QUOTE OF THE MONTH
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-