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DreamWorks Animation Television Announces Three New Netflix Series

DreamWorks Animation Television is set to release three new kids series on Netflix in 2019 and 2020, including Archibald’s Next Big Thing from Emmy Award-winner Tony Hale. The new slate was announced during a MIPJr. keynote by Margie Cohn, president of DreamWorks Animation Television.

Upcoming series include:

DreamWorks Archibald’s Next Big Thing – 2019
Inspired by the critically acclaimed children’s book from Tony Hale, Tony Biaggne and Victor Huckabee, Archibald’s Next Big Thing follows the adventures of Archibald Strutter, a chicken who ‘yes-ands’ his way thru life. Though living in the moment often leads him astray, Archibald always finds his way back home. Executive produced by Tony Hale, Archibald’s Next Big Thing is a fresh comedy about the importance of being present and celebrating the journey, not just the destination.

DreamWorks Gabby’s Dollhouse – 2020
Welcome to Gabby’s Dollhouse, the preschool show with a surprise inside! Created and executive produced by Traci Paige Johnson (Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and Jennifer Twomey (Blue’s Clues, Team Umizoomi), Gabby’s Dollhouse is a mixed media series that unboxes a surprise before jumping into a fantastical animated world full of adorable cat characters that live inside Gabby’s dollhouse. Any adventure can unfold when we play in Gabby’s Dollhouse!

DreamWorks Rhyme Time Town – 2020
All aboard to DreamWorks Rhyme Time Town, where Daisy the Puppy and Cole the Kitten are ready to guide young children through a colorful and adventurous world filled with nursery rhymes and imaginative play.

Previously announced upcoming series from DreamWorks and Netflix include the highly anticipated DreamWorks She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Nov 16) from executive producer Noelle Stevenson and DreamWorks Tales of Arcadia: 3Below (Dec 21) and DreamWorks Tales of Arcadia: Wizards (2019) from Guillermo del Toro and the Emmy-winning team behind Trollhunters. Additionally, DreamWorks and Netflix recently revealed an animated Fast & the Furious series is set for 2019.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/dreamworks-animation-television-announces-three-new-netflix-series/
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ANIME REVIEW: “Saiyuki Reload Blast”

Saiyuki is one of several anime series based loosely—very loosely in this case—on Wu Ch’êng-ên’s Ming Dynasty novel “The Journey to the West,” sometimes called “Monkey” in English. The book chronicles the misdeeds of the Monkey King, Son Goku. (Akira Toriyama’s hit series Dragon Ball is also derived from the novel.) Goku’s antics disturb even the Jade Emperor of Heaven until the rambunctious warrior is tamed by the monk Tripitaka, who takes him, Pigsy and Sandy on his sojourn westward.

Many American readers are surprised to learn that for the Chinese author and his audience, the West meant India. Tripitaka’s journey is a pilgrimage to obtain Buddhist sutras to help spread the religion in China and East Asia.

Saiyuki has remained popular since it debuted in 1997 as a manga by Kazuya Minekura. In addition to the five manga series, there have been three live-action musicals, several video games and numerous animated incarnations, beginning with two OAV’s in 1999. The 12-episode Saiyuki Reload Blast, directed by Hideaki Nakano, aired in 2017.

Like Dragon Ball, Saiyuki preserves only a few elements of the original novel. The wise, patient Tripitaka has become the very secular monk Genjo Sanzo (David Matranga), who smokes, carries a magic pistol and seems to want a nap more than enlightenment. Grumbling, red-haired half-demon Sha Gyojo (Ian Sinclair) lusts after women and chain smokes; Cho Hakkai (Micah Solusod), a man who turned into a demon, is the brightest of member of the group, although that’s not saying a lot. Upbeat, energetic Son Goku (Greg Ayres) is always hungry.

The four comrades set out from the ancient Chinese capitol of Chang’an (now Xi’an) to obtain the sutras and to prevent the possible resurrection of the Ox-Demon King Gyumaoh. Cho Hakkai has a small dragon that conveniently turns into a Jeep, enabling to them travel through the land of Shangri-La. The efforts of evil sorcerers to raise the Ox-Demon King has stirred up the demon population, resulting in attacks on humans and their settlements, even in areas where the two groups have co-existed in relative peace. As the quartet wanders from village to village, they rescue a lot of humans and kill even more demons, using halberds, guns and the Asian equivalent of quarter staves.

The problem with the Saiyuki series is that characters don’t really grow or change. Goku remains friendly, excitable and eager; Gyojo complains endelessly about him, calling him a “damned monkey.” Despite their formidable powers, the guys remain broke and in need of food. The villagers they rescue put them up for a night or two, then they move on. But these limits don’t seem to bother the many Saiyuki fans, who’ve been happily watching Genjo Sanzo, Sha Gyojo, Cho Hakkai and Son Goku kick demon butt for more than two decades.

Saiyuki Reload Blast
Crunchyroll/Funimation: $64.98 4 discs, DVD and Blu-ray

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/anime-review-saiyuki-reload-blast/
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Animated Spirits Film Festival Returns To New York With New European Animation

Kicking off with a screening and networking event at the SVA Theatre on Sunday, November 4 at 5 pm, Animated Spirits Film Festival – New Animation from Europe is returning to New York City for its fourth year with recent animated shorts from Europe and especially the Central Eastern European Region. Presented together with the SVA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects, the festival brings some dim, poignant, surreal and unconventional films from over 15 EU countries, all dealing with present-day issues like the long-term effects of childhood traumas on one’s personality, gender differences and personal freedom in today’s society. The festival invites you to discover the diverse new voices in independent European animation. The selections include highlights of the past year in animation, fresh student films from leading European schools and an expanded selection from the Visegrad Four Region – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The program features shorts that are suggested for audiences 18 and over.

The screenings are on Sunday, November 4 and Monday, November 5 at the SVA Theatre and their are workshops & presentations by European gurus of animation at the SVA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects (133 West 21st St., 3rd Floor, Room 301-C). The presentations will deal with experimental animation by Robert Sowa, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Krakow, Poland, a filmmaker and restless experimenter whose work was featured at the MOMA in New York, the Centrum Pompidou in Paris, France and many festivals worldwide; game cinematics, digital games and gaming culture in Central Europe by multi- award winning filmmaker and previsualization master David Ringeisen from Hungary and independent animation and digital games extraordinaire Maros Brojo from Slovakia; animated documentary by Eliska Decka, international animation expert and Assistant Professor at FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic and independent filmmaking after school by Oscar shortlisted and Berlinale winner Réka Bucsi, a rising superstar from Hungary.

