Sullivan Bluth Studios: Movie List and History of the Studio

Step into the world of animation and join us on a journey through the captivating history of Sullivan Bluth Studios. Behind every beloved animated film lies a tale of passion, creativity, and resilience, and Sullivan Bluth Studios embodies these qualities to the core.

This animation studio, which was founded by Don Bluth and a group of gifted Disney animators looking to blaze their own trail, has irrevocably changed the industry of the business. From their humble beginnings to their collaboration with renowned filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, Sullivan Bluth Studios has created timeless classics that continue to enchant audiences.

In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating story of Sullivan Bluth Studios, exploring their triumphs, challenges, and the enduring legacy they have left behind. So grab your popcorn, and prepare to enter the enchanted realm of animation.

Sullivan Bluth Studios Movies List

Let’s kick off this exploration of Sullivan Bluth Studios by taking a look at some of the memorable movies they brought to life. From heartwarming tales to enchanting adventures, the studio left an indelible mark on the world of animation.

Here are a few Sullivan Bluth Studios’ well-known movies:

“Banjo the Woodpile Cat”:

Banjo the Woodpile Cat

The delightful animated video “Banjo the Woodpile Cat” from Sullivan Bluth Studios depicts the story of a curious and intrepid cat named Banjo. The narrative follows Banjo as he sets out on a quest to see the world outside of his woodpile home. Filled with delightful characters, memorable songs, and charming animation, this film captures the innocence and curiosity of childhood while imparting valuable life lessons about friendship, bravery, and the importance of home.

“The Secret of NIMH”:

The Secret of NIMH

“The Secret of NIMH” is a captivating and enchanting animated feature film that showcases the storytelling prowess of Sullivan Bluth Studios. Based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien, the film follows the courageous and intelligent Mrs. Brisby, a widowed mouse determined to save her family from impending danger. “The Secret of NIMH” takes viewers on an astonishing adventure while examining themes of resiliency, sacrifice, and the strength of determination. It is filled with breathtaking animation, richly realized characters, and an engaging story.

“An American Tail”:

An American Tail

“An American Tail” is a beloved animated classic from Sullivan Bluth Studios that tells the poignant story of Fievel Mousekewitz, a young mouse who emigrates with his family to America in search of a better life. The movie, which is set in 19th-century New York City, expertly conveys the difficulties and aspirations of immigrants while telling a touching story of family, friendship, and pursuing one’s dreams. “An American Tail” has won over audiences of all ages with its endearing characters, sentimental tunes, and gorgeous animation.

“The Land Before Time”:

The Land Before Time

An renowned animated picture called “The Land Before Time” transports viewers on a grand excursion through a prehistoric world full of friendship and adventure. Sullivan Bluth Studios beautifully depicts the story of Littlefoot, a young dinosaur, and his group of diverse dinosaur friends as they navigate the challenges of survival and search for the Great Valley, a land of safety and abundance. “The Land Before Time” captivates viewers with its gorgeous animation, lovable characters, and a timeless tale that never fails to strike hearts with its emotional themes of courage, resilience, and the value of unity.

“All Dogs Go To Heaven”:

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All Dogs Go To Heaven

“All Dogs Go To Heaven” is a heartwarming and imaginative animated film from Sullivan Bluth Studios that tells the story of Charlie B. Barkin, a lovable dog with a mischievous streak. Charlie ends up in heaven due to a sad sequence of events, but he sets out on a quest to get back to Earth and find forgiveness. “All Dogs Go To Heaven” tackles ideas of friendship, loyalty, and the value of second chances through endearing characters, catchy melodies, and a mix of humor and heartfelt moments.



A funny and upbeat animated movie from Sullivan Bluth Studios called “Rock-A-Doodle” combines animation, music, and folklore in an original way. The story follows Chanticleer, a charismatic rooster whose crowing brings the sun up each morning. When a spell causes eternal darkness, it’s up to Chanticleer and his animal friends to restore light and save the day. “Rock-A-Doodle” is a fun and creative movie that will make viewers of all ages smile with its foot-tapping music, bright animation, and delicious blend of humor and adventure.



