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Animation

Annie Awards Nominations: Raya and the Last Dragon and Arcane Lead the Field

The nominees for the 49th Annie Awards were unveiled on Tuesday, with Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon leading the pack with 10 nominations, though it was Netflix that dominated the lineup with 52 nominations overall (compared to 29 for Disney). The Netflix series Arcane, which is based on Riot Games’ online multiplayer game League of Legends, earned nine nominations, tied with Disney’s Encanto for second-most overall. Netflix also earned […]

Sing 2
Animation

Sing 2 Director Garth Jennings on Rerecording Bono’s Iconic Vocals

One of the big movies hitting theaters this holiday season is Sing 2, the animated sequel to the Illumination Entertainment movie Sing, which ruled at the box office over the holidays in 2016. The film’s director, Garth Jennings, came from the world of music videos (as one half of the duo Hammer and Tongs) and directing live-action features like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) and Son of Rambow […]

Animation

Over the Weekend 12/06/21: Animation Guild Ends Contract Talks until ’22, New York Film Critics Vote, and More News

You’re going to hear this a lot over the next month, but we’ve reached the holiday portion of the year where things inevitably slow down in Hollywood. This year will likely see more of that than last year when people were still trying to catch up on production due to COVID shutdowns earlier in the year. Although the long negotiations between IATSE and AMPTP were resolved in order to generate […]

Animation

Flee: Filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen Mixes Documentary with Animation to Tell a Moving True Story

When Danish filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s film Flee was listed as one of the films selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2020 (which ended up being cancelled), very few were paying attention to it, and when it finally premiered at Sundance earlier this year, it probably also didn’t have quite the expectations of other films. As people quickly learned, Flee was unlike all the other documentaries that debuted at Sundance, being […]

Animation

Encanto Co-Director Charise Castro Smith on Diving Head First Into Animation

Charise Castro Smith started her career as an actress and playwright at the prestigious Yale School of Drama. After several years putting on plays and acting in bit parts on TV, since 2015 she has transitioned to writing for episodic television including Devious Maids, The Exorcist, Sweetbitter, and The Haunting of Hill House. Now Smith is making the leap to features in the biggest -and most unorthodox- way possible by […]

Sing 2
Animation

Review: Sing 2 Can’t Provide a Good Encore to the Original

One of the 2016’s most pleasant and unexpected surprised was Illumination Studios’ Sing, the beautifully animated cartoon about a gaggle of wannabe singer animals overcoming their various impediments to become amateur stage singers. The success of the first led to the nearly assured (and highly-desired) existence of the next, but success is a fleeting mistress in Hollywood and even well-rendered sequels to cartoons are not immune from the problem. Sing […]

Patrick Imbert
Animation

Animation Spotlight: The Summit of the Gods Director Patrick Imbert

While the United States has more than its fair share of animation studios making big-budget CG feature films, France has long had a rich history for animation that’s often as much or more about the art as it is about the commerce. Patrick Imbert’s The Summit of the Gods is one of those great examples of how animation can be used to tell stories not necessarily for kids, using animation […]

Animation

Review: Encanto Charms and Enchants through Disney’s Usual Magic

The busy sound I heard right before the credits roll for Disney’s upcoming magical film Encanto was not only the voice of Colombian singing legend Carlos Vives, intoning the movie’s surefire Oscar contender, “Colombia, Mi Encanto.” The clackity-clack was actually the busy feet of scurrying film critics rushing out to figure out what “Encanto” means and how the word and its synonyms may be cleverly used to describe the many […]

Animation

Animation Spotlight: Ron’s Gone Wrong Director Sarah Smith on Helping to Create a UK Animation Scene

If you were to see 20th Century Studios’ new animated film, Ron’s Gone Wrong, you’re not likely to realize that it was written and directed by two Brits with Sarah Smith and her co-writer, Peter Baynham coming over from Aardman Studios’ holiday animated film Arthur Christmas, released by Sony Pictures about ten years ago. Ron’s Gone Wrong is the first animated feature from London’s Locksmith Studios, which Smith founded, but […]

Animation

Hero4Hire Creative Taps Abby Duel as Associate Creative Director

Emmy-nominated studio Hero4Hire Creative has tapped Abby Duel as Associate Creative Director. The multitalented artist specializes in 2D animation. Her diverse skill set is perfect for H4H’s wide-spanning clientele. She is proficient in Adobe Animate and Toon Boom and has worked on projects with studios all across North America including Titmouse, MAKE Visual, Copernicus, and Rooster Teeth. As part of her role, she will oversee animation projects from the studio […]