Animated Spirits Film Festival showcases the new, the exciting and the unconventional in European independent animation today. The carefully selected films illustrate the spirit of contemporary experimentation, while reflecting on the potential of traditional and original techniques.

All programs are free and open to the public. RSVP required.

If you would like more information, please visit animatedspirits.org.

About Animated Spirits Film Festival
Animated Spirits was founded and is organized by Zita Mara Vadasz, Advisor at the Moholy- Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest and former director of the Hungarian Cultural Center in New York and curated by Anna Ida Orosz, lecturer at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary; both well-known figures in the European animation community. Since 2015 the festival has showcased 86 films from 21 countries in front of a 1500+ registered audience and has had 50+ partners from Europe and the United States.

The 4th edition of Animated Spirits Film Festival is hosted by and organized in collaboration with SVA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/animated-spirits-film-festival-returns-to-new-york-with-new-european-animation/
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Jackie Chan to produce and voice in “Once Upon A Zodiac”

Today, Toonbox Entertainment (The Nut Job) and GAMA Entertainment (TMNT) announced that Jackie Chan has been tapped as an Executive Producer and cast to voice in their upcoming production, Once Upon A Zodiac. The film is currently in production.

Galen Walker, producer said: “We are proud to have Jackie Chan part of this film as an executive producer. We are captivated by Jackie Chan’s talent and the leadership that he brings to our animated film.”

Once Upon A Zodiac takes place in a mystical world populated with the animals of the Zodiac, a group of not-yet-friends are brought together by fate. The strength of the Tiger champion and the brains of the Rat genius are nothing compared to the street smarts and courage of a plucky orphaned Dragon. This unlikely trio set out to find missing parents, solve a growing mystery, and help the Grand Council conquer chaos and distrust to usher their world – and ours – into a bright new future.

Sook Yhun, associate producer added: “Having worked closely with Jackie Chan, we believe he brings just the perfect touch of voice talent to Once Upon A Zodiac.”

Known for his work on international hits like the RUSH HOUR franchise, Jackie Chan is a recognized veteran in animation. He notably voiced Mr. Feng in THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE. He has been featured in all the KUNG FU PANDA franchise. As well, he voiced in the Chinese editions of the Walt Disney Animation Studios production, MULAN, and in his own animated hit series, “JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES.”

Once Upon A Zodiac is an animated feature production by Toonbox Entertainment and GAMA Entertainment with Galen Walker and Hong Kim producing and Jackie Chan as an executive producer.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/jackie-chan-to-produce-and-voice-in-once-upon-a-zodiac/
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“Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse” – A Recap of the NYCC Preview

Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is getting a complete makeover. At New York Comic Con on Saturday, October 6th, Sony Pictures Animation debuted the first 35 minutes from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (it swings into theaters December 14th). A panel Q&A with cast and crew members followed. I attended the presentation, held in a packed Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Some on hand were dressed as Spidey. It’s safe to say ALL who attended Marveled at the preview footage. Here’s a recap:

Moderator Josh Horowitz first welcomed “Spider-Verse” producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (directors/producers of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and “The LEGO Movie”) on stage. Lord informed the audience that, while the film opens in just two months, it’s still very much “a work in progress”. However, in trying to put together something for the NYCC crowd, he and Miller realized that they couldn’t just show a couple of random scenes because there are so many story connections that go from one scene into the next.

When they announced that the fans were about to see the first 35 minutes, the crowd erupted. And before the preview began, Phil and Chris had everyone in attendance stand up, raise both hands and declare that no one would post spoilers online.

A handful of shots still needs to be fully animated, but I’d say about 90% of this opening section of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse looked silver screen ready. And it’s definitely impressive.

The basic story surrounds Miles Morales (voiced by “Dope”‘s Shameik Moore), a music-loving, 13-year-old African American boy who lives with his parents in Brooklyn. Miles’ dad (Brian Tyree Henry) is a police officer who isn’t the biggest fan of Spider-Man. Miles’ mom Rio (Luna Lauren Velez), who often speaks to him in Spanish, says at one point says that “Our family doesn’t run from things.” And we also meet Miles’ uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali). It’s their trip to the subway system that really sets things in motion.

Over the course of this opening act, audiences will be treated to high-tech animation, high-flying action sequences and several cameo appearances. There is also a lot of humor in the script, mainly involving Miles’ awkward high school and super power antics.

The footage – jam-packed with complex content – ended to thunderous applause. Horowitz then brought Lord and Miller back out, with Moore, Henry, Velez, Jake Johnson (who voices Peter Parker) and directors Peter Ramsey (“Rise of the Guardians“) and Bob Persichetti now joining them.

As Miller explained, “Sony came to us and said ‘Wouldn’t be it cool if we made an animated Spider-Man movie?’ And I said, ‘It’d be awesome, but it’d be, like, the 7th Spider-Man movie. It has to be super fresh… and Miles’ story.’” Lord added, “We set out to make the most different Spider-Man movie we could.”

For Persichetti, “This was a chance for us to lean into a medium that was made for Spider-Man.” The animation does feel like it leaps right out of a comic-book. Ramsey remarked that “The studio and Phil and Chris had the vision, and we pushed it as far as we could go. The fact that we’ve made this movie in 3 years – for something of this magnitude and complexity – it’s crazy.”

Moore was so overwhelmed by the Comic Con crowd that he actually gave away a big spoiler during the Q&A, which was live-streamed on social media. Nonetheless, for him, “Spider-Verse” is a moment. While making the 2015 movie “Dope”, Moore wrote in a journal, “I Am Spider-Man. I Am Miles Morales.”, hoping that one day, he would get to play him. A few years later, he got this opportunity of a lifetime. Miller said that Moore actually auditioned for him for a different movie, but that he was the first person they thought of for Miles.

Johnson, best known for TV’s “New Girl”, revealed that his Peter Parker is 40 years old, chubby and depressed. “It is so exciting,” he said, “I’m fired up to be in it! Peter and Miles become unlikely friends and partners in crime, sort of like ‘The Karate Kid’. They need each other to get out of their situations.”

“Spider-Verse” is Velez’s first animated movie. “I had no idea what to expect,” she said. “I’m floored by everything. The depth of their faces… it’s so beyond what I expected.” And Henry is thrilled to see a young, Black man portrayed in a film with two, loving parents. “He’s got a damn good upbringing!”, Henry shouted. “There’s nothing more important to me than representation. It’s a big deal that Miles has both parents.”

Miller thinks this story is vital right now. “Anybody can really imagine themselves behind the mask.” And Lord has a warning for moviegoers: “If you like this, we’re gonna be stuck making, like, 38 of these.”

