Oscars 2019: Best Animated Short Predictions

It’s Pixar vs. DreamWorks in the battle for this year’s Best Animated Short Oscar.

This year’s Oscar race for Best Animated Short is led by Pixar’s China-flavored “Bao” and a pair of DreamWorks projects that launched its new shorts program: the CG “Bilby” and the 2D “Bird Karma.”

Semi-autobiographical “Bao” explores empty nest syndrome. Chinese-Canadian story artist Domee Shi (“The Incredibles 2,” “Toy Story 4”), the first female to direct a short at Pixar, tells the story of a woman who gets a second chance at motherhood when one of her hand-made dumplings come to life. Shi grew up in Toronto and the short reflects her upbringing as the only child of Chinese immigrants. (Her dumpling master mom served as consultant.) Animating the delectable Chinese meals proved the biggest challenge, but story wise, Shi delivered Pixar’s first WTF moment when the mom eats her dumpling child to prevent it from leaving the nest.

“Weekends”

Also from Pixar, story artist Trevor Jimenez made the semi-autobiographical, hand-drawn “Weekends” in his spare time via Pixar’s co-op program. A young boy in 1980’s Toronto shuffles back and forth between his divorced parents, alternating between domestic drama and surreal imagery as an attempt to process the confusing experience.

Jimenez enlisted artists both inside and outside of Pixar to do the backgrounds as charcoal line drawings. He executed most of the animation himself. Overall, he adopted a rough, messy look inspired by the Oscar-winning animated short, “Father and Daughter,” only with a lot of wide, panoramic shots. He imbued the color palette with reds for his father’s home and pale green for his mother’s, creating an emotional arc between them.

“Age of Sail”

Former Disney Oscar winner John Kahrs (“Paperman”) ventured into VR with the Google Spotlight short, “Age of Sail,” their most ambitiously immersive VR experience yet. An old sailor (Ian McShane), adrift in the Atlantic in 1900, finds redemption by rescuing a young Victorian woman (Cathy Ang). Kahrs was intrigued with the spatial possibilities of capturing the undulating waves in a believable way. It was like translating David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” on the open ocean, completely in the round. But he also wanted dialog (a first for Google Spotlight), which he managed to convey off-screen while claiming the 3D experience as his own.

However, for the flat version submitted for Oscar consideration, Kahrs could produce the repeatable action he had already animated along with the conflict between the crusty sailor and fearless young lady. It therefore looked terrific from any angle.

“La Noria”

Former Pixar animator Carlos Baena conjured the gorgeous, horror-filled “La Noria” with a contingent of online collaborators. In “La Noria,” a boy draws and builds ferris wheels, confronted by the dark and some creepy monsters. Baena worked on and off for several years, assembling a large crew at Artella, his virtual studio platform. However, outside of a small portion gathered from crowdfunding, the rest of the $250,000 budget was self-financed by Baena with savings from various studio projects. The result is a polished, mesmerizing short that combines horror with gentle nostalgia.

“Bilby”

“Bilby,” a hilarious survival story set in the Australian outback, and directed by DreamWorks animators Pierre Perifel, JP Sans, and Liron Topaz, grew out of the cancelled rock’n’roll “Larrikins” feature. It took the central character, the desert-dwelling marsupial (aka bilby), and placed him in a new story: protecting a cute little chick from a host of predators. Although it starts out with a documentary vibe, it quickly descends into a “Looney Tunes” style of chaos, with a montage of escalating attacks.

But “Bilby” became a great testing ground for the studio’s innovative Moonray path trace renderer (with great naturalistic lighting for fur, grass, mud, fire, smoke, dust, and water), as well as the new Sprinkle and Locomotion systems. The former created rich and detailed debris and the latter allowed for varied animal locomotion during the stampedes.

“Bird Karma”

With “Bird Karma,” director William Salazar (“Kung Fu Panda”) got to finish a short he started more than 20 years ago about a long-legged bird that takes a liking to a multi-colored fish. But instead of becoming friends, the bird eats the fish, which results in bad karma. Inspired by “The Scorpion and the Frog” fable, Salazar insisted on keeping the hand-made, watercolor look. The problem, though, was tweaking the DreamWorks pipeline to handle the digital demands of a 2D aesthetic. They kept the lines rough and sketch-like. For the paper texture, the team used transparency, where the white of the paper comes through the painting and you have layer upon layer of water color.

