Pixar Launches In-House Indies Program SparkShorts

Pixar Animation Studios has brought its “Experimental Storytelling Initiative” into the limelight with the official reveal of SparkShorts — an intriguing spin on in-house short film production which grants artists of diverse backgrounds from across the studio’s departments a bit of money, a bit of time, and the necessary support to bring their unique vision to the screen.

Per Pixar’s Twitter, fans will get a chance to see the first fruits of this program with an exclusive one-week run of the first three shorts — Purl, Smash and Grab and Kitbull — at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood starting Friday, January 18. The shorts will screen alongside the new live-action The Little Mermaid.

The shorts will also roll out on YouTube next month: Purl Feb. 4 (YouTube), Smash and Grab Feb. 11 (YouTube & YouTube Kids), and Kitbull Feb. 18 (YouTube & YouTube Kids).

In the launch announcement video posted to the Disney-Pixar YouTube Channel, participating artists and studio leadership (including SparkShorts Production Lead David Lally, Pixar President Jim Morris and VP Development & New Media Lindsey Collins) shared the initiative’s mission in their own words, and offered some preview peaks at upcoming films.

Upcoming SparkShorts include:

Float. A father discovers that his son floats, which makes him different from other kids. To keep them both safe from the judgement of the world, Dad hides, covers, and grounds him. But when his son’s ability becomes public, Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is. Writer/director: Bobby Rubio.

Kitbull. An unlikely connection sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Together, they experience friendship for the first time. Writer/director: Rosana Sullivan.

Purl. An earnest ball of yarn named Purl gets a job at a fast-paced, high energy, male centric start-up. Things start to unravel as she tries to fit in with this close knit group. Purl must ask herself how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for and in the end is it worth it? Writer/director: Kristen Lester.

Loop. A non-verbal, autistic girl and a chatty boy are partnered on a canoeing trip. To complete their journey across an urban lake, they must both learn how the other experiences the world. Writer/director: Erica Milsom.

Wind. Wind is a magical realism story about a Grandma and a Grandson trapped in a massive, never ending sinkhole, living on a large boulder suspended by strong winds. Together they scavenge falling debris to build an escape, hoping to find a better life in the outside world. Writer/director: Edwin Chang.

Smash and Grab. After years of toiling away inside the engine room of a towering locomotive, two antiquated robots will risk everything for freedom and for each other. Writer/director: Brian Larsen.

[Source: PixarPost]

Wind

Wind

Smash and Grab

Smash and Grab

Purl

Purl

Loop

Loop

Kitbull

Kitbull

Animation Magazine

Titmouse Launches Toon Talk Show ‘Tongue and Pencil’

Acclaimed animation studio Titmouse (The Venture Bros., Big Mouth) has launched a talk show style webseries about animation, announced during the tribute for studio co-founder Chris Prynoski at the Los Angeles Animation Festival. Prynoski hosts the series, titled Tongue and Pencil, in which he sits down for drinks and doodling in the studio with artist friends to talk about their work and lives.

The show is comprised of 24 episodes of 40-60 minute filmed over the last few years, rolling out every Monday on a dedicated YouTube channel. The first episode, launched this weekend, features Metalocalypse director Jon Schnepp, who died in July from complications of a stroke at just 51 years old.

The first season will also feature Pete Browngardt (creator, Uncle Grandpa), animator Mike Carlo, animator Devin Flynn, character designer Kali Fontecchio, Jorge Gutierrez (director, The Book of Life), comics artist Lawrence Hubbard, Christy Karacas (creator, Ballmastrz: 9009), animator Luke McGarry, actress Kate Micucci, illustrator Travis Millard, Tomm Moore (director, Song of the Sea), artist Nasty Neckface, animator Jeremy Polgar, Johnny Ryan (co-creator, Pig Goat Banana Cricket), animator Jody Schaeffer, animator Parker Simmons, Brendon Small (co-creator, Metalocalypse), Sean Solomon (art director, Lucas Bros. Moving Co.), animator Jamie Vickers, J.J. Villard (director, King Star King), Pen Ward (creator, Adventure Time), animator Max Winston (director, I Live in the Woods) and Masaaki Yuasa (director, Lu over the Wall).

