Animation Scoop – Animated News, Reviews and Commentary

Animation Block Party 2017: Complete Schedule and Festival Line-up

The fourteenth annual Animation Block Party is July 27th – July 30th, 2017 at Rooftop Films and BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, NY, has just posted its complete schedule for this year’s event.

Animation Block Party Opening Night at Rooftop Films begins on Thursday, July 27th – a diverse compilation of extraordinary animated shorts from all over the world. This will be held at Coutyard 5-6 at Industry City.

SIGGRAPH 2017 Announces Floyd Norman as Keynote Speaker

SIGGRAPH 2017, the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, proudly announces Floyd Norman, the first African-American animator to work for Walt Disney Animation Studios, as its keynote speaker. SIGGRAPH’s keynote session featuring Norman will be presented as a fireside chat, allowing attendees the opportunity to hear a Disney legend discuss his life and career within an intimate setting. SIGGRAPH 2017 will mark the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and will be held 30 July–3 August 2017 in Los Angeles.

Floyd Norman was the subject of a 2016 documentary film entitled Floyd Norman: An Animated Life from filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey. The film, which covers Norman’s life story, also includes interviews with such notables as actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg (voice, “The Lion King”), Richard Sherman (composer, “Mary Poppins”) Leonard Maltin (film critic), Ralph Guggenheim (former vice president of animation at Pixar) and Gary Trousdale (co-director, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”), among others. Ain’t It Cool News hailed the film “delightful” and said, “[Norman is] a man who has undoubtedly brought joy to your life without you even knowing it.”

Gkids Dates “The Girl Without Hands” in New York and LA

GKIDS has set the release dates for Sébastien Laudenbach’s animated feature The Girl Without Hands. The film will open in New York at IFC Center on July 21st, and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Music Hall on August 4th, before traveling to more cities nationwide.

The trailer dropped today – here it is:

GLAS Presenting Georges Schwizgebel Retrospective This Thursday in DTLA

GLAS Animation (GLobal Animation Syndicate), the Los Angeles non-profit organization run “by animators for animators”, is presenting a retrospective of the work of Swiss animation legend Georges Schwizgebel, one of the most celebrated independent animators of all time. The event will happen at LA’s Downtown Independent Theatre on Thursday June 22nd at 8:30pm.

Schwizgebel was awarded an Honorary Cristal at the 2017 Annecy Festival this past weekend, to commemorate his prolific career. “Georges Schwizgebel is an animation guru, an artisan of precision and an artist who has inspired many young animators,” says Marcel Jean, artistic director of Annecy. “His style can be described as baroque and swirling, characterised by a confident brushstroke and a resolutely postmodern approach with his relationship to history and art.”

INTERVIEW: Disney Channel’s “Hotel Transylvania” Series Exec Producer Rick Mischel

Yet another highly successful animated movie series has made it’s way to the small-screen. Sony’s Hotel Transylvania: The Series debuts Sunday June 25th on The Disney Channel. Sony Pictures Animation veteran Rick Mischel is the show’s executive producer.

Jackson Murphy: Much like with the new Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs series that you’re also a part of [which debuted in February on Cartoon Network], “Hotel Transylvania: The Series” is a prequel show to the movies. But unlike the “Cloudy” series [which focused on the younger versions of the main characters], with “HT” you’re focusing on Mavis and a handful of her young friends who also happen to be kids of the film’s supporting characters. It’s definitely a unique approach you’re taking.

Rick Mischel: Yeah, we really created a whole new cast of characters when coming up with this series. Mavis, of course, was one of our favorite characters from both movies. She consistently is rated one of the most popular animated characters for Sony. So we knew that we wanted to feature her in the series and age her down. She’s actually 114 3/4 years old in this series, because as you remember in the movie, she was 118, not 18.

