Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers January 3 to 10, 2020.
1. Studio Ghibli is working on two new projects in 2020
In its New Year’s message, Japanese anime production company Studio Ghibli announced that it would be working on two films in 2020 — one by its legendary co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, and another that remains mysterious. It also noted that typhoons have delayed the opening of Ghibli Park as well as a kabuki stage production of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Part of the statement read: “I hope that the mood of the stagnating society will be renewed and that we will have a year of hope. Studio Ghibli continues to work on two new films.”
Get into all the Studio Ghibli 2020 details on NME.
2. Comb through Hair Love’s production process
Matthew A. Cherry, the creator and co-director of Sony Pictures Animations hit animated short Hair Love, spoke about the heartwarming film’s backstory and production process to AWN. Following an African-American father as he attempts to style his daughter’s curls, it was created using Toon Boom Harmony, with Cherry noting, “Because hair is such an important piece of this short, if we had made the film in CG, we would’ve needed a couple million dollars to making it look half-way decent. So, we figured it would be nice to create something that harkens back to an older, traditional style of animation.”
3. What’s Quibi? Here’s what you need to know
DreamWorks Animation co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new short-form streaming service was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Designed for mobile viewing, it will offer subscribers 5-10 minute pieces of content spread across three categories: prestige (films split into chapters); unscripted and documentary; and Daily Essentials covering news and horoscopes. To date, four animated series have been announced for Quibi including Gloop World from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, African-American superhero show Trill League, zodiac toon Your Daily Horoscope and The Andy Cohen Diaries, with the reality television producer sharing moments from his own life.
Stream all the Quibi details on Cartoon Brew.
4. Golden Globes 2020: Missing Link wins top prize
Laika’s Missing Link took home the Best Animated Feature award at the Golden Globes last Sunday in what many considered a surprise win. It beat out Disney’s Frozen 2 and The Lion King, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4. Notably, three of those films had previous Golden Globe wins in their respective franchises — Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story.
Go for Golden Globes 2020 animation details on The Hollywood Reporter.
5. And the BAFTA 2020 animation nominees are…
Colloquially known as the BAFTAs, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ British Academy Film Awards 2020 ceremony will be held on February 2. The best Animated Film nominees include Disney’s Frozen 2, Aardman’s A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4 and Netflix’s Klaus — produced using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony.
See the full list of BAFTAs 2020 animation and VFX nominees on Animation Magazine.
6. Weathering With You’s English voice cast is drenched in talent
American distributor GKIDS has announced the voice cast for the English-dubbed version of Makoto Shinkai’s latest film, Weathering With You — including Hollywood stars Riz Ahmed, Alison Brie and Lee Pace. The anime feature is already a smash hit in its native Japan, and will be released publicly in the United States on January 17. Weathering With You was storyboarded in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro.
7. Venture to Halifax, the Canadian animation hub you need to know
Canada has emerged as an animation superpower in the world, with cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and, now, Halifax emerging as production hubs. The latter city is on the country’s East Coast has attracted Ontario’s Jam Filled Entertainment to open a 10,000-square-foot 2D studio there — joining IoM (Islands of Misfits) Media, Cartoon Conrad and Copernicus Studios. For animators seeking work, Halifax production companies are seeking talent and it offers an affordable, high quality of life.
Discover why Halifax is the next big Canadian animation hub on Cartoon Brew.
Source: Fox and Deadline
8. The future of animation at Fox
Fox Entertainment has ordered four new animated series in the last year, including the recently renewed toon Bless the Harts as well as upcoming shows Duncanville, The Great North, Housebroken and Will Arnett’s Temporary Humans. The network began to heavily invest in the medium after Disney began acquiring 20th Century Fox Television — the studio behind its hit trio The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers. “Animation is a key part of our business; we are really looking to growing our slate and potentially even adding another hour of animation on our schedule in a targeted section of the year,” said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn.
Toon into the future of Fox animation on Deadline.
9. Is Frozen 2 the highest-earning animated film ever?
Having taken in $1.325 billion at the global box office, Disney has announced Frozen 2 as being the highest-grossing animated feature of all time — icing out the competition like Frozen and Incredibles 2. However, what constitutes an “animated feature” could be contested, with the House of Mouse’s The Lion King reboot actually having earned more ($1.65 billion).
Thaw out the Frozen 2 highest-grossing animated film details on Polygon.
10. Canadian animator Blair Kitchen passes away
Beloved veteran Canadian animator, storyboard artist and comic-book creator Blair Kitchen unexpectedly passed away on January 5 at the age of 43. The cause of death was a blood clot that developed in his brain over the holidays. Kitchen began his career in 1997 with classic Canuck cartoon Stickin’ Around and subsequently worked on productions like Kronk’s New Groove, Curious George and Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham.
Celebrate Blair Kitchen’s life and career on Animation Xpress.
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