[Source: Cartoon Brew]

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: BoxLunch ‘Fantasia’ Collection, Mike Diva Spawns ‘PreBirth’ for Adult Swim, ILM Launches TV Division & More

Gunpowder & Sky’s DUSTx Onboards New Executive Team as It Expands Distribution to Twitch
Joining the key team are general manager Eric Bromberg and head of operations Adam Jensen (both former execs at Pluto TV), and G&S employees Anna Levine and Kyle Brunwick have been named DUSTx digital channel manager and social manager, respectively. The sci-fi channel is moving beyond Roku to Twitch, NBCUniversal’s WatchBack, Sinclair’s STIRR, Vizio’s WatchFree and Samsung Plus.

How the Battle for ‘Lord of the Rings’ Nearly Broke a Director
Now 80 years old, cult animation icon Ralph Bakshi (Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic) reminisces on the bizarre twists and turns of his J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation — which could have been a very different picture indeed.

Norwegian Film Institute Supports 10 Computer Games
NFI has allocated €700,000 ($ 786k USD) to develop sixe new projects and four which have previously received state funding, including a 3D racing game based on classic animation property Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (Ravn Studio), Fishing: North Atlantic (Misc Games), Draugen (Red Thread Games), Embracelet (Machineboy), Nenia (Henchman & Goon), Norse (Arctic Hazard Game Studio), Coding-game [WT] (Bitbyte), Animal Drivers Unleashed (Hello Bard), and Solar Explorer (Dwarf Cavern).

Industrial Light & Magic Launches ILM TV
Based out of a new 47k sq. ft. London studio (with support from San Francisco, Vancouver and Singapore facilities), the new episodic VFX & animation service studio will be lead by VFX supervisors Hayden Jones and Jonathan Privett, alongside exec producers Louise Hussey and Stefan Drury. The shop’s first projects will be live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian and Superman prequel Krypton.

BoxLunch Partners with Disney to Launch Exclusive ‘Fantasia’ Holiday Collection
Ahead of Mickey Mouse’s big 90th birthday, the charity-minded retailer is offering more than 50 pieces of merchandise inspired by the animated classic — including exclusive apparel, accessories, home goods and collectibles featuring Sorcerer Mickey. Key partner brands include Petunia Pickle Bottom (premium diaper bags), Funko (Pop! Movie Moments Sorcerer Mickey figure set), New Era (limited edition caps), Her Universe (graphic tees, men’s button-up), and Loungefly (accessories; bags, wallets and pins).

WATCH: Mike Diva’s “PreBirth” for Adult Swim’s ‘Off The Air’
The wild imaginings of Mike Diva add to OTA’s reputation for surreal audiovisual material in the latest episode, “Sound.” Produced by Lord Danger and shot in a stormy desert, the bizarre alien band experience is arranged around a single theme and blended into a continuous presentation. (Note, if you are uncomfortable with CG babies being swung about like floppy batons, this is not the video for you.)

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian

Embracelet

Embracelet

BoxLunch x Fantasia

BoxLunch x Fantasia

Animation Magazine

GIPHY Launches Ultra-Micro Film Festival

Animated GIF sharing/hosting platform GIPHY is building on its commitment to the micro-entertainment medium by launching the first GIPHY Film Fest. The challenge put to content creators: can you grab an audience’s attention and deliver an entertaining story in under 18 seconds? The contenders will be screened one night only on November 8 in New York City’s Metrograph Theater, where the grand prize winner will be announced and an afterparty will follow.

