Ánima Estudios (stylized and also known as ÁNiMA) is an animation studio and media company boasting one of the largest original catalogues of animated programming in Latin America. It is the leading and most prestigious animation studio in Latin America. Founded in 2002 by Fernando De Fuentes S. and Jose C. Garcia De Letona, the prolific house is best known for producing such recognizable brands as El Chavo, Top Cat, the Leyendas franchise, and Cleo & Cuquín.
|Founder||Fernando De Fuentes S.|
Jose C. Garcia De Letona
Number of locations
|Mexico City, Madrid, Buenos Aires and Las Palmas (Canary Islands)|
|Fernando De Fuentes S.|
Jose C. Garcia De Letona
(COO/Executive Vice President)
Licensing and Merchandising
Átomo Network (partnered with Frederator Networks, Inc.)
2003-2009: First years & the Mexican animation industry revival
On 19 November 2003, Ánima Estudios released its first film, Magos y Gigantes. This 2D family film, which tells the story of three misfit fairytale friends on a journey to compete in a renowned tournament of magic, is the first Mexican-animated feature produced in over 30 years. The movie was distributed by 20th Century Fox.
On 14 December 2005, Ánima Estudios enters a partnership with Estación Espacial to produce Poncho Balón. This mini-series about the adventures of a crazy football runs on Canal 5 in Mexico and Cartoon Network Latin America.
On 21 October 2006, Ánima Estudios produced its first full-length TV show, El Chavo Animado. Based on the popular live-action series created by Roberto Gómez Bolaños, the series premieres in Mexico on Canal 5. The series later premiered in the U.S. on Univision to highly successful ratings. To-date, El Chavo has garnered the highest ratings for an animated series in all of Latin America.
2010-2011: International expansion and success of Top Cat
On 11 May 2010, Ánima Estudios released Kung Fu Magoo, a comedy-adventure film based on the popular cartoon character, Mr. Magoo. It is produced in partnership with DreamWorks Classics (Classic Media) and marks the first time a Latin American animation production is sold to the U.S. market (Disney). Kung Fu Magoo premiered on Disney XD on February 7, 2011, featuring the voices of Chris Parnell, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Alyson Stoner, and Kenny Mayne as himself. The film is distributed worldwide in 65 territories.
On 10 September 2010, Ánima Estudios, along with co-producers Illusion Studios (Argentina) and Toonz India Ltd, releases the CG animated film, Gaturro, in Argentina. Based on the popular Argentinian comic book series of the same name, Gaturro is the first Indian-Latin American co-production and proves to be hugely successful at the Argentinian box office. On April 27, 2012, the studio releases Gaturro: La Película in Mexico, which is distributed by Santo Domingo Films. And, on February 16, 2016, the film is released in the U.S. by Viva Pictures. It was the first Indian-Latin American co-production and was hugely successful at the Argentinian box office. On 27 April 2012, the studio released Gaturro: La Película in Mexico, distributed by Santo Domingo Films. and on February 16, 2016, was released in the United States straight-to-DVD, distributed by Viva Pictures.
On 16 September 2011, the studio released Top Cat: The Movie, (a.k.a. Don Gato y su Pandilla) in Mexico, through Warner Bros. Pictures. Based on the popular Hanna Barbera cartoon, Top Cat, the film was a huge box office hit in Mexico and one of the most successful releases ever for a Mexican production. On August 2, 2013, Top Cat: The Movie received a limited theatrical release in the U.S. through Viva Pictures, featuring the voice talents of Rob Schneider and Danny Trejo as Lou Strickland and Griswald, respectively. To-date, Top Cat: The Movie is one of the “Top 20” highest-grossing independent animated movies worldwide.
On 21 October 2011, the studio released the horror-comedy film, La Leyenda de la Llorona, which is a sequel to Animex's La Leyenda de la Nahuala. The movie was among the top 5 most successful movies of the year in Mexico. It is Ánima's first film in the Leyendas franchise.
