QUOTE Better Days Ahead OF THE MONTH
The words “diversity” and “inclusion” seem to be on everyone’s minds these days: Disney/ Marvel’s Black Panther recently surpassed the billion-dollar mark worldwide and as the award season came to its crescendo in early March, we all have reason to be hopeful for the future of representation both on screen and behind the cameras. As Chris Nee, the creator of Doc McStuffins, recently told Animation Magazine: it’s important for all kids to see themselves reflected on TV shows and at the movies.
This past year, we saw some amazing animated features, TV shows and shorts directed and created by women and people of color. Nora Twomey, Darla Anderson, Adrian Molina, Ramsey Naito, Ru Kuwahata and Dana Murray were a few of the creative forces that were recognized for their work during this past awards season. However, looking forward to the rest of the features slated for 2018, we still see little female or minority representation in the director’s chair. But all signs seem to point to big changes ahead. After all, this December, audiences will finally see an animated Spider-Man who is half African American, half Puerto Rican starring in his own big theatrical feature (thanks to the folks at Sony Pictures Animation).
In this issue, we also bring back our Rising Stars of Animation showcase, in which we spotlight a dozen men and women whose careers are about to really blossom. They come from very different backgrounds and have made their breakthroughs in a variety of original ways. What they do share is a true passion for animation. They are also really devoted to doing whatever it takes to perfect their craft and reach the true fruition of their artistic dreams. We hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit about our special group.
This month, moviegoers also get to finally take in Wes Anderson’s unbelievably well-crafted and meticulously detailed instant-classic Isle of Dogs. I had the great honor of chatting with some key members of the film’s creative team, and I found myself hyperventilating just hearing about their massive accomplishments and highly involved handiwork. Nobody said making a stop-motion movie about a group of outcast canines suffering from dog flu in an apocalyptic world was going to be easy — but this, my friends, is truly something to behold!
We also have an informative snapshot of the Russian animation scene, as our publisher Jean Thoren visited the country on a special assignment and met with many of the region’s top studio heads and animators. You won’t want to miss this report if you want to find out what’s brewing both artistically and commercially in this fascinating region of the world.
Here’s hoping that the spring season brings you a renewed sense of hope for the future of our world and the art of animation.