Animation Magazine

Inching Towards Normalcy

- Ramin Zahed Editor in Chief ramin@animationm­

We are in the final days of January as we put the finishing touches to this issue and there are some positive signs that we may see a return to semi-normalcy in the third and fourth quarter of 2021. Of course, the COVID pandemic seems to have more surprise twists and turns than a good season of The Walking Dead. But a lot of people in the animation industry are still hoping that we can go back to seeing movies on the big screen again in the fall. I am sure many of you wished that you could have caught titles such as Wolfwalker­s, Soul and Over the Moon in movie theaters with a huge audience of avid fans on opening night. These films’ beautiful animation, wide-screen backdrops and memorable music deserve to be enjoyed on the big screen.

Ironically, we have Warner Bros.’ new take on Hanna-Barbera’s beloved cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry gracing our cover this month. I had a great time chatting with the film’s director Tim Story, VFX supervisor Frazer Churchill and animation director Michael Eames about how they brought these amazing characters (which were first introduced in 1940) to life in a hybrid adventure set against the hustle and bustle of New York City. Sure, we all wish we could see this on the big screen, but for now, we just have to make sure we pay our monthly HBO Max fees to enjoy this and many other Warner Bros. movies this year. (We’re talking Godzilla vs. Kong, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Dune and Matrix 4 here!)

FOX network’s new addition to its Animation Domination lineup The Far North is our second collector’s cover this month. The show’s talented showrunner­s Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux gave us a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at their hot new comedy, which is going to give all the other FOX primetime toons about eccentric families a run for their money.

If you would like to catch a glimpse of the future of animated movies in Europe, all you need to do is glance at the colorful lineup of this year’s Cartoon Movie. Sadly, the event had to remain virtual and won’t bring the community together in Bordeaux in person, but that means you can tune in from anywhere around the world and learn about the 55 features that are presented at the pitching and financing forum. We’ve also spotlighte­d a collection of these movies in this issue for your perusal.

Brilliant Romanian director Anca Damian’s latest pièce de résistance The Island is among the many movies featured at Cartoon Movie. Just a couple of years ago, she made a big splash with her highly artistic and poignant movie Marona’s Fantastic Tale, and now she’s back with a wild, surreal take on the classic story of Robinson Crusoe. Her fantastic imaginatio­n and socially aware visions never fail to amaze.

As one of our animation industry friends recently pointed out in a Zoom call, “Things are slowly going to go back to normal. Maybe the silver lining is that this whole pandemic taught us to appreciate all the good people and things that we have in our lives a little more.” I couldn’t agree more!

 ??  ?? Above: Tom and Jerry circa 1940 (Puss Gets the Boot) and below 2021 (Tom and Jerry movie)
Above: Tom and Jerry circa 1940 (Puss Gets the Boot) and below 2021 (Tom and Jerry movie)
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