QUOTE An­other Ban­ner Year OF THE MONTH

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

As I’m writ­ing this, 2016 is wind­ing down. This has been a strange year in many ways, but for an­i­ma­tion it’s clearly a notch in the win col­umn as 2016 is go­ing out on a real high note.

Just check out our cover story on Sing, from Il­lu­mi­na­tion En­ter­tain­ment. This is Il­lu­mi­na­tion’s sec­ond film re­leased this year, once again win­ning over crit­ics and shap­ing up to be a strong box-of­fice per­former. With the suc­cess ear­lier this year of The Se­cret Life of Pets, Il­lu­mi­na­tion has come a long way in a short time and clearly sits among the ma­jor stu­dios.

I have to ad­mit, though, that my fa­vorite an­i­mated movie cov­ered in this is­sue is the un­der­dog anime awards con­tender Your Name. I had no idea what to ex­pect when I caught this movie dur­ing its Os­cars-qual­i­fy­ing run in Los An­ge­les, but it was stun­ningly beau­ti­ful and told an orig­i­nal story that im­pressed me in a way I haven’t been im­pressed in a long while. Di­rec­tor Makoto Shinkai, who was at that screen­ing and again ap­peared at a press event a few days later, is typ­i­cally mod­est about his movie, but he has real po­ten­tial to lead the way for Ja­panese an­i­mated fea­tures in the wider world in years to come.

Of course, I was ex­cited to see an­other new Star Wars movie and hap­pily took in Rogue One at a press screen­ing over at Dis­ney. There’s a lot to like in this new movie, and a few things I cared less for, but no one can deny this movie looks fan­tas­tic, and the ef­fects work blend­ing this movie into the iconic open­ing mo­ments of the orig­i­nal Star Wars (I’ll al­ways have a hard time call­ing it Episode IV or A New Hope), was re­ally out­stand­ing. Check out our in-depth talks with the su­per­vi­sors at ILM who brought this epic vi­sion to life and see if you don’t agree.

And then on the TV side (sort of), is Troll­hunters. Guillermo del Toro is one of the best in the busi­ness, and this cool new DreamWorks se­ries avail­able now on Netflix is yet an­other win for him. The qual­ity of work put into this se­ries is get­ting lots of at­ten­tion — from the fans who can’t wait to binge it over Christ­mas to ASIFA-Hol­ly­wood, which nom­i­nated it in four cat­e­gories in this year’s An­nie Awards! (By the way, this is­sue in­cludes the full list of nom­i­nees, so be sure to check it out.)

Any way you look at it, an­i­ma­tion and VFX are driv­ing so many fan­tas­tic projects that it’s hard to be grumpy, even with so many strange things hap­pen­ing in the wider world. All of which means I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store. Un­til next time,

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