European Animation Producers Want More Original Commissions from U.S. Streamers

Animation in Europe, the federation of European animation producers founded in 2016, held its General Assembly this week in Annecy, where members elected new officers, welcomed three new countries, and discussed the current state of film and television animation production in Europe.

Below are four major takeaways from this year's General Assembly, as well as the report released by the Federation after the meeting.

According to the Federation, animated feature films and series are doing very well on the international market, especially compared to their live-action counterparts.

The federation cites Germany as an example, where half of the country's feature film exports are family animated films, which account for only 5% of the country's total production. On the other hand, animation exports from France account for nearly half of audiovisual revenues abroad.

European animation has expressed disappointment that American streamers are not asking European studios for more work. Regarding the global success of European animation, the federation's report states:

This undeniable international potential contrasts with the very small number of European animated series and films, even though platforms are investing heavily in the production of local dramas This view is shared by all members of the European Animation.

France was cited as an example to underscore the group's point. The country imposes some of the strictest local production quotas in the world on global platforms, the effects of which are felt much more strongly in live action productions than in animation.

Worse, according to the organization, when streamers hire European studios, it is generally for service work and rarely for original animation. According to the report, studios in countries with booming animation industries, such as France, Ireland, and Spain, still mostly do U.S.-produced service work, such as Arcane and The Cuphead Show.

The organization was quick to point out some of the problems the European industry is experiencing, but not without offering solutions. In its report, Animation in Europe called on the European Union to take the following actions:

The European Animation Federation urges the European Union and EU member states to take advantage of the AVMS Directive review scheduled for the end of 2025 to animation's status and urge them to promote European edits targeting younger audiences.

The AVMS Directive is EU legislation that defines the level of investment that broadcasters and platforms must make in the countries in which they do business. As such, the European Animation Agency has called on the EU to update the terms of the Directive in order to strengthen original animation production in member states.

There was also good news in this year's report. The federation revealed that Estonia, Greece, and Portugal have become new members, bringing the total number of European members to 20, including associate member the United Kingdom. According to the organization, the membership represents "a growing interest among European producers in the exchange of industry information between countries and collective action at the community level."

The organization also elected a new board of directors for the next two years, with Philippe Alessandri (Watch Next Media, France) continuing as president. The vice presidents are Mo Honan (Moetion Films, Ireland), Pablo Jordi (Pikkukala, Finland), Ivan Agenjo (Peekaboo Animation, Spain), and Dirk Beinhold (Akkord Film Produktion, Germany).