Animation

Hilmar Koch joins Autodesk as first director research & development

Hilmar Koch joins Autodesk as first director research & development

Animation
Former tech head of advanced development at ILMxLAB, Hilmar Koch has joined Autodesk as its first director of research & development, The Future of Storytelling. The newly established team under Koch’s leadership will be in charge of reimagining Autodesk’s approach to building storytelling tools for film, TV, games and immersive content and whatever comes next. Earlier, Koch was Technology Director of the Advanced Development Group at ILMxLAB where he was overseeing tech and creative teams and collaborating with partners on innovative storytelling projects such as its first VR project Jurassic World (with Felix & Paul). Earlier, he was director of Virtual Production at ILM and his nearly two-decade stint at the company took him through posts as Head of CG, CG Dept. Superviso
Atomic Fiction appoints Marc Chu as head of animation

Atomic Fiction appoints Marc Chu as head of animation

Animation
Atomic Fiction has appointed animation guru Marc Chu to lead the studio's animation efforts across its Oakland and Montreal locations. Chu joins Atomic Fiction from ILM, where he most recently served as Animation Director bringing more than 20 years of experience animating and supervising the creation of everything from aliens and spaceships to pirates and superheroes. Based out of Atomic Fiction's Oakland office, Chu will oversee animation company-wide and serve as the principal architect of initial studio production including the expansion of Atomic Fiction's previs and digital creature offerings. He's already begun work on The Predator and is ramping up activity on an upcoming Robert Zemeckis feature. “Animation is only as good as the creative team behind it, so we wanted someone w
Cartoon Forum continues to widen its horizons

Cartoon Forum continues to widen its horizons

Animation
The 28th annual Cartoon Forum that will take place in Toulouse, France from September 12 to 15 is continuing to expand its international reach with projects from Japan, Brazil and United Arab Emirates accepted into the European co-production platform. And after Ireland was the Forum’s inaugural spotlight country last year, Poland won the 2017 distinction and will present five projects that include pre-school series The Wriggles from Warsaw’s Badi Badi. The Forum will also present tributes to Polish studios and the success of the country’s animation biz will be highlighted throughout the three-day event. This year, a total of 83 new TV series projects will be pitched to potential co-producers, buyers and investors representing approximately 470 hours of animation worth 285 million Euro
Blue Zoo Animation Studio to get massive funds from C U Animation Co.

Blue Zoo Animation Studio to get massive funds from C U Animation Co.

Animation
Blue Zoo Animation Studio, the London-based CG animation company founded by Adam Shaw, Tom Box, and Oli Hyatt in 2000 has announced that it will receive around US$38 million in funding from China UK Animation Company (CU Animation), a subsidiary of China’s state-owned Zhong Ze Culture Investment Group. The deal, which includes additional guarantees of money beyond the initial investment, is one of the most significant ones for an independent TV animation studio in recent memory. The multi-BAFTA-winning Blue Zoo, with a workforce of over 130 employees has primarily produced children’s series to date. Among them are Nick Jr.’s Digby Dragon, CBeebies’ Tree Fu Tom and Dutch broadcaster KRO’s Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small. The two companies will launch a new joint venture called Lanzu,
WB Home Ent. to celebrate the 10th anniversary with release of Batman and Harley Quinn at Comic-Con

WB Home Ent. to celebrate the 10th anniversary with release of Batman and Harley Quinn at Comic-Con

Animation
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its DC Universe Original Movie series on July 21 at Comic-Con International: San Diego with the world premiere of its most-recent animated feature Batman and Harley Quinn. Batman and Harley Quinn will see Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet and unfortunately, eliminate most of humankind along the way. To save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to enlist Harley Quinn to catch Poison Ivy, Harley’s BFF and frequent partner-in-crime. The latest DC animated film features a stellar voice cast led by Kevin Conroy who reprises the role as the Dark Knight alongside Melissa Rauch who makes her debut as the irrepressible Harley Quinn. Loren Lester, the
Sly Cooper is back to the small screen!

Sly Cooper is back to the small screen!

Animation
PlayStation’s iconic thievius raccoonus alias Sly Cooper is coming back to the small screen in a animated series, the distribution of which will be handled by PGS while Technicolor Animation Production will create the series. Unfortunately, there aren’t more details on the project and no release details is in hand though network and format has been shared. Sony, however, did share a brief story synopsis: Sly Cooper follows the adventures of an irresistibly charismatic raccoon, a modern-day Robin Hood, who restores justice to his city one theft at a time. Sly is aided by two of his best friends, a muscular hippo named Murray and a brainy turtle named Bentley. Hot on Sly’s trail is Inspector Carmelita Fox, a morally upright cop with an unfortunate crush on the charming bandit, as well
Disney Channel EMEA unveils slate of new programming

Disney Channel EMEA unveils slate of new programming

Animation
Disney Channel EMEA unleashed a slate of new programming at last week’s Annecy Animation Festival. Standing on top of the slate is 101 Dalmatian Street, a new take on the classic Disney film. The channel has also announced a few other new titles and the renewals of some of its favourites. It is a new series based on a pitch by Anttu Harlin and Joonas Utti from Finnish studio Gigglebug Entertainment and developed by Disney’s original animation team in London with Passion Animation Studios. The series will be written by Maria O’Loughlin and directed by Miklos Weigert. It tells the story of a family dalmatians cooped up together in a modern London house as parents and grandparents deal with 99 pups. It is due to release worldwide next year and will run for 48 eleven-minute episodes. Add
Turner sets new direction to The Amazing World of Gumball

Turner sets new direction to The Amazing World of Gumball

Animation
Turner has claimed that it has upped its  investment in European production by 30 per cent last year and has also taken its biggest international original The Amazing World of Gumball in a new direction, with a puppet-based episode of the show that it revealed at the just concluded Annecy Animation Film Festival. The puppet-based installment of Gumball will go out during season five of the show and will also be the inspiration for a series of short form spin-offs. Recently-minted U.K. producer Blink Industries is making The Puppets and the short form content which will be directed by BAFTA-nominated Simon Cartwright and Baker Terry. Annecy attendees got to watch the exclusive first-look at The Puppets at Annecy during a session at the festival looking at Gumball. The series is a mix
French producers to once again feature in a big way at Cartoon Forum

French producers to once again feature in a big way at Cartoon Forum

Animation
French producers are featuring once again for the 2017 Cartoon Forum set for September 12 to 15 in Toulouse, France. The TV pitching forum has selected 83 projects, representing a combined budget of about 285 million euros for 470 hours of programming. France was far ahead with 28 projects; followed by Ireland with nine; Belgium and Poland with five each; Finland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom with four each; Germany with three; Portugal and South Korea with two and one each from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden and Ukraine. Additionally, 48 per cent of projects were aimed at kids between 5 to 12, 69 per cent are 2D. The average cost per project is 3.4 million euros and 38 projects (46 per ce...
Montreal-based Digital Dimension plans to produce two animated series

Montreal-based Digital Dimension plans to produce two animated series

Animation
Montreal-based animation and VFX studio, Digital Dimension has unveiled its plans to produce two animated series. They are: Improbable Pirate Adventures, a character-driven slapstick comedy where you are invited to join a 9-year-old orphan girl, a human-sized Parrot Captain and a runaway theme park animatronic who travel the modern city making big deals out of little things while living the pirate life to the fullest. The second is Time Travelling Caveman Scientist is about a pre-historic inventor who invents time travel and visits a different time period every day in search of food for his family. Both these series will be produced in the Unreal 4 game engine, an expertise developed by Digital Dimension.  “Unreal 4 technology gives us with the ability to produce linear and intera