Spencer Wan is a deft hand at putting the action into the animated, with credits on Castlevania and now a breathtaking new trailer for Supergiant Games’ Hades under his belt. Fans of Hades, which could be described as a ‘roguelike hack-and-slash dungeon crawler,’ have been quick to praise the trailer’s action-packed anime treatment. With challenging combat featuring colossal characters, fire-breathing demons and lightning bolts, the trailer sets the expectation that the... Read more »
Top Animation News: Klaus wins Annies, Netflix x Titmouse 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 January 24 to 31, 2020.
1. Annie Awards 2020: Christmas comes late for Klaus and Netflix
The 47th Annie Awards were last Saturday, January 25, with Netflix snatching up 19 prizes — including seven for director Sergio Pablos’ Klaus, which took home the coveted best feature honour. The streamer also snapped up top awards in the best independent feature (I Lost My Body) and best general audience TV/media production (BoJack Horseman) categories. Disney won five Annie Awards, including best TV/media production for children with Disney Mickey Mouse — produced by Mercury Filmworks with Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom Harmony.
See the full list of 47th Annie Awards winners on Variety.
2. Netflix signs overall deal with Titmouse animation studio
After collaborating on Big Mouth and the upcoming series The Midnight Gospel, Netflix has inked a multi-year overall deal with Titmouse. This will include the production of multiple original adult animated toons and gives the streamer a first look at other projects from the studio. It’s been a busy week for Titmouse — the company also announced it would be doing two seasons of Fairfax for Amazon Prime Video.
Dig into all the Netflix x Titmouse animation deal details on Deadline.
3. Animation industry mourns Kobe Bryant
Legendary former NBA star Kobe Bryant was among nine people killed in a California helicopter crash on January 26; he was 41. In his retirement, the player had become a producer — serving as EP on the Glen Keane-directed animated short Dear Basketball, which won both an Oscar and an Annie Award. Among those in the industry who honoured Bryant after his passing were Keane, Peter Ramsey, Bruce W. Smith, Lee Unkrich and many others.
Find all the animation industry Kobe Bryant tributes on Cartoon Brew.
4. Cartoon Movie spotlights European 2D animation
Cartoon Movie 2020 will be held in Bordeaux, France, from March 3 to 5 and highlights 66 animated projects. Notably, 14 of the productions are aimed at adults and many come from countries outside established hubs like France. Cartoon Movie once again shines the spotlight on Europe’s incredible 2D animated feature scene, with this year’s films including The Island, I am Helena and more.
Preview Cartoon Movie 2020 on Animation Magazine.
5. Story artist Karine Charlebois on the Feed Your Creativity animatic
Ahead of the Storyboard Pro 7 release, Toon Boom turned to story artist Karine Charlebois to create an animatic that would demonstrate the software’s new and upgraded features — including perspective guides for vertical and horizontal pans, enhanced support for video and audio, as well as an all-new drawing engine. The final product, titled Feed Your Creativity, sees a monster of creativity going around the world gorging itself (watch it here). When coming up with the video’s unique look while also flexing Storyboard Pro 7’s features, Charlebois said, “I knew that we had to go through different styles in the storyboard because this product is used by studios all around the world.“
Watch the full Karine Charlebois Feed Your Creativity BTS interview above and read more about it on the Toon Boom blog.
6. Oh deer! Bambi is getting the live-action treatment
Disney is adapting classic 2D animated film Bambi into a live-action film, albeit similarly led with CGI like last year’s The Lion King reboot. The Oscar-nominated original came out in 1942 and followed the titular young deer fending for himself and making friends in the forest following his mother’s death. Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) and Lindsey Beer (Chaos Walking) are attached to write the live-action Bambi script.
Head over to Empire for more on Disney’s live-action Bambi reboot.
7. Oscars 2020 animation race is anyone’s to win
After Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse webbed the Best Animated Feature at the 2019 Academy Awards, there has been a renewed excitement in the category — which has been won by Disney 12 out the last 18 years of its existence. The 2020 contenders from outside the House of Mouse include I Lost My Body, Missing Link, Klaus and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, two of which are 2D. “There’s such a big demand for animation with different price points and different types of audiences it gives you more opportunities. So it doesn’t just have to be CG,” said Klaus producer Jinko Gotoh.
Get up to speed with the 2020 Oscars animation race on Vanity Fair.
8. As BoJack Horseman gallops to its end, so does an era of Netflix
When BoJack Horseman left the gate in 2014, it was running alongside other ambitious early Netflix original series like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. After a lukewarm first season, the dark horse —about a depressed, alcoholic former celebrity living in Hollywood— gathered speed by its second and helped kickstart an animation renaissance both at the streamer and beyond.
Take a ride through BoJack Horseman’s incredible journey on The Verge.
9 Irish animation industry worth €180 million
Ireland’s entertainment industry generated €357 million in investment in 2019, with more than half (€180 million) coming from animated productions. Spending in the toon sector has more than quadrupled in the last decade, largely thanks to tax incentives and partnerships with streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV Plus. Among the key studios in Ireland are Boulder Media, Cartoon Saloon and Lighthouse Studios, all of whom use Toon Boom software.
Explore the Irish animation industry further on the Independent.
10. Marvel TV series Howard the Duck and Tigra & Dazzler cancelled
Marvel TV and Hulu had announced four animated series a year ago: M.O.D.O.K., Hit Monkey, Howard the Duck and Tigra & Dazzler — though it seems as though the latter two have been cancelled. Howard the Duck writer and producer Kevin Smith said, “I got a text from [fellow executive producer] Dave Willis in the morning saying, 'We got Tigra and Dazzler’d’. I called him and asked, ‘Is that what I think that means?’ And Dave said he had just got the word that there will be no Howard the Duck show. The only explanation was ‘We have no plans for this character at this time.’”
Get into the Marvel TV cancellations on Newsarama.
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