News & Notes
Animation Libation Studios and Animation Magazine have announced the awards winners for the 2015 World Animation Celebration international short film festival, which took place Oct. 24-25 at the Sony Pictures Animation lot in Culver City, Calif.
This year’s festival received more than 250 submissions from 45 different countries, which were narrowed down to the top three judges’ picks in several categories.
The winners and runners-up are: Student 2D Computer Animation
DODOBA, by Yon Hui Lee (CalArts, U.S.)
Breathe, by Jodelyne C. Arias (School of Visual Arts, U.S.)
In Black, by Lai Wei (University of Arts London, U.K.) Student CG Animation
None of That, by Isabel Littger, Anna Hinds Paddock & Kriti Kaur (Ringling College of Art & Design, U.S.)
Escarface, by Eva Navaux, Burcu Sankur, Vincent Meunier, Lionel Arnold, Dario Sabato, Pierre Plouzeau (Supinfocom, France)
Taking the Plunge, by Elizabeth Ku-Herrero, Thaddeus Andreades, Nicholas Manfredi, Marie Raoult (School of Visual Arts, U.S.) Student Stop Motion
by Martin Smatana (Academy of Performing Arts, Bratislava, Slovakia)
Night of the Living Chef, by Sarah Watkins (Columbus College of Art & Design, U.S.)
The Planet of Cheese, by Matisse Gonzalez (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany) Student Traditional Animation
Riflesso, by Alice Guzzo (The Arts University, Bournemouth, U.K.)
Seventh Heaven, by Or Tilinger (Minshar for Art, Israel)
Clown with the Ingrown Frown, (School of Visual Arts, U.S.) Student Experimental Animation
Threaded, by Tatiana Pinzon Salavarrieta (University of Bogota, Colombia)
Chocolate Darwin, by Reinhold Ohngemach (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany)
Fleischwelt, by Ara Joe (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany) Professional 2D Computer Animation
Claire and the Keys, by John Ludwick (U.S.) Lonely Sound, by Sandhya Prabhat (India) Moon Cakes, by Chang Liu (U.S.) Professional CG Animation
Lost Senses, by Marcin Wasilewski (Poland)
Three Fools, by Snobar Avani & Peter Hausner (Denmark)
Two Worlds, by Andy Lefton (U.S.) Professional Experimental Animation
Morning Coffee, by Tracy Miller-Robins (U.S.) Grey Elegy, by James Duesing (U.S.) 121, by Denes Ruzsa & Fruzsina Spitzer (Hungary) Professional Stop Motion by Tsuneo Goda (Japan) Junk, by Walter Tournier (Uruguay) The Grim Reaper Has the Blues, by Maximilian Zenk & Florian Hazler (Germany) Professional Traditional Animation Cooped, by Mike A. Smith (U.S.) Muvfilms, by Rodrigo Germano (Brazil) Armenian Genocide, by Pablo Gostanian (Argentina)
Cartoon Network will be expanding its original animation line-up in 2016 with several new projects produced in Australia that will use a virtual studio model to tap talent from across the country. The projects are: • Exchange Student Zero, created by Patrick Crawley, Bruce Kane and Maurice Argiro, is a 13-part comedy-adventure that fuses anime and Western animation.
• Bill & Tony, from Flying Gherkin, and The Sketchy Show, from Brisbane’s Ludo Studio are short-format comedies commissioned by Cartoon Network.
• Lasso & Comet has been accepted by Cartoon Network Studios’ international shorts program and will go into production soon. From Melbourne’s Rubber House Studios, the action-adventure-comedy centers on a 13-year-old boy with a magic rope and a talking comet who live in a world filled with giant monsters.
CN Australia also has greenlit a pilot for Monster Beach: The Series, based on the television movie that nabbed an ASTRA award this year from Bogan Entertainment Solutions.
Magic Light Pictures will animate the modern classic picture book Stick Man for a Christmas season special on BBC One in the United Kingdom.
Based on the 2008 book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the half-hour Stick Man project marks Magic Light’s fourth collaboration with the author-illustrator team, preceded by the Oscar nominated Room on the Broom and multi-award winning The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child.
The voice cast features Martin Freeman as Stick Man, Hugh Bonneville as Santa and Jennifer Saunders narrating, with Russell Tovey, Rob Brydon and Sally Hawkins.
Animation and live-action production company Waterman Entertainment — founded by Stuart Little and Alvin & The Chipmunks executive producer Steve Waterman — has acquired the Burbank-based Film Roman studio.
Under the new structure, Film Roman’s Dana Booton has been promoted from general
manager to president of production, and will continue to oversee day-to-day business in addition to new co-production and development management duties.
Studio founder Phil Roman is returning as chairman emeritus, serving in an advisory capacity and working closely with Booton, Waterman and the development team on the company’s creative vision and subsequent projects.
Paramount Animation announced a March 18 bow for Mark Osborne’s The Little Prince and updated its release plans through 2019.
Monster Trucks, the live-action/animation hybrid project directed by Blue Sky veteran Chris Wedge, will now open Jan. 13, 2017. SpongeBob SquarePants 3 is scheduled for Feb. 8, 2019. Paul Tibbitt will once again direct.
