House of Cool Studios is a boutique animation studio founded in 2004 by animation veteran Ricardo Curtis and finance expert Wes Lui. The studio originally specialized in feature film pre-production. Today, they are a full service production house with capabilities ranging from story and design to screen-ready animation for feature and commercial projects. They have also worked with several companies such as Disney Studios, Fox, Blue Sky Studios, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., Reel FX Creative Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, DHX Media, HIT Entertainment, Teletoon, Corus Entertainment and Nickelodeon.In 2008, the company acquired Red Rover Studios, an accomplished 3D animation studio, to facilitate the development of their pipeline and to accommodate the growth of their commercial business, after its well-loved founder, Andy Knight, passed away.In 2014, House of Cool made a splash in mobile technology with the launch of Get Massively, a platform that powers interactive stories on chat for millions of users.
Works by House of Cool include:
- Horton Hears a Who! (2008) (film)
- Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) (film)
- 9 (2009) (film)
- Despicable Me (2010) (film)
- Jonah Hex (2010) (film)
- Rio (2011) (film)
- Hugo (2011) (film)
- Gnomeo and Juliet (2011) (film)
- Gravity Falls (2012) (TV series, early development)
- Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (2012) (film)
- Epic (2013) (film)
- Free Birds (2013) (film)
- The Book of Life (2014) (film)
- Rio 2 (2014) (film)
- The Peanuts Movie (2015) (film)
- DreamWorks Dragons (2015) (TV series)
- Trollhunters (2016) (TV series, storyboards only)
As Red Rover Studios:
- Ned's Newt (1993) (TV series)
- All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996) (film)
- Broken Sword: Circle of Blood (1996) (video game)
- Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (1996) (video game)
- Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997) (film)
- Bob and Margaret (1999) (TV series)
- Joseph: King of Dreams (2000) (film)
- The Ripping Friends (2001) (TV series)
- Get Ed (2005) (TV series)
Tropes associated with House of Cool and its works
- All-CGI Cartoon: Horton Hears a Who, Ollie & the Baked Halibut/Ollie the Otter, Despicable Me, Rio, and most of their Red Rover productions.
- Animation Bump: Really, they do a fantastic job on their storyboards, which result in very smooth animation.
- Animesque: Some of their 2D animated scenes may result in this, including the ninja scene in Horton Hears a Who and the dog chase scene in the first The LeBrons episode. Well, minus looking like anime character designs.
- Not to mention, the shading they added on their character designs makes it look even more like anime.
- Conspicuous CG: Their work on how special effects look like in Ninjamaica, The LeBrons, and other hand-drawn projects.
- Disney School of Acting and Mime: A storyboarding example, though.
- Nice Guys: Ricardo, Wes and the rest of the crew.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Some of their character designs look either geometric, cartoony or ultra stylized, as opposed to the rest of their character designs.
- Shout-Out: Most of their character designs look like they took inspiration from either The Iron Giant or Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights. This is because most of the people who worked for the studio also worked on both of these films, as well as The Incredibles.