Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the world of animation. This edition covers July 13 to 20, 2018.
1. Rugrats gets a reboot.
Cue: Some major Nickelodeon nostalgia. The broadcaster announced it would be reviving its 90s hit cartoon Rugrats with a 26-episode season and live-action film featuring CGI characters (set for release in November 2020). The original 2D animated series debuted in 1991, lasted for 13 years and spun off into three movies. Rugrats fans can expect to see Tommy and Angelica Pickles, Chuckie Finster, Phil and Lil DeVille plus some new pals crawl back onto their screens soon.
Get a blast from the past with the Rugrats reboot on “HuffPost”.
2. Storyboard Pro 6.0.1 is here.
Toon Boom Animation has released a patch on the latest edition of its industry-standard pre-production, storyboarding and animatics software, Storyboard Pro 6. The update continues the world-leading animation software’s commitment to regularly addressing issues, improving performance and continued customer support. Titled Storyboard Pro 6.0.1, highlights of the patch include the ability to split clips on video layers and the option to generate Auto-Mattes on the source layer instead of creating a new one.
Update yourself on all the patch improves with the Storyboard Pro 6.0.1 release notes.
3. Comcast drops out of Fox bidding war.
It’s looking like Disney will be purchasing 20th Century Fox. The House of Mouse was briefly locked in a bidding war with Comcast, however the latter has announced it will no longer pursue the purchase and instead focus on its efforts on acquiring Sky in Europe. Disney’s $71.3 billion offer was recently approved by the US Department of Justice, paving the way for it take hold of 20th Century Fox’s film studio as well as 20th Century Fox Television, Fox-owned cable networks (including FX and National Geographic) and a controlling stake in streaming platform Hulu.
Dig into the Disney-Fox deal’s details on “The Verge”.
4. The Venture Bros. season seven pre-production done in Storyboard Pro.
Adult Swim’s criminally funny villain cartoon The Venture Bros. is back from its seventh season on August 05 following a 28-month hiatus — and its pre-production was done in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro. In a recent interview, series co-creator Jackson Publick said, “I guess storyboards are always the trickiest part of the job, that’s where all the direction happens. That’s where I focus most of my energy on. … We use Toon Boom Storyboard Pro in pre-production. The Korean studio does traditional cel animation (pencil and paper) — with colour and composite as the only parts of their pipeline.”
Read the full interview with The Venture Bros. creators on “Animation Magazine”.
5. SAG-AFTRA members approve authorization for TV animation strike.
More than 98 percent of SAG-AFTRA members voted in favour of authorizing a strike for television animation workers this past Wednesday. The main issue is employer’s refusal to pay scale wages or residuals to performers who work on animated programs made for subscription streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon — this is also the fastest area of growth for said toon thespians. The vote does not mean SAG-AFTRA members are striking, rather it gives the union authorization to call a strike if necessary. Follow it on social with the hashtag #ToonsUnited.
Explore the SAG-AFTRA television animation issues on “Variety”.
Source: Women in Animation.
6. First-ever Women in Animation Vancouver Summit announced.
After a successful Women in Animation World Summit at Annecy International Animated Film Festival this past June, the female-led organization will be hosting its first regional edition: Women in Animation Vancouver Summit. The event will take place August 11 ahead of SIGGRAPH 2018. The inaugural theme is ‘Inclusion’, which will be covered across panels, presentations, talks and discussions with industry leaders.
For all the Women in Animation Vancouver Summit details, visit “Animation World News”.
7. More animation in Saudi Arabia with Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation became the first Arabic-dubbed animated feature to be released in Saudi Arabia last Sunday. The conservative Middle Eastern kingdom has been particularly receptive to animation as it has liberalized its cinemas; The Emoji Movie and Captain Underpants were the first films to be screened in movie theatres after a 35-year ban on such institutions.
Venture over to “Cartoon Brew” for more on animation in Saudi Arabia.
8. The Clone Wars to return with 12 new episodes.
Acclaimed Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars is celebrating its 10th anniversary with 12 new episodes. The release date is TBA though it is know the cartoon will be hosted on Disney’s upcoming streaming platform. Announced at San Diego Comic-Con, the new The Clone Wars season will pick up with Ahsoka Tano as a rogue warrior after she chose to leave the Jedi order, and her path crossing with her former masters Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi after some time.
Find more The Clone Wars info not too far, far away on “Entertainment Weekly”.
9. Akira turns 30 — here’s why it still matters.
Legendary cyberpunk anime Akira turned 30 on July 15, though its themes of rebellion, civil unrest and uncertainty in the face of violence remain as relevant as ever. Set in Tokyo in 2019, it follows the eponymous protagonist as he navigates a post-World War III dystopian version of Tokyo. It was not only the inaugural introduction many Westerners had to the Japanese animation style, but was also one of the first animated films to address such heavy subject matters across cultures — influencing modern media including Stranger Things and Kanye West’s music video for his hit single, “Stronger”.
Analyze Akira and anime further on “The Washington Post”.
10. YouTube is the most popular brand among kids.
Video streaming platform YouTube jumped from second place to first among brands most beloved by American children aged six to 12. That said, Netflix replaced it in the runner-up position (up from fourth) and it may only be a matter of time before the Subscription Video On-Demand (SVOD) service takes the lead. Apple iPhone came in third. For animation producers and studios, this data is invaluable in indicating how and where kids are consuming media.
Study the research further on “Kidscreen”.
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.