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Top Animation News: Lighthouse Studios, Jamaica, Reboot 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 February 16 to 23, 2018.

  1. Lighthouse Studios is growing and hiring.

Having just celebrated its first birthday, Lighthouse Studios is already deep into production on its premiere project: an animated series for Amazon called Bug Diaries created in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and Harmony. Born of a collaboration between Mercury Filmworks and Cartoon Saloon, the Irish studio has already grown to a team of 78 — and is looking to hire more.

Catch the full interview with Lighthouse Studios’ team and see what roles it needs to fill on the Toon Boom blog.

disney_snow_white_toonboom.jpgSource: Disney Enterprises.

  1. Disney’s classic animations may soon be lost forever.

Many of Disney’s best-known classics, including iconic pieces like Alice in Wonderland and Snow White, are literally decaying and may disappear entirely. The hand-painted cels used to make the films are cracking and distorting with age. Britain’s The Getty Conservation Institute is working with Disney to try and save them.

Dig into Disney’s dilemma on “BBC”.

  1. Jamaican government invests $1 billion into youth animation training.

The Caribbean nation has allocated over $1 billion to the Youth Employment in Digital and Creative Industries Project, with a strong focus on animation. This will improve young people’s employability and opportunities through training programs and building educational institutions, developing an Animation Policy for Jamaica and providing business development support to existing and potential local companies, among other initiatives.

See how else the Jamaican government is supporting animation on “Jamaica Observer”.

  1. The Reboot reboot trailer is here.

Netflix has released the first look at its redux of classic Canadian CGI franchise Reboot — and it has people talking. A mixture of live-action and animation, the new series, Reboot: The Guardian Code, is a decided departure from its predecessor. It will see the return of Bob, Dot, Enzo and Hexadecimal (voiced by the original actors), with all episodes available to stream as of March 30, 2018.

Watch the Reboot: The Guardian Code trailer above and read more about it on “Den of Geek”.

  1. Livestream the Crunchyroll Anime Awards this weekend.

Video streaming platform Twitch will be showing the Crunchyroll Anime Awards live this Saturday, February 24, at 7:00 p.m.. Ahead of the event, it will also be offering a 2017 anime marathon for U.S. residents including last year’s new series like The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid or Kemono Friends, among others. Crunchyroll and Twitch have also come up with a video player extension that will allow viewers to vote on who they think will win in each category.

Tune into all the other details of Twitch’s Crunchyroll Anime Awards livestream on “Tubefilter”.

  1. The Glassmaker is a Studio Ghibli-inspired Pakistani anime.

Pakistan-based production company Mano Animation Studios is being lauded as the country’s first hand-drawn animation studio. Its first feature, The Glassmaker, is inspired by the Japanese anime style of Studio Ghibli and was launched by founder Usman Riaz’s wildly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016. It is set for a 2020 release, which is coincidentally the same year as Hayao Miyazaki’s final film How Do You Live?.

Get a first look at The Glassmaker above and see Mano Animation Studios’ story on “Vice”.

  1. Lana Castleman departing “Kidscreen”.

The Canadian children-oriented publication’s editor and content director will be leaving after 14 years there. Castleman was also in charge of the outlet’s event programming including Kidscreen Summit 2018, where Toon Boom launched Storyboard Pro 6 earlier this month. She will be moving into a marketing and communications role at growing Toronto-based agency ChizComm.

Read Lana Castleman’s final editorial on “Kidscreen”.

  1. Disney is bringing back The Muppets on its streaming platform.

Speaking of streaming platform reboots, the House of Mouse will reportedly be reviving The Muppets for its planned Netflix rival. The last time it tried to bring back Kermit and co. was in a critically panned series in 2016. Disney’s streaming platform will also be home to a variety of other family-friend content including Marvel films, a live-action Star Wars show and a reboot of High School Musical.

Discover what else Disney will be streaming on “The Hollywood Reporter”.

  1. Monster Hunt 2 is living proof of China’s animation ambitions.

It’s no secret that China’s animation industry is growing. Monster Hunt 2 screened last weekend at the Berlinale festival, having just taken in $190 million at its home country’s box office. “Chinese animation is making great progress,” declared director Raman Hui. Toon Boom knows that, having recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding alongside the Canadian and Chinese governments to help develop the industry there.

Venture over to “Variety” to learn more about China’s literal ‘toon boom.

  1. South Korean animated productions operate on (comparably) tiny budgets.

Hollywood animated features have an average production cost of $114.3 million; by comparison, their Korean counterparts operate on a budget that’s just 5 percent of that (just over $5 million). Domestic cartoons in the East Asian nation account for just 0.6 percent of its homegrown content market. South Korea largely produces animation for Western productions, though high-quality work aimed at its native population could be a huge opportunity.

Find out more about Korea’s domestic animation market on “BusinessKorea”.

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: ShoutFactoryTV

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