Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers October 18 to 25, 2019.
1. HBO Max revives Adventure Time with four new specials
Upcoming streaming service HBO Max has announced it will be reviving beloved toon Adventure Time, just over a year after its series finale. Jake the Dog and Finn the Human will be back for four hour-long specials under the title Adventure Time: Distant Lands. HBO is investing heavily in animation ahead of the spring 2020 launch of its streaming service, having snagged the rights to stream Studio Ghibli’s catalogue in the US as well as picking up season two of Rooster Teeth’s gen:LOCK.
See how the fun will never end with HBO Max and Adventure Time: Distant Lands on Entertainment Weekly.
2. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power season four includes non-binary character
The fourth season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power will include a non-binary, shape-shifting mercenary —Double Trouble— voiced by non-binary actor, writer and activist Jacob Tobia (Transparent). Netflix’s acclaimed animated He-Man spin-off has found its strength in social progressivism and the inclusion of LGBTQ relationships and characters. The trailer for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power also came out this week, to massive fanfare.
Check out the She-Ra and the Princesses of Power season four trailer above and read more about Jacob Tobia’s non-binary character on Collider.
3. The 2019 BAFTA Kids nominees are 2D animated gold
The British Academy Children’s Awards, also known as the BAFTA Kids, have announced their 2019 nominees. All four series in the Animation category are 2D toons including The Amazing World of Gumball (pre-production in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro), The Demon’s Head, Danger Mouse and Hilda (both created in Toon Boom Harmony pipelines).
Cross the pond to see the full list of 2019 BAFTA Kids nominees, or just head over to Animation Magazine.
4. Animation Is Film 2019: I Lost My Body, Weathering With You win big
Jeremy Clapin’s I Lost My Body took the Grand Prize at the Animation Is Film Festival last week. The other nominees included Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You (planned in Storyboard Pro) and the French-directed adaptation of Yasmina Khadra’s The Swallows of Kabul, which shared the audience award. The other notable winner from the event was Romanian director Anca Damian’s Marona’s Fantastic Tale, taking the special jury prize.
Read up on the Animation Is Film 2019 award winners on Indie Wire.
5. Mythos Studios producing three animated films
Marvel Studios founding chairman David Maisel and record executive Scooter Braun’s new production company Mythos Studios is currently producing three animated features including Cupid — a musical starring Canadian singer Justin Bieber as the titular character that will also launch the MythoVerse, a cinematic universe of stories and characters inspired by Greek and Roman mythology. The other two films are based on comic books created by the late Michael Turner, Fathom and Soulfire.
Explore the Mythos Studios animation slate on The Hollywood Reporter.
Source: Comedy Central
6. Would you pay $500 million for South Park’s streaming rights?
The US streaming rights for long-running adult comedic cartoon South Park are up for grabs, with the show’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey, and Viacom expecting they will split between $450 million and $500 million. SVOD platforms have driven up the price of popular television reruns, with Netflix having paid a comparable amount recently for Seinfeld. It’s estimated up to six bidders are eyeing the South Park streaming rights, and the multiyear deal could be announced as soon as this weekend.
Find out more about the streamers goin’ down to South Park on Bloomberg.
7. And the 2019 WIA Diversity Award winners are…
Women in Animation’s third annual WIA Diversity Awards were presented at the opening night of SPARK ANIMATION 2019 in Vancouver by the advocacy group’s president, Marge Dean. This year’s recipients include: Sony Pictures Animation; Melissa Cobb, VP of Original Animation at Netflix; and Abeo filmmaker Brenda Lopez. The WIA Diversity Awards honour individuals, films and organizations making a difference by expanding the variety of voices in the animation industry.
Discover more about the 2019 WIA Diversity Award winners on Animation World Network.
8. Airline passengers get a character designer masterclass at 30,000 feet
Earlier this month, 200 Iberia Express passengers from Madrid to Tenerife had their flight upgraded with a character design masterclass from animators Carlos Miranda (Mondo TV Canarias and TFanimation.com) and José Mansuy (Woody Woodpecker, Klaus). Held in tandem with the 16th edition of the Salón del Comic de Tenerife comics and illustration convention, and may be the first class of its kind to be held 30,000 feet in the air. Tenerife’s animation and creative industries have boomed in recent years, largely thanks to government support.
Depart into the full airline animation class story on Cartoon Brew.
9. Rebecca Sugar fought for Steven Universe lesbian wedding — for years
Steven Universe was the first mainstream American children’s series to represent a lesbian wedding, though the cartoon’s creator Rebecca Sugar had to battle against global restrictions barring LGBTQ content. That said, she knew she had to do it in order to support queer children around the world. Sugar said, “So much bigotry is based on the idea that (LGBT+ content) is something inherently adult, which is entirely false.”
Get the full Rebecca Sugar LGBTQ wedding interview on Reuters.
What Top Animation News were you most excited about this week? Was there something we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Banner image source: HBO Max