“Animation Is Film” Festival Announces 2021 Slate

animation is film festivalANIMATION IS FILM (AIF) announced today the competition line-up and other special events for its fourth edition, which takes place in-person October 22-24 and returns to its home at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The festival kicks off Opening Night on Friday, October 22 with the North American premiere of the highly anticipated Netflix feature, The Summit Of The Gods, followed by an in-person Q&A with award-winning director Patrick Imbert (The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales).

On Saturday, October 23, the Centerpiece film features the West Coast Premiere of GKIDS’ Belle, directed by Oscar® nominee Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai) who will also do an in-person Q & A following the premiere. The West Coast Premiere of NEON’s award-winning Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, will close the festival Sunday, October 24. Tickets for ANIMATION IS FILM are now on sale at animationisfilm.com.

“This year’s Animation is Film lineup represents the very best feature animation from around the world, bringing to Hollywood world premieres as well as critically acclaimed, prize-winning titles from the Cannes, Annecy, Sundance, Telluride and Toronto festivals. After last year’s hiatus due to COVID, the Los Angeles animation and film communities are clamoring to gather together to see these films on the big screen, and we at AIF are enormously proud to present them,” says Matt Kaszanek, Director of AIF.
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LAIKA continues 15th Anniversary Celebration with Screenings of All Its Films and Key Filmmaker Panels

LAIKA, whose five films (Missing Link, Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline) have all received Oscar® nominations for Best Animated Film, will partner with the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) for multiple screenings of all its films as well as filmmaker discussions and a display of puppets and sets this October.

Last week, LAIKA announced it is currently in production on the animated feature film Wildwood, based on the bestselling novel written by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for The Decemberists, and illustrated by artist Carson Ellis. LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight will direct.

LAIKA was awarded a Scientific & Technical Oscar® in 2016 for its innovations in facial animation and won the BAFTA for Kubo and the Two Strings and the Golden Globe for Missing Link. At the heart of every LAIKA film are the artists who meticulously craft every element.
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Marvel Studios’ ‘WHAT IF…?’ Episode 6 Original Soundtrack by Laura Karpman

what if marvel studios soundtrack laura karpman disneyAvailable today, What If…Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? (Episode 6) features score by Emmy®-winning composer Laura Karpman. The score was produced by Karpman and Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum and album producers are Brad Winderbaum, Bryan Andrews and Dave Jordan.

Release dates for all 9 soundtracks follows:

Aug. 13: What If…Captain Carter Were the First Avenger? (Ep.1)
Aug. 20: What If…T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? (Ep. 2)
Aug. 27: What If…The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? (Ep. 3)
Sept. 3: What If…Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? (Ep.4)
Sept. 10: What If…Zombies?! (Ep.5)
Sept. 17: What If…What If…Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? ( Ep. 6)
Sept. 24: What If…? Episode 7
Oct. 1: What If…? Episode 8
Oct. 8: What If…? Episode 9

“What If…?” flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. Directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer, “What If…?” launched exclusively on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.

Karpman creates powerful, imaginative scores that push the boundaries of storytelling. Her award-winning music, spanning film, television, theater, interactive media and live performance, reflects an audaciously creative, prodigious, fresh spirit. Karpman collaborates with the most creative filmmakers of our time, including Misha Green, Steven Spielberg, Alex Gibney, Kasi Lemmons, Rory Kennedy, Sam Pollard, Laura Nix plus Eleanor, Francis Ford and Sophia Coppola. The five-time Emmy winner’s scores span the HBO hit series Lovecraft Country, 2020 Oscar-nominated Walk Run Cha-Cha, and the Discovery Channel docuseries Why We Hate, for which she recently won an Emmy Award.

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He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe Animated Series Soundtrack Released

he man and the masters of the universe michael kramer neflixMattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) and Warner Music Group’s (NASDAQ: WMG) Arts Music division today announced the release of the soundtrack for the new CG-animated series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Available now on Netflix, the series reimagines the heroic adventures of the Guardians of Grayskull for the next generation of kids and families. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Volume 1 (Original Series Soundtrack) is available today for digital download and on streaming services.

The soundtrack was composed by Emmy-nominated multi-instrumentalist Michael Kramer and includes the Series Theme Song by platinum producer and songwriter Ali Dee. Kramer’s credits include music for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and video games such as Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Dee has written and produced hit songs for a wide variety of artists including Miley Cyrus and Shakira as well as soundtracks for Marvel’s Iron Man and 20th Century Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Kramer said, “Whether it was programming custom 80s synth patches for He-Man, banging out the wild drums of the Tiger Tribe, or screaming into the microphone to capture the pure evil of Skeletor, the vast mythology and cast of characters of MOTU never failed to inspire. I’m so grateful to Mattel’s Rob David and the entire creative team – their brilliant work motivated and empowered me with the freedom to explore beyond the edges of the map. I hope the melodies and colors of the score help kids (and parents!) fall in love with this universe as much as I have.”
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WILDWOOD Is Next Film For Award-Winning Animation Studio LAIKA With TRAVIS KNIGHT Directing

Laika Announces “Wildwood”, based on thee novel by the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy – as the award-winning studio’s next animated film, directed by Travis Knight

Laika first Look Wild WoodLAIKA’s next animated feature film is Wildwood, based on the bestselling novel written by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for The Decemberists, and illustrated by artist Carson Ellis. The announcement was made today by Travis Knight, President & CEO of the award-winning animation studio, who will direct the film. Wildwood is currently in production at LAIKA’s facility outside Portland, Oregon.

