Companies' ability to adapt to the technological context and tax incentives are among the factors driving the change. ICEX presents the “Who is Who Animation from Spain 2020” guide, featuring all the new productions for this year.

The Spanish Animation Industry Reinvents Itself

The fact that Spanish Animation has experienced a spectacular revival in the past few years has less to do with a "contagious effect" related to the fiction boom than it does with a process of redefinition carried out by the industry itself. Each year Spanish animators produce 13 new series, 6 feature films and 24 short films, according to data from the Who's Who of Animation from Spain for 2020, produced by ICEX Spain Trade and Investment.

"The Animation companies have been streamlined. There are more producers now than before, and they are very efficient, with the ability to adapt to any budget. This allows them to be as involved in the struggle for services as in the fight to create new properties", explains Yago Fandiño, Children's Content Director at public broadcaster RTVE, one of the sector's driving forces.

70% of Spanish animated productions are international co-productions, and 90% of them are exported.

"Projects must be international and there's a need for education on how to navigate the international markets and work with businesses from all over the world. Luckily, there's a generation of people who are very prepared, very capable and creative, faultless on a technical level but with a constantly improving ability to present the productions' business potential. I think that this is fundamentally the key to what we have now," adds Fandiño.

The Animation industry also benefits from very competitive tax incentives. As such this industry has experienced a significant upturn in regions such as Canary Islands and Navarre, supported by incentives which benefit both animation companies and those which offer VFX services.

At the moment the sector is celebrating Sergio Pablos' Oscar nominations for the film "Klaus", a co-production by SPA Studios and Atresmedia Cine for Netflix, not to mention other recent successes such as "Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles" (Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas) by Salvador Simó. This Spanish-Dutch co-production by Sygnatia, The Glow Animation and Hampa with Submarine, sold by Latido Films, has won awards such as the Annecy Jury Award and Best Animated Feature Film at the European Film Awards.

"It's possible we are living in one of the Spanish Animation's greatest eras, given the industry's capacity for turning out high-quality productions. I don't think there are many moments in the history of Spanish Animation when so many projects have been completed. Especially because it isn't just TV; the Spanish animation sector has been able to jump on the bandwagon of animation for digital platforms, and not just paid ones, but also others such as Youtube", explains Fandiño.

RTVE has 16 animation projects at different stages of completion

RTVE's contributions right now continue to be a determining factor in moving forward new animated series projects. Currently, it has 16 animated projects at different stages of completion - "We have an amazing explosion of high-quality productions", confirms Fandiño.

Throughout the next year, RTVE has plans to release co-productions such as "Mya Go", a pre-school series which features part of the creative team from "Peppa Pig", in association with the Irish studio Piranha Bar and Motion Pictures, a Catalan company with substantial experience in international distribution.

Pikkukala, a studio with offices in Helsinki and Barcelona founded by Verónica Lassenius and Pablo Jordi (“Fungi”) is producing the animated comedy “Royals Next Door” (Mis vecinos reales), a co-production by various European public television stations, including RTVE and Finnish YLE, presented as a project in 2017 at the Cartoon Forum.

Rocky Kwaterner”, an animated series of 52x13' episodes aimed at children 6 to 9 years old by Peekaboo Animation, is a Spanish-French co-production with support from RTVE and France Télévisions.

Momonsters”, a production of Big Bang Box distributed internationally by PGS Entertainment, and “Pau’s World” (El mundo de Pau), a Valencian animation of El Mundo de Pablo AIE featuring a child with Down's syndrome as the protagonist, are also among the public broadcaster's upcoming releases.

Dupi” will also be released on RTVE, a pre-school series combining stop-motion animation and live action, produced by Submarine in co-production with NTR, Walking The Dog and Teidees Audiovisuales.

Furthermore, over the course of the year, new seasons of established animated series will also be on the schedule at Clan, RTVE's kid's channel. Among them are S3 of “Cleo”, a co-production with Tenerife studio La Casa Animada directed by Ana Sánchez-Gijón; S3 of the pre-school series “Tutu”, with Galician company Ficción Producciones and S2 of the adventure series “Bat Pat”, a co-production with Mondo TV Producciones Canarias.

Beyond RTVE, Peekaboo, the company led by Iván Agenjo, just released “I, Elvis Riboldi” (Yo, Elvis Riboldi) on the Italian channel DeAkids, another Spanish-French co-production, in this case by Wuji House, Insomne Animation Studio, Watch Next Media and the public channel TV3.

Among the traditional operators who have driven the Spanish animation sector, Catalan channel TV3 is participating in projects currently under production such as “Me & Snowy”, the pre-school series co-produced by distributor Arait Multimedia, alongside Wuji and Insomne, or “Mondo Yan”, a series of 52x12' episodes co-produced with Imira Entertainment and Irish company Telegael.

The Fruittis”, a classic Spanish animated series created by D'Ocon Films in 1989, is planned to return this year, with a new season of 52 episodes produced in 3D. In addition, D'Ocon is co-producer of “Audrey & Pérez”, the Sandra Fernández series for Brites Films, aimed at children from 3 to 9 years old.

Planeta Junior, a leader in the production and distribution of animation and part of the Grupo Planeta-De Agostini group, is producing S3 of the series "Gormiti" alongside Italian company Giochi Preziosi and Catalan Kotoc Produccions.

After producing “Planet 51”, a feature film released globally by Sony, last year the Madrid company Ilion Animation Studios released “Wonder Park” with Paramount Pictures. Its upcoming projects include the comedy “Good Luck Bad Luck”, in association with Skydance Media and distributed globally by Paramount Pictures. 

With offices in Barcelona and studios in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, producer Tomavision has produced the first season of the pre-school series “Emmy & Gooroo”.

Wise Blue Studios, led by Nathalia Martínez and with production centers in Valencia and the Canaries, is working on the series “Hero Dad” as well as the animated family feature “MiBots”.

This year TV On Animation, the animation division of Valencian company TV On Producciones is finishing the stop-motion series “The Diary of Bita and Cora” (El diario de Bita y Cora) and also plans to produce another series, “Sex Symbols”.