Amusement Park has been set for March 22, 2019. Former Pixar artist Dylan Brown, who was supervising animator on Ratatouille and Finding Nemo, is directing.
Los Angeles-based Le Vision Pictures USA has entered into a two-picture deal with The Lion King director Rob Minkoff and producing partner Pietro Ventani to codevelop and produce the animated feature Wolf Totem and the live-action comedy Silkworms.
Le Vision Pictures USA is the Los Angeles-based arm of China’s Le Vision Pictures, the third largest non-governmentowned film studio in China by total box office.
The producers of upcoming animated family comedy Blazing Samurai (slated for Aug. 4, 2017) have cast Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Cera and Mel Brooks. The cast also includes George Takei, Gabriel Iglesias, Aasif Mandvi, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh, Sandra Tsing Loh, Mel B. and newcomer Heavenly Joy Jerkins, a 5-year-old singing sensation who appeared on season 10 of America’s Got Talent.
Blazing Samurai is being produced by Mass Animation, Huayi Brothers Media Corp., Flying Tigers Entertainment and GFM Films. It is directed by Chris Bailey ( Kim Possible, Clerks) and fellow animation veteran Mark Koetsier from a screenplay by Ed Stone and Nate Hopper.
Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights for Blazing Samurai. Arc Productions ( Gnomeo & Juliet) is the lead animation service studio on the film.
DreamWorks Animation has tapped Edgar Wright ( Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) to direct an original animated feature centered on the concept of shadows. Wright is also co-writing the screenplay with comedian and author David Walliams ( Little Britain). The yet to be dated release is not a reboot of the languishing Me and My Shadow project, but an original concept. ... Fox TV has ordered the animation and live-action hybrid comedy series Son of Zorn, executive produced by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, with a planned premiere in the 2016-17 season. ... The Visual Effects Society will honor Ridley Scott with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his enormous contributions to filmed entertainment. The award will be presented Feb. 2 at the 14th annual VES Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. ... Television and feature animation veteran Peilin Chou has been named head of creative for feature animation at Oriental DreamWorks. ... Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, received the 2015 lifetime achievement award from the Writers Guild of America West’s Animation Writers Caucus. ... Brenda Gilbert has been appointed president of Bron Animation, expanding on her responsibilities on the Bron Media board. She appointed three vice presidents: Adam Wood, VP Creatives; Teunis de Raat, VP Digital; and Luke Carroll, VP Production & Development. ... Hasbro and Lionsgate have announced that My Little Pony: The Movie will be hoofing it into theaters Nov. 3, 2017. ... Johnny Depp will voice the titular role of Paramount Animation and MGM’s Sherlock Gnomes — a sequel to indie animated hit Gnomeo and Juliet from Elton John’s Rocket Pictures. The film is slated for release Jan. 12, 2018. ... Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Seth MacFarlane will be joining headliner Matthew McConaughey in the voice cast for Sing, an animated musical comedy coming next year from Illumination Entertainment. ... Adult Swim has greenlit an animated comedy from director Daniel Stessen: Dream Corp LLC. John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant from The Office are exec producers along with Allyson Seeger. ... Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette is in talks to voice a new character in Toy Story 4, currently slated for June 15, 2018. ... Animation Block Party will present its 13th annual edition July 28 to 31, 2016, with screenings and events at Brooklyn’s Rooftop Films and BAMcinematek. .... Canada’s Kids’ CBC has greenlit Dot., a 52 x 11 animated series from Toronto-based Industrial Brothers ( Yup Yups) in association with The Jim Henson Co. ... Studio 100 Media has begun production on Maya the Bee 2 - The Honey Games set to arrive in theaters in 2017 or 2018. ... Warner Bros. Animation creative executive Jay Bastian has been promoted to senior VP series, and operations chief Ed Adams has been promoted to senior VP and general manager. ... Monty Python alumnus Terry Jones is directing SC Films International’s 3D animated family feature Sherlock Hound and the Case of the Missing Santa Claus. ... Visual effects and creative studio Zero VFX has opened a new 5,000 square foot office West Coast post in Venice Beach, Calif. [
26On disc: One Piece Season 7 Voyage 5, Corpse Party — Tortured Souls (BD), Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Super Daniel!, Kingdom; Complete First Season, Super Why! The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
It seems like every month we have a new exploration of the fabled Mouse House hitting shelves. But with such a driven figure as Walt Disney behind its success, it’s no wonder that the studio’s many secrets continue to surprise, intrigue and inspire generations of animators and filmmakers. In this 400-plus-page tome, writer, director and producer Don Hahn ( The Lion King) and Tracey Miller-Zarneke present previously unpublished lecture notes from the studio’s educational sessions.
Augmented by period photographs and drawings, the collection shows how Walt created a culture of learning and improvement to prepare his artists for their first feature-length project: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Walt hand-picked instructors from the Chouinard Art Institute to hold classes, screened films for study, has his best artists give live critiques and brought in an array of inspiring talent — from architect Frank Lloyd Wright to choreographer George Balanchine to humorist Alexander Woollcott. The collected transcripts are both an important instruction for animators and a fascinating historical look at studio culture on the cusp of a new era.