News & Notes
The nominations for the 2016 Prime Time Emmy Awards are in, with few surprises in the running this year — at least in the top animation categories. The nominees in those categories are: Outstanding Animated Program: • Archer (FX) • Bob’s Burgers (Fox) • Phineas and Ferb Last Day of Summer ney) • The Simpsons (Fox) • South Park (Comedy Central) Outstanding Short Form Animated Program Adventure Time (Cartoon Network) The Powerpuff Girls (Cartoon Network) Robot Chicken (Adult Swim) SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon) Steven Universe (Cartoon Network) Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance • Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy (Fox) • Trey Parker, South Park (Comedy Central) • Matt Stone, South Park (Comedy Central) • Keegan-Michael Key, SuperMansion (Crackle) • Chris Pine, SuperMansion (Crackle) com. The Creative Arts Emmys winners will be announced Sept. 17 in a ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles; the Primetime winners will be announced Sept. 18 in a ceremony at the same venue. animators working with a Toon Boom pipeline. The studio provides service animation for The Loud House and The Bagel and Becky Show for Nickelodeon, and created Numb Chucks for YTV.
In a follow-up piece, the Los Angeles Times spoke with artists who remained on the production who felt that the departing employees jumped ship looking for bigger gigs at the newly relocated Sony Pictures Imageworks.
“A big, shiny studio rolled into town just as animation for Sausage Party was gearing up, and offered more money,” editor Ellery Van Dooyeweert told the paper. “They left their friends and teammates behind scrambling to keep the project together. Most animators left believing Sausage Party would never finish, and would be a garbage flick. Now that it’s the talk of the town, they are wondering where their credit went.” artin Markle, senior director of children’s content for Canadian public broadcaster CBC Television, has vacated his post after less than a year on the job. ... Corus Entertainment has appointed established animation executive Athena Georgaklis as head of development for production and distribution house Nelvana. ... Bardel Entertainment has hired Lenny Brown as manager, business development. ... Deluxe Entertainment Services Group has brought on former Tag Worldwide CEO John Paulson as president and general manager, features and advertising post services. ... Luma has hired industry vet Jill Gilbert as executive producer of animated content. Gilbert is charged with overseeing, developing and managing Luma Toons original animated content and animation service work ... Stoopid Buddy Stoodios welcomes long-time collaborator Zeb Wells as an exclusive in-house producer; and longtime Comedy Central exec Elizabeth Porter has been hired as head of development. ... Sony Pictures Imageworks announced four hires for its Vancouver headquarters: Senior VP of Production Michelle Grady; VP of Artist Management Ryan Pollreisz; veteran Visual Effects Supervisor Sue Rowe; and Art Director Daniel Cox. [
Need something to occupy your hands when GPS-signal loss sabotages your quest for Pokémon? Bejeweled addicts and Disneyphiles alike will love this kid-friendly matching game populated by emoji versions of your favorite Disney-Pixar films (more than 400 of them!)
The game adds a collecting element to the familiar puzzle play. Completing “Missions” earns you coins and gems to trade for mystery boxes, unlocking different characters (and their special powers). You also collect item emojis, with your hoard showing up in the Disney Emoji Blitz keyboard to share through SMS, email and Facebook Messenger. Caveat: On my Samsung Android, using the DEB board is convoluted and time consuming. Honestly, I could have driven to my friend’s house and shown them my collection in person in the time it took to get it set up and send an emoji. But the game is cute and addictive, and by the time they work out the bugs I’ll have a small army of heart-eyed princesses at my disposal.
1It’s the 45th anniversary of Walt Disney World! Today on disc:
For the remake of the 1977 Disney animation/live-action hybrid feature Pete’s Dragon, director David Lowery ( Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) wanted Elliot the dragon to be a green, fuzzy, cuddly, lovable dragon patterned partially after his cat.
In other words, despite shooting the movie in Middle Earth’s stand-in New Zealand, he
SRyan Quincy ignores the norms of time-travel storytelling in pursuit of character-driven action and humor for Disney XD’s hit By Tom McLean.
outh Park veteran Ryan Quincy was toying with a time-travel based idea for a new animated series at Disney TV Animation, but kept coming up with the same warning about working in that genre from anyone he pitched it to.
“It was, ‘If you do that, then you’re going to have to deal with the rules (of time travel),’” he says. “And I was like, ‘Do you?’ Maybe you don’t.”
