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: Reel FX, Daytime Emmys, Google VR 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 April 27 to May 04, 2018.
1. Reel FX will be creating 400 animation jobs in Montreal.
Texas-based animation company Reel FX will be opening a new studio in Toon Boom’s hometown of Montreal. It will be hiring 400 people between now and the end of 2020, at which point the Canadian office will be home to over half its staff. Reel FX already has studios in Dallas and Hollywood, and considered Toronto, Vancouver and Atlanta for its third location. Montreal won because of its cost of living, skilled workforce, animation industry and educational ecosystem, and cultural richness – as well as generous tax incentives from the Quebec government.
Venture over to “Montreal Gazette” for more on the Reel FX Canadian expansion.
2. DreamWorks Animation and Netflix have a good night at the 2018 Daytime Emmys.
Last Friday, the 45th Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held in Pasadena and the biggest animation winners of the evening were DreamWorks Animation Television (DWA) and Netflix. The streaming platform took home eight prizes, with five coming from projects produced by DWA: Trollhunters, All Hail King Julien: Exiled and Dinotrux.
See the full list of 2018 Daytime Emmy cartoon winners on “Animation Magazine”.
3. Toon Boom to host FIVE free Harmony webinars.
From May 18 to June 08, the world’s leading 2D animation software will be hosting five free Harmony webinars aimed at helping professional animators upgrade their skills. Presented by experienced trainers like YouTube star Stylus Rumble, Tony Ross and Chris Cartledge, the series will cover topics like creating a production cut-out rig, particle emitters, drawing and more. For those who are more IRL than URL, Toon Boom will be hosting three free Animation Career Camps in Paris (May 05 to 06 at LISAA École d'Animation et Jeu Vidéo), Dublin (May 12 to 13, The Guinness Enterprise Centre) and London (June 30 to July 1, 01zero-one).
Read about and register for the free Harmony webinars on the Toon Boom blog.
4. Google Doodle ventures into animated VR to honour George Méliès.
On May 03, Google paid tribute to legendary French filmmaker George Méliès with its first-ever homepage Doodle to use Virtual Reality (VR). Google Spotlight Stories, Nexus Studios, Google Arts & Culture and Cinematheque Francaise collaborated on the piece, which is titled Back to the Moon – itself an homage to the director and illusionist’s iconic short A Trip to the Moon. The animated VR Doodle has a simple storyline designed to be accessible to audiences who may have never used 360-degree video.
Experience Back to the Moon above and get 360 degrees of details on “Engadget”.
5. LISAA invests in 2D animation education and Harmony.
L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués (LISAA) is a university in Paris, France with one of the country’s leading animation programs. As the French industry continues to rapidly rise, the school is producing more students to meet studios’ growing needs. LISAA’s 2D animation program has swollen to four classes and recently switched from TV Paint to Toon Boom Harmony to better help graduates get jobs.
Learn all about LISAA’s 2D animation program on the Toon Boom blog.
6. Boxing game Pato Box was produced in Toon Boom software.
Pato Box is a new boxing video game from a Mexican collective of independent designers – and they used Toon Boom software to bring it to life. Available now on Steam, players are thrust into the role of an anthropomorphic duck who must fight his way through various bosses in the evil Deathflock corporation. Pato Box’s style is decidedly neo noir, with a black-and-white aesthetic reminiscent of Sin City.
Plug into the Pato Box details on “PC Gamer”.
7. Mission Force One has the first kids’ TV premiere in space.
One small step for man, one giant leap for animation. The third season installment of Miles from Tomorrowland, titled Mission Force One, had screened its latest episode “The Space Station Situation” on the International Space Station (ISS) – marking the first-ever kids’ television premiere in space. The Disney Junior cartoon saw its characters head up to the ISS to help NASA and international astronauts, who voiced themselves.
Head over to “Kidscreen” for the out-of-this-world Mission Force One details.
8. Japanese anime is more popular than ever internationally.
The Association of Japanese Animators released an English-language version of its Anime Industry Report 2017, showing industry trends from 2016. It found the market grew for the third year in a row, with a 10 percent jump over 2015. Interestingly, the Japanese industry itself didn’t see huge benefits as most of the growth came from overseas consumption, which has risen by 172 percent since 2013 – largely in China followed by South Korea, Taiwan and the United States. Because foreign licensing companies receive the revenue, Nippon producers don’t see a huge financial increase.
For more on the growing Japanese anime market, head over to “Comicbook.com”.
Source: Gramercy Pictures.
9. No major American animated feature has been directed by a woman in two years.
Ratchet & Clank was the last major animated release in the United States to be either directed or co-directed by woman. It was released on April 29, 2016. Since then, 31 animated features have come out in the US – all directed by men. There are no plans for any female-led cartoon films in the next year either, with the next being 2019’s Everest and Frozen 2. Additionally, of the 31 male directors from the last two years, the vast majority are white.
Dig into the directorial disparity on “Cartoon Brew”.
10. First look: Studio Ghibli theme park set to open in 2022.
Legendary anime producer Studio Ghibli has announced a new 200-hectare, one-of-a-kind amusement park in Japan that will take its classic films like My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle from the screen to the green – integrated with the surrounding nature. The studio has given the public a first look at the designs through beautifully illustrated renderings. It will be on the grounds of the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park near Nagoya. Eager Studio Ghibli fans can expect to be spirited away by 2022.
Get your first look at the Studio Ghibli theme park on “Dezeen”.
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: Studio Ghibli.