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/spider-man-into-the-spiderverse-a-recap-of-the-nycc-preview/
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Two Anime Features Make Their Formal Premieres at the LA Femme Festival

La Femme International Film Festival and festival sponsor ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio will hold a special screening of the award-winning anime feature Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms, Friday, October 12th at 6PM, and a competition screening of Liz and the Blue Bird, Sunday, October 14th at 12PM. Both screenings will be at the Regal Theater Stadium 14 at LA Live. Founded in 2005, the LA Femme International Film Festival is a premier festival that focuses on platforming women filmmakers and works “by women, for everyone.”

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms is the directorial debut of renowned screenwriter Mari Okada. The film dives into the dilemmas of motherhood, adolescence, femininity, and leadership. Okada wraps all these poignant themes into a sweeping epic with well-developed characters, emotional gravitas, stunning visuals, and an exhilarating score by composer Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell). The film, hot off its initial February release, quickly made its way across the globe to premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival, where it captivated audiences. Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms also won the Best Animated Film Award at Shanghai International Film Festival.

An Official Selection of the festival, Liz and the Blue Bird is a coming-of-age story from Naoko Yamada, the director of A Silent Voice. ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio has set November 9th, 2018, as the theatrical release for the film. The film made its premiere at Anime Expo in the US and will screen with the original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles.

“We could not be prouder to have these two incredibly powerful titles screen at the LA Femme. Director Mari Okada and director Naoko Yamada are incredible women whose work continues to shape the anime industry. We are honored to be bringing the films to this festival and to the broader North American audience,” says Ko Mori, President and CEO of ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio.

ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio is a Los Angeles-based distribution company known for bringing high-quality Japanese anime to North America. ELEVEN ARTS’ anime titles include Digimon Adventure Tri.Chapter 1: Reunion, the Evangelion franchise, The Last: Naruto the Movie, Sailor Moon R: The Movie, Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro and A Silent Voice.

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms screens on Friday, October 12th at 6PM and Liz and the Blue Bird screens on Sunday, October 14th at 12PM, at the Regal Theater Stadium 14 at LA Live, 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles.

Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.lafemme.org/tickets/

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/two-anime-features-make-their-formal-premieres-at-the-la-femme-festival/
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Will Vinton R.I.P.

This morning, Oscar and Emmy winning clay animator Will Vinton passed away surrounded by family. This news was announced by his children, Billy, Jesse & Alex, on Facebook. “Will had endured a 12 year battle with Multiple Myeloma, although you never would have known of this fight. For the vast majority of that time he continued forward in his life with strength, positivity, and humor, enjoying tropical get-aways, shepherding new creative ventures, and caring for his two sons, daughter and wife.”

Vinton became an overnight success when his first film (co-directed by Bob Gardiner) Closed Mondays won an Oscar in 1974. He established Vinton Studios in Portland to continue making shorts, features and numerous Clio Award winning TV commercials.

His feature-length movie, The Adventures of Mark Twain was theatrically released in 1985 – the same year the studio provided animation effects for Disney’s Return to Oz. In the late 1980s the studio achieved nationwide success via a series of commercials featuring the California Raisins, the Domino’s Pizza “Noid”, and the original M&M’s Red, Yellow, and Blue characters.

In the 1990s, Vinton Studios produced the animated series The PJs for FOX – and another animated series for UPN, Gary and Mike. Nike founder Phil Knight invested in the studio around this time and by 2005, Knight assumed complete control (still in business today as Laika Studios). Vinton himself left the studio he founded and formed another – Freewill Entertainment – which produced several short films.

A celebration of Vinton’s life will take place at No Vacancy Lounge in Portland, OR from 3:00 on Sunday October 21st.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/will-vinton-r-i-p/
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Name That Toon: The Nomenclature in “Star Wars Resistance”

Since George Lucas no longer owns the franchise, who names the new Star Wars characters, places and vehicles? With Star Wars Resistance, Disney/Lucasfilm allows several creatives to decide.

“It actually was a roundtable effort,” said Athena Portillo, one of the show’s three executive producers, during a press gathering at The Burbank Centre on September 25. “I remember printing a list of everybody’s thoughts of what these characters should be called, and then just sending these emails out and asking for decisions: “These are our top five; these are our top 3,” just getting everyone involved from Disney to the committee Story Group and [series creator Dave] Filoni. It was an effort, including Amy Beth Christenson, who is our art director.”

“Yeah, she came up with the name ‘Torra’,” says Brandon Auman, executive producer and head writer, referring to Torra Doza, the mechanic/pilot. “Dave had a couple of names in his head. I think he gave one of these names early on.

Executive producer and supervising director Justin Ridge concurs. “I think [it was] Team Fireball. We knew the ship that the team had was just a mess.

“It could turn into a fireball at any minute,” Auman says. “Which is kind of funny when you hear “fireball” you think, “Oh, it’s going to be really fast.” But it’s because it might really explode. “Oh, so that’s why it’s called ‘Fireball’.”

Bobby Moynihan, who spent nine years on NBC’s Saturday Night Live as a writer-performer, voices two roles: Orka, and a stormtrooper. “Me and Jim Rash (Community) play Flix and Orka. We are two guys that work at acquisitions in the basement of the Colossus, which is like a truck stop in space. A lot of people fixing their ships, getting their parts for their ships, racing. I’m sure there’s some seedy business going on. Star Wars has always been the Force and the Skywalker family. This is about a building where a bunch of people work. This is that blue collar gritty side of Star Wars where it’s just survival (chuckles) and selling stuff and I enjoy that part of it,” he says.

“I have to say it took awhile to come up with the name, ‘The Colossus,’ Portillo remarks.

“Oh, yeah, that took a long time,” Auman says. “Originally it was just called ‘The Platform.’ It’s not just a platform. Just think of a flat piece of metal. That doesn’t give it much character. They still refer to it as a platform every once in awhile, or as ‘The Station.’ In the beginning we were coming up with all kinds of names. We had more than a dozen names. We had about 30-40 names of what that station’s going to be called. It wasn’t until deep into Season One that we finally landed on ‘The Colossus’.”

“That’s true,” Portillo says. “Even while we’re working on stories in season one, we’re still trying to come up with character names. So we give them generic names and we’ll just call it whatever the species is. [When we] finally need a name, we’ll come up with one.”

Says Justin Ridge, “I think for a lot of shows, we have code names or temporary names to keep us going. ‘Okay, we have to come up with one officially, now.’”

Bobby Moynihan’s character name had yet to be chosen when he tried out for the part. He says, “I auditioned for this and once I started reading the sides, it wasn’t the real names. Everything was called something else.”

