Watch: HBO Launches ‘Backstories’ with BTS Toons for ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Barry’ & ‘Insecure’

A new short-form series, HBO Backstories, is offering television fans an animated peek behind the scenes of their favorite HBO shows and characters. Each episode features the voices (and stories) of network talent, from star performers and show creators, and each is brought to life by a different, top-notch animation team.

On Thursday, the first three episodes — created in collaboration with Wieden + Kennedy New York. They reveal untold stories from the production of acclaimed series Game of Thrones, Barry and Insecure. The series is available across all HBO network, social channels, HBO.com and as part of HBO’s sponsorship at Tribeca Film Festival.

“The Slap Game” | David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (showrunners of Game of Thrones) detail the time the latter played Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) in ‘The Slap Game.’

Animation by Ivan Dixon and Greg Sharp (Truba Animation)

“Acting Class” | Alec Berg, co-creator of Barry, talks through how he drew inspiration from a wild acting class.

Animation by Christy Karacas and Simon Wilches (Titmouse)

“Insecure” | Actress Yvonne Orji talks through her journey from Miss Nigeria in America to Molly on Insecure.

Animation by Carl Jones and Brian Ash (Six Point Harness)

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: Lasseter’s Mea Culpa, ‘Dragon 3’ Early Screenings, ‘Game of Thrones’ Teaser & More

DC Comics’ Newest Superhero Is a Black Girl from Oregon
Now in pre-sale for issue No. 1, Naomi centers on a young woman who is inspired to do some sleuthing when Superman and Mongul duke it out in a small town near Portland, and investigate her own connection to the world of superhumans. Co-written by Miles Morales co-creator Brian Michael Bendis and David Walker with artwork by Jamal Campbell, the story unfolds January 23.

’Family Guy’ Producers Break Down Episode Skewering Trump
“We knew, writing this episode, that what we were writing we weren’t going to see on television for a year and a half, so we just had to lay into the fact that luckily Trump has been consistently a disaster, so that hasn’t changed at all. We knew that he was never going to be out of the news, and people wouldn’t be like, ‘Oh, yeah! I remember that Trump guy! Of course he’s still here — and still embarrassing himself on a daily/weekly basis,” Alec Sulkin tells Entertainment Weekly.

Animation Nights New York Presents: Life, Love, and Resilience
The first ANNY screening of 2019 will be held Tuesday, January 15 at 8 p.m. at The Gutter Spare Room in Brooklyn. The program includes The Adventures of LiangLiang by Xiaotao and Wuliang Zhang, Sonder by Neth Nom and Under the Apple Tree by Erik Van Schaaik.

’Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Teaser Hints at a Big Mystery Hiding in Winterfell’s Crypt
The trailer, directed by David Nutter (who is helming the season premiere episode), shows Jon Snow, Sansa and Arya Stark meeting among the statues of the dead — and encountering their own stone likenesses just before an eerie, freezing mist begins to blow in. Whatever fan theory you subscribe to about what waits to be discovered in the crypt — perhaps in Lyanna’s tomb? — it’s pretty hard to act aloof about the long-awaited conclusion. (Well, one conclusion. C’mon GRRM, keep typing!)

Fandango Launches Early Screenings for ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’
Fans and Fandango VIP members will be among the first to see the highly anticipated threequel in select Los Angeles theaters on February 2 — three weeks ahead of the wide U.S. release on Feb. 22.

“Long-time fans, franchise newcomers and audiences of all ages can’t wait to discover The Hidden World on the big screen next month,” says Fandango Managing Editor Erik Davis. “Moviegoers are looking for an epic adventure that the whole family can enjoy, and it’s exciting that Fandango and DreamWorks Animation are giving fans the rare chance to see one of the year’s most anticipated movies three weeks early.”

John Lasseter Expresses Deep Sorrow & Shame about Past Actions at Emotional Skydance Animation Town Hall

Deadline reports the appearance lasted an hour and a half, with the new studio head telling the 65-person studio team he was ready to turn over a new leaf in his treatment of women and in creating a safe environment for employees. Young female employees, especially, questioned the industry titan on whether he had truly atoned for his actions. Lasseter also promised to continue to tell women’s stories on screen, pointing to his work on films such as Moana.

“I am deeply sorry for my actions, which were unquestionably wrong. I very much regret making women feel unsafe or disrespected. I will continue to work every day for the rest of my life to prove to you that I have grown and learned. I am resolute in my commitment to build an animation studio upon a foundation of equality, safety, trust and mutual respect for everyone,” Lasseter told the assembly.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Animation Rights New York

Animation Rights New York

Animation Magazine

Daily News Bytes: ‘Black Panther’ BTS Featurette, ‘Game of Thrones’ S8 in 2019, Cartoon Saloon Success & More

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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Coming in 2019
It’s official, the final season of the super smash-hit fantasy epic based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has been pushed to next year. Actor Liam Cunningham (“Davos Seaworth”) revealed in October that production wouldn’t start until this summer. Season 8 will be comprised of just six episodes, which are sure to be packed to the brim with undead ice monsters, army-roasting dragons, Machiavellian political ploys and kind of icky hook ups.

FOX to Follow 300th ‘Family Guy’ Ep. with 1st Limited-Interruption Airing
FOX TV has announced that it is planning to air an extended-length episode of its Emmy-winning series with limited commercial interruption on Sunday, March 11 at 9 p.m. In “Send in Stewie, Please,” Stewie (voiced by series creator Seth MacFarlane) gets sent to the office of his school’s child psychologist, Dr. Cecil Pritchfield (guest voice Sir Ian McKellen), after pushing one of his classmates. During the session, Stewie experiences a series of personal and emotional revelations about himself that fans will not want to miss. Also as part of the current 15th season, the landmark 300th episode of Family Guy “Dog Bites Bear” is premiering Jan. 14 at 9 p.m.

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Profits Soar at Cartoon Saloon Animation Studio in Kilkenny
The acclaimed 2D shop behind Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner, Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea, and The Secret of Kells (co-directed by both) has seen profits increase by 16%, with revenues climbing 43%.

eOne Strengthens ‘Peppa Pig’ Licensing in US & Canada
The popular porcine preschool toon, which airs on Nick Jr. US and Treehouse TV in Canada, has inked new agreements with CSS Industries (seasonal classroom exchange products and accessories, Valentine’s and Easter) and PTI Group (character treat buckets). Deals have also been renewed with long-standing partners such as Amscan (party goods), Kurt S. Adler (Christmas ornaments/decorations) and Palamon (Halloween costumes).

VIDEO: Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther’ – From Page to Screen
Here from producer Kevin Feige, star Chadwick Boseman, EP Stan Lee and director Ryan Coogler on what it’s like to bring one of the most eagerly anticipated comic-book adaptations to the big screen. In other news, Disney announced that Grammy-winning superstar Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Tiffith are curating and producing Black Panther: The Album, featuring music from and inspired by the flick — including lead single “All the Stars.: Black Panther opens in theaters February 16!

Black Panther

Black Panther

Peppa Pig

Peppa Pig

Animation Magazine