House of Cool Studios is a Canadian pre-production animation studio founded in 2004 by animation veteran Ricardo Curtis and business partner Wes Lui, specializing in designing and storyboarding of films, TV series and commercials. The company has a staff of over 65 artists. They have also worked with several companies such as Disney, Laika, Warner Bros, Nelvana, Universal, Pixar, and Blue Sky. The studio uses Toon Boom Storyboard Pro to create storyboards for several projects.
They also have a blog, which you can visit here.
Works by House of Cool include:
- Betty Banner, Party Planner
- CoCo the Coward
- Despicable Me
- The Dibble Show
- The Dreaming
- El Hobre La Mancha
- Gravity Falls -- An upcoming Disney Channel animated series.
- Horton Hears a Who -- Their work on this movie includes the Animesque ninja sequence, in particular.
- The Incredibles comics
- Jonah Hex -- An otherwise live action movie.
- The Lebrons
- Little Man Dan and his Big Fat Hand -- Another upcoming Disney Channel animated series.
- Lumber Jacksons
- The Mighties
- Ollie & the Baked Halibut and the upcoming film Ollie the Otter.
- Spaghetti West
Tropes associated with House of Cool and its works
- All CGI Cartoon: Horton Hears a Who, Ollie & the Baked Halibut/Ollie the Otter, Despicable Me, Rio, and most of their Red Rover productions.
- Animation Bump: Really, they do a fantastic job on their storyboards, which result in very smooth animation.
- Animesque: Some of their 2D animated scenes may result in this, including the ninja scene in Horton Hears a Who and the dog chase scene in the first The LeBrons episode. Well, minus looking like anime character designs.
- Not to mention, the shading they added on their character designs makes it look even more like anime.
- Conspicuous CG: Their work on how special effects look like in Ninjamaica, The LeBrons, and other hand-drawn projects.
- Disney School of Acting and Mime: A storyboarding example, though.
- Nice Guys: Ricardo, Wes and the rest of the crew.
- Non Standard Character Design: Some of their character designs look either geometric, cartoony or ultra stylized, as opposed to the rest of their character designs.
- Shout-Out: Most of their character designs look like they took inspiration from either The Iron Giant or Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights. This is because most of the people who worked for the studio also worked on both of these films, as well as The Incredibles.