Even when he won the role, he says, “I didn’t know anything for a very long time. I didn’t see the character till right before we recorded. They showed me my character for the first time and my first thought was … You know in New Hope, in the cantina scene, Kabe? He’s trying to grab the drink off the bar and he can’t because of the gloves. He uses them, so crappy. I was like, ‘I’m one of them.’ They’re called ‘Chadra-fans.’ It’s crazy.

“When I first saw Flix, they showed it to us for a second and moved it away. I thought he was a Porg, so for months I was like, ‘My partner is a Porg?’ I was mad. Not in a bad way; I like the Porg. As I felt like I was turning into the character I was like, ‘I don’t want to work with a Porg,’ and that made me really happy. He’s kind of a brand new species [a Gozzo], Porg-like, Porg-adjacent. But there are these Gorgs, aquatic little creatures. They look like piranhas that we eat. Yeah, they’re my new favorite. I like them because they’re just evil Porgs.”

A reporter asks, “They’re evil Porgs?”

“They’re not. This is not canon,” Moynihan hastily points out. “I’m making up my own backstories.”

The reporter says, “I was disappointed that he was going to eat it, that that was going to be his lunch.”

“I know but it’s the Chewbacca moment. He’s got to,” Moynihan counters. “It’s amazing. There’s a lot of stuff in that, those Gorgs. Also, I have grown to love our droid in the shop. We have that pit droid, which is from The Phantom Menace. His name, it’s GL-N. We just call him Glenn. That’s my favorite. I love that. I go like, ‘That’s my droid’.”

The cast and creative team of Disney Channel’s animated series “Star Wars Resistance” – DONALD FAISON, ATHENA YVETTE PORTILLO (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), SUZIE MCGRATH, JUSTIN RIDGE (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), CHRISTOPHER SEAN, BB-8, BRANDON AUMAN (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), BOBBY MOYNIHAN

One actor has a personalized identification with his character. “The name ‘Fazon’ will live forEVER,” enthuses Donald Faison (Turk on Scrubs), who voices his Rodian namesake on the Colossus. “It’s great to be on a show, period, but the fact that it’s a Star Wars show means everything to me. And the fact that they created a character WITH MY NAME means even more. Hype Fazon has the biggest ego on the Platform. You know how Palpatine WAS the Senate? Fazon IS the Platform. ‘I AM the Platform.’ My wife recently found out that I was in Star Wars. She thinks it’s great. She thinks it’s more impressive that my name is in Star Wars than I’m doing Star Wars.”

Says Brandon Auman, “I guess we could say this: It’s really not a huge deal. Originally Neeku (a good-natured alien mechanic voiced by Josh Brener) was called “Radar” as sort of a placeholder name. So we called him ‘Radar’ for a long time. It was almost like an homage to M*A*S*H, so we were called Neeku for a long time, ‘Radar.’

“Bucket was called ‘Junk’ for a long time. So that’s a scoop, right there. We hadn’t told anybody that.”

Until now.


Star Wars Resistance premieres Sunday, October 7 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT/PDT), on Disney Channel, DisneyNOW and Disney Channel VOD, with subsequent airings on Disney XD.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/name-that-toon-the-nomenclature-in-star-wars-resistance/
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Toronto Animation Arts Festival Announces Keynote Speakers

Today the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) announced its keynote speakers for the official TAAFI INDUSTRY 2018 event. The two-day conference will offer exclusive talks from top animation artists and content creators who have done work for Walt Disney Animation Studios, WOW! Unlimited, Skyship Entertainment, Netflix, National Film Board of Canada, Nickelodeon, and more. The event will run from November 3-4 at Corus Quay.

The following keynote speakers are:

Fred Seibert, CEO of Frederator Networks and CCO of WOW! Unlimited
Jessica Borutski, Supervising Director of Loud House (Jam Filled Entertainment, Nickelodeon)
Joe Ksander and Kevin R. Adams Directors and Writer of Next Gen (Tangent, Netflix)
Dan Haskett, veteran animator, and designer (The Little Mermaid, The Simpsons, Batman The Animated Series, Animaniacs)
Michael Hirsch, CEO of WOW! Unlimited, co-founder of Nelvana Limited, co-founder Cookie Jar Entertainment
Morghan Fortier, Co-Owner / CEO of Tinman Studios and Skyship Entertainment (Super Science Friends, Super Simple Songs)

“We are proud to provide the animation community with two days of programming consisting of world-class speakers, panels, and industry mixers,” said Barnabas Wornoff, co-founder and chair, TAAFI. “This year’s conference is the first of its kind for Toronto as TAAFI continues to focus on bolstering its programming to celebrate animation in Toronto, including our most important asset – the community of talented artists and creators!”

In addition to the programming, the conference will host The Big Pitch competition and Pitchapalooza, a speed-dating pitch meeting with production executives. This pitching series connects creators with broadcasters and production studios looking for the next break out hit.

Submission Deadlines
The Big Pitch – October 18th: https://goo.gl/86fefN
Pitchapalooza – October 16th: https://goo.gl/5ki6sB

Limited early bird tickets are available until October 5th on taafi.com with more speaker announcements and the final program arriving Oct. 18th.

TAAFI INDUSTRY 2018 Event Details:
November 3-4, 2018
Corus Quay — 25 Dockside Drive, Toronto, ON M5A 1B6
Purchase tickets here: taafi.com

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/toronto-animation-arts-festival-announces-keynote-speakers/
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INTERVIEW: Exec Producer Vic Cook talks “Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters”

There have been numerous movies and TV shows involving toys coming to life. But never one quite like this. Victor Cook, executive producer of Hasbro’s animated series Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters expands on Season 2, now streaming on Netflix. But first he recaps Season 1, in which three ordinary teens – Jake Armstrong, Nathan Park and Ricardo Perez – become superheroes.

Victor Cook: In Season 1 this accident happens to them. And this guy, Jonathan Rook, this businessman who created and re-built Charter City, hires them as corporate superheroes. The chemical accident that created these three guys has been creating these supervillains, we find out all season. By the end of the season… we find out that Jonathan Rook is actually Stretch Monster and the guy behind all these “accidents” creating these monsters. And our heroes find that out in the last episode. Rook/Stretch Monster frames them for a crime that they didn’t commit. So Season 2 is about them being… rogue heroes, in a way. The world does not know Rook is Stretch Monster, and everyone now thinks our good guys are the bad guys.

Jackson Murphy: Congratulations on Season 2. You never know how long shows are going to last. You and your team must be very proud.

