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GoAnimate Animation, LLC (originally known as GoAnimate Cartoon Productions from 1980 to 1985) an American animation studio based at the Walt Disney Studio in Burbank, California and is a subsidiary of Vyond Studios, itself a division of VyondMedia which in turn is a wholly owned division of The Walt Disney Company, with film producer Brian Sharp serving as president.

Dedicated to making animated films although a few of its films are live-action/animated, the studio has been involved in three film franchises to have exceeded $1 billion in North American revenue: High School WheneverNew GoAnimate, and Dorrie's Land. The New GoAnimate franchise is licensed to Sony Pictures internationally while High School Whenever is licensed to 20th Century Fox. Since 2017, the majority of GoAnimate Animation's films are distributed theatrically by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, having previously distributed by various studios. 20th Century Fox owns the rights to High School Whenever, Universal Pictures distributed Darren and Daniel's Epic Adventure (1997), The Erika and Zara Movie (2002), and Darren and Daniel's Remarkable Adventure (2017), and has the right of first refusal to distribute any future Erika and Zara produced by GoAnimate Animation, Sony Pictures distributed Ryana and Lucy (2007) as well as internationally distributing the New GoAnimate films, and will distribute any future Ryana and Lucy films produced in conjunction with GoAnimate Animation as well as future New GoAnimate films. The studio also makes films that are either rated G or PG although it made to date only one PG-13 film titled Battlestar released in 2009. As of 2018, the only GoAnimate Animation franchises that aren't owned by Disney are Ryana and Lucy, Erika and Zara, Jimmy Tootie (after being acquired from absorbed company Xtranormal Animation Studios), Darren and Daniel , High School Whenever, and The Rooneys.

History

1976–90: Early years

Palm-Tree's predecessor Windmill-Redding Productions was founded in 1976 as a division of Hanna-Barbera by animators Tony Windmill and George Redding, who wanted to realize their dream of producing an animated feature-length film. On January 26, 1982, after leaving Hanna-Barbera due to financial reasons, Windmill and Redding opened their own studio named Palm-Tree Productions, which would develop characters, stories and productions, and some of the animators who worked for Windmill and Redding at Hanna-Barbera came to the studio at the time.

After the success of Palm-Tree's first production Nathan in 1985, the studio was approached by The Studio's Five Major Movie Companies—who would ultimately become its most important partner to produce an animated feature film that would become Marty and Danny's Epic Adventure an offer which the founders immediately accepted. The deal was settled in August 1985, and Windmill and Redding, along with fellow Palm-Tree animator Sean Teixeira, began working on the script of Danny and Marty's Epic Adventure, which was to be directed by Windmill in his feature-length directorial debut. Palm-Tree approved of the film's script, and pre-production for Marty and Danny's Epic Adventure started, set for a Thanksgiving 1993 release date. However, development for Paint World was stalled in March 1987 and Palm-Tree abandoned Marty and Danny's Epic Adventure in March 1990.

1991–2000: Television success and film debut

Palm-Tree had produced a primetime animated series titled High School Whenever, which ran on NBC from 1990 to 1991. Fox expressed a strong desire in 1991 for Palm-Tree to create a new series, and the studio began conceiving Jasmine and Kat during this period; that same year, Gingo changed its name to Palm-Tree Animation, LLC.

Palm-Tree Interactive is a video game developer and publisher founded in 1993. It was best known for developing the video game adaptation of High School Whenever, as well as the Wally Decker and Collin Robinson games.

With the success of High School Whenever, Palm-Tree began concerning their interest in restarting development on the studio's first feature film Marty and Danny's Epic Adventure in late 1992. The following year, Palm Tree revived the project and the staff brought The Lion King writer Irene Mecchi on to help rewrite their 1989 script with additional input from Mark Vasgersian and Ash Brannon. As Windmill was busy on other projects at the time, writer Teixeira was selected to direct the film in his directorial debut.

