Category: animation news

Richard Williams, author of “The Animator’s Su…

Richard Williams, author of “The Animator’s Survival Kit” and animation director of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” died on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. 

Imogen Sutton, Williams’ wife, shared this tribute to Williams and his fans through his Twitter account this weekend:

“Mo here, Dick’s wife & long time collaborator. We’ve been blown away by the outpouring of love & affection from friends and fans all over the world. Dick would have been knocked out by the incredible recognition for him and his craft. Dick’s legacy lies in all his student’s work.”

The 86-year-old animator also created “The Thief and the Cobbler,” a personal project whose decades of work — he began animating the film in the 1960s — were nearly undone in 1995 when financial troubles caused the unfinished film to be recut into two versions without Williams’ involvement. A “recobbled cut” of the film as it appears to have been intended lives on Youtube (at this link). 

More about Williams’ “Animator’s Survival Kit” in all its forms: video, book and e-book, can be found at his website. 

– Courtney (harmonicacave)

At least 33 Believed Dead in Arson Attack on J…

At least 33 Believed Dead in Arson Attack on Japan’s Kyoto Animation:

Upsetting news out of Japan: An arsonist attacked anime studio Kyoto Animation on the morning of Thursday, July 18, 2019, reportedly killing more than 30 people. This is the deadliest attack in modern Japanese history. 

Kyoto Animation is a prolific studio, whose credits include “Sound! Euphonium,” “Liz and the Blue Bird,” “Violet Evergarden,” “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid,” and (a personal favorite) “Nichijo.” 

Localization partner Sentai Filmworks established a fundraiser to support the KyoAni team, which raised $443,043 in its first eight hours. 

– Courtney ( @harmonicacave )

Sneak Peak of the Brand New Looney Tunes Carto…

Sneak Peak of the Brand New Looney Tunes Cartoons

The Looney Tunes are back in action — no, not that “Back in Action” — in Warner Bros. Animation’s latest series of shorts.

“Looney Tunes Cartoons” became yet another impressive reveal at Annecy this year, as WAG premiered several shorts before other films and in the group’s own presentation. 

The excerpt above is from “Dynamite Dance,” one of the screened shorts, directed by David Gemmill. Gemmill brings experience from Warner rival Disney’s ultra-successful “Mickey Mouse Shorts” as a writer and board artist for the Mickey, Donald and Goofy episode “Flipperboobootosis” (watch here) — a clear influence for this Looney Tunes revival, which also leans heavily on the slapstick comedy of the Tunes’ early days.

While Cartoon Network’s recent “Looney Tunes Show” (2011) received three Emmy nominations, Mickey Mouse Shorts have seven Emmy wins since 2013. Will these cartoons be the modern Looney ticket for WAG? 

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“Looney Tunes Cartoons” executive producer Pete Browngardt and supervising producer Alex Kirwan gave Annecy guests an inside look into production on Wednesday, adding that each season of the show will feature 1,000 minutes of new animation in short, digestible segments.

Christopher and Courtney 

Netflix Orders New Adult Animated Series From …

Netflix Orders New Adult Animated Series From ‘Gravity Falls’ Duo (Exclusive):

Gravity Falls and Pixar alum Shion Takeuchi takes the helm of her own conspiracy theory show with Netflix original “Inside Job”

The Hollywood Reporter announced today that Takeuchi and Alex Hirsch are executive producing the 20-episode animated “workplace comedy” that follows one woman’s struggle to keep conspiracy theories — all of which are true in this universe — a secret in the “shadow government.”

Netflix, who teased Takeuchi and Hirsch’s previously unnamed project in this video last year, are reportedly working on more than a dozen animated projects currently, including feature films “Jacob and the Sea Beast” by Big Hero 6 director Chris Williams and “Klaus” by Sergio Pablos (“Despicable Me” creator). 

Other upcoming animated series include “Battle Kitty,” “Hoops,” “Trash Truck,” “Tuca & Bertie,” “Q-Force” and Jorge Gutierrez’s “Maya and the Three.”

– Courtney (harmonicacave)

Meet the filmmakers behind Disney-Pixar’s firs…

Meet the filmmakers behind Disney-Pixar’s first Spark Short, “Purl,” streaming now on YouTube. 

Director Kristen Lester and Gillian Libbert-Duncan created the first of Pixar’s new series of short films, ultimately destined for Disney’s upcoming subscription streaming service, Disney+ (Disney Plus). 