Gkids, Annecy and Variety To Launch L.A. “Animation Is Film” Festival in October

GKIDS, the distributor of acclaimed animated features, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the world’s leading animation Festival and Market, and Variety magazine, have announced the launch of ANIMATON IS FILM, an annual animation film festival in Los Angeles. The first edition will run October 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood (Mann’s Chinese Theater) with a showcase of 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short film programs.

ANIMATION IS FILM aims to fill a gap in the US market by establishing a world class animation festival on par with the major events in Europe and Asia – and locating it in the world capital of animated filmmaking. The Festival will be a vocal advocate, in the heart of Hollywood, for excellence in animation, and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.

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Nickelodeon’s New Animated Mystery Series, “Welcome to the Wayne”, Debuts Monday, July 24

A New York City apartment building holds mysteries and adventures behind every door in Nickelodeon’s newest animated series, Welcome to the Wayne, premiering Monday, July 24, at 5:30p.m. (ET/PT). Created and written by Emmy Award-winning writer and composer Billy Lopez (The Wonder Pets) and executive produced by Emmy Award-winning creative executive Michael Pecoriello (Yu-Gi-Oh!), the 20-episode series follows three kids as they explore their strange and fantastical apartment building, the Wayne, where nothing is what it seems. The series will air at 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT) through Friday, July 28, and fans can catch encore episodes on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

Welcome to the Wayne follows the comedic adventures of three friends, Ansi Molina, Olly Timbers, and Saraline Timbers, as they aim to unlock the secrets of the Wayne. Each new investigation brings them face-to-face with new characters, creatures, and oddities, known as “Wayne Phenomena,” leading them closer to uncovering the truth about the weird things happening in their building. Here’s the extended trailer that’s premiering today:

Welcome to the Wayne

Disney’s “Ducktales” Debuts August 12th – Main Title Revealed

Disney’s much-awaited reboot of DuckTales will premiere in a one-hour television movie (titled Woo-oo!) to be presented for 24 consecutive hours, Saturday August 12th (beginning at midnight EDT/PDT), on Disney XD. Then, the series will debut with two new episodes Saturday September 23rd (7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m. EDT/PDT). Each will also be available on the Disney XD app and Disney XD VOD on these same dates.

DuckTales is executive produced by Annie Award-nominee Matt Youngberg (“Ben 10: Omniverse”), with Francisco Angones (Disney XD’s Emmy Award-nominated “Wander Over Yonder”) serving as co-producer and story editor, and Sean Jimenez (Disney XD’s Annie Award-winning “Gravity Falls”) as art director. Here’s the main title, which dropped today:

OFFICIAL TRAILER: Blue Sky’s “Ferdinand”

Directed by Carlos Saldanha, Ferdinand tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover. It’ll be in theaters via 20th Century-Fox on December 15th – here’s the official trailer:

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AWARDS WATCH 2017

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Checklist of Animated Features Slated for U.S. Release for 2017

1. YU-GI-OH! DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS (1/27/16) Screen Vision Media. D: Satoshi Kuwabara.

2. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2/10/17) Warner Bros. D: Chris McCay.

3. ROCK DOG (2/26/17) Summit. D: Ash Brannon.

4. THE BOSS BABY (3/31/17) Dreamworks-20th Century Fox. D: Tom McGrath.

5. SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/7/17) Sony. D: Kelly Asbury.

6. MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA (4/14/17) GKids. D: Dash Shaw

7. SPARK: A SPACE TAIL (4/14/17) Open Road. D: Aaron Woodley

8. ANIMAL CRACKERS (4/21/17) D: Tony Bancroft, Scott Christian Sava.

9. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS (6/2/17) Dreamworks. D: David Soren.

