Animation Magazine - - Front Page - Tom McLean Edi­tor tom@an­i­ma­tion­magazine.net

Most of this is­sue was put to­gether in the days af­ter re­turn­ing from my first trip to An­necy — an event that truly lived up to my high ex­pec­ta­tions. For any­one in­ter­est in an­i­ma­tion, there was no better place to be than in the town be­side the lake, which was full of great screen­ings and even more fan­tas­tic peo­ple who work in all as­pects of this busi­ness.

The high­light of the fes­ti­val for me was get­ting to sit down for a one-on-one talk with DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion CEO and founder Jef­frey Katzen­berg to chat about the state of the busi­ness and what’s com­ing up at the stu­dio, which he will de­part af­ter it’s ac­quired by Com­cast at the end of the year. (You can catch a bit of my chat with Jef­frey in our An­necy wrap on page 42 — that’s if you missed it on our web­site and news­let­ter, which can be found at www.an­i­ma­tion­magazine.net.) It also was great to see so many great pre­sen­ta­tions and sneak peeks, in­clud­ing a look at DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion’s Trolls, Il­lu­mi­na­tion’s The Se­cret Life of Pets and the beau­ti­ful open­ing-night movie The Red Tur­tle.

And com­ing home, there’s just a ton of an­i­mated stuff that’s do­ing new and in­ter­est­ing things. Our cover story is LAIKA’s Kubo and the Two Strings, di­rected by stu­dio chief Travis Knight, and I think it’s LAIKA’s most gor­geous and over­all best film to date. On the other end of things is Sausage Party, the R-rated an­i­mated fea­ture from Seth Ro­gen and pals, which de­serves at­ten­tion not just as a true in­de­pen­dent fea­ture but as a hi­lar­i­ous and deeply sub­ver­sive com­edy. And there’s The Se­cret Life of Pets from Il­lu­mi­na­tion, which also raises the bar for that com­pany.

The meat of our is­sue this time out, though, is the ar­rival of two of the big­gest events on the an­i­ma­tion and VFX calendar: Comic-Con In­ter­na­tional in San Diego and SIGGRAPH 2016 in Ana­heim. While there’s usu­ally a cou­ple weeks’ gap between those two events, this year SIGGRAPH starts the day Comic-Con ends. Luck­ily, they’re both nearby to our Los An­ge­les head­quar­ters, so be sure to seek out the An­i­ma­tion Magazine booth at ei­ther event to say hi and pick up a magazine or calendar.

As part of our SIGGRAPH cov­er­age, we’ve got a quick spotlight on the com­pa­nies that do tech­ni­cal and ed­u­ca­tional an­i­ma­tion — a fast-grow­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing seg­ment of the in­dus­try that de­serves re­spect and at­ten­tion for the amazing work it does.

And then there’s the ex­cit­ing news of the new An­i­ma­tion Magazine app, avail­able now for iOS in the App Store. Not only can you take the great con­tent of An­i­ma­tion Magazine with you on your iOS de­vice, but the app also fea­tures ad­di­tional mul­ti­me­dia con­tent un­avail­able any­where else. The app is free, so be sure to check it out.

And lastly, it’s get­ting to be that time of year when we start to re­mind you the fifth World An­i­ma­tion and Vis­ual Ef­fects Sum­mit is sneak­ing up on us again. Set for Oct. 31-Nov. 2, we have some huge plans in the works for this year’s event and you def­i­nitely don’t want to miss it. Be sure to check it out at www. an­i­ma­tion­magazine.net/sum­mit and re­serve your space now.

Have a great sum­mer!

Nick­elodeon is dou­bling down on its No. 1 po­si­tion in the preschool de­mo­graphic with new-sea­son pick­ups for three of its top-rated an­i­mated series for young­sters: Blaze and the Mon­ster Ma­chines (sea­son 4), PAW Pa­trol (sea­son 4) and Shim­mer and Shine (sea­son 3).

The re­newals are part of the net­work’s big­gest preschool con­tent pipe­line ever, with more than 10 shows in pro­duc­tion and six new series de­but­ing through 2018.

Warner An­i­ma­tion Group has set a re­lease win­dow of spring 2018 for the orig­i­nal an­i­mated fea­ture Small­foot.

Small­foot is a new take on the cryp­to­zo­o­log­i­cal Yeti myth, cen­tered on a Yeti who is con­vinced that the elu­sive crea­tures known as “hu­mans” re­ally do ex­ist. The film is based on an orig­i­nal pitch from Ser­gio Pab­los ( De­spi­ca­ble Me), who is set to di­rect. John Re­qua and Glenn

The con­ven­tion cen­ter can get hot­ter than a cuppa soup at a LAN party dur­ing CCI, so you might not feel like spend­ing on win­ter wear. But you guys! You will never add a more won­der­ful/ter­ri­ble item to your wardrobe. This beau­ti­ful aubergine num­ber is em­bla­zoned with a huge pony-ful logo in front, “EQUESTRANAUTS” down one arm and the theme song lyrics on the back. (All to­gether now: A bond of friend­ship, greater than any force in the universe!) It’s pretty much the most meta sweater on Earth.

12Dis­ney’s Pete’s Dragon re­make and in­die adult toon Sausage Party hit the­aters to­day.

was what was at the emo­tional core,” he says. “The story of this boy and his fam­ily and ul­ti­mately what be­comes of his sur­ro­gate fam­ily just deeply res­onated with me, per­son­ally. There’s a lot of me in this movie, and the more we devel­oped it and the more I took on, the more you just in­fuse your own per­son­al­ity and your own ex­pe­ri­ences into it.”

Reel­ing in the Story Work­ing off a story by Shan­non Tindle and Marc Haimes and screen­play by Haimes and Chris But­ler, the stu­dio was able to build upon its ex­pe­ri­ence with pre­vi­ous movies to de­velop and plan the movie so it would work, Knight says.

“We had an ex­cel­lent set of reels that evolved over the course of the film, as they al­ways do, but the ba­sic thing was there right from the start, so we were able to sched­ule it in such a way that it made sense be­cause we all fully un-

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