Animation Magazine - - Letter Editor From The -

‘It came from sort of no expectations. That it did hap­pen, and that we got to make this un­der the radar com­pletely on our own terms is really one of the high­est points of my pro­fes­sional life.’

‘Ano­ma­l­isa’ Wins Venice Grand Jury Prize, Dis­trib Deal with Para­mount

The stop-mo­tion an­i­mated film Ano­ma­l­isa won the Grand Jury Prize at the pres­ti­gious Venice Film Fes­ti­val and wowed au­di­ences at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, making it an im­me­di­ate awards-sea­son con­tender.

The film’s re­cep­tion earned it a deal with Para­mount, which is plan­ning a Dec. 30 release in New York and Los An­ge­les to qual­ify for Os­car con­sid­er­a­tion.

Cur­zon Ar­ti­fi­cial Eye picked dis­tri­bu­tion rights for the United King­dom.

Ano­ma­l­isa is the first an­i­mated project for award-win­ning screen­writer Char­lie Kauf­man, who wrote Be­ing John Malkovich and wrote and di­rected Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind.

The an­i­ma­tion ex­per­tise came from Kauf­man’s co-di­rec­tor, Duke John­son, whose di­rec­to­rial cred­its in­clude Moral Orel, Mary Shel­ley’s Franken­hole, Be­forel Orel and the 2010 an­i­mated Christ­mas episode of Com­mu­nity.

The film is pro­duced by Star­burns In­dus­tries and Snoot En­ter­tain­ment and was par­tially funded through Kick­starter. Judge Upholds Amended VFX And An­i­ma­tion An­titrust Law­suit

A fed­eral judge has re­jected vi­sual­ef­fects and an­i­ma­tion com­pa­nies’ mo­tion to dis­miss a class-ac­tion law­suit claim­ing the com­pa­nies con­spired to sup­press wages and agree not to poach each other’s employees.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge Lucy Koh said the ev­i­dence in an amended com­plaint sug­gests “a plau­si­ble in­fer­ence” that the stu­dios — DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion, Sony Pic­tures, Blue Sky Stu­dios, Dis­ney, Lu­cas­film and Pixar — had agreed not to so­licit each oth­ers’ work­ers, shared in­for­ma­tion about pay prac­tices and

took steps to keep se­cret the agree­ment.

The orig­i­nal com­plaint — filed by light­ing artist Ge­or­gia Cano, char­ac­ter ef­fects artist Robert Nitsch and pro­duc­tion en­gi­neer David Went­worth — ac­cuses the stu­dios of sup­press­ing wages since 2004 by re­frain­ing from cold-call­ing employees and shar­ing news of job of­fers.

Koh dis­missed the law­suit in April, partly be­cause many claims were brought too late, but said the plain­tiffs could file an amended com­plaint within 30 days. Her most-re­cent rul­ing states the amended com­plaint suf­fi­ciently al­leges stu­dios tried to fraud­u­lently con­ceal their con­spir­acy and that the statute of lim­i­ta­tions could there­fore be put on hold. Justin Roi­land Tweets Tease New Fox Se­ries ‘So­lar Op­po­sites’

Rick and Morty co-cre­ator Justin Roi­land an­nounced via Twit­ter that he has a new an­i­mated se­ries ti­tled So­lar Op­po­sites in de­vel­op­ment at Fox.

In ad­di­tion to a char­ac­ter sheet, Roi­land tweeted a few sto­ry­board-style sketches and ex­plained the se­ries’ premise: A fam­ily of aliens es­capes its doomed home world and ends up on Earth liv­ing in the sub­urbs.

The tweets prompted an un­happy but even­tu­ally re­signed re­sponse from Roi­land’s part­ner on the show, Mike McMa­han.

It’s not clear what stage the show is in at Fox or when it might air. But given the suc­cess of Rick and Morty, fans are al­ready pay­ing at­ten­tion and wait­ing for the new show.

Over the Gar­den Wall ‘Gar­den Wall,’ ‘Ad­ven­ture Time’ Win Top An­i­ma­tion Emmy Awards

It was a good night for Car­toon Net­work at the Cre­ative Arts Emmy Awards, as the net­work won the Out­stand­ing An­i­mated Pro­gram for its Over the Gar­den Wall minis­eries and Out­stand­ing Short-For­mat An­i­mated Pro­gram for Ad­ven­ture Time.

