May Animation News Round Up!

Time to catch you up on the top animation news thats been going on this month! 

Deadpool to be turned in to TV series

The mega popular film Deadpool is officially going to be turned into a tv series with FXX. The series is meant for adults and will feature Donald Glover. 10 episodes have been ordered and are set to air in 2018.

Read more HERE.

Daytime Emmy Animation Winners

Netflix's Trollhunters and Amazon's Lost in Oz shows won big at this years Daytime Emmys. Both shows feature kids on journeys in fantasy worlds, both series have also been applauded for its humor.

Read more HERE.

Lin Manuel Miranda joins Ducktales Cast

Does Lin Manuel Miranda ever sleep? The Actor/Playwright/Composer/Rapper has just signed on to join the voice cast of Disney XD's upcoming "DuckTales" series. Miranda will be lending his voice for Ducktale character Gizmoduck.

Read more HERE.

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Variety's Top 10 animators To Watch Announced

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Variety has officially unveiled their top 10 animators to watch this month. Honorees included "Zombillenium director Arthur de Pins, Pinky Malinky supervising director Megan Nicole Dong, Loving Vincent director Dorota Kobiela, stop-motion animator and Hi Stranger director Kirsten Lepore, Disney animator Kira Lehtomaki, who is currently serving as co-head of animation on Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, Dave Mullins, the director of Pixar short Lou, British animator Julia Pott, who is the creator of Cartoon Network Studios’ forthcoming Summer Camp Island,  Carlos Puertolas, the animation director of DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby, DuckTales animator and director Dana Terrace, and Cartoon Saloon’s Nora Twomey, who is currently directing The Breadwinner." Congratulations to all the winners!

Read more HERE.

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May Showcase of Popular Animation YouTube Channels

It's time for another installment of Popular YouTube Channels we'd like to showcase! Channels are selected based on their high viewership and subscribers. Lets get to it!

Planet Dolan

This Australian based YouTubeAnimation channel was started in 2012 by Daniel James Johnson. His channel focuses on "Top ____" list style videos, countdown videos, Q&A videos, and gaming videos. His channel is loved by many which is why he has accumulated over 800 pieces of fan art from fans in the past several years.

Subscribers: 5,367,838
Views: 1,301,350,498

Check out a video about cheating on tests HERE.

BlackSen

Jordan, the Detroit based animator behind BlackSen, began his channel in 2006. His videos are typically commentaries and parodies on his every day observances. His most popular video "My First Fangirling Fangirl" went viral and garnered over 1 million views in record time. 

Subscribers: 234,874
Views: 11,629,120

Check out his viral fan-girl video HERE.

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Element Animation

 

Element Animation, run by Dan Lloyd and a few other animators in the UK, consists of 2-5 minute comedy animations mostly based on Minecraft. After the channel gained success and earned over million's of views, they created a series called "The Crack" and a second channel known as “Element Shorts”, where they create even shorter shorts - some only 14 seconds!

Subscribers:2,186,014
Views: 524,471,348

Check out an episode from The Crack HERE.

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5 Animation Series that have been Greenlit

During this late spring season we begin to see shows either be canceled, renewed, or approved for further production. We wanted to highlight several shows that have been greenlit by the studios. Which of these shows are you most excited to tune into? 

Netflix's Carmen Sandiego

Carmen Sandiego has officially been greenlit by Netflix. The series, which is set to release in 2019, which will feature Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez as Carmen and Stranger Thing's Finn Wolfhard as Carmen's Friend. The show will not only follow Carmen's international escapades, but will also take a deeper look into her past. 

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Adult Swim's Apollo Gauntlet

Apollo Gauntlet, follows a superhero who fights evil in a futuristic feudal society. The pilot was first showed on Adult Swim's website in August 2016 along with several other pilots which viewers were able to rate and review. Apparently the reviews went well because the show has now been greenlit and is set to relase in the fall.  

Cartoon Network's Apple & Onion

Apple & Onion follows an apple and an onion's adventures in a city filled with other living food. The show was first shown as a mini series on Cartoon Network's YouTube channel last May. The show has been applauded for its humor and unique art style. 

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Cartoon Network's OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes

OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes follows K.O an "endlessly optimistic kid attempting to level up to be the best he can be in a dynamic universe of friends and challenging foes". Not only was the series ordered by Cartoon Network, but video game studio Capybara Games has also begin developing a game based on the series! 

