Universal was thinking out of the box when it chose Olive Jar Studios in Boston to create animated pre-ride pieces for its Dr. Doom’s Fearfall and The Incredible Hulk Coaster theme rides at Universal Studios, Florida, as Olive Jar normally creates animation for advertising spots.
‘The folks at Universal saw our cel animation and said, `You guys want to animate Marvel characters?” says Matthew Charde, executive producer at Olive Jar. The studio’s artists jumped at the opportunity and set about animating the under-20-minute toons that would play on monitors outside the rides, instructing kids to buckle up and play it safe.
Producing commercial-quality animation, Olive Jar brought the segments in at over US$500,000 each.
Looking to expand its long-format work, Olive Jar currently has three animated series pilots nearing completion, one of which was co-produced with an outside creator. Two of the series are traditional cel, one is stop-motion.
The 15-year-old studio takes on animation projects in a variety of mediums. Spot volume at the shop averages 35 to 55 commercials annually, more than half of which are kid-related.