In April 1994, Palm-Tree created a computer animation department at the studio's main headquarters at Richmond that would produce computer-generated productions, starting with the short C.J. and Dorinda in 1996, which was Palm Tree's first attempt at computer animation. For then, the studio had the traditional animators working for their main hand-drawn animation department, and the computer animators worked on CG productions. In June 1994, Universal announced they were to co-finance and distribute Marty and Danny's Epic Adventure, which had been in pre-production for a year. In September 1996, the studio's second animated series Jordyn's World aired on ABC, and ran until 2001.

To expand the studio's online content presence, Palm-Tree Animation launched their own official website named PalmTree.com in 1996. The website gathers its core animation properties in a single online environment that is interactive and customizable for site visitors. It offers both originally produced content along with press releases, games, free wallpapers, desktop backgrounds, and screensavers. Some of the characters to be used in the project from the Palm-Tree libraries include those of High School Whenever and Jordyn's World.

Meanwhile, starting in 1995, Palm-Tree animator Victoria Snell had been working on a computer-animated short film named Ren, intended to expand the appeal of Gingo productions to older audiences and to showcase the talents of the new generation of Palm-Tree animators. The film revolves around a young man who is afraid of the dark until she encounters a star. The star subsequently leads the woman into "a glow that is lightly daytime." At the time, McNeill shared storyboard panels for Ren with the studio's founders Tony Windmill and George Redding. It was not until January 1998 when Christy Wood, a then-producer at Palm-Tree Animation, assigned Snell to complete the Ren project.

On July 7, 1997, Gingo and Universal signed a $250 million deal to make ten films that were estimated to be completed within the next fifteen years. Another project was also announced titled The Dumb Doggies, intended to be based on the children's picture book of the same name by Gordon Robson; however, it was put on hold two years later because of script issues. At this time, Universal purchased a 30% share of Gingo.

In December 1997, the studio's first feature film Marty and Danny's Epic Adventure was released to critical and financial success; it grossed over $489 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film of the year as well as the highest-grossing animated film of the year. Shortly after the release of Marty and Danny's Epic Adventure in early 1998, Los Angeles Times reported that Palm-Tree was in talks with Universal about a possible merger with their Universal Feature Animation (now Universal Animation Studios) division, but those talks failed.

In July 1998, Palm-Tree Animation released its second animated feature, Ryan and Friends by 20th Century Fox was released to a critical commercial success grossing $429 million worldwide becoming the third-highest grossing film of 1998 and the highest grossing film of the year.

In June 2000, Palm-Tree Animation released its third animated feature, Chronicles of Faith and Becky with Warner Brothers Pictures was released to a critical and box office success.

2001–07: Conversion to computer animation and initial success

Palm-Tree released Ren in January 2001, and it received the Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film, losing to Gingo's Lina. With the successful release of Ren, The five major studio companies began considering buying Palm-Tree in order to compete with Disney and Pixar in feature film computer animation. Seeing the box office success of DreamWorks Animation's Shrek and Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc., Palm-Tree was reconfigured to become a computer animation studio. In July 2001, Palm-Tree released its fourth feature film The Jasmine and Kat Movie. Based on the studio's animated series Jasmine and Kat, the film did not perform as well as Marty and Danny's Epic Adventure and Ryan Friends critically or financially and was poorly received by critics.

In July 2002, Palm-Tree released its fifth feature film and final traditionally animated film Jordyn's World: The Movie. Based on animated series on NBC, was released to a commercial success and a box office success.

Despite its successful release of Jordyn's World The Movie, Palm-Tree laid off most of the employees at the hand-drawn department, downsizing it to one unit and beginning plans to move into fully computer animated films. A handful of employees were offered positions doing computer animation. Subsequently, on September 27, 2002, Palm-Tree Animation officially announced they were becoming a fully CGI studio, now with a staff of 460 people and began selling off all of its traditional animation equipment. Despite this, however, the studio still has some hand-drawn animated productions underway, only for direct-to-video and television series, respectively.