2012-2013: Tenth anniversary, investment from Latin Idea Ventures, creation of Átomo Films and further expansion
On 30 November 2012, the studio releases El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza under its new film label for teens and adults called Átomo Films. This adaption of the popular Mexican comic book series created by José Ignacio Solórzano (Trino), it stars an ensemble voice cast of famous Mexican actors such as Daniel Giménez Cacho, José María Yazpik, Héctor Jiménez, and veteran filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. In 2013 El Santos becomes the first Mexican animated feature to premiere at the renowned Annecy Film Festival.
On 31 December 2012, Ánima Estudios premiered its original TV show, Teenage Fairytale Dropouts on Seven Network in Australia. This 11x52 comedy is an international co-venture between Ánima Estudios, SLR Productions (Australia) and Telegael (Ireland). The show, which is loosely based on the studio's first film, “Magos y Gigantes,” premieres in the U.S. on the Hub Network, marking the first time a Latin American animated series is acquired by a major U.S. network and the first time the studio enters the North American. The series airs in some 35 countries including on Spain (TVE) and HBO Asia. On October 16, 2017, the series is acquired by Bejuba! Entertainment for new distribution rights and is renamed Awesome Magical Tales.
On 5 February 2013, through a partnership with Spain's Vodka Capital and Televisa Home Entertainment, Ánima Estudios releases a multi-platform, 13-episode, TV series titled Bugsted. The franchise, which tells the story of an ordinary bug who is accidentally taken to the moon with the Apollo 11 mission, consists of a series of collectible action figures, a game app developed for the iOS and Android systems and a TV miniseries aimed for children 8-11.
2014-2015: CGI, mobile and Ánima Kitchent
On 22 May 2014, Televisa Interactive Media publishes and releases KickOs, a new soccer-themed game app developed by Ánima Estudios for the Android and iOS systems. KickOs becomes a featured app in the App Store in 17 countries and is highlighted as one of the best new games in the App Store immediately after its release. The app is currently available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
On 17 September 2014, Variety reported that a computer-animated follow-up to Top Cat: The Movie, titled Top Cat Begins, has been announced for release on 7 August 2015, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Additionally, it is also announced that the studio is currently in production with a feature film adaptation of DePatie-Freleng's Here Comes the Grump.
On 30 October 2014, the studio releases La Leyenda de las Momias de Guanajuato. It becomes the first Mexican film ever to be produced in the motion-enhanced 4DX format. It was a box-office success, grossing over $90 million pesos.
On 10 April 2015, Ánima Estudios releases its first CG-animated feature, Wicked Flying Monkeys. This original adaptation of The Wizard of Oz book series, debuts in third place at the box office. The film is the studio's biggest production to-date and is also their first English-language production. It is produced with India's Discreet Arts. Most notably, the film is designed, written and executive produced by Jorge Gutierrez, who is also famous for directing the critically acclaimed movie The Book of Life. Wicked Flying Monkeys is simultaneously released in Russia, making it the first Latin American movie to receive a wide commercial release in the country. At the 2015 2015 Cannes Film Festival, the film is sold for distribution to such countries as the U.K., Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. Wicked Flying Monkeys launches in the U.S. on January 24, 2017 as Guardians of Oz.
On 15 April 2015, the studio's third animated television series, El Chapulín Colorado, premieres on the digital platform, VEO, to great critical and commercial reception. Shortly after, the series is released on Televisa's Free TV Channels in Mexico and throughout all of Latin America.
On 30 October 2015, the studio releases Top Cat Begins in Mexico through Warner Bros. Pictures. This CG-animated follow-up to Top Cat: The Movie debuted third place in the Mexican box office. To-date the movie has been released in the U.K., Colombia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Portugal, Israel, Hong Kong, India, Australia and New Zealand, among many others.
On 24 August 2015, the studio releases the music video Vamos a la Cama, starring La Familia Telerin in Mexico during primetime on Channel 2. The uber-popular vid is broadcast daily during the same timeslot for the following 10 months. Produced in English, the reboot series will consist up to 52 7-minute episodes.
