Finnish Animation in Brief (2014)


  • Finnish animation has been made for 100 years. First short films were shown in 1914 in three Helsinki cinemas (Olympia, Esplanad, Finlandia).
  • Until the early 1990s most Finnish animation were done at YLE, The Public Broadcasting Company, and was aimed at little children.
  • Some independent companies were found as early as 1970s but the biggest growth in the indie sector took place after 2000, especially in 3D animation.

Companies With An Emphasis To Grow

  • Finnanimation has 42 members (2014), from which 90% have their own production either in distribution or in development. Just a few companies focus on service work. Generally, in Finland there are around 100 companies that say animation is part of their business (inc. distribution, sales, legal, translation, dubbing services etc.).
  • Most animation production companies are small, employing 1 to 5 people, but there is a strong will to grow among most of them. The scale is wide too. Rovio’s animation department has around one hundred employees; and, at Anima Vitae, there were over 40 people working full-time at the time of Niko I production. In total, 100 Finnish people were working on a Finnish-Irish-Danish-German co-production.
  • Finnish game industry comprises 1000 companies, that employ around 2300 people, around 200-300 of them are animators (Neogames 2013), so there  are around 500 people in Finland that work as animators in Finland, but animation productions employ also producers, directors, script writers, concept and character designers, art directors, technical wizards, programmers, composers, musicians, voice actors and singers, sound artists and VFX specialists etc…

  • Animation takes time, every production is a slow process, 2/3 of the time, at least, is taken by the financing arrangements.

Production Statistics

  • Since 2006 there has premiered at least one Finnish animated feature per year, plus around 6 to 10 short films, and around 6 t0 52 tv-series episodes of 4 to 23 minutes in each episode.
  • The record for Finnish animated TV series, also globally remarkable, is made by Anima Vitae studio, where it was made 233 x 13 min episodes (plus 7 specials) of Auto Crats / Itse valtiaat (2001-2008), weekly commentary of current politics. It was screened on Saturday night prime time (9.15PM), and its script was delivered to the studio by Wednesday with some latest additions on Friday morning.
  • From the total Finnish production funding by Finnish Film Foundation, animations make around 13-15 % on a yearly basis; however in international financing animation gets 35% of the money invested in Finland (Favex).
  • Animation travels well: Niko Way to The Stars (2008) has been the most successful Finnish film abroad, and Angry Birds Toons tv-series have more than a billion viewers worldwide.
  • Currently Finnish animation production companies develop many features, that are scheduled to be launched in 2016 or in 2017 (Angry Birds, Jaska, Hugo, Gnome).
  • There are also many tv-series in production, and ready for international sales, with 4-5 mins in length an with no dialogue (eg. Pikkuli and Hullabalooba) and 100% IPR (also Gigglebug).

Characteristics Of Finnish Animation

  • Skilled commercials on cells were made in 1950s’ and 1960s’, early pioneering as early as 1930s’ but many careers with a strong talent were finished at the war time.
  • Industrial animation made for paper mills, or in architecture and design projects.
  • Traditional puppet animation is kept alive with many projects and artists that have strong ties with Poland, Estonia and Czech Republic.
  • In 3D both the quality and efficiency is proved by the world’s fastest pipelines by Anima and the success of its two Niko movies.
  • 2D animation has strengthened in 2010 influenced by Turku Animation School and Rovio’s capacity to offer work for a new generation of animators.
  • Licensing knowhow, to reach the world record criteria again, has been gained most recently at Angry Birds merchandising. Also Moomins are flourishing as an international design brand from cups and mugs to linen and free standing figure lamps.

Our Recipe For Success

  • Quality, reliability, good education.
  • Original characters and stories.
  • Our aspect to the world, sometimes weird, sometimes just original!

Our aims

  • More Nordic region co-productions to compete better in an international market against Asian import.
  • Strengthening Asia presence
  • Better development in scripts and IPR management
    Strong emphasis on cross-media.