Sony Pictures Animation Launches New International And Alternative Animation Divisions
Describing the importance of thinking global Warner said: “We are at a very critical point in our history as humans. The future is all of us working together, learning from each other’s stories, mistakes and triumphs. There are countless great stories out there that most of the world has never heard, and every day there’s a new director, writer or artist with a vision stepping up to the plate to lead a team and create something new. I truly believe this is the next big leap in the art form of animation and I’m honored, humbled, and incredibly lucky to be part of this project.”
The initiative’s first release, Wish Dragon (pictured above), is currently in production. Directed by Chris Appelhans, the film is said to be a moving tale about the power of friendship set in modern-day Shanghai. Wish Dragon is a co-production between Sony Pictures Animation, Beijing Sparkle Roll Media, Tencent, and Base Media. It’s set to release in China in 2020.
Sony Pictures Animation’s Alternative Initiative
SPA’s new alternative animation division includes a slate of serial projects and features aimed at mature audiences.
During the announcement Kevin Noel, Sony Pictures Animation vice president, said: “We want to continue to tell stories that speak to modern audiences, while exploring different methods of storytelling that are appealing to new filmmakers and artists.” Katie Baron, the other SPA vice president in charge of the program, added, “With this new initiative, we are expanding opportunities for artists inside Sony Animation, and also aiming to attract talent known for their work outside of the family space.”
Baron and Noel unveiled three shows in development at the studio under this new initiative: Hungry Ghosts, Superbago, and The Boondocks.
Hungry Ghosts is based on the Dark Horse Graphic Novel by the late Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose. Hungry Ghosts will be an anthology of frightening, hilarious, twisted, and culinary-inspired ghost stories. Each episode will range in tone and will look completely different from the last, taking advantage of various forms of animation to best fit each story.
Superbago, a collaboration with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, and previously developed as a feature film at Sony Animation, will be a half-hour comedy that blends clay animation and live-action, and follows the adventures of two dimwitted animated heroes traveling in a very real Winnebago around the actual United States of America.
The return of The Boondocks, a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, is a complete re-imagining of the beloved and wildly rebellious animated satire for this modern era, and chronicles the adventures of the Freeman family against the evil local government tyrant Uncle Ruckus, who rules fictional Woodcrest County, Maryland with an iron fist.
Director Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania, Samurai Jack) made a surprise appearance to share a a first look at visuals from two previously-announced animated features that he will develop under Sony’s new alternative animation division: Black Knight and Fixed.
Black Knight is an original, action-adventure epic that tells the story of a highly skilled and faithful knight who, after failing to protect his king, must transform himself into the Black Knight to save the kingdom.
Fixed, the studio’s first R-rated comedy, directed by Tartakovsky is the story of an average, all-around good dog who is in love with the show dog next door, and what happens when he learns that he is going to get neutered in the morning. What does a dog do with his last night out with his besties?