Disney

Disney Names First Production For Upcoming Streaming Service

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Earlier this week, news broke that Disney plans to remake the 1955 classic Lady and the Tramp into a live-action movie.  This doesn't come as much of a surprise. Live-action remakes have made a lot of money for the Walt Disney Company; last year, Beauty and the Beast was the second highest grossing movie worldwide with over a billion dollar gross. The interesting part of this announcement is how Disney plans to distribute the film. Instead of a theatrical release, the studio intends to release the new Lady and the Tramp on their yet-unnamed digital streaming service.

Disney's streaming service, due for release in 2019, stands to be a strong competitor with established companies like Netflix. On top of holding Disney's existing library of films and television programming, it will also reportedly feature "four to six" original works every year. The selection will come from across Walt Disney's holdings: Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Disney Animation, and so on. With a big name title like a Lady and the Tramp remake heading straight for streaming, it indicates how seriously Disney is taking this venture.

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As an interesting note, it's worth pointing out that Disney currently stands to acquire streaming service Hulu. Walt Disney already owned 30% of the service, while 21st Century Fox owned another 30% — and with the acquisition of Fox pending, Disney will soon get a controlling stake. How Hulu will run alongside Disney's service remains to be seen.

So what does this mean for animation? It indicates another shift towards streaming as a distribution channel, to complement or even supplant theatrical and broadcast releases. We've seen steps in this direction with films like The Little Prince, which played theatrically around the world but in the United States released on Netflix. Major studios like DreamWorks have also released exclusive series for Netflix, featuring spinoffs of Puss in Boots and their Dragons franchise, as well as original series like Voltron and Trollhunters.

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Disney's steps will probably point even more big-budget productions towards streaming first. For comparison, let's look at the recent Netflix original Bright, which turned heads with its $90 million budget. Now let's estimate the budget for Lady and the Tramp. The film will have the same producer as 2016's The Jungle Book, which cost $175 million. Even if that number shrinks a bit for Lady and the Tramp, it still looks to be one of the biggest productions to directly hit streaming services.

Streaming has already impacted the entertainment industry in different ways. It's already upset existing distribution channels, but it seems that the effects are not fully realized yet. A very big step looms in the future, and all eyes will watch to see if the step is solid or shaky.

Animation Spotlight: Patty Peraza

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We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Patty Peraza, the first female Effects Animator at Disney Feature Animation Studio. She is known for her work on Fox and the Hound, Tron, Epcot, Mickey's Christmas Carol, Meet the World for Tokyo Disneyland, Beauty and the Beast, Fantasia 2000, and many more. She also did work for Warner Bros. Hyperion, as well as commercials. 

"My dad would rarely go out to the movies, but he always took the family to see the Disney movies. The one that had the biggest impact on me was one we had arrived to a little late so the only seats left were in the very front row. It was Bambi, such a gorgeous film! Sitting there as a young child looking at the beautiful artwork just a few feet in front of me was probably what inspired me the most."

Patty used to draw all the time when she was young, and knew that she wanted to be an artist since elementary school. Though her parents did not want her to move away from Maryland, she always had their full support. She had received a full scholarship from the Disney family for the Disney Animation Program at CalArts in the 1970's. The program was intense, so Patty had to stay very focused to keep her scholarship. Her hard work did not go unnoticed by the head of the program, Jack Hannah.  He even encourage her to take breaks from time to time and suggested she go out with Mike Peraza, one of the teachers assistant in the program, who eventually became her husband!

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Patty was the first female to be hired directly out of the CalArts Disney Animation Program to work at the Walt Disney Studios.  She was also the first female to be hired into the Effects department, and when she was promoted to Effects Animator she was the only female animator in both the effects and character animation departments.  

"Almost every women would go into the Ink & Paint Department. It was just the way it was set up because the studio was founded back in the 1920's, and so that the guys were doing the animation artwork and the women were painting. It really was a mastery to ink those cells and get the lines exactly, I'm amazed at what they could do. I loved the plausible impossible, and you can do anything with animation, so that was more fun for me"
Patty with husband Mike Peraza - Photo Credit: Greg Preston (Found in the new book  "The Artist Within Book 2" )

Patty with husband Mike Peraza - Photo Credit: Greg Preston (Found in the new book "The Artist Within Book 2")

Patty's husband Mike had also been hired at Walt Disney Studios out of the program at CalArts as an Art Director, he worked on concept art, visual development, and the style of the film. He is best known for the Little Mermaid, but also designed and developed Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Goof Troop, Talespin and Darkwing Duck in addition to being an imagineer for the new Fantasyland Land and Shanghai Resort.

