powerhousepromo powerhousepromo

The Studio Promo To End All Studio Promos

How does a traditional animation studio promote itself in a CG-obsessed world? Austin, Texas-based Powerhouse Animation Studios, which produced the 2D cut-scenes in the Epic Mickey games, does it with a heaping side of humor. They made this tongue-in-cheek studio promo, cheekily titled “Against the Z-Axis,” that advertises their “pure, organic, traditional, AMERICAN animation.”

  • hannah n

    i love this studio! they always had great presentations at the Siggraph meetups in Austin

  • Toonio

    Finally somebody did think of the children.

    • Vincent Tilghman


  • Mac

    I didn’t see any traditional animation in the trailer.

  • It’s a great way of presenting 2D animation as a relevant art form in an era of CGI and 3D.

  • i so want to work there now :D

  • While I am all for 2D Animation – and think there is a clever, funny, idea here. They didn’t make their point very well when the only real character animation is the 3D monster!!! Next time, try convincing us of 2D greatness by animating the 2D characters instead of making them appear like cardboard pop-ups. FAIL.

  • Martin Holm-Grevy

    Only word to describe this “Brilliant”!

  • Awesoooooomeeeee!

  • NW Smith

    If these people are not already doing something for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network needs to get off their behinds and HIRE them.

  • John


  • lola

    That was excellent

  • joey

    Kind of ironic that there isn’t really any traditional cell animation in this promo, yet there are loads of 2.5D illustrations. The medium isn’t in line with the message here

    • AmidAmidi

      That’s why I wrote it’s tongue-in-cheek.

    • Its very ironic. Might just be my sense of humor, but I think that makes it funnier. It is also, even more ironically, is the only piece Powerhouse has done with a character modeled in Zbrush. Powerhouse Animation does a lot of traditional, check out the website if you get a chance…but to keep thing going we also do a lot of motion graphics. In terms of self-promotional stuff, I wish there was more time and budget to really do something fully traditional, but I think accomplishes what we set out to do with the time we had.

      • Leon

        It’s a funny short, don’t get me wrong, but you guys spent time and energy to make this. It undermines the whole message if you wish you had more time and budget to do traditional animation but this is what you could accomplish in the time you had. Also for those uninformed, there’s no definition of what type of animation is being used so one could conclude that the none 3D work is traditional (It’s motion graphics with great illustrations, just not traditional animation) As a piece by itself, it’s got some interesting ideas and humor in it. But the overall message and as self promotion that Powerhouse does traditional animation (and your studio does some really good animation), it fails. If you couldn’t do it traditionally, not to be mean, but maybe it shouldn’t have been made.

        • mick

          Oh for the love of all that is frivolous!!! It’s funny and looks good. Interesting ideas and over all messages aside… enjoy the sandwich without evaluating whether the pickles complement the underlying affiliations of the mayonnaise.

      • Greg Manwaring

        Loved it!! Goooo Powerhouse!!

  • Joke murderer

    Not to throw a wrench in the gears and ruin the whole joke like an over-analytical jerk, but wasn’t that mostly After Effects auto tweening? Not exactly “organic”.

  • jonhanson

    Haha, as I 3D artist I love this. If only all corporate advertising was this fun. Also love the jumble of American and Soviet propaganda styles.

  • wgan

    cute, clever and cheeky

  • mick

    That’s a great analogy. I no longer care about the topic… 3D = pizza is the notion I will take with me from this interchange. Excellent

    • Travis

      This promo isn’t the sandwich or the steak, its the neon sign advertising the resaurant. Stop trying to eat the sign!

      • Leon

        Haha, wow :) Okay, I don’t care anymore either…
        The Powerhouse promo = a neon sign
        3D = pizza
        And just to clarify my stance on pizza; it could totally be read the wrong way because I am a traditional animator. I just want to say I like pizza and that pizza of 3D is the best damn pizza in the world! Go Powerhouse American Traditional Animation, PATA or whatever the kids are saying these days :)

  • MaskedManAICN

    very cool, I hope they survive :)

  • tombancroft

    Dang, that is SO good! Sharing it on Facebook for sure!

  • Matt

    I think this is somewhat poorly communicated. I get that it’s tongue-in-cheek, but it also seems hostile to anyone who likes 3D Animation, which I do. I also like tradtional 2D. Why the need for bashing?