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Top Animation News: BAFTA winners, Louis C.K., Mulan and more!

Tags: Customer Story Animation News Trends Top Animation News Film Television Games Advertising Content Marketing

Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the world of animation. This edition covers November 24 to December 01, 2017.

  1. Big 2D winners at the BAFTA Children's Awards 2017.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Children's Awards were last Sunday, with "Revolting Rhymes" taking home the Best Animation prized and "The Little Prince" landing Best Feature Film. It was a big night for 2D animators as well: AR phenomena Pokemon Go scored Best Game, "Spongebob Squarepants" won the International category, and "Hey Duggee" got Best Pre-school Animation.

For the full list of BAFTA Children's Awards 2017 animation winners, visit "Cartoon Brew".

  1. Toon Boom announces ETC Brasil as its official partner in Brazil.

Regionally recognized technological company ETC Brasil has joined the Toon Boom family as its official partner in Brazil. This will expand the world-leading animation software's reach in Latin America. Located in Brasilia, the nation's capital, ETC Brasil already has an extensive network of educational institutions and associations, government bodies and private companies in the creative industry. To celebrate the partnership, Toon Boom will be hosting a reception in Rio de Janeiro, next Tuesday, December 05.

Get the details on the Toon Boom x ETC Brasil event on the blog.

  1. Animation in advertising is undergoing a renaissance.

In an era of short attention spans, a growing number of marketers and brands are turning to animated content to attract customers' engagement including Taco Bell, Heinz, Lyft and KFC. The reasons are multitude: adult animation is in a Golden Age thanks to shows like "Rick and Morty" and "BoJack Horseman", the art style cuts through social media noise, and the medium strikes an emotional chord. "The uniqueness of using animation allows you more leeway in how you tell the story in a way that connects with people," explains Tracee Larocca, SVP of advertising and brand engagement for Taco Bell.

Don't skip these animated ads on "Adweek".

  1. Louis C.K.'s planned animated series "The Cops" leaves many out of work.

In the same cultural cloud of allegations that has precipitated Harvey Weinstein's, Kevin Spacey's and John Lasseter's respective falls from grace, Louis C.K. has also seen his career washed away by his repugnant behaviour. His upcoming animated series "The Cops", which featured a racially and sexually diverse cast, will likely never see airtime — with unintended professional casualties. Now, an entire staff of animators, storyboarders, producers and voice actors are suddenly out of work, including Jen Richards, an openly trans actress set to play a trans character on the cartoon. That said, all parties involved are entirely supportive of the victims coming forward.

See the result of Louis C.K.'s allegations on "Vanity Fair".

  1. How Harmony brought 2D video game "Sundered" to life.

Blame Millennial nostalgia, but 2017 has seen a groundswell of support for 2D video games. Among the most critically acclaimed is action-horror title "Sundered", the latest release from Montreal game studio Thunder Lotus. Lead animator Alexandre Boyer turned his team's vision into a video game using Toon Boom Harmony, which saved time and cost during production.

Tap into Thunder Lotus' animation secrets for "Sundered" on the Toon Boom blog.

  1. Disney has cast its live-action "Mulan".

Chinese actor Liu Yifei has been cast in the titular role of Disney's "Mulan" live-action remake. Also known as Crystal Liu, she is an award-winning star in her native country and has previous experience with martial arts films, having been cast in "The Forbidden Kingdom" alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The "Mulan" live-action remake is set to hit theatres in 2019.

Get a look at Liu Yifei on "Buzzfeed".

Source: Westend.

  1. How Cartoon Saloon animated Afghanistan with sensitivity in "The Breadwinner".

Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon has received global praise for its style and storytelling in recent 2D animated feature, "The Breadwinner". Storyboarded in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, the film follows a young girl who must disguise herself as a boy in order to provide for her family. "The history of Afghanistan is in the film. The political situation at the time that the film is set is also in the film. … At the end of the day, it's not even really about the Taliban. It's about how women and children suffer in any society where you have inequality," says Nora Twomey, the director and Cartoon Saloon cofounder.

Find out more about Twomey's process on "The Breadwinner" on "FastCompany".

  1. You need to watch this "Cuphead" x "Dark Souls" mashup.

Further proof the 2D video game trend is in full swing: Youtube Channel 64 Bits has created a mash-up of legendary action role-playing title "Dark Souls" and this year's 1930s cartoon-style critical darling, "Cuphead". The results are certainly a compelling argument for the hand-drawn aesthetic, and the video has garnered nearly 1.5 million views in less than a week.

Watch the "Cuphead" x "Dark Souls" mashup above.

  1. WWE Studios throws down with animation.

The latest brand to enter the animation ring is a wing of World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE Studios. It hopes to extend its production operation beyond its current core offerings of live events and television franchises through cartoons. Alongside animation, it will also be creating original scripted series and digital content.

Hit the mat with WWE Studios' animation details on "Variety".

  1. Amazon Sumerian just made coding AR and VR a lot easier.

Online giant Amazon released software this week designed to help coders create Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) apps using 3D computer graphics. Known as Amazon Sumerian, the interface is similar to more pedestrian photo-editing programs. Users can drag-and-drop digital objects to construct 3D animated environments, similar to video gaming engines Unity and Unreal.

Check out Amazon Sumerian's other features on "Fortune".

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!