April's News in Animation!

Another month, and with endless contributions to the industry from studios and individuals, we highlight a handful of significant events and happenings.


1. Tribute to Isao Takahata


We lost another great contributor to the world of animation this month: Isao Takahata, a co-founder of Eastern animation house Studio Ghibli since 1985, along with Hayao Miyazaki.  He has contributed to bringing Japanese Animation to the international audience.  He was the director of 'Grave of the Fireflies' (1988), 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya' (2013), and so many other undoubtedly Ghibli style classics. 


2. Animation on Netflix


A few animations have popped up as new releases for the month of April on Netflix, including older films like the 'Iron Giant' (1990) and newer features such as  'Despicable Me 3' (2017).  Check out the full list of Netflix's April animated films!


3. 'Batman Ninja' Movie

The 'Batman Ninja' movie debuted at WonderCon 2018, and Batman's nemesis plays a vital role in this anime-style take on the vigilante.  It was released digitally on April 24, 2018 by Anime studio Kamikaze Douga.  May 8th will be the release day for the DVD in the US.  Will the villains emerge victorious, or will Batman's gadgets help him once again... and by gadgets we mean ninja swords. 

Check out the trailer here!


4. 'Rick and Morty' - April Fools!


It's not really April without a good April Fools, so here is Rick and Morty's "Bushworld Adventures".  As a 10-minute short that aired repeatedly on April 1st, getting many reactions from fans, the short, just like any good April Fools joke, is all about being "trolled".

Watch it here! (repeatedly, to get the full effect) 


5. CinemaCon 2018


Yesterday, April 26,2018, was the last day for CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada, and although this is about all movies, let's talk about the animated movies! Warner Bros. hit the ground running with their presentation an 'Smallfoot', an animation that flips around the myth we know. Sony Animation introduces the actors for 'Spiderman: Spiderverse'! And a new introduction from Paramount on their new animations; 'Monster on the Hill' with RealFX, and 'Luck' with Skydance Animation.

Check out all the hype from CinemaCon here!


We're always posting about what the latest news in animation is on our social media platforms, be sure to keep up to date daily on there!


Eric Miller Animation Studios is dedicated to crafting heartfelt stories and compelling visuals through 3D computer graphics, offering design and VFX for advertising, gaming, TV & film production.  We work with the best animation talent in the industry to deliver visually stunning imagery. Big or small, we can bring any character or story to life.


Annecy International Film Festival Competitors!

Here's a sneak peek at what is in competition for the Annecy International Animated Film Festival coming up in June!

1. Agouro


Agouro is a short film from Portugal and France about the growing relationship of two cousins beucase of the harsh winter they endure. It is directed by David Doutel and Vasco SÁ and has the running time of 15 minutes. 

Check out the teaser here!


2. Heart of Darkness


Directed by Rogério Nunes, Heart of Darkness is an animation feature adapted from the book by Joseph Conrad from 1899, also called "Heart of Darkness".  The idea for the animation came about after Rogério Nunes was asked to illustrate the Brazilian edition of the book. Find out more about how this animation became a collaboration between Brazil and France in this interview with the director.

The teaser is also available to watch here!


3. Pachamama


Pachamama by producers Didier Brunner and Damien Brunner in France. It is set in the Incan Empire in the 16th century, now known as Peru. A 10-year old boy sets a goal to become a shaman.

Check out the teaser here!


4. Flee


Flee is produced by Benoit Luce from Lux Populi Production in France and Quinshu Zuo in China. The story is about Amin, an 11 year old boy, being on the run from Afghanistan for 5 years. He finally reaches Denmark in 1997 and continues to look for peace and find a place and setting he can call home. 

Check out the teaser for this animated feature here!


5. Afterwork


With the running time of 6 minutes, this short is directed by Luis USÓN and Andrés Aguilar, a collaboration between Ecuador, Spain, and Peru.  Afterwork delves into the psyche of the working-class, into the cyclical lifestyles that are caused by routine schedules, work, and so on.

Catch the teaser of Grompy's hunt for the meaning of life here


There are so many more work-in-progress animations in the 2018 Cannes Annecy, check them out here! Keep on the lookout for the festival, which is coming up June 11-16, 2018.

