The crew of the Adult Swim series “Rick & Morty” ratified a new labor agreement last Monday with the Animation Guild.
South Korea’s Studio MIR, responsible for the animation in “The Legend of Korra” and the fourth season of “The Boondocks,” has signed a major deal with DreamWorks Animation to produce four animated series over four years.
In 2013, filmgoers in the United Kingdom and Ireland watched more animation than any other type of film, according to a new report by the British Film Institute.
A new commercial studio, House Special, launched in Portland, Oregon last week. The company was started by Lourri Hammack, Kirk Kelly and Al Cubillas, who ran Laika’s former commercial division Laika/house.
Yesterday the State of Florida sued the principals of Digital Domain to recover tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded incentives that they claim were “fraudulently” obtained from the state.
Cartoon Network has named Christina Miller as its new president and general manager. She will also serve the same roles for Adult Swim and Boomerang. Miller fills the leadership vacancy left by Stu Snyder, who departed the network in March.
The actions of Digital Domain, led by disgraced former CEO John Textor, will become the subject of a lawsuit by the state of Florida.
Seth MacFarlane has been accused of ripping off the foul-mouthed-teddy-bear concept for his 2012 film “Ted” from a California company called Bengal Mangle Productions.
Pixar and Disney Animation president Ed Catmull has always had a reputation as a decent person, but newly revealed court documents show that he’s been working against the interests of Pixar’s employees for years, as well as trying to hurt other studios who didn’t play by his rules.
Tech site Pando Daily has been providing amazing coverage of the Department of Justice antitrust invesigation and subsequent class action lawsuits over wage-fixing amongst Silicon Valley tech companies and animation studios.
The all-CG “Smurfs” reboot won’t be released until 2016, but you wouldn’t know that from the aggressive manner in which Sony Pictures Animation is promoting the film.
We heard rumors of layoffs at DreamWorks last week, but they weren’t confirmed by a reputable source until yesterday evening when the animator’s union, The Animation Guild, posted an item about it on their blog.
Margaret Loesch, a forty-year children’s TV veteran, has announced that she will step down as the founding president and CEO of the Hub Network when her contract expires at the end of this year.
Animation veterans Eric “Bibo” Bergeron and Mike de Seve have partnered to launch a new venture called Monkey’s Uncle, which they announced at Annecy a couple weeks ago.
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.
Animation and visual effects studio Sony Pictures Imageworks has confirmed what many in the industry had suspected for a long while: the studio is moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada to take advantage of generous tax credits provided by the Canadian government. This move, combined with Digital Domain’s jump to Vancouver and Rhythm & Hues’ bankruptcy, prompted “Variety'”s VFX chronicler David S. Cohen to say that the Los Angeles feature film visual effects industry is “in full collapse.”
Although Greg Centineo, the producer of “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” had hoped for a big second weekend, the film plummeted 48% this weekend and ended up with a sophomore frame of $1.9 million. The movie has struggled to find a fan following, except for the film’s Facebook page which is filled with a curiously large number of middle-aged and elderly people who absolutely adore the film.
Laika does amazing work as an animation studio, no doubt about it, but the studio’s history is somewhat less admirable. The company was built on top of Will Vinton’s eponymous Portland studio in a shrewd corporate takeover by multi-billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight. After Knight took control of the company in 2002, he placed a failed rapper named Chilly Tee with slight experience in animation, who also happened to be his son Travis Knight, in charge of the entire company.
Directors who have graduated from CalArts’ character and experimental animation programs have generated over $30 billion in box office grosses since 1985. However you slice it, that’s a remarkable amount.
In 2011, Jeffrey Katzenberg proclaimed that moviegoing audiences would embrace 3-D and would continue to attend theaters despite higher ticket prices. Three years later, it’s obvious that his prediction was a little off.
There are big developments in the UK animation industry in the wake of a much-heralded tax break received by the British animation industry that went into effect last year. Sarah Smith, the former creative director of features at Aardman Animations, is setting up a studio named Locksmith Animation. She bills it as the UK’s “first high-end CGI feature animation studio,” and it is focused on creating a long-term slate of films for worldwide distribution.
There are countless crowdfunding sites nowadays, but none have offered a viable alternative that challenges Kickstarter and Indiegogo’s dominance. Patreon may change that though. The crowdfunding site offers a twist on the crowdfunding model that may prove attractive to filmmakers who want to produce content regularly.
Last week DreamWorks revealed the first renderings of the Dream Center, a 40-acre, $2.4 billion development in Shanghai, China. Scheduled to open in 2017 (or early-2018), the site will house the Oriental DreamWorks production studio, which is currently working on “Kung Fu Panda 3,” as well as the world’s largest IMAX screen, eight outdoor plazas, hotels, restaurants, theaters, galleries, and tourist attractions.
In a world of dumb animation execs, Stu Snyder made a sincere effort to be the dumbest. He was the genius who led a campaign to remove cartoons from Cartoon Network. Now, he’s leaving Cartoon Network.
It’s been known since last month that Disney Interactive was planning to lay off several hundred employees, but the job slashing is far more extreme than had previously been anticipated.
Animation may not be the first thing that pops to mind when you hear the word Jamaica, but the Caribbean island of nearly 3 million people is making an effort to position itself as a player in the global animation industry.