Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers February 15 to 22, 2019.
1. Oscars 2019: Preview the Best Animated Feature nominees
While Pixar typically dominates the Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards, this year its Incredibles 2 is facing a challenger in Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which has swept up significant industry awards en route to this weekend’s big event (including some much-coveted Annie Awards). The other three nominees are Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Isle of Dogs. Haven’t seen all five yet?
Head over to “Vox” for a breakdown of each Best Animated Feature nominee ahead of the 2019 Oscars.
2. Speed Brawl is the first video game animated in a Harmony/Unity pipeline
Montreal-based video game developer Double Stallion Games has created a trademark hand-drawn 2D animation style for its IPs. For its latest release, Speed Brawl, the studio’s team collaborated with Toon Boom Animation on the first-ever Harmony/Unity pipeline. This streamlined production and drove creative results that punch above their weight. “Toon Boom Harmony allowed us to get our animations into the game engine right out of the box,” says Eric Angelillo, art director and co-founder of Double Stallion Games.
Plug into the full Speed Brawl case study on the Toon Boom Success Stories page.
3. Emma Thompson exits film over John Lasseter
Oscar-winning British actress Emma Thompson has stepped down from upcoming animated film Luck after the studio behind it, Skydance Productions, controversially hired former Pixar CCO John Lasseter. (He made his permanent departure from that production house last year.) Skydance CEO David Ellison defended hiring Lasseter, saying the animator has, “learned valuable lessons and is ready to prove his capabilities as a leader and as a colleague.”
Read up on Emma Thompson’s departure from Luck on “BuzzFeed”.
4. Marc Webb to direct live-action Your Name
Japanese anime Your Name became an international blockbuster in 2016 and will soon be (re)made into live-action film, with Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man) attached as its director. Eric Heisserer (Bird Box) will adapt the original story created by Makoto Shinkai and storyboarded in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro. Notably, in the US version, the body-swapping main characters will be a Native American woman and a teen from Chicago.
Investigate Marc Webb and the Your Name live-action reboot more on “Empire”.
5. How Kristine Belson reinvented Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation president Kristine Belson brought the studio from forgotten to the forefront, with its Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse a strong contender to win this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar. Under her leadership, the company has become decidedly more diverse in its content and inclusive in its management — now being largely women-led. “I was brought here in early 2015 with this idea of re-envisioning the slate and bringing the studio to greater heights,” says Belson.
‘Toon’ in to the full Kristine Belson Sony Pictures Animation interview on “Variety”.
6. Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series coming to Netflix this March
After a cliffhanger ending to its twelfth season, Canadian mockumentary series Trailer Park Boys will be coming back to Netflix as a cartoon — not unlike the revival of fellow Canuck comedy, Corner Gas. Aptly titled Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series, it was produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony. Netflix released the first images from the show and Julian, Bubbles and Ricky look pretty good, eh?
Check out “Inverse” for more on the upcoming Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series.
7. Oasis Animation to animate F is for Family season four
Montreal animation studio Oasis Animation has been tapped for the recently announced fourth season Netflix adult animated comedy F is for Family. It will provide service work alongside producer Gaumont Television, and is part of a rising group of Quebec-based production companies. Starring Bill Burr as the head of a dysfunctional 1970s American family, the upcoming season of F is for Family will include 10 half-hour episodes created in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony.
Stream all the F is for Family season four details on “Animation Magazine”.
8. Over 2,000 Jamaican youth to benefit from animation skills
The Jamaican government set aside $908.2 million for digital training under the Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries Project, which will benefit and train more than 2,000 young people. The initiative also includes a Business Development Programme for 20 studios to be educated in the business of animation. Additionally, six training institutions were equipped with Toon Boom software, ensuring regional youth will develop skills in the global industry-standard technology.
Find out more about the Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries Project on “JIS News”.
9. The Cyanide & Happiness Show returns for a fourth season on VRV
Streaming platform VRV has picked up short-form web series The Cyanide & Happiness Show for a 10-episode fourth season. The viral comedic cartoon was originally released on YouTube, followed by a second and third season on NBC’s now-defunct Seeso. The Cyanide & Happiness Show is produced by Explosm Entertainment in Toon Boom Harmony animation software.
Catch up on The Cyanide & Happiness Show season four on “The Wrap”.
This week’s top tweets:
On the production of @speedbrawl, we worked closely with @ToonBoom to make a new and exciting 2D animation pipeline for games. Get the scoop on it here:https://t.co/ZcXbk9tdWm pic.twitter.com/UJ2cRJsCJq
— Eric Angelillo (@SpillzNDoodles) February 21, 2019
Need a night scene? In this free #compositing course you will learn how to apply blending modes to background layers, change colors with color-overrides, and even add highlights which only appear when light sources hit your characters: https://t.co/2o6mqpr15e pic.twitter.com/tEWZ4YKKW6
— Toon Boom Animation (@ToonBoom) February 20, 2019
— Toon Boom Animation (@ToonBoom) February 16, 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: Explosm Entertainment