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Top Animation News: Emmy 2018 nominees, The Dragon Prince 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 July 06 to 13, 2018.

1. Emmy 2018 nominees take 2D animation to the top. 

The nominations for the 70th Annual Emmy Awards were announced this past Thursday. With 112 nods, Netflix cemented its critical and content dominance by beating out perennial favourite HBO. Turner-owned channels Cartoon Network and Adult Swim had the most toon-related nominations (four and two, respectively) ahead of Disney XD and Fox. In the Animated Program category, every series was 2D animated, with fan-favourite Rick and Morty receiving its first-ever Emmy nomination.

See the full list of Emmy 2018 animation and VFX nominees on “Animation Magazine”.

2. Coming soon: Netflix’s The Dragon Prince.
Netflix announced its upcoming animated series The Dragon Prince on Twitter this week. It is being helmed by Avatar: The Last Airbender writer Aaron Ehasz and Uncharted game director Justin Richmond. The Dragon Prince follows two human princes who become allies with an elfin assassin sent to kill them and quest to bring peace to their battling kingdoms. The series is being produced by MWM and will have a sneak peek at Comic-Con on July 21 ahead of its September premiere.

Quest for more information about The Dragon Prince on “Deadline”. 

3. Jennifer Lee brings female empowerment to Walt Disney Animation.
A month after it was announced Jennifer Lee (Frozen) and Pete Docter (Inside Out) would be jointly replacing John Lasseter at Walt Disney Animation and Pixar respectively, the former is already positioning the House of Mouse as a more female-friendly place. The Dream Big Princess campaign will help 21 women from around the world create digital shorts telling the stories of inspiring female role models. Disney will pair the aspiring filmmakers with “an inspirational interview subject” and donate a dollar to non-profit Girl Up for every like and share the videos get on social media, with a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $1 million.

Watch Jennifer Lee explain Dream Big Princess above or read the full article on “Fast Company”.

4. Bardel Entertainment appoints Rick Mischel as new CEO.
Vancouver-based service studio Bardel Entertainment, behind hit series Rick and Morty (produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony) among many others, has named industry veteran Rick Mischel as its new CEO. He will replace cofounders Delna Bhesania and Barry Ward, who launched the company 31 years ago. Most recently, Mischel was at Sony Pictures Animation where he led an initiative to develop existing intellectual properties beyond features, secure new projects for the big screen and executive produced two series based on films: Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Read up on Rick Mischel and Bardel Entertainment on “Cartoon Brew”.

Celebrity_Animal_Encounters_Toon_Boom

Source: Animal Planet.

5. Animal Planet green-lights Celebrity Animal Encounters.
With subscription streaming platforms surging forward with animated content, television broadcasters are jumping to compete. Animal Planet is the latest with the announcement of its star-studded new series, Celebrity Animal Encounters. The show will feature names like Kristen Bell, Al Roker, Danny Trejo, Whitney Cummings and more as they recount some furry situations they’ve gotten into, with those then being depicted in 2D animation by Octopie Studios. Celebrity Animal Encounters originally launched with four shorter episodes on Facebook Watch that drew nearly 4 million views. The series will premiere on July 27.

Sniff out more Celebrity Animal Encounter info on “The Hollywood Reporter”.

6. Incredibles 2 is now the highest-grossing animated film ever.
Pixar’s superhero sequel Incredibles 2 has taken over $516 million at the North American box office, making it officially the highest-grossing animated film of all time. The position was previously held by fellow Pixar picture Finding Dory. Incredibles 2 is also the first animated feature to cross the $500 million line domestically before adjusting for inflation.

Soar into the Incredibles 2 box office info on “Box Office Mojo”.

7. More brands are connecting with kid audiences on YouTube.
Studies show YouTube is both the most popular streaming platform and beloved brand among young children. Companies hoping to target and connect with this group should consider animated content marketing on the video site. Dr. Panda, a Chinese educational game developer, enlisted Anikey Animation to bring its branded characters to life through YouTube cartoon series Dr. Panda Toto Time (produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony) — with over 1.4 million views to date.

Learn about how Anikey Animation created Dr. Panda Toto Time on the Toon Boom blog.

8. SAG-AFTRA makes noise for voice actors.
Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have set July 18 as the deadline for a strike authorization vote as it continues negotiating for fair scale wages and residuals for animated work produced for streaming platforms. Union president Gabrielle Carteris stated in an open letter to members: “Our animation community finds itself in the fight of its life, working under expired contracts that do not provide for scale wages or residuals in the fastest-growing area of their work: Animated programs made for subscription-based streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon.”

Search through the SAG-AFTRA strike details on “Animation World News”.

9. An animated Wizard of Oz film from Toto’s perspective is coming.
For those tired of reboots and sequels, the dog days are far from over. Warner Animation Group announced this week it would be taking audiences back to Oz, this time through an animated feature from the perspective of Dorothy’s pooch, Toto. An adaptation of the book “Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz”, the film script is being written by Mark Burton (Madagascar), with Jared Stern (LEGO Batman) and Winsor Yuan (Lost Boy Found) set to executive produce.

Go for a W-A-L-K down the Yellow Brick Road on “Comic Book Resources".

10. Penrose Studios raises $10 million to make VR an everyday reality. 
Penrose Studios, a Virtual Reality (VR) animation company, has raised $10 million from celebrities like will.i.am and Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff alongside more corporate investors like Korea Telecom. The company has become a staple on the festival circuit, though it (and the technology as a whole) has yet to crack the mainstream market. Penrose Studios and its investors are hoping high-quality, cinema-like experiences will encourage more consumers to adopt VR.

Immerse yourself in Penrose Studios’ VR business on “CNET”.  

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: Adult Swim.

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