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This Week in Animation: May 19 to 26

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This Week in Animation is a weekly series for the Toon Boom blog, rounding up the most buzzed about animation stories from the past seven days.

  1. 2019 will be the year of “SpongeBob SquarePants”.

It seems the lights will stay on in that pineapple under the sea for 26 more episodes. Nickelodeon announced this week that it will be renewing “SpongeBob SquarePants” for a twelfth season in 2019, which will also mark the series’ twentieth anniversary. A third feature film by Paramount and Nickelodeon with SpongeBob and his pals Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs, Plankton and Squidward is also planned for that year.

 Dive into more “SpongeBob SquarePants” on “Animation World News”.

jon-stewart-comedy-central.jpgSource: Comedy Central.

  1. Jon Stewart’s animated return to TV dropped.

HBO has pulled the plug on Jon Stewart’s upcoming animated series. The former “The Daily Show” host was set to return to television with a current events cartoon. "We all thought the project had great potential but there were technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material," Stewart and HBO said in a joint statement.

 Read more about what could have been on “Fortune”.


  1. “Hamilton” creator joins “DuckTales” reboot.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Broadway smash hit “Hamilton”, has joined the cast of the “DuckTales” reboot as Gizmoduck, Duckberg’s cybernetic saviour. The Disney XD series will premiere this summer and has already been renewed for a second season. Miranda joins a voice cast of comedy heavyweights including David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck, and Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz and Bobby Moynihan as the voices of Huey, Dewey and Louie, respectively.

 Get more on “DuckTales” on “Animation Magazine”. 


  1. Love at first bite: Netflix’s “Castlevania” teaser.

Konami’s classic “Castlevania” video games are being remade into an ultra-violent 2D animated series for Netflix. The subscription-based media giant released the first teaser for the show, which will premiere on July 7. Written by Warren Ellis and produced by Adi Shankar (Dredd, The Grey), Frederator, Powerhouse Animation and Netflix, the series will follow a disgraced vampire hunter battling to save Eastern Europe from Dracula.

 Sink your teeth into more “Castlevania” news on “Polygon”.


  1. Internet is head over heels for LGBTQ love short.

Despite rapidly evolving social norms, animation has been sparing in its representation of LGBTQ characters. Fortunately, two students at Florida’s Ringling College of Art and Design are changing that. The duo created “In a Heartbeat”, an animated short depicting a closeted teen whose heart is literally set aflutter by the boy of his dreams. The project was launched as a Kickstarter and has raised over $14,000 (its original goal was $3,000), while a tweet in support of it has gone viral with over 100,000 likes.

 See the “In a Heartbeat” teaser above or head over to “HuffPost” for more.

dc-super-hero-girls.jpgSource: Mattel.

  1. Cartoon Network adds girl (super)power to programming!

When only 29 percent of animated characters are female and often damsels in distress, “DC Super Hero Girls” is taking a step —or punch— in the right message. The upcoming Cartoon Network series will see adolescent versions of comic heroines like Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Harley Quinn go back to high school. “DC Super Hero Girls” began as digital webisodes and direct-to-video movies in 2015, with an accompanying line of toys, merchandise and comics that has earned DC over $1 billion.

Dig into the “DC Super Hero Girls” details on “CBR”.


  1. First look: “My Little Pony: The Movie” 360º image.

In this October’s feature-length “My Little Pony: The Movie”, the beloved animated characters will be heading underwater and becoming seahorses — or ‘sea-ponies’, rather. For the franchise’s fans, Lionsgate has released a 360º image depicting the mares of the mer including Queen Novo, Princess Skystar and the Mane 6.

 Gallop over to “People” for more.

  1. Women in Animation World Summit coming to Annecy 2017.

As if there wasn’t enough to excited about at the upcoming Annecy International Animation Festival, the event will be hosting the first-ever Women in Animation World Summit on June 12 in the Impérial Palace Hotel. In conjunction with Mifa 2017, panel topics will include “Exploring Unconscious Bias”, “50/50 by 2025 — How are We Getting There?”, “Developing Diverse Stories” and “Artists’ Experiences”.

 Find out more about the Women in Animation World Summit on “Variety”.


  1. Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are hiring!

Are you an animator living in Japan? This could be your first —and last— chance to work with Hayao Miyazaki. The Studio Ghibli co-founder came out retirement to work on his final feature film, “Boro the Caterpillar”. The animation legend, behind internationally acclaimed works like “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro”, is looking for young talent to help with production over the next three years.

Discover more about the role on “Konbini”.


  1. “Hotel Transylvania: The Series” checks into Disney Channel on June 25.

The 2D animated series based on the wildly popular “Hotel Transylvania” film franchise will be a prequel, following Dracula’s daughter Mavis during her adolescence. As if being a teenager wasn’t scary enough, she’ll be joined by her ghoulish gang including Hank N Stein, Pedro, and Wendy Blob, as well as her father’s older, meaner sister, Aunt Lydia. The 26-episode series was produced by Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana in Toronto using Toon Boom Harmony and Storyboard Pro 2D animation software.

 Watch the “Hotel Transylvania: The Series” teaser or read more on “Cartoon Brew

 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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