According to Slash Film, a set of three shorts — “Purl” (below), “Smash and Grab” and “Kitbull” premiered at Disney’s El Capitan theater in Los Angeles in January in tandem with a one-week re-release of 1989 Disney classic “The Little Mermaid,” and are now released on Youtube on Mondays. 

Pixar’s YouTube channel also offers a behind-the-scenes view with minute interviews with the creators of each short, released in two videos on the same day as the shorts. 

“Smash and Grab” is the latest short, released on Feb. 11, 2019, a week following Purl. “Kitbull” arrives this Monday, Feb. 18 on the Disney-Pixar YouTube channel.

– Courtney ( harmonicacave )

Nickelodeon to create animated “Loud House” & …

This deal includes one original animated film each for Nickelodeon shows “The Loud House” and “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” No release date for either film has yet been announced.

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A “Loud House” film has been in the works for years, but recently Viacom partner Paramount quietly removed it from its release calendar — an action now explained in the Hollywood Reporter’s announcement of the Nick/Netflix collaboration. 

In its third season, “The Loud House” will be joined by spinoff TV show “The Casagrandes” later in 2019 on Nickelodeon. No news of episodes of either show appearing on Netflix, but you can read more on the Ronnie Anne-starring spinoff here.

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“Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is one of Nickelodeon’s newest 2D shows, and this would be the show’s first original movie, despite the numerous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films in circulation since the 1990s. 

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– Courtney ( @harmonicacave​ )

Nickelodeon to create animated “Loud House” & …

This deal includes one original animated film each for Nickelodeon shows “The Loud House” and “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” No release date for either film has yet been announced.

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A “Loud House” film has been in the works for years, but recently Viacom partner Paramount quietly removed it from its release calendar — an action now explained in the Hollywood Reporter’s announcement of the Nick/Netflix collaboration. 

In its third season, “The Loud House” will be joined by spinoff TV show “The Casagrandes” later in 2019 on Nickelodeon. No news of episodes of either show appearing on Netflix, but you can read more on the Ronnie Anne-starring spinoff here.

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“Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is one of Nickelodeon’s newest 2D shows, and this would be the show’s first original movie, despite the numerous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films in circulation since the 1990s. 

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– Courtney ( @harmonicacave​ )

Other Animation Winners (Shorts, VR & Game…

A major animation industry award show established under the efforts of voice actress June Foray, the Annie Awards celebrated its 46th year — and several winners — this weekend.

Some highlights: 

  • Speaking of Mickey — “Disney Mickey Mouse” has won at least one Annie each year since its introduction in 2014, this year tying its average with 3 wins.  
  • Amazon had a less thrilling night, with 12 nominations in TV/broadcast but zero wins (nominations for “Tumble Leaf,” “Little Big Awesome,” “Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny,” “Niko & the Sword of Light,” “Pete the Cat” and “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle”)

Click below the cut for the list of winners by number of awards; click here for the full list of nominees.

Feature Winners

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (Sony Pictures Animation)

  1. Best Animated Feature; 
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production; 
  3. Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated Feature Production; 
  4. Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production; 
  5. Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production; 
  6. Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production; 
  7. Outstanding Achievement for Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

Mary Poppins Returns (Walt Disney Studios)

  1. Best Animated Special Production;
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production

Incredibles 2 (Pixar Animation Studios) 

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production;
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

Mirai (Studio Chizu):

  1. Best Animated Independent Feature

Ralph Breaks the Internet (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Feature Production

Television & Broadcast Winners

Hilda (Hilda Productions Limited)

  1. Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children;
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production;
  3. Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Disney Mickey Mouse (Disney Television Animation)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production; 
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production; 
  3. Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

BoJack Horseman (Tornante Productions, LLC for Netflix)

  1. Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production; 
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Age of Sail (Google Spotlight Stories)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Ask the Storybots (JibJab Bros. Studios for Netflix)

  1. Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children

Big Hero 6: The Series (Disney Television Animation)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure (Disney Television Animation)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Tales of Arcadia: Trollhunters (DreamWorks Animation Television)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Other Animation Winners (Shorts, VR & Games)

Weekends (past lives productions)

  1. Best Animated Short Subject

Crow: The Legend (Baobab Studios)

  1. Best Virtual Reality Production

Greenpeace ‘There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom’ (Passion Animation Studios)

  1. Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial

Best Friend (GOBELINS school)

  1. Best Student Film

GRIS (Nomada Studio)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Video Game

– Courtney (harmonicacave)

Other Animation Winners (Shorts, VR & Game…

A major animation industry award show established under the efforts of voice actress June Foray, the Annie Awards celebrated its 46th year — and several winners — this weekend.

