Paint World is a 1999 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Universal Feature Animation and Gingo Animation. The third entry in the Universal Animated Features canon, it was directed by Audel LaRoque (in his directorial debut) from a screenplay by LaRoque and Irene Mecchi and a story by Geo G., LaRoque, and Michael Wildshill, and stars the voices of Haley Joel Osment, Patricia Arquette, Beverley Mitchell, David Gallagher, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon, and Dennis Hopper in a dual role. Set in a world based on paint and colors, the film centers on a young boy named Deon Splatt(Osment), who uses an oversized paintbrush to defend the world's liveliness against Gerry Disgill (Hopper), a demented, colorblind elder and the owner of the B&W Squad who intends to desaturate the world in order to satisfy his "nostalgic taste".

Paint World was originally conceived by Geo and Wildshill in the 1980s while working at Hanna-Barbera. Gingo was approached by Universal Studios to produce an animated feature film in 1988. With its original draft completely different from its final version, Paint World initially began pre-production in May 1989 for release in Thanksgiving 1991, being intended to be the first feature-length animated film directed by Geo, who designed the characters for the film. It was later abandoned by Gingo in early 1990, but restarted production on the film for a 1999 release, with the script being rewritten. However, because of Geo being busy with other projects such as TeenV, co-writer Audel LaRoque was chosen to direct the film.

Paint World was originally released on December 25, 1999 to positive reviews from critics, who praised its animation, characters, music, and voice acting. It was a success at the box office, earning over $452 million worldwide on its $48 million budget, making it the second highest-grossing animated film of 1999, as well as the fifth highest-grossing film of the year overall. A television series based on the film aired on Fox Kids from September 2000 to March 2001, and a direct-to-video sequel is scheduled for release on DVD and Blu-ray in 2019.


Voice cast

  • Haley Joel Osment as Deon Splatt, a kind and creative 11-year-old painter.
  • Patricia Arquette as Linda Splatt, Deon's mother.
  • Beverley Mitchell as Gracie GaColor, Deon's love interest.
  • David Gallagher as Zach Splatt, Deon's bigger brother.
  • Rachel Dratch as Aunt Maggie, Deon's aunt.
  • Maya Rudolph as Samantha
  • Cheri Oteri as Mary
  • Molly Shannon as Maria
  • Dennis Hopper as Richard Splatt, Deon's father.
    • Hopper also voices Gerry Disgill, the founder of the B&W Squad who is one of the few to be disillusioned with the modern multicolored world.
  • Audel LaRoque as Chuck
  • Michael Wildshill as Tucker
  • Gregg Berger as Steve
  • Gary Hall as Kenny
  • Irene Mecchi as Karen
  • Frank Welker as Splash, Deon's pet rainbow dog.

Additional voices

  • Jack Angel
  • Robert Bergen
  • Mary Kay Bergman
  • Rodger Bumpass
  • Corey Burton
  • Robert Carpenter
  • Jim Cummings
  • Jennifer Darling
  • Debi Derryberry
  • Paul Eiding
  • Bill Farmer
  • Geo G.
  • Gary Hall
  • Audel LaRoque
  • Sherry Lynn
  • Danny Mann
  • Mickie McGowan
  • Amy McNeill
  • Phil Proctor
  • Steve Samono
  • Michael Wildshill


  • Beth Anderson
  • Laurie Anderson
  • Susan Boyd
  • Amick Byram
  • Hamilton Camp
  • Alvin Chea
  • Randy Crenshaw
  • Lorraine Feather
  • Nick Jameson
  • Edie Lehman
  • Andrea Robinson
  • Laurie Shillinger
  • Carmen Twillie
  • B.J. Ward
  • Cindy Wilson



The idea of Paint World was originally conceived by animators Geo G. and Michael Wildshill in the 1980s while working at Hanna-Barbera before their newly-formed animation studio Geo-Wildshill Productions was separated from Hanna-Barbera and renamed as Gingo Animation in 1988; they always wanted to realize their dream of producing an animated feature-length film. Geo then came up with the story of the film, which was about a boy who attempts to save his world from losing its colors.

After the success of Gingo's short film The Special Visitor in 1989, the studio was approached by Universal Studios to produce an animated feature film that would become Paint World, an offer which the founders immediately accepted. The deal was settled in May 1989, and Geo and Wildshill, along with fellow Gingo animator Audel LaRoque, began working on the script of Paint World, which was to be directed by Geo in his feature-length directorial debut. The original draft was completely different from the final version of the film. In the draft, Deon Splatt was named Splat and was a human child raised by humanoid creatures known as "paintrolls." Years passed, Splat, now a young adult, had found out that the world is coming apart by losing colors that were stolen by wicked monsters so he teamed up with his friends to stop the monsters. After their victory of wiping out the monsters, Splat then became the leader of the paintrolls. Splat is the only main character in the original draft who made it to the final version as Deon Splatt. Some of the characters in the draft later become Deon's family and friends in final film.

