Gingo Animation, LLC (or simply Gingo) is an American animation studio headquartered in North Hollywood, California. Founded by Geo G. and Michael Wildshill on February 13, 1988, the studio is operated as a subsidiary of Gingo Entertainment and is best known for animated films and television series such as Gabriel Garza, HattyMetro Cone, Archot, and Imagimals. After some experimental computer-animated short films during the late 1990s beginning with Tifi (1996), it entered the computer animation market with Metro Cone (2005). Gingo continues to produce films using both traditional animation and computer-generated imagery (CGI). The studio is primarily associated with Universal Studios, but also has other studios such as 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures distribute some of its productions.


Early years (1982–1998)Edit

Gingo Animation logo (1988-1994)

Gingo Animation's logo prior to 1994

Gingo's predecessor Geo-Wildshill Productions was founded in 1982 as a division of Hanna-Barbera by animators Geo G. and Michael Wildshill, who wanted to realize their dream of producing an animated feature-length film. On February 13, 1988, after leaving Hanna-Barbera due to financial reasons, Geo and Wildshill opened their own studio named Gingo Productions, which would develop characters, stories and productions, and some of the animators who worked for Geo and Wildshill at Hanna-Barbera came to the studio at the time. In 1989, Gingo announced a joint venture with motion picture studio Orion Pictures to form Orion Animation, an animation division which would produce animated projects for Orion. Orion Animation was closed in 1996. The same year, the studio produced its first short film, The Special Visitor.


Gabriel Garza has been Gingo's mascot since the character's introduction in 1991.

Gingo had produced a Saturday morning animated series titled Gabriel Garza, which ran on CBS from 1991 to 1993 and on the syndicated Gingo Lineup block from 1994 to 2002. Its title character, based on the boy from Gingo's short film The Special Visitor, has been the studio's mascot since his introduction. Meanwhile, some of the Gingo staff got a call from Universal Studios to form an in-house feature animation department. CBS expressed a strong desire in 1992 for Gingo to create a new series, and the studio began conceiving Hatty during this period; that same year, Gingo changed its name to Gingo Animation, LLC. The following year, Gingo created a new division named Glass Ball Productions, which typically produces animated films and television shows targeted to adult audiences.

Gingo Feature Animation was the studio's feature animation division which produced its first two films Romeo and Juliet (1994) and Ghost Vision (1995) for Universal Pictures. Spun off from the feature division of Hanna-Barbera Productions, Gingo Feature Animation was shut down in 1996 when it was being merged into Universal Feature Animation, which is now known as Universal Animation Studios. In 1994, Gingo Interactive Software LLC, the studio's in-house video game development department, was founded, the first project of which was the video game adaptation of Gabriel Garza, and later developed the Niz Chicoloco and Chrysocolla games.

On March 12, 1996, Gingo began collaborating with Universal on the syndicated Gingo Lineup block, which began on August 31, 1996. In May 1996, Universal and Gingo announced they were to co-finance and distribute Paint World, which had been in pre-production for a year. Three months later, the studio's second animated series Hatty aired on the syndicated Gingo Lineup block, and ran until 2002. To expand the studio's online content presence, Gingo Animation launched their own official website named 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 Gingo libraries include those of Gabriel Garza and Hatty. In 1997, Gingo formed Northwood Interactive, a video game publisher that releases Japanese video games outside Japan; the first project of which was Fantasy Tap for the PlayStation, but the company's most successful title is Planetokio in 1999.

On March 24, 1998, Gingo Animation was transferred into Gingo Entertainment Media, LLC, a new entertainment company headed by its president Clive Nakayashiki. Its divisions Glass Ball Productions and Gingo Interactive, formerly under the main Gingo Animation umbrella, were integrated under Gingo Entertainment.

Universal ownership (1998–2004)Edit

On August 21, 1998, Seagram, then parent of Universal Studios, agreed to purchase Gingo Entertainment in a deal worth $2.1 billion, strengthening the relationship between Universal and Gingo. Upon announcement of the news, CNN reported that "the deal gives Universal immediate access to the family-friendly audience in animation and multimedia entertainment." The deal would also make Gingo a sister studio to Universal Feature Animation (which was founded by former Gingo co-founder Michael Wildshill), but does not include TeenV, an adult animated sitcom produced under Gingo's Glass Ball Productions label, which was retained by 20th Century Fox, who opted to retain said series within its adult animation lineup, which consisted of The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Futurama. The acquisition was completed on November 3, 1998.

On December 20, TeenV aired on the Fox network and was a commercial success. From October 21, 1999 to January 31, 2000, Gingo produced four three-minute animated short films to promote the North American release of Planetokio, entitled Bot Fight, Race, Clones and Iken's Lunch; they were originally available for viewing on the North American Planetokio website. On December 25, 1999, Paint World was released to a great critical and financial success.

