family Worldwide by, of course, Disney.
    In early 2006 DIC reacquired the international rights to their 1981-1988 shows from Disney and Jetix Europe (the latter of which still was autonomous from Disney to a great extent and it held the rights to the shows in Europe and Middle East): http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/MASK/5382

    By the way, there's also another French animation comapany called Millimages, which makes various kids cartoons for instance "Molang", "Mouk", "The Way Things Work", "Louie", "Hilltop Hospital", "The Hydronauts", "Lola and Virginia", "Pablo the Little Red Fox", "Jasper the Penguin", "Corneil and Bernie", "Lazy Lucy", "Archibald the Koala", "64 Zoo Lane" and "DaMöb". Milligames often uses British actors in English dubs of their series.
     
  10. RandomMe

    RandomMe Bloo

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    What about Perennial Pictures? Only a few things come to mind: Aliens Next Door and the Christmas spin-off, some other Christmas special whose name I forgot and Crawford the Cat.

    They also made a short for What a Cartoon!, but I'm only naming the specials and shows I watched.
     
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  11. Rabbitearsblog

    Rabbitearsblog Well-Known Member

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    What other Rabbit Ears stories have you seen?
     
  12. Dr.Pepper

    Dr.Pepper Well-Known Member

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    The only one I can recall was Pecos Bill. I honestly don’t remember as much about it other than a conversation that happened while watching it at school. A boy in my class yelled out “eww it’s a butt-naked man!” and my teacher replied “no he’s a butt-naked coyote.”
     
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  13. TheMisterManGuy

    TheMisterManGuy Active Member

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    Does Nelvana count? They made some unique and cool stuff, and some faithful children's book adaptations. They have their share of crap, but they're generally consistent.
     
  14. Rabbitearsblog

    Rabbitearsblog Well-Known Member

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    I've always enjoyed most of Nelvana's works although their works on Care Bears continues to be popular to this very day.
     
  15. wiley207

    wiley207 Well-Known Member

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    Yep: "Rat in a Hot Tin Can." I loved that one as a kid.
    Perennial Pictures also did the 1993 Little Critter animated video "Just Me and My Dad."
     
  16. Rabbitearsblog

    Rabbitearsblog Well-Known Member

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    I remembered Pecos Bill! Robin Williams was so hilarious in it and I loved the scene about Bill being naked! My favorite Rabbit Ears story has always been The Fool and the Flying Ship, which was also narrated by Robin Williams.
     
  17. Mandouga

    Mandouga Well-Known Member

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    Nope. They're a pretty well known company. They were (and still are) especially infamous for what they did to a certain anime involving a magic girl and cards...

    Now, CinéGroupe is a company some people may not have heard of. They produced a couple of animated shows that aired on what used to be called Fox Family: The Kids from Room 402, and Mega Babies. They also made one live action show that aired on the Fox network: Galidor. They also made the very first Bratz movie (before Mike Young Productions came along).

    There's also Ellipse Programmé, though they mainly seemed to have just helped out on other company's shows like Doug (one of the three original Nicktoons), or Sonic Underground (DIC) although they did make a few of their own productions, like The Garfield Show (an adaptation, but still one where, according to Wikipedia*, they made by themselves).

    You can't any more obscure (at least in North America) than Studio 100. One show they made is the current Maya the Bee series, although I think that's because they currently own the rights to the (British dub of the*) original 1970s Maya the Bee anime (both the original show, and the later "New Adventures" series).

    *Yeah, yeah, I know, but that's all I have to go on. Also, before the Saban Entertainment dub that aired on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block, there had previously been a British produced dub of the show.
     
  18. Rabbitearsblog

    Rabbitearsblog Well-Known Member

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    I remembered watching the Aliens' First Christmas and I think they also made a Christmas special that involved a dog rock band. I can't believe this company is all but forgotten.
     
  19. Cartoon_central

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    One that comes to mind is Red Apple Group which worked on two episodes of Peter Pan and the Pirates (The Plucking of Short Tom and Evicted), and they were by far the most off model studio that worked on the show, they had very strange ways of animating the characters.

    This is their only known work, not much is known about them or which country they were from, I'm sure they could've improved over the years if they'd gotten more work.
     
  20. Rabbitearsblog

    Rabbitearsblog Well-Known Member

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    That's the bad thing about companies becoming obscure before they had a chance to really improve on their animation, you never get to see them do more projects due to falling to obscurity.
     

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