The full list of win­ners and nom­i­nees in an­i­ma­tion and VFX cat­e­gories fol­lows:

• Out­stand­ing Char­ac­ter Voice-Over Per­for­mance: Hank Azaria for The Simp­sons “The Princess Guide”

• Out­stand­ing An­i­mated Pro­gram: The Gar­den Wall

• Out­stand­ing Short-For­mat An­i­mated Pro­gram: Ad­ven­ture Time

• Out­stand­ing Spe­cial Vis­ual Ef­fects In A Sup­port­ing Role: Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story: Freak Show • Ed­ward Mor­drake, Part 2

• Out­stand­ing Spe­cial Vis­ual Ef­fects: Game Of Thrones • The Dance Of Dragons Hayao Miyazaki Plans Ja­pan Theme Park Based on Stu­dio Ghi­bli’s works

Pseudo-re­tired an­i­ma­tion leg­end Hayao Miyazaki has an­nounced plans to cre­ate a for­est re­treat for chil­dren.

Us­ing lo­cal in­dus­tries and ex­clu­sively lo­cal prod­ucts, the na­ture park project will re­port­edly be in­spired by the glob­ally beloved works of Stu­dio Ghi­bli — the ac­claimed pro­duc­tion house Miyazaki co-founded with Isao Taka­hata, Toshio Suzuki and Yasuyoshi Tokuma in 1985.

This surely mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence is set to open to the pub­lic in 2018 and will be lo­cated in the midst of vir­gin for­est on Kume Is­land (Kumejima), about 55 miles from Ok­i­nawa. An­i­ma­tion Guild Rat­i­fies 3-Year Con­tract with Stu­dio Man­age­ment

Mem­bers of An­i­ma­tion Guild have rat­i­fied a new three-year con­tract with man­age­ment with an over­whelm­ing voter ma­jor­ity.

The deal with the Al­liance of Mo­tion Pic­ture and Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­ers in­cludes 3 per­cent an­nual in­creases in con­tract min­i­mums, zero roll­backs and 10 per­cent pen­sion in­creases for those re­tir­ing af­ter Aug. 1 of this year.

The agree­ment takes care of the about 3,100 mem­bers of IATSE Lo­cal 839. Ma­jor stu­dios sign­ing on in­clude Dis­ney, DreamWorks, Fox An­i­ma­tion, Marvel, Univer­sal, Car­toon Net­work and Dis­ney’s ABC Stu­dios. Three An­i­ma­tion Projects Among 42nd Stu­dent Acad­emy Award Win­ners

The 15 win­ners of the 42nd Stu­dent Acad­emy Awards com­pe­ti­tion have been an­nounced, in­clud­ing three an­i­ma­tion prize tak­ers.

The an­i­ma­tion win­ners are: An Ob­ject at Rest, by Seth Boy­den (Cal­i­for­nia In­sti­tute of the Arts); Soar, by Alyce Tzue (Acad­emy of Art Univer­sity, San Francisco); and Tak­ing the Plunge, by Ni­cholas Man­fredi and El­iz­a­beth Ku-Her­rero (The School of Vis­ual Arts).

Ad­di­tion­ally, CG films Chiaroscuro, by Daniel Drum­mond (Chap­man Univer­sity) and Zoe, by ChiHyun Lee (School of Vis­ual Arts) took the al­ter­na­tive cat­e­gory hon­ors. Dis­ney TV An­i­ma­tion Makes Key Ex­ec­u­tive Ap­point­ments

Dis­ney Tele­vi­sion An­i­ma­tion made sev­eral key ex­ec­u­tive ap­point­ments to help fur­ther the con­tent de­vel­op­ment pipe­lines at Dis­ney Ju­nior, Dis­ney Chan­nel and Dis­ney XD.

Eric Coleman has been named se­nior VP of orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming and gen­eral man­ager. Ad­di­tion­ally, Jonathan Sch­nei­der has been pro­moted to VP strat­egy; while Aaron Simp­son joins Dis­ney as VP de­vel­op­ment; Shane Prig­more is now VP cre­ative af­fairs; and Bon­nie Lemon has joined the com­pany as VP pro­duc­tion. [

3In­side Out, Toy Story that Time For­got and PBS’ In Their Own Words: Jim Hen­son ar­rive on disc.

fea­ture projects are on of­fer at Amer­i­can Film Mar­ket in Santa Monica, CA. [amer­i­can­film­mar­ket. com] It’s fi­nally here, Char­lie Brown! Fox re­leases The Peanuts Movie to­day.

Just in time to toast the suc­cess­ful sev­enth sea­son of J.G. Quintel’s Emmy-win­ning se­ries, this some­what slim (at 160 pages) but quite en­gag­ing hard­cover is a fit­ting cel­e­bra­tion of this Car­toon Net­work gem. Pag­ing through, read­ers en­ter a car­toony world of polar bear por­tals, de­monic hot dogs, and more sur­real ad­ven­tures of Morde­cai the blue­jay, Rigby the rac­coon and their long-suf­fer­ing co-work­ers.