Frontrunners
“Age of Sail”
“Bao”
“Bilby”
“Bird Karma”
“Weekends”

Contenders
“Animal Behaviour”
“La Chute”
“La Noria”
“Late Afternoon”

Long Shots
“Crow: The Legend”
“Solar Walk”

DreamWorks Animation to Develop ‘Mice and Mystics’ Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

DreamWorks Animation is in final negotiations for the movie rights to Jerry Hawthorne’s board game “Mice and Mystics,” Variety has learned exclusively. Alexandre Aja attached to direct and co-write the script with “Aquaman&#8221…

DreamWorks Animation is in final negotiations for the movie rights to Jerry Hawthorne’s board game “Mice and Mystics,” Variety has learned exclusively. Alexandre Aja attached to direct and co-write the script with “Aquaman” scribe David Leslie Johnson. Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee and Jon Berg are producing. “Mice and Mystics” is a role-playing game in which […]

Kelly Clarkson Joins ‘Trolls 2’ & Will Perform Original Song

EXCLUSIVE: American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson is pulling double duty for DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls sequel, titled Trolls World Tour. The crooner will voice the character Delta Dawn, the mayor of the Country Trolls, and sing an original song in…

EXCLUSIVE: American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson is pulling double duty for DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls sequel, titled Trolls World Tour. The crooner will voice the character Delta Dawn, the mayor of the Country Trolls, and sing an original song in the film. Clarkson joins returning voice cast members Justin Timberlake (Branch), who received an Oscar nom for the song "Can't Stop The Feeling,” Anna Kendrick (Poppy), James Corden (Biggie), Caroline Hjelt (Chenille), Aino Jawo…

Viacom’s AwesomenessTV Deal Worth More Than $50 Million: Sources

Viacom’s deal to acquire AwesomenessTV, officially announced July 27, has an enterprise value worth at least $50 million, sources familiar with the deal told Variety. One of the factors affecting the valuation: The agreement does not include Drea…

Viacom’s deal to acquire AwesomenessTV, officially announced July 27, has an enterprise value worth at least $50 million, sources familiar with the deal told Variety. One of the factors affecting the valuation: The agreement does not include DreamWorksTV, the YouTube kids’ entertainment channel Awesomeness launched four years ago, which will be retained by NBCUniversal. But even […]

DreamWorks Animation Launches Shorts Program with ‘Bird Karma’ and ‘Bilby’

The 2D “Bird Karma” and CG “Bilby” offer two very different stories about survival, and are now Oscar contenders after playing Annecy.

Animation

Without an animated feature release this year (“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” and “Abominable” bow in 2019 through Universal Pictures), DreamWorks will rely on its new shorts program for Oscar contention. Launched by studio president Chris deFaria, the program represents its own brand of inclusion and diversity.

The first two releases are the exquisite and refreshingly dark “Bird Karma,” and the charming and funny “Bilby.” Both offer very different survival stories and distinctive 2D and CG looks.

With “Bird Karma,” director William Salazar (“Kung Fu Panda”) got to finish a short he started more than 20 years ago about a long-legged bird that takes a liking to a multi-colored fish. But instead of becoming friends, the bird eats the fish, which results in some really bad karma. Enhancing the Indian theme is a score by Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum as part of an inclusion program, “Universal Film Music Composer Initiative: DreamWorks Animation.”

“Bird Karma”

“I didn’t want to make a cute movie for children and they pretty much went with it,” said Salazar, who pitched a completed animation reel and storyboards. “The first minute and a half was animated more than 20 years ago and the remaining three and a half minutes were completed in the last six months of 2017,” he added.

Salazar took inspiration from “The Scorpion and the Frog” fable: “The bird doesn’t change its nature.” Likewise, he insisted on keeping the hand-made, watercolor look, which DreamWorks embraced. The problem, though, was tweaking its pipeline to handle the digital demands of a 2D aesthetic.

“We were fortunate enough to have on staff here at DreamWorks, a number of people who are skilled in 2D pipeline,” said producer Jeffrey Hermann, who also produces the shorts program. “That allowed for us to reconstruct a 2D team to help complete the short from production design to the animators [using TVPaint] to After Effects artists. That being said, about 75 percent of the animation is all William’s.”

“Bird Karma”

Added Salazar: “First, we decided not to do clean-up and keep the lines rough and sketch-like. For the paper texture, we used transparency, where the white of the paper comes through the painting and you have layers upon layers of water color. This is very different [from other 2D films] with flat characters because inside the characters you have the bleeding colors.”

