This Week in Animation: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Anime Short to Debut on Crunchyroll

In This Week in Animation News, I’ll take a look at the previous week in the world of animation in order to get you caught up on everything you might have missed. It’s your one-stop shop for news regarding cartoons, anime, and animated web series. We’re talking movies, TV shows, digital shorts, and everything in between!

First of all, we’ve already covered a bunch of animation news this week, as you can see from the links below. Some of the things we didn’t get to include the arrival of the Blade Runner 2049‘s anime prequel short on VRV and Crunchyroll (outside of Japan), the live-action adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist opening up the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival, and an incredible line-up of films coming to LA’s inaugural Animation Is Film festival.

Image via Disney XD

In TV, DreamWorks Trollhunters adds outstanding talent for its Season 2 voice cast, Disney XD’s DuckTales briefly team up with an unexpected duck, Cartoon Network’s OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes gets some surprise superheroes from classic cartoons, and the release date for the animated holiday special Michael Jackson’s Halloween has been confirmed.

For the latest animation stories we’ve already covered on the site this week, take a look at the following links. Then, check out a selection of new stories below. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments! (There’s … a lot this week, so choose wisely!)

'Blade Runner: Black Out 2022' to air on VRV, Crunchyroll

So far, we’ve seen two original short films that fill in the story gaps between Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner and Denis Villeneuve‘s upcoming sequel: one featured Jared Leto‘s curious character Niander Wallace while the more recent one took a look at Dave Bautista‘s mysterious Sapper. A third prequel story, however, takes a very different approach.

Hailing from director Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy BebopSamurai ChamplooAnimatrix) comes Blade Runner: Black Out 2022, a new prequel that’s going to be animated in the visionary’s signature style. As the preview video above shows, it’ll be coming exclusively to the VRV and Crunchyroll platforms on September 6th (in territories outside Japan, where Warner Bros. will be releasing the short on YouTube).

'Trollhunters' Season 2 Adds Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, David Bradley

Mark HamillLena Headey and David Bradley have joined the second season of Netflix’s critically-acclaimed series DreamWorks Trollhunters, from Guillermo del Toro. They join an already star-studded cast from season one that includes Kelsey Grammer in his Emmy-winning role as Blinky, Ron Perlman (Bular), Steven Yeun (Steve), Anjelica Huston (Queen Ursurna), Jonathan Hyde (Strickler), Amy Landecker (Barbara) and Charlie Saxton (Toby).  The late Anton Yelchin is featured in the lead role as Jim Lake, Jr. and completed recording through season 2.

Image via DreamWorks Animation, Netflix

DreamWorks Trollhunters features a tale of two fantastical worlds that collide in an epic saga.  Set in the fictional suburb of Arcadia, our unlikely hero, Jim, and his two best friends make a startling discovery that beneath their hometown lies a hidden battle between good trolls and bad, the outcome of which impacts their lives forever.

  • Hamill voices the unknown older brother to a member of the Trollhunting team but has pledged his loyalty to the evil Gunmar.
  • Headey plays an extremely powerful and evil sorceress who must be stopped at all costs, while Bradley voices a mysterious figure known to have great magical powers — but the Trollhunters find he’s not the mystical wizard they expected.

Season two, premiering later this year, picks up with Jim entering the Darklands by himself, leaving his best friends and fellow Trollhunters, Toby and Claire, behind.

Earlier this spring, DreamWorks Trollhunters lead the Creative Arts Daytime Emmys with six wins, more than any other program, including writing for an animated program (Marc Guggenheim), directing (Rodrigo Blaas, del Toro), casting (Ania O’Hare, Mary Hildalgo) and a voice acting win for Grammer.

DreamWorks Trollhunters is created and executive produced by del Toro with Marc Guggenheim (ArrowLegends of Tomorrow), Rodrigo Blaas (Alma) and Chad Hammes (Dragons: Race to the Edge) and Christina Steinberg (Rise of the Guardians) serving as executive producers.  Dan Hageman (The Lego MovieNinjago) and Kevin Hageman (The Lego MovieNinjago) serve as co-executive producers.