VC: We’re really excited. Season 1 was the foundation. We introduced all these characters. And the status quo of Season 1 radically changed at the end, and so Season 2 is an opportunity to see our heroes work under a different kind of pressure. We get to peel away some of the onion skin of story and character development and learn more about these guys.

JM: And there’s a real reason why this show is called “Stretch Armstrong AND the Flex Fighters”. It’s not just about Stretch. It’s got an ensemble to it, and… this is a very diverse show.

VC: Very diverse. On most shows,if you’re doing a show based on a known property, you have to deal with what was set before. But you find ways to modernize it. But with this show, there was no real story to it before. It was just a novelty toy. You didn’t know who he was. You didn’t know what his job was. It was just a thing you played with like a frisbee. So we were able to create a whole brand new superhero universe around it, and it’s a show about a team. We could, from the get go, cast these characters any ethnicity and any race and any gender we wanted. And we decided to have a reflect a modern, big city that you’d see in America today.

JM: I remember five or six years ago hearing that there was going to be a live-action “Stretch Armstrong” movie that didn’t end-up happening. I’m glad that this animated series was able to come out of that.

VC: Hasbro had been trying to crack the nut of developing the “Stretch Armstrong” property into some sort of a narrative. By the time me and my producing partners Doc Wyatt and Kevin Burke came in, we were given a blank slate. They said, “It has to still be called ‘Stretch Armstrong’. He still has to be able to stretch. But other than that: show us what you got.” And that’s what we did.

JM: Hasbro Studios has been very protective of this brand, but it’s nice that they’ve given you this freedom to create this how you would.

VC: We just said, “Let’s create a superhero universe that WE would like.” We decided to make it about a team. And we wanted them to be teenagers because teenagers are inexperienced anyway. We just thought it would be more fun and interesting to see them go through these superpowers together. We gave them three distinctive personalities, so we could experience it through those points of view.

JM: Did you ever have any aspirations in high school that you would, suddenly, like to become a superhero and fight crime?

VC: (laughs) If you asked me if wished I had any kind of superpower, I think it would be flying. But no, I didn’t ever think in high school I wanted to be a superhero. I think maybe when I was 6, I wanted to be a superhero. By the time I got into high school, my aspiration was to draw superheroes and be a cartoonist.

JM: And who were some of your inspirations growing up? Were they comic book artists, like Stan Lee, who you looked up to?

VC: I was a kid in the late 60s, so one of my big heroes was Jack Kirby, who was the artist of the Marvel Universe. And I just loved the power and dynamics of what he did. On the other side of the spectrum of the cartoon world, my other hero was Charles Schulz (the creator of Peanuts) – two radically different things. And because of those two, I thought I wanted to be a print cartoonist. It wasn’t really until college that the idea of getting into animation came to me – and to use those skills of cartooning and comics for animation.

JM: And at what point in your timeline of life did Stretch Armstrong come into play?

VC: The toy, I think, came out in 1978, so I was a sophomore in high school then. I remember seeing it. My younger brother had it, so I didn’t actually play with one. I was not into that kind of toy. I was more into superhero toys, so I was into the Mego figures – they had a storyline; they reminded me of a comic strip. But I do remember my brother and his buddies playing with the Stretch Armstrong. So it was great, years later, that I was able to create that comic book superhero world around that character.

JM: Did you ask your brother, “Hey, do you remember how you played with that?” for some inspiration?

VC: (laughs) No, not really, because honestly the show is nothing like the original toy at all. The original toy: he’s walking around in a pair of shorts. He looks like a wrestler. He was just this thing you played with. He was a thing. So inspirations for this show were my love of comic books and superheroes – and envisioning a world like that the way I see it. The only thing we really have in common with the original toy is that he stretches, but we have our own way of how he does it. He wore blue trunks, so his costume is blue. He had blonde hair, so we decided to make Jake Armstrong have blonde hair.

And in observing other superhero characters stretch, we’ve seen that they can sort of, by will, make their arms stretch out or turn into the shape of a boat. We really wanted to do it a little bit differently on this show. So we kind of envisioned him as a human bungee chord or a human rubber band, which means something else has to stretch it. And when you let go of one end, it’s gonna snap back into shape. Stretch is like centrifugal force or gravity or if he’s doing some acrobatic flips forward, it will stretch out but get to a certain point, and it will stretch back. So usually he’ll grab onto a ledge and that will slingshot him. And when we came up with that, that was the key to the action choreography to “Stretch”, too.

JM: And are those moments the toughest for the animators to animate?

VC: Oh, yeah, because of so many in-betweens. Superman, for instance. If he’s flying, you could get away with him in a three-quarter flying pose and have the background just kind of pan – but he’s hardly moving. But with a character like Stretch Armstrong, to execute his powers, it’s just constant movement and constant motion. It took a lot more drawings and it was a lot harder for the animators to do. But for the storyboard artists who could dream-up what was going to happen, it made it super fun.

JM: And you’ve got someone great voicing Jake/Stretch, Scott Menville. And he’s no stranger to voicing superheroes. He’s also Robin on “Teen Titans Go!” and in the hilarious new movie.

VC: Scott is amazing. He brings a lot of depth to the character. There’s the superhero side of Stretch, but there’s also his alter-ego. He’s an over-stressed, over-scheduled teenager raised by a single dad. His dad’s kind of a tiger dad, wanting him to excel at every subject and prepare for his future. So there’s tension between him and his dad, and Scott pulls off those emotional scenes as well as the heroic scenes.

JM: I recently interviewed Eric Bauza, who gets to voice two villains this season. Tell me about them.

VC: Eric showed-up in Season 1 in an episode that featured another villain called “Smokestack”. There was a meeting of all these gangs in Act 3, and Bauza played Murakami, the leader of the Daggers (one of those gangs), so that was his first appearance. And in Season 2, we have an episode called “Riya’s Revenge” where we get into knowing her backstory more. And he reprises Murakami… but he also shows up as a new villain called The Gentleman: a proper Englishman of Indian ancestry who is super well-mannered, British, loves tea. But he wears a super strong exoskeleton suit, so he’s very polite as he’s pounding you.

JM: What do you think is the next toy that could be adapted into a series (and one that you would want to work on)?

VC: Oh, wow. There’s so many. I wouldn’t mind if they rebooted “G.I. Joe.” If somebody wanted to reboot “G.I. Joe” and wanted to give me a call, I’d love to work on that. That’d be fantastic.

JM: We’ve had a couple of live-action movies. So this would be a new, reinvented animated series?