Cartoon Network's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Based on the popular children's book and film series Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the series is a prequel, showing the high school years of Flint Lockwood, a budding scientist that is set to change the world one invention at a time. The pilot, which aired on Mar. 6th received positive feedback leading the network to greenlight the series. Cartoon Network first released the pilot to audiences using their app. 

Which of these shows will you be tuning into?

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Daytime Emmy Animation Winners!

The Daytime Emmy's were this past Sunday in Pasadena. There were over 20 Animation winners but we wanted to highlight the 2 big animation winners of the night, Netflix's Trollhunters and Amazon's Lost in Oz

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Netflix's Trollhunters (co produced by Dreamworks Animation & Double Dare You) won 4 Emmy's including, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program, Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series or Special, Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program, and Outstanding Directing in An Animated Program. Created by acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, the show is set in the fictional town of Arcadia, where Trolls live and follows a teenage boy who find a magical amour suit which has him defending the Troll city from predators. The show has been recognized for its humor, developed characters, and realistic adaptation of teenagers.

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Amazon's Lost in Oz, another fan favorite, won an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Outstanding Sound Mixing and Outstanding Sound Editing. The Lost in Oz series, inspired by Tim Burton's 2002 Lost in Oz and L. Frank Baum's Lost in Oz. The show folllows 12 year old Dorothy and her friends in a modern day Emerald City. Lost in Oz has been applauded for having a strong female lead and a great combination of magic, adventure and mystery.

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Listed below are all the Daytime Emmy Animation Category Winners:

OUTSTANDING PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN’S SERIES
WINNER: Sesame Street | HBO

OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S OR FAMILY VIEWING SERIES
WINNER: Give | NBC

OUTSTANDING PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN’S ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: The Snowy Day | Amazon

OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure | Amazon

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Taking Flight | www.takingflightfilm.com

OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE-ENHANCEMENT TO A DAYTIME PROGRAM OR SERIES
Ask the StoryBots – Companion App and StoryBots Classroom | Netflix

OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE MEDIA – ORIGINAL DAYTIME CONTENT
WINNER: Invasion!

OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN AN ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Kelsey Grammer, as Blinky
Trollhunters | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR AN ANIMATED SERIES OR SPECIAL
WINNER: Trollhunters | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A PRESCHOOL ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Beat Bugs | Netflix

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN AN ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Trollhunters | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN AN ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Trollhunters | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A PRESCHOOL ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Tumble Leaf | Amazon

OUTSTANDING MAIN TITLE AND GRAPHIC DESIGN
WINNER: The Mind of a Chef | PBS

OUTSTANDING SOUND MIXING – ANIMATION
WINNER: Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure | Amazon

OUTSTANDING SOUND MIXING – PRESCHOOL ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Sofia the First | Disney Junior

OUTSTANDING SOUND EDITING – ANIMATION
WINNER: Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure | Amazon

OUTSTANDING SOUND EDITING – PRESCHOOL ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Dinotrux | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION AND COMPOSITION
WINNER: The Snowy Day | Amazon

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
WINNER: “She’s Not Very Nice” Disney 7D | Disney XD
 

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April Animation News Round Up!

Can you believe April is almost already over? You know what that means, another monthly round up of Animation News. Let's get to it!

1. Oscar Rule Changes could Impact Best Animated Feature Category

The Academy has announced that they will now include more academy members to take part in choosing the best animated nominees. Many fear that this could mean it would be harder and more expensive for indie animated films to compete with the larger studio animated features.  Eric Beckman, GKIDS founder/CEO, tells The Hollywood Reporter."I don’t see this rule change as dramatic, but it might be harder and more expensive for a smaller film to get attention,".

Read more HERE.

2. Frozen 2 is Announced

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Disney announced that Frozen 2 would be released in November 2019. The original frozen, which earned more than $1.2 Billion at the box office, making it one of the highest grossing animated films. Idina Menzel and Kristin Bell who were cast as the lead heroines in Frozen are both signed on for the sequel.

Read more HERE.

3. Disney Producers claim to be left out of $100 Million Settlement

Two producers at Disney are claiming that they were not paid out in the $100 million dollar settlement Disney agreed to pay in January. The original lawsuit claimed that Disney conspired with its competitors to suppress animators’ wages.