'Fullmetal Alchemist' Adaptation Opens 30th Tokyo International Film Festival

I normally don’t fold live-action adaptations of animated fare into the animation news round-up, but this is a special case. Fumihiko Sori’Fullmetal Alchemist will be opening the 30th annual Tokyo Film Festival. That’ll be the earliest we’ll hear reactions to the film. The ten-day festival runs from October 25th to November 3rd and the full schedule will be released on September 26th.

Fullmetal Alchemist sees Edward Elric (Ryosuke Yamada) and his brother Alphonse alongside alliesWinry Rockbell (Tsubasa Honda), Roy Mustang (Dean Fujioka), Maes Hughes (Ryuta Sato), and Riza Hawkeye (Misako Renbutsu),  as they do battle against the rogue Homunculi: Lust (Yasuko Matsuyuki), Envy (Kanata Hongō), and Gluttony (Shinji Uchiyama). After opening the festival, the film enjoys a wide release in Japan starting December 1st.

Here’s the official synopsis for the live-action adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist:

Two brothers set out on a journey in order to take back everything they have lost. Fullmetal Alchemist is a legendary comic by Hiromu ARAKAWA that has sold over 70 million books worldwide. This emotional adventure finally gets a live-action version! An epic, highly-awaited fantasy action movie has begun to move!

'DuckTales' Characters to Team Up with ... the Aflac Duck?

This is very silly but I just had to share it. Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite in the U.S., has signed on as the sponsor of Disney XD’s hit new animated comedy-adventure series, DuckTales. As part of the agreement, the two companies have developed a co-branded commercial featuring an animated version of the Aflac Duck set in the world of DuckTales, which you can see above.

“When exploring opportunities for our new ‘DuckTales’ series, it was a natural fit to collaborate with Aflac. Our brands have the most recognizable ducks in the world, and this was a seamless and entertaining brand crossover for us,” said Jerry Daniello, senior vice president, Integrated Marketing, Disney|ABC Television Group.

Image via Disney XD

“Partnering with Disney XD’s new ‘DuckTales’ series allows Aflac to connect with the next generation of parents and families in a fun, creative way,” said Gail Galuppo, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Aflac. “The characters in this show consistently embark on interesting and challenging experiences together, and the Aflac Duck is an advocate of helping families protect those experiences and keep their lifestyles healthy with Aflac insurance.”

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the original Emmy Award-winning classic treasured by a generation of viewers, Disney XD’s all-new “DuckTales” series debuts Saturday, September 23rd, on Disney XD with two new back-to-back episodes (7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. EDT). Each will also be available on the Disney XD app and Disney XD VOD on these same dates.

'Captain Planet and the Planeteers' to Drop by 'OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes'

Heroes unite! Captain Planet and the Planeteers are summoned to Lakewood Plaza Turbo by K.O., Enid and Rad to help save the day in an all-new episode of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes premiering Monday, October 9th at 6:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network. Voice actors David Coburn and LeVar Burton reprise their roles as Captain Planet and Kwame from the original groundbreaking series.

In the episode, evil Lord Boxman is polluting the air around the plaza prompting K.O. and his friends to combine powers with the iconic superhero.

And there’s more! The full first season of the original Captain Planet series is available now for fans to watch on the Emmy Award-winning CN app.

Image via Cartoon Network

Sia's 'Rainbow' Music Video from the 'My Little Pony: The Movie' Soundtrack

“Rainbow” is featured in My Little Pony: The Movie – Coming to theaters October 6th! The film has an all-star voice cast including Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana.

 

Official video directed by Daniel Askill, featuring Maddie Ziegler, and choreographed by Ryan Heffington.

Image via Lionsgate

Complete album track listing below:

  1. Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Granny Smith, Apple Bloom, Big Mac “We Got This Together”
  2.  Capper(Taye Diggs) “I’m The Friend You Need”
  3.  Captain Celaeno (Zoe Saldana), Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy,      Rarity, Spike, Boyle, First Mate Mullet, Lix Spittle“Time To Be Awesome”
  4.  Princess Skystar (Kristin Chenoweth), Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity“One Small Thing”
  5. Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt)“Open Up Your Eyes”
  6. Songbird Serenade (Sia)“Rainbow”
  7. Lukas Graham“Off To See The World”
  8. Rachel Platten“Thank You For Being A Friend”
  9. DNCE“Can You Feel It”
  10. Jessie James Decker“I’ll Chase The Sky”
  11. CL“No Better Feelin’”
  12. Palmer Reed “I’ll Be Around”
  13. Lukas Nelson“Neighsayer”