2016: New partnerships
On 18 February 2016, Frederator Networks and Ánima Estudios launch the world's largest Spanish-Language animation network on YouTube called Átomo Network. The popular OTT features original programming produced by Ánima Estudios, original programming from Latam, as well as Spanish-dubbed versions of popular Channel Frederator shows like "107 Facts.” To-date, Átomo Network has garnered over 6.6 million subscribers and more than 1.1 billion global views. “Átomo Network opens up a new global outlet for audiences and creators alike. We aim to give Spanish-speaking audiences all over the world an entertainment destination specifically tailored to them ” said José C. García de Letona, COO & Executive Vice President Ánima Estudios.
On 15 April 2016, in order to assist in the growth of the professional animation industry in Latin America, Ánima Estudios announces a partnership with the renowned private arts school, California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS), known as one of the very best animation schools in the world. The partnership demonstrates Anima's commitment for the growth of the animation industry in Latin America. “It is an honor and a privilege to start this relationship with CalArts,” said COO Jose C. Garcia de Letona. “We are positive [that] it will have a long term impact in the quality of our productions, the animation industry in Latin America, and in the professional lives of our staff.”
On 26 May 2016, Ánima Estudios and Cartoon Network (Latin America) announce that they will jointly produce an animation contest for young creators to pitch their own animated content developed for children ages 6 to 11. The Seventh Knight, created by Andrés Eduardo Luna Rivera and Sebastián Felipe Luna Rivera from Colombia, and WTQ: What the Quest is This? created by Ernesto Molina from Mexico, tie for first prize. “We aim to grow the industry not only in Mexico but in Latin America as well. There’s a lot of amazing creators in the region who have wonderful projects that should be supported and promoted”, commented Anima COO Jose C. Garcia de Letona. "We are very happy with the response we got to this contest,” said Hernan La Greca, senior creative director for Cartoon Network Latin America and its subsidiaries. “We are thrilled to support animation in Latin America through initiatives that promote the development of new talent and provide exposure to new ideas and productions.” Ánima COO José C. García Letona also added that the company's response to the contest "has surpassed our expectations, not only for the number of projects that were submitted, but also for their quality. We are excited to confirm that there’s a huge amount of talent in Latin America committed to creating animated content.”
On 12 September 2016, the studio's European division, Ánima Kitchent, launches PINY: Institute of New York on Disney Channel, Spain. Based on the popular toy brand of the same name, this 52x11 comedy features Michelle Fairchild, a student at the college who wants to become a top fashion designer. The series is produced with Televisa and Russian broadcasters Karusel TV and Ani.
On 14 October 2016, the studio releases La leyenda del Chupacabras theatrically in the U.S. and in Mexico on October 21, 2016, where it becomes one of the top grossing Mexican films of all time. During its opening weekend at the Mexican box office, this Alberto Rodgriguez directed film pulls in over 1 million viewers in just 3 days, becoming one of the top 20 grossing Mexican films of all time. "We are beyond happy with the results at the box office and the ever-growing loyal following our Leyendas have in Latin America," said Ánima EVP and COO, José C. García de Letona.
2017: Legend Quest and Monster Island worldwide premiere
On 24 February 2017, based on the Leyendas horror-comedy film saga, the company releases Las Leyendas (a.k.a. Legend Quest) on Netflix worldwide to global acclaim. Produced and written by James Kreig, the series is the first original offering as part of a larger, ongoing relationship with the streaming giant. It is also the first Netflix original to be produced in Latin America and also the first Netflix original Animated show produced out of a non-English speaking country.
On 6 March 2017, Ánima and Cartoon Network launch a second animation contest for short format series. The winning short series concept, Ram Pam Dam, is chosen from among 170+ projects from 17 different countries. “We’re proud and happy to continue our efforts on supporting creators from Latin America showcase their talents; we are also extremely honored to have Cartoon Network as our partner in this initiative for the second year in a row”.
