Vancouver is home to some of the most successful animation studios in the world. From Pixar to DreamWorks, a huge number of local companies have been able to successfully bring their creative visions to life onscreen. With its booming art, design, and media industries, Vancouver is now home not only to some of the finest animation studios in North America but also some of the most exciting new film and TV production businesses in the world. Here are ten of the best animation studios in Vancouver as of 2022.
The Orchard is one of the most prolific and successful animation studios in the world. Established in 1979, the studio has created a number of highly regarded and award-winning feature films and television specials. The studio is known for producing high-quality, realistic stop-motion animation that has won numerous international animation awards. Orchard’s most recent film, “Coco,” released in 2017, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, as well as the Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards for Best Animated Film.
DreamWorks Animation Vancouver
Located in Vancouver’s False Creek neighborhood, DreamWorks Animation Vancouver is one of the world’s most successful animation studios. The studio was founded in 1994 by Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Stapleton, and is best known for its hit series “Shrek,” which has grossed $1.6 billion in box office revenue worldwide. Since its founding, DreamWorks Animation’s Vancouver studio has gone through several iterations, including an earlier studio operated by animation veterans who worked there before Katzenberg acquired the studio. As the studio’s success has grown, so too has its footprint. Located in Phase 1 of the underutilized former BC Electric Shipyards, the studio has grown from a single production unit to a global organization with a presence in over 40 countries. In its 19 years in operation, DreamWorks Animation Vancouver has produced more than 70 feature films and television specials, as well as a number of short-form web series, gaming content, and digital shorts.
Pixar Pier at Pier 39
Located just across the Lions Gate Bridge from Downtown Vancouver, Pier 39 is home to some of the most recognizable imagery in visual effects. The 100-acre waterfront property was once a warehouse that was purchased by Disney in 1961 for the then-unimaginable price of $1.2 billion. The studio that would become Pixar later took over the warehouse and was able to transform it into a creative space with 5,000 sq. ft. of floor space, a studio lot of more than 1/3 acre with water and land features, and a facility capable of generating more than 100 workstations. After spending 18 months restoring the warehouse to its former glory, Disney finally opened its doors to the public as the Pixar Pier, a destination that would become a world-renowned tourist attraction. The studio has since grown to more than 50 employees and is considered one of the leading visual effects companies in the world.
Located in Point Grey, Nelvana is the oldest continuously operated animation studio in North America. The studio was established in 1914 as a branch of the Nelvana Mine in Finland, making it one of the oldest animation studios in the world. The studio has produced more than 200 feature films, television specials, and advertising work since its inception. The studio is known for producing high-quality, realistic stop-motion animation that has won numerous international animation awards. Over the years, Nelvana has grown from a single production shop to a global organization with a presence in more than 40 countries. In its 80 year history, the company has produced more than 80 feature films, television specials, and advertising work. The studio is known for producing high-quality, realistic stop-motion animation that has won numerous international animation awards.
Located in the Seawall and Port of Vancouver, the Port of Vancouver Marine Science Centre is a unique experience in itself. The museum features hands-on exhibits and real-world exhibits that allow visitors to learn about the environment and marine life from the vantage points of a variety of fascinating technologies. One of the most popular exhibits here is “Sea of Faces,” a 9,500 sq. ft. gallery that allows visitors to interact with more than 1,500 computer-generated characters. Since opening in 2016, the gallery has been visited by more than 1.2 million people. The studio that created the characters is located in the center of the Seawall.
Canis Films Inc.
Canis Films is the largest independent production company in British Columbia, specializing in digital and television commercials and infomercials. The company was founded in 1979 by Ken Canis and is based in Vancouver. Canis is best known for its successful “Discover Card” campaign, which has aired in more than 100 countries and generated more than 500 million impressions online. The studio is known for creating high-quality, realistic stop-motion animation that has won numerous international animation awards. It is also a world leader in 3D animation, working on some of the most realistic and beautifully rendered digital content today.
The Third Floor Gallery
Located at the third floor of the Port of Vancouver, The Third Floor Gallery is a world-renowned art gallery dedicated to showcasing the works of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists. The gallery was established in 1983 as the Gallery of Vancouver Art and currently features more than 200 pieces of contemporary art from around the world. Since its inception, the gallery has been dedicated to supporting emerging and mid-career contemporary artists through financial and exhibition support. Currently, The Third Floor Gallery is the home to the works of 17 artists including four that have recently been selected for the gallery’s collection expansion program, “In Conversation.”
Blue Sky Studios
Located in PNE’s Mountain Shadows neighborhood, Blue Sky Studios is one of the oldest animation studios in North America. Established in 1936, the studio was originally located at the corner of Swartz and Holland in Vancouver. Over the years, Blue Sky Studios grew from a single production unit to a global organization with a presence in more than 40 countries. In its 80 year history, the studio has produced more than 70 feature films, television specials, and advertising work. The studio is best known for its advertising campaign, “80s,” which has aired in more than 100 countries and generated more than 500 million impressions online. The campaign was created by the advertising agency TBWA\Paris and is a celebration of the decade that was, and still is, the most influential in human history.