STREAM/BUY “RAINBOW” – PRE-ORDER THE SOUNDTRACK: http://smarturl.it/SiaMLP

"Animation Is Film" Festival Unveils Its Impressive Line-up

ANIMATION IS FILM (AIF) announced today tickets are now available for its inaugural edition. The festival will present a selection of new animated feature films from Asia, Europe, South America and North America, with both juried and audience prizes, with filmmakers attending for most screenings. Additionally, the festival will feature studio events, special screenings, short film programs, and VR lounge. AIF is presented by GKIDS, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Variety, and ASIFA-Hollywood.

The inaugural edition of ANIMATION IS FILM launches October 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood. For tickets and a full schedule of events, please visit www.AnimationIsFilm.com.

AIF 2017 FILMS IN COMPETITION

For full synopses of each title, please visit AnimationIsFilm.com.

(*asterisk indicates new films added to the competition slate)

Image via AIF

“THE BIG BAD FOX & OTHER TALES”

US Premiere

Saturday, October 21st at 1:30PM

Followed by Q&A with directors Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner

  1. Patrick Imbert, Benjamin Renner, France, 2017

Recommended for ages 8+

Benjamin Renner received an Oscar® nomination for “Ernest & Celestine”

Benjamin Renner follows up his delightful, Oscar®-nominated Ernest & Celestine with a lively trio of hand-drawn cartoons about life on an animal farm, adapted from his own acclaimed graphic novel about a fox who struggles to live up to his reputation as a carnivore. Failing miserably at stealing chickens, he swipes three eggs instead. But after sitting on them patiently in the hopes of a meal, the newly hatched chicks cling to the fox and call him mommy. Despite his hunger he can’t quite bring himself to eat the infants he’s falling in love with. Other characters include a duck who has no idea how to swim, a lizard who speaks Mandarin, a stork who is too lazy to deliver babies, and if you wait for the end credits, a grumpy frog janitor modelled on the film’s multi-Academy Award®-nominated producer Didier Brunner. Throughout it all, Renner’s trademark warmth and visual humor is in full effect, in this entertaining, truly all-ages film that manages to be smart, charming, and laugh-out-loud funny without even a whiff of cynicism.

Film also screened at Annecy International Animation Festival 2017

Image via AIF

“BIG FISH AND BEGONIA”

World Premiere – English Language Version

Sunday, October 22nd at 11:00AM

  1. Liang Xua, Zhang Chun, China, 2016

Recommended for ages 8+

In development for over a decade, this mind-blowing animated feature surpasses any toon China has produced to date in terms of sheer beauty and imagery – a procession of enormous whales swim through the skies, a tentacled creature ferries a girl across a sea of clouds, feline porters walk on their hind legs – while weaving a surreal and complex tale informed by Chinese myths and motifs. In a hidden world within our world, celestial beings are in charge of the tide and the changing of the seasons. One of these beings, a young girl named Chun, transforms into a dolphin as part of a coming-of-age ritual and enters the human world she has always longed to explore. When she falls into danger, a human boy named Kun saves her life, but gives up his own in the process. With the help of her childhood friend Qiu, Chun tries to revive Kun’s spirit in order to thank him for saving her.

Film also selected as feature film in competition at Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2017

Image via AIF

“BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN”

West Coast Premiere

Saturday, October 21st at 4:15PM

Followed by Q&A with directorsAlberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero

  1. Alberto Vázquez, Pedro Rivero, Spain, 2015

Recommended for ages 14+

Best Animated Feature 2017 Goya Awards 

There is light and beauty, even in the darkest of worlds. Winner of Spain’s Goya Award for Best Animated Feature, Alberto Vázquez’s first feature is a darkly comic, mind-bending fantasy based on his own graphic novel and award winning short film. Striking graphic imagery brings to life a discordant world populated by adorable (and adorably disturbed) animated critters, searching for hope and love amid the ruin. Stranded on an island in a post-apocalyptic world, teenager Dinky and her friends hatch a dangerous plan to escape in the hope of finding a better life. Meanwhile, her old friend Birdboy has shut himself off from the world, pursued by the police and haunted by demon tormentors. But unbeknownst to anyone, he contains a secret inside him that could change the world forever.