via GIPHY

The inaugural GIPHY Film Fest judges are artist and filmmaker Mukunda Angulo (Window Feel, Mirror Heart, The Wolfpack), Spotify Global Creative Director Alex Bodman, The Animation Guild’s Director of Communications & Culture (and Animation Instructor at CalArt) Brooke Keesling, Squarespace creative David Lee, producer Mona Panchal, comedian Joe Pera (Joe Pera Talks You to Sleep for Adult Swim), and Julia Rothman,illustrator/author/educator and co-founder of Women Who Draw.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $ 10,000 as well as a five-year website subscription to supporter Squarespace, and an opportunity to guest curate an official playlist on Spotify.

Submissions are open now through the September 27, 2018 deadline to US residents age 18 and over. Creators can submit up to three pieces of work (up to 18 seconds of loopable content each) with or without sound in the categories of Narrative, Stop-Motion, Animated, Experimental, and Wild Card/Other.

Submit your work and learn more at www.giphyfilmfest.com.

Animation Magazine

Frederator Launches ‘Get in the Robot’, a YouTube Anime Club

Frederator Studios (Bee and Puppycat, Bravest Warriors, Castlevania), a WOW! Unlimited Media company, has launched the first “video anime club,” dubbed Get in the Robot. Designed as a first stop for people just getting into anime as well as a destination for established enthusiasts, the channel is a platform for fans to learn more about their favorite shows with expert commentary on the artform in general as well as specific hot-ticket series like Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan.

Frederator is also planning to bring the club into the physical world with offline events and merchandise.

“We feel strongly that anime is going to break mainstream in a strong way over the next 12 to 18 months, and we want to grow with it,” said Jeremy Rosen, VP of Programming & Networks at Frederator. “The team here represents a spectrum of anime fans and we realized there’s a huge pool of underserved fans who aren’t interested in gatekeeping, antagonistic fandom. They want to get hyped together and enjoy these shows together. Our goal with Get in the Robot is to serve those fans and grow that welcoming, fun aspect of western anime fandom.”

Get in the Robot seeks to make anime accessible to all, with entertaining programming and relatable talent. The experts on board for the channel at launch, who will appear across programs, all have a broad knowledge base and passion for anime. They include Curtis Richardson, an animator and collegiate track and field star; Yedoye Travis, a big fan of Dragon Ball Z and comedian who integrates anime into his comedy; and Cristal Marie, a musician and veteran Frederator show host who started an anime convention in the Dominican Republic. Get in the Robot also aims to be a gateway for people who are curious about anime, taking a deliberate approach to the channel’s visual design, tone of voice, and properties covered to appeal to a wider, more casual audience.

Follow Get in the Robot on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram to join the otaku convo.

Frederator is known for its animated hits across all platforms, and for cultivating a 3,00 member community of animation, art, gaming and entertainment-focused creators through its Channel Frederator Network.

Animation Magazine

Psyop Launches Original Hand-Drawn Game ‘ Camp W’

Creative studio Psyop has launched a new, original, hand-drawn adventure game, Camp W — a beautifully illustrated, story-rich world which players can enter on their PC or Mac computers through online publishing platform Steam.

A hybrid of a choose-your-own-adventure and Saturday morning cartoon, the events of Camp W are guided by player choice. You inhabit the role of a young Witch trespassing in the Human Realm, where you will make friends, cast spells, and uncover secrets during your first ever summer away from home.

“I think we managed to do something really unique with Camp W, by developing an animated series that is actually an interactive experience that you, the player, not only star in, but direct,” said narrative director Alexei Bochenek. “We absolutely stuffed this game with detail, from the art to the story to the musical score, and we worked painstakingly to create a fully realized universe that is both fresh and familiar.”

