Animation Source news
WN 14: Oscars, Illumination, Samurai Jack

Written by Karlamon :


Samurai Jack
[Cartoon Network]

It’s time for the latest animation news! In this week’s Weekly News, we'll  look into the animation nominees of the 89th Academy Awards, Illumination Entertainment and their big plans for sequels, and the new premiere date of the long-awaited Samurai Jack revival.

Animation at the 89th Academy Awards

Now that the Golden Globes are out of the way, it’s now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ turn to honour the best of cinema with the 89th Academy Awards. As predicted, La La Land is a favourite among the Academy with 14 nominations, but we’ll be looking into which animated projects got nominated.

The nominees for Best Animated Feature are:

Best Animated Feature nominees

  • - Kubo and the Two Strings – Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
  • - Moana – John Musker, Ron Clements, and Osnat Shurer
  • - My Life as a Zucchini – Claude Barras and Max Karli
  • - The Red Turtle – Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
  • - Zootopia – Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Clark Spencer

The nominees for Best Animated Short Film are:

Best Animated Short Film nominees

  • - Blind Vaysha – Theodore Ushev
  • - Borrowed Time – Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
  • - Pear Cider and Cigarettes – Robert Valley and Cara Speller
  • - Pearl – Patrick Osborne
  • - Piper – Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Two songs from an animated feature got a nomination spot for Best Original Song. These include “Can't Stop the Feeling!" from Trolls, and “How Far I'll Go" from Moana. The other songs nominated were “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars” (both from La La Land), and “The Empty Chair” (from Jim: The James Foley Story).

Meanwhile, Kubo and the Two Strings got an additional unique nomination in the Best Visual Effects category, alongside Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. An animated feature has not been nominated in this category since 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Life, Animated
[The Orchard​]

Also worth noting is a nominee in the Best Documentary – Feature category titled Life, Animated. Although not about animation itself, this documentary looks into the life of Owen Suskind, a person with autism who learned how to communicate with reality through his fascination with Disney movies.

We congratulate all the nominees for their recognition from the Academy, all of which are listed here in this CNN article. The winners will be announced during ceremony night on February 26.

Illumination Entertainment announces new sequels

2016 proved to be the biggest year for Illumination Entertainment with two highly-successful original animated features. Their summer hit The Secret Life of Pets hauled in $875 million worldwide, and the Golden Globe-nominated Sing is performing solidly with $429 million so far.

Now both movies are successful enough to become franchises! Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment announced this Wednesday they have green-lit three franchise sequels for 2019 and 2020.

Illumination's planned sequels
[Universal Pictures]

The first one of these (and the one I find the most-promising as a sequel) is The Secret Life of Pets 2, which was green-lit shortly after the release of the first movie. Originally set for a 2018 release, it has been pushed back a year to July 3, 2019. Meanwhile in the following year, a Minions sequel titled Minions 2 is set for release on July 3, 2020, while Sing 2 will open on December 25, 2020.

There is no word yet on the cast or if the original directors/writers will return, but we’ll be sure to keep you informed when more details emerge.

Samurai Jack is back this March!

It’s finally time to go back to the past again with Samurai Jack. Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, the animated series has been a cult-classic among Cartoon Network fans for it’s epic storytelling and stylised visuals. The show was sadly cancelled during the fourth season in 2004, leaving the story unfinished… until now.

Samurai Jack
[Adult Swim]

During his break from the Hotel Transylvania films, Tartakovsky and his crew got the opportunity to conclude Jack’s time traveling journey in his final confrontation with demon lord Aku. And the good news is that we’re getting the fifth and final season sooner than we thought.

The premiere date of the Samurai Jack revival was revealed in an Adult Swim bumper that was posted on Twitter by a fan. An Adult Swim spokesperson confirmed this date to Entertainment Weekly.

For those who are highly-anticipating Jack’s long-awaited comeback, Adult Swim will premiere the first-of-10 episodes at 11:30PM on March 11th. In the meantime, you can check out this behind-the-scenes video of the fifth season.


And that is all I got for the news this week. Who are you rooting for at the Oscars? Which Illumination sequel you mostly interested in? Are you excited for Samurai Jack’s comeback? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll return with more great news next week!


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January 31, 2017
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
I'm surprised Samurai Jack is returning after all these years. Back when it originally aired it was one of those shows that I would check out every once in a while, but never followed closely. Regardless, I always thought it was lame that they never finished it so it's awesome that they're finally accomplishing that in this reboot. On the other hand Cartoon Network hasn't exactly had good luck with reboots (I'm looking at you Teen Titans and Powerpuff Girls) so I hope to dear God that doesn't happen this time.

January 29, 2017
Fan chars mod France Female Is not currently on the site
Grande Méchante Admin ~
Borrowed Time was really impressive and full of feelings for a short, I was surprised by its quality and it totally deserved its award! The return of Best Visual Effect for an animated movie is really cool, though I still need to watch this movie x)

Life, Animated seems really interesting too!

For Illumination sequels, I'm not convinced at all, especially by the minions one (since I haven't seen Sing yet, I can not say for it).

I knew Samurai Jack just by name, but I'm glad it can be finally finished for the fans =P

Thanks for the news Karl ^-^!

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