Amblin is named after Spielberg's first commercially-released film Amblin' (1968), a short independent film about a man and woman thumbing through the desert. The film, which cost $15,000 to produce, was shown for Universal Studios and won Spielberg more directing roles. Although Spielberg owns both Amblin and DreamWorks, it's Universal that distributes many Amblin productions and Amblin operates out of a building on the Universal lot.
In addition to various Spielberg films, Amblin has produced movies by other directors including Joe Dante (the Gremlins movies, Innerspace, Small Soldiers), Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future: The Trilogy , Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Brian Levant (the Flintstones duology), Penelope Spheeris (the 1994 film remake of The Little Rascals), Don Bluth (An American Tail, The Land Before Time), Gil Kenan (Monster House), Richard Donner (The Goonies), Jan De Bont (Twister), Barry Sonnenfeld (the Men in Black duology) and Martin Scorsese (Cape Fear) and Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III).
Amblin's most critically acclaimed production is Schindler's List (1993). The film was nominated for twelve Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture. The movie has also become a teaching tool in high schools and universities. A companion study guide, Facing History, was prepared through a grant from Amblin and Universal.
Amblin's television series credits include Amazing Stories, seaQuest DSV, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Earth 2, ER, and Fievel's American Tails. Fievel's American Tails and others were produced by Amblin's animation division Amblimation, which was active from 1991 until 1995.