NBCUniversal Is Building Its Own Children’s Channel

The New York Times has an interesting article up about NBCUniversal’s new kids network which will replace the Sprout Network.

From the article:
LOS ANGELES — In a new salvo in the children’s television wars, NBCUniversal is creating its own Disney Channel.

Starting on Sept. 9, NBCUniversal will turn one of its smallest cable properties, Sprout, into a network called Universal Kids, said Deirdre Brennan, who will oversee the effort. She said NBCUniversal wanted to create an “umbrella brand” for its family offerings — television cartoons made by the Universal-owned DreamWorks Animation, Universal-Illumination films and attractions at Universal theme parks.

Sprout is solely aimed at preschool viewers, but Universal Kids will concentrate on children 2 through 11. The revamped channel’s first series will be “Top Chef Junior,” a spinoff of the cooking show on NBCUniversal’s Bravo.

“Reality programming is a real white space in the U.S. children’s market — food, pets, dancing, even news,” said Ms. Brennan, who will be general manager of Universal Kids. “Look at how sophisticated 11-year-olds are these days. They want more than the same sitcoms.”

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment is getting into the booming, competitive animation business

The L.A. Times has an interesting story up that Hollywood producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are stepping into the animated film business in hopes of taking advantage of the booming — and increasingly competitive — market for family movies.

From the site:

Grazer and Howard’s production company Imagine Entertainment has teamed with Australian animation firm Animal Logic to develop, produce and finance six movies during the next five years, they said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Animal Logic, based in Sydney with offices in Vancouver and Los Angeles, is best known for doing the animation for hit films including Oscar-winner “Happy Feet” and “The Lego Movie,” both of which were released by Warner Bros.

The move comes amid animation’s continued dominance at the box office. Four of the top 10 movies last year were computer animated — “Finding Dory,” “The Secret Life of Pets,” “Zootopia” and “Sing.” The grown-up mid-budget movies Imagine has built its brand around face growing difficulties at the box office.

You can red the entire story here.

Established Studio Embraces Real-Time Animation

The Adobe blogs have an interesting story on Renegade Animation and my old bosses who are using a new Adobe application called Character Animator.

Renegade Animation started out 25 years ago as a boutique commercial house specializing in 2D animation. Its two founders, Ashley Postlewaite and Darrell Van Citters met while working at Warner Bros. in the Looney Tunes commercial unit. Renegade Animation was an early adopter of digital tools to reduce costs and improve efficiency, and that still holds true today. Using many of the apps in Adobe Creative Cloud, the company created a paperless animation pipeline to support the production of animated episodic television, feature films, interactive games, and web and mobile content.

Recently Co-founder and Executive Producer Postlewaite, along with Production Manager Scott Lowe, and Animator and Storyboard Artist Scott Klass tried out another new technology. The team accepted an offer from Adobe to create some demo assets for Adobe Character Animator, a real-time animation tool that transforms static artwork into dynamic puppets.

Read the entire interview HERE.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nicktoons, 25 Years Later

nicktoons-unknown-facts-25-years-later

 

To ring in the 25th anniversary of NicktoonsRugrats,” “Ren & Stimpy” and “DougVariety has an article up about several behind-the-scenes tidbits that have gone mostly unknown.

For instance:

The Co-Creator of “Rugrats” Didn’t Like Angelica
Arlene Klasky, co-creator of Klasky-Csupo and “Rugrats,” confessed that she never really liked Angelica, finding her and her signature catchphrase, “You dumb babies!,” “too mean.” She admitted to the New Yorker that the original “Rugrats” creative team struggled to keep the show edgy while also appropriate for children, and that the Angelica conflict was the reason for the team’s breakup.

You can read the entire article here.

Ren and Stimpy storyboards!

invention21

Animation Resources.org has a fantastic Ren and Stimpy board up and if you’ve never visited Animation Resources and you’re into animation, you’re in for a huge treat because it’s one of the unsung jewels of the internet. Check it out!

 

Leo The Lion and the worst animation Netflix has to offer

 

AV Club has an interesting article up about the worst thing Netflix has to offer and if that clip above is any indication of what they have it’s pretty terrible. (Apologies to anyone who worked on it.)

“The streaming-video market is propped up by garbage,” Feldman admits, but Leo The Lion is something special. The film, the story of a vegetarian lion who escorts a group of animals to a lake filled with milk, is already a cult sensation of sorts on Tumblr, where users contribute to an ever-growing thread about the film’s many inconsistencies, mistakes, and baffling details. The strangest aspect of the film may be that the dubbed dialogue and songs do not match up with the subtitles at all. Feldman’s theory is that the subtitles are a literal translation of the original Italian script, while the dubbing has been more localized.

You can read the entire article here.