Top stories 2021 Top stories 2021

In the weeks to come, we’ll write about the big developments we see shaping our industry in 2022 and beyond. But first: to the year that was. Which stories most resonated with readers, and does anything link them? Below is a list of our top 20 articles of 2021, based on how many times they were read.

The biggest news story of the year — the pandemic — barely figures in the list. Only a couple of stories refer to it. Perhaps that’s to be expected. In terms of its effects on the animation industry, Covid was often headline news in 2020; by this year, it had simply become the context in which many decisions were taken, its presence often felt in the background but less frequently topping the agenda. It helps that animation production, as we know, was less badly affected than other areas of media and entertainment, although exhibition and distribution are still experiencing great turmoil.

Virus or no, five of our top stories were about closures or cancellations: the shutting of Blue Sky and Tangent Animation, the pulling of Pixar’s Luca from theaters, the vanishing of Disney stores, and the termination of Youtube channel Super Jojo. Four focused on new or future projects. Special mention goes to Master, an exciting upcoming action feature whose trailer we premiered.

Disney continues to dominate our industry and news cycle, as reflected in this list: a full eight stories are about the House of Mouse and its films and subsidiaries. Feature films are the most popular kind of project, with 11 headlines mentioning them, compared to three for series and two for shorts.

Of course, the list doesn’t just reflect your preferences as readers but also our choices as editors. Are there any subjects we’re covering too much? Not enough? As we look ahead to a new — and hopefully better — year, we’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below.

1. RIP: Dave Creek, Lead Character Designer Of ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ Dies After Skydiving Accident
Dave Creek
2. Disney Will Pay You To Learn Traditional Animation With Legends Like Eric Goldberg And Mark Henn
Moana animation test by Randy Haycock
3. This Cosplayer Imitates CG Character Animation With Uncanny Accuracy
SeeU cosplay
4. Disney Gets An Ice-Cold Reaction After Trying To Promote ‘Ice Age’
Disney's Ice Age
5. Disney Is Shutting Down Blue Sky Studios, ‘Nimona’ Production Halted, 450 Employees To Be Impacted
Scrat from Ice Age
6. Tangent Animation Shuts Down Production. As Many As 400 People Laid Off
Tangent Animation
7. For A Million Bucks, The Giant David Hasselhoff Model From ‘Spongebob’ Could Be Yours
Big Dave Hasselhoff
8. Video Essay: Why The Animation On ‘Rick And Morty’ Needs To Change
Rick and Morty
9. Russia Warns Disney Against Distribution Of Pixar Short ‘Out’
Pixar short Out
10. A Gorillaz Film Is In The Works At Netflix, Damon Albarn Confirms
Gorillaz, "Song Machine"
11. Anime Feature ‘Gintama: The Final’ Dethrones ‘Demon Slayer’ At Japan’s Box Office
"Gintama: The Final"
12. Disney Cancels Theatrical Release For Pixar’s Upcoming ‘Luca’
13. A Guide To 22 Major Animated Features Coming Out In 2022
Animated features preview 2022
14. How The Hit Short Film ‘Puparia’ Was Born From Frustration With The Anime Industry
15. ‘Inside Out’ Copyright Suit Receives Boost From Canadian Court
Inside Out
16.Youtube Terminates Cocomelon Rival Super Jojo Channel With 22 Million Subscribers
Cocomelon and Superjojo
17. ‘Demon Slayer’ Becomes First Anime In Decades To Hit No. 1 At U.S. Box Office
"Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train"
18. Disney Reportedly Planning To Close Most North American Disney Stores
Disney Store
19. Exclusive: Watch The Teaser For ‘Master,’ A Feature From Jamaal Bradley, Steamroller Studios, And Executive Producer Peter Ramsey
20. Outcry Across Europe As Joe, The Black Lead Of Pixar’s ‘Soul,’ Is Dubbed By White Actors

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Deputy Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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