Film also selected as feature film in competition at Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2016

Image via AIF

“THE BREADWINNER”

US Premiere – Opening Night Film

Friday, October 20th at 7:00PM

Followed by Q&A with director Nora Twomey

  1. Nora Twomey, Ireland/Canada/Luxembourg, 2017

Recommended for ages 11+

Nora Twomey was co-director of the Oscar®-nominated “The Secret of Kells”

Animation is Film is thrilled to present the highly-anticipated new film from executive producer Angelina Jolie and the creators of Academy Award®-nominated The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, and based on Deborah Ellis’ best-selling novel.

 

The Secret of Kells co-director Nora Twomey breathes life into this extraordinary story of 11-year-old Parvana, who finds strength in the love of her family and the power of storytelling. In Taliban-controlled Kabul, women and girls are not permitted to leave the house unescorted, to earn money, or to shop for food and supplies in the market. So when her father is unfairly imprisoned, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses as a boy to become her family’s sole breadwinner, experiencing a new freedom she has never known as a girl. With war approaching, Parvana does everything she can to support her family, while trying desperately to help free her father. Meanwhile, as her world tumbles into chaos, she tells stories to her little brother, to her friend Shauzia, and to herself, as a source of strength and hope.

 

Film also screened as work-in-progress at Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2017

Image via AIF

(*) “FIREWORKS, SHOULD WE SEE IT FROM THE SIDE OR THE BOTTOM”

North American Premiere – Opening Night Film

Friday, October 20th at 9:30PM

  1. Noboyuki Takeuchi, Akiyuki Shinbo, Japan, 2017

Recommended for ages 8+

Producer Genki Kawamura follows up his mega-hit Your Name with another tale of star-crossed teenage lovers with a sci-fi fantasy twistTwo junior high school pals, the shy Norimichi and fast-talking Yusuke, are goo-goo-eyed over the same elusive classmate, Nazuna. But Nazuna, unhappy over her mother’s decision to remarry and leave their countryside town, plans to run away and has silently chosen Norimichi to accompany her. When things don’t go as planned, Norimichi discovers that a glowing multi-color ball Nazuna found in the sea has the power to reset the clock and give them a second chance to be together. But each reset adds new complications and takes them father away from the real world – until they risk losing sight of reality altogether. Fireworks tells a simple story of adolescent longing that taps deep wells of emotion. It is tale of vulnerability and youthful wistfulness, of missed opportunities and long-ago dreams, the urgency of young lovers, and the desire to create a separate universe, a magic place outside of time, where they can be together.

Image via AIF

“LU OVER THE WALL”

US Premiere

Sunday, October 22nd at 2:15PM

  1. Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2017

Recommended for ages 8+

Cristal Award (Grand Prize) Winner Annecy International Animation Film Festival

From visionary anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa, who takes over the festival this year with two other selections – the new rom-com Night is Short, Walk on Girl and outré classic Mind Game – comes a hallucinogenic-but-family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale of the little mermaid who falls in love with mankind, and then comes ashore to join a dysfunctional middle school rock band and propel them to fame.

New kid Kai is talented but adrift, spending his days sulking and isolated in a small fishing village after his family moves from Tokyo. When he demonstrates a proficiency at making music on his synthesizer, his classmates invite him to join their nascent garage band, but their practice sessions soon bring an unexpected guest: Lu, a young mermaid whose fins turn to feet when she hears the beats, and whose singing causes humans to compulsively dance – whether they want to or not. Winner of the grand prize at Annecy, Lu Over the Wall is a toe-tapping, feel-good demonstration of Yuasa’s genre-mixing mastery that will leave you humming long after you leave the theater.

Image via Studio Ponoc

“MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER”

North American Premiere – English Language Version

Sunday, October 22nd at 5:15PM

Followed by Q&A with director Hiromasa Yonebayashi

  1. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017

Recommended for ages 6+

Hiromasa Yonebayashi received an Oscar® nomination for “When Marnie Was There”

Animation is Film is proud to present the debut film from Studio Ponoc, the ambitious new Japanese animation studio founded by two-time Academy Award®-nominated producer Yoshiaki Nishimura, whose reunion with fellow Academy Award®-nominated director Hiromasa Yonebayashi on this gorgeous, action-packed fantasy Mary and the Witch’s Flower points towards an exciting future.

