News Bytes: The Music of ‘Arcane,’ ‘Lady Nikuko’ on Disc, WIA ACE Candidates & More

When it came time to record the season-finale song of the multi-Annie-winning animated series Arcane, composer Alexander Seaver and show co-creator Christian Linke wanted a “big voice” to sing it. “Someone like Sting,” Seaver explained during a “For Your Consideration” Netflix event at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood Monday night. So the two tried to think of singers they could get who might sound like Sting, never expecting that the 17-time-Grammy winner would want to be involved in “a video game show.”

But the epic and lushly-animated Arcane is no ordinary cartoon based on a game. The show’s creative team ultimately decided that “Sting loves music so much,” the medium was less important than the quality of the composition. If they could just bring him a great song, they hoped, he would record it for them.

Celebrating the Music of Arcane | Netflix
Sting performs onstage during Netflix’s Celebrating the Music of Arcane. [Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix]
Not only did Sting sing the show’s powerful, haunting ballad, “What Could Have Been,” but he performed the song before about a few-hundred people at the Netflix event on Monday night. Accompanied by a solo pianist, Sting also sang movingly-minimalist versions of two Police hits, “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take.” Sting was highly-complimentary of the Arcane series and its creators. Sting said he had grown up watching shows like Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones and that he didn’t initially expect much from the animated project. But like audiences everywhere, he was impressed with how profound, sophisticated and beautiful the show turned out.

— John Derevlany

 

DTNN_Movie_Daniel Visits a New Neighborhood_Courtesy of Fred Rogers Productions_7
Daniel Visits a New Neighborhood [Courtesy of Fred Rogers Productions]
A brand-new, one-hour Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood movie  is ready to roar on PBS KIDS stations around the country on June 20 (check local listings). Families from coast to coast can ride along as Daniel Tiger ventures out from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe for the first time!

In Daniel Visits a New Neighborhood, Daniel and Mom go on a trip to visit Mom Tiger’s friend and her family, including her young son and Daniel’s pen pal, Juan Carlos. Daniel gets to take his very first train ride as he leaves the Neighborhood of Make-Believe for the first time and learns helpful new strategies for traveling and being away from home. He also discovers what makes Juan Carlos’ family and neighborhood so special — and even learns some grr-ific Spanish phrases.

DTNN_Movie_Daniel Visits a New Neighborhood_Courtesy of Fred Rogers Productions_5
Daniel Visits a New Neighborhood [Courtesy of Fred Rogers Productions]

Just as Ayumu Watanabe’s charming follow-up to Children of the Sea, , is rolling out to select theaters around the country, GKIDS and Shout! Factory have announced its Blu-ray + DVD combo an Digital release for July 19.  Produced by STUDIO4°C, the film is a heartwarming comedy-drama with touches of magical realism about an unconventional family and the bonds that they share in their sleepy seaside town.

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko

Bonus Features:

  • Making Of
  • Film Completion Press Conference
  • Official Premiere Event
  • Sanma Akashiya Birthday Event
  • Guest Speaker Event
  • Trailers

Pre-order at gkids.com or shoutfactory.com

 

HappyNest

HappyNest, a joint venture from Stampede Ventures and UTA, has closed an equity investment into GoKidGo, the audio imagination company for kids launched by New York Times bestselling children’s author Patrick Carman, entrepreneur Jennifer Clary and film/TV executive and producer Maia Glikman. The move gives HappyNest proprietary development to adapt short-form and long-form animated series from GoKidGo characters.

Properties through the investment include GoKidGo’s interconnected story universe situated in the fictional town of Pflugerville, which includes Bobby Wonder the Superhero, Lucy Wow the Inventor, Atlas & Zavia the Underwater Explorers, Ivy the President of R.L. Stine’s Story Club and Waffle & Martha the Floozie Monsters who live beneath Mr. Snood’s Candy Factory.

