News Bytes: New ‘Zog’ Special, ‘Moominvalley’ S2 Guest Stars, ‘Subway Surfers’ Decade’s Most-Downloaded Game

Reservations Open for Pokémon Rooms at Apartment Hotel Mimaru
Available in five locations across Tokyo and Kyoto, the thoroughly Pokéfied rooms are available as of December 24. The rooms feature themed décor such as giant sleeping Snorlax and dishes with Poké Ball patterns. All guests will also receive complimentary Pokémon merchandise exclusive to the hotel: a drawstring bag, welcome card and two hand towels featuring exclusive Pokémon designs

Hiroshima Int’l Animation Festival Submission Info
The biennial Japanese festival’s 18th edition (August 20-24, 2020) will open its call for entries from February 1 to April 1, 2020. Hiroshima is an Oscar-qualifying festival for animated shorts.

The next convocation of Central & Eastern European animation creators and supporters will take place May 5-8 in Liberec, Czech Republic. The Forum is seeking short films, series/TV specials, feature films and — new this year — immersive media projects in development from eligible countries (EU member states or those complying with Creative Europe Program participation). Deadline: January 10.

‘Subway Surfers’ Is Most-Downloaded Mobile Game of the Decade
App Annie made the declaration as the SYBO/Kiloo title surpassed 2.7 billion downloads around the world. The accomplishment coincides with the debut of apparel from SUBSURF, the brand’s merchandising arm, in the U.K. through retailer NEXT. The franchise’s first extension, Subway Surfers Airtime, recently launched worldwide over Snapchat’s new Snap Games platform.

2020 will see the launch of radical new app MARK AR, utilizing Google’s ARCore technology, which allows users to create, collaborate discover and share AR art in real-world locations — and features SUBSURF imagery in various forms, including stencils (SYBO/iDreamsSky). Exclusive SUBSURF tees are set to hit shelves at Tesco (U.K.) in January. The first products from global master toy licensee Alpha Group will roll out globally in late spring. And SYBO has also taken an active role in the UN’s Playing for the Planet initiative.

Julian Barratt Joins ‘Moominvalley’ Cast
Airing now, season 2 of the Sky Original series made by Gutsy Animations once again features the voices of Rosamund Pike, Matt Berry and Taron Egerton. Joining in the Tove Jansson-inspired adventures is The Mighty Boosh star Julian Barratt, and fellow debut guest stars Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad, Thor: The Dark World), Miriam-Teak Lee (Hamilton) and Shalom Brune-Franklin (Bad Mothers).

“With the first series of Moominvalley, our ambition was to realise a fresh, contemporary retelling of Tove Jansson’s beautiful and adventure-filled Moomin stories, and to introduce audiences to Moomintroll and his magical world. The second series is our invitation to explore this world further. It broadens the focus from Moomintroll to the whole Moomin family – viewers will meet new characters, take on new challenges and come on exciting new journeys with our hero and his friends.” — Marika Makaroff, Creative Director/Exec Producer, Gutsy Animations

Giant Animation, BBC One and Magic Light Announce ‘Zog and the Flying Doctors’ for Christmas 2020
Following the soaring success of this year’s holiday special Zog, the studios will follow up with an adaptation of the sweet dragon’s continued adventures as penned and illustrated by Julias Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The half-hour animation will be produced by Michael Rose and Martin Pope (Magic Light Pictures) and directed by Sean Mullen, with animation by Giant Animation (Dublin).

In the new film, Zog, Pearl and Gadabout are now a flying doctor trio, caring for creatures including a mermaid, a unicorn and a sneezy lion. However when bad weather forces them to land at the palace, Pearl is locked up by her uncle, the king. Zog and Gadabout try to set her free. However when their attempts fail, Pearl has to come up with the best way of all to regain her freedom.

Subway Surfers
Subway Surfers
Julia Barratt
Julia Barratt
Hotel Mimaru Pokemon Room
Hotel Mimaru Pokemon Room


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