On 12 June 2017, Ánima's Ana & Bruno becomes the second of the studio's films to be recognized as an Official Selection during the Annecy Film Festival. Annecy Festival has become the most important of its kind since 1960 and the spotlight to the most acclaimed animated films in the world.
On 14 June 2017, Entrepreneur Magazine recognizes Jose C. Garcia de Letona and Fernando de Fuentes S. as two of its “Top 5” most innovative business leaders in LATAM in its yearly “Entrepreneur Rockstars” edition.
On 11 July 2017, the Guadalajara, Mexico-based theme park, Selva Mágica, unveils the first VR Ride created specifically for the Latin American market called, Cantinflas The Time Machine. The animated short portion of the ride is produced by Anima Estudios and stars “Cantinflas,” one of the most iconic and beloved characters of Mexican cinema. “As our first virtual reality project we had the amazing opportunity to work in such a different and powerful medium and explore its many possibilities, having the short feature such an emblematic character as Cantinflas is an honor by itself, the whole experience and the trust placed in us by Ventura Entertainment (Selva Magica’s holding company) makes us very proud and thankful" commented José C. García de Letona, Anima's COO.
On 21 July 2017, Monster Island is released theatrically in the UK, Mexico, South Korea, China, Spain, France and several other countries . On December 1, 2017 it enjoys a worldwide debut as a Netflix exclusive movie.
On 7 September 2017, José C. García de Letona, Ánima Estudios’ COO was is featured as a keynote speaker at the 2017 Pixelatl Festival. His presentation focuses on the 15th Anniversary of the studio and how the industry has evolved over the last decade and a half of expansion. He also showcases many of the global achievements of the company.
2018: Space Chickens land on Disney and international theatrical release of 3 movies
On 1 January 2018, the company unveils a new logo, announced on their social media, and was renamed to "Ánima". The whole company, including Anima Kitchent is known just as Ánima moving forward.
On 19 January 2018, the studio releases La leyenda del Charro Negro, the fifth installment of the Leyendas film franchise, in Mexico, to great critical acclaim. Its extraordinary run at the box office makes it the best-performing film in the saga. It is released in select theaters in the U.S. on March 23, 2018 by Pantelion Films.
On 22 January 2018, Ánima's Cleo & Cuquín, a 7x52 television adaptation of Spain's Familia Telerín, premieres on Nick Jr. in the U.S. The preschool comedy also appears on Netflix, Spain's Clan TV and Discovery Kids. Ánima later signs Mattel as Global Master Toy partner for the series. "Cleo &Cuquín is a great opportunity for us to bring to life characters that not only appeal to today's preschoolers but also have nostalgia with parents in markets where Familia Telerín has strong heritage", says Lauren DeFeo, vice president, Toy Box division, Mattel
On 1 March 2018, Ánima in co-production with London-based Prime Focus World releases a CG-animated feature film adaptation of DePatie-Freleng's Here Comes the Grump in Italy. Lead voice talent includes British actors Lily Collins (Rules Don't Apply), Ian McShane (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) and Toby Kebbell (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes). "Having such amazing actors be part of our movie makes us feel even more excited about it. We are sure that the audiences will love McShane´s grouchy character, Lily’s adorable princess and Toby’s cool hero,” added José C. García de Letona, film's producer. To-date, Here comes the Grump has been released theatrically in Mexico, the U.K., South Africa, Israel, Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, Hungary, Singapore and Kuwait and it has scheduled release dates for China, Portugal, Poland, Greece, Iceland, Serbia, Croatia, Vietnam, Middle East, Turkey, South Korea, France, Spain, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay.
On 7 April 2018, Ánima's Ana and Bruno wins the award for "Best Feature Film" at the inaugural Quirino Awards. The movie is a co-production between Ánima, Lo Coloco Films and Altavista Films. José C. García de Letona and Fernando de Fuentes S. are producers on the project. The Quirinos is the first initiative to recognize talent across the entire Ibero-American animation industry.