After Patty's daughters, Kim and Kristin, were born it was important for her to spend time at home. Luckily enough freelancing from home was an option with Disney TV and Direct to Video, which gave her the chance to be with her kids and still do what she loved doing. She was at Disney Studios from 1979-1987 and then returned to Disney features when Don Hahn asked her to be the project lead for Beauty and the Beast.

"Right now I'm a master artist for the Arts of the Parks, so I do artwork for the galleries at the parks. When they asked me to do it, I went down and looked at the Disney galleries with all these beautiful paintings, I thought 'how am I going to stand out?'. I thought 'Well, I was an effects animator so I'll incorporate effects'. They wouldn't let me have real fire on my paintings, and I thought nobody is going to buy the splash at Disney Parks, they all want the characters! So I decided for my "effect" it would be the medium itself. They had paper sculptures, but they didn't have anything in cloth, so I decided I would make something out of cloth!" 
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You can find Patty's beautifully designed cloth art pieces at most Disney stores all over the world. Patty and her husband Mike, who also sels prints, will be doing a signing at the opening weekend of the Food and Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure on March 3 & 4, 2018!

January's News in Animation!

It's only the 1st month in 2018 and there's already so much going on in the animation industry! Here is a few things that have come and yet to come in the month of January! Stay tuned for a round-up for every month this year!

 

1. Animation at the Golden Globes!

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So many great animated features were nominated for "Best Animated Feature Film" at the Golden Globes.

  • Boss Baby, which was released on March 31, 2017 by 20th Century Fox and produced by DreamWorks Animation.
  • Breadwinner, which was released on November 17, 2017 by GKIDS, Elevation Pictures and Studio Canal. It was also produced by numerous production companies, including: Cartoon Saloon, Aircraft Pictures, Guru Studios, Jolie Pas, Irish Film Board, Melusine Productions and Telefilm Canada.
  • Ferdinand, which was released on December 10, 2017 by 20th Century Fox and produced by Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Fox Animation and Davis Entertainment. 
  • Loving Vincent, which was released on October 13, 2017 in the United States by Altitude Film Distribution and Next Film. It was produced by BreakThru Productions and Trademark Films. 

And the one that took home the Golden Globe, Coco, which was released on November 22, 2017 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios!

 

2. Animated Features in January!

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Paddington 2 was released on January 12, 2018 by Studio Canal and produced by Heyday Films, Studio Canal, Canal+ and Ciné+! The journey of a whimsical teddy bear who goes through a series of jobs to save up money for a pop-up book he falls in love with. When the book is stolen, he embarks on a different search, Paddington sets forth to unmask the thief!

Check out the trailer here!

 
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3. Animated Series in January!

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On Netflix there's a few TV Animated Kids' Shows, including: Trolls: The Beat Goes On!Llama Llama, and The Adventures of Puss in Boots Season 6. 

As you know, Animated Series are not just for children, Netflix also has a few other animated series released, including: Devilman Crybaby, which started January 5, 2018, an adaptation of the comic Devilman by Go Nagai. There is also a long list of other Anime being released on Crunchyroll that you can find here!

 

4. New Animation Competition

Launched by Studio Art&Graft, "7 Second Sins" is a competition where all animations must be 7 seconds long and must reinterpret the assigned sin for the month.  The first deadline being January 27, 2018 and on "Pride" with purple as the color palette. 

If you're interested in joining in on the competition, check out the rules and deadlines here!

 

5. Animation Programs for Students

There is also a lot going on for animation students all over the world. New programs, improved programs, and tuition free animation programs!

The Sunrise Animation Studio in Japan has a free animation training program that you can find out more about here! Paris, France also provides a similar opportunity with TeamTO at the animation school La Poudrière in Bourg-lès-Valence, which is right next to their studio!

Plus a whole long list of more of these new and improved programs here!

 

Stay up to date on more news in animation on all our social media platforms!

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Animated Features in 2018!

Happy New Year! 2017 was a good year for animation, but there's a lot to look forward to in 2018 as well! Some that are sequels from long ago and others that leave us in full wonderment. Listed below are only a few of animations you can keep an eye out for in the next year!

1. Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad 

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Release date: April 27, 2018

Dreaming of becoming the Top Dog of a delivery service in the arctic, Swifty must prove himself. During his mission on doing so he encounters almost every arctic animal you can think of, and they join together to stop the evil walrus to save the day!

Directed by Aaron Woodley and produced by AMBI Group and AIC Studios the Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad trailer can be seen here!

