Mercury Filmworks, one of Canada's most prolific independent animation studios is expanding its management team by promoting several key executives and hiring new staff. The studio along with media partners like Disney, Netflix and Amazon have been clamouring for more content and with over 10 projects in the delivery pipeline along with the newly created Lighthouse Studios. The announcement was made today by Mercury Filmworks CEO Clint Eland. “We’re very grateful that our media partners continue to see Mercury Filmworks as a provider of top-tier animation content,” he explains Eland. “Over the past year our company has been able to increase its development and production commitments, creating a robust pipeline that requires a deeper bench of both creative and business executives to su
A three-day global fan event made by the phenomenal success of the first Force Friday in September 2015 for The Force Awakens,Disney’s and Lucasfilm’s Force Friday II kicked off yesterday with a wave of new products celebrating Star Wars: The Last Jedi which will release on December 15. Following the breakout success of its BB-8 bot, Colorado-based Sphero has expanded its app-enabled Star Wars line to include beloved Rebel Alliance droid R2D2 and brand-new evil droid BB-9E that can both be controlled through the Droids by Sphero app for iOS and Android devices. In a first for any R2D2 robotics product, Sphero’s R2 unit can go from bipod to tripod stances and also features the droid’s humorous emotive waddles. Additional features include fully functional LED lights, four internal motor
Soon after the launch of its augmented reality tabletop game Beasts of Balance and a new funding round from UK angel investors worth US$1.8 million, Sensible Object has been chosen as the only UK developer to join Amazon’s all-new Alexa Accelerator program designed to drive voice-technology innovation. As one of nine startups selected to the Techstars-powered programme, Sensible Object has now become a part of a 13-week schedule of mentorship training and collaboration in Seattle with technologists and product leaders from Amazon and Techstars. The programme will end on October 17 with a demo day for the companies to present prototypes and meet with potential investors. Alexa Accelerator is created by the Alexa Fund that provides up to US$100 million in VC funding to fuel voice-technolo
Nickelodeon is gearing up to premiere its newest animated mystery series Welcome to the Wayne on July 24. Created and written by Billy Lopez and executively produced by creative executive Michael Pecoriello, the 20-episode series follows three kids as they explore their fantastical apartment building aptly named the Wayne. The toon’s voice cast includes Alanna Ubach as Ansi, the anxious new kid in town; Lopez as Olly Timbers, the adventurous 10-year-old son of a toy maker and a military scientist and Dana Steingold as Saraline Timbers, Olly’s responsible and more mature little sister. Before getting the full-length treatment, Welcome to the Wayne was Nickelodeon’s first digital short-form series which debuted in 2014 as six four- to five-minute episodes on the Nick App and Nick.com.
When Kong: Skull Island arrives on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital, one will get to see the origins of one of the most powerful monster myths of all. The original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong and they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong. Kong: Skull Island stars Tom Hiddleston, Oscar-nominee Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Oscar-winner Brie Larson and Oscar-nominee John C. Reilly. Vogt-Roberts directed the film from a story by John Gatins and Dan Gilroy and a...
At a gala event held yesterday at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Canadian non-profit industry organisation The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) named its 2017 English-language Awards of Excellence winners for outstanding achievement in youth TV programming and digital content. Part picture book, game and animated film, iPad app The Incredible Tales of Weirdwood Manor from All Play, No Work and Relish Interactive lapped up the evening’s big winner collecting the grand prize for Best Production in all categories along with the Best Original Interactive Content award. This year, the Amazon/TVO Kids series won Best Live-Action Program for kids between six to nine for its The Mother of Invention episode. The Toronto-based production company also won Best Live-Action Program for Kids Nin
According to e-commerce giant Amazon Swimline Personal Pizza, Moana Disney Activity Table and Osmo Coding are some of the items that will top this summer’s toy sales. The online retailer has released its annual summer toy list that includes more than 400 play things as well as a number of exclusives and hand-picked items. The list is organized into a number of categories including Water Everything and STEM in the Summer when shoppers can browse through the toys using a number of filters that focus on brand, age, price range, reviews and discounts. For the second summer in a row, STEM in the Summer continues to be a big category. Amazon predicts toys like Osmo Coding, 4M Water Rocket Kit and National Geographic Break Open 10 Geodes and Explore Crystals Science Kit will be popular. The
Amazon has announced that its brand-new Amazon Original Kids Series Dino Dana is scheduled to premiere on 26th May on Prime Video in the US and U.K. A follow-up to the 2015 Emmy Award-winning series Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures, Dino Dana is a pre-school programme that takes viewers on a whole new level of dinosaur encounters. Combining live-action with CGI animation, the series features 11 new pre-historic creatures and for the first time, two sisters. After a chance encounter with Trek and his Dino Field Guide, Dana (Michela Luci), a trainee palaeontologist begins to see dinosaurs all around her. This leads to plenty of action and adventure. Every episode has been designed to share interesting dinosaur facts and applies them to kid-relatable experiences. Created by J.J. Johnson, t
SVOD giants Amazon and Netflix have edged out PBS, the perennial broadcasting powerhouse to win most of the awards at the 44th Emmy awards ceremony held last Friday night in Los Angeles. The streaming video platforms together won 24 statuettes (13 for Amazon, 11 for Netflix), while PBS annexed nine awards, six fewer than last year. Netflix and DreamWorks Animation animated comedy Trollhunters was the ceremony’s big winner by collecting six Emmys, the most multiple awards for a kids series. Its key category wins included outstanding writing in an animated programme (Marc Guggenheim), outstanding directing in an animated programme (Rodrigo Blaas, Guillermo del Toro) and outstanding performer in an animated programme (Kelsey Grammer as Blinky). The acclaimed show inspired by del Toro’
The nominations of the 2017 Daytime Emmy Awards are out. In this, DreamWorks Animation has emerged as the top toon producer with 21 nods. This includes seven for Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters, the most of any animated programme on top of the two Individual achievement awards already announced. Amazon’s The Snowy Day and Lost in Oz both lapped up five nominations, while the four-nod club included DWA’s All Hail King Julien, Disney’s LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures and Amazon’s Tumble Leaf. This year, the most nods went to The Young and the Restless (25), The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital (23 each) and Days of Our Lives (22). Of the networks CBS received 70 nominations, but animation destinations Amazon (50), PBS (40), Netflix (36) and Nickelodeon (18) also ha