First founded in 1988 by Motoyoshi Tokunaga with Walt Disney Animation Japan, Spectrum was Disney Japan's non Disney based unit (the studios shared 20-30% of their staff), the studio is known for having spectacularly gorgeous animation (like TMS and Disney Japan) and working on 9 episodes of Batman: The Animated Series plus the associated films Mask Of The Phantasm and Sub Zero. The studio also worked on other productions as well, but went out of business in 1998 as they were failing to compete in the anime market (They only did four as subcontractors. But did do some cutscenes for some PC-FX and PS1 games), as well as the studio's debt (things like the airbrushing in Mr. Freeze's helmet did not help either) and Michael Eisner wanting to cut corners at Disney, and one way to do that was to tell Motoyoshi Tokunaga to shut down Spectrum. After that, most of their staff (like the ones that were not based through Disney Japan like Sabaro Hashimoto (who is now a arts teacher) Hiroshi Kawamata and Kazuyoshi Takeuchi (who both now work for The Answer Studio) went to Production I.G.
See also TMS Entertainment, Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney Animation Japan, three other Japanese studios known for gorgeous looking animation.
Productions by Spectrum:
- A Bunch of Munsch - With AKOM, Hanho Heung-Up and other companies. 2 episodes
- Animaniacs - Ink and Paint & Camera for TMS on 3 shorts - Les Miseranimals, Pavlov's Mice (both by Yuichiro Yano) and Hisao Yokobori's Wild Blue Yonder, Animation Cooperation for the latter. Done uncredited.
- Batman: The Animated Series - The studio's biggest production, 7 episodeslist . Also provided layouts for 12 episodeslist .
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm - done with Koko/Dong Yang.
- Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero - Last production, with Koko/Dong Yang.
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures - With Big Star Enterprise.
- Captain N: The Game Master: First project, served as supervisor and storyboard artists. Also did animation during season 2. (other studios to work on the show include Saerom/Plus One Animation and Sei Young).
- Crime Crackers - Cutscenes.
- Crime Crackers 2 - Last known production done in-house, Cutscenes.
- Defenders of Dynatron City - The cartoon pilot
- Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas - with Hong Ying.
- Madeline - Four Specials, Madeline in London, Madeline's Rescue, Madeline's Christmas and Madeline and the Bad Hat. It's not confirmed if they did provide animation for the original Madeline special also.
- The Real History Of Humpty Dumpty
- Reporter Blues - Animation Cooperation for TMS.
- Silent Möbius - In-Between Animation for the first movie.
- Soccer Fever - Animation Cooperation for TMS.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series - Animation Cooperation for TMS, uncredited.
- Twinbee and WinBee's 1/8 Panic (OVA) - With DR Movie and AIC.
Tropes associated with Spectrum:
- Animation Bump: Arguably one of the best studios ever established, until they went out of business.
- Off-Model: Despite their quality, they do slip up on the rare occasion.