Cartoon Network

February's News in Animation!

1. Peter Rabbit 

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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 

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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

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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!

 
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4. Oscar Voting!

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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!

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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!

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Looking Back at Adventure Time

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A couple weeks ago, a party was held in Hollywood. It was a wrap party, celebrating the end of production on one of the most important animated series of our time: Adventure Time. The award-winning series is now on its tenth and final season, and in honor of its conclusion it seems fitting to go back and explore the impact the show has had on television animation.

To fully understand the impact of Adventure Time, we need to understand the world of the late naughts, prior to 2010. To put it lightly... those were not kind years for television animation. The three major players - Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network - had only limited offerings. Live-action youth sitcoms were beginning to dominate. Cartoon Network in particular attempted to roll out a programming block in 2009 titled "CN Real", dedicated only to live-action reality programming. Nickelodeon was trying to find something that would stick as well as Spongebob could, but programs like Fanboy and Chum Chum failed to garner strong views. Disney Channel meanwhile had been given over to programs like Jonas and Suite Life; Phineas and Ferb was one of the few noteworthy animated programs near the end of the decade.

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Enter into the scene Pendleton Ward, a graduate from the California Institute for the Arts. In 2006 he made a short titled Adventure Time. By November 2007 it garnered over a million views, having spread around the Internet. Ward took his idea to Nickelodeon and pitched it as a show, but found himself rejected. He then took it to Cartoon Network, where his pitch was accepted. The first episode aired April 5, 2010, to an audience of 2.5 million viewers. From there, the show has continued to receive popularity and praise. Adventure Time has received major nominations every year it has aired, and won several Emmy Awards and Annie Awards. 

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So what is it about Adventure Time that makes it so special? One part of its appeal lies in the wacky off-the-wall world. The main stars are a human named Finn, voiced by Jeremy Shada, and his loyal shape-shifting dog Jake, voiced by John DiMaggio. They encounter characters like an Ice King, a vampire, a lumpy space princess (a blob whose name is literally Lumpy Space Princess), a bubblegum princess, a lemon, a living video game console... and the list goes on from there. It's an environment full of "fun and excitement" and "pure imagination."

At the same time, Adventure Time manages to handle more complex and deeper themes. Characters are not just paper cutouts, but deeper people who we get to explore and discover more about. Critics have praised it for talking about things like mental illness and loss. There has even been an academic interest in the show: for example, Emma Jane published an article in the Journal of Children and Media in which she described the ways that Adventure Time handled gender roles. The balance of wackiness with headiness has helped keep the show entertaining and intriguing for its audience.

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It's a balance, in fact, that has redefined the industry. Adventure Time is often credited with sparking a new television animation renaissance. In fact, alumni from Adventure Time have gone on to make excellent shows of their own. Patrick McHale, a director on the series, went on to create Over the Garden Wall. Rebecca Sugar, a writer and storyboard artist, became the showrunner on the hit series Steven Universe. Ian Jones-Quartey (OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes), Skyler Page (Clarence), Julia Pott (Summer Camp Island), the list goes on. Besides alumni though, other channels saw the success of Adventure Time, realized that cartoons were still a viable crowd-pleaser, and took a risk on series like Gravity Falls and The Loud House. Everyone wanted to recapture the magic of Adventure Time, and it has led to some truly great works.

With the show's production officially stopped, and the last season airing, it's safe to say that all cast and crew should feel proud for taking part in something so important. Adventure Time has not only inspired fans, but breathed new life into an entire industry. Its impact will not be forgotten, and whatever the crew move on to next will surely be spectacular.

Talent Spotlight: Rich Draper

We're excited to introduce Rich Draper! He is currently working with us on one of our client's projects with our team of animators. We had the chance to learn more about Rich's journey through the creative industry, and wanted to share what makes him a great animator!

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Rich grew up just outside of Toronto in Burlington, Ontario Canada, and was I nspired by the Warner Bros. Cartoons, old Disney features, and Mad Magazine. He knew being in the creative industry would be perfect for him; from childhood he loved watching movies and was constantly drawing cartoons.

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After studying Classical Animation at Sheridan College in Canada, Rich moved to New York for a couple years. It was not long until he was back to Canada to work on features and commercials, which eventually landed him a job in Los Angeles. After spending 7 years in LA working at Creative Capers, Kurtz & Friends Animation, and Sony, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia. There for 16 years now, he's done everything from directing, animating and character design for studios like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids, Adult Swim, and clients such as IBM and UPS.

 
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Though Rich started with "just good old pencil and paper and film cameras", he is glad to be doing digital animation with Eric Miller Animation Studio because he is "always happy to get a chance to work with new studios, to see what they do, get inspired and continue to grow". He's been animating for 30 years now, but he knows how to keep his life balanced! His free time is spent playing hockey, cycling, and traveling.

 

We're really excited to be working with such a talented animator, and if you interested in seeing more of Rich's work then head over to his online portfolio at www.richdraper.com

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