Animation Articles: 31 May, 2020

A selection of the best animation articles including news, opinions, and features from around the world for the week beginning the 31st of May, 2020. Featuring a Zoolander animated series, The Simpsons’ aspect ratio error, how a film gets stuck in development hell (and how it escapes), how similar Beastars is to Zootopia, and more!

News

The Zoolander animated series (no, I’d never heard of it either) is now available in the US through CBS All Access after being available abroad a number of years ago. The series offers an hour and a half of laughs all featuring the original cast.

The man suspected of starting the fatal fire a the Kyoto Animation studio building was formally arrested this week ten months after the devastating event.

The Simpsons became available on Disney+ at launch, but there was an issue. The video was cropped to the 16:9 to fill modern widescreen TVs which resurrected for some viewers, the horror of pan and scan; the practice of cropping widescreen images to fit on a 4:3 screen. Regardless of which way an image is cropped, some information gets lost (as shown above) and for a gag-filled series like The Simpsons and its vocal fanbase, it was always going to be an issue. Thankfully Disney fixed things and the series is now available in all its original-aspect glory. The reason it took an entire six months is very surprising, as Variety documents. The good news is that the solution will help more than just old media in 4:3 and could open up new opportunities in filmmaking.


Features

Features this week were dominated by both HBO Max and Studio Ghibli for the primary reason that the latter’s films are now available for streaming on the former.

The Rotorscopers have the complete list of all the animated content available on HBO Max. (Hint: not much) The service just launched though, so we can expect the library to grow just as Netflix’s did.

The New York Times discusses why Ghibli finally decided to allow its films on streaming services. This was not the only article on this topic this week, but it was the only one with the added insight of GKIDS president David Jesteadt.

Polygon took the opportunity to celebrate Ghibli Week on the site with a slew of articles discussing both the studio and its films. If you’re looking for some hefty reading this week.

How does a film enter development and then never leave? Hans Bacher breaks down how an idea he had while at Disney never made it to the big screen.

On the fiip side, find out how (in a very comprehensive interview) a film like ‘Cool World’ did make it through the development process. (H/T Jonathon Wilson)

Check out this interview with Bob Bergen a.k.a. Porky Pig who gushes about how he could go all out with the new Looney Tunes shorts.

How Similar is Beastars to Zootopia, Really? Not much I can add since I’ve only seen Zootopia, but the discussion of similarities and differences in both make for an intriguing read.

Vogue takes a look at how designer Edwin Mahoney uses animation programs to design high fashion and also PPE. What’s interesting is that Mahoney uses the software as a way of seeing how garments may look and move without the need to create mockups from real fabric.


Cool Thing of the Week

“Star Burglar” by Claire Launay


Social Media of the Week

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