 

Mary is a plain, young girl, stuck in a rural British village with her Great-Aunt Charlotte and seemingly no adventures or friends in sight. But a chance encounter with a pair of mysterious cats leads Mary into the nearby forest, where she finds an old broom stuck in the overgrowth of a nearby tree, and the strange blue glow of the fly-by-night flower, a rare plant that blossoms only once every seven years. As the broom comes to life and lifts Mary high into the skies, she discovers a mysterious school for witches above the clouds. But the charming headmistress Madam Mumblechook and bumbling Doctor Dee are not all that they appear, in a twisting tale that reveals even the most ordinary-seeming children are capable of the most extraordinary adventures.

 

Based on the 1971 children’s novel The Little Broomstick, which was itself an inspiration for the Harry Potter stories, Mary and the Witch’s Flower is an all-ages action adventure that harkens back to some of the most beloved animated films of all time, full of ingenious characters, jaw-dropping, imaginative worlds and the simple, heartfelt story of a young girl trying to figure her place in the world.

Image via AIF

(*) “MUTAFUKAZ”

West Coast Premiere

Saturday, October 21st at 7:00PM

  1. Guillaume Renard and Shoujirou Nishimi, France/Japan, 2017

Recommended for ages 17+

Ultraviolent Mutafukaz is the love-child of French comic artist Guillaume “Run” Renard and ultra-hip Japanese animation house, Studio 4°C, creators of TekkonkinkreetGenius Party and Mind Game.

The Tekkonkinkreet dream team of Shoujirou Nishimi and art director Shinji Kimura reunite to bring to life a dark but stunningly animated sci-fi vision that mixes anime, film noir, Lucha Libre, and gang culture in an orgy of first-person shooter mayhem.

The film centers on young Angelino and his skull-and-flame pal Vinny, who live in a seedy tenement in the LA-inspired metropolis of Dark Meat City – a burnt-out, gang and cockroach-ridden world of neo-urban hell that makes Blade Runner’s LA seem like The Brady Bunch.

Following a scooter accident Angelino starts experiencing migraines and strange hallucinations, as well as fits of rage-inspired superpowers, as he begins to awaken to the truth of his origins: he is half human and half Macho, a supernatural alien race that is slowly taking over the planet.

Comment: contains graphic violence, adult language as well as potentially offensive language and depictions of race and gender characterizations

Film also screened at Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2017

Image via AIF

(*) “NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL”

US Premiere

Sunday, October 22nd at 8:00PM

  1. Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2017

Recommended for ages 14+

Acclaimed anime director Masaaki Yuasa, took a decade off directing feature animation only to return with two remarkable features in the same year – both selections in the festival, alongside his midnight classic Mind Game.

Night is Short, Walk on Girl takes place over the course of one strange night as a nameless young woman, known only as “the girl with black hair,” walks the streets of Kyoto and experiences a series of surreal encounters and odd characters, drinking middle-aged salarymen under the table, exploring an all-night used bookstore with a bird goblin, helping a guerilla theater company express their feelings… all the while unaware of the romantic longings of Senpai, a fellow student who has been creating increasingly fantastic and contrived reasons to run into her, in an effort to win her heart. The perfect “I guess it’s romantic?” comedy for the modern age, Night is Short is a celebration of the unconventional, confusing routes that love and life can take.

Image via AIF

“TEHRAN TABOO”

North American Premiere

Sunday, October 22nd at 5:15PM

Followed by Q&A with director Ali Soozandeh

  1. Ali Soozandeh, Germany, 2017

Recommended for ages 17+

Official Selection 2017 Cannes Film Festival

The lives of three strong-willed women and a young musician cross paths in Tehran’s schizophrenic society where sex, corruption, prostitution, and drugs coexist with strict religious laws and ultra-conservative patriarchal traditions. In this bustling modern metropolis, avoiding prohibition has become an everyday sport and breaking taboos can be a means of personal emancipation, especially for women. By using animation, the film offers just enough distance to explore provocative subject matter without salaciousness (there are a few scenes that would be exceedingly problematic in live action) while the rotoscoping of real actors injects authentic human emotion and reminds the viewer that this is very real. In this way expat Iranian filmmaker Ali Soozandeh skates a thin edge to bring to life a story that would be difficult to tell in his home country.

