Straffi, an animator and comic book artist, founded Rainbow in 1995 as an "underfunded animation service". For its first few years, Rainbow provided animation services for other companies, and it wasn't until 1999 that Straffi finally secured enough money to try out an original animation: Tommy and Oscar. In 2006, Iginio Straffi opened a second studio in Rome for 3D computer-animated projects.
In 2011, Viacom, Nickelodeon's parent company, purchased 30% of the studio for 62 million euros. This paved the way for many collaborations between the studio and the network; Rainbow would become the licensing agent for Nickelodeon's properties (including SpongeBob SquarePants and Victorious) across Italy.
In 2013, Rainbow went through a financial setback. Rainbow's Gladiators of Rome bombed at the worldwide box office, earning less than 9 million against a 40 million production budget. Including advertising costs, the budget was upwards of 70 million, according to Straffi. By the end of 2013, Viacom Italia had lost 15.8 million euros as a direct result of their co-ownership of Rainbow. The studio wrapped up The New '10s by co-producing Club 57 with Nickelodeon.
Productions from the studio:
- Tommy and Oscar
- Winx Club
- Huntik: Secrets & Seekers
- Pop Pixie (loosely based on side characters from Winx Club but otherwise considered a completely seperate show}
- Maya Fox
- The Dark Side of the Sun
- Gladiators of Rome
- "Crazy Block" (Nickelodeon Animation Studio pilot)
- Regal Academy
- World of Winx
- Club 57
- Mia and Me (co-produced Seasons 1 and 2 with M 4 E and Hahn Film)
- Forty Four Cats
- Fate: The Winx Saga