“As a deep-dyed native son of Oregon, I have rainwater, microbrew, and fair-trade coffee coursing through my veins,” said Knight, who won the BAFTA for his directorial debut film Kubo and the Two Strings and also helmed the live-action hit Bumblebee. “With Wildwood, I have the opportunity to tell a madly ambitious story of magic, wonder, and danger set in the place I grew up. My very own Portland will join that pantheon of unforgettable fantasy realms, with a stirring epic that will kindle imaginations, lift spirits, and break hearts.”

“Wildwood” Synopsis:

Beyond Portland’s city limits lies Wildwood. You’re not supposed to go there. You’re not even supposed to know it exists. But Prue McKeel is about to enter this enchanted wonderland. Her baby brother Mac has been taken by a murder of crows into the forest’s depths, and she – along with her hapless classmate Curtis – is going to get him back. Prue might think she’s too old for fairytales, but she’s just found herself at the center of one. One filled with strange talking animals, roguish bandits, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions.

Wildwood is a tale of love, loss, sacrifice and secrets, and of the magic you can find on your doorstep, if you’re willing to look for it.

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Laika’s Coraline Returns To Cinemas Makes Over $410k At The Boxoffice In One Day

coraline laikaA bring-back screening of LAIKA’s groundbreaking stop motion film Coraline, marked a highlight in event cinema on Tuesday, August 24, grossing $410K in a one-day-only presentation from Fathom Events, LAIKA, Shout! Factory, and Park Circus.

The one-day event marked the most successful event for Fathom since COVID-19 ravaged the industry in March 2020 and was the No. 7 film at the domestic box office, with the 2nd highest per-screen average of any film in release, playing on just 675 screens. In addition to the screening of Coraline, celebrating LAIKA’s 15th anniversary, this exclusive cinema event featured two never-before seen featurettes, giving audiences a glimpse into the unique creative process behind LAIKA’s extraordinary films.

Originally released in 2009, Coraline is a wondrous, thrilling, fun and suspenseful adventure from director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach) and based on the novella of the same name by author Neil Gaiman (Sandman).

“Since its release 12 years ago, Coraline has captured the imagination of those both young and old.” said Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events. “Fathom Events is proud to have worked with such great partners to bring this magical film back to theaters, and is elated to see such a great response among consumers.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased that LAIKA fans have thrilled once again to seeing our first film Coraline in theaters,” said LAIKA Chief Marketing Officer Dave Burke. “Coraline was an instant classic when it premiered in 2009 and this warm embrace by filmgoers reaffirms our pride in having created such an enduring film. Working with Fathom was a delight and we look forward to other partnerships in the future.”

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GKIDS Announces “Neon Genesis Evangelion” Ultimate Edition Set

neon genesis evangelionGKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced it will issue the critically-acclaimed NEON GENESIS EVANGELION in an expansive, limited-run Ultimate Edition. The Ultimate Edition set includes the original twenty-six episode television series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, as well as the films EVANGELION:DEATH (TRUE)2 and THE END OF EVANGELION, marking the first time NEON GENESIS EVANGELION will be available on Blu-ray in North America. Strictly limited to 5,000 copies for North America, the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: Ultimate Edition will be sold exclusively through the GKIDS Store (with a limit of 1 per customer), and is now available for pre-order at GKIDS.com/EVANGELION

The NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: Ultimate Edition was created by fans as the definitive celebration of one of the most important and influential anime series of all time, featuring exclusive artwork, merch, a 156-page book, and over 7 hours of bonus features. Spread over 11 discs, this set contains the Official Dub and Subtitled versions, and bonus Classic Dub and Subtitled versions.

For fans in the United Kingdom, the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION Ultimate edition is distributed by Anime Ltd. For more information, please visit evangelion.alltheanime.com. Fans, collectors, and new audiences alike can look forward to August 30th, 2021 for information on forthcoming editions.

GKIDS previously announced that it had acquired North American theatrical, home video, and EST rights to the critically-acclaimed masterwork. Created by Hideaki ANNO, the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION television series is considered one of the most influential animated series of all time. Since its 1995 premiere in Japan, the story of teenager Shinji Ikari has remained one of the most iconic titles in animation history, and a global pop culture phenomenon.

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Paramount+ “Stephen Colbert Presentss Tooning Out The News” Reports On Breaking Stories Out Of Comic-Con@Home

Paramount+Paramount+ today released special coverage from its Emmy-nominated animated series, STEPHEN COLBERT PRESENTS TOONING OUT THE NEWS, revealing “breaking stories” out of Comic-Con@Home.