Read more HERE.

4. Carmen Sandiego to stream on Netflix

Netflix has announced that Carmen Sandiego will be coming to the small screens in 2019. The Animated Series will feature Gina Rodriguez as the voice of Carmen.

Read more HERE.

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5. Island Zero Continues its Film Festival Tour

We are extremely excited and proud that a film we did VFX work on will be screening at its second film festival this weekend. It premiered at the Boston International Film Festival a few weeks ago, and will be screening at Emerge Film Festival this weekend in Maine!

Learn more about Island Zero HERE.

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April Showcase of Popular Animation Channels on YouTube

It's time for another installment of Popular YouTube Channels we'd like to showcase! Channels are selected based on their high viewership and subscribers. Lets get to it!

Smashbits Animation

Views: 33,763,411
Subscribers: 409,006

Smashbits started in 2013 by Smashbits Studios, they concentrate on video-game animations. The channel has 9 animators creating the show -- they say 11 minutes of content takes 200 man hours to create! They are known for their parodies, including mostly Sonic parodies. 

Watch a Sonic Parody HERE

EroldStory

Views:12,062,507
Subscribers: 202,104

Kris AKA Erstory is an artist and animator who is known for sharing personal stories via his channel. Even his parents have been featured in his videos. His subscribe # is high considering he only started YouTubing in 2016! He's already collaborated with tons of animation YouTuber's, including JaidenAnimations.

Check out a video describing his college crush HERE.

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Brandon Turner

Views: 52,746,306
Subscribes: 185,988

Brandon Turner, who started his channel in 2013, is based in the UK. Brandon is most well known for creating animations for the  popular YouTube channel's Eddsworld and Game Grumps. Contrary to many other animation channels, his animations do not include himself. 

Watch a quick animation of Brandon going through the drive-thru HERE.

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Animated Films Making a Splash at Film Festivals this Year!

With tons of Film Festivals that have either just passed, are currently going on, or are about to happen, we wanted to take a look at the animation going on within the festivals to see which films/shorts were creating a buzz! Below are a few films that have taken notice with critics.

1. PERCHED

PERCHED premiered at this years Animated Arizona Film Festival. The film follows an old man who is happily content with his secluded life in a submarine until he begins receiving regular visits from a  seagull. The award winning film has been applauded for its hand drawn animations. 

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2. WHITE OUT

Cable Hardin's WHITE OUT has been creating quite the buzz within the film circuit. The stop motion short follows a lone pilot which is faced with isolation on a dark and cold world. This project, made possible by grants from the South Dakota Arts Council and South Dakota State University, was created in 2015.

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3. THE MICE WAR

THE MICE WAR, a children's animated musical will be premiering at this years Newport Beach Film festival on April 22nd. The film has already generated buzz with its grammy nominated composer and writer David Chesky and Broadway preforming cast. The film follows two different types of mice who are in war over preferring different types of cheese. 

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4. A CITY OF RUST

A CITY OF RUST also premiered this year at the Animated Arizona Film Festival. The short slow motion animation is about a city that comes to life at night in a junkyard. The film was directed and written by Omar el Araby. 

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5. ETHEL & ERNEST

ETHEL & ERNEST, which won best feature film prize at the International Animated Film Festival held at Meknès in Morocco and premiered at the London Film Festival, is a film that follows a couple's life from their first meeting to their deaths. The Film, which features only hand drawn animation, has received critical acclaim.

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Innovative Animations in Advertising

When you think "Animation", you may only think of kids cartoons, but animation is found all over...in films, gaming, and advertising! We wanted take a deeper look at some fun and innovative animation found in commercials within the past few years. Let's get to it!

1.  Apple

Apple's pitch for consumers to use it's Health app featured a series of simple yet beautifully crafted ads. Apple's goal was to create an ad series that conveyed how easy changes can make a difference on your health and they sought out to do that via a simplistic ad. Apple was applauded for their vivid visual cues within the commercials which allowed the campaign to be more impactful. 

Apple: Health App. Director: Johnny Kelly. Production Company: Nexu

2. Mobile Strike

Mobile Strike's controversial ad promoting their game definitely created buzz and conversation. Featuring plus size women playing the game, some said the ad objectified women, but Mobile Strike claimed the ad was a nod towards their diverse player base.

