The studio was founded in Japan by a former TMS animator with the approval of Nintendo to produce cartoons based on their games. The studio, in spite of its location, is kinder towards foreign animators unlike other Japanese studios. Animators working there communicate in Japanese and English, making it easier for foreigners from English-speaking territories to work.
Another advantage Icarus has over other animation studios, such as Toei, TMS, Production I.G etc., is that animators, foreigners included, are not required to have formal training prior to application yet they must show commitment and put effort into entry animations required.
The studio is skilled not only in traditional animation, but also in stop-motion animation, CGI and other unusual forms of animation.
Icarus and Nintendo
Shigeru Miyamoto stated during an interview:
"When it comes to animation based on Nintendo properties, we often rely on Icarus Pro to adapt our characters into great-quality animated films. They are able to produce great animation under a tight budget and they can faithfully adapt our franchises. When it comes to making an animated movie based on the latest game, they try to make it differentiate from the original as much as possible, yet keep the same basic idea."
The interview was published in a 1998 issue of Animage.
The studio has been praised worldwide, mainly by Nintendo fans, for the above reasons.
Upon foundation, the studio started out by animating logos for commercials, before they managed to pull together enough financing to produce their first movie, an adaptation of the Game Boy game Super Mario Land, which was released in Japanese theaters in March 1990.
(NOTE: List is unfinished, will be updated soon)
- Super Mario Land Eiga (Super Mario Land - The Movie) - March 1990