News & Notes

Animation Magazine - - Frame- By- Frame -

Sony Pic­tures An­i­ma­tion has laid out its slate through 2018, ex­pand­ing its pro­duc­tion out­put with five theatri­cal fea­tures, three TV series and one di­rect-to-video movie.

“We are mean­ing­fully step­ping up our level of pro­duc­tion, while cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment that fos­ters the best tal­ent,” says SPA Pres­i­dent Kris­tine Bel­son. “Our goal is to en­large our pres­ence in the an­i­ma­tion land­scape with a uniquely di­verse slate, and our strat­egy to get there is to let artists drive the movies cre­atively.” Fea­tures • Smurfs: The Lost Vil­lage, April 7, 2017 • Emo­ji­movie: Ex­press Your­self, Au­gust 2017 • The Star (Work­ing Ti­tle), Dec. 8, 2017 • Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia 3, Sept. 21, 2018 • Spi­der-Man (un­ti­tled), Dec. 21, 2018 Series • Ghost­busters: Ecto Force, Early 2018 • Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia: The Tele­vi­sion Series, 2017 • Cloudy with a Chance Of Meat­balls, Di­rect-to-Video

Surf’s Up 2: Wave­ma­nia,

Nick­elodeon has an­nounced the ti­tle for the highly an­tic­i­pated re­turn of one of its car­toon clas­sics will be Hey Arnold!: The Jun­gle Movie.

The made-for-TV movie, an­nounced ear­lier this year, will fea­ture 19 of the orig­i­nal voices from the beloved series, and Hey Arnold!’ s cre­ator Craig Bartlett is serv­ing as writer and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer. The two-hour Nick­elodeon An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios pro­duc­tion will de­but in 2017.

U.K. on­line chan­nel BBC Three has com­mis­sioned two new adult an­i­mated short-form series from Wild­seed Stu­dios: Wolf Jenk­ins: Viet­nam Vet and Tales of the Serengeti. ... Car­toon Net­work has green­lit sea­son six of its global hit an­i­mated series The Amazing World of Gum­ball. ... TeamTO has con­firmed it will be back in the pro­duc­tion sad­dle for the sec­ond sea­sons of two high-pro­file an­i­mated series: Ac­tivi­sion’s Sky­lan­ders Academy, re­cently green­lit by Net­flix; and eOne’s preschool hit PJ Masks. ... London-based Rocket Pic­tures has tapped award-win­ning stu­dio Mikros Im­age to lead dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion work for Paramount An­i­ma­tion and MGM Pic­tures’ Sher­lock Gnomes — the fol­low-up to Rocket’s an­i­mated fea­ture Gnomeo

Not of­fi­cially on shelves un­til Aug. 3, fans can ex­pe­ri­ence this new table­top trad­ing card game at the con. The play mir­rors the epic Team Tour­na­ment as seen in the Ad­ven­ture Time “Daddy-Daugh­ter Card Wars” episode (on air July 7 and DVD July 12). In the special fol­low-up to the fan-fa­vorite 2012 “Card Wars” episode, Jake needs his daugh­ter Char­lie’s help to wins a dou­ble tour­na­ment against a long­time ri­val. Suit­able for ages 10 and up, CWDT teams play as Jake and Char­lie ver­sus Grand Prix and Moniker, wield­ing decks against two op­po­nents at once. The Dou­bles play also in­tro­duces special Team­work cards to the fray. Pro tip: Pick up the DVD and get an exclusive card!

18- 22“Love & Peace” is the theme for the 16th Int’l An­i­ma­tion Fes­ti­val of Hiroshima. [hi­roanim.org] Mon­treal’s An­i­maze fes­ti­val and con­fer­ence also kicks off to­day. [lemi­aff.com]

LLAIKA again pushes the bound­aries for stop-mo­tion and de­liv­ers scope, hu­man­ity and ac­tion in its fourth fea­ture By Tom McLean.

AIKA has found un­ex­pected suc­cess in the seem­ingly old-fash­ioned medium of stop-mo­tion with its fea­tures Co­ra­line, ParaNor­man and The Box­trolls — none of which it takes for granted as it pre­pares to re­lease its fourth fea­ture, Kubo and the Two Strings.

“We want to tell new and in­ter­est­ing sto­ries,” says Travis Knight, LAIKA’s CEO and di­rec­tor of Kubo, which ar­rives in the­aters Aug. 19 via Fo­cus Fea­tures. “An­i­ma­tion is such an in­cred­i­ble vis­ual medium, but it hasn’t been har­nessed to tell lots of dif­fer­ent kinds of sto­ries. By the time I shuf­fle off this mor­tal coil, I want to hit a story in ba­si­cally ev­ery genre there is.”

Kubo’s story cer­tainly fits that bill. Set in Ja­pan’s past, the movie fol­lows a young boy with a unique sto­ry­telling tal­ent who is res­cued by his mother from fam­ily treach­ery and has to come to terms with his her­itage while seek­ing a mag­i­cal suit of ar­mor needed to de­feat a unique en­emy. A fantasy story that’s hard to cat­e­go­rize, Kubo and the Two Strings de­liv­ers a rar­efor-stop-mo­tion scope in its sweep­ing story to make this ar­guably the Port­land, Ore.-based stu­dio’s best movie to date.

“We think we’re break­ing new ground,” says pro­ducer Ari­anne Sut­ner. “We have a pri­mar­ily ex­te­rior movie but, at its core, it’s re­ally an in­ti­mate fam­ily story.”

The project has been in the works since ParaNor­man was still in pro­duc­tion, says Knight, who moves up from lead an­i­ma­tor to mak­ing his di­rec­to­rial de­but on the movie.

“There’s some­thing on the sur­face of it that’s in­cred­i­bly com­pelling for me,” he says.

The pri­mary draw was a story that evoked the big, epic movie fan­tasies he loved as a kid — films made by the likes of Ge­orge Lu­cas, Steven Spiel­berg, Akira Kura­sawa and David Lean — and the chal­lenge of do­ing it in stop mo­tion.

“What re­ally got me ex­cited about this film

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