During the service’s “Peak” Animation block, the satirical news program’s heavy-hitting co-anchors, James Smartwood and Kylie Weaver, along with hosts Tory Hughes, Tyler Templeton, Dr. Ike Bloom and chief field correspondent James Smartwood Jr., covered cosplaying from home and addressed the latest rumors following the expanding “Star Trek” Universe, including “Star Trek: SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE” and “Trek of Easttown: The Wrath of Wawa.”

Recently nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Short Form Comedy, Drama or Variety Series category, STEPHEN COLBERT PRESENTS TOONING OUT THE NEWS features a cast of animated characters lampooning top news stories and interviewing real-world guests. Currently in its second season, new segments are available to stream daily, culminating in a weekly full episode, exclusively on Paramount+.

The series is executive produced by Stephen Colbert and Chris Licht of CBS’ THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT and RJ Fried and Tim Luecke from SHOWTIME’s OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT.

In addition to STEPHEN COLBERT PRESENTS TOONING OUT THE NEWS, Paramount+’s growing slate of original animated series includes STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS, RUGRATS, KAMP KORAL: SPONGEBOB’S UNDER YEARS and NO ACTIVITY, as well as the upcoming THE HARPER HOUSE and STAR TREK: PRODIGY, both premiering later this year.

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Award-Winning Animation Studio LAIKA Expands Into Live Action

Oregon Studio Acquires Rights to Screenwriter John Brownlow’s Debut Action Thriller Novel Seventeen

aiphotoimaging laika studio animationLAIKA, known for the Academy Award®-nominated animated films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link, is expanding into live action. The studio has optioned Seventeen, the upcoming first novel by acclaimed screenwriter John Brownlow (The Minaturist, Sylvia). Currently in production on its sixth animated feature film, LAIKA secured the rights in an intense bidding war and plans to adapt it as a live action project. The announcement was made today by Travis Knight, President & CEO.

“For the past 15 years, LAIKA has been committed to making movies that matter,” says Knight. “Across mediums and genres, our studio has fused art, craft, and technology in service of bold, distinctive, and enduring stories. With Seventeen, LAIKA is taking that philosophy in an exciting new direction.”

“Seventeen is a stiff cocktail of wicked wit, exhilarating action, and raw emotion,” Knight continues. “John has such a wonderfully unique voice. He’s crafted a brilliant universe with its own powerful identity. Seventeen is a thriller with soul, a sinuous adrenaline-fueled actioner with a sincere heart beating underneath its rippling pectorals.”

Author and screenwriter John Brownlow is well known for his film and television credits. He is the screenwriter of the feature film Sylvia starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig and wrote and executive produced the three-part BBC limited series The Minaturist, which starred Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit). He also wrote the four-episode limited series Fleming, which starred Dominic Cooper as James Bond author Ian Fleming.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be developing Seventeen for the screen with LAIKA,” says Brownlow. “As a long-time fan of LAIKA’s movies for their vision, heart, craft, intelligence and ambition, I couldn’t have hoped for the novel or the universe it inhabits to have found a better or more exciting home. I’m beyond honored to be part of their plans for the future.”

UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton has preemptively acquired worldwide publishing rights to Seventeen. Hanover Square will publish the book in the US in 2022. LAIKA was represented in the deal by CAA. John Brownlow is represented by George Davis at Nelson Davis LLP, Jessica Sykes at Independent Talent Group and CAA.

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“Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train” Theatrical Film Comes To North America

Young Tanjiro of the Demon Slayer Corps is on a mission to figure out a way to turn his sister back into a human. And his emotional journey continues, as the new film that has slayed box office records in the Asia-Pacific region heads to the big screens in North America.

Demon Slayer Kimetsu No YaibaYoung Tanjiro of the Demon Slayer Corps is on a mission to figure out a way to turn his sister back into a human. And his emotional journey continues, as the new film that has slayed box office records in the Asia-Pacific region heads to the big screens in North America.

Aniplex of America and Funimation are bringing the cinematically praised, emotionally charged, and action-packed anime film Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train to theaters nationwide in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, April 23, 2021, including in 4DX and on IMAX screens. The film will be available in both English dub as well as subtitled. Tickets are available beginning April 9 at funimation.com/demonslayermovie.

In addition to theaters, it was also announced that fans can enjoy the film on EST (Electronic Sell-Through) beginning June 22, 2021 on Apple TV, Microsoft Store, Vudu, Google Play*, PlayStation Store,
and Amazon. Pre-orders for the film will begin on April 26, 2021 on Apple TV, Microsoft Store, and PlayStation Store.

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train is directed by Haruo Sotozaki featuring the original story by Koyoharu Gotoge (JUMP COMICS/SHUEISHA) with screenplay and animation production by studio ufotable. The running time for the film is one one hour and 57 minutes and is rated R.
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