Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers April 19 to 26, 2019.
1. Inside Job is Netflix’s first adult animated series from Shion Takeuchi
Shion Takeuchi (Gravity Falls, Disenchantment) will serve as showrunner and executive producer on Inside Job — the first adult animated series under her multiyear deal with Netflix and the latest in the platform’s commitment to cartoons. Described as a “workplace comedy set in the shadow government, where every conspiracy theory — from the Illuminati to Reptoids — is true, and one woman struggles to keep the chaos under wraps”, its 20-episode first season will be produced at Netflix Animation in Hollywood. The streaming giant’s studio opened last year and is currently working on around a dozen projects.
Get an inside look at Netflix’s Inside Job on “The Hollywood Reporter”.
Source: Marvel Entertainment Twitter
2. Is Disney buying Comcast’s stake in Hulu?
After closing its deal to buy Fox just last month, Disney is reportedly in talks to purchase Comcast’s 33-percent stake in Hulu. If the sale were to happen, it would give the House of Mouse full control over the streaming platform, which is currently producing M.O.D.O.K., Hit Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler Show and Howard the Duck animated series for Marvel alongside its growing cartoon catalogue. Disney already owns an estimated 67 percent of Hulu after AT&T sold its 10-percent stake last week.
Dig into all the Disney-Hulu deal details on “Variety”.
3. Studio Ghibli is hiring
Legendary Japanese anime production house Studio Ghibli is hiring digital painters. The ideal candidate must speak Japanese, be over 20 years old, be able to move to Japan by the end of May and have experience with 2D animation software. Assuming you check all those boxes, you could be working directly with Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli HQ by the beginning of October — the salary is about 250,000 Japanese yen (approx. $1,793) a month.
Head over to “Dazed” to learn more about your future anime career at Studio Ghibli.
4. Backstories animates Game of Thrones behind-the-scenes
Truba Animation (known for Childish Gambino’s Feels Like Summer music video) gave a behind-the-scenes tale from Game of Thrones the animated treatment in a new HBO short series called Backstories. Narrated by GoT executive producers D.B Weiss and David Benioff, the toon retells how the latter man challenged actor Jason Momoa (aka Khal Drogo) to “the slap game” while filming season two of the show.
Watch the Game of Thrones’ Backstories clip above to see what happened and read more about it on “It’s Nice That”.
5. Nickelodeon beams up a Star Trek animated series
Emmy-winning writers Kevin and Dan Hageman (Trollhunters, Ninjago) will be heading up a new Star Trek animated series for Nickelodeon. Targeted at younger audiences, it will be produced by CBS TV Studios and Alex Kurtzman’s studio-based Secret Hideout. The plot will follow a group of lawless teens who come across a derelict Starfleet ship and use it for adventures and more, with the series joining Star Trek-based adult animated toon Lower Decks from Mike McMahan (Rick & Morty).
Blast into warp drive with the Star Trek Nickelodeon animated series details on “Deadline”.
Source: Fost Studio
6. Fost Studio’s tips for launching a new 2D animation studio
One year since its launch, Paris-based 2D animation studio Fost Studio is booming — with major productions in the pipeline including series Stinky Dog and feature films Wolfwalkers (a co-production with Cartoon Saloon for Apple’s upcoming streaming service) and Summit of the Gods. Cofounder Thibaut Ruby spoke to us about the importance of finding the right projects, talent and tools, including Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony. He says, “For TV series, I don’t see why we would use any other software than Harmony. On feature films like Summit of the Gods, it also shows great promise and we are doing many things we did not think we could do in Harmony before.”
Read Thibaut Ruby’s tips for studio success on the Toon Boom blog.
7. Know your rights as an animation professional
If you’re working in the American animation industry, “Cartoon Brew” has put together a handy guide on your rights. It covers key areas including: the differences between being an employee and contractor, unions, termination and unemployment, minimum wage and overtime payment, family and medical leave, harassment and discrimination, intellectual property, and privacy and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
Studying up on your animation industry worker rights on “Cartoon Brew”.
8. MIFA 2019 receives record pitch submissions
With just over a month and a half to go until the Annecy International Animated Film Festival (June 11 to 14), submissions have been pouring into its international MIFA Pitches program. This year saw a record 498 projects come in, with 37 selected across five categories: Interactive and Transmedia Creations, Feature Films, Short Films, TV Series and Specials, and Animation du Monde. MIFA is additionally supporting upcoming and emerging talent with its Pitching Territory Focus and Gap Financing programs.
Head over to “Animation Magazine” for more on the MIFA 2019 pitching programs.
9. BoJack Horseman and Tuca and Bertie will not have a crossover episode
Bad news bears (or birds) for Netflix adult animation fans: there won’t be a Tuca and Bertie x BoJack Horseman crossover episode. Lisa Hanawalt, who is the creator and executive producer of Tuca and Bertie and production designer on BoJack Horseman (planned in Storyboard Pro), confirmed it: “[Tuca and Bertie is] a different world from Bojack. It’s not the same universe. I’m sorry, but there’s not going to be a crossover episode. It’s a looser, more cartoony world than Bojack.”
Be disappointed all over again by reading the full article on “Cartoon Brew”.
10. Around 75 percent of Netflix kids and family content is animated
Netflix’s VP of kids and family content, Melissa Cobb, spoke about the streaming platform’s commitment to growing its animated content at the APOS 2019 conference in Asia recently. She noted animation represents around three quarters of its kids and family content, and that cartoons tends to travel well globally. In outlining her strategy, she additionally pointed out Netflix’s commitment to creating safe content for young viewers.
See more on Netflix’s Melissa Cobb at APOS 2019 on “Worldscreen”.
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: Studio Ghibli