QUOTE Rush for the Gold OF THE MONTH

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

Now, we’re in the thick of it, and by “it,” I mean awards sea­son. Much of this is­sue is de­voted to this an­nual gold rush, fo­cus­ing in par­tic­u­lar on the Annie Awards, the VES Awards and the Oscars. The for­mer two are es­pe­cially near and dear to our hearts here at An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine, as they are the shows that rec­og­nize the con­tri­bu­tions of the peo­ple who work day in and day out on mak­ing great an­i­ma­tion and vis­ual ef­fects. These are also the most ca­sual and fun events to at­tend, mak­ing a great ex­cuse for ev­ery­one to get out from be­hind their com­put­ers and get to­gether in per­son and honor the very best work.

The Oscars are a whole dif­fer­ent ball of wax, mostly be­cause it is one of the most-watched events of the year, ev­ery year. There’s a lot of ex­po­sure and a lot to be gained for the projects that win.

As in past years, I will be at all three events, post­ing the win­ners as they hap­pen for those who can’t be there in per­son and want to fol­low along at home. So if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our so­cial me­dia chan­nels on Face­book, Twit­ter and In­sta­gram for all the de­tails.

I would of­fer some pre­dic­tions, but I have to ad­mit I have a ter­ri­ble track record at such things, de­spite nearly 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence writ­ing about this stuff. Plus, this year’s nom­i­nees are all ex­tremely strong and de­serv­ing in their own way of the awards.

By the way, if it’s awards sea­son that got this hot lit­tle mag into your wait­ing hands, we want to re­mind you that we’re here all year long, so sub­scribe and don’t miss a beat.

With the end of awards sea­son now in sight, there’s plenty of other events to keep an­i­ma­tion pros on their toes, in­clud­ing the ex­cel­lent Car­toon Movie forum, which this year has moved to Bordeaux from Toulouse, and Kid­screen Sum­mit in Mi­ami.

It’s also the time of year when we pub­lish our an­nual In­ter­na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion & Ca­reer Guide, in­clud­ing an­i­ma­tion school list­ings and some spot-on ad­vice on how to make the next big step in your ca­reer the right step.

To fur­ther help out with that, we are launch­ing Feb. 13 our all-new on­line Ca­reer Cen­ter. We are sure it will be­come an in­valu­able re­source for any­one look­ing for a job in an­i­ma­tion or for com­pa­nies look­ing to find the right an­i­ma­tors for their projects.

I haven’t even had time to men­tion the other con­tent in this is­sue, in­clud­ing our cover story on The LEGO Bat­man Movie, our chat with J.G. Quin­tel about the end of Reg­u­lar Show and a look at the VFX of Mon­ster Trucks.

So I hope you en­joy this is­sue — feel free to let me know what you like (or don’t like) about the mag­a­zine by drop­ping me a line at tom@an­i­ma­tion­magazine.net.

Un­til next time,

Pixar re­leased a teaser trailer and images from Cars 3, due in the­aters June 16. Brian Fee, who worked as a sto­ry­board artist on Cars and Cars 2, di­rects and Kevin Re­her is the pro­ducer. Owen Wil­son reprises his role as Light­ning McQueen, joined by Cris­tela Alonzo and Ar­mie Ham­mer as new char­ac­ters Cruz Ramirez and Jack­son Storm.

and ImageMovers still con­tend­ing with the suit. Blue Sky was the first to set­tle in March 2016 for about $6 mil­lion, fol­lowed by Sony Pic­tures An­i­ma­tion and Image­works in May with a $13 mil­lion pro­posal.

[Bandai, $170 ea.] The Dis­ney-Pixar heroes get a dis­tinctly Ja­panese re-imag­in­ing with these in­cred­i­bly cool col­lectibles that are fi­nally on sale (we’ve been wait­ing since Au­gust to pub­lish these)! The trans­form­ing toys com­bine five fig­ures into one in­cred­i­ble 9-inch ro­bot. Woody, Rex, Bulls­eye, Slinky Dog and Hamm unite to form Woody Robo Sher­iff Star; while Space Ranger Robo as­sem­bles out of Buzz Lightyear, Alien 1 & 2, a Space Shut­tle and Big One rocket. [Funko, $15] The CN shop also has Mojo Jojo and the Girls in POP! form, plus cute new ap­parel op­tions and cos­tumes for PPG fans. [GUND, $25 ea. | $70 set] Pre­order the mag­net­i­cally-stack­able stuffed Grizz, Panda and Ice Bear at car­toon­net­work­shop.com for de­liv­ery July 1. [David OReilly, 11 oz. $15 | 15 oz $18] Avail­able through so­ci­ety6.com and de­signed by the an­i­ma­tor be­hind The Ex­ter­nal World and Please Say Some­thing. Also: Re­lat­able as hell. [Ethan Allen, $799] Make a sub­tle state­ment of well-funded nerdery with this Luxo Jr.-in­spired state­ment lamp, pic­tured with the less sub­tle “Mr. Mouse” Bravo Chair ($1,479) — both avail­able at ethanallen.com. [