It was that kind of thinking that lead Quincy to create FutureWorm!, an animated adventure comedy about a 12-year-old genius and his invertebrate pal from the future having all kinds of strange adventures across the space-time continuum with little regard for time-travel conventions.
“We didn’t want to do what has been done a lot, of going back in time and interacting with historical figures or figuring out who knocked the nose off the sphinx or those types of things,” he says. “We’re very mindful of not doing that type of stuff.”
Viewers got their first look at the show in a handful of shorts that debuted last year. The full version premiered Aug. 1 on Disney XD.
“Doing those shorts was great because it challenged me to tell a story in 90 seconds,” says Quincy. “Once we got picked up to series, we brought that over as sort of the foundation: cutting to the chase and just moving quickly. The show is very much about forward momentum, leap before you look kind of stuff, because I think kids really respond to that kind of stuff.”
The success of the shorts informed the show and its “sampler platter” format, as the staff has dubbed it, of each half-hour being comprised of 11-, three- and seven-minute segments. Quincy came to Disney TV Animation after 14 years as an animation director and producer on South Park and creating the adult animated comedy Out There, which aired for one season on IFC. Much of the appeal of coming to Disney was the chance to make shows he could let his children watch. It also let him tap into his own childhood love of Marvel Comics, Star Wars and The Muppets for inspiration, as well as access to the talented inhouse brain trust at Disney
With comics-based movies dominating the box office, it’s no surprise that series like Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six are digging deeper into the long boxes for inspiration and bringing the mostrecent fan sensations to animation.
The four-episode arc “Return to the SpiderVerse,” which began airing Aug. 27 in the series’ regular Saturday at 8 p.m. timeslot on Disney XD, marks in its finale the animated debut of SpiderGwen, one of Marvel’s most popular “new” characters in years.
The series also has its share of voice acting surprises, with Dove Cameron of Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie voicing Spider-Gwen, Seth Green reprising the voice of Howard the Duck, the return of veteran Spidey voices Milo Ventimiglia and Christopher Daniel Barnes, and even a cameo by Jon Polito, a favorite actor of the Coen brothers.
Explaining how all this comes together is Harrison Wilcox, Marvel’s director of animation development and production.
Animation Magazine: Why did you decide to go back to the Spider-Verse and use so many of these fan-favorite characters from the comic books?
Harrison Wilcox: When we did Spider-Verse in season three, that was when Spider-Gwen came out in publishing and became a huge hit. ... We didn’t have time — as animation takes a year and a half to go from story concept to final project — to put Spider-Gwen in season three. So we knew if we were going to do Spider-Verse again in season four, we knew we wanted to put her in the story in a big way.
Animag: Who is Spider- Gwen, why is she sig- nificant and why has she been so popular?
Wilcox: Back in publishing, in the early 1970s, around issue 120, Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy were in a romantic relationship, and Gwen Stacy died in Spider-Man’s arms in a very dramatic fashion that has shaped the character for the following decades. And Dan Slott in publishing was telling a story about traveling into different Spider-Verses and in one of those realities there was a version of Gwen Stacy who was not only alive but also the Spider-Woman, the hero of that reality. That really clicked with people at a time when we’re seeing a lot more female heroes take a front row to what’s happening in publishing.
Animag: How did Dove Cameron end up voic- ing Spider- Gwen?
Wilcox: We thought it would be from time to time a good opportunity, since we air on Disney XD, to cast someone — when it seems right — from a Disney XD show or a Disney Channel show. We had been familiar with Dove Cameron’s work and at the time the Descendants film was coming out, and not only does Dove sound the part but she actually looks the part of Gwen Stacy and she is a lifelong comic-book fan — she knows the characters, knows the world, knows Spider-Man, knows Gwen Stacy. At the time, it had not been out very long but she was aware of Spider-Gwen and was super excited to play the part and that’s something we always try to lean on when we can: our voice talent being as excited as we are about bringing our characters to the screen.
Animag: What impact will the ending of this arc have on the series going forward?
Wilcox: The plot from early in the season, where the Siege Perilous is shattered and Miles is trapped in our world while his mother is trapped in the world he is from, is resolved by the end of this arc in a way that has some permanence, and in a sense it wraps up Miles’ overall arc for the season. And so now that that has been put to bed, Peter and Miles’ relationship is going to have to grow and change as we move toward the end of the season. ... We go into our next arc and once we get there it all dominoes down the back half of the season to the finale in a big way. [