This be­hind-the-scenes peek of­fers a healthy mix of show art­work, from Quintel’s ear­li­est con­cept draw­ings to sto­ry­boards and se­ries art, plus char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment sketches, pro­duc­tion art and even writ­ers’ room doo­dles. This vis­ual olio is served with in­depth in­ter­views with Quintel and other key cre­atives and voice ac­tors, ex­pertly han­dled by ex­pe­ri­enced an­i­ma­tion writer (and oc­ca­sional car­toon­ist) O’Leary. So, there’s plenty to tide you over un­til sea­son eight pre­mieres next year!

Box-of­fice afi­ciona­dos woke up af­ter the week­end of Sept. 4 to a sur­prise in that highly an­a­lyzed tally of ticket sales: a CG-an­i­mated film from Mex­ico ti­tled Un gallo con mu­chos huevos opened in 10th place with an im­pres­sive do­mes­tic gross of $4.8 mil­lion.

That to­tal, earned by screen­ings at about 400 cine­mas na­tion­wide, makes Un gallo con mu­chos huevos, which trans­lates as A Rooster with Many Eggs, a ground­breaker: It is the first Mex­i­can an­i­mated fea­ture to open in the United States with a lim­ited the­atri­cal release. Pro­duced for about $5.3 mil­lion and dis­trib­uted by Pan­te­lion, a part­ner­ship be­tween Lionsgate En­ter­tain­ment and Grupo Tele­visa, the movie opened Aug. 21 in Mex­ico and held the top spot at the box of­fice for three weeks. Ad­di­tional for­eign re­leases are set for Rus­sia, Europe and Latin Amer­i­can, all bod­ing well for the fea­ture.

But the film’s suc­cess — it’s earned a 73 per­cent fresh rat­ing from crit­ics and 84 per­cent pos­i­tive au­di­ence score on Rot­ten Toma­toes.com — is clearly less of a sur­prise to those fa­mil­iar with the property’s history in Mex­ico, which in­cludes a hit web­site, mer­chan­dis­ing and a pair of 2D an­i­mated fea­tures.

On­line Ori­gins Cre­ated by broth­ers Rodolfo and Gabriel Riva Pala­cio — who also wrote, di­rected and pro­duced Un gallo — as a web­site called Hue­vo­car­toon, the orig­i­nal idea was to cre­ate small skits that made fun of ev­ery­thing from movies to pol­i­tics us­ing an­i­mated egg char­ac­ters. But when the first car­toon was posted in 2002, it was an un­ex­pected hit, says Rodolfo Riva Pala­cio.

“We were ex­pect­ing to have around 6,000 visi­tors in the first six months, but what hap­pened is that im­me­di­ately ev­ery­body loved the idea of making a so­ci­ety with eggs and we had around 3 mil­lion visi­tors to our web­site in just two months, which was crazy!” he says.

This, of course, was be­fore Face­book, Twit­ter and even YouTube, making the suc­cess re­mark­able enough for the broth­ers and their com­pany, Hue­vo­car­toon Pro­duc­tions, to put out a suc­cess­ful line of mer­chan­dise.

That piqued the in­ter­est of Videocine, a di­vi­sion of Tele­visa, which ap­proached Hue­vo­car­toon about do­ing 2D an­i­mated movies. Una pelic­ula de huevos (A Movie of Eggs) was re­leased in 2006, fol­lowed in 2009 by Otra película de huevos y un pollo (An­other Egg Movie and a Chicken). Both were smash hits — Riva Pala­cio says the first movie was the sec­ond-high­est gross­ing Mex­i­can film of all time when it was re­leased, and it was topped by the se­quel.

But while the films were a hit in Mex­ico and scored sales in other Latin Amer­i­can mar­kets and Spain, Riva Pala­cio says it was clear that a CG version was needed to spread the fran­chise’s suc­cess even fur­ther.

“We needed train­ing, we needed to ac­quire ap­pro­pri­ate equip­ment, ac­quire the proper deals, etc., and so it took us al­most six years to make that tran­si­tion from 2D to CGI,” he says.

That tran­si­tion was es­sen­tial to break­ing through to a global au­di­ence. “2D is dif­fer­ent; it gives you a sense of re­duced au­di­ence,” says Riva Pala­cio. “It doesn’t feel like a global movie. So this is really the one that is tak­ing us across the border.”

Char­lie Kauf­man, writer and di­rec­tor of the stop-mo­tion an­i­mated fea­ture Ano­ma­l­isa.

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