Animation Source news
WN 15: Balto, Annies, Arctic Justice, Lego Movie

Written by Karlamon :


[Universal Pictures]

This week in the Weekly News, I have plenty of news to discuss about here.. I’ll talk about the Balto trilogy arriving on Netflix, the winners of the 44th Annie Awards, a new animated talking animal movie titled Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad, and The Lego Movie Sequel getting a new director.

Balto arrives on Netflix
(and we got mentioned on a big news site?)

It’s time to Reach for the Light once again, because the Balto trilogy is now available to watch on the streaming service Netflix!

The Balto trilogy on Netflix
[Universal Pictures/Netflix]

Starting from February 1, US Netflix has released all three Balto movies (Balto, Balto II: Wolf Quest, and Balto III: Wings of Change) on their platform. I’m not sure if this applies to international Netflix users (plus I don’t have an account as of now), but do I believe this is a great opportunity to relive the adventures of our favourite wolfdog in HD, and introduce new audiences too.

Believe it or not, Balto’s arrival on Netflix was not just reported by The Inquisitr, but author Glenn Hadley dedicated his article about our interview with Balto director Simon Wells. It’s mainly extracts of the interview, though it’s still an big honour for Animation Source to be mentioned on a large news website like The Inquisitr, so thanks very much for the shoutout, Glenn!

As for other animated features on US Netflix this month, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Finding Dory have been released alongside the Balto movies, while the adult animated comedy Sausage Party will be available from February 23.

Zootopia wins big at the 44th Annie Awards

It was time for ASIFA-Hollywood to present the 44th Annie Awards, the award ceremony managed by  that honours the great achievements in animation. There was a diverse selection of winners, but it was Disney’s Zootopia that ended up as the big winner with six wins, including Best Animated Feature.


The other five individual achievement awards Zootopia earned were for Character Design (Cory Loftis), Directing (Byron Howard and Rich Moore), Storyboarding (Dean Wellins), Voice Acting (Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde, tied with Moana), and Writing (Jared Bush and Phil Johnston).

Meanwhile, Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings earned three wins for Character Animation (Jan Maas), Production Design (Nelson Lowry, Trevor Dalmer, August Hall, and Ean McNamara), and Editorial (Christopher Murrie).

Moana gained two for Animated Effects (Marlon West, Erin V. Ramos, Blair Pierpont, Ian J. Coony, John M. Kosnik), and Voice Acting (Auli’i Cravalho as Moana, tied with Zootopia). Best Animated Feature-Independent was awarded to The Red Turtle, while The Little Prince won Music in an Animated Feature Production (Hans Zimmer, Richard Harvey, Camille). Pixar’s Piper was the winner of Best Animated Short Subject.

Bob's Burgers - Glued, Where's My Bob?
[20th Century Fox Television]

On the television side, Bob’s Burgers won two awards for Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production and Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production (Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux for the episode Glued, Where’s My Bob?), while Tumble Leaf and Adventure Time won the Preschool Children and Children award respectively. Google Spotlight Stories’ Pearl and DreamWorks Television’s Trollhunters both earned three wins.

The complete list of winners can be viewed in this Variety article. We congratulate all the winners for their big honour that night.

Open Road Films to unleash Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad

Talking animals have always been a popular trend in animation, and guess what, we’re getting another one! Open Road Films and AMBI Media Group are proud to present Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad.

Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad
[Open Road Films]

Arctic Justice tells the story of Swifty (Jeremy Renner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe), an arctic fox who dreams to be the top deliver for the Arctic Blast Delivery Service. But during a delivery, he comes across the secret plans of Doc Walrus (John Cleese of An American Tail: Fievel Goes West) who intends to melt the arctic circle. Now it’s up to Swifty and his friends to foil Doc’s plan and save their land.

Other cast members joining Arctic Justice include Alec Baldwin (The Boss Baby), Heidi Klum (Littlest Pet Shop), James Franco (The Little Prince), Anjelica Huston (the Disney Fairies series), and Omar Sy (the French dub of Brother Bear). Toronto-based AIC Studios will provide the animation, while Aaron Woodley (director of the upcoming Spark) will helm the movie.

Open Road Films have acquired the US rights for the film, and is aiming to release it theatrically in 2018. AMBI’s Andrea Iervolino said that Open Road “have been down this road before, and hit home runs with films like The Nut Job, so we’re excited that Arctic Justice is in their expert and very skilled hands. It really is the perfect home for this movie.”

Judging by the concept art and premise, I recon this could be a cute and fun cartoon. We’ll keep you informed when more details arrive.

The Lego Movie Sequel hires Trolls director Mike Mitchell

With The Lego Movie being a massive success both critically and financially, it’s no surprise that Warner Animation Group would put plenty plenty of followup films in the works. This year we’ll be getting The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie, and then in 2019 there’s The Lego Movie Sequel, a direct followup to the 2014 original.

The Lego Movie
[Warner Bros. Pictures]

What has been reported this week is that the sequel is getting a director change. The original director Rob Schrab quit the project due to “creative differences”, and is being replaced with Mike Mitchell. Mitchell is best-known for directing the DreamWorks Animation movies Shrek Forever After and Trolls. Additionally, he directed the live-action segments of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.

Though producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller wrote the script’s first draft, it has undergone a rewrite made by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, the creator of BoJack Horseman. Warner Bros. Pictures will release The Lego Movie Sequel on February 8, 2019.

That concludes this weeks news. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll see you next week. Don’t forget that on Friday, we’re starting 2017’s animated features with a bang in The Lego Batman Movie!


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February 07, 2017
Newzealand Male Is not currently on the site
Kool Kats Club
Too bad it seems to only be on US Netflix. We don't seem to have it in NZ. I have the DVDs anyway. :icon74:

February 05, 2017
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Yay! :D It's such an excitement that all three Balto films are on Netflix now. :icon301: I'm really hoping that enough interest will get us a Blu ray of at least the first one. lol I can always hope. XD

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