“What I’m most proud of are the characters that we created, who you get to meet and spend time with when you play,” said creative director Kelly Shay. “This is a game that is silly, spooky, and fun, but also full of heart. It’s about being a little bit weird, and discovering that, when you take a bunch of outsiders and put them together, it turns out that you’re all on the inside of your own community of weirdos, which people in the gaming and animation community already know is an absolutely spectacular group to be a part of. That’s who I think we are behind this game, and that’s who I hope finds and connects with Camp W.”

CAMP W Trailer from Psyop on Vimeo.

Camp W game features include:

  • Friending SimulatorCamp W is filled with interesting characters, but everyone can’t be your best friend — that would be exhausting. You’ll have to decide which campers interest you the most and then get to know them and their stories over the course of your playthrough.
  • Mysteries Await – There’s more to a summer at Camp W than kickball and friendship bracelets. Discover secrets about the history of the Witching Realm and battle evil forces who threaten to rain on your summer fun.
  • Get Your “Choose” On – You decide which camp activities to attend, which questions to ask, and how you want to respond at critical moments throughout the game. One playthrough won’t be enough to explore every path of this branching story.
  • A Hand-Drawn World – Visit more than 20 beautifully illustrated locations — during the day and at night — and hang out with 15 fun characters, all of whom feature a range of fun poses and expressions. Not to mention your Grimoire, which will fill up with drawings as you play through the game.
  • Collectibles Galore – Cast 12 different spells, earn 18 unique badges, and unlock 60+ illustrated memories. You’ll have to replay the game to see them all, but it’s worth it — and you’ll earn achievements along the way.
  • All-Ages…but Not Just for KidsCamp W was designed to be enjoyed by all ages, and we mean it. Youngsters and adults alike will find a lot to love about the story, dialogue, humor and drama throughout the game.
  • Original Score – A complete score featuring more than a dozen tracks composed just for this game by talented composer and musician Davey Thomas Tucker.

Learn more at www.campwgame.com and www.psyop.com.

Camp W

Camp W

Camp W

Camp W

Camp W

Camp W

Animation Magazine

Cartoon Network Africa Launches Creative Lab Initiative

Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab

Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab

Cartoon Network Africa has launched a new initiative called “Creative Lab” to promote local short-form animated content for and from people living in Africa. The initiative is looking for creators, writers, graphic artists and animation students to help produce these new projects.

The Creative Lab program is an adult-targeted version of Cartoon Network’s Imagination Studios initiative as it is open to African residents above 18 years of age or Africa-based companies. Content producers have until August 31st to apply.

Submissions should consist of a one-to-three minute short comedy project in line with Cartoon Networks other programming. The network will pick ten shortlisted projects that the creators will then get to pitch to its team. After which the winner and two runners-up will be Nov. 14-16 and then given the opportunity to turn their project into a pilot to premiere sometime in 2019.

For more info about how to enter the program visit www.cartoonnetworkhq.com/CreativeLab

Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab

Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab

Animation Magazine

Gas Money Pictures Launches Three New Toons

Dinosaur Attack! On Kung Fu Island

Dinosaur Attack! On Kung Fu Island

Los Angeles-based indie animation shop Gas Money Pictures has launched three new animated shows— Hollywould, Mr. Wiggles Saves the World and Dinosaur Attack! On Kung Fu Island after their debut at the recent Cannes market in May.

The adult comedy series, Hollywould follows the exploits of two washed up screenwriters as they work towards their long overdue comeback. Mr. Wiggles Saves the World centers on a normal, everyday family who has a secret government operation hiding in their basement, and a family dog that saves the world from aliens. Dinosaur Attack follows Steven and Mawni on their action adventure as they are suddenly thrust into epic battles against giant holographic and robotic dinosaurs.

“Gas Money Pictures already has an established presence in live-action films and television so it was a natural evolution to take the next steps in bringing these new characters to life in the animated realm,” says James L. Bills, CCO of Gas Money Pictures, “We are looking forward to further establishing ourselves in the US market as well as expanding internationally into Europe and China.”

