This Week in Animation: Feb 10 to 17

LEGO Batman is joined by his fellow Justice League members.
Posted on: February 17, 2017 —

Tags: AnimationFilmNewsTelevisionNews and OpinionStoryboard Pro

Welcome to our new weekly series for the Toon Boom blog, rounding up the most buzzed about animation stories from the past seven days.

1. "Kubo and the Two Strings" wins big at the 2017 BAFTAs

Despite three out of four of the Best Animated Feature nominees being Disney, it was Laika's dark horse "Kubo and the Two Strings" that took home the prize at last weekend's BAFTAs. This is good news for the film ahead of the Academy Awards; in the 10 years since the BAFTAs began honouring animation, their choice has only differed from the Oscars once.

Catch up on the other 2017 BAFTA Best Animated Feature nominees on Cartoon Brew.

A scene from LAIKA Studio's 'Kubo and the Two Strings'.
Source: LAIKA

2. "The LEGO Batman Movie" makes $55.6 million and tops box office

Warner Bros. latest addition to its LEGO franchise, "The LEGO Batman Movie", dominated "Fifty Shades Darker" and "John Wick: Chapter Two" at the domestic box office last weekend. Outside of North America, the film took in an additional $37 million.

Head to Box Office Mojo for the rest of the weekend's winners and losers.

In 'The LEGO Batman Movie', the titular character is joined by the Justice League.
Source: Warner Bros.

3. 2017 Asian Animation Summit heads to Australia… Again!

Kidscreen's Asian Animation Summit will be returning to Australia, running from November 29 to December 1 in Brisbane. The three-day event will bring together members of the industry for panel discussions, presentations and topics relevant to Asia-Pacific producers.

For the full itinerary, venture over to Kidscreen.

4. New animated feature shows Iran defeating America

The Iranian produced "Battle of Persian Gulf II" is a full-length animated feature film depicting a conflict between the Revolutionary Guard and U.S. Navy. Director Farhad Azima tells Reuters, "I hope that the film shows Trump how American soldiers will face a humiliating defeat if they attack Iran." Yikes.

For more on the "Battle of Persian Gulf II", check out Reuters.

5. Riki enters into joint-venture deal with Fun Union

Russia's Riki Group has set its sights on global expansion by partnering with Hong Kong's Fun Union on a joint-venture company. While Riki's largest titles "KikoRiki", "BabyRiki", and "PinCode" are popular in their homeland, they are relatively unknown through the rest of the world. The deal will help propel their work into China and Asia.

Visit Variety for the rest of the story.

Three main characters from the 3D edition of 'KikoRiki'.
Source: Riki Group

6. Montreal animator wins Governor General's Award

We have a hometown hero! Fellow Montrealer and animator Michèle Cournoyer won the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. Her thoughtful work, including "Accordion" and "Robes of War" for the National Film Board, addresses some of the darker, more uncomfortable aspects of the human experience including incest, alcoholism and terrorism.

Uncover Michèle Cournoyer's impressive career in the Montreal Gazette.

Michèle Cournoyer working in her studio on 'Robes of War'.
Source: National Film Board

7. Toon Boom releases Storyboard Pro 5.5

Yes, the rumours were true! Toon Boom released Storyboard Pro 5.5 at Kidscreen Summit 2017. The launch was met with huge excitement and the reviews are already pouring in! Packed with cutting-edge features including timeline markers, radial and directional blurs, and guides and vanishing points, the industry standard software is now available for download and purchase.

Learn about Storyboard Pro 5.5's other exciting features on the Toon Boom blog and be sure to join in on our webinar on February 21 at 2 p.m..

A back-end view of Storyboard Pro 5.5's new features and interface.
Source: Toon Boom

Honourable mention: Mercury Filmworks and Cartoon Saloon join forces to launch new studio

Yes, this was last week, but it's so big it deserves a mention. The two 2D animation powerhouses will be combining efforts to launch Lighthouse Studios in Kilkenny, Ireland. The outfit will feature its own management team, which will be overseen by a transatlantic board of directors from Cartoon Saloon (Ireland) and Mercury Filmworks (Canada). The venture is expected to create 140 jobs over the next three years, with the 2D-focused studio developing children's and family television entertainment for multiplatform global distribution.

Catch the rest of the story on Vanity Fair.

Rapunzel is joined by her fellow characters in 'Tangled: The Series'.
Source: Mercury Filmworks

What animation industry news were you most excited about this week? Was there something we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments below!

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