“Thumbelina” is a magical and enchanting animated film from Sullivan Bluth Studios that brings the classic fairy tale to life. The narrative follows Thumbelina, a small child no bigger than a thumb, as she makes her way through a world full of flower fairies, talking animals, and unforeseen experiences in quest of her proper place in it. With its beautiful animation, memorable characters, and a delightful soundtrack, “Thumbelina” captures the essence of wonder and resilience. Themes of self-discovery, love, and the conviction that even the smallest people can make a tremendous impact are all explored in this endearing movie.

“A Troll in Central Park”:

A Troll in Central Park

A fanciful and endearing animated movie called “A Troll in Central Park” whisks viewers away to a fantastical locale tucked away in Central Park in New York City. The story follows Stanley, a lovable and kind-hearted troll with a special green thumb that can bring plants to life. As Stanley befriends two children and spreads joy and happiness through his magical abilities, he faces the challenge of an evil queen who wants to extinguish all the beauty and wonder in Central Park. With its vibrant animation, catchy songs, and messages of friendship, acceptance, and the power of imagination, “A Troll in Central Park” is a delightful film that appeals to audiences of all ages.

“The Pebble and the Penguin”:

The Pebble and the Penguin

“The Pebble and the Penguin” is a charming animated film that takes viewers on a journey to the icy Antarctic. The narrative centers on the endearing penguin Hubie, who sets out on a dangerous quest in search of the ideal pebble in order to capture Marina’s heart. Along the way, he encounters various obstacles, including a rival suitor and a menacing leopard seal. “The Pebble and the Penguin” portrays the beauty of friendship and the fortitude to follow one’s heart. It is full of endearing characters, engaging music, and a comforting message about the power of love and persistence.

These films showcase the talent and creativity that flourished within Sullivan Bluth Studios during their 16-year journey.

Sullivan Bluth Studios History

To truly appreciate the legacy of Sullivan Bluth Studios, we must delve into its fascinating history. Established in 1979 by Don Bluth, a gifted animator who had previously worked at Disney, the studio was a labor of love and a response to the frustrations and limitations Bluth encountered at Disney.

Bluth’s dissatisfaction with the bureaucratic structure and mass-production approach to filmmaking at Disney led him to seek a new path. Alongside Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy, Bluth gathered a team of talented animators, and they set up shop at Don Bluth Productions, operating out of Bluth’s humble garage.

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During this period, they produced independent films such as “Banjo the Woodpile Cat” and “The Secret of NIMH,” showcasing their dedication to storytelling and animation craftsmanship. They also had the ability to produce appealing animations for arcade games, further solidifying their position as leaders in the industry.

However, financial challenges loomed over the studio, leading to the bankruptcy of the Bluth group in 1984. In the wake of this setback, Morris Sullivan joined forces with Bluth, forming Sullivan Bluth Studios and laying the foundation for a new chapter in their animation journey.

Golden Era: Sullivan Bluth Studios

With renewed determination, Sullivan Bluth Studios embarked on a golden era, marked by their relocation to Van Nuys, California in 1985. The studio initially focused on producing advertisements and short films while eagerly seeking an opportunity to create a feature film that would capture hearts and captivate audiences.

Their breakthrough occurred when they worked with the famous Steven Spielberg on “An American Tail.” When it was first released in 1986, this outstanding movie blazed a trail, shattering box office records and becoming the most successful animated film of its time, earning an astounding $47 million. The success of “An American Tail” showcased Sullivan Bluth Studios’ ability to touch the hearts of viewers worldwide with their poignant storytelling and masterful animation.

Inspired by their achievements, Sullivan Bluth Studios made a daring move across the Atlantic to Dublin, Ireland. The Irish government’s enticing incentives, including tax breaks and grants, enticed the studio to establish a foothold in this enchanting land. The relocation also brought the opportunity to collaborate with local professionals, blending their expertise with the creative minds that had journeyed from California.

Collaborations with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg

The collaborative spirit of Sullivan Bluth Studios continued to thrive as they partnered with two of the industry’s visionary figures, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Together, they started work on “The Land Before Time,” a compelling story that takes place in a world that is prehistoric.

It proved to be another monumental success for Sullivan Bluth Studios. The movie was a hit when it first came out, earning an amazing $48 million in just the first weekend. This achievement was particularly notable for a small independent studio like Sullivan Bluth, which was competing against industry giants such as Disney. The collaboration with Lucas and Spielberg not only elevated the studio’s profile but also showcased their ability to create timeless stories that resonated with viewers of all ages.