Gas Money Pictures was founded by film and television veterans James L. Bills and J. Horton with partner Paul C. Norman. GMPs’ Animation Studio is also planning on producing and launching more animated shows for traditional, streaming and emerging platforms. For more info, visit www.gasmoneypictures.com.

Hollywould, Dinosaur Attack! On Kung Fu Island, and Mr. Wiggles Saves the World

Hollywould, Dinosaur Attack! On Kung Fu Island, and Mr. Wiggles Saves the World

Animation Magazine

eOne Launches Preschool Hit ‘Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom’ in China

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom

Entertainment One has secured a major partnership with iQiyi which will see Emmy- and BAFTA-winning preschool property Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom launch in China on one of the nation’s largest internet video streaming service — and at retail — in 2018.

Season 1 of the charming animated series (from the creators of Peppa Pig) will be available on iQiyi beginning in early May. iQiyi will also manage licensing rights for the property in the region, with a program spearheaded by a publishing launch in summer/fall 2018 to be followed by a hard launch spanning multiple categories later this year.

“We’re extremely excited to be bringing Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom to audiences across China in 2018,” said Claire Ellis, VP Licensing – Asia at eOne Family & Brands said. “The growing expansion of Peppa Pig in China is testament to the huge potential this territory represents and we look forward to harnessing the local expertise of the team at iQIYI to make this property a success throughout the region.”

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom is a critically acclaimed 2D animated series created by Astley Baker Davies and aimed at children aged 3-6 years. The show won an International Emmy Award in 2014 for best preschool series and follows the adventures of Princess Holly and her best friend Ben Elf in the magical Little Kingdom. The show currently airs in over 130 countries with licensing programs established in the UK, the US and Canada, Brazil and Mexico.

Wu Gang, Vice President at iQIYI Sales Department added: “We’re thrilled to be bringing Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom to families across China. This critically acclaimed series is a great example of the high quality children’s programming that is embraced by Chinese audiences and we look forward to finding licensing partners that can create opportunities for fans to interact with the brand beyond the TV show.”

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom

Animation Magazine

Google Spotlight Launches Art Book and Exhibit

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

For the past three years, animation fans have been enjoying the amazing projects produced under the Google Spotlight Stories banner Now you can take in some of the fantastic concept art and illustrations created for this VR shorts at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, Calif. Thru April 22.

The show, which is put together in conjunction with the publication of the new The Art of Google Spotlight Stories book ($ 39.95), features the works of talented artists such as Jan Pinkava, Jon Klassen, Shannon Tindle, Kevin Dart, Jorge Gutierrez, John Kahrs, Mark Oftedal, Tuna Bora, Scot Stafford, Sandra Equihua and Patrick Osborne. The award-winning animated shorts featured in the book and in the exhibit include Windy Day, Duet, Special Delivery, On Ice, Pearl, Rain or Shine, Sonaria and Son of Jaguar.

Upcoming titles include FX Goby and Helene Leroux’s Back to the Moon, Pinkava and Oftedal’s Piggy and Kahr’s Age of Sail.

Google Spotlight Stories is the Oscar nominated, Emmy award-winning platform for immersive stories. The technology behind the platform can be used for all forms of content from short films to music videos, advertisements to complex game-like interactive stories using 3D and 2D animation, 360° spherical, cinema-quality video, full-sphere surround sound, and advanced sensor fusion techniques. Spotlight expands on existing 360° platforms by allowing creators to include interactive components and camera techniques and was conceived for mobile because of mobile’s native technical abilities and broad distribution.

You can purchase the Art of Book Google Spotlight Stories book online.

For more info, visit https://atap.google.com/spotlight-stories/; and watch available GSS shorts on the official YouTube channel.