In 2003, Palm-Tree released its first fully computer-animated feature film The High School Whenever Movie to critical and commercial success. It grossed $637 million worldwide, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2003. The High School Whenever Movie established Palm-Tree as the fourth studio after Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, and Blue Sky Studios to have launched a successful CGI franchise.

In August 2003, after the success of The High School Whenever Movie, GoAnimate announced that it would be working with Universal to create The High School Whenever, a 3-D ride at Universal Parks & Resorts locations in Orlando, Hollywood, Sentosa, and Osaka. The ride officially opened on February 16, 2004 in Orlando, in Hollywood on January 25, 2006, in Sentosa on September 27, 2011, and in Osaka on January 2, 2005. In November 2003, GoAnimate released its second computer-animated film, That's What Girls Do which was a critical and commercial success grossing $727 million worldwide becoming the fourth highest grossing film of 2003.

Disney subsidiary (2008-present)

GoAnimate and Disney had disagreements over the production of New GoAnimate The Sequel. Originally intended as a straight-to-video release (and thus not part of Pixar's three-picture deal), the film was eventually upgraded to a theatrical release during production. GoAnimate demanded that the film then be counted toward the three-picture agreement, but Disney refused. Though profitable for both, Pixar later complained that the arrangement was not equitable. Pixar was responsible for creation and production, while Disney handled marketing and distribution. Profits and production costs were split 50-50, but Disney exclusively owned all story, character and sequel rights and also collected a 10- to 15-percent distribution fee. The lack of story, character and sequel rights was perhaps the most onerous aspect to GoAnimate and set the stage for a contentious relationship. After being acquired by Disney, GoAnimate began to reclaim more of their film franchises, with Darren and Daniel's rights remained at Universal in a two-way agreement where Disney would receive full merchandising ancillary distribution rights to future Darren and Daniel films in exchange for Universal purchasing out GoAnimate's film participation rights. On July 23, 2010, the studio released Wild Animal Nation.

In 2012, GoAnimate Animation became a sister studio to Xtranormal Animation Studios after The Walt Disney Company acquired Xtranormal Entertainment through VyondMedia. 20th Century Fox, the original distributor of High School Whenever, still retains the physical distribution rights to the film franchise, currently owning permanent full distribution rights for The High School Whenever Movie, while also holding the theatrical and home video distribution rights to the third, fifth, sixth and seventh films until May 2020. On December 14, 2017, Disney agreed to acquire 21st Century Fox the owner of 20th Century Fox. in a deal that includes the studio; which would combine all these rights under its umbrella as well as other Fox co-produced films. GoAnimate Animation retains the television and digital distribution rights to the fourth and eighth films. In May 2013, Walt Disney Studios purchased the distribution and marketing rights to future That's What Girls Do films from Paramount Pictures, and reverted the rights to That's What Girls Do and That's What Girls Do Too back to GoAnimate Animation.

On June 1, 2015, GoAnimate Animation announced that Dark Horse Comics' license for various comics of its shows and movies would end in January 2018, and return to fellow Disney subsidiary Marvel Comics.

In August 2015, rights to the Bailey and Brenda, Juno and Nisha, and Purp franchises were all reverted to GoAnimate Animation after respective owners NBCUniversal, CBS, and Warner Bros. gave up the rights. Later in September, Sony Pictures and Disney finally ended their dispute on rights to Roach Man and green-lit a script to a live action/animated reboot which is aimed at a PG-13 rating.

On June 25, 2018, CBS gave up television distribution rights to That's What Girls Do: The Animated Series after their distribution deal expired resulting in Nickelodeon cancelling the series and moving it to Disney Channel.

More coming soon!