By contrast, “Bilby” (produced by Kelly Cooney and Hermann) offers a friendlier survival story about a desert-dwelling marsupial (the bilby), who becomes parent to a cute little chick in the hostile Australian outback. The short (directed by animators Pierre Perifel, JP Sans, and Liron Topaz) grew out of the cancelled rock’n’roll “Larrikins” feature, which also centered on a bilby.

“Bilby”

“You would think it would be the last type of friendship around there, but they find friendship from a new perspective,” said Topaz. The hardest part was figuring out the montage of escalating predatory attacks, which takes on “Looney Tunes”-style absurdity. “We were brainstorming for weeks on end, gradually going from this documentary-feel to this ridiculous barrage,” added Topaz.

Sans said they wanted to showcase the worst environment ever, throwing in a slew of predators (including a snake, scorpions, spiders, dingoes, piranhas, a flock of seagulls, and an eagle) along with fire, rain, and a sandstorm.

“We went from normal shots to four-frame flashes without the audience losing information,” added Sans. “So we didn’t change focus and pulled the two characters to the center of the screen. This was helped by the right color scheme.”

“Bilby”

“Bilby” became a great testing ground not only for the studio’s innovative Moonray path trace renderer (resulting in naturalistic lighting for fur, grass, mud, fire, smoke, dust, and water), but also for the new Sprinkle and Locomotion systems. The former created rich and detailed debris and the latter allowed for varied animal locomotion during the stampedes.

“What I really liked was that the lighters were able to get an illustrative look to the film,” said Topaz. “It’s not just photo-real but very stylized, too.”

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‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’: DreamWorks’ Gorgeous Dragon Romance Is a Gamechanger

We got a sneak peak at the memorable dragon courtship scene, which DreamWorks unveiled Thursday at the Annecy Animation Film Festival.

Animation

Toothless finds true love when he encounters the albino Light Fury in “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and that’s when everything changes between dragons and humans in DreamWorks’ final installment of the trilogy directed by Dean DeBlois.

The courtship ritual scene between the two dragons debuted at Annecy on Thursday. It’s enchanting, funny, and gorgeous thanks to a new pipeline at DreamWorks.

“It’s meant to be a companion piece to the ‘Forbidden Friendship’ in the first movie [when Hiccup and Toothless first bonded as Viking and dragon],” said DeBlois. “It tests Hiccup [Jay Baruchel] in the role of rookie chief, while at the same time complicating his self worth by having Toothless being called to the wild by his discovery of the Light Fury, a close variation of his species.”

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

Light Fury uses her special cloaking ability to sneak into camp on an island where Hiccup and Toothless have stopped on a journey to find The Hidden World, the mythical origin place of dragons. Fascinated by Toothless, she lures him to a secluded beach, where she initiates a courting ritual. But Toothless responds awkwardly because he’s been tamed by Hiccup, while Light Fury is wild and elusive. It makes for a beautiful dynamic.

“We tried to push it early in production, this lovely character interaction, driven by [John Powell’s] music, without dialog, that we didn’t want to rush,” DeBlois said. “I wanted to protect its length and find trims elsewhere. It was allowed to breathe and will probably stand out as pure, imaginative, character [animation]. There’s a lot of story to tell, and, inevitably, animators will be begging to redo scenes here because they’ve learned so much about the characters.”

DeBlois has spent a decade on the “Dragon” trilogy (he co-directed the first with Chris Sanders after they made Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch”). And when he took over the sequels, he envisioned a “Star Wars”-like hero’s journey for Hiccup, in which we learned how humans and dragons briefly co-existed before being permanently separated.

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

Meanwhile, technology has once again improved the look of “The Hidden World.” “There is such rich texture and sophistication because now we’re rendering with a path tracer [Moonray}, so we get such naturalistic-looking lighting,” DeBlois said. “We can calculate bounce and how light actually behaves. It’s freeing and challenging because you can make environments look so [vivid] and detailed from every aspect of the frame. But how do you still hold onto theatrical lighting so you’re guiding the eye?”

DeBlois praised Chris deFaria, president of DreamWorks Animation, for pushing Moonray ahead of schedule to benefit “The Hidden World.”  It’s part of a new pipeline that sits between Premo (the Oscar-winning character animation software) and Moonray, and driven by Houdini from Side Effects, which covers all major areas of production. “So much time is spent in the finishing of animated shots, adding subtlety because it reads now,” said DeBlois. “And it allows for working between departments in a way that was never possible before. It becomes one global conversation.”