RL Stines Story Club

HappyNest will also be adapting a series from the GoKidGo’s Spine Chillers collection of shows which currently include R.L. Stine’s Story Club and Ivy’s Chilling Tales. R.L. Stine has written 300+ books that have sold 400+ million copies worldwide in 32 languages. He is providing original untold stories for podcasts, which are available to be adapted into film, TV, games and more. Stine’s Goosebumps films grossed over $250M worldwide, the 1995 TV adaptation ran for four seasons on Fox Kids, and Fear Street Trilogy was watched by over 20M Netflix subscribers in 2021. Disney+ has recently doubled down with Just Beyond released in 2021 and a reboot of Goosebumps announced earlier this year.

 

ACE3_combinedphotos_colour
Top L-R: Sunita Balsara, Stephanie Hodgson, Sonia Furier, Maria Isabel de Melo Ribeiro. Bottom l-r: Amanda Cawley, May-Yun Ong, Molly Lacoursière, Anna Bohac

Women in Animation’s Vancouver Chapter (WIA Vancouver), a non-profit organization in the global animation industry, announced its eight selected candidates for the ACE Program’s third iteration, with Netflix Canada as the premier sponsor. The program is WIA Vancouver’s immersive Animation Career EXCELelerator training program for animation professionals who identify as women or non-binary, nurturing both authentic and diverse perspectives that move our culture forward.

“I am so proud of the growth and impact of the ACE program. Our goal for ACE 3 was to reach authentic and diverse candidates from across Canada, and we did, with 64 applications that included a wide range of ethnicities, abilities and talents. With the eight candidates now selected, we can’t wait to empower them to tell their story and take their place as creative and business leaders of the animation industry,” said Rose-Ann Tisserand, WIA Vancouver Advisor & ACE Program Founder/Co-Executive Producer.

The candidates are:

  • Producer: Stephanie Hodgson – Originally from Sydney, Australia, with over 15 years of professional experience in production, events, and live arts and entertainment. Stephanie currently works in the animation industry in Vancouver.
  • Writer: Sunita Balsara – A designer, illustrator and professional worrier based in Toronto. She spends her free time eating pasta and daydreaming about outlandish situations. Sometimes, she writes them down.
  • Director: Sonia Furier – Sonia began her professional training journey at the Animation Portfolio Workshop, which brought her into Sheridan’s animation program. Currently, she is in Toronto working at House of Cool in the position of Story Revisions Supervisor.
  • Art Director: May-Yun Ong – A Malaysian artist with a love for food, fruit-themed jewelry and comics. May-Yun is based in Vancouver and looking forward to tackling the next adventure!
  • Animation Director: Molly Lacoursière – A native French speaker from Québec, she is currently Lead Animator at Atomic Cartoons in Ottawa.
  • Storyboard Supervisor: Ana Bohac – A storyboard artist and comic creator. Originally from the U.K., she has been working in Vancouver since arriving in 2019.
  • Editor: Maria Isabel de Melo Ribeiro – A Brazilian video editor in Montreal who is crazy about beaches, dogs and animation. Living challenges in English and French, always trying to succeed, and having fun in all a part of the process.
  • Composer: Amanda Cawley – A multi-award nominated British-Canadian composer for film and media. Recently completed works include the animated series Fireman Sam and the documentary series Visionary Gardeners. Amanda’s work base is in Kelowna.

 

RSP / UniSA training class
RSP / UniSA training class

Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) has seen its fortunes grow spectacularly along with rising demand for VFX over the past two years. In addition to working on high-profile projects ranging from Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis and Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder to  hit series The Boys, Cowboy Bebop and Hawkeye, RSP has added staff and resources to its main studio in Adelaide and launched a satellite operation in Brisbane.

RSP’s highly regarded education program is also growing. It, too, is expanding to Brisbane, beginning with its Graduate Certificate in Dynamic Effects and Lighting program. Aspiring artists in Queensland can now develop their craft under the guidance of working artists in a professional studio environment. RSP has been training artists for seven years in the program it runs in partnership with the University of South Australia (UniSA), providing over 150 students with the skills they need to step into junior artists roles.

The program has been enormously successful in supplying RSP and studios across Australia and abroad with the talent they need and providing young people with challenging, creatively-stimulating work and promising, long-term career potential. Learn more at rsp.com.au.

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