Eric Miller Animation Studios is dedicated to crafting heartfelt stories and compelling visuals through 3D computer graphics, offering design and VFX for advertising, gaming, TV & film production.  We work with the best animation talent in the industry to deliver visually stunning imagery. Big or small, we can bring any character or story to life.

March's News in Animation!

We are wrapping up the third month in 2018 with more new and exciting events in the animation world! Read on to see what March brought us, from new trailers to new studios, many networking opportunities and more!

1. Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero 


On March 27th, Fun Academy Motion Pictures and Variety - The Children's Charity of Southern California co-hosted the world debut of this animated feature based on the true story of a stray dog who became the most decorated dog in American History. The world premiere will be a fundraising benefit for Variety, the Children's Charity of Southern California, as well as the Boys and Girls Club, and It's official release date is April 13, 2018.

Check out the trailer here!


2. New Animation Studio in London!


There's a new major animation studio on the horizon - quite literally, and it has opened in London!  Locksmith has its sights set on becoming an animation powerhouse - the first high-end feature animation studio in the UK.  The studio's first film "Ron's Gone Wrong" is slated for 2020 release.

Find out more about the studio and the team here!


3. GLAS Cash

The Third Annual GLAS Animation Festival in Berkeley, CA wrapped up on March 25, 2018.  Niki Lindroth's stop-motion musical short "The Burden" claimed top prize - the FXX Elevation Award - a $25,000 grant to develop an animated project with FXX. GLAS Cash, another grant for independent filmmakers, was also introduced during the wrap up.

More information on how to apply on May 1st!


4. Lucas the Spider 


Animator Joshua Slice was approached by Fresh TV to a acquire the rights to Lucas the Spider! Their plan is to continue with Lucas' adventures in an ongoing series, along with feature length films. Lucas was named after Slice's nephew who voiced a jumping spider they found nestled on a leaf, which Slice turned into a YouTube series.

Check out one of Lucas' first adventures here!


5. Creators Society Mixer Co-Hosted with Ready, Set, Go!


The Creators Society has been growing the last few months, but nothing compares to the networking mixer for this month. We not only grew in individuals, but we also had Ready, Set, Go, a kids entertainment networking mixer, as a co-host for the month of March. 

If you still have not been to one of our events, make sure not to miss the next one. Sign up to receive future invites here!


Stayed tuned on what's going on in the world of animation on all our social media platforms!


February's News in Animation!

1. Peter Rabbit 


The release date for this animated feature was February 9, 2018. Sony Picture's CGI animated Peter Rabbit is based off of Beatrix Potter's classic storybook characters. The mischievous and adventurous rabbit is not the easiest neighbor to have, especially for Mr. McGregor!

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the trailer for more about their comedic feud here!


2. Early Man 


Early Man is a stop-motion animation by the creator's of Wallace and GromitAardman Animations. It was released in the UK on January 26, but is actually being released in the US today, February 16, 2018! Dug, a caveman, and his sidekick Hognob will not have their existence threatened by Lord Nooth. 

Find out a tad about how they go about their epic quest in the trailer, here!


3. Craig of the Creek


A new adventure begins February 19, 2018 on Cartoon Network! Co-created by Matt Burnett and Ben Levin, Craig of the Creek follows a young lad, Craig, and his friends through the wilderness. Though the wilderness is untamed, their imagination is where the fun begins!

Check out the trailer here and the pilot on President's Day, February 19!


4. Oscar Voting!


The Oscar's voting comes to a close on February 27! If you read our blog from a few weeks ago, you may see that current news shows that this year's new rules did in fact exclude indie animations. If you haven't read that blog, be sure to do so here to find out more about why this was the case. 

Check out who the nominees and where they are available to stream here!


5. Kidscreen Summit!


Kidscreen Summit is an annual international market place for creators and buyers of kids content. It was just this past week, February 12-15, and Eric Miller was there this year! This years speakers included: Marty Krofft, Geena Davis, George Cary, and many others (click the names to find out more about the speakers). There's also a ton of classes that can be taken, and discussions on topics such as having more LGBQT-inclusive content. 

Check out our Instagram to see Eric's experience at Kidscreen Summit!