“It allows us to get so much more with so much less,” added deFaria, “A shot will live a lot longer with a group of people in one area. The end result is that this is going to be a path toward Pipeline X, a more flexible pipeline, anchored by those two pieces, Premo and Moonray, and capable of bringing in any third party tools. It’s all part of the master plan.”

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” opens through Universal Pictures March 1, 2019.

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WIA, Les Femmes S’Animent Set Sponsors, Live-Stream for Women in Animation World Summit at Annecy

The Women in Animation World Summit from the Women in Animation organization and Les Femmes S’Animent will be held on Monday, June 11, at the Imperial Palace Hotel in conjunction with the Annecy International Animation Festival and MIFA 2018. Summit sp…

The Women in Animation World Summit from the Women in Animation organization and Les Femmes S’Animent will be held on Monday, June 11, at the Imperial Palace Hotel in conjunction with the Annecy International Animation Festival and MIFA 2018. Summit sponsors include DreamWorks Animation, Netflix, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Blue Sky Studios, Paramount Animation, Pixar, […]

DreamWorks Animation Stakes Release Dates For 2021 & Beyond

DreamWorks Animation has reserved a trio of release dates for upcoming untitled features including Dec. 22, 2021; April 15, 2022; and April 7, 2023.
Former Warner Bros. president of Animation and Innovative Technology Chris DeFaria took the reigns the …

DreamWorks Animation has reserved a trio of release dates for upcoming untitled features including Dec. 22, 2021; April 15, 2022; and April 7, 2023. Former Warner Bros. president of Animation and Innovative Technology Chris DeFaria took the reigns the DreamWorks Animation Group under Universal back in January 2017 and since then he’s been making a more efficient operation of the studio. Their next big release is How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World on March 1, 2019…

Sam Rockwell & Chance The Rapper Join ‘Trolls 2’

Sam Rockwell, who won an Oscar this year for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Grammy winner Chance the Rapper have just joined the cast of DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls 2, the sequel to the animated family film that grossed $3…

Sam Rockwell, who won an Oscar this year for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Grammy winner Chance the Rapper have just joined the cast of DreamWorks Animation's Trolls 2, the sequel to the animated family film that grossed $346.8 million worldwide and also garnered an Oscar nomination for Justin Timberlake’s song “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” The second installment is set for release in spring 2020. Both actors will join returning cast members…

Hulu Climbs Above 20 Million Subscribers, Inks Major DreamWorks Animation Deal

Hulu is trying to flex its muscles and prove it’s bulking up to be a top contender in the streaming TV ring. The company has now surpassed 20 million U.S. subscribers, Hulu announced at its 2018 upfront event Tuesday in New York. The number, an 1…

Hulu is trying to flex its muscles and prove it’s bulking up to be a top contender in the streaming TV ring. The company has now surpassed 20 million U.S. subscribers, Hulu announced at its 2018 upfront event Tuesday in New York. The number, an 18% increase since the end of 2017, includes both Hulu’s […]

Hulu Surpasses 20 Million Subscribers, Inks Deal With DreamWorks Animation; Renews ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ For Third Season – Newfront

Hulu said it has surpassed 20 million U.S. subscribers, a milestone that shows its commitment to original programming is paying dividends.
The video streaming service announced the latest subscriber numbers during today’s NewFront presentation at…

Hulu said it has surpassed 20 million U.S. subscribers, a milestone that shows its commitment to original programming is paying dividends. The video streaming service announced the latest subscriber numbers during today’s NewFront presentation at the newly christened Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, where executives also announced original programming and exclusive deals — including its first multi-year deal with DreamWorks Animation. "Hulu is the complete TV…

Hulu Series Orders Include ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Adaptation From Mindy Kaling

Hulu has also ordered a sitcom from comedian Ramy Youssef, and sealed a new programming pact with DreamWorks Animation.

Hulu has given a series order to Mindy Kaling’s new adaptation of “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” while the streaming service has also greenlit a sitcom from comedian Ramy Youssef, to be executive produced by Jerrod Carmichael.

The pickups were among the announcements made this morning at Hulu’s annual upfront presentation to advertisers, taking place at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Among other news: Hulu has sealed a new deal with DreamWorks Animation, which kicks into gear with new original series in 2020.

“Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Ramy” are part of an upcoming Hulu slate that also includes newcomers “Castle Rock,” “Catch-22,” “The First” and “Little Fires Everywhere.”