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight StoriesThe Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

The Art of Google Spotlight Stories

Animation Magazine

Colorado’s Most Anti-Pot Newspaper Launches New Attack on Marijuana

The Colorado Springs Gazette, owned by conservative billionaire Phil Anschutz, has earned a reputation as the most overtly anti-marijuana major newspaper in the state. And while the first entry in a new series presented beneath the banner “Is Colorado better off five years after legalizing marijuana?” is an improvement over an anti-pot screed from nearly three years ago that was partially penned by a prominent and devoted cannabis hater, it still focuses almost entirely on bad news.

Back in March 2015, as we’ve reported, the Gazette launched “Clearing the Haze,” which we described at the time as “a four-day marijuana-hating jeremiad” co-authored by Christine Tatum, the wife of Dr. Christian Thurstone, one of the area’s most prominent physicians against greater access to cannabis by young people.

The article acknowledged Tatum’s connection to Thurstone, but it failed to point out that she’s a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization who’d stirred controversy by suggesting pot links to events such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the killings at Columbine High School.

Here’s a Tatum Facebook post about the former….

Colorado's Most Anti-Pot Newspaper Launches New Attack on Marijuana

File image

…and the latter:

Colorado's Most Anti-Pot Newspaper Launches New Attack on Marijuana

File image

Numerous news organizations were critical of an advocate such as Tatum writing what was presented to readers as an objective look at marijuana in Colorado — and she fired back via social media.

One Tatum post read in part:

Newsrooms see nothing wrong with allowing pot users to analyze and report on drug policy and write pro-weed columns and tell us how to baste our Thanksgiving turkeys with THC.

And then a journalist whose years of research have led her to very different conclusions comes along, and she’s married to a doctor who stands against legalization with every major medical society in the developed world, and she has spent years personally watching the travesties these pot-loving journalists clearly don’t want to bother reporting, and she doesn’t hide her views and ensures they’re clearly marked as perspective. THEN everyone blows up with cries of lapses of journalism ethics when she speaks or writes on the subject.

It’s hard for me to take them seriously.

Many observers felt the same about the series, especially when, a few months later, the Gazette had to admit that marijuana burglaries were down and revenues were up in El Paso County, which encompasses Colorado Springs.

Phil Anchutz owns the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Phil Anchutz owns the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Free Lunch Photography file photo

After the reception to “Clearing the Haze,” the Gazette generally stuck to covering marijuana on an article-by-article basis, as opposed to delivering major salvos. But that changed yesterday, when the paper told readers that “The Gazette is launching a series of stories that will take a hard look over the next few months at legalization’s lessons, exploring what the unintended consequences and unexpected complications have been of this national experiment.”

Episode one of the series is headlined “Black market marijuana busts nearly quadruple under recreational legalization,” and it’s much more credible than “Clearing the Haze” thanks largely to its author, David Olinger, a former member of the Denver Post, and lead researcher Burt Hubbard, a veteran of the Rocky Mountain News and the Post.

Nonetheless, the tone of the piece is epitomized by its opening paragraphs:

Four years after legal recreational marijuana went on sale in Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper says the black market for marijuana in the state is shrinking and predicted that it “will be largely gone” in a few years.

But new statistics show that arrests for the production of black market pot increased by 380 percent in the 2014-16 time frame, and Colorado law enforcement agencies say they are battling a boom in illegal marijuana cultivation by sometimes violent groups of criminals who rake in millions of dollars by exporting what they grow.

The Colorado Department of Public Safety, which tracks various marijuana-related statistics, found that manufacturing arrests leapt from 126 in 2014 to 476 in 2016, according to new state data obtained by The Gazette. Illegal manufacturing encompasses the unlicensed making of THC-laced products, as well as large, hidden growing operations where plant counts far exceed those allowed by state law….

A few advocates appear in the text that follows, including Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group. But their cameos are buried beneath accounts of arrests and violence that suggests that pot legalization has turned Colorado into a law enforcement hellscape.

Perhaps future items will highlight positives since the November 2012 passage of Amendment 64, which sanctioned limited sales of recreational marijuana in the state. But you can bet those familiar with the Gazette under Anschutz aren’t holding their breath.