Be sure to stay tuned on all our social media platforms for more news in animation!


Talent Spotlight: David Gouldthorpe


We'd like to give a warm welcome to David Gouldthorpe as Eric Miller Animation Studio's newest team member! David has joined our social media & marketing team working with Mary Lou, and will be writing some of our weekly blog posts. 

David grew up in the nice quiet town of Mesa in Arizona, where he spent most of his childhood painting and writing "outlandish stories".  This was when his passion for Illustration began.  David is currently attending Cornell University in Ithaca, New York working on his Industrial and Labor Relations degree!  While he is not an art major in school he recently began to freelance as an illustrator.


"Illustrating can tell a story like no other medium is able to do. I've spent years learning the language, and I'm trying to use it for my own tales now."


David's hobbies include: illustrating (of course), writing both fiction and nonfiction stories, and keeping up with his favorite YouTube channels. He also finds a great deal of interest in reviewing films, as well as finding their impact to himself and others. We look forward to reading more of his reviews on Eric Miller Animation studio's Blog (be sure to read the previous ones on Coco and Adventure Time!).


After David graduates he hopes to move to Los Angeles to do more with his passion for Illustration or a position at a theme park, which he has had experience with in the past. He also looks forward to LA's warm weather! Along with keeping up with his blogs on, be sure to check out his website here!


Palm Springs International Animation Festival!

The 1st annual International Animation Festival started November 9, 2017 in Palm Springs, CA and will go on until November 11, 2017. There will be 250+ shorts, 6 animated features, along with panels, seminars, and awards for 35 different categories. Highlighted below are a few examples of the different style animations shown, or talked about, at PSIAF!


1. Fantasmagorie


Directed by french artist Émile Cohl in 1908, this film is considered to be one of the first hand-drawn animations. With 700 drawings created in about 3-4 months, the animation consists of the transformations of objects. The drawing process of the main character has the artists hand in the actual film is what makes it a little different than modern hand-drawn animations.

Check out part of the film, Fantasmagorie,  here!


2. Teheran Tabu


Directed by Ali Soozandeh, this German-Austrian animated film was created using rotoscoping, in which animators trace over motion picture footage in each frame where realistic action is required. It's a 2017 film that tells the story of women in Teheran, the capital city in Iran, and their attempts of going against their strict laws.  

Take a look at what rotoscoping looks like in the Teheran Tabu trailer here!


3. Tokri

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Tokri was directed by Suresh Eriyat, founder of Studio Eeksaurus. This claymation was inspired by beggars Suresh comes across in India, and one particular one he felt guilty about for shooing away. He decided to turn this experience into an animation that would help his team and the viewers to see the beggars in a different light. 

Watch a clip from the Tokri animation here!


4. El Apóstol 

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This was one of the fiirst feature length animated black and white silent film from 1917! Quirino Cristiani directed, wrote, designed, and animated El Apóstol, with character designs by Diógenes Taborda. The stills and and posters for this political satire were lost in a fire.

El Apóstol, along with other classical and traditional animations, will be talked about at Palm Springs International Animation Festival. Watch a little bit about it's history here!


5. Virtual Actors Chinese Opera

Hong-Kong based designer Tobias Gremmler created this non-traditional animation using motion capture. Instead of using actually people to portray the Chinese Opera, he wanted to recreate their movements using only lines and color. 

Wondering what that would look like? Check it out here!


Read more about how the Palm Springs International Animation Festival came together here!


October 2017 Animation News Round-up!

Another end of the month, another Animation news round-up! We're highlighting a few of the happenings that went on in October, and looking forward to all the November festivities!

1. My Little Pony 

The My Little Pony toy was first developed by Hasbro in 1981! The first TV Series debuted September 15, 1986 and the first movie release was a year later on September 23, 1987. More then 20 years later the My Little Pony series was relaunched by Hasbro in 2010 and the movie released on this past October 6th!

Watch the trailer here



2. MIPCOM & MIPJunior


MIPCOM and MIPJunior took place this month in Cannes, France.  So what is MIPCOM?  It stands for "Marché International des Programmes de Communication", or "International Market of Communications Programmes".   The simplest explanation, it is a marketplace for producers, creators, and filmmakers(the sellers) to pitch and hopefully sell their story ideas to development executives, networks,  broadcasters, and distributors(the buyers).  MIPCOM is for all entertainment, and MIPJunior is specifically for kids content.  We are obviously most interested in MIPJunior, and hope to be able to attend one year.

