Disney TV Animation Begins Production on ‘Pickle & Peanut’

It’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between YouTube cartoons dreamt up by teens in their bedrooms and big-budget TV studio productions created by professionally-trained artists. Today, Disney Television Animation announced the beginning of production on “Pickle & Peanut,” a “buddy comedy series about two unlikely friends—an emotional pickle and a freewheeling peanut…two underdogs who dream up plans to be anything but ordinary.”

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ Earns $25 Million in Second Weekend

In its second weekend, “How to Train your Dragon 2” eased 49% to an estimated $25.3 million. The drop was significantly greater than the 34% second-weekend decline of the original film in the series. Combined with the lower-than-expected opening weekend, the sequel is now all but guaranteed to finish below the original film’s $217.6 million domestic gross.

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ Launches with $50 Million

DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” opened in second place this weekend with an estimated $50 million. The film trailed the $60 million debut of another sequel, the R-rated “22 Jump Street,” directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who also directed “The LEGO Movie,” which opened to $69 million earlier this year.

Short Film Review: Disney’s ‘Feast’

Disney’s “Feast” debuted yesterday to a raucous packed house at the Annecy International Animation Festival, alongside some never-before-seen clips from the studio’s next feature “Big Hero 6.”

New ‘Cuphead’ Trailer Released at E3

Studio MDHR has delayed their Fleischer-esque videogame Cuphead until 2015, but they just released a new trailer for the gaming show E3 with new footage that is even more impressive (and more Fleischer-y) than the earlier preview.

Animafest Zagreb Award Winners Announced

The 24th edition of Animafest Zagreb wrapped up today in Zagreb, Croatia. It is the second-oldest continually running animation festival in Europe, after Annecy. The Grand Prix for short film was awarded to Yumi Joung’s “Love Games.” A complete list of winners is below.

The One Thing That Could Save DreamWorks Animation: China

At least one DreamWorks animated film has lost money for the past three years in a row: “Rise of the Guardians” in 2012 had an $87 million writedown; “Turbo” in 2013 resulted in a $13.5 million writedown; and this year’s “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” caused a $57 million writedown. This is rather obviously not a sustainable trend from a business standpoint, and investors are beginning to worry about the studio’s long-term prospects.

‘Shit Showreels Say’ by Peter Quinn

Directed by Peter Quinn who writes: “I usually sit and watch a few things on Animade or Squeezeme.tv with my first coffee, every morning when I get into work. I’ve pulled out a few ‘showreel tropes’ that hopefully some of you will agree with—and I bet there are plenty I’ve forgotten about… would love to have you input as to commonalities in reels. It’s been an interesting study coming up with this shortlist.”