|Founded||July 21, 2021|
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company|
Marvel Studios Animation is a division of American production company Marvel Studios centered on development of its animated projects based on Marvel Comics. The division was created by Marvel Studios and mainly produces projects set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and also oversees the development of non-MCU animated projects.
Marvel Studios was revealed in March 2019 to be developing an animated anthology series based on the What If comic book concept to explore how the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would be altered if certain events had occurred differently. Disney and Marvel officially announced What If...? the following month. The series of animated short films I Am Groot was announced in December 2020.
In June 2021, Marvel Studios executive vice president of film production Victoria Alonso said the studio's expansion to animation with the series What If...? was an opportunity to make the MCU more diverse. At that time, Marvel Studios was creating an "animation branch and mini studio", to focus on more animated content beyond What If...?, building infrastructure to handle multiple animated series at once and looking to hire around 300 new staff for production roles on a slate of Disney+ animated series. Marvel Studios' Brad Winderbaum, the executive who was in charge of What If...?, was promoted to Head of Streaming, Television, and Animation at Marvel Studios, and in September, Alonso was promoted to President of Physical, Post Production, VFX and Animation. During the Disney+ Day event in November 2021, Marvel Studios officially announced an animated Spider-Man prequel series titled Spider-Man: Freshman Year, the What If...?-related Marvel Zombies, and X-Men '97, a revival and continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series. What If...? director Bryan Andrews said each additional animated series would exist "on its own term[s] and hopefully explore unexpected facets of the MCU", with Winderbaum saying the studio would only tell stories that they felt needed to be told in animated form.
By April 2022, Marvel Studios Animation was announced to be taking over production for the Disney Junior preschool series Spidey and His Amazing Friends starting with its second season; the series' first season was released under Marvel Entertainment. During Marvel Studios Animation's panel at the July 2022 San Diego Comic-Con, the projects discussed were introduced as being part of the "Marvel Animated Multiverse". Shortly after, Winderbaum said the Multiverse Saga of the MCU and its exploration of the multiverse allowed the studio to "look at alternate paths and other takes on the characters... see[ing] them expanding and growing in unforeseen, unexpected ways", which he stated was the "guiding light" for the animated projects. By September, Brian Kesinger was attached to direct an animated series for Marvel Studios, though it was canceled shortly after.
By January 2023, the division was being referred to as "Marvel Studios Animation". In March 2023, Alonso was fired from her role at Marvel Studios by a group including Disney Entertainment co-chairman Alan Bergman and Disney's human resources and legal departments for serving as a producer on the Amazon Studios film Argentina, 1985 (2022); this was a breach of a 2018 agreement between Alonso and Disney which stated employees would not work for a competing studio. Alonso reportedly did not seek permission to work on the film, and was asked by Disney to stop working on the film, as well as not to promote or publicize it, with the situation "deemed serious enough" that Disney requested a new agreement be signed. Despite this, Alonso continued to promote the film following its September 2022 premiere, and was consistently reminded of her agreement and breach of contract, ultimately leading to her firing. Alonso's lawyers refuted this claim, stating Disney was aware of, and agreed to, Alonso's work on Argentina, 1985, and that she was instead "silenced[... and] was terminated when she refused to do something she believed was reprehensible"; this incident was reported to be a disagreement with a Disney executive over the censoring of gay pride elements in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) to release the film in Kuwait and comply with its restrictive anti-LGBTQ laws. A Disney spokesperson reiterated the notion that she was fired due to "an indisputable breach of contract and a direct violation of company policy" among other "key factors".
Similar to other animation studios, Marvel Studios Animation outsources its animation to other studios; Alonso said the medium of animation allowed Marvel Studios to work with new companies around the world. Winderbaum stated that Marvel Studios was open to working with corporate siblings Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios on animated MCU content "under the right circumstances". Spidey and His Amazing Friends is co-produced with Disney Junior in association with animation studio Atomic Cartoons. According to Marvel Studios' head of visual development Ryan Meinerding, Marvel Studios Animation uses techniques similar to those used in comics, which allows the studio to adapt Marvel comics "in a way that's maybe more powerful than the films". Winderbaum said the type of animation used in a series would depend on what the producers felt fit for each series.
Unlike VFX artists for the live-action productions, artists at the animation studio are hired directly by Marvel and work in-house at Marvel Studios Animation. The studio works under a strict deadline structure, which was criticized by a senior animator as the studio "asking for things that can't be done".
|Title||Aired||Seasons||Co-production with||Animation services||Network||Notes|
|What If...?||2021–present||1||—||Blue Spirit
Flying Bark Productions
Stellar Creative Lab
|Disney+||Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Renewed for seasons 2 and 3.|
|Spidey and His Amazing Friends||2||Atomic Cartoons||Disney Junior||Season 2 onwards. Renewed for seasons 3 and 4.|
|I Am Groot||2022–present||—||Luma Pictures
|Disney+||Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.|
|X-Men '97||2024||1||—||TBA||Disney+||Revival of X-Men: The Animated Series. Renewed for season 2.|
|Spider-Man: Freshman Year||1||—||Polygon Pictures||Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Renewed for season 2, to be renamed Spider-Man: Sophomore Year.|
|Marvel Zombies||1||—||TBA||Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spin-off of What If...?|
- Marvel Animation, a separate animation studio that centers on Marvel properties.
- Marvel Productions, a defunct animation studio that also centered on Marvel properties.
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