Feature films

Released films

# Title Release date Distributor/co-production with Budget Gross RT MC
1 New GoAnimate The Movie January 5, 1995 Walt Disney Pictures / Columbia Pictures $20 million $315.9 million 98% 82
2 Darren and Daniel's Epic Adventure December 5, 1997 Universal Pictures $120 million $489.7 million 93% 76
3 Ryan and Friends July 15, 1998 20th Century Fox $100 million $429.7 million 87% 74
3 New GoAnimate The Sequel March 5, 1999 Walt Disney Pictures / Columbia Pictures $90 million $492.1 million 29% 54
4 Chronicles of Faith and Becky June 2, 2000 Warner Bros. Pictures $112 million $420.5 million 83% 70
5 Baby Blues July 6, 2001 Columbia Pictures $143 million $300.4 million 37% 33
6 The Erika and Zara Movie August 2, 2002 Universal Pictures $184 million $795 million 77% 59
7 The High School Whenever Movie June 20, 2003 20th Century Fox $168 million $637.6 million 89% 93
8 That's What Girls Do November 19, 2003 Paramount Pictures $189 million $727.3 million 84% 79
9 Video Game City September 17, 2004 Miramax Films $193 million $569.4 million 96% 86
10 Cliques and Alphas December 10, 2004 20th Century Fox $197 million $793.8 million 77% 66
11 Spies of Teens July 22, 2005 20th Century Fox $199 million $821.3 million 88% 85
12 Bash the Friendly Buffalo December 16, 2005 Columbia Pictures $150 million $698.5 million 90% 87
13 New GoAnimate The Third June 22, 2007 Walt Disney Pictures / Columbia Pictures $119 million $872.1 million 78% 83
14 High School Whenever 2 July 19, 2006 20th Century Fox $185 million $946.5 million 85% 79
15 That's What Girls Do Too September 15, 2006 Paramount Pictures $225 million $409.2 million 29% 24
16 Ryana and Lucy March 16, 2007 Columbia Pictures $198 million $877.5 million 94% 89
17 Ninja's Incorporated September 7, 2007 20th Century Fox $200 million $533.6 million 62% 56
18 Crossing Jenny April 11, 2008 Universal Pictures $180 million $763.4 million 84% 80
19 Dr. Seuss' Mr. Brown September 26, 2008 Walt Disney Pictures $175 million $857.9 million 54% 47
20 High School Whenever 3 July 29, 2009 20th Century Fox $198 million $795.6 million 42% 50
21 Wild Animal Nation July 23, 2010 Walt Disney Pictures $193 million $241.3 million 79% 70
22 Ryana and Lucy 2 September 30, 2011 Columbia Pictures $180 million $821.9 million 89% 96
23 High School Whenever: Lost in Vegas June 29, 2012 20th Century Fox $186 million $898.6 million 80% 77
24 Lisa 101 July 26, 2013 Walt Disney Pictures $175 million $869 million 97% 94
25 Ryana and Lucy 3 September 26, 2014 Columbia Pictures $250 million $1.037 billion 96% 95
26 Henry and Ted May 29, 2015 Walt Disney Pictures $200 million $345.2 million 98% 93
27 The Daniella Movie April 5, 2016 20th Century Fox $124 million $1.023 billion 50% 54
28 Andrew Connors October 14, 2016 Universal Pictures $225 million $824.6 million 97% 94
29 Darren & Daniel's: Remarkable Adventure July 19, 2017 Universal Pictures $200 million $826.3 million 96% 93
30 The Rooneys Movie June 1, 2018 20th Century Fox $944.2 million 98% 100
31 New GoAnimate 4our: The Super Toonz July 20, 2018 Walt Disney Pictures / Columbia Pictures $358.7 million 89% 93

Upcoming films

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34 James Bond 007: An Italian Mission to Live it and Die July 8, 2024 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Eon Productions

Warner Bros Pictures

Films in development

Untitled Veggietales christmas musical comedy theatrical film (scheduled for the November 2024 release)

Direct-to-video films

Spike's Friendly Too (May 31, 2005)

GoAnimate: The Movie (July 30, 2006)

Television specials

Coming Soon!

Short films

Coming Soon!

Television series

Coming Soon!

Accolades

Coming Soon!

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