VC: And maybe not so much for kids. Kids could watch, but maybe it would be done a little more… anime… older. Yeah, that would be fun to do.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/interview-exec-producer-vic-cook-talks-stretch-armstrong-and-the-flex-fighters/
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LA Femme International Film Festival to Showcase Anime MEGALOBOX October 12th

LA Femme Film Festival will host a female-centric anime event at the 14th Annual LA Femme International Film Festival on Friday, October 12th, 4 pm at the Regal Cinema at LA Live. The segment will feature episodes of the popular anime series Meglobox. There will be a Q&A panel following the screening with series producer Minako Fujiyoshi, moderated by writer Joelle Sellner. Admission is free of charge and reservations can be made at rsvplafemmefilmfestival@gmail.com.

Meglobox (13 x 30 minute episodes) began from the enthusiasm throughout the world for the celebration of TOMORROW’S JOE’s 50th anniversary. Meglobox will have a new type of retro-anime style that will begin a trend that states: what is old is new again. As a reboot of the iconic anime series TOMORROW’S JOE, the show is a futuristic boxing drama that appeals to a broad age range. The younger crowd enjoys the cool retro art style and the older crowd reminisces about the classics. The dramatic animation and contemporary hip-hop music have added dimension to the series and drawn in audiences.

Minako Fujiyoshi debuted as the producer with the Meglobox project. Her previous experience involved working within the TMS production division, and she has worked on numerous titles such as HAMTARO, ANPANMAN Movies, LUPIN THE THIRD: THE WOMAN CALLED FUJIKO MINE and SWEETNESS AND LIGHTNING (original title: AMAAMA TO INAZUMA).

Joelle Sellner has written for animated shows including SONIC BOOM, BEN 10: OMNIVERSE, TEEN TITANS, and AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES. Her animated web series work includes DC SUPERHERO GIRLS, and Mattel’s MONSTER HIGH. Joelle has also written comics for DC, Marvel, Dynamite, Blizzard and IDW, as well as Lion Forge/Roar Comics including SAVED BY THE BELL, and PUNKY BREWSTER.

Leslie LaPage from LA Femme states: “We are thrilled to be able to screen and have such wonderful female animation creators Minako Fujiyoshi and Joelle Sellner. Women have long been appreciated more in Animation overseas then on the domestic coast but the overall advancement of women in animation is starting to be seen worldwide with a rippling effect in the US”.

LA Femme is offering this screening as a FREE event, on a first come first serve bases at Regal Cinemas: 1000 W Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90015. Go to www.lafemme.org to read about other animation and special screenings.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/la-femme-international-film-festival-to-showcase-anime-megalobox-october-12th/
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“Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse” Trailer #2

“How many more Spider-People are there?” Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask. Here’s the trailer – I cannot wait to see the complete film.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/spider-man-into-the-spiderverse-trailer-2/
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Here Comes “MFKZ”

On Thursday October 11th and Tuesday October 16th, in select theaters nationwide, Fathom Events is screening the new, English-language version of the animated film “MFKZ”. GKIDS, the distribution studio behind ten Best Animated Feature Oscar nominees since 2009 (including “My Life as a Zucchini” and “The Breadwinner”), acquired “MFKZ” in July, with hopes it can be the studio’s awards season contender this year.

“MFKZ” is an R-rated crime/action/adventure based on the comic “Mutafukaz”. The film is the result of a collaboration between French entertainment company Ankama Animations and hip Japanese animation house Studio 4°C. Ankama Associate Producer Frederic Puech said in a statement, “We have known the team at GKIDS for some time, and we are thrilled that ‘MFKZ’ marks our first partnership. We look forward to supporting the team in bringing the film to North American audiences.”

“MFKZ” is about three friends: Angelino, Vinz, and Willy, who are distinctly different from the humans that live in rough, futuristic Dark Meat City, which is located in New California. Following a motorbike accident, Angelino starts having visions (including flashbacks to a tragic event from his youth). Soon he’s being hunted down by agents because of special qualities he didn’t know he had.

Director Guillaume ‘Run’ Renard was heavily influenced by the city of Los Angeles. “‘MFKZ’ is, in its own way, a stirring tribute to this challenging city,” said Renard. “I love the dynamism coming from L.A: its history, its atmosphere, its multiculturalism…The city’s graphic identity, with its tall palm trees and wide streets, have always thoroughly fascinated me. And like all little French kids who grew up in the 80s, I was raised on American movies and television shows. This scenery, in fact, has always seemed very familiar to me. So it was only natural for me to create L.A.’s evil twin, which allowed me to explore all of the fantasies that the city inspires in me.”

“The city is a condensed exaggeration of Los Angeles’ varied strengths and weaknesses, where the main characters, three orphan losers, live. They are all very different from one another, and they don’t belong to any particular community. Since the trio is so out of phase with the world around them, we end up identifying with them. Like Los Angeles, the city is a global city, and the neighborhoods that make it up reflect the diversity of the Earth’s inhabitants. The citizens live in the constant fear of an imminent cataclysm, but here, it is more of a supernatural threat than a physical one, like the so-called Big One.”

About 10 minutes into “MFKZ”, I realized I was in for a wild ride. First of all, this film is strictly Adults Only, due to its profanity-packed dialogue, non-stop violence and overall gritty tone. In addition, “MFKZ” features a wild blend of at least five or six different genres. Amazingly, everything works together to create an unforgettable anime experience.

The animation is inventive. The graphic, video game-style violence is at times shocking (including a heck of a car/ice cream truck chase). And the themes and commentary on political corruption, global warming and the struggle to survive in a cruel world all come through load and clear. The voice cast for this English-language dubbing includes big and small screen tough guys Michael Chiklis, Danny Trejo and Giancarlo Esposito, as well as rapper RZA. The soundtrack is a standout – one of the best of the year.

To see the most innovative and challenging animated movie of 2018, or any other recent year for that matter, visit the “MFKZ” page at FathomEvents.com for theater locations and ticket info.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/here-comes-mfkz/
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Comedy Central Announces New Animation Shorts Program

Comedy Central today launched the Animated Shorts Program, a new development initiative designed for creators to submit short form animated ideas directly to Comedy Central and provide them with the potential to sign a development deal with the #1 brand in comedy, it was announced today by Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, Executive Vice Presidents and Co-Heads of Talent and Development, Comedy Central.

“We hope the Animated Shorts Program is an evolution of our continuous history of finding the next great comedic voices. We are grateful to the very smart people at Nickelodeon who originated this incubator, and we are excited to put the Comedy Central touch on it with hopefully the same successful results Nickelodeon has found,” said Babineau and Larsen.

Based on the successful Nick’s Animated Shorts Program, from which grew the hit animated series Loud House, the goal of Comedy Central’s Program is to build an artist development incubator and provide creators with the unique opportunity to get their ideas directly to Comedy Central’s development team.