 

2. Sherlock Gnomes

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Release date: March 23, 2018

Directed by John Stevenson, Sherlock Gnomes is about one Gnomeo and Juliet who move into a garden with all their gnomes to live happily ever after! When they find they have all disappeared, they hire the only one they knew would solve the mystery, "The greatest ornamental detective"!

Check out the trailer that brought to us by Paramount Pictures here!

 

 

3. Incredibles 2

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Release date: June 15, 2018

Normal is a hard type of life to lead when there is so much crime to fight, and this family is back at it! Mr. Incredible stays home to watch the kids, as Elastigirl and Frozone find ways to tackle the new villian, The Underminer!

Directed by Brad Bird and brought to us by Disney Pixar, the Incredibles 2 trailer can be seen here!

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4. Smallfoot

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Release date: September 28, 2018

Yeti's really do exist in this animated feature directed by Karey Kirkpatrick, and they are on the hunt for the mythical creatures know as "Smallfoot", otherwise known as humans! The fame that Migo's stories of this creatures makes him even more determined to prove his tale to the Yeti community. 

"Yeti or not..." Warner Bros. Studios has the trailer ready to watch here!

 

5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Release date: December 14, 2018

Peter Parker's passing leaves a teenager with the struggle of balancing high school with his duties as a superhero. Directed by Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman and produced by Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Marvel Entertainment, Arad Productions, Pascal Pictures, this large team shows us what the Spider-Verse is all about in this comic-book style animation.

Watch the teaser trailer here!

 

Be sure to keep an eye out for all the other animated features being released this year, we have a lot more to look forward to! Check out a few more here!

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November Animation News Round-Up!

As we near the end of the year, we had a very eventful month in the world of animation! From expositions, to animation feature releases, to more about what is coming up. What better way to spend the day after Thanksgiving than to catch up on what went on in the world of animation during the month of November! 

 

1. D-CON

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Design plays a big role in the animation process and Designer Con includes many great designers in the toy and art industry. It takes place in Pasadena, CA every November and has over 400 vendors, art & custom shows, and live demonstrations all about toys and art, with many that are based off animations! Since it keeps growing every year, next year it will be moving to the Anaheim Convention Center, so keep an eye out!

Check out the vendors who were there this year here

 

2. Google Spotlight Stories

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Google Spotlight Stories launched as a new VR experience on Steam, Vive Port, Google Daydream, and Google Spotlight Stories mobile app. Son of Jaguar and Sonaria were both recently debuted on Google Spotlight Stories and available for us to be immersed into their art as you watch through the goggles. 

Check iour the trailer for Sonariaon YouTube!

 

3. CTNx

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CTNx is always a great experience and this year was a little more special for us! It was the first year we had a table at CTNx, and we are so glad to have had the opportunity. On top of still being able to see what is going on in the industry and attending all the knowledge filled panels, we met a lot of talented artists who we hope to have the chance to work with on upcoming projects!

Get a little glimpse of CTNx 2017 here!

 

4. Coco

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If you read our last blog, we wrote quite a bit about Coco being the highest grossing movie of all time in Mexico. With just a few days in theaters in the US, it already made 48.4 million and has 96% on Rotten Tomatoes! It's cultural education is the cherry on top of the visual impact it has. Critics say "Pixar's Day-of-the-Dead gem pays loving tribute to Mexican culture with animation that brims over with visual pleasures, comic energy and emotional wallop."

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the trailer here!

 

5. Creators Society 

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Very glad we were able to meet even more creatives at this years CTNx and looking forward to learning more about everyone at this month's mixer! We will be enjoying great company, good food, and a beautiful view at the Crystal View Lounge at the Holiday Inn in Burbank. We hope you can make it out too, RSVP 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."
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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.
http://www.haydenpatterson.com/#/reel/

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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!

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Animated Features for Fall of 2017!

This was a big year for animation, but the year isn't over yet! There's still quite a bit that will be released before the end of the year. Here's a list of just a few of the one's coming out this fall!

Happy First Day of Fall! 

The Lego Ninjago Movie 

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Released by Warner Animation Group and animation produced by Animal Logic, The Lego Ninjago Movie will be in theaters today, September 22, 2017!

It's based off the toy line, and a spin-off on 2014’s “The Lego Movie”. Lego Ninjago is an animation about the “Green Ninja”, who is being trained by Master Wu to defeat “The Worst Guy Ever”. All the other secret ninja warriors help “The Green Ninja” plot against his father.

Watch the trailer here!

 

My Little Pony: The Movie 

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Lionsgate will release the "My Little Pony" movie on October 6, 2017! It was Directed by Jayson Thiessen from a screenplay written by Megan McCarthy, and produced by Allspark Pictures and DHX Media!

Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity, or the Mane 6, use the magic of friendship to help them on their quest to defeat The Dark Force’s threat on Ponyville!

Watch the trailer here!

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Coco

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Director Lee Unkrich and so many other talented co-directors, producers, voice actors, and more from Disney and Pixar have been working on "Coco" for years! The Día de los Muertos themed animation that will be released a little bit after the holiday on November 22, 2017!

His drive to prove his talent as a musician gets Miguel in a bit of a mix up. But, it does not stop him from undertaking a journey with his two friends to find out about his ancestor’s ban on music.

Watch the trailer here!

 

Ferdinand 

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Based off “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios bring "Ferdinand" to big screen on December 15, 2017!  

"Ferdinand" is directed Rio helmer Carlos Saldanha, with John Cena as the voice of Ferdinand. We get to follow a giant bull through his adventure in Spain! Don't let his size fool you though, he is actually just trying to get away from his captors and home to his family. A gentle giant that proves that appearances are often misleading!

Watch the trailer here!

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The 69th Annual Emmy Awards!

The Emmy Awards are on Sunday, September 17th, and will be hosted by Stephen Colbert! Read-on to find out more about each nomination for "Outstanding Animated Program"!

 

1. Archer - "Archer Dreamland: No Good Deed"

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The animated spy sitcom, Archer, is about the world's greatest secret agent and is on FX Networks. Archer started in 2009 and won "Outstanding Animated Program" for the first time last year, in 2016! Being part of "ISIS', the "International Secret Intelligence, Service, is not an easy task, especially when your emotionally distant mother is your boss, but that won't stop Archer from being nominated for "Outstanding Animated Program" for the 5th time!

 

2. Bob's Burgers - "Bob, Actually"

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Bob's Burgers, on Fox, was also nominated for both "Outstanding Animated Program" and "Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance"! Their First win was in 2014, and they are nominated for the 8th time this year! The show is about an eclectic family that doesn't let anything get in the way of the love for their burger restaurant!

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3. Elena and the Secret of Avalor - (Sophia the First)

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A Disney Television Animation about the imprisonment of Elena in her magical amulet who receives the help of a princess to break free from evil sorcery.  This is the first nomination with the hopes of many future ones!

 

4. South Park - "Member Berries"

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With 17 nominations and 4 wins, South Park is nominated again for the 8th time in a row for "Outstanding Animated Program". This adult animated sitcom has been running for 20 seasons! In a way it is an improv comedy for animated programs; each episode is written the week proceeding it's broadcast. "Member!" to stay tuned to see what trouble Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny cause for their quiet town in Colorado. 

 

5. The Simpsons - "The Town"

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Last but not least, The Simpsons was also nominated for both "Outstanding Animated Program" and "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance". A show about your typical America family and their neighborhood...okay maybe not so typical, but loving nonetheless. The Simpsons is the longest running animated comedy, it's no surprise that it has been nominated 87 times altogether, and won 32 times. The most recent win was in 2015 for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" in "The Princess Guide".

 

The Emmy Awards are less than 2 weeks away and we are excited to see which of all these great shows takes home the trophy. Check nominations for other categories here!

 

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Attack of the Remakes!

Can you hear that? It’s the sound of contracts being signed as your favorite and beloved movies are being remade in Hollywood. Studios for some time now have been trying to get audiences back in theaters since streaming services like Netflix have taken a chunk of the industry.

With the latest remakes like Ghostbusters and Ben-Hur, audiences are torn between watching the latest flicks in the theater or watching retro movies in the comfort of their home. It’s getting tougher too, as it was announced that Netflix will be getting the entire Disney library streaming right to your phone this fall. Coupled with the fact, ticket prices have slowly been rising. Rarely can you catch a movie for under $20, topped with $15 worth of popcorn/soda, wasting gas driving to the theater and finding parking during a busy night. Before you know it, staying home doesn't sound half bad.

I remember when you could see a trailer for a remake and people were generally excited, you could hear murmurs of couples already planning their next movie date. Today, remakes are given the obvious sigh and chuckle as audiences want more from Hollywood. People are still debating whether 3D movies are even worth the cost. When 3D was introduced it was temporary, but now it’s become a permanent staple at the theaters that drives up ticket costs and drains consumer’s wallets.

Hollywood is always trying new things to draw audiences back and you can bet if it was popular then, they’ll try to make it popular now. Do you think remakes are the answer? Has streaming services like Netflix encouraged you to stay in more? Let us know in the comments section and be sure to share if you enjoyed this article.