Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers September 13 to 20, 2019.
1. The Boondocks are back on HBO Max
Peabody Award-winning adult animated series The Boondocks is being reimagined and revived for HBO Max. The streaming service has ordered 24 episodes spanning two seasons, set to launch in Fall 2020 with a 50-minute special. Created by Aaron McGruder and based on his comic strips of the same name, The Boondocks revival will follow Robert “Granddad” Freeman and his two rowdy grandsons Huey and Riley as they deal with neo-fascists in the idyllic Maryland suburb they just moved to.
Get into all of the HBO Max The Boondocks revival info on Collider.
2. OIAF attendees will be able to try Toon Boom Harmony 17
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) 2019 runs September 25 to 29 and will feature a variety of screenings, panels, pitches, learning opportunities and more. Toon Boom’s senior solutions specialist, Lindsay Knowler, will be hosting a Harmony 17 workshop on Saturday, September 28 in the Ottawa Art Gallery, focusing on the industry-standard solution’s new features. Canadian animator Sonya Carey (see: our interview with her) will also be leading an hour-long film challenge with The Animation Lounge on September 27 at The Loft Board Game Lounge at 14 Waller Street from 11:00 to 17:00. Equipment, software and an introduction to the basics of Toon Boom Harmony will be provided; registration is $25 at the door.
3. The Simpsons wins 11th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award
The 71st annual Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held from September 14 to 15, with The Simpsons episode “Mad About The Toy” taking home the Outstanding Animated Program prize. This is the 11th time the series has won. Other big winners include the Love, Death & Robots episode “The Witness” for Outstanding Short Form Animated Program and Seth MacFarlane’s portrayal of Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin, Glenn Quagmire, Tom Tucker and Seamus on Family Guy landing him the Character Voice-over Performance trophy.
See the full list of 2019 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards winners on Cartoon Brew.
4. WIA, Animation Mentor and Toon Boom partner on scholarship
Women in Animation (WIA) has partnered with education platform Animation Mentor and digital solutions leaders Toon Boom to expand the WIA Scholarship Program with workshops and software packages. Animation students with a financial need and a talent and passion for the art form will receive a free six-week training course as well as a cash award. Additionally, Toon Boom will provide recipients with one-year bundled licenses for Storyboard Pro and Harmony Premium in addition to a base licenses package and remote one-on-one training.
Study the WIA, Animation Mentor and Toon Boom scholarship partnership on Variety.
5. Paramount is ready to Rumble with WWE
Hollywood giant Paramount has partnered with WWE Studios to develop an animated comedy film, Rumble — set in a world where monster wrestling is a global sporting phenomena. Directed by Hamish Grieve, the feature will star Will Arnett, Terry Crews and Geraldine Viswanathan as well as pro wrestlers Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns. Rumble is part of Paramount Animation’s ramped up content output in 2020 alongside live-action hybrids like Sonic the Hedgehog, The Spongebob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Jump into the ring with the Rumble details on The Wrap.
6. Starlight animator Yu Ueda talks scripting new tools in Harmony
As part of our Community Spotlight series, Toon Boom spoke with animator Yu Ueda — the creator of Starlight, which won the grand jury award for Best Animated Short at the Atlanta Film Festival. Though he is not a software developer, he shares the scripts he makes for automating tasks in Harmony on the Toon Boom Community Discord Server. Ueda tells Toon Boom, “I can only speak for riggers but scripting can automate so many repetitive tasks. You can create pipelines that would be too time-consuming to do by hand.”
Read the full Yu Ueda interview on the Toon Boom blog.
7. Cartoon Tributes 2019: Belgium and Ireland win big in Toulouse
The 30th annual Cartoon Forum wrapped with its 2019 Cartoon Tributes honours, highlighting the past year’s top contributions to the European television animation industry. All of this year’s winners came from either Ireland or Belgium, coinciding with the event’s spotlight of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The more-than 1,000 professionals attending Cartoon Forum voted on the nominees.
Review the full list of 2019 Cartoon Tributes winners on Animation Magazine.
8. The Simpsons alum Donick Cary signs Comedy Central deal
Donick Cary has signed a first-look animation deal with Comedy Central. His writer and producer credits include The Simpsons, Parks and Recreation, AP Bio, New Girl and The Late Show With David Letterman. Cary will develop and produce animated projects across all platforms for Comedy Central as well as its recently launched in-house studio, Comedy Central Productions — a sign of its growing investment in toons.
Dig into the Donick Cary x Comedy Central deal details on The Hollywood Reporter.
9. Ash Ketchum finally becomes a Pokémon Master
It only took him 22 years, but Pokémon’s perpetually pubescent protagonist Ash Ketchum became a Pokémon Master. He recently triumphed over Gladion to win the Regional Pokémon League tournament in the Pokémon Sun & Moon Japanese anime series (produced by OLM using Toon Boom Harmony). Veronica Taylor, who voiced Ketchum on first eight seasons of the English-language Pokémon series, tweeted: “Congratulations to Ash Ketchum on winning the Pokémon League from Ash’s ‘younger’ self, circa 1998…yup, hard work, determination, good friends, and a bit of luck pay off! #pokemon #ashketchum #winning”.
Catch all the info on Ash Ketchum becoming a Pokémon Master on Metro.
10. TRAILER: Big Mouth season three
The third season of Big Mouth launches on Netflix on October 4, transporting viewers into Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg’s animated world of high school and hormone monster hijinks — plus, a cameo by the Queer Eye cast. The new batch of episodes will address not only puberty and sexuality but also teen-relevant issues like cell phone addiction, female anger, Adderall abuse, dick pics and toxic masculinity. Big Mouth’s voice cast includes Kroll, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate and Jessi Klein, who will be joined this season by Ali Wong and Thandie Newton.
Come into all the Big Mouth season three trailer details on Deadline.
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: HBO Max