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Top Animation News: Final Space in Harmony, Star Wars Rebels and more!

Tags: Animation Storyboarding Trends News Top Animation News Film Television Education

Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the world of animation. This edition covers February 23 to March 02, 2018.

1. Final Space has landed on TBS — and it was produced in Harmony. 

YouTube funnyman Olan Rogers has brought his distinctive sense of humour to the small screen with Final Space on TBS — a half-hour sci-fi comedy series that follows Gary, a human serving out a five-year sentence on a lonely ship inhabited by robots and a much-desired little green alien with the power to destroy planets. The show was animated by Ottawa-based studio Jam Filled in Toon Boom Harmony and was executive produced by Conan O’Brien.

Rocket over to “The Daily Beast” for a first look and background on Final Space.

2. Dave Filoni talks the end of Star Wars Rebels.
A long, long time ago in a media landscape that feels far, far away, Lucasfilm Animation launched Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Director Dave Filoni was there at the beginning and shares his thoughts on the franchise as it draws to a close with Star Wars Rebels, noting that the final six episodes are among the best ever produced. He also says the series was storyboarded in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, using a hybrid of 2D and CG animation.

Head into hyperspace to read Dave Filoni’s Star Wars Rebels interview on “Animation Magazine”.

last_kids_on_earth_toon_boom.jpgSource: Max Brallier.

3. The Last Kids on Earth gets eaten up by Netflix.
Vancouver’s Atomic Cartoons has begun production on The Last Kids on Earth for Netflix, with a premiere set for 2019. The series will be animated entirely in Toon Boom Harmony. Based on Max Brallier’s book franchise of the same name, The Last Kids on Earth follows 13-year-old Jack Sullivan and his pubescent posse as they survive in the suburbs by playing video games, eating candy and fighting zombies following a monster apocalypse.

Make it over to “Kidscreen” for all The Last Kids on Earth details.

4. Sign up for Spectrum Productions’ 2018 summer camp.
Spectrum Productions’ mission is to encourage and support the social and creative advancements of youth on the autism spectrum. Registration for its summers camp has opened, with participants getting access to film production tools, equipment and guidance, including learning animation skills in Toon Boom Harmony. This self-expression empowers the young people with shared interests, passion and a social network.

Register now for Spectrum Production’s 2018 summer camp here.

5. Women in Animation wins Mifa’s Animation Industry Award.
Mifa, the annual market associated with Annecy International Animation Festival, has given its prestigious Animation Industry Award to Women in Animation. This is the first time the prize has gone to an organization. The Animation Industry Award honours those whose contributions have changed the business, with Women in Animation being chosen for its work towards making the male-dominated sector more equal to all — regardless of gender.

Check out “Animation World News” for more on Women in Animation’s win.

toy-story-bud-luckey-toon-boom.jpgSource: Pixar.

6. Legendary animator Bud Luckey has passed away.
Bud Luckey, the Oscar-nominated animator credited with designing Woody from Toy Story, died last Saturday after an extended illness. He was 83. Luckey had worked on a number of Pixar’s best-known titles including Cars, Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life. A multi-talented creative, he also did cartoons and composition on Sesame Street and voice acting for The Incredibles, Toy Story 3 and Winnie the Pooh.

Learn more about Bud Luckey’s life on “Entertainment Weekly”.

7. French film industry aims to be 50/50 by 2020.
Just a day before the César Awards, a group of 300 artists and executives has backed “5050 Pour 2020” (50/50 by 2020) — a mission to see more equality and diversity in the French film industry by 2020. The group behind the movement did a study and found that since 2006, only 23 percent of feature film directors in the country were female. Furthermore, they were working with budgets 36 percent lower than their male counterparts. The study also found that animation in France was dominated nearly entirely by men.

Find out more on the French film industry’s 50/50 initiative on “Deadline”.

8. Netflix’s director of anime talks 2018 plans.
When the American streaming giant called Japanese producer and entrepreneur Taito Okiura in 2016, he hung up on them. He didn’t think Netflix was serious about animation. A year later, he would be applying for the director of anime role; the game had changed. Netflix was committing big money to original content and Okiura wanted a piece of the pie. Now, with his connections, cultural expertise and creative experience, the platform is looking set to meet its goal of 30 new anime titles in 2018.

Read the full interview with Taito Okiura on “The Japan Times”.

9. This video shows the early days of animation.
Think Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was the beginning of animated cinema? Think again. The Royal Ocean Film Society’s The Early Animated Films goes all the way back to Quirino Cristiani’s 1917 animated feature El Apóstol and subsequently cycles through other early pioneers including Winsor McKay, who brought the medium keyframing, and Max and Dave Fleischer, who introduced it to rotoscoping. This laid the foundation for Disney Studios’ multiplane camera technique.

Watch The Early Animated Films above and read the full recap on “The A.V. Club”.

10. Black Panther could have been a cartoon over 20 years ago.
Larry Houston, the first black storyboard artist on a Saturday-morning cartoon, is best-known for his work on X-Men: The Animated Series as well as giving popular Marvel characters cameos on the show. Among them was African hero Black Panther in 1995, 22 years before he became a global blockbuster. This was the first time the character appeared in animation, and he later helped bring him over to the Fantastic Four series. Houston had hoped this would help launch a Black Panther solo cartoon, but the studio kept putting it.

See the story behind the failed Black Panther cartoon on “The Hollywood Reporter”.


BONUS: Animation Career Camps in Vancouver, LA this month!
A demand for original content from subscription video on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon has created a global need for talent at all levels of production. Animators can set themselves apart and be hireable today —and tomorrow—  by future-proofing their animation skill sets through specialization. Toon Boom Animation Career Camps show them how to do that and more with keynote talks from local experts, expert-led training sessions and hands-on labs, and networking opportunities.

Space is limited! Register now for our upcoming Vancouver (March 17-18) or Los Angeles (March 24-25) Animation Career Camps here.  

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!