Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers December 6 to 13, 2019.
1. Animation From Every Angle celebrates diversity in animation
From Matthew A. Cherry’s heartwarming depiction of an African-American father-daughter relationship in Hair Love to Hulu’s LGBTQ children’s series The Bravest Knight from author Daniel Errico, Animation From Every Angle seeks to go in-depth on productions that boldly reach new audiences, broaden horizons and use storytelling to shine a light on underrepresented experiences. This new project from Toon Boom aims to empower those changing animation for the better, or are using animation to create change.
Discover the first issue at AnimationFromEveryAngle.com.
2. Golden Globes 2020 nominees include animation category upsets
The 2020 Golden Globe nominees have been announced, with some major shocks in the animation category. Among them was Disney’s The Lion King reboot, which the House of Mouse submitted as a live-action film but the event’s organizing body, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, put on the Best Animated Feature list. Noticeably absent from said group were Netflix’s two toon awards-season hopefuls, Klaus by Sergio Pablos and Jérémy Clapin’s I Lost My Body, as well as Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You.
See the full list 2020 Golden Globes animation nominations on Insider.
3. It’s Pony flies out of the gate at Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon’s latest original animated series It’s Pony hits the ground galloping on January 18, with the American broadcaster having just released its first trailer. Created by Ant Blades, the 20-episode first season was brought to life by London-based studio Blue Zoo’s new 2D department using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony. It’s Pony follows the lives and adventures of optimistic city girl Annie and her impulsive equine bestie Pony.
Watch the It’s Pony trailer above and read more about the Nickelodeon animated series on ComingSoon.net.
4. Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles takes European Film Awards toon prize
Salvador Simó’s Spanish-Dutch co-production Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles took the Best Animated Feature prize at the 32nd European Film Awards last weekend. The 2D film follows the real-life tale of director Luis Buñuel’s expedition to Spain’s impoverished Las Hurdes region in the early 1930s, and is interspersed with live-action clips from the real-life documentary he was filming at the time. Animation was led by Spanish studio The Glow Animation Studio, with Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles beating out I Lost My Body, Marona’s Fantastic Tale and The Swallows of Kabul for the award.
Find the full Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles European Film Awards 2019 story on Cartoon Brew.
5. Action Dinosaur brings 80s-style hand-drawn toons back from extinction
Writer and director Jason Merrin’s latest animated pilot Action Dinosaur follows the titular time-travelling T-rex as he lives life and avoids extinction in the Prehistoric 80s — an era of electric guitars riffs, even louder clothing and no milk as cows haven’t evolved yet. The Kickstarter-funded video stars comedian Kyle Kinane and was produced with Toon Boom Harmony. “Since Action Dinosaur was meant to be my take on 80s/90s cartoons, it was extremely important to me that it feel hand-drawn,” says Merrin.
Read the full Action Dinosaur interview with Jason Merrin on the Toon Boom blog.
6. How Netflix got the gift of Klaus
Sergio Pablos’ Santa Claus origins story Klaus had a compelling start of its own, with the Spanish Despicable Me director partially inspired by Batman Begins and having chosen to focus on St. Nick over characters like Napoleon and Dracula. When he started shopping the film around, Netflix took it on as Christmas content — and it ultimately became the streamer’s first original animated feature. To give Klaus its magical feel, Pablos ventured to Scandinavia and brought 2D animation forward using Toon Boom Harmony.
Spoil yourself with the full Netflix Klaus origins story on The Hollywood Reporter.
7. Paul McCartney is making an animated film with Netflix
Netflix attached itself to French studio Gaumont’s production High in the Clouds. The animated film is being created and produced by Beatles legend Paul McCartney, and is based on a children’s adventure novel he co-wrote with author Philip Ardagh. High in the Clouds will feature original music by the singer and follows a teenage squirrel who joins a gang of rebels living in the clouds.
Soar into the High in the Clouds details on Kidscreen.
8. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts gets a wonderful cast
DreamWorks Animation has announced the cast for Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, its upcoming Netflix original series. The 2D animated show is a coming-of-age tale from creator and executive producer Radford Sechrist (Penguins of Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon 2) and follows Kipo, a young girl trying to survive in a fantastical post-apocalyptic Earth. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts’ voice cast includes Karen Fukuhara, Sydney Mikayla, Coy Stewart, Deon Cole and Dee Bradley Baker.
Adventure to Animation Magazine to read the full Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts cast story.
9. Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney passes away
Legendary puppeteer Caroll Spinney has passed away at the age of 85. He is best known for his work on children’s series Sesame Street, where he voiced and operated Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for nearly 50 years. In a 2003 memoir, Spinney said he “may be the most unknown famous person in America” and “It’s the bird that’s famous.”
Discover Caroll Spinney’s incredible life and career on The Guardian.
10. MPC shutters Vancouver studio
One of Vancouver’s largest FX and animation studios, Motion Picture Company (MPC), shuttered its 12-year-old outpost in the city, citing external market pressures in an email to staff this week. While it’s not known how many personnel lost their jobs, the outpost employed 800 people at its peak — working on massive productions including The Lion King, Sonic the Hedgehog, Watchmen and Call of the Wild. MPC will continue to maintain studios in Montreal, London, Los Angeles and Bangalore, India.
Investigate the MPC Vancouver closure further on CBC.
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: Sony Pictures Animation