In 2001, Gingo partnered with Venice-based visual effects company Blur Studio to provide animation for computer-generated feature films, beginning with Metro Cone, Gingo's first computer-animated feature, in 2005. After Universal Pictures put the project into turnaround, Metro Cone was distributed by 20th Century Fox. 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 2002, The Gabriel Garza Movie, a feature-length film based on the Gabriel Garza series, was released, while Glass Ball released TeenV Movie the following year. In 2004, Gingo released Zina and the Vivid Crew, distributed by Columbia Pictures domestically and by Universal internationally (originally set to be solely distributed by the latter), and was a modest box office success, grossing over $293 million worldwide.

Split from Universal (2005–present)Edit

In February 2005, Gingo was split from Universal, becoming independent again but the studio would still collaborate with Universal on some of their productions while Universal retained the rights for the pre-2005 Gingo library. In January 2006, Gingo and Blur Studio extended the deal for an additional five films. With Blur doing computer animation, they covered all two major styles, besides traditional animation. This partnership had Gingo participating in the production of computer animated films in Venice, and also had Blur participating in some of the hand-drawn films made in North Hollywood. In April 2006, Gingo launched their official YouTube channel, which is a YouTube Partner channel featuring clips and trailers from the studio's productions and many others.

Gingo's partnership with Blur Studio ended after the release of Workers, having Blur animated three out of five computer animated films. The announcement was made before the film's release, on August 26, 2013, citing "creative differences". Gingo then replaced Blur with Creative Step Studio, the studio's in-house computer animation department that would produce CGI-animated films on their own starting with Metro Cone Forever in 2015.

In October 2014, just a month before the release of Disney's Big Hero 6, Gingo entered a licensing agreement with Disney to use the Hiro Hamada character and trademark for its productions (such as films, television series, shorts, specials, video games, etc.), which sparked media speculation that Hiro will guest star in Gingo's animated comedy sketch series GGTV. Gingo's CEO and founder Geo G. stated that the reasoning was due to wanting to have Hiro in Gingo media because of the increasing popularity of "Liro", an internet crossover fan-fiction relationship between Hiro and Leno Garza, a character from Gingo's Gabriel Garza franchise, as they both share the similar appearance and characteristics. Gingo stated in July 2017 that they intend to keep the Hiro Hamada character license from Disney until the contract expires in 2027.


Gingo is named after Gingo biloba (later Ginkgo biloba), a poem written by the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The poem was published in his work West-östlicher Diwan (West-Eastern Divan), first published in 1819. Goethe used "Gingo" instead of "Ginkgo" in the first version to avoid the hard sound of the letter "k".

The studio is also named after the identically named Ginkgo biloba, the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food. The genus name Ginkgo is regarded as a misspelling of the Japanese gin kyo, "silver apricot". However, "gingo" is more commonly translated as "passed" from Swedish.

The name of the studio was originally going to be "StarActive Studios", but founders Geo and Wildshill wanted to come up with "something funny" and said to be intended to describe the non-linear editing systems and video compression the studio was specializing on. They afterwards decided to go with Gingo Animation Studios, most commonly known today as Gingo Animation. However, Geo has claimed that the name was a result of being a pun on "bingo but with a G instead of a B".


For feature films by Gingo Feature Animation, see Gingo Feature Animation. For productions by Glass Ball Productions, see Glass Ball Productions.

Feature filmsEdit

Released filmsEdit

# Title Release date Distributor/co-production with Animation service(s) Budget Gross RT MC
1 Paint World December 25, 1999 Universal Pictures Gingo North Hollywood $48 million $452 million 94% 69
2 The Gabriel Garza Movie July 31, 2002 $60 million $89 million 38% 44
3 Zina and the Vivid Crew December 22, 2004 Columbia Pictures
Universal Pictures
O Entertainment
$70 million $293 million 80% 62
4 Metro Cone November 23, 2005 20th Century Fox Blur Studio $60 million $435 million 92% 78
5 BJ and Wally July 7, 2006 Universal Pictures
Universal Animation Studios
Universal Animation $74 million $486 million 53% 51
6 Metro Cone 2 May 16, 2008 20th Century Fox Blur Studio $92 million $514 million 86% 71
7 FusionMania September 26, 2008 Paramount Pictures
Nickelodeon Movies
Gingo North Hollywood $55 million $157 million 62% 60
8 The 10 Feet April 24, 2009 20th Century Fox Blur Studio $92 million $284 million 64% 55
9 The Pandemoniums November 25, 2009 Universal Pictures Gingo North Hollywood $68 million $170 million 78% 65
10 Gabriel Garza July 8, 2011 Universal Pictures
Universal Animation Studios
Universal Animation $85 million $645 million 94% 72
11 Metro Cone 3: The Mystery to New York September 23, 2011 20th Century Fox Blur Studio $99 million $459 million 65% 53
12 Workers September 13, 2013 $110 million $205 million 59% 54
13 Gabriel Garza 2 July 2, 2014 Universal Pictures
Universal Animation Studios
Universal Animation $99 million $895 million 96% 84
14 Archot November 21, 2014 Columbia Pictures
Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Imageworks $90 million $232 million 82% 63
15 Metro Cone Forever September 4, 2015 20th Century Fox Creative Step Studio $98 million $303 million 55% 43
16 Imagimals September 9, 2016 Universal Pictures
Universal Animation Studios
Universal Animation $101 million $1.018 billion 78% 57
17 Gabriel Garza 3 March 3, 2017 $110 million $812 million 79% 70
18 Cool Spot September 14, 2018 Universal Pictures
Virgin Produced
Sony Pictures Imageworks $125 million $261 million 97% 86

