Pannonia Film Studio (originally spelled as Pannónia Filmstúdió) was a Hungarian animation film company. Being the only animation company in Hungary until the 1990s, it was notable for producing the majority of Hungarian animated shorts, television series, and full-length films, many classic examples of Eastern European Animation (both traditional 2D animation and Stop Motion).
The studio began its work as a division of the Hungarian Film Production Company in the 1950s, becoming independent in 1957. The peak of the studio's work was in the '70s and '80s when it released the films for which it is most remembered. Their animated short The Fly (A légy) won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1981. In the 1990s, when numerous western animated shows were imported to Hungary, the company couldn't keep up with the competition. Since then, they haven't produced any big hit, and struggled with financial problems until going out of business sometime around 2015. They were also notable for producing most Hungarian dubs, many of which are fan favorites.
Animated films and shorts produced by Pannonia Film Studio:
- The Kidnapping Of The Sun And The Moon (1968)
- Johnny Corncob (1973)
- Hugo The Hippo (1973)
- Lúdas Matyi (1977)
- Foam Bath (1979)note
- Moto Perpetuo (1981)
- Son of the White Horse (1981)
- Vuk the Little Fox (1981)
- Háry János (1983)
- Time Masters (1982)
- Heroic Times (1984)
- Hófehér (1984)
- The Treasure Of Swamp Castle (1985)
- Long Live Servatius (1986)
- Cat City (1986)
- Az erdő kapitánya (1988)
- Willy the Sparrow (1988)
- Felix the Cat: The Movie (1989)
- Dragon and Slipper (Sárkány és Papucs) (1990)
- The Seventh Brother (1991)
- The Princess and the Goblin (1992)
- Song of the Miraculous Hind (2002)
- Cat City 2 (2007)
- The Tragedy of Man (2011)
- Gustavus (Gusztáv, 1966-1979)
- A Mézga család különös kalandjai (1968-69, 1974, 1978)note
- Kerem A Kovetkezot (1974)
- Its Just Fashion (1976)
- Vízipók-Csodapók (1976-1985 as a series, 1982 as a feature-length Compilation Movie)
- Hungarian Folk Tales (1977-2007)
- Misi Mókus kalandjai (released as a series in 1980 and as a feature-length film in 1982)
- The Rabbit with the Checkered Ears (A kockásfülű nyúl, 1978)note
- A nagy ho-ho-ho-horgász (1982-1984)
- Pumuckl (1982-1989)
- Leó és Fred (1984)
Pannonia Film Studio provides examples of:
- Canon Discontinuity: Unlike the rest of the films (most of which are beloved classics in Hungary), Felix the Cat: The Movie is based on a franchise almost unknown in Hungary, and it only received a very belated, overlooked release in its country of origin. It is practically never mentioned by its creators.
- Compilation Movie: Often, television series they produced were cobbled together into feature-length films for cinematic release. This happened to Vízipók-Csodapók and to Misi Mókus kalandjai, for example. Vuk the Little Fox was also initially released as a four-episode Mini Series on television in 1981, but then got a feature-length cinematic release the same year.
- The Dark Age of Animation: Most of their output was produced between the '60s and '80s, which coincided with an animation slump in the West, but this time was actually the golden age of Hungarian animation, and the true "dark time" followed once the studio lost its state funding and foreign animated works drew away their audience beginning in the '90s. That said, due to thin budgets and technical limitations, some of their releases did feature shortcomings associated with this era, like Off-Model art, Limited Animation, Padding or an over-reliance on dialogue. Unlike the majority of Western cartoons from this time however, Pannonia continuously kept creating works aimed at all ages rather than pandering mostly to children, and the abundance of varied art designs and subject matters kept the bulk of their cartoons from becoming stale.
- Deranged Animation: Anything done by Marcell Jankovics, one of the studio's most prominent directors. The works of György Kovásznai and Sándor Reisenbüchler deserve a mention too.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted. Almost every film by them includes one or two characters getting drunk.
- Mind Screw: Hófehér. It makes much more sense if you know about communism and the Hungarian regime, but without it, it's hard to figure out the symbolism.
- Race Lift: The 1951 short A kiskakas gyémánt félkrajcárja is based on a Hungarian folk tale. Traditionally, the main villain of the story is the Turkish Emperor, but in the animated short he's a Hungarian king.