Gingo approved of the film's script and pre-production for Paint World started, set for a Thanksgiving 1991 release date. The studio then looked for actors to be cast in the film. In late 1989, the Gingo staff flew to production of the 1990 film Back to the Future Part III to discuss the part of Splat with Michael J. Fox. Scott Weinger, known for his role as the title character of the 1992 Disney animated film Aladdin, was also being reportedly considered for the role of Splat. Wildshill's choices for the other characters included Jim Carrey, Bill Murray and Kate Winslet. However, development for Paint World was stalled in February 1990 when Universal and Gingo became concerned over the upcoming release of the 1991 animated films, Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Universal's another animated film An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (which were both released on the same day). Gingo abandoned Paint World in March 1990 after the studio had already designed six months worth pre-production and Universal had left the project. The studio then decided to start work on other projects, such as the short film Spot and the television series Gabriel Garza to be aired on CBS in 1991.

With the success of Gabriel Garza, Gingo began concerning their interest in restarting development on Paint World in late 1994. The following year, Gingo revived the project and the staff brought The Lion King writer Irene Mecchi on to help rewrite their 1989 script with additional input from Thomas Lennon and David Silverman. As Geo was busy on other projects at the time, writer LaRoque was selected to direct the film in his directorial debut. Universal then returned to the film in 1996 and secured Gingo's first animated feature with the film. Most of the film's production was done by Gingo, and it was originally not intended to be part of the Universal Animated Features canon from Universal Feature Animation, although Universal later announced that the film would be part of the canon, thus making Paint World the third animated feature in the Universal canon following Ama and the Mysterious Crystal (1997) and Galaxion (1999). However, this ranking differs in Europe as Paint World, along with Imagimals (2016), are omitted from the canon with Curious George (2006) being included instead.


Coming Soon...


The animation was provided by Gingo Animation under the leadership of animation director Peter Chung, as the film was animated in-house at the studio's main headquarters in North Hollywood. Additional animation was done overseas at AKOM Production Co. in Korea, Wang Film Productions/Cuckoo's Nest Studio in Taiwan, Bardel Animation in Canada, and Fil-Cartoons in the Philippines.


The film's original soundtrack was released by Reprise Records on November 30, 1999. The songs for the film were composed by LaRoque and English lyricist Tim Rice, while the score was composed by Mark Mothersbaughof Devo. Originally, John Debney was going to compose the score, but dropped out due to creative differences; Debney would eventually later compose a number of subsequent Universal animated films starting with Me & Mobo in 2002.

The score for the film, composed by Mothersbaugh, was released through Varèse Sarabande on December 21, 1999. This is a list of musical numbers for the film:

# Title Performer(s)
1 "All the Colors in the World" Cast of Paint World
2 "When There's a Problem" Haley Joel Osment and Beverley Mitchell
3 "What I'll Do for the World" Osment
4 "Follow My Steps" Osment and David Gallagher
5 "Colorless" Dennis Hopper
6 "When There's a Problem (Reprise)" Mitchell
7 "Climbing the Rainbow" Osment, Mitchell, and Gallagher
8 "All the Colors in the World (Reprise)" Cast of Paint World
9 "Climbing the Rainbow (End Credits)" Devo
10 "Brilliant Adventure" David Bowie


Paint World was theatrically released by Universal Pictures on Christmas Day, December 25, 1999 in the United States and Canada.


The film was accompanied by a promotional campaign by Burger King.


  • The first teaser was released on November 13, 1998, and was shown before I'll Be Home for ChristmasThe Rugrats Movie, and A Bug's Life.
  • The first official trailer was released on May 19, 1999, and was shown before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom MenaceTarzanGalaxionMuppets From Space, and Inspector Gadget.
  • The second official trailer was released on September 3, 1999, and was shown before Marcus Troy: The Movie 2The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, and Toy Story 2.
  • TV spots began to air from November to December of 1999.

Home media

Paint World was released on VHS and DVD on May 16, 2000. The DVD release included an audio commentary by Audel LaRoque, Michael Wildshill, and Geo G., a 28-minute making-of documentary, a gallery of concept art, storyboards, test footage, deleted scenes, and DVD-ROM features. Gingo's 1997 short film Lo and the Short Island was also included.

