Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators

The Orchard has released the official poster for Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators! Featuring a narrow escape from the Nazis on makeshift bicycles, Monkey Business explores the extraordinary lives of Hans and Margret Rey, the authors of the beloved Curious George children’s books.
Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators will be available on demand and digital August 15, 2017!
Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators
Release:  August 15, 2017
Directed by: Ema Ryan Yamazaki
Animation by: Jacob Kafka
Narrated by: Sam Waterston
Produced by: Ema Ryan Yamazaki, Emily Harrold
Executive Produced by: Marc Levin, Eric Nyari, Paul Davidson, Danielle DiGiacomo, Brad Navin
Curious George is the most popular monkey in the world. Since his introduction in the first publication in 1941, the beloved series has sold over 75 million books in more than 25 languages. MONKEY BUSINESS explores the lesser-known tale of George’s creators, Hans and Margret Rey. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, the Reys first met when Hans was dating Margret’s older sister. Years later, having heard that Hans was wasting his artistic talents as a bookkeeper in Rio, Margret traveled to Brazil to persuade him to marry her and do something creative together. After their four-week honeymoon to Paris turned into a four-year residency, they accidentally became children’s book authors when a publisher suggested they create a book out of a cartoon Hans had drawn. Being German Jews, however, their life in Paris abruptly came to an end in June 1940 when the Reys were forced to escape from the Nazis by riding makeshift bicycles-a manuscript of the first Curious George book was one of the few possessions they could smuggle out with them. Arriving in New York as refugees, they started their life anew and over the next three decades they created a classic that continues to touch the hearts and minds of children around the world.

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.”

Jeff Victor

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Jeff Victor and I work as an illustrator/designer for Nickelodeon Games. I work as an art lead on a online game called PetPet Park, designing characters, backgrounds, props, and more.


What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve worked many mundane jobs in my life, but one that is really pretty special to me is when I first moved to Los Angeles, I got work as a background performer, or “extra”. As I was unsuccessfully submitting my portfolio to studios, I made my living as a student/doctor/terrified pedestrian/casual onlooker, etc. I appeared in hundreds of TV shows and movies. As a huge film buff, it was incredible being on set watching some of my favorite directors work. You only earn a tiny paycheck, but being on set with Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese was a priceless experience. My other craziest job was working a few years at Universal Studios Hollywood. I was a show tech, which basically meant I had to set the stage explosives, hook the actors to their flying rigs, move set pieces around on stage, and in the case of Fear Factor Live, handle giant scorpions. All in a day’s work.


What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I am extremely proud of the work I’ve been doing for Nickelodeon. I enjoy that people all over the world have seen my work. I also really enjoyed some of the stints I had as a character designer at Warner Bros animation, and at East/West DVD, where I got to draw DVD covers for classic cartoons. It was my first real job in animation, and I am really proud of the work, even though it looks incredibly dated to my eyes today. (Of course, things I drew 3 weeks ago look dated to me, but that’s another story…)


Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from the Chicago suburbs, and after receiving the “Art of Star Wars” book as a youngster, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I was obsessed with comic books and cartoons as a kid, especially Batman the Animated Series. I filled my grade school notebooks with Continue reading