Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers February 8 to 15, 2019.
1. Kidscreen Awards 2019 winners announced
A delegation from Toon Boom was at the Kidscreen Summit 2019 in Miami this week, including the Kidscreen Awards — one of the biggest nights in children’s television and digital media. This year, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle swept the ceremony. Among the other notable winners were series produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony animation software including Esme & Roy (Best New Series, preschool) and Bob’s Burgers (Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie for the episode “The Bleakening”).
See the full Kidscreen Awards 2019 winners list on “Animation Magazine”.
2. Escape Studios launches world’s first MA in Storyboarding
London’s Escape Studios announced it would be launching the world’s first-ever Masters in Storyboarding and Pre-visualization, with classes starting November 2019. Developed in consultation with industry mentors including Blue Zoo Animation Studio and The Third Floor, students will learn industry-level skills via Toon Boom Storyboard Pro while earning an internationally recognized academic qualification. This will help meet the growing demand for trained storyboard artists in the UK’s rapidly expanding animation and VFX market.
Study up on Escape Studios’ MA in Storyboard and Pre-visualization on “Animation World Network”.
3. Frozen 2 becomes the most-viewed animated film trailer in 24 hours
It has been six years since the original Frozen was released in 2013 and Pixar’s $1.2 billion smash is still hot as ever. While Frozen 2 isn’t set to hit cinemas until November 22, its first teaser has already became the most-viewed animated film trailer ever — landing 116.4 million plays in 24 hours. This puts the sisterly sequel ahead of the previous record holder, Incredibles 2, which had 113.6 million views.
Press play on more Frozen 2 trailer details on “Deadline”.
4. Why the Montreal animation industry is booming
Those looking for animation jobs in Montreal should be excited. Canada’s second-largest city has its biggest industry concentration — and it’s growing; the Quebec Film and Television Board (QFTB) is forecasting a 65 percent boost in employment by 2020. “Montreal is the spot to be right now for 2D animation — we are very excited because the whole industry is growing so rapidly. We have so many projects in the pipeline at the moment and I know it’s because we are based in Montreal,” says Guillaume Dubois, CEO of Caribara Montreal.
Read the full Montreal animation industry story on the Toon Boom blog.
5. Dreamweavers named China Tales Incubator inaugural winner
Bingo Animation Studio’s Dreamweavers has been selected as the inaugural winner of China Tales Incubator — a joint IP and talent initiative between Nelvana, WeKids and Toon Boom Animation with the goal of developing, producing and distributing children’s content for Chinese and global audiences. The chosen project follows Eve, a costume maker, who’s invited into a fantastical textile world. China Tales Incubator launched in 2018, with experts from the three companies hosting workshops across six major Chinese cities.
Venture over to “Kidscreen” for more on Dreamweavers and the China Tales Incubator.
6. Mary Poppins Returns brings 2D animation back to the US big screen
During a 17-minute sequence of Disney’s hit Mary Poppins Returns, the live-action characters enter into an animated world for a rousing song and dance performance. Duncan Studio brought the scene to the screen with a team that included 14 animators, 50 clean-up artists and about a dozen ink and paint people. It was selected because it is one of the few studios still producing 2D animation on paper, though its final pencil drawings were scanned into Toon Boom Harmony for ink and paint.
Discover Duncan Studio’s Mary Poppins Returns 2D animation production process on “Variety”.
7. A Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover is coming
A crossover featuring the Dark Knight and everyone’s favourite subterranean, pizza-loving reptiles is on the way thanks to a collaboration between Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Home Entertainment, DC Entertainment and Nickelodeon. The all-new Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated film is inspired by the 2015 comics by James Tynion IV and artist Freddie Williams II. The two universes will be bridged by a dimensional warp and the heroes will face off against the Caped Crusader’s arch nemeses.
Swing into the Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles details on “Syfywire”.
8. More women animation directors at Oscars 2019
While the animation industry’s directors are still majority male, their female counterparts are making progress — at least when it comes to the Best Animated Short Film nominees at the 2019 Oscars. This year’s honourees include Domee Shi (writer and director of Pixar’s Bao), Cartoon Saloon’s Louise Bagnall (writer-director of Late Afternoon) and Alison Snowden, who was one half of the husband-wife duo behind Animal Behaviour.
Find out more about how the future of animation is female on “The Hollywood Reporter”.
9. Valentine’s Day 2019: Toon Boom Harmony tips you’ll love
As a Valentine’s Day gift, Toon Boom put together a handy list of Harmony animation tips including creating and saving custom brushes, saving character poses and designs in a stamp, creating closed shapes and importing a model into model view.
Fall in love with these Harmony animation tips on the Toon Boom blog.
10. Hulu to host four Marvel adult animated series
With Disney set to launch its own streaming service later this year, it may seem bizarre that its Marvel subdivision would be taking content to Hulu. The platform has been announced as the future home of four adult animated series based on the comics empire’s IPs: Howard the Duck, Tigra and Dazzler, Hit-Monkey and M.O.D.O.K.. As the House of Mouse pulls away from its agreements with market leader Netflix, theories abound why it would make this new deal — particularly for more niche titles like these.
Dig into all the Disney-Hulu adult animated series theories on “Wired”.
This week’s top tweets:
The latest update to #ToonBoomHarmony includes refinements to master controllers on 2D rigs, modifier keys on our stamp tool, and enhancements to stability and performance. Find our release notes here: https://t.co/FDiG8bztNy pic.twitter.com/tHRQhrUTXW
— Toon Boom Animation (@ToonBoom) February 15, 2019
— Toon Boom Animation (@ToonBoom) February 13, 2019
— Toon Boom Animation (@ToonBoom) February 12, 2019
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: Nickelodeon