Kaling and her “The Mindy Project” partner Matt Warburton are behind the limited series adaptation of “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” MGM Television is the lead studio on the project, which will also be produced by Universal TV (where Kaling is based).

Based on the 1994 British romantic comedy film, the new series “will follow a group of friends as their lives intersect through five events.” Kaling and Warburton executive produce with Jonathan Prince, Howard Klein (3 Arts), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Working Title).

As for “Ramy,” the comedy is based on the real-life experiences of comedian Ramy Youssef. Per Hulu, “the series takes viewers into the world of Ramy, a first generation American Muslim who is on a spiritual journey in his politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood. Ramy will bring a new perspective to the screen as it explores the challenges of what it’s like being caught in between an Egyptian community that thinks life is moral a test, and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences.”

Youssef will write, executive produce and star in the series, which he created with Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch. The three of them are executive producers with Jerrod Carmichael and A24’s Ravi Nandan.

Read More:  ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 3 Is a Go, After Season 2 Doubles the Dystopian Drama’s Audience

Then there’s the DreamWorks Animation pact, which will make Hulu the exclusive streamer for the studio’s theatrical releases starting in 2019 — including “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” “The Boss Baby 2” and “Trolls 2.”

Also, once they become available, DreamWorks Animation library titles such as “Shrek” and “Shark Tale” will move to Hulu.

DreamWorks Animation Television will premiere original kids and family series for the platform, inspired by DreamWorks franchises and films, starting in 2020. That’s the first time Hulu has developed original kids and family series with a major studio. DreamWorks Animation Television is already a major supplier of kids and family programming for Netflix (“Tollhunters,” “All Hail King Julien”).

In other news, Hulu has pacted with Sony Pictures Television to be the exclusive streaming home for ABC’s hit “The Good Doctor.” That means future episodes will become available the day after their original broadcast on ABC. Hulu pointed out that this follows last year’s announcement that NBC’s “This Is Us,” another breakout drama hit, would come to Hulu as its exclusive streaming home.

DreamWorks Animation Sets New Streaming Deal With Hulu

Hulu will be the new home for DreamWorks Animation releases, the streamer announced on Wednesday.

The new multi-year agreement means the studio’s future theatrical releases, including upcoming “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Boss Baby” sequels, among others, will stream on Hulu. DreamWorks Animation Television will also develop and produce new, original kids and family series for the platform, beginning in 2020.

The announcement marks a shift for DreamWorks, which re-upped its current exclusive agreement with Netflix in 2016 and announced a “Fast & Furious” spinoff series at the streamer as recently as last week.

Also Read: ‘Fast and the Furious’ Animated TV Series Heads to Netflix

Since first entering a partnership with Netflix in 2013, DreamWorks Animation Television has produced 14 series for the platform, with five more yet to debut, including a “She-Ra” series and a “Captain Underpants” spinoff.

The studio also has “Rocky & Bullwinkle” and “Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny” at Amazon.

For its part, Netflix has shifted its focus to producing more kids and family content in-house, recently hiring DreamWorks vet Melissa Cobb to oversee the effort.

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Guillermo del Toro Signs Multi-Year Exclusive Deal With DreamWorks Animation

‘She-Ra’ Reboot, ‘Boss Baby’ Score Netflix Series Through DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation Names Abhijay Prakash Chief Operating Officer

Hulu will be the new home for DreamWorks Animation releases, the streamer announced on Wednesday.

The new multi-year agreement means the studio’s future theatrical releases, including upcoming “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Boss Baby” sequels, among others, will stream on Hulu. DreamWorks Animation Television will also develop and produce new, original kids and family series for the platform, beginning in 2020.

The announcement marks a shift for DreamWorks, which re-upped its current exclusive agreement with Netflix in 2016 and announced a “Fast & Furious” spinoff series at the streamer as recently as last week.

Since first entering a partnership with Netflix in 2013, DreamWorks Animation Television has produced 14 series for the platform, with five more yet to debut, including a “She-Ra” series and a “Captain Underpants” spinoff.

The studio also has “Rocky & Bullwinkle” and “Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny” at Amazon.

For its part, Netflix has shifted its focus to producing more kids and family content in-house, recently hiring DreamWorks vet Melissa Cobb to oversee the effort.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Guillermo del Toro Signs Multi-Year Exclusive Deal With DreamWorks Animation

'She-Ra' Reboot, 'Boss Baby' Score Netflix Series Through DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation Names Abhijay Prakash Chief Operating Officer

‘Fast and the Furious’ Animated TV Series Heads to Netflix

After eight go-rounds on the the big screen, the “Fast & Furious” franchise is zooming to your TV, courtesy of Netflix.

