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: Isle of Dogs, Pixar’s Bao, Deadpool 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 March 23 to 30, 2018.
1. Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs already a “barks” office hit.
Tails must be wagging at Fox Searchlight; the studio’s latest stop-motion animation release, Isle of Dogs, opened with $1.57 million at 27 locations. That equated to $58,148 per screen, making the Wes Anderson-directed feature the highest screen average of 2018 so far. The film has received big buzz via both critical praise and controversy — particularly for its depiction of Japanese culture.
Sniff out more information about Isle of Dogs on “Variety”.
2. Domee Shi becomes Pixar’s first female short film director with Bao.
With The Incredibles 2 set to be one of the year’s biggest animated blockbusters, the short film that will like play ahead of it, Bao, is getting its share of the spotlight too. Written and directed by Domee Shi, it tells the story of a Chinese mother who fills the void in her empty nest when one of her dumplings comes to life. Of Pixar’s 20 shorts in 32 years, Bao is the first with a female director. Shi graduated from Toronto’s Sheridan College in 2011 and began her career at the studio as an intern and has since worked on Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Toy Story 4.
Learn more about Domee Shi and Bao on “Cartoon Brew”.
3. Donald Glover responds to Deadpool series cancellation.
It was announced earlier this week that FX and Marvel’s Deadpool animated series had been shelved, with rumours placing the blame on helmer Donald Glover’s busy schedule. (The studios later said it was due to “creative differences”.) In response, Glover released a mock 15-page script for the Deadpool series finale in which he skewers FX, Marvel and Donald Trump, along with a slew of pop culture references.
See Donald Glover’s Deadpool scripts and the rest of the story on “The Guardian”.
4. Japanese government encouraging anime industry to adopt animation software.
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held an "Anime Digital Production Introduction Guide Information Meeting” in Tokyo last month with around 100 representatives from the anime industry. Its goal is to implement industry standards for animation software, protecting work from migrating to Korea and China. METI also hopes to support efficiency, drive up profits with technology and improve conditions for anime artists, who are often underpaid and overworked.
Venture over to “Anime News Network” for more on METI’s Japanese anime plans.
5. Nomad of Nowhere was produced in Harmony.
Online video platform Rooster Teeth’s latest series Nomad of Nowhere follows a mysterious mute wanted by two women set on capturing him by any means necessary. “We use Toon Boom Harmony to animate all of our 2D shows, and the program has a lot of built-in tools for post-production like lighting and color correction, which is another thing we’ve been trying out more with the visual style of Nomad. It makes those expansive dessert shots extra artsy!” says writer-director Jordan Cwierz.
Watch the Nomad of Nowhere preview above and read Cwierz’s full interview on “Collider”.
6. Annecy 2018: TV and Commissioned Films announced.
The Annecy International Animation Festival (June 11 to 16) has released its 2018 selections in the TV Films and Commissioned Films categories. There are 23 entries in the former and 31 in the latter, with chosen submissions coming from around the world — speaking to how international and accessible the art form is becoming, largely thanks to improvements in technology, software and education.
Review the full list of Annecy 2018 selections on “Animation World News”.
7. UPDATE: Rick and Morty season four delay is a negotiations issue.
Rick and Morty fans exploded Twitter after co-creator Dan Harmon tweeted about the series’ fourth season being in limbo. He clarified things on Kevin Smith’s podcast, SModcast: “The reason we're not working on Rick and Morty right now ain't because I figured out that I don't need to impress you. It's because of a little something called contract negotiations and it's gotten complicated this time around.” Fellow co-creator Justin Roiland supported this message, tweeting blame at Turner Broadcasting. Rick and Morty is produced in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony.
Catch up on the Rick and Morty controversy on “VICE”.
8. Final Space’s Olan Rogers talks about launching an animated series and Harmony.
In an interview with “Animation Magazine”, Final Space creator and YouTube comedian Olan Rogers shared his experiences getting his first cartoon off the ground. It follows the animated series’ start on his personal video channel, partnering with Conan O’Brien’s production company and bringing it to life on TBS. “Storyboards and compositing are done at ShadowMachine here in Los Angeles, and Ottawa’s Jam Filled helps with the animation production. We are almost done with season one of the show. We use Toon Boom Harmony for the animation,” says Rogers.
Lift off to Olan Roger’s full Final Space interview on “Animation Magazine”.
9. The world really, really wants an Spice Girls animated film.
The Internet has been singing with excitement over a potential Spice Girls animated film. The supposed superhero movie will include all five members voicing their likenesses and revolve around the theme of “girl power”. It is allegedly being shopped to production partners currently. The Spice Girls have been riding a wave of 90s nostalgia, though rumours of a reunion tour have yet to manifest into reality.
Tune into the Spice Girls animated film on “Variety”.
10. Toei Animation announces a full department for Dragon Ball Z.
Japanese anime studio Toei Animation is opening a department dedicated exclusively to Dragon Ball Z. The company is doing a major restructuring and has created a group that will focus only on growing the franchise. It has also announced a Planning Division Department with a directive of developing television anime, a signal of the art form’s exploding international importance.
Discover everything about the Dragon Ball Z department on “Comicbook.com".
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: Fox Searchlight.