Among global audiences, anime has evolved from niche to normalized, counting celebrities from Michael B. Jordan to Ariana Grande among its fans. Just this week, The Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) announced the Nippon industry saw a record-breaking$19.1 billion (￥2.15 trillion) in revenue in 2017, fuelled by overseas sales to streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, alongside Chinese entertainment giants. Sales from outside Japan hit a new high of $8.81... Read more »
Top Animation News: David S. Pumpkins, Beyonce in Lion King and more!
Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the world of animation. This edition covers October 27 to November 03, 2017.
- David S. Pumpkins "SNL" Halloween special done in Harmony.
Bizarre, viral "Saturday Night Live" character David S. Pumpkins, played by Tom Hanks, was revived for a half-hour Halloween special last weekend. Narrated by Peter Dinklage, "The David S. Pumpkins Animated Halloween Special" saw Hanks return to voice the role in 2D and was created in Toon Boom Harmony. It attempted to give the character a backstory, who first appeared on "SNL" weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election and became an instant classic.
Toon into more on the David S. Pumpkins animated special on "The Washington Post".
- Beyonce joins "The Lion King" reboot.
It's official: Beyonce will be voicing the female lead, Nala, in the upcoming "The Lion King" live-action remake. She will join an all-star cast including Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Chiwetal Eijofor, John Oliver and Seth Rogen. It is still unclear how "The Lion King" live-action remake will look, given its entire cast is animals, though Disney has plenty of time to figure that out before its Summer 2019 premiere. The original, released in 1994, remains one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time.
For the full story on Beyonce joining "The Lion King", head over to "The Guardian".
- 63 animated shorts competing for Oscars 2018.
For the 90th Academy Awards, 63 submissions have qualified for the animated short film category — an impressive amount, though down slightly from 2016's record-setting 70. The list includes mostly work from North America and Europe, with the trend broken by three titles from China and one each from South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Next, the Academy's Short Films and Feature Animation branch will review and vote on all 63 pieces, with the 10 highest rated moving on to a shortlist announced in late November. The 90th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 04, 2018.
See the full list of Oscars 2018 animated short films qualifiers on "Cartoon Brew".
Source: Sea Monster Animation.
- This financial education platform was made with Toon Boom Harmony.
Sea Monster Entertainment, a South Africa-based 2D animation studio, built world-class financial education platform Moneyversity using Toon Boom Harmony. Created for Old Mutual, a global investments and insurance firm with over 19 million customers and £394.9 billion in assets, it uses animation and storytelling to teach South Africans the importance of financial literacy — fulfilling social and business goals, while being thoroughly entertaining.
Get all the Moneyersity info on the Toon Boom blog.
- "Mumue" wins Toon Boom short film prize at DISCOP Africa.
The first-ever pan-African animation pitch contest wrapped last week at DISCOP in Johannesburg, with the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market inviting two projects to participate in its esteemed Animation Du Monde in 2018. Competition awards were given out in four categories: TV series and specials, transmedia animation, feature film and short film, the latter sponsored by Toon Boom. "Mumue", by South Africa's Wendy Spinks and Clea Mallinson of Zeropoint Studios, won the short film prize (read our feature on the project).
To see the full DISCOP Africa 2017 winners list, visit "Variety".
- Former Disney animators launch U.S.-China studio.
TAIKO Studios is the brainchild of former Disney animator Shaofu Zhang, who worked on Disney blockbusters like "Big Hero 6", "Zootopia" and "Moana". He has hired fellow ex-House of Mouse talent Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, and the production company has announced its first project: an animated short film, "One Small Step", about Luna, a Chinese-American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. This is in keeping with TAIKO's mission of bridging Eastern and Western cultures with compelling storytelling.
Venture over to "GB Times" for more on TAIKO Studios and "One Small Step".
- "Daisy & Ollie" premieres on Cartoonito.
The animated children's television series from CHF Entertainment encourages preschool-aged kids to be curious and question the world around them. Based on an original idea by Helen Brown, "Daisy and Ollie" premiered on November 01 and was produced in Toon Boom animation software. The 52 seven-minute episodes were done at CHF Studios in Wilmslow, United Kingdom.
Watch the trailer for the series above!
- Toon Boom animation education arrives in India.
We are proud to announce the first Toon Boom Authorized Training Centre (ATC) and Certiport certifier in India, Pixels Academy. Located in Hyderabad, the booming technological and political capital of the Telangana state, it is a world-class digital media institution, with state-of-the-art training and facilities to equip students for careers in 2D and 3D animation, visual effects and gaming. This is part of Toon Boom's ongoing commitment to supporting emerging markets like India by building a global animation educational and economic ecosystem.
Read more on Pixels Academy on the Toon Boom blog.
- Need an AR or VR object? Google it!
American tech giant Google has announced Poly, a platform where people can find and distribute Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) objects. It's mission is to be an art library for those building with Google's ARCore, Apple's ARKit, or various VR development platforms. Poly is more formal the the existing Google Blocks program and hopes to facilitate AR and VR app creation, particularly for hobbyists.
Tap into Google's AR and VR objects platform on "The Verge".
- Japanese animators make much less than you think.
Anime artists in Japan earn less than minimum wage. One studio there, P.A. Works, is currently looking for an animator at 770 yen ($6.75) per hour — the equivalent of $14,040 annually, which is actually above average! According to a Japan Animation Creators Association survey of 759 animators, the mean yearly income is 1.1 million yen ($9,648).
Check out the average Japanese animator salary more on "Kotaku".
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!