Spain’s Animation Surge: Some Highlights and Explanations

In a extremely anticipated animation occasion at this 12 months’s Cannes Festival, Emmy-winning Spanish director Rodrigo Blaas attends on Sunday the screening of his brief movie “Sith,” a part of Disney+’s “Star Wars: Visions” Season 2 anthology. The first big-screen exhibition of “Sith” — launched worldwide May 4 on Disney+ — adopted by a meet and greet with Blaas marks one spotlight of the Animation Day Revelations New Animated Shorts From Spain, organized by ICEX Spain’s Trade & Investment.

The Spanish animation occasion at Cannes may also showcase Alberto Mielgo’s celebrated 2022 Oscar-winning brief movie “The Windshield Wiper.”

Another main gentle within the renaissance of Spanish animation, Mielgo additionally took an Emmy Award final 12 months for particular person achievement in animation for “Jíbaro,” a part of Season 3 of Netflix’s animated collection “Love, Death + Robots.” An earlier episode of the collection directed by Mielgo, “The Witness,” gained three Emmys in 2019.

Blaas has labored on profitable animated movies corresponding to Blue Sky Studios’ “Ice Age” and Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles” and was the showrunner on Guillermo del Toro’s acclaimed collection “Trollhunders” for DreamWorks and Netflix, which earned six Emmy awards.

The Cannes showcase underscores the vibrancy of the Spanish animation scene. Spain has produced 16 animated characteristic movies, 72 seasons of TV collection and 156 brief movies in 2020-2022, in response to toon-VFX federation Diboos.

“We are growing at a beastly pace,” stated Diboos president Nico Matji at a Malaga Festival press convention in March.

Spanish animation has been constructing a repute for many years, however over the past 4 years, recognition has grown in prizes — Sergio Pablos’ “Klaus” gained seven Annie awards in 2019, for example — and this 12 months, Juan Jesús García Galocha’s “Mummies,” from 4Cats and Atresmedia Cine, has snagged $52 million worldwide, dealt with by Warner Bros.

Enrique Gato’s “Tad the Lost Explorer and the Emerald Tablet,” produced by Telecinco Cinema and Lightbox and the third installment in Spain’s highest-grossing toon franchise, scored $33 million in 2022. It was distributed worldwide by Paramount.

Like many Spanish animation professionals, Blaas and Mielgo needed to migrate many years in the past searching for alternatives to develop their expertise.

“I left Spain in the ‘90s because it was impossible to make an animated feature,” says Blaas, who just lately returned to the nation to co-found El Guiri Estudios, a Madrid-based bridge with Hollywood, from the place he wrote, directed and produced “Sith.”

“When I started 20 years ago, there were a lot of people working in international studios because there was not much industry in Spain,” Mielgo notes.

What triggered a shift? “The sector was regulated, animation schools launched, great technical teams were assembled and very good studios emerged financing feature films. That’s admirable,” Mielgo explains.

“Spain is now far more competitive, with tax breaks for animation, which very much drive the big studios’ interest in collaboration. Creative Spanish talent is now highly interested in animation, mixing artisanal techniques and technologies,” Blaas says.


“Although Spain is not yet ready to finance films of the budget levels of Pixar and Disney, there are many adventurous and incredible people who have managed to create blockbuster films, promoting them very well, on very tight budgets,” Mielgo says.

Animation firm exports carry out 95% higher than the final trade common, per Diboos estimates.

“At the time, this was out of necessity: We had to go abroad in search of financing that was difficult to find here,” says Diboos VP and Peekaboo CEO Iván Agenjo.

“Now that factor doesn’t come into play so much since we really are important players on the international scene, recognized both for our talent and for our companies’ abilities to move projects forward. Co-production is the key word that makes all this possible,” he provides.

Public broadcaster RTVE, with 37% of funding, Basque Country’s Euskal Telebista (16%) and paybox Movistar Plus+ (14%) head the primary native traders rank; whereas Amazon (25%), Netflix (20%) and Disney+ (20%) prime worldwide co-production companions’ dedication on Spanish toon tasks.

“Animation is a team effort. For years we have been used to carrying out projects in this way, both with Europe and with the rest of the world,” Agenjo notes.

The animation/VFX trade generates greater than 10,000 direct jobs, 20% of the audiovisual trade, with an annual turnover of €900 million ($990 million) in 2021.

March’s Malaga Festival underscored the second of effervescence animation goes by.

Some of the largest offers introduced there have been for animated options, such because the a number of pre-sales Pink Parrot inked on “SuperKlaus” — beforehand generally known as “4 Days Before Christmas” — a 3Doubles and Capitán Araña co-production with Canada’s PVP Media, scheduled for a worldwide December launch.

FilmSharks has closed Latin America with Walt Disney/Star Distribution on “Dalia and the Red Book,” an Argentina-Perú-Brazil-Colombia-Ecuador co-production with Spain’s Doce Entertainment and Mr. Miyagi.

Despite the current big leap of the sector, boosted by a mixture of expertise, tax incentives and secure co-production alliances, some financing limitations stay.

“In Spain it is difficult to raise financing. That weighs down the industry, especially in TV series, which are the ones that can give benefits to the studios,” laments Darío Sánchez, CEO at Tenerife-based 3Doubles. “A bigger workforce that meets the industry needs, greater support in IP development and a clear commitment from broadcasters are essential.”

Dalia and the Red Book
Courtesy of Filmsharks

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