To check out some shows that came out of MIPJunior, click here!



3. Animation Is Film Festival


Animation Is Film Festival is a new animation film festival(surprise) in Los Angeles which took place this month. There was a great line-up of animated features from all over the world. "The Breadwinner" by Nora Twomey from the Ireland Animation Studio, Cartoon Saloon, won the grand prize and audience award, and will be released into theaters around the United States on November 17th! The only other award, the special jury prize, went to the French feature "Big Bad Fox & Other Tales"! 


4. International Animation Day


The 28th October in 1892 was first public performance of Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique in Paris. In 2002 The International Film Association started to honor that day and deemed it as International Animation Day! Countries all over the world celebrate it with animated feature screenings, exhibitions, workshops and anything else you can think of that pertains to animation.

Look here to see what we found is happening in Los Angeles to celebrate International Animation Day!


5. Eric Miller Animation Studios at CTNX


We are getting ready for CTNX next month, and while we have attended this animation expo several times, this will be our first time with a table on the exhibit floor.  We are very excited to meet all the creative and talented artists who will be attending, and please come visit us!  We will be at table 117 which is right next to Blizzard Entertainment, and across the aisle from DreamWorks Animation.  Hope to see you all there!


Animation is Film Festival Highlights!

The Animation is Film Festival is this weekened, October 20-22, 2017, for it's very first time in LA! It is produced by GKIDS in collaboration with Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Variety, and ASIFA Hollywood to showcase animated features from all around the world. We are highlighting only a small portion of what will be playing this weekend at the festival, but glad to have the opportunity to have tickets to many of the features!


1. The Breadwinner


Based off a book by Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner is about a young girl, named Parvana, from Afghanistan. When her father is unfairly put in prison, she had to appear as a boy in order to take care of her family. She experiences life in a new light and realizes what it meant to be a girl in Taliban-controlled Kabul. This becomes a journey of strength for her and those around her. 


The Breadwinner will be showing on October 20, 2017 @ 7:00 pm, watch the trailer here!  


2. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children


Based of a graphic novel that is set in a post-apocalyptic world, a teenager named Dinky and her friends try to escape an island in hopes to find a better life. She sets off her search not knowing that her old friend, Birdboy, is in hiding because of a deep secret he cannot let out that can change the world. 

Birdboy will be showing on October 21, 2017 @ 4:15 pm, watch the trailer here!


3. Lu Over the Wall


"A genre-mixing-mystery" about your basic mermaid who falls in love with mankind. Her adventure differs in that she joins a middle school rock band when she arrives ashore! Lu Over the Wall is one of the two animations Masaaki Yuasa has on the program, Night is Short, Walk on Girl being the second. 

Lu Over the Wall shows on October 22, 2017 @ 2:15 pm, watch the trailer here!


4. Mary and the Witch's Flower


Mary and the Witch's Flower is an animation based on a children's story called The Little Broomstick! Mary lives a normal life until she decides to follow two mysterious cats who lead her into the forest. She lifts off into the night on a broom that comes to life soon after she finds it stuck in a rare tree, and there her adventure begins. 

Mary and the Witch's Flower shows on October 22, 2017 @ 5:15 pm, watch the trailer here!


5. Songs of Love and Death

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With love and death being the themes, Women in Animation and Animation is Film co-present eleven adult oriented short films. Their mash up include both a thoughtful and funny outtake on these two subjects. 

Songs of Love and Death shows on October 22, 2017 @ 8 pm!


Check out the full list of what will be showing at the Animation is Film Festival here!


Talent Spotlight: Hayden Patterson

We're excited to introduce Hayden Patterson! He recently finished working with us as a freelance 2D Animator on one of our client projects. We had such a great time working with him we wanted to learn more about his journey as an animator. 