The streaming service announced Monday that it has handed a straight-to-series order to an animated show based on the popular flicks starring Vin Diesel, as part of their overall multi-year deal for original animated kids and family programming with DreamWorks Animation Television and Universal Pictures.

Here is the show’s logline: Teenager Tony Toretto follows in the footsteps of his cousin Dom when he and his friends are recruited by a government agency to infiltrate an elite racing league serving as a front for a nefarious crime organization bent on world domination.

Also Read: Netflix Exec Ted Sarandos Made 19 Percent More in 2017 vs Prior Year

Tim Hedrick (DreamWorks’ “Voltron Legendary Defender”) and Bret Haaland (“All Hail King Julien”) will serve as executive producers and showrunners on the series. Diesel, Neal Moritz and Chris Morgan, who produce the live-action multi-billion dollar Universal franchise, are also serving as executive producers.

This new order is the latest in a five year relationship between Netflix, DreamWorks Animation and Universal that has seen 14 original series debut on the streaming service, including DreamWorks’ “Trollhunters” from Guillermo del Toro, DreamWorks’ “Spirit Riding Free” and “All Hail King Julien,” with an additional four series slated to debut on Netflix in 2018.

“We are thrilled to take our fantastic partnership with DreamWorks Animation to the next level with new opportunities from the vast library of Universal Pictures,” said Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids and Family at Netflix. “The ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise is a global phenomenon beloved by audiences of all ages, and we can’t wait to get started on the new animated series that will capture the action, heart, humor and global appeal of the feature films.”

Also Read: Vin Diesel Closes Deal to Star in Sony’s ‘Bloodshot’

“We are excited to extend and expand our successful relationship with Netflix by not only delivering more high-quality DreamWorks programming, but connecting fans of Universal films with fascinating new stories,” said Margie Cohn, president of DreamWorks Animation Television. “Our new home at Universal marks an exciting new chapter for storytelling at our studio, and ‘Fast & Furious’ is only the beginning.”

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‘MTV Movie and TV Awards’: Vin Diesel Accepts ‘Fast and Furious’ Generation Award Without the Rock (Video)

After eight go-rounds on the the big screen, the “Fast & Furious” franchise is zooming to your TV, courtesy of Netflix.

The streaming service announced Monday that it has handed a straight-to-series order to an animated show based on the popular flicks starring Vin Diesel, as part of their overall multi-year deal for original animated kids and family programming with DreamWorks Animation Television and Universal Pictures.

Here is the show’s logline: Teenager Tony Toretto follows in the footsteps of his cousin Dom when he and his friends are recruited by a government agency to infiltrate an elite racing league serving as a front for a nefarious crime organization bent on world domination.

Tim Hedrick (DreamWorks’ “Voltron Legendary Defender”) and Bret Haaland (“All Hail King Julien”) will serve as executive producers and showrunners on the series. Diesel, Neal Moritz and Chris Morgan, who produce the live-action multi-billion dollar Universal franchise, are also serving as executive producers.

This new order is the latest in a five year relationship between Netflix, DreamWorks Animation and Universal that has seen 14 original series debut on the streaming service, including DreamWorks’ “Trollhunters” from Guillermo del Toro, DreamWorks’ “Spirit Riding Free” and “All Hail King Julien,” with an additional four series slated to debut on Netflix in 2018.

“We are thrilled to take our fantastic partnership with DreamWorks Animation to the next level with new opportunities from the vast library of Universal Pictures,” said Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids and Family at Netflix. “The ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise is a global phenomenon beloved by audiences of all ages, and we can’t wait to get started on the new animated series that will capture the action, heart, humor and global appeal of the feature films.”

