One the perks of being an animator or story artist is it is possible to work from almost anywhere. Prior to the current situation, many major animated features and series were co-produced with teams working remotely around the world — making the recent adjustment relatively smooth. With broadcasters and streaming platforms unable to create live-action content indefinitely, the demand for original animation is poised to continue growing. Read more »
Top Animation News: D23, Klaus release date, Lizzie McGuire and more!
Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers August 23 to 30, 2019.
1. D23 Expo: Tons of new Disney and Pixar animated projects
Disney’s biannual three-day press blitz, D23 Expo, never fails to disappoint. For 2019, the House of Mouse revealed a new Southeast Asian-inspired film from Disney Animation titled Raya and the Last Dragon, Emma Stone as a live-action version of the 2D animated villain Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Captain America’s Agent Peggy Carter as a cartoon in What If…, and much more.
Head over to Gizmodo for more exciting updates from D23 Expo 2019.
2. Klaus gets a theatrical release date
Netflix has announced a theatrical release date for its first-ever original animated feature, the Sergio Pablos-directed Klaus, as well as Jeremy Clapin’s I Lost My Body. They will hit US and UK cinemas on November 8 and November 15, respectively — just in time for awards season. Klaus is a holiday film following a Scandinavian postman named Jesper who serendipitously meets the bearded titular toymaker, and is produced by The SPA Studios using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony.
Gift yourself more Klaus theatrical release date details on Cartoon Brew.
Source: Disney Channel
3. Disney revives Lizzie McGuire and the internet explodes
Among the many revivals from D23 Expo (eyes on Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi), social media latched onto the return of Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire. Starring Hilary Duff, the original show ran for two seasons between 2001 and 2004, as well as a 2003 film. The Lizzie McGuire reboot will stream on Disney+ and follows the eponymous character as an adult in New York City; it will continue the predecessor’s mixture of live-action and 2D animated sequences, with the cartoon version of the protagonist keeping her old outfit.
Take a trip down memory lane with the Lizzie McGuire revival on Insider.
Are you an animator or artist? Visit https://t.co/UnY2lbSeBB to download one of my stories and use it as the inspiration for an original cartoon that YOU draw to life. If selected, you’ll be awarded $500 and your animation will be shown on my new show, Shaq Life. Good luck! pic.twitter.com/l4wo6CBNSp— SHAQ (@SHAQ) August 28, 2019
4. Shaq’s animation contest meets community backlash
Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal put out a call for submissions on Twitter, requesting that artists go to his website shaqtoons.com, download one of the stories on there and turn it into an animated short — all for $500, if their submission gets selected, and the promise of fame via his upcoming series Shaq Life. This was not well received by many in the industry, who said the amount offered was wildly undervaluing their work and the amount of time toons take to produce. In response to the backlash, Shaq increased the amount to $10,000, which was still criticized as spec work.
Dunk into the Shaquille O’Neal animation details on Cartoon Brew.
5. Pam Westman becomes Nelvana president
Following the retirement of Nelvana president Scott Dyer, Pam Westman has stepped into his place — effective today. Dyer has been with the Corus-owned sister company of Toon Boom for 22 years, starting as EVP of production and development in 1998. Westman has been head of Nelvana Enterprises since 2016 and has over 20 years’ experience in the children’s content industry.
Get into all the Nelvana details further on Kidscreen.
6. Five facts about Weathering With You
Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You is set to make its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 8. The Japanese anime has already become a hit in its homeland, earning more than its spiritual predecessor, Your Name, in its opening weekend. To help you take Weathering With You’s temperature before it rolls into North American cinemas, we put together a list of interesting facts about the film including Shinkai’s creative process, the cameos of real-life Tokyo buildings and the director’s thoughts on Storyboard Pro.
Shower yourself with Weathering With You facts on the Toon Boom blog.
7. Meet the anime artists going to Crunchyroll Expo 2019
Crunchyroll Expo (CRX) 2019 is this weekend, bringing together the biggest talents in the anime industry. However, it’s always nice to put a face to the name — so the media and content platform has produced a series of profiles on some of the creatives who’ll be there including animators Terumi Nishii (Pokémon 3: The Movie), Masahiro Suwa (Makoto Shinkai’s The Place Promised in Our Early Days) and more.
Catch up on all the CRX 2019 animator profiles on Crunchyroll.
8. TRAILER: Archibald’s Next Big Thing
Netflix’s upcoming 2D animated children’s series Archibald’s Next Big Thing is being produced by DreamWorks Animation and created by two-time Emmy Award winner Tony Hale (based on his 2014 kids’ book of the same name). The comedic cartoon follows an optimistic chicken, Archibald Strutter, who stumbles through life joined by his three siblings —Sage, Finley and Loy— and his buzzing sidekick, Bea.
Watch the Archibald’s Next Big Thing trailer above and read more on Animation World Network.
Source: Walt Disney Animation Studio
9. The Princess and The Frog to get 10th anniversary Academy screening
Walt Disney Animation Studio’s The Princess and The Frog turns 10 this year, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be giving it a special screening in Beverly Hills on September 5. Some of the 2D animated film’s voice talent and creative leads will be at the event, which will be hosted by Quvenzhané Wallis and feature a live performance by Anika Noni Rose. The Princess and the Frog was animated in Harmony.
Leap into the The Princess and the Frog 10th anniversary screening details on Animation Magazine.
10. Hulu green-lights hybrid series Woke
Streaming service Hulu has given a series order to live-action comedy Woke. The series will star Lamorne Morris (New Girl), feature animated sequences and is inspired by the life of cartoonist Keith Knight — best known for his award-winning comic strips like The K Chronicles, The Knight Life and (th)ink.
Awaken yourself to the Woke pilot 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: Disney