On 18 June 2018, Átomo Network has achieved over 6.6 million subscribers and more than 1.1 billion global views. “We are excited to have the opportunity to showcase the very best animation from all over the world to the ever-growing Spanish speaking audiences that we are devoted to”, said José C. García de Letona. "The Channel Frederator Network is proud to honor the second anniversary of our partners at Átomo Network and Ánima. We're excited to help the explosion of world class talent making animation related videos in Spanish and will continue to support that artistry in every way we can", said Fred Seibert, founder of Frederator Networks.
On 15 August 2018, the leading business magazine in Latin America, Expansión, recognizes José C. García de Letona as one of the "7 most successful film producers" to have revived the movie industry in Mexico creating a new Golden Age of Mexican cinema.
On 22 November 2018, Ánima's original comedy series, Space Chickens in Space debuted on Disney Channel networks in Europe, Middle East and Africa and 9Go! in Australia. The imaginative show centers on the adventures of three chickens — Chuck, Starley, and Finley — who are accidentally enrolled in an elite intergalactic former military academy. The 52x 11 minute series is a co-production between Anima, Disney EMEA, Cake Entertainment and Studio Moshi.
On 11 December 2018, José C. García de Letona, Ánima's COO is featured as a keynote speaker at Ventana Sur (Buenos Aires, Argentina), the most important market of audiovisual contents in Latin America, organized by Marché du Film – Cannes Film Festival and the Argentinean National Institute of Cinema & Audiovisual Arts.
2019: Future of Ánima and upcoming projects
On 28 February 2019, Ánima alongside Pixelatl Festival and Mighty Studios announces La Cumbre, a new summit dedicated to enabling networking and collaborations between Mexican animation studios and support them to achieve world-class animation through partnerships with major animation studios globally. Jose Iñesta from Pixelatl, Luispa Salmon from Mighty and Jose C. Garcia de Letona (Anima's COO) are the founders of this initiative.
On 9 March 2019, at the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG), Melissa Cobb, Netflix Vice President Kids & Family and director Guillermo del Toro announced a brand new Netflix Original series as a follow up to Anima's Legend Quest show, which itself is also a Netflix Original.
On 23 March 2019, the Irish Animation Awards organized by Animation Ireland recognizes Space Chickens in Space with the "Kids Choice Award For Best Animated Series (6-12 years)" and also the "Best VFX as part of Animated TV Series or Film" award. "The level of quality this year has been truly outstanding from all the entrants and it really highlights the magnificent talent of the animation sector" said Animation Ireland Chairperson Moe Honan
Upcoming films include La liga de los 5, a superhero film, and Cranston Academy: Monster Zone, a CG animation horror-comedy film. They're expected to be released in 2019. The second season of Netflix's Legend Quest is expected to debut by the end of 2019.
On 16 April 2019, since the Premiere of Cleo & Cuquín in early 2018 the show has been the #1 preschool show on Free TV in both Spain and Mexico. Its ratings in these countries have eclipsed globally successful properties such as Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol and PJ Masks.
On 23 April 2019, Ánima and producers Fernando de Fuentes and José C García de Letona make history at the Ariel Awards (Mexican Film Academy awards) with 3 nominations in the "Best Feature Length Animated Film" category with the films Here Comes the Grump, La leyenda del Charro Negro and Ana y Bruno. On 24 June 2019, Ana and Bruno wins the highly prestigious award.
On 5 October 2019 Anima's Netflix Original “Legend Quest: Masters of Myth” will be released worldwide. The new 13 episode series is executive produced by Fernando de Fuentes S. José C. García de Letona and Jim Krieg.
On 1 November 2019 it was revealed that the main cast voice for Anima's "Cranston Academy: Monster Zone", is leaded by Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, Rocketman) as Danny, and Ruby Rose (Batwoman, Orange is the New Black) as Liz. The movie will be released on 2020.
On 11 November 2019 Anima's comedy series "Space Chickens in Space" will launch on Disney Latam. . The show was created by José C. García de Letona and Rita Street, designed and directed by award-winning Norwegian twins Tommy and Markus Vad Flaaten (Twin Trash).