Comment: film depicts sexual situations, nudity, drug use, and adult themes

Film also selected as feature film in competition at Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2017

Image via AIF

(*) “TROPICAL VIRUS”

World Premiere

Saturday, October 21st at 7:00PM

Followed by Q&A with director Santiago Caicedo

  1. Santiago Caicedo, Colombia, 2017

Recommended for ages 14+

Adapted from the graphic novel memoir by Colombian-Ecuadorian cartoonist Power Paola, Virus Tropical is a thoughtful and deeply affecting coming-of-age story that begins on the night Paola is conceived – in a stylized but anatomically complete sequence that sets the tone for the film’s matter-of-fact exploration of sexuality and family – and ends with her striking out on her own as a young adult. Over the intervening years we accompany Paola, the youngest of three daughters raised by a mostly single mom, as she gropes and fumbles her way through friendships, new schools, clunky romances, and various domestic dramas. Scrappy DIY black and white animation and lo-fi Latin-indie score lend a lovingly idiosyncratic charm to a film that brings forth a unique and utterly refreshing girl’s POV perspective. By the end you have formed a gentle intimacy with this family and are happy to have spent time together.

Comment: Film contains frank depictions of nudity, sex, childbirth, and recreational drug use.

Image via AIF

“ZOMBILLENIUM”

North American Premiere

Saturday, October 21st at 4:15PM

Followed by Q&A with director Alexis Ducord

  1. Arthur de Pins & Alexis Ducord, France, 2017

Recommended for ages 8+

Special Screening 2017 Cannes Film Festival

AIF 2017 JURY

(*asterisk indicates new additions)

  • Peter Debruge, Chief film critic, Variety, jury chair
  • Allison Abbate, EVP Theatrical Animation, Warner Brothers Pictures;
  • Producer of The Iron GiantFantastic Mr. FoxThe Lego Movie
  • Bonnie Arnold, DreamWorks Animation; Producer of Toy StoryHow to Train Your Dragon
  • (*) Brenda Chapman, Oscar®-winning director of Brave
  • (*) Carolyn Giardina, Tech Editor, The Hollywood Reporter
  • Jorge R. Gutiérrez, Director of Book of Life
  • Mabel Tam, Head film buyer, Landmark Cinemas
  • Charles Solomon, Film critic and historian
  • (*) Anne Thompson, Editor-At-Large, IndieWire

ANIMATION IS FILM aims to fill a gap in the market by establishing the first world class animation festival in the US, with its home in the world capital of filmmaking.  The festival embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form on par with live action filmmaking and will be vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their work to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.

ANIMATION IS FILM is produced by GKIDS in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Variety and ASIFA-Hollywood, with sponsors Google, Fathom Events, Loews Hollywood Hotel, Cartoon Brew and IndieWire. Industry partners and supporters include Sony Pictures Animation; Warner Animation Group; Shout! Factory; Visual Effects Society; Unifrance; ELMA; Women In Animation; Women In Film; Animation Magazine; Animation World Network; Art Center; CalArts; Chapman University; Ireland Week; MovieMaker Magazine; Tiki Night benefitting the National MS Society; UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

'Michael Jackson's Halloween' Special to Air Late October on CBS

As BC reports, CBS’ one-hour, animated Michael Jackson’s Halloween special will air at 8pm on October 27th. The late pop music icon’s famous tracks will be featured in the special, which boasts a voice cast including Christine Baranski, Kiersey Clemons, Alan Cumming, George Eads, Brad Garrett, Lucy Liu, Jim Parsons and Lucas Till.

Here’s the official synopsis:

“Created and produced by Optimum Productions, the Michael Jackson company now owned by his estate, Michael Jackson’s Halloween follows millennials Vincent (Till) and Victoria (Clemons), who meet “accidentally” on Halloween night and find themselves, along with Ichabod the dog, at a mysterious hotel located at 777 Jackson Street called This Place Hotel. Once inside, Vincent and Victoria are sent on an adventure culminating in a spectacular dance finale featuring an animated Michael Jackson.”

Happy Halloween!

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