On June 8, 2004, a 2-disc "Special Edition" was released featuring the same special features from the original 2000 DVD as well as new ones including a sneak preview of the 2004 Universal animated film Computeropolisand a THX optimizer. The film was released for the first time on Blu-ray on May 25, 2010.


Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 94% approval rating with an average rating of 8/10 based on 167 reviews. The site's critical consensus states: "Paint World's title promises colorful family fun, enriched by a high-spirited voice ensemble, a visionary plot, and plenty of gags throughout." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 69 out of 100 based on 37 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three out of four stars and called it "an artistic animated painting-oriented musical that highly lives up to the successful level as other Disney classics like Aladdin and The Lion King". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, describing it as "amazingly creative and outstanding with the heart and charm of other animated hits". Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film three out of four stars and said, "having the familiar standards and charm of Gabriel Garza and Hatty as well as an interesting concept, Paint World is a new coming of age for Gingo". USA Today's Susan Wloszczyna said that "Universal Pictures' Paint World often entertains the family-friendly audience that keeps them joyful".

However, some critics derided the film's similarities to the animated films of the Disney Renaissance. Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two and a half stars out of four and compared it to The Lion King, saying that it "feels like one of those shameless Disney rip-offs that have a story that sounds familiar to us". Andrew Sarris of The New York Observer criticized the film's characterization, and noted that the relationship between Deon and Gracie was akin to "Aladdin and Jasmine all over again". On the more negative side, Christy Lemire of Associated Press called the film "a poor man's Aladdin".

Box Office

The film was released on December 25, 1999, and grossed $46,865,041 on its opening weekend (Saturday, December 25, 1999), opening at the top of box office. By the end of its theatrical run, it got to earn a worldwide gross of $452,184,659, becoming the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film of the year, as well as the second highest-grossing animated film of 1999 behind Toy Story 2.


Award Category Winner/Nominee Recipient(s) Result
Academy Awards
Best Supporting Actor Haley Joel Osment (also for The Sixth Sense) Nominated
Best Original Score Mark Mothersbaugh Nominated
Best Original Song "What I'll Do for the World" Won
Annie Awards Animated Theatrical Feature Nominated
Individual Achievement in Storyboarding Gary Hall (Story supervisor) Nominated
Individual Achievement in Production Design Craig Kellman (Production Designer) Nominated
Individual Achievement in Voice Acting Beverley Mitchell ("Gracie GaColor") Nominated
Individual Achievement in Music Mark Mothersbaugh Won
Critics' Choice Awards Best Composer Mark Mothersbaugh Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Original Score Mark Mothersbaugh Nominated
Best Original Song "What I'll Do for the World" Nominated

Other media

Video Games

Paint World has spawned four video games:

  • Paint World was released in 1999 and in 2000 by Universal Interactive Studios for PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, and Dreamcast.
  • Paint World: Activity Center, an educational game, was released in 1999 for Windows and Mac, and is part of Gingo's educational Gingo Learning Games series.
  • Paint World: Disgill Strikes Back was released in 2002 by Traveller's Tales for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube.
  • Paint World: Deon's Huge Journey was released in 2003 by Universal Interactive for the Game Boy Advance.

Television series

Main article: Paint World (TV series)

Paint World is a short-lived American animated television series created by Gingo Animation and Universal Television Animation in 2000, based on Universal and Gingo's animated feature film of the same name. The series aired on Fox Kids from September 23, 2000 to March 17, 2001, and continues the story of the 1999 film

Other appearances

Coming Soon...


Main article: Paint Universe

In 2004, the Special Edition DVD of Paint World featured a sneak peek of the proposed direct-to-video sequel to Paint World, including new character designs and storyboards. The story would have involved Deon and his friends trying to stop Gerry Disgill from making chaos and destruction to Paint World again. It was set to be directed by Steve Loter and scheduled to be released in 2005, but was delayed for many years until production was cancelled in early 2008 due to script issues.

In August 2016, it was announced that the Paint World sequel, now titled Paint Universe, was revived and back into development by Universal and Gingo, and would be released straight-to-video in 2019, coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of the original film. The sequel will be directed by Mike Disa and produced by Amy McNeill, with Irene Mecchi returning to write the script and Jon Vitti and Peter Ackerman joining to co-write. It was also announced that Beverley Mitchell and David Gallagher will reprise their roles as Gracie GaColor and Zach Splattrespectively, with Noah Schnapp casted as the new voice of Deon Splatt, replacing Haley Joel Osment from the previous film.



To see the main transcript of the film, click here.


To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.

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