Toke of the Town

Betty Boop X Project Runway All Stars Collection Launches at Torrid

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

A new range of apparel is allowing plus-size fashionistas to show their love for the original animated vamp as Torrid has launched the exclusive Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection. The announcement was made during the Feb. 8 broadcast of Project Runway All Stars on Lifetime, in coordination with Hearst’s King Features — exclusive worldwide licensing agent for Betty Boop proprietor Fleischer Studios. Contestants were challenged to create a look inspired by the iconic character, with the chance to have their design sold at Torrid.

The winning look from designer Joshua McKinley was the inspiration for the full line, now available at select Torrid stores nationwide and Torrid.com. The playful-yet-trendy five-piece collection includes an “I Love Betty” tee, “Betty Boop Cold Shoulder” tee, cardigan, “Betty Boop Kisses” midi skirt and a retro style dress; the items in the collection are priced between $ 38 – $ 75.

“At her core, Betty Boop is confident, stylish and proud to be a curvy woman, so we’re very excited to be launching her first-ever plus size fashion collection,” said Carla Silva, VP and Global Head of Licensing at King Features. “And we couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Torrid, inclusive fashion experts who provide their consumers with style, not just sizes, ensuring they wear what they love.”

The always inspirational character has featured in previous collaborations with top brands and designers such as Zac Posen, M·A·C Cosmetics, Moschino, Lazy Oaf and A Bathing Ape as well as Jean Paul Gaultier, Supreme New York, Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, and more. Betty Boop was also featured in a two-page spread in the May 2017 issue of ELLE Magazine with an updated look and vision of Betty Boop as a millennial woman.

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Torrid Betty Boop x Project Runway All Stars collection

Animation Magazine

Ex-Rovio Head Launches New Animation Co. Haruworks

Artwork courtesy of Haruworks

Artwork courtesy of Haruworks

A new Finland-based animation start-up studio has officially opened today, dubbed Haruworks. The company is headed by animation and mobile entertainment expert Nick Dorra as Founder, Producer and CEO. Dorra was previously installed in a key content strategy position at Rovio Entertainment, and has assembled a Board of fellow experts to guide the new company — including veteran animation producer Fred Seibert.

The launch announcement follows a successful round of investment, and Haruworks is ready to start conversations about its development slate at Kidscreen in Miami this month, with the aim of presenting a finalized line-up at MIPTV in April. Based in Helsinki, the company is focused on building “international character brands with a Nordic flair.” Haruworks’ slate currently comprises four TV series across different age groups, from preschool to eight years old, designed for co-viewing with parents and siblings.

“We are delighted to officially launch and start conversations about our slate at Kidscreen. Haruworks has been founded with the mission to create content that is worth your child’s precious time and attention,” said Dorra. “Experience tells us that kids and parents long for safe, witty and non-condescending stories and that’s what we are offering. We want to create worlds and characters that families love and pass on to the next generation.”

Haruworks embraces a Scandinavian style of storytelling and Nordic design heritage, taking inspiration from the works of Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson. Approaching properties with a multi-platform strategy, the team has a deep understanding of apps, games and digital distribution and a commitment to engage audiences wherever they are.

The advisory Board includes Frederator founder Seibert, Cake’s Tom Van Waveren, eOne Family’s Nick Gawne and Original Talent Ltd.’s Simon Flamank. Haruworks has also appointed former child psychologist Maija Arponen as head of development. Arponen will draw on her expertise to help shape creative that is nourishing for children’s psychological and emotional growth.

“Haruworks is a truly exciting and promising proposition. The breadth of talent and experience within the company offers a great foundation for the development of high quality, sought after global hit shows which can thrive on all platforms,” said Seibert.

