How 2D Animation Cartoon Movies Are Made

21 December 2021   |   by Akash Arya   |   Video Production, 2D Animation

Do you remember the Simpsons, the family guy, the most famous animated sitcom television series? They have been running since 1989, 1999 and are still going on. But why these are still interesting to the people, is it the story or the character or their jokes or the funny animation and graphics. Well, the answer is not simple, but I can assure you that by reading this blog you will get some answers.

The business of cartoon movies, animated films has witnessed substantial growth. Let me give you some figures of the highest-grossing animated movies- The Lion King made $1.65 billion at the global box office, Frozen 2 made $1.45 billion at the global box office and even Raya and the Last Dragon, the animated movie released in a pandemic when the theatres were reopening earned 91.5 million. These numbers show how the career opportunities and creativity levels in the animation field are increasing day by day. The animation business is not just restricted to tv cartoons or animated web movies but also it has opened doors to short film production and explainer video companies. Short animated videos explaining the different concepts and enhancing the learning of children is playing a prominent role in the education sector.

So now we can say the animation field is not just limited to entertainment & fun but also contributes to bringing a social development change in children through e-learning videos.

Now let’s go to the main aspect of how to make 2d animated cartoon movies. Any cartoon tv production or animation film studio like us (best animation studios) has divided the process into three different stages

Pre Production stage: Building the idea and concept for your film or video.

Production stage: Real work of animation begins

Post Production: Final touch up and polishing your final product



Building a concept and idea:

This is the first step in creating any video or film. What your video should be talking about, is the first question that should come to your mind. Discuss with your team, what’s the topic to be taken keeping in mind your primary target audience their likes and what interests them. Throw random ideas, discuss their feasibility and finalise a few ideas.


The theme is the heart of the film, all other elements, characters, plot, story play a part to show how the theme is displayed. For example, some of the common themes that are included in most of the animated movies or videos for children are - the importance of family, gaining knowledge about your surroundings, helping your friends, the importance of kindness and doing the right thing etc.


The most important part on which the whole team of animators, graphic designers, sound artists work is the script. Putting down your concept in the form in which it will be showcased to the screen is what the function of the script is. It is the biggest link between your idea and the final product that is created by the animators. The script is the element that decides what will appear on the screen, so it is the talent of the writer’s word that he or she is able to make other artists understand what all animation & graphics are required in the video and portray your idea in the most engaging way keeping in his or her mind your primary target audience.


The detailed visualization for each scene can be attained with the help of storyboarding. It is like a comic strip that helps to organise a story in everyone’s mind. It helps to understand the character’s positions, props and background required in a scene.


  • Layout

    The layout is imagining the environment required in the story and incorporates the stylistic choices which are best suited for the story. The storyboard images help the layout artist to design the detailed background on which the animators will work.

  • Rigging
    In simple terms, we can say it is adding bones to the characters. Rigging builds the character's skeleton structure, which allows animators to control the movements of the character. It makes the character more realistic and visually appealing and the audience can get more connected with the character.

  • Animation

    This is where the main work begins. This is the stage where the actual scenes are made up. With the help of character sketch, storyboard, scripts they design the whole scenes that are put all together. This is like magic in which the person can create anything with his imagination. With today's technology and recent advancement in software, the process has become very easy.

  • Tracing
    After a rough animation is ready, it is then required to clean up the outskirts/boundary of the characters, this is known as tracing. It consists of tracing solid and clean lines over the rough animation to get closed zones. This is like adding a sheet of paper and tracing the rough using the animation disk.

  • Colouring
    As the name suggests in this step the colouring aspect of characters and their props is done. The skin tone of the characters, the colours of the clothes that they are wearing, the colour of the props that they are using or are involved in any other way in the video. With the help of new software, this is also a very easy step.

  • Rendering
    It is the step where all the final animated scenes are culminated to make final animation frames. Rendering helps to prepare sequenced rendered images or pixelated base frames.

  • Voice Over
    As the name suggests the voice of the characters or narrations is added according to the scenes.




  • Compositing is the process of combining all the elements in one scene. Adding special effects to the scenes or checking the tones, shadows required in the scene. Checking the depth of the field required and the colour correction are some of the checkpoints included in this step. It is like the final touch up on the video.

  • Sound Editing

  • The sound effects are added and also ensuring the correct lip-sync and adding background music is the work that comes under it.

  • Video Editing

  • The final edits of the shots and scenes that make into the final video come under video editing.


So, at last, the answer to the question of why some of the animated cartoons are still running is the hard work and great teamwork & communication between all departments. So this is the field that has a huge scope because as one of the great men once said, “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities will become limitless.”

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