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Television

The Nuts Are Back

More from Animation World Network: “Feature animation studio ToonBox Entertainment and Canadian production company Pipeline Studios have announced the creation of a new joint venture. Their first project is Nut Jobs, a 2D-animated series for kids ages 6-11 based on The Nut Job, the hit animated feature film franchise that took in $120 million at the international box office. The production companies have been working in development on the series and have tapped Emmy Award-winning industry veteran and Grant Moran to spearhead these efforts. Moran, who will serve as the showrunner for the TV series, previously served as Executive Director in Charge of Production at Nickelodeon.” No word yet on any release date, but stay tooned.

image c. 2019 Toonbox Entertainment

The Annie Award Winners for 2018

Your humble ed-otter and his mate got a chance to attend the Annie Awards at UCLA’s Royce Hall recently. Presented annually by ASIFA-Hollywood, the Annie Awards are considered by many to be the Oscars for animation, voted on by folks who work in the industry. And once again, there was plenty of anthropomorphic content to be found among the winners. By far, the big winner of the evening was Sony Pictures’ Spider Man: Into The Spiderverse. The surprise hit from last December not only won the coveted Best Animated Feature trophy, but also took home the Feature awards for Directing, Writing, Character Animation, Character Design, Production Design, and Editing — winning all seven categories in which it was nominated. (Go, Spider-Ham!). Ralph Breaks The Internet had to settle for only one award in Feature Effects Animation, while the 2D animated sequence in Mary Poppins Returns got the awards for Animated Special Production and Character Animation In A Live Action Feature. Also taking home one award was Wes Anderson’s Isle Of Dogs, which got the award in Feature Voice Acting for Bryan Cranston’s performance as Chief. Over on the TV/Broadcast side of things, the big winners were Hilda from Netflix (taking home awards for Best TV Series For Children, Writing, and Character Animation) and Disney’s Mickey Mouse (with trophies for Music, Storyboarding — tied with Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — and Directing). In TV Character Design, the Annie went to a very anthropomorphic episode of Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure called “Freebird”. Bojack Horseman did well, winning for TV Voice acting (Will Arnett as Bojack) and Best TV Production overall. Dreamworks’ Tales of Arcadia: Trollhunters won the trophy for Best TV Effects Animation. The award for Best Commercial went to “There’s a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom” (produced for Greenpeace), and the first winner of the brand new Best Virtual Reality award was Crow: The Legend (which we’ve talked about before!). Finally, the Ub Iwerks Award for technical achievement went to the developers of the open source software known as Blender, which of course many furry creators have also used extensively. To see all the winners visit the Annie Awards web site — and remember, nominations for the Ursa Major Awards close on February 16th!

image c. 2019 Sony Pictures

Save the Fuzzlies!

Animation World Network let us know about another new animated series on its way to Nick Jr. “Nickelodeon has set the premiere of their brand-new animated preschool series, Abby Hatcher, created and produced by Spin Master Entertainment… Abby Hatcher tells the story of a little girl with a big heart who helps her friends, the amazing and quirky Fuzzly creatures, fix their mishaps, learn from their mistakes and negotiate their emotions… Abby is an eternally optimistic, kind-hearted seven-year-old girl who loves to lend a helping hand to others and accepts everyone–no matter how different they are. In Abby’s world, humans coexist with Fuzzlies, incredible creatures that each have their own unique abilities that make them special, and Abby’s parents’ hotel is home to many. Together with her best Fuzzly friend Bozzly, Abby goes on wild adventures to fix Fuzzly mishaps and help them in any way she can.” Spin Master Entertainment are the folks who previously gave us PAW Patrol.

image c. 2018 Spin Master Entertainment

Birds in Flight — School

Somehow we missed this — ’till we came across it on DVD! According to Wikipedia, “Top Wing is a Canadian computer-animated television series created by Matthew Fernandes of Industrial Brothers and produced by Industrial Brothers and 9 Story Media Group. Taking place on Big Swirl Island, an island inhabited by birds, Top Wing follows four eager young birds—Rod, Penny, Brody, and Swift—who work together at Top Wing Academy as new cadets to earn their wings by helping their community. With the help of mentor Speedy, the cadets take on different missions for their rescue skills and also help those in need, all while learning important lessons.” You can check it out on Nick Jr.’s web site as well.

image c. 2018 Nick Jr.