Dorra spent four years at Rovio heading up its animation and content strategy, as well as acquisitions for Toons TV. During his tenure, Dorra grew the Rovio animation team from 10 to 100 artists and led Angry Birds from game to screen, scoring 2 billion views in the first 20 months. He also enjoyed a stint at New York-based video start-up incubator Thirty Labs.

Artwork courtesy of Haruworks

Artwork courtesy of Haruworks

Artwork courtesy of Haruworks

Artwork courtesy of Haruworks

Animation Magazine

Factory Launches New Creative Engine Studio

Factory Creative Engine

Factory Creative Engine

BAFTA-winning animation studio Factory has launched a new outfit called Factory Creative Engine, which consolidates the production of sets, puppets, and models, synthesizing cutting edge technology with traditional methods under one roof. The studio aims to create more of its own self-initiated intellectual property, and enhance its full-service capability.

Factory has converted its RED Studio to become a centralized creation hub for creatures, critters and inspirational new worlds. This new facility will support all Factory’s current slate of productions and provide state of the art character creation services to its clients.

The Factory Creative Engine studio will also incorporate a temperature and climate controlled technical studio and laboratory to house its expanding 3D printing capabilities and CO2 laser cutters.

The dedicated studio will create additional 40 or more jobs in the Manchester area, adding to a progressive entertainment landscape in the area, rich in animation opportunities.

“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to be at the helm of Factory Creative Engine, which is a real leap forward for the studio; being so heavily involved in the design and build process, guiding the technical requirements and level of staffing required has been wonderful,” says Jon Kershaw, Creative Engine manager.

“We’re thrilled to be making such great headway with our ongoing ambition to create more of our own IP, which with Creative Engine, we can now offer a greatly enhanced, end to end creative service,” notes managing director Phil Chalk. “The technology we use is at the very forefront, and combined with the traditional artisan production techniques, we have all bases covered for any show we work on, allowing us full creative freedom.”

Factory has produced a huge range of shows, using varying animation styles including 2D, 3D CGI, Stop Motion and Live Action.  Factory show include children’s favorites such as The Clangers, Newzoids, Scream Street, Becca’s Bunch and Strange Hill High. Factory Creative Engine recently tapped former Coolabi director of production and development Zoë Bamsey as its first-ever COO.

 Factory MD Phil Chalk (left) with Bob the Builder and Paw Patrol creator Keith Chapman at the studio’s official opening day

Factory MD Phil Chalk (left) with Bob the Builder and Paw Patrol creator Keith Chapman at the studio’s official opening day

Factory Creative Engine

Factory Creative Engine

Animation Magazine

‘OK K.O.!’ Levels Up to S2, Launches Game Trailer

OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes

OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes

Cartoon Network’s OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes has unlocked a season 2 greenlight, with new episodes set to premiere in 2018. Plus, Ian Jones-Quartey’s multiplatform storyverse is soon to expand with console video game OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes, and fans can now check out the just-launched official trailer below.

Season 2 of the show will be even more heroic for K.O., Enid and Rad as they continue to level up with all new adventures. There are new threats and villains on the horizon as mysteries of Lakewood Plaza Turbo begin to reveal themselves. Surprise heroes will also make their debut alongside some familiar faces in special crossover episodes that will kick up the action, laughter and comedy into maximum drive.

Fans can catch episodes of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes any time on the CN app.

The new trailer for Let’s Play Heroes shows off the many familiar characters fans can expect to see, as well as the game’s colorful blend of side-scrolling action and RPG elements. When Lord Boxman resets the card levels of every hero in Lakewood Plaza, it’s up to K.O. to help his friends and secure his place as a true hero. Battle Lord Boxman’s evil robot army in fast-paced brawls, explore the mall to find quests to complete, and level up special POW cards for new abilities to put the pain on Lord Boxman’s most diabolical scheme yet.

OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes is published by Cartoon Network, developed by Capybara Games and written in collaboration with series creator Jones-Quartey. The game is expected to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC (via Steam) in early 2018.

OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes

OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes

Animation Magazine