However, every journey has its challenges, and Sullivan Bluth Studios was not immune to them. During the production of “All Dogs Go To Heaven,” some founding members decided to depart from the studio, creating a significant hurdle to overcome. Despite this setback, “All Dogs Go To Heaven” still managed to find success, especially in the home video market, where it sold remarkably well on VHS.

To adapt to changing times and improve their public image, Sullivan Bluth Studios made strategic decisions. They underwent a rebranding effort and witnessed the buyout of the Irish company Goldcrest. These changes had a profound impact on the studio’s operations and finances.

Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, financial difficulties persisted, leading the new owners to sever ties with Sullivan Bluth Studios. This ultimately resulted in the studio’s bankruptcy in 1992. It was a challenging period for everyone involved, as the once-thriving animation powerhouse faced a crossroads in its journey.

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However, every end marks a new beginning. Following the bankruptcy, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman were presented with an opportunity by Fox television. The duo decided to establish an animation division within the company, leading to the creation of Fox Animation Studios. To embark on this new adventure, Bluth and Goldman relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, bringing their wealth of experience and passion to their new venture.

Their first endeavor under the Fox Animation Studios banner was the co-direction of “Anastasia,” which marked Fox’s first-ever animated feature film. The movie, released in 1997, showcased the resilience and creativity of the duo, captivating audiences with its compelling story and breathtaking animation.

In 1995, Sullivan Bluth Studios closed its doors after releasing three final films: “A Troll in Central Park,” “Thumbelina,” and “The Pebble and the Penguin.” While the journey of Sullivan Bluth Studios had come to an end, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman’s animated odyssey continued under the banner of Fox Animation Studios.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is Sullivan Bluth Studios?

  • A: Sullivan Bluth Studios was initially located in Van Nuys, California, after its establishment in 1979. However, the studio relocated its activities to Dublin, Ireland, in the middle of the 1980s. The relocation was driven by incentives provided by the Irish government, such as tax breaks and grants. The studio is currently closed.

Q: What happened to Don Bluth Studios?

  • A: After the closure of Sullivan Bluth Studios in 1995, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman went on to establish Fox Animation Studios in Phoenix, Arizona. They continued their animation journey under the Fox Animation banner, co-directing films like “Anastasia.” Don Bluth and Gary Goldman’s contributions to the animation industry extended beyond their work with Sullivan Bluth Studios, showcasing their resilience and ability to adapt in the ever-changing landscape of animation.

Q: Which animation company is the best?

  • A: The animation industry is home to several exceptional companies, each with its own unique strengths and contributions. Determining the “best” animation company is subjective and depends on various factors, such as personal preferences, artistic styles, and storytelling approaches. Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Studio Ghibli, DreamWorks Animation, and Aardman Animations are a few illustrious animation studios famous for their outstanding work. Each of these studios has significantly advanced the field of animation and enjoys a devoted fan base.

Q: What was the first animation studio in Ireland?

  • A: Sullivan Bluth Studios holds the distinction of being the first animation studio in Ireland. The studio established a footprint in the nation after moving from California to Dublin in the middle of the 1980s and significantly contributed to the development of the Irish animation sector. Sullivan Bluth Studios’ move to Ireland was driven by the incentives provided by the Irish government, such as tax breaks and grants, which aimed to attract international studios and foster the development of the local animation sector.

Final Thought

In conclusion, Sullivan Bluth Studios left an indelible mark on the animation industry. From their humble beginnings to their golden era, collaborations with renowned filmmakers, and the challenges they faced, the studio’s legacy remains an important part of animated history. Their ability to adapt, innovate, and create cherished films allowed them to carve out a unique place in the hearts of audiences worldwide. While Sullivan Bluth Studios may be a thing of the past, its impact continues to be felt in the animated landscape of today.

Samantha Thouvenin
Samantha Thouvenin

My name is Samantha and I love animated films, characters and everything related to them. It so happened that because of my passion, I began to understand this topic quite well and decided to share my knowledge with others. My main favorite animated cartoons are The Flintstones, Barbie, Ice Age, and many cartoons about princesses. In my free time I like to walk with my dog in the park and discover new places and restaurants.

Animated Сharacters, Songs, Movies, and Studios
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