Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Disney Channel Orders Third Season of ‘Elena of Avalor’

Disney Channel has placed a third season order for Elena of Avalor, announced by Nancy Kanter, EVP Content & Creative Strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide and GM, Disney Junior Worldwide. Episodes from the second season are slated to premiere this fall on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

After premiering in July 2016, the animated series about a daring teenage ruler quickly became TV’s No. 1 series for Girls 2-11, and has been honored with a National Hispanic Media Coalition Award and an Annie nomination. Elena also ranks No. 1 in its timeslot with Kids in the UK, Spain and Portugal.

Offscreen, Elena’s adventures have inspired a line of dolls from Disney store and Hasbro which recently reached one million dolls sold, and the No. 1 costume at Disney Store for Halloween and holiday. New goodies include the Palace of Avalor playset from Hasbro, and dolls and roleplay items from Jakks Pacific, which will will debut at Toy Fair in New York.

“With this new season order, the creative team, led by Craig Gerber and Silvia Olivas, has some exciting surprises in store for Elena on her journey to becoming queen,” said Kanter. “We’re looking forward to having our young viewers follow along on Elena’s adventure, while also continuing to build the Elena of Avalor experience for them beyond the screen.”

Elena can also be found making character appearances at Disney Parks & Resorts, in print and e-book titles (Disney Publishing), on multiple DVD releases like the recent Elena and the Secret of Avalor (Walt Disney Studios), and sharing Avalor’s music on an original soundtrack album (Walt Disney Records).

Elena of Avalor stars Aimee Carrero as the voice of Elena; Jenna Ortega as Princess Isabel; Chris Parnell, Yvette Nicole Brown and Carlos Alazraqui as the jaquins Migs, Luna and Skylar, respectively; Emiliano Díez as Francisco; Julia Vera as Luisa; Christian Lanz as Chancellor Esteban; Jillian Rose Reed as Naomi; Joseph Haro as Mateo; Jorge Diaz as Gabe; Keith Ferguson as Zuzo; and Joe Nunez as Armando. The recurring guest voice cast includes: Constance Marie, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rich Sommer, Justina Machado and Jaime Camil.

The series is created by Emmy winner Craig Gerber, with Silvia Olivas as co-producer & story editor, Elliot M. Bour as supervising director, John Kavanaugh as songwriter/music director, Tony Morales as composer, and acclaimed musician Rene Camacho as Latin Music Consultant. The theme song is performed by Latin Grammy winner Gaby Moreno. Elena of Avalor is a Disney Television Animation production and airs daily.

BREAKING! ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Wins BAFTA Award

The Walt Disney Company owned three of the four nominations in the BAFTA’s best animated feature category this year, but the underdog—Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings—came out victorious in the end.

The 70th annual BAFTA Film Awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, were handed out tonight at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They are considered to be the British equivalent of the Academy Awards.

Kubo and the Two Strings was up against Disney’s Zootopia and Moana, and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory. Here’s a group shot of the directors and producers of the Disney-nominated films, in a photo posted a couple hours ago by Zootopia co-director Byron Howard:

The BAFTAs are a strong indicator of who will win the Academy Award. In the 10 years that the BAFTAs have honored animated features, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) has chosen the same film nine times as the Oscar winner.

What’s the sole time that the British and American Academy have differed? It was in 2014 when the BAFTA gave the award to The Lego Movie, while the Oscars awarded it to Big Hero 6. (In that year, AMPAS did not nominate The Lego Movie, making it impossible for the film to even be considered for an Oscar.)

One other note for the history books: This is the first time the BAFTA has given the animated feature honor to a non-cgi film. Kubo, for the record, is considered a stop-motion/cgi hybrid.

Here is Travis Knight’s post-win interview at the BAFTAs:

In the special visual effects category, The Jungle Book won. The award was presented to Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones, and Adam Valdez. The other nominees in the category were Arrival, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The winner in the British short animation category was the stop-motion short A Love Story, a National Film and Television School graduation short directed by Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara:

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