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Top Animation News: Animag Best of 2018, Spider-Man, Brexit and more!

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Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the world of animation. This edition covers December 14 to 21, 2018.

1. Toon Boom Harmony named Animag’s Best Animation Tool of 2018
“Animation Magazine” released its Animag’s Best of 2018 Awards list and Toon Boom Harmony was named Best Animation Tool, beating out runner-up TV Paint. The honourees were voted on by the publication’s readers. This further confirms Toon Boom animation software as the industry-standard digital solution, used in 80 percent of productions worldwide — including many of the other nominees on the list.

Read more about Animag’s Best of 2018 list and Toon Boom Harmony on the blog.

2. Blue Zoo is hiring 60 new Toon Boom animators in London
British production company Blue Zoo will be opening a new 2D animation studio in London. It’s hiring 60 new roles to work at the location, which will use a Toon Boom Harmony pipeline and be fully operational in 2019. The new studio’s first production will be children’s series Pony for Nickelodeon, though it will also look to develop its catalogue of original IP. “2D animation is making a big comeback and we’re seeing a greater demand for it more than ever, particularly for older kids,” says Blue Zoo co-founder Adam Shaw.

Explore the Blue Zoo 2D animation expansion on “Cartoon Brew”.


3. Indie animation
Project BlackGuard launches first episode
African-American independent animation Project BlackGuard launched its first episode on December 20. The action-comedy series is based on comics by BOSC Comics and animated in Toon Boom Harmony by Ferguson Draper Winston (Archer). Project BlackGuard follows a group of super-villains who go from committing crimes to fighting them when the heroes go on strike.

Watch the full first episode of Project BlackGuard above and read more on the blog.

4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse continues animation’s box office domination
Animation has dominated the North American box office recently, with Ralph Breaks the Internet and The Grinch vying for the top spots. Now, Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse has taken the number-one position, bringing in $35.4 million last weekend. This is the highest opening ever for an animated feature film in December.

Swing into more Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse box office details on “Time”.

5. How Brexit will affect British animation and VFX competitiveness
The British government’s Migratory Advisory Committee (MAC) released its much-anticipated Immigration Bill white paper. Based on the findings, the UK Screen Alliance worries this may bottleneck the VFX and animation industries from accessing the European talent they rely on; a third of VFX workers and 20 percent of those in animation are from the EU. Under the post-Brexit visa scheme, those staff will need to earn a minimum of £30,000.

For more on Brexit’s impact on the British animation industry, venture to UK Screen Alliance. 


6. Toonz Media Group launches
Boo Bah B on YouTube
India’s largest animation studio Toonz Media Group launched its new non-dialogue children’s comedic cartoon Boo Bah B exclusively on YouTube and the YouTube Kids app this week. The 104 x 5′ series was produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony. Boo Bah B follows a self-important, kingdom-less lion whose ego is kept in check by best friends, rabbit Boo and alien B.

Check out all the Toonz Media Group and Boo Bah B details on “Animation Magazine”.

7. Apple and DHX Media sign Peanuts deal
Charles M. Schulz’s iconic IP Peanuts will be headed to Apple’s new streaming service as part of a deal with Canada animation company DHX Media. Its Halifax studio will be producing original short-form STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content about Charlie Brown, Snoop and their crew. This will be exclusive to Apple and is another example of streaming services’ huge investments in animation.

Toon in to the Apple and DHX Media Peanuts deal on “The Globe and Mail”. 

mary-poppins-returns-toon-boom
Source: Disney

8. A behind-the-scenes look at Mary Poppins Returns’ animation
Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns reboot has introduced the famed eponymous nanny to contemporary audiences, while honouring the original film’s combination of live-action and animation. Much like the 1964 classic, the new edition uses hand-drawn techniques — albeit, boosted with modern technology. In total, Mary Poppins Returns’ animated sequences took roughly 18 months to produce.

Be swept away by the Mary Poppins Returns’ animation process on “Vanity Fair”.

9. China is producing an anime based on Karl Marx’s life
The government of China has commissioned an anime series based on the life of communist leader Karl Marx in celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth. The German philosopher and social revolutionary’s story will be broadcast on Chinese video streaming site Bilibili.com, though the number of episodes and air dates have not been released. Marx was born in May 1818 and the “Communist Manifesto” he co-authored continues to guide China’s ruling party to this day.

Head over to “South China Morning Post” for more on the Karl Marx anime.

10. Fox has ordered an animated series from Lisa Kudrow
Friends’ star Lisa Kudrow will serve as executive producer and voice talent on the upcoming Fox animated series Lyle & Caroline. The cartoon has gotten a script and presentation order, and is a family show following the friendship of the titular characters as they develop a surrogate grandparent/grandchild relationship. Fox has invested heavily in animation for Fall 2019 including two other new toon series, Bless the Harts and Duncanville.

Find more Lyle & Caroline details on “Deadline”.

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

Banner image source: Sony

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