10. CARS 3 (6/16/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Brian Fee

11. DESPICABLE ME 3 (6/30/17) Universal (Illumination). D: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon.

12. THE GIRL WITH NO HANDS (7/21/17) GKids. D: Sébastien Laudenbach

13. THE EMOJI MOVIE (7/28/17) Sony. D: Tony Leondis.

14. BLAZING SAMURAI (8/4/17) Open Road. D: Chris Bailey, Mark Koetsier.

15. IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD (8/11/17) Shout! Factory/Funimation. D: Sunao Katabuch.

16. THE NUT JOB 2 (8/18/17) D: Cal Brunker.

17. LEAP! (8/30/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Eric Summer, Éric Warin.

18. THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE (9/22/17) Warner Bros. D: Charlie Bean.

19. MY LITTLE PONY THE MOVIE (10/6/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Jayson Thiessen.

20. LOVING VINCENT (10/13/17) Good Deed Entertainment. D: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman.

21. BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN Gkids. (Release date TBA). D: Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero.

22. THE STAR (11/10/17) Columbia Pictures. D: Timothy Reckart

23. COCO (11/22/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina.

24. FERDINAND (12/15/17) 20th Century-Fox (Blue Sky). D: Carlos Saldanha.

25. THE BREADWINNER Gkids. (Release date TBA). D: Nora Twomey.


NOTES: 2017 Limited-release theatricals (movies going Direct-to-Video (DVD, VOD but getting a theatrical billboard) began this year with ONE PIECE FILM: GOLD, directed by Hiroaki Miyamoto, on January 10th via Funimation. Studio Ghibli’s 1993 TV movie OCEAN WAVES, directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, got a U.S. theatrical release via Gkids on January 13th. Similarly, the 1993 anime feature SAILOR MOON R THE MOVIE, directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, was also a limited U.S. release by Eleven Arts on the same date, January 13th (in Los Angeles at the Theater in the Ace Hotel). Denmark’s 2010 feature THE TROUBLE WITH TERKEL was given a token theatrical run in several U.S. cities on February 3rd, via Indican Pictures. BUNYAN AND BABE, directed by Tony Bancroft and Jim Rygiel, was given a limited NY/LA theatrical release by Cinedigm on February 3rd. Fathom Events, ELEVEN ARTS, and Aniplex held a one night theatrical for SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE: ORDINAL SCALE, directed by Tomohiko Itō, on March 9th. Viva Pictures opened Spanish family film OZZY, directed by Alberto Rodríguez and Nacho La Casa, on April 21st. Warner Bros. and Fathom Events presented a one-night nationwide cinema screening of BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN on August 14th.

Click for more information on 2016 animated feature releases – and for further information on all U.S. Animated Feature releases since 1937 Click Here.

US TRAILER: “In This Corner of the World”

Written and directed by Sunao Katabuchi, In This Corner of the World is based on an award-winning manga by Fumiyo Kouno. The film is an empowering coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of World War II, a captivating story about the resilience and triumph of the human spirit. Produced by GENCO and Japanese animation studio MAPPA. The film has been selected to screen in competition this week at Annecy 2017 and will have its North American film festival premiere in competition at LA Film Festival (June 20). In This Corner of the World will open across U.S. cinemas on August 11, 2017 from Shout! Factory Films & Funimation Films. The U.S trailer dropped today:

Official Trailer: Pixar’s “Coco”

A brand-new trailer for Disney•Pixar’s Coco dropped today – and anything from Pixar is worth watching and waiting for. This is no exception. Directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist Monsters University) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3), Disney•Pixar’s Coco opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22nd, 2017.

WIA Partners with Schools to Give Students Early Access to Support

Women in Animation (WIA) has announced a first round of academic partnerships to encourage student participation in the WIA network of support. The School of Visual Arts (SVA) has aligned as both a corporate sponsor as well as a membership sponsor, and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has agreed to be a membership sponsor so that more of its students can become active in the WIA organization.

“We’ve discovered that although the female population accounts for approximately 65% of the student body in animation schools, only 23% of those women are being placed in creative leadership roles within the industry,” explains WIA co-president Marge Dean. “Connecting with women during their academic training is a way for us to support their professional development and effort from the start, and to work together towards our goal of making the creative leadership in the industry 50-50 by 2025,” add Brendan Burch, WIA treasurer and member of the organization’s student committee.