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Top Animation News: Saudi Arabia, Hot Streets, Cartoon Movie 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 January 12 to 19, 2018.

  1. Saudi Arabia ends 35-year cinema ban with… The Emoji Movie?

The first two films to be screened in Saudi Arabian theatres in 35 years were animated: The Emoji Movie and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. The features were shown at a state-run cultural centre in Jeddah, ending a decades-long ban in the conservative kingdom and paving the way for 300 cinemas to be built there by 2030, amounting to 30,000 jobs. The first public theatre could be open as early as March.

See the return of animation and cinema to Saudi Arabia on “The Telegraph”.

  1. Hot Streets is the latest adult animation produced in Harmony.

Bryan Wysol (Robot Chicken, Rick and Morty) is at the helm of Hot Streets, a paranormal investigation 2D animated series on Adult Swim. Following the adventures of FBI agent Mark Branski, his partner, his niece and her dog, the Scooby-Doo-meets-X-Files cartoon was brought to life by Burbank’s Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (approx. 25 to 30 staffers) and Salty Dog Pictures in Ireland, and was produced in Toon Boom Harmony. Hot Streets’ first season premiered on January 14 and consists of 10 quarter-hour episodes.

Investigate Hot Streets further on “Animation Magazine”.

  1. Cartoon Movie 2018 announces 60 projects.

The 20th edition of Cartoon Movie is taking place March 7 to 9 in Bordeaux, France, bringing together over 800 top animation industry professionals from around Europe and the world. Spain is this year’s highlighted country; currently, there are 60 projects from 22 nations set to be pitched: 21 concepts, 26 in development, six in production and seven sneak previews. Among the most represented states are France (18 projects), Germany (seven) and Spain (five).

Scan the full list of Cartoon Movie 2018 projects on “Animation World News”.

  1. Phil Hartman animation to be produced in Toon Boom Harmony.

Nearing the 20th anniversary of Phil Hartman’s death, an animated short is being produced based on his audio portfolio Flat TV — and it’s being made using Toon Boom Harmony. Animator Brian Lemay is collaborating with the late comedian’s brother on the piece and they are pitching it to investors. Toon Boom spoke with him about his experience thus far with Harmony, as well as his augmented training with the Animation Career Camp and Learn Portal.

Watch the Flat TV trailer above and read the full interview on the Toon Boom blog.

  1. Bob Iger, Disney CEO, sees pay drop to $36.3 million.

In a statement released last week, Bob Iger’s take-home income shrank by 17 percent in 2017 — falling by $7.4 million to $36.3 million. In 2016, the famed Walt Disney Company CEO had been named America’s fourth-highest paid CEO. While Iger’s pay has steadily declined since 2014, his near-13-year tenure at the House of Mouse has been marked by massive expansion and increased profitability.

Dig into Bob Iger’s pay numbers on “Forbes”.

  1. British Animation Awards 2018 finalists announced.

The next edition of the biennial British Animation Awards is set for March 15 and the list of nominees is out. Among the best-recognized finalists are Ethel & Ernest (based on Raymond Brigg’s graphic novel), the Roald Dahl poem-inspired Revolting Rhymes and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, adapted from Michael Rosen’s and Helen Oxenbury’s classic children’s book. The true breakout star, however, may be The Great British Bake Off’s singing cakes advertisements.

Have a look at the full list of British Animation Awards 2018 nominees on “Televisual”.

  1. Malcolm X comedic cartoon is coming.

While civil rights have become common parlance, these discussions remain largely absent from mainstream animation. Two African-American comedians, Kenan Weaver and Darren Williams, hope to change that with their Malcolm X-focused cartoon: Little Red. The series is being produced by Emmy award-winning Titmouse Inc animation studio and will take a lighter, more humorous tone, which may incite controversy. So far, Netflix, HBO, Apple, Fox and Cartoon Network have expressed interest, though nobody has picked up Little Red officially.

Learn more about Little Red on “Ozy”.

  1. Marvel Animation’s Disney XD series could be soon be over.

It’s being reported that Marvel’s Disney XD animated series may be shutting down production. These include Avengers Assemble, Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man. Animators have been informed that there may not be another order for the series after the current run of episodes is over.

Read up on the Marvel Disney XD rumours on “Comic Book Resources”.

SlumpyKev-Toon-Boom.jpgSource: @SlumpyKev

  1. @SlumpyKev is transforming cartoons into clothing.

Instagram star and New York-based artist Kevin Rosa, better known as @SlumpyKev, is emblazoning streetwear with cartoon-inspired designs. Among his references have been Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Spongebob Squarepants and The Jetsons. @SlumpyKev’s work has caught the attention of celebrities and collaborators alike, including Warner Bros.

Toon into the full interview with @SlumpyKev on “HighSnobiety”.

  1. Toei Animation to turn anime into a VR game.

Virtual Reality’s (VR) role in the future of animation is only getting stronger. This week, Toei Animation announced it would be partnering with Bandai Namco to adapt its anime pirate series One Piece into two video games: Grand Cruise, a VR experience, and World Seeker, an action-adventure title that puts players into the protagonist Luffy’s shoes. The two Japanese companies have previously collaborated on Dragon Ball Fighterz, which will be released later this month.

Press play on the Toie Animation/Bandai Namco collaboration on “Kidscreen”.

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: Adult Swim.

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