The initiative led by Comedy Central development executives Jose Acevedo, Ian Friedman, Kelci Parker and Michael Stanger, will continue with the brand’s tradition of breaking new comedic talent through programs like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Broad City, Drunk History and Comedy Central Presents: Stand-Up.

The Animated Shorts Program is open for submissions beginning today and is available to creators throughout North America. The Program seeks submissions one to three minutes in length featuring any and all styles and techniques of animation, including 2-D, digital 2-D, CG, stop-motion or mixed media. Deadline for submissions is December 31, 2018.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/comedy-central-announces-new-animation-shorts-program/
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Preview: “Star Wars Resistance” – Diversity in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

In six months, the New Republic will cease to exist.

Little do they know the First Order plans to blast them with a superweapon that can shatter entire solar systems.

But General Leia Organa knows something is afoot. She has assembled a group of fighters, the Resistance, to combat the First Order. To learn more of their growing threat, Poe Dameron, ace X-wing fighter, sends an eager young pilot to infiltrate a refueling platform, the Colossus, on the water world of Castilon. His name: Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono. He’s clumsy, unsure of himself, naïve, but he’s willing to prove he’s got “the right stuff” to be an ace pilot working for the Resistance. The questions are, will Kaz expose the First Order operative on Colossus and thwart the Starkiller superweapon? Will he gain the respect of his father, a Republican leader who frowns upon Kaz’s activities? Can he even survive the tumultuous environment on Colossus against hostile aliens, piloting a flying deathtrap called the Fireball?

Such are the challenges in Disney’s Star Wars Resistance, premiering Sunday, October 7th, in a one-hour special airing on The Disney Channel and other outlets.

At a press junket on September 26, the show’s executive producers and several cast members extolled the virtues of the latest Star Wars animated TV series.

Said executive producer Athena Portillo, “It was definitely [show creator] Dave Filoni’s goal—and our goal as well—to make sure there was female representation in the show as well as diversity. It’s so great to see someone that looks like yourself in the show. Like, for example, Torra [Doza], and Myrna Velasco [Elana of Alador] is the one voicing for her. So that made me very happy.”

Executive producer and supervising director Justin Ridge concurs: “Different people from different backgrounds can watch the show and have somebody they can root for. Hopefully, for everyone. It’s important for kids to have somebody that’s ‘Oh, yeah, that’s like me’.

Christopher Sean, who voices our hero Kaz, finds his role to be “surreal, because being an Asian-American myself—my mother’s Japanese, my dad’s American—it’s like you don’t really think that you’re gonna be the lead playing an Asian-American in the Star Wars franchise. That’s really cool. That just means people, diversity, inclusion.

“That means what I didn’t have as a kid, we’re providing to the youth now: role models. People that can say, ‘I’m familiar with this. I look like that character.’ It’s so much. I mean, it’s life-changing. It’s a sad story to say, but growing up, my role models were Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean Claude Van Damme.

“But I was never attractive because I didn’t like white with colored eyes, you know? I was Asian-American. I was different, unique. ‘Exotic,’ was a typical word I got. But does that mean you’re attractive? Who knows? No one understands, because there’s no representation. And now, with that, kids can say, ‘Oh, my goodness. I look like him. I’m allowed to be me. I don’t have to try and be something else.’ So, inclusion’s huge, and the way Disney is doing it is wonderful.”

Brandon Auman, executive producer and head writer, says, “Kaz is a really really good-hearted person. I think he always wants to do the right thing, even if he does screw up. Like his goals are always altruistic and positive. I think that’s really important for kids nowadays, especially sometimes with the climate and what’s going on in the world. It’s good to have an escape through Kaz, but also to inspire and do the right thing. Ultimately, Resistance is about the rise of tyranny, right? It’s about fighting fascism. That’s what Star Wars has always been, so we’re sort of following along that line. So I think that Kaz is a really positive role model for any kid, in any situation.”

Justin Ridge adds, “We also have the theme of family throughout the series. Even if Kaz has a conflict with his father, he has adapt to this new family on the Colossus and the dynamics of being a fish out of water—how does he adapt?”

Among the people Kaz meets are Jarek Yeager (Scott Lawrence), long-time friend of Poe Dameron and owner of a repair shop on Colossus; Tam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath), a mechanic with dreams of being a pilot; and Torra Doza (Myrna Velasco), hot pilot and daughter of the station’s manager, Captain Doza.

Portillo emphasizes, “We see that father-daughter-type relationship and then you see it with Torra and Captain Doza, and Captain Doza is very over-protective of his daughter. But she wants to have friends, so she finds a really good friend in Kaz. That’s something that we see throughout the series.”

Disney has commissioned 22 episodes for Season One. Athena Portillo reveals there is an overlap with the events in The Force Awakens. How much of an overlap? She doesn’t say, but Justin Ridge allows the possibility the show could continue beyond The Last Jedi. “We do have lots of stories we want to tell with these characters,” he says. “If audiences really like the show, we’ll continue to make the show.”

“In regards to the actors,” Ridge says, “you’re getting Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) to come in, which is phenomenal, and that opportunity to work with them was so cool, ‘cause I think it adds to the authenticity of the characters.”

“It makes sense to bring them in that time frame,” Portillo says. “If we’re bringing them into the story six months prior to The Force Awakens and we get to see the relationship between Poe and General Leia and see how the Resistance is forming and how the First Order is forming. It makes sense that we bring those characters in with that time frame.”

Auman adds, “It’s good to make a connection, obviously, we need some characters from the movies to make the connection so that the kids get, “Oh, that’s BB-8. I understand. He’s from The Force Awakens. He’s from The Last Jedi.” If there are no characters from the current movies, then it’s hard to place the timeline, so that’s super-helpful as well, like bringing in some of the Legacy characters like Leia. It’s extremely helpful for a visual storytelling standpoint, but it’s also fun having these new characters that we create interact with the movie characters. And seeing aliens from every aspect of the movies, if it’s like the prequels or like Phantom Menace to the original trilogy to the Solo movie, it’s just great to bring those aspects in and just have fun and play with them.”

In discussing the show’s target audience, Portillo says, “The age range is supposed to be six to twelve but I like to say it’s five to 70. Whoever is going to watch it, because, we were all really young when we first watched Star Wars, and we watched it with our families, so I feel it’s for everybody.