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Hayden grew up in the small town of West Bend in Wisconsin. Spending time outside with his siblings and reading Sunday comics were the results of his imagination and his inspiration to be a cartoonist at a very young age. Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, and Sheldon are just a few of the comics he was inspired by, along with Looney Toons, especially "Tom and Jerry" being his visual influence. With the support of his parents and the guidance of his teacher in high school, he was able to go to school for Animation at Maryland College Institute of the Arts!

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Working at several small studios, while he was in college and over the past couple years, gave Hayden the confidence and skills he needed to move forward with his career. Some of these studios include; Moving Colour, Eskimo, and Locus New Media.  Now that he is in California it has opened even more opportunities. After working as a freelance animator at Eric Miller Animation Studios, he went on to working full time at the NFL Network doing animation and other facets of video work.

"I met Eric at The Creators Society Mixer, which helped me acclimate to LA and the professional network here. After the first one, I had to check out Eric’s studio online, and really enjoyed the content he has produced, particularly “Bink”, which is absolutely stunning, and adorable."

He loves spending his time animating, but tries to spend time outdoors as often as possible. Being in California gave him the opportunity to spend time outdoors a little differently than he did in his childhood days in Wisconsin. He surfs any moment he gets the chance as well as playing basketball and disc golf.

To check out some more of Hayden's work be sure to visit his portfolio.


September 2017 Animation News Round Up!

It is nearing the end of the month already, and you know what that means! A round up of a few happenings in animation that September brought our way!

1. Bojack Horseman


September 8, 2017 was the premiere of Bojack Horsemen Season 4 on Netflix! Said to be a tearfully joyful story about a Horseman who has major depression. How can it be comedic when it's about depression? Well, it is about anthropomorphic animals with clothes and jobs. There's said to be a lot of easter eggs in the show as well, which seems to add to the list of adjectives used to describe this animation. 

Watch the trailer for season 4 here!


2. Emmy Awards


There were so many great nominations for animation at the 2017 Emmy Awards! Bob’s Burgers, “Bob, Actually”, won for "Outstanding Animated Program"! For "Outstanding Short Format Animated Program", Adventure Time, “Islands: Part 4 – Imaginary Resources" takes the win. Seth MacFarlane from Family Guy – ‘The Boys in the Band”, took home the award for "Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance". And last but not least, for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation": Samurai Jack (Craig Kellman, Character Design, “XCII”), Samurai Jack (Scott Wills, Production Design, “XCIII”), Samurai Jack (Bryan Andrews, Storyboard, “XCIII”), Samurai Jack (Lou Romano, Background Design, “XCV”), and Wander Over Yonder (Justin Nichols, Character Animation, “The End of the Galaxy”)!

Read here to see other results from the Emmy Awards, 


3. The Lego Ninjago Movie


The Lego Ninjago Movie was created after the toy series, and was released into theaters last Friday, September 22, 2017. It's running at the 3rd in the box office with 51% on the tomatometer. It has an average rating of 3.6/5 out of 15,887 so far. The Lego Movie had a 96% on the tomatometer and a 4.3/5 out of 221,079, but it's always good to see it to review on your own!

Watch the trailer here!


4. Walt Disney and Chinese Animation Filmmakers

Disney Animation and various Chinese Animation studio's met for 5 days to exchange ideas! John Lasseter first got the idea when he was asked if he would open a Disney studio in China when he was there on a publicity tour for Big Hero 6. It was Disney's idea and way of sharing their "approaches to filmmaking, production, marketing, distribution and our underlying concept of how to create a healthy and vibrant studio."

Disney Animation and various Chinese Animation studio's met for 5 days to exchange ideas! John Lasseter first got the idea when he was asked if he would open a Disney studio in China when he was there on a publicity tour for Big Hero 6. It was Disney's idea and way of sharing their "approaches to filmmaking, production, marketing, distribution and our underlying concept of how to create a healthy and vibrant studio."


5. GLAS Animation Festival/Autonomous LA Program


The Global Animation Syndicate, otherwise known as GLAS, is a nonprofit organization that dedicates themselves to independent animations. Their first festival was in Berkeley, CA just two years ago, and they had one in LA just yesterday, Thursday, September 28, 2017. Their goal is to advocate independent animation in the United States. This years Autonomus in LA screens films made by the younger generation. 

Check out the line-up here!