Mole Magic

And here’s another project we found out about thanks to Animation Magazine: “A new CG-animated, uplifting TV special featuring an all-star British voice cast is underway! Lending their talents to Master Moley (currently in production) are Star Wars franchise regular Warwick Davis, The Escape star Gemma Arterton, Emmy and BAFTA nominee Charles Dance, two-time Oscar nominee Julie Walters, and Golden Globe nominee Richard E. Grant. The 30-minute special, based on an original story conceived as a bedtime tale by James Reatchlous, will follows the adventures of a mole who wishes to be the keeper of a magic book which has the power to bring peace between humans and moles. Master Moley is being directed by Leon Joosen (animator on Space Jam, The Rescuers Down Under, The Little Mermaid, Oliver & Company, et al), from a script by Ricky Roxburgh (Tangled: The Series) and Arthur Landon.” No word yet on when they plan to complete this, so stay tooned!

image c. 2018 Signature Entertainment

Golden Dinosaur and Purple… Thing

More from Animation Magazine and Kidscreen: “London-based distributor CAKE has picked up international rights to stop-motion series Kiri and Lou… Featuring paper and clay stop-motion animation from Antony Elworthy (Coraline, Corpse Bride), Kiri and Lou is written and directed by Harry Sinclair and co-produced by Fiona Copland from indie production company Stretchy, and Heather Walker at  Yowza! Animation (Curious George, Welcome to the Wayne). Aimed at three- to six-year-olds, the show focuses on the friendship of a feisty dinosaur and a gentle creature—who are joined by an unlikely group of animal friends.” It also features the voices of Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords, Moana) and Olivia Tennet (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) as the lead characters. Visit the official web site to find out more.

image c. 2018 CAKE

From (Really) Small Screen to… Bigger Screen

More from Animation Magazine. Turns out that a well-known animated app is now being turned into a full-fledged animated TV series. This is from Kidscreen: “9 Story Distribution International has picked up distribution rights to Dr. Panda and will start selling the new 3D-animated series in all global territories except China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and select MENA countries at MIPCOM… Aimed at kids ages three to six, Dr. Panda is the first 3D-animated series from the same-name kids app developer that has racked up more than 95 million downloads and five million active monthly users since rolling out its first app-connected toy and AR app in 2017. The show is created and co-produced by Malaysia’s Giggle Garage Animations (Origanimals, Kazoops) and Spider Eye Productions (Jungle Junction, Thomas & Friends) in the UK. It’s directed by Patrick Chin and written by Daan Velsink (Panic!, Snapshot, Bingo!) and Chris Parker (Peppa Pig, Shaun the Sheep). Its titular main character tries out new jobs and solves problems with his friends in each episode.” The producers hope to have the new show ready to roll out before the end of this year.

image c. 2018 9 Story

Bear, Bear, Dragon

Animation Magazine recently let us know about two anthropomorphic animated TV series coming from Singapore’s August Media and South Korea’s Studio Gale. First up there’s Tish Tash. “The series centers on young and hugely imaginative Tish, her bear family, and her larger-than-life imaginary friend, Tash. No matter what troubles they face — be it the age-old terror of long, boring car trips or helping Tish’s baby brother not be sad about losing his favorite toy — these special friends can create new worlds around themselves, embarking on imaginative adventures and finding their own creative angle to help solve any problems that life throws at them.” Then there’s Journey of Long, a comedy that “… follows the adventures of a dragon with a dream of becoming the world’s top chef”. Check out the video clip over on YouTube. Both these shows premiered at MIPCOM, and they’re hoping for world-wide distribution in 2019.

image c. 2018 Studio Gale

One Little Girl, One Magic Forest

Also at CTN Expo we found out about Left Pocket Studio (in Shanghai) and their international TV series Emmy & GooRoo. “Emmy, our brave little hero, is 5-years-old and the only little human girl in the whole Magical Forest. Emmy loves exploring the fantastical world she lives in with her best friend GooRoo, a big, furry, and huggable creature who takes care of her when they go out to play.” The official web site includes a trailer for the series.

image c. 2018 Left Pocket
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