“You know, George Lucas created the original trilogy in mind for kids,” Auman remarks. “He wasn’t thinking, ‘I’m making New Hope for five-year-olds.’ He wasn’t thinking that at all. He was thinking, ‘This is for kids; this is a family experience.’ If you think about the original trilogy, it’s not like a lot of heroes are dying or getting their arms cut off or whatever. The only hero in the entire trilogy that died was in the first one, Obi-Wan. Everybody survives. It’s not this dark brooding thing that fans [think it is]—only because they’ve gotten older. Sometimes fans forget that it should also be an experience for children, the first time.”

“Right,” Justin Ridge says. “With that said, we also have to have stakes. We also have to have the obstacles and challenges in the bad guys. It’s that balance of, how far do you go?

Brandon Auman adds, “Who knows? Definitely season one gets darker as it progresses, and characters do die. There are definitely stakes, like Justin is saying. It’s Star Wars and it’s Star Wars canon.”

Given the record of canon, previous Star Wars leads have succumbed to the Dark Side of the Force or met with untimely ends: Qui-Gon Jinn, Annakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, Ben Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker. So things don’t look promising for our new hero, Kaz Xiono. Eventually he, too, may be swept under the “out with the old, in with the new” broomstick.

Says Justin Ridge: “I don’t see us going as dark as Clone Wars, but who knows? You have to watch the show.”


Star Wars Resistance premieres Sunday, October 7 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT/PDT), on Disney Channel, DisneyNOW and Disney Channel VOD, with subsequent airings on Disney XD.

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/preview-star-wars-resistance-diversity-in-a-galaxy-far-far-away/
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The Ottawa International Animation Festival 2018 Winners

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America’s leading animation film festival announced the winners of its 2018 competition today at an awards ceremony held at the National Gallery of Canada. The OIAF received a total of 2,469 entries from 84 countries and selected 110 for competition.

The Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short went to Solar Walk, by Réka Busic (Denmark). The Grand Prize for Features went to This Magnificent Cake! by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels (Belgium, France, Netherlands).

This Magnificent Cake!

This year’s Short, Feature and Young Audience Competition screenings were judged by three official juries. The Competition Feature Jury featured Chintis Lundgren, an award-winning Estonian-born animator, Steven Subotnick, an independent animator, director, illustrator and author. Chel White is the co-founder of Bent Image Labs and has done work for Saturday Night Live, David Lynch, Al Gore and Thom Yorke.

The Competition Short Jury included Nicolas Brault, is a Canadian award-winning director. Igor Prassel is a lecturer on the history and theory of animation film in Slovenia, an author and Artistic Director of Animateka. Kelly Sears is an award-winning experimental animator in collage. Her work has been screened around the world. She’s also Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The third and final jury is comprised of Ottawa-area children between the ages of eight and 12 who judged the Young Audiences: Preschool and Ages six to 12 Competitions.

FULL COMPETITION PRIZE WINNER LIST

ANIMATION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES COMPETITION: PRESCHOOL
Winner: Koniguri-Kun Music Box by Mari Miyazawa
Second Place: The Highway Rat by Jeroen Jaspaert

ANIMATION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES COMPETITION AGES 6 TO 12
Winner: The Green Bird, by Maximilien Bourgeoi, Quentin Dubois, Irina Nguyen-Duc, Marine Goalard and Pierre Perveyrie
Second Place: Funny Fish, Krishna Chandran A. Nair

CANADIAN FILM INSTITUTE CANADIAN STUDENT COMPETITION
Winner: Bird Milk, Christopher Strickler, Emily Carr University
First Special Mention: Concatenate, Simone Northey, OCAD University
Second Special Mention: 1992, Una di Gallo, Sheridan College
Third Special Mention: GIF Me Something To Hold, Chhaya Naran, Emily Carr University

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes

BEST CANADIAN ANIMATION
Winner: My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes by Charlie Tyrell
Special Mention: Turbine, by Alex Boya
Special Mention: Biidaaban, Amanda Strong

BEST SCRIPT
Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) by Amanda Strong, Canada
Jury Comment: “For script, the jury was looking for stories that urgently needed to be told in out time. We were struck by the layered and political narratives; ones that spanned the past, present and future in Amanda Strong’s Biidaaban.”

BEST DESIGN
III, by Marta Pajek, Poland
Jury Comment: “The jury was delighted by the luscious and haptic visual textures, feeling with our eyes the most delicate and sensuous details in III.”

BEST TECHNIQUE
Fest, Nikita Diakur, Germany
Jury Comment: “For making 3D animation a puppets theatre where ugly, possessed characters are raving their lives away…”

BEST SOUND
Ride, by Paul Bush, Portugal and United Kingdom
Jury Comment: “For bringing hundreds of museum bikes on the street again for letting us hear them!”

VIRTUAL REALITY
Nothing Happens, by Michelle Kranot and uri Kranot, Denmark and France
Jury Comment: “By adapting their film to a cinematic VR experience, the authors literally immerse us into their visual world.”

COMMISSIONED ANIMATION
Kensington Market, by Bruce Alcock, Canada
Jury Comment: “The jury was struck by the colourful and dynamic animation that depicted the vibrant growth of a community shop in Kensington Market.”

STUDENT ANIMATION
Hedge, by Amanda Bonaiuto, USA
Jury Comment: “For a risk-taking, delightfully animation technique and peculiar character design.”

NON-NARRATIVE ANIMATION
La Chute (The Fall) by Boris Labbé, France
Jury Comment: “For a formal exploration of a Dante-esque world that resonates through a precise and ornamental choreographic staging.”

CARTOON NETWORK AWARD FOR BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Guazuma, by Nara Normandie, France and Brazil
Jury Comment: For a breathtaking and intimate journey through friendship that spans time and distance.”

VIMEO AWARD
My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, by Charlie Tyrell, Canada
Jury Comment: Honest, funny, nostalgic and incredibly inventive, it tells the story of a young man sifting through his late father’s belongings in an attempt to uncover the intimate details of his life. A perfectly arranged menagerie of old film footage, audio recordings and meticulously crafted stop motion animation, it is a beautiful tribute to a complicated but loving and devoted father and son relationship.”

PUBLIC PRIZE
Facing It, by Sam Gainsborough, United Kingdom

FEATURE ANIMATION
Winner: This Magnificent Cake! by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, Belgium, France, Netherlands
Special Mention: On Happiness Road by Hsin-Yin Sung

NELVANA GRAND PRIZE FOR SHORT ANIMATION
Solar Walk, by Réka Busic, Denmark
Jury Comment: “The Jury was enveloped by a playful animation that drifted outward, defying gravity. The colourful utopic world’s transports is far away from where bodies were sitting, that resulted in an overwhelming feeling of joy that evoked infinite possibility.

On Happiness Road

from Animation Scoop http://www.animationscoop.com/the-ottawa-international-animation-festival-2018-winners/
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