Top Animation News is a weekly column that rounds up the biggest, best and breaking stories from the animation industry. This edition covers January 17 to 24, 2020. Read more »
Top Animation News: Klaus, Disney+ line-up, Mama K’s Team 4 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 April 12 to 19, 2019.
1. Netflix to preview Klaus at Annecy 2019
With the Annecy International Animated Film Festival (June 10 to 15) around the corner, Netflix has announced it’ll be sharing sneak peeks of two of its buzziest toon projects there: The Willoughbys and Klaus. The latter is the American streaming giant’s first original animated feature and is being produced by Spain’s The SPA Studios in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony. Its presentation, Klaus Work In Progress (Wednesday, June 12), will be hosted by director Sergio Pablos and art directors Marcin Jakubowski and Szymon Biernacki, and offer fans a detailed look at the film.
Get a sneak peek of Netflix’s Klaus preview on “Animation World Network”.
2. The Disney+ launch and line-up details are here
Last Thursday, The Walt Disney Company announced key details behind its highly anticipated Disney+ streaming service — namely, that it will launch it in the US on November 12, 2019 for $6.90 a month. Within its first year, it will host over 7,500 episode of television (including the entire The Simpsons catalogue) and 500 films including House of Mouse classic alongside new features like Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2. Additionally, Disney+ will also be home to original content including animation documentary Ink & Paint, The Phineas and Ferb Movie and Marvel’s What If…?.
See all the Disney+ launch and line-up details on “Animation Magazine”.
3. Mama K’s Team 4 is Netflix’s first African animated series
Netflix has picked up Mama K’s Team 4 — its first African animated series, following four Zambian teens who moonlight as an all-girl team of spies. The toon is being co-produced by South Africa’s Triggerfish and London-based children’s entertainment specialists Cake. Mama K’s Team 4 was discovered through the Cape Town-based studio’s Story Lab initiative in 2015, with creator Malenga Mulendema being one of the eight winners selected; she hopes to work with an entirely female team of writers.
Discover all the Mama K’s Team 4 details on “Quartz”.
4. Steven Universe wins a 2019 Peabody Award
After snagging a GLAAD Media Award last month, Steven Universe has continued its winning streak with a Peabody Award for children’s programming. Created by Rebecca Sugar, the Cartoon Network animated series was selected for its depiction of empathy — “something our real-world human society needs now more than ever”, according to the judging Peabody Board. Other notable 2019 Peabody winners include Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up comedy set Nanette and live-action series Killing Eve and Pose.
Celebrate the full list of 2019 Peabody Award winners on “The A.V. Club”.
Source: Pole IIID
5. Pole IIID Digital & Creative School becomes a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence
French post-secondary institution Pole IIID Digital & Creative School has become a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence (COE) — the seventh in the country and the latest initiative by the Montreal-based company to offer today’s top tools to tomorrow’s talent. Based in Roubaix, the school was founded in 2003 and has 585 alumni working in animation, video games, and audiovisual and digital communications. Its 2D animation program includes training in Storyboard Pro and Harmony, and covers production management, design, writing, storyboarding, directing, animation and sound.
Learn more about the Pole IIID program on the Toon Boom COE page.
6. Funan to hit select US theatres this summer
Distributor GKIDS has planned New York City and Los Angeles releases for award-winning feature film Funan (planned in Storyboard Pro and animated in Harmony). It will open on June 7 at the IFC Center in NYC and on June 14 at LA’s Laemmle Glendale. Directed by Denis Do, Funan is inspired by the story of his mother’s struggle during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.
Explore the Funan US release details further on “Animation Magazine”.
7. Big Hero 6 gets renewed for a third season
Ahead of the premiere of its 25 x 22-minute second season on May 7, Disney has already renewed Big Hero 6 for a third run. Continuing on the eponymous Pixar feature film’s storyline —following young tech genius Hiro, his marshmallow-esque robot Baymax and their super-suited pals— the 2D animated series is produced in Storyboard Pro and Harmony.
Leap into all the Big Hero 6 season three details on “Kidscreen”.
8. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! takes an animation adventure
Disney XD series Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! will embark on a four-episode story arc that follows the titular team as they travel through a variety of dimensions — and animation styles. Launching with two back-to-back episodes on May 5 and another pair on May 12, the “Black Vortex” saga will see the galactic group looking like children's book illustrations, 8-bit video games, motion comic books, claymation, Golden Age toons and traditional CG.
Blast off to “CBR” to get a sneak peek of the Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! “Black Vortex” animation styles.
9. 20th Century Fox TV orders animated comedy Gerald’s World
In the ongoing race for original content, 20th Century Fox TV has been investing heavily in animation — with the latest series being Gerald’s World from DJ, producer and actor Dillon Francis and writer Spencer Porter (Family Guy, We Bare Bears). The toon will be based on Gerald, Francis’ piñata best friend who may be the second coming of the Great Gatsby, Tyler Durden or both. The character is a fan favourite on the DJ’s social media channels.
Toon into the Gerald World details on “Deadline”.
Source: Cartoon Brew
10. A painting inspired by The Simpsons sold for $14.8 million
Lucrative American artist Kaws’ (real name Brian Donnelly) work is often inspired by animated and children's characters, with his painting “The KAWS Album” selling for an astounding $14.8 million at Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong earlier this month. A parody of The Simpsons’ The Yellow Album, a 1998 collection of original tunes sung by the Springfield gang, the piece depicts characters from the series with the Xs for eyes — one the creative’s stylistic signatures. Two more of Kaws’ works inspired by the show were also sold at the auction for $2.7 million and $2.6 million, respectively.
Catch up on the Kaws’ The Simpsons auction information on “Cartoon Brew”.
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: Netflix