“We are excited to extend and expand our successful relationship with Netflix by not only delivering more high-quality DreamWorks programming, but connecting fans of Universal films with fascinating new stories,” said Margie Cohn, president of DreamWorks Animation Television. “Our new home at Universal marks an exciting new chapter for storytelling at our studio, and ‘Fast & Furious’ is only the beginning.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Tyrese Says He'll Retire His 'Fast and Furious' Character if The Rock Is in 'Fast 9'

'Fast and Furious' Producer Neal Moritz Signs First Look Deal With Paramount

Michelle Rodriguez Threatens to Quit 'Fast and Furious' Franchise: 'Show Some Love to Women'

'MTV Movie and TV Awards': Vin Diesel Accepts 'Fast and Furious' Generation Award Without the Rock (Video)

Guillermo del Toro Signs With DreamWorks Animation for Family Films

Guillermo del Toro has signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to write, produce and direct animated family films for the studio. The Oscar-winning director of “The Shape of Water” is taking an offices at the DreamWorks campus in Glendale, Calif., as part of the deal. The filmmaker, who won Best Picture and Best […]

Guillermo del Toro has signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to write, produce and direct animated family films for the studio. The Oscar-winning director of “The Shape of Water” is taking an offices at the DreamWorks campus in Glendale, Calif., as part of the deal. The filmmaker, who won Best Picture and Best […]

Guillermo del Toro Signs Exclusive Deal With DreamWorks Animation

Guillermo del Toro has signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to write, produce, and direct animated family films for the studio, it was announced today by Chris deFaria, President of DreamWorks Animation Film Group.  As part of the arrangement, The Shape of Water Oscar winner has taken up offices at the Glendale campus. del Toro’s first project under the new deal will be announced in the upcoming months.
del Toro has had been a longtime collaborator…

Guillermo del Toro has signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to write, produce, and direct animated family films for the studio, it was announced today by Chris deFaria, President of DreamWorks Animation Film Group.  As part of the arrangement, The Shape of Water Oscar winner has taken up offices at the Glendale campus. del Toro’s first project under the new deal will be announced in the upcoming months. del Toro has had been a longtime collaborator…

DreamWorks to Preview ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Footage at Annecy Animation Festival

DreamWorks will also screen two animated shorts for Oscar consideration at the French festival on June 14th.

Animation

Even without a feature release this year, DreamWorks Animation (led by President Chris deFaria) will be very active at the 42nd Annecy International Animation Film Festival (June 11-16). Director Dean DeBlois will present work-in-progress footage on June 14 from the final chapter in the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy, now titled “The Hidden World.” The first DreamWorks feature to be distributed by Universal Pictures, “The Hidden World” (produced by Brad Lewis and Bonnie Arnold) opens March  1, 2019.

“Bird Karma”

DreamWorks will additionally open and close the festival with the first two shorts from its new animated shorts program: “Bird Karma” (a Family Film winner at the San Francisco Film Festival) and “Bilby.” Directed by William Salazar and produced by Jeff Hermann, the 2D “Bird Karma” chronicles a long-legged bird’s journey. “Bilby,” directed by Liron Topaz, Pierre Perifel, and JP Sans, and produced by Hermann and Kelly Cooney Cilella, offers an unlikely friendship in the Australian Outback between the rabbit-like Bilby and a tiny bird. Both will be qualified for Oscar consideration.

“Bilby”

In addition, to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of “The Prince of Egypt,” Annecy will debut a fully remastered print (the date is not set). Released in December 1998, and directed by Brenda Chapman, Steven Hickner, and Simon Wells, the film won the Oscar for the Best Original Song, “When You Believe.”

“Prince of Egypt”

Meanwhile, DreamWorks Animation Television will present “A Conversation with Rodrigo Blaas” as part of the MIFA Campus on June 12th. The Emmy-winning director and executive producer of “Trollhunters” will share a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Netflix series created by Guillermo del Toro. Blaas will also offer a sneak peek of the upcoming Netflix original series “3 Below,” the next chapter in Guillermo del Toro’s “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy.

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Universal Launches Inclusive Film Composer Initiative

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s (UFEG) Global Talent Development & Inclusion group today announced the launch of the Universal Film Music Composer Initiative.  The initiative has been designed to develop burgeoning and novice composers who have had limited or no access to the studio production process by engaging them through yearly assignments across various UFEG labels.  The composers will have the opportunity to work with filmmakers, executives and other talent…

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group's (UFEG) Global Talent Development & Inclusion group today announced the launch of the Universal Film Music Composer Initiative.  The initiative has been designed to develop burgeoning and novice composers who have had limited or no access to the studio production process by engaging them through yearly assignments across various UFEG labels.  The composers will have the opportunity to work with filmmakers, executives and other talent…

DWA Elevates Kelly Betz To CFO

Kelly Betz, a 13-year veteran of DreamWorks Animation and most recently Chief Financial Office of DreamWorks Television, has been promoted to CFO of all of DWA. In her expanded role she adds oversight of the film division and will be responsible for short- and long-term financial planning. and production finance and overall division profitability. She will continue deal analysis and the green light process for the TV division.
She will report to DreamWorks Animation…