3. Honda

Honda's Paper commercial featured hand drawn illustrations showing Honda's history of mobility. With the campaign's tagline of "You never know where a dream will lead you", the commercial was meant to conger up feelings dreaming big. This ad was devised in CGI.

Honda: Paper. Agency: RPA. Production Company: Reset Content. VFX & Finishing: A52

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4. Chipotle

Chipotle's 4 minute commercial "A Love Story" features two children who turn into rivals in a lemonade vs orange juice war. Chipotle wanted to illustrate that "competition among food businesses can cause them to become something that was not initially intended." 

Chipotle: A Love Story. Agency: CAA Marketing. Production, Animation Company: Passion Pictures

5. Xfinity

Xfinity's Wizard of Oz ad promotes Comcast's talking guide for TV, created for people with visual disabilities. The Ad, which features Robert Redford as a voiceover, tells the story of Emily, a blind girl who was asked to describe what Wizard of Oz looked like to her. Xfinity then created her version of Oz for the commercial.

Xfinity: Wizard of Oz. Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners, New York. Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks. Visual Effects: A52

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Women Who Have Dominated the Animation Industry

In the male dominated industry of Animation, it's important to remember that not all of the pioneers and leads within the industry have been men. Many animation studios and animation initiatives were lead by women. We wanted to take the time to highlight a few (from many!) noteworthy Women Animators.

Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981)

Charlotte (aka Lotte) Reiniger, born in Germany, made over 40 films in her career. As one of the first women in animation, she practiced the silhouette technique to animate her characters and used hinge pins to move her characters joints. Her best known films include The Adventures of Prince Achmed (one of the first animated feature films in cinema history), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Papageno.

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Reiko Okuyama (1930-2007)

Reiko Okuyama, one of Japan's first women animators is best known for her work in the anime genre. When first starting her career in 1957, she actually thought she was applying to a job that would have her drawing children's books, but to her surprise the position was actually a job at Toei Doga (Japanese Animated Films). She was offered the job and she accepted. After years of moving up the career ladder, in 1976 she was rose to become head animator. After leaving Toei Doga, she began freelancing and eventually ended up illustrating a children's book.

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Lillian Friedman (1912-1989)

Lillian Friedman is known to be one of the first woman animators with in the studio system. She rose up in the ranks by transitioning as a Colorist to an Inbetweener to an Inker to Assistant Animator to eventually the Head Animator at Fleischer. At Fleischer she animated 11 titles. Friedman is best known for her work in Popeye and Betty Boop.

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March Showcase of Popular Animation YouTube Channels

It's time for another installment of Popular YouTube Channels we'd like to showcase! Channels are selected based on their high viewership and subscribers. Lets get to it!

Alan Becker

Alan Becker, from Columbus, Ohio, is best known for his Animation v Animator videos which he began making in 2006. His videos even won a "People's Choice Award" at the Webby Awards in 2007! Becker also spends time creating "How To" videos on YouTube. Fun Fact: It takes Alan about a YEAR to create each of his major animations! 

Subscribers: 2,589,385
Views: 254,314,500

Watch an episode about an Animator vs Animation HERE.

Draw with Jazza

Draw with Jazza, created by Australian Josiah Brooks, is a YouTube Animation Channel focused on teaching people how to Draw, Animate, and Paint. His tutorials are not only helpful, but entertaining. He also makes animated parody shorts of his favorite films (eg. Braveheart/Weakheart). Josiah has won 62 awards, including 23 Daily Features, 8 Weekly Users' Choice Awards and 4 Review Crew Picks.

Subscribers: 1,318,355
Views: 99,956,429

Watch an episode about Jazza and Jaiden Animations HERE.

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AnimatedJames

James Barkley aka AnimatedJames is a self proclaimed "Cartoonist/Musician/Writer/Voice Actor/5th Thing" from NYC. He is best known for his Sonic vs MLP Animation series. Barkley uses Adobe Flash, Premiere, and After Effects for his creations and his animations tend to be commentaries on real life situations. 

Subscribers: 531,040
Views: 198,741,353 

Watch an episode about being creative HERE.


Want to create engaging animation? We can help! Head over to our Client Projects page and let us know how we can work together!

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