It’s Toon Time: Celebrations of Animation in Los Angeles

By Michael Berick

animation in los angeles

“Big Fish And Begonia” is one of the selections for the inaugural Animation Is Film Festival. PHOTO COURTESY ANIMATION IS FILM

Some unique fun is on tap for families this month. Animation in Los Angeles is a thriving sector of the entertainment industry and you can celebrate it with your kids.

Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills (media.paleycenter.org) unveils an exhibition saluting Cartoon Network’s first quarter century on Oct. 14. Called “Cartoon Network: 25 Years of Drawing on Creativity,” it offers visitors an in-depth sketch-to-screen look at the creative process behind the hit show “Steven Universe,” stop-motion sets from “Adventure Time” and photo ops with sculptures of “The Powerpuff Girls” and “OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes!” The center will host panel discussions and screenings with Cartoon Network talent and creative teams during the run of the exhibit, which will be up through Nov. 19.

The Animation Is Film Festival (www.animationisfilm.com) is a new festival produced by animated film producer and distribution company GKIDS in partnership with Variety and Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Based at the TCL Chinese Theatre near Hollywood and Highland, the festival will hold around 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short-film series Oct. 20-22. Among the family-friendly offerings are “Big Fish & Begonia,” “The Breadwinner” (from the co-director of the Oscar-nominated “The Secret of Kells”), “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” (by the director of the Oscar-nominated “When Marnie Was There”) and “The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales” (from the director of the Oscar-nominated “Ernest & Celestine”).

GKIDS also is continuing its Studio Ghibli Fest 2017 (www.ghiblifest.com) with Fathom Films. This month’s offering is the classic Hayao Miyazaki animated film “Spirited Away,” screening Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 1 at participating Fathom Films cinemas. This 2001 movie won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and has ranked high on several “Best Films of the 21st Century” lists.

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