New York City’s largest animation event, Animation Block Party, has returned for its thirteenth edition. The event starts tonight and continues through the weekend.

Tonight’s opening night outdoor screening, in conjunction with Rooftop Films, is free, and one of the festival’s few events to take place in Manhattan. It’s at Brookfield Place (220 Vesey Street) ground level, along the water between West Street and the Hudson River. Doors open at 6:30pm, live music at 7:45pm, and films at 8:45pm. The screening is free so head on over.

In addition to six blocks of new animated shorts, the festival includes numerous other screenings and events. Among the highlights:

  • A 30th anniversary screening of The Transformers: The Movie in 35mm, and a 15th anniversary screening of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie.
  • A retrospective of animated commercials made in New York City, from 1929 through present day, followed by a panel discussion led by J.J. Sedelmaier and panelists Joe Burrascano, Howard Beckerman, Emily Hubley, and Doug Crane.
  • A look at the film preservation process with cartoon historians Jerry Beck and Tommy Stathes. The program includes new digital restorations of films from Max Fleischer and Bray Studios.
  • Picture This, a free live show with animation artists drawing alongside stand-up comedians.

For complete details on schedule, locations, and tickets, visit