2Lots of events kick off to­day across the globe. Jet out to An­i­mac (Lleida, Spain), Cape Town Int’l An­i­ma­tion Fes­ti­val (S. Africa), GLAS (Berke­ley, CA), FICCI (Carta­gena, Colombia), the Boul­der (CO) and Ch­ester (U.K.) int’l film fests, or log on for the SICAF Stu­dent Short Film Fes­ti­val. Not to men­tion the NYC Sum­mit li­cens­ing shindig and Emer­ald City Comic-Con (Seat­tle). [Check your An­imag cal­en­dar for URLs!] Cana­dian Screen Week be­gins, cul­mi­nat­ing the 12th with the Cana­dian Screen Awards. [academy.ca] Dis­ney’s live-ac­tion, mu­si­cal reimag­in­ing of Beauty and the Beast is ready to en­chant au­di­ences.

McKay is no stranger to the LEGO fran­chise, hav­ing been brought on to The LEGO Movie by di­rec­tors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord as an­i­ma­tion di­rec­tor and co-di­rec­tor, based on his ex­pe­ri­ence di­rect­ing such TV se­ries as Ro­bot Chicken, Ti­tan Max­i­mum and Moral Orel. “I wear a lot of hats and I ex­panded my role from co-di­rec­tor and an­i­ma­tion di­rec­tor to co-ed­i­tor and head of story, re­ally, and I worked re­ally closely with them and the stu­dio and we had a great time work­ing to­gether,” says McKay. “It was a good trial run for di­rect­ing on my own and I had re­la­tion­ships with all the peo­ple and they of­fered me the job to di­rect LEGO 2.” Sched­ul­ing Switch But with The LEGO Movie se­quel be­ing an am­bi­tious project with a lot of mu­sic and orig­i­nal songs, de­vel­op­ment stretched out and LEGO Bat­man ended up ready to go into pro-

able to add more ex­pres­sion into the faces was cer­tainly a goal of mine.”

That re­quired im­prove­ments to the an­i­ma­tion soft­ware that had the added ben­e­fit of be­ing much faster than what was used on The LEGO Movie.

An­i­mat­ing com­edy also re­quired some ex­tra work, with it com­ing to some an­i­ma­tors more eas­ily than oth­ers. Cole­man says he sees part of his job is to as­sem­ble a team of an­i­ma­tors with a va­ri­ety of abil­i­ties, mean­ing those with fa­cil­ity for hu­mor or ac­tion or drama can bring those tal­ents to shots that em­pha­size those el­e­ments.

Some shots in the movie were so com­pli­cated, they took a half hour to load into the com­puter. “There’s some shots that must have over 50 char­ac­ters, all an­i­mated, as well as ve­hi­cles mov­ing around,” says Cole­man, who gives credit to Ste­wart Alves for be­ing able to an­i­mate dozens of char­ac­ters and ve­hi­cles in the movie’s sin­gle most com­plex shot.

The movie is jam-packed with ref­er­ences sure to please die-hard Bat-fans. “We went far and wide into our ref­er­ence. I wanted Gotham City to be filled out with the rogues’ gallery from through­out his his­tory,” says McKay. “I wanted to take pieces of dif­fer­ent as­pects for, say The Rid­dler, and ref­er­ence (the Frank) Gor­shin Rid­dler (from the 1960s TV show) or more mod­ern comic-book in­ter­pre­ta­tions. Bane was the clas­sic Bane with the Tom Hardy coat (from The Dark Knight Rises). It was that kind of thing. We re­ally wanted to make al­lu­sions.”

The most ob­scure ref­er­ences are to a pair of od­dball vil­lains, Mag­pie and Crazy Quilt.

But McKay says he’s ea­ger for fans to rec­og­nize ref­er­ences like di­a­log that matches up with the 1989 Bur­ton movie. And it was that kind of fun that spread through­out the mak­ing of the movie. “Pa­trick Stump from Fall Out Boy sounds eerily like Will Ar­nett in the way he sort of sing-growls,” says McKay, who brought in the vo­cal­ist as Bat­man’s singing voice. “He picked up on a bunch of the ref­er­ences and it was like a nerd fest.”

With the movie hav­ing wrapped and ready to roll into the­aters, McKay says he’s very happy with the fi­nal prod­uct. “Bat­man was my first su­per­hero and I wanted to make a Bat­man movie for peo­ple who deeply love movies, who love su­per­heroes,” he says. “I’m re­ally proud of what we did and I’m proud of the crew. I’m re­ally lov­ing watch­ing it with an au­di­ence and watch­ing peo­ple get into it.” [

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