Some highlights: 

  • Speaking of Mickey — “Disney Mickey Mouse” has won at least one Annie each year since its introduction in 2014, this year tying its average with 3 wins.  
  • Amazon had a less thrilling night, with 12 nominations in TV/broadcast but zero wins (nominations for “Tumble Leaf,” “Little Big Awesome,” “Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny,” “Niko & the Sword of Light,” “Pete the Cat” and “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle”)

Click below the cut for the list of winners by number of awards; click here for the full list of nominees.

Feature Winners

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (Sony Pictures Animation)

  1. Best Animated Feature; 
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production; 
  3. Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated Feature Production; 
  4. Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production; 
  5. Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production; 
  6. Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production; 
  7. Outstanding Achievement for Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

Mary Poppins Returns (Walt Disney Studios)

  1. Best Animated Special Production;
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production

Incredibles 2 (Pixar Animation Studios) 

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production;
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

Mirai (Studio Chizu):

  1. Best Animated Independent Feature

Ralph Breaks the Internet (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Feature Production

Television & Broadcast Winners

Hilda (Hilda Productions Limited)

  1. Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children;
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production;
  3. Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Disney Mickey Mouse (Disney Television Animation)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production; 
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production; 
  3. Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

BoJack Horseman (Tornante Productions, LLC for Netflix)

  1. Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production; 
  2. Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Age of Sail (Google Spotlight Stories)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Ask the Storybots (JibJab Bros. Studios for Netflix)

  1. Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children

Big Hero 6: The Series (Disney Television Animation)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure (Disney Television Animation)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Tales of Arcadia: Trollhunters (DreamWorks Animation Television)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Other Animation Winners (Shorts, VR & Games)

Weekends (past lives productions)

  1. Best Animated Short Subject

Crow: The Legend (Baobab Studios)

  1. Best Virtual Reality Production

Greenpeace ‘There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom’ (Passion Animation Studios)

  1. Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial

Best Friend (GOBELINS school)

  1. Best Student Film

GRIS (Nomada Studio)

  1. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Video Game

– Courtney (harmonicacave)

2019 Oscar Nominations in Animation

This morning, the Academy Award nominees were announced (full list here). Here is how animation stacked up in the list:

Best Animated Feature Film: 

  • “Incredibles 2” — Disney/Pixar’s hit sequel to their original family superhero film
  • “Isle of Dogs” — Director Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion adventure follows a Japanese boy on a mission to rescue his dog.
  • “Mirai” — Japanese import with stunning 2D animation and a charming story of family and time-travel, by director Mamoru Hosoda
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet” — Walt Disney Animation continues the tale of Wreck-It Ralph with a lot of laughs and heart
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” — Sony proves how far it can go with the proper push, with incredible comics-inspired animation and Spider-Man like you’ve never seen him. 

Honestly, I’m having a hard time picking the best film from this list. All my favorite animated films from last year are represented, proving again what a great year 2018 was in animation. These films are funny and inspiring and beautiful. LOOK AT THEM!

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ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • Animal Behaviour” — The National Film Board of Canada presents David Fine & Alison Snowden’s short about "a group therapy session, with animals.”
  • “Bao” — A “culinary fable” from Pixar’s first female director of an animated short, Domee Shi, with inspiration from her Chinese immigrant parents’ protective style of love.
  • “Late Afternoon” — Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon’s exploration into a woman’s experience with memory loss, directed by Louise Bagnall. (Watch in full here). 
  • “One Small Step” — Newcomer TAIKO Studios’ first project “follows the story of Luna, a Chinese American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut,” from Disney veteran animators. (Watch in full here).
  • Weekends” — This hand-animated personal project by Pixar animators follows a young boy “shuffling between the homes of his recently divorced parents” in 1980s Toronto. 

What stands out the most in this year’s lineup of animated short films must be how deeply personal the stories remain. Another great aspect of these films? The character designs: 

Congratulations to all the nominated films!

– Courtney ( @harmonicacave )