Kelly Betz, a 13-year veteran of DreamWorks Animation and most recently Chief Financial Office of DreamWorks Television, has been promoted to CFO of all of DWA. In her expanded role she adds oversight of the film division and will be responsible for short- and long-term financial planning. and production finance and overall division profitability. She will continue deal analysis and the green light process for the TV division. She will report to DreamWorks Animation…

Academy Sci-Tech Awards Go to DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar

Integral animation and VFX software dominated the Sci-Tech Awards Saturday night at the Beverly Wilshire.

The Academy’s 90th Sci-Tech Awards Saturday at the Beverly Wilshire (hosted by Sir Patrick Stewart) was dominated by the integral animation and visual effects software that powers the industry’s CG characters, simulations, and compositing. Digital Domain, DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar, and Rhythm & Hues were among the 10 standout honorees.

In addition, visual effects technologist Jonathan Erland received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award (an Oscar statuette) for his technological contributions. Erland worked at ILM as a model builder for “Star Wars” in 1977 and later moved over to Apogee to work on “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” He eventually became director of R&D for Apogee, where he received patents for a reverse blue-screen traveling matte process, the Blue-Max flux projector, and a method for making front projection screens.

Alec Baldwin the Boss Baby

“The Boss Baby”

Erland also played a key role in establishing a separate visual effects Academy branch in 1995. He received the Academy’s John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation in 2012. He’s a founding member of the Science and Technology Council and a co-founder of the Visual Effects Society.

“The Academy’s role as midwife for the adoption of new technology is needed as much as ever,” Erland said. But, in quoting silent filmmaker and USC Film School co-founder William DeMille, he added: “”If we don’t get the science first, there ain’t gonna be no art.”

Mark Elendt and Side Effects Software also received an Oscar statuette for the continuing advances with Houdini visual effects and animation software used throughout the industry for procedural building block creation and destruction (the Oscar-nominated “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”).

Technical Achievement Awards were presented to Jason Smith, Jeff White, Rachel Rose, and Mike Jutan for the BlockParty procedural rigging system at ILM; to Joe Mancewicz, Matt Derksen, and Hans Rijpkema for the Rhythm & Hues Construction Kit rigging system; to Alex Powell, Jason Reisig, Martin Watt, and Alex Wells for the Premo character animation system at DreamWorks Animation; and to Rob Jensen, Thomas Hahn, George ElKoura, Adam Woodbury, and Dirk Van Gelder for the Presto Animation System at Pixar Animation Studios.

kong-skull-island-image

“Kong: Skull Island”

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

Scientific and Engineering Awards were presented to John Coyle, Brad Hurndell, Vikas Sathaye, and Shane Buckham for the Shotover K1 Camera System (with an innovative six-axis stabilized aerial camera mount); to Jeff Lait, Mark Tucker, Cristin Barghiel, and John Lynch for Houdini’s workflow management tools; to Bill Spitzak and Jonathan Egstad for the ubiquitous Nuke compositing system (built for production at Digital Domain); to Abigail Brady, Jon Wadelton, and Jerry Huxtable for expanding Nuke as a commercial product at the Foundry; and to Leonard Chapman, Stanislav Gorbatov, David Gasparian, and Souhail Issa for the Hydrascope telescoping camera crane systems (enabling precise long-travel multi-axis camera movement in and out of water).

Jeffrey Katzenberg Seeks To Settle DWA Shareholders Suit With $4.5M Payout

A year and a half after Jeffrey Katzenberg was sued by DreamWorks Animation shareholders over a lucrative side deal from the 2016 $3.8 billion sale of the How To Train Your Dragon company to Comcast, the now WndrCo boss is trying to settle up.
In a proposed deal filed earlier this week in Delaware’s Chancery Court, Katzenberg has offered to pay $3.5 million into a settlement account to make the matter from a trio of investors go away. There is no indication in the…

A year and a half after Jeffrey Katzenberg was sued by DreamWorks Animation shareholders over a lucrative side deal from the 2016 $3.8 billion sale of the How To Train Your Dragon company to Comcast, the now WndrCo boss is trying to settle up. In a proposed deal filed earlier this week in Delaware's Chancery Court, Katzenberg has offered to pay $3.5 million into a settlement account to make the matter from a trio of investors go away. There is no indication in the…