- Magos y Gigantes (Wizards and Giants) (2003)
- Imaginum (2005)
- El agente 00-P2 (Agent Macaw: Shaken and Stirred) (2009)
- A Martian Christmas (2009) (direct-to-video)
- Trepsi, Nuny y Wicho - Los Amigos de Trepsi (2009) (direct-to-video)
- AAA, la película: Sin límite en el tiempo (AAA: The Movie) (2010)
- Kung-Fu Magoo (2010) (direct-to-video)
- Gaturro: la película (Gaturro: The Movie) (2010) (co-production only)
- Don gato y su pandilla (Top Cat: The Movie) (2011)
- La leyenda de la Llorona (The Legend of the Llorona) (2011)
- El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza (The Wild Adventures of El Santos) (2012) (under its Átomo Films label)
- Trepsi, Nuny y Wicho - Arriba y Abajo (2012) (direct-to-video)
- La leyenda de las Momias de Guanajuato (Legend of the Mummies) (2014)
- Guardianes de Oz (Guardians of Oz/Wicked Flying Monkeys) (2015)
- Don Gato: El inicio de la pandilla (Top Cat Begins) (2015)
- La leyenda del Chupacabras (The Legend of Chupacabras) (2016)
- Isla Calaca (Monster Island) (2017)
- La leyenda del Charro Negro (The Legend of Charro Negro) (2018)
- Ahí viene Cascarrabias (Here Comes the Grump/A Wizard's Tale) (2018)
- Ana y Bruno (Ana & Bruno) (2018) (co-production only)
- La liga de los 5 (2020)
- Las leyendas: el origen (2020)
- Cranston Academy: Monster Zone (2020)
- El Chavo (2006-2014) (based on El Chavo del Ocho)
- Awesome Magical Tales (2012)
- El Chapulín Colorado (2015)
- PINY: Institute of New York (2016) (produced under Ánima Kitchent)
- Legend Quest (2017) (Netflix original series based on the Leyendas saga)
- Cleo & Cuquin (2018–present) (produced under Ánima Kitchent)
- Space Chickens in Space (2018–2019)
- Legend Quest: Masters of Myth (2019)
- Bugsted (2013)
- KickOs (2014)
- Las Leyendas: El pergamino mágico (2017)
- Bugsted (2016) (Theatrical release with La leyenda del Chupacabras)
- What The Quest Is This? (2016) (Television short)
- El Séptimo Caballero (2016) (Television short)
- Cantinflas VR: La máquina del tiempo (2017) (Virtual reality attraction)
- Ram Pam Dam (2018) (Television short)
- El cuervo y el venado (TBA)
- Rebecca (2020)
- Jose C. Garcia De Letona |
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- Narran aventuras de Poncho Balón rumbo a Alemania (in Spanish)
- Anima Estudios to Co-Pro Vodka's 'Bugsted'
- Official channel of KickOs
- Official channel of Familia Telerín
- Átomo Network Series Exclusivas
- Átomo Network Series Exclusivas
- Official channel of Trepsi Nuny-Wicho
- Official channel of Lea & Pop
- Twitter / AnimaEstudios: Ya pueden jugar Bugsted, nuestro... (in Spanish)
- Televisa Movil y Ánima Estudios lanzan KickOs (in Spanish)
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- Ánima Estudios on Twitter: No te pierdas esta increíble aventura ¡Busca a El Séptimo Cabellero por Cartoon Network! 08 Nov Mexico: 17:38 Colombia: 11:41 y a las 19:38 - Twitter (In Spanish)
- El Séptimo Caballero - Ganador CARTOON NETWORK/Ánima Estudios - YouTube (In Spanish)
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- El Chavo Kart Developer Diary - Ánima Estudios - YouTube
- Ashley Barb (Anima Estudios) LinkedIn profile
- S01 E01 end credit; credited as "Animation by"
- End credits. "Animation services"