Upcoming filmsEdit

# Title Release date Distributor/co-production with Animation service(s)
19 Addie February 22, 2019 Columbia Pictures
Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Imageworks
20 Agent Chrysocolla May 29, 2020 Paramount Pictures
Paramount Animation
21 Hilda September 25, 2020 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox Animation
Creative Step Studio
22 The Boy and the Ape April 16, 2021 Columbia Pictures
Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Imageworks
23 Untitled films February 4, 2022 TBA
24 May 27, 2022
25 May 26, 2023

Films in developmentEdit

Gabriel Garza 4
Imagimals 2
Cool Spot 2

Direct-to-video filmsEdit

# Title Release date Distributor/co-production with Animation service(s)
1 Niz Chicoloco: The Untold Story December 7, 2004 DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Home Entertainment
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
DTV Productions
2 Gabriel and the Big Hero 6 January 16, 2018 Universal Animation Studios
Universal 1440 Entertainment
Man of Action Studios
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Reel FX Creative Studios
3 Paint Universe February 12, 2019 Universal Animation Studios
Universal 1440 Entertainment
Wang Film Productions
Bardel Entertainment
Yowza! Animation
Toon City Animation

Television seriesEdit

# Title Premiere date End date Original network Co-production with
1 Gabriel Garza March 16, 1991 June 8, 2002 CBS (1991–94)
Syndication (1994–2002)
Universal Kids (2018)
Universal Television Animation
2 Hatty August 31, 1996 September 7, 2002 Syndication
3 Niz Chicoloco September 11, 1998 June 18, 1999 UPN (as part of UPN Kids) DreamWorks Animation
4 GGTV September 17, 1999 present NBC Universal Television Animation
5 Paint World September 23, 2000 March 17, 2001 Fox Kids
6 Planetokio November 24, 2002 May 18, 2003 UPN (US)
Teletoon (Canada)
7 Critter Mockers November 1, 2003 January 17, 2009 Discovery Kids Universal Television Animation
Discovery Kids Original Productions
8 Adventures of Zina and the Vivid Crew August 26, 2005 July 5, 2009 Cartoon Network O Entertainment
Adelaide Productions
9 The BJ and Wally Show October 4, 2007 March 29, 2012 Universal Television Animation
10 Gabriel & Friends June 12, 2015 June 2, 2017 Netflix
11 The Hatty Weasel Show September 25, 2015 March 17, 2017
12 Imagimals: The Series February 17, 2018 present Universal Kids
13 Bernard Revamped July 28, 2018
14 Niz Chicoloco September 21, 2018 TBA Netflix DreamWorks Animation
15 Untitled original series 2019 Universal Kids Universal Television Animation

Television specialsEdit

# Title Release date Network
1 A Gabriel Garza Christmas November 16, 1991 CBS
2 Gabriel Goes Hollywood September 11, 1993 Syndication
3 Gabriel Gets Spooked October 21, 1995
4 Hatty: The Untold Story September 12, 1998
5 The Gabriel Project April 6, 1999
6 Hatty's Weasel-tastic Christmas! November 17, 2001
7 Hatty in the Night of the Living Weasel October 14, 2003
8 It's a Very Gabriel Christmas! November 20, 2013

Short filmsEdit

# Title Release date
1 The Special Visitor March 1, 1989
2 Spot August 10, 1990
3 A Tiny Bite June 25, 1992
4 Bob & Tom December 21, 1994
5 Tifi February 1, 1996
6 Lo and the Short Island July 18, 1997
7 Bot Fight October 21, 1999
8 Race November 3, 1999
9 Clones December 16, 1999
10 Iken's Lunch January 31, 2000
11 Dial "M" for Metro March 7, 2006
12 Metro Outs September 9, 2008
13 Game Boys December 6, 2011
14 Jackpot & Money January 24, 2012
15 Virtual Madness July 3, 2013
16 Back in Time December 9, 2014
17 Busho's Guide to Cool Things January 10, 2017
18 Leno Finds Love June 6, 2017

Video gamesEdit

Main article: List of Gingo Animation video games


Coming soon!

See alsoEdit