×

Guillermo del Toro Announces Guadalajara International Animation Center

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Guillermo del Toro is creating an international animation center specializing in stop motion in his home city of Guadalajara, Mexico, the director announced Saturday morning at the Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG), during a masterclass given by Melissa Cobb, Netflix vice president, kids & family.

Details remain scarce, but the idea of one of the world’s best known cineasts leading the charge on an animation center in Mexico, whose local animation industry is building fast this century, is exciting.

The announcement comes as Del Toro himself is making his animated feature film directing debut for Netflix on “Pinocchio,” a stop-motion musical version of the children’s classic.

The hub will be officially called the Centro Internacional de Animación, the CIA, Del Toro said at Guadalajara, eliciting audience laughter. But it will unofficially be known as el Taller del Chucho (literally, “Little Dog Workshop”).

Del Toro encouraged the predominantly young Guadalajara audience, if they wanted a career in animation, to join the workshop and do any job available in the first instance. “There is no better road than the immediate one. Working your way up is really important . If you are gonna be a filmmaker understand all the elements going into making a film. No moment of being a PA or note-taking or picking up after an animator, none of that is wasted. It’s all super-valuable growth.”

Stop-motion is “one of the few things you can do with little money, with a few friends, at a scale that is possible,” he added.

The CIA’s role will be to support and service the burgeoning stop-motion animation industry which already exists in Guadalajara, he said, pointing out that he was getting involved “completely out of love of animation, and that’s it.”

“There is real talent in stop-motion in Guadalajara,” Del Toro enthused, saying that the Center also aimed to invite production houses from outside to come and give training workshops, and to “create a connection between Guadalajara and the international market.”

It might not be coincidental that Del Toro made the announcement of the Guadalajara Intl. Animation Center in conversation with Netflix’s Melissa Cob.

Kids & family entertainment is one of Netflix trinity of basic release pillars,  along with comedies and dramas, according to an Ampere Analysis study of Netflix releases.

As studios such as Disney have famously pulled programming from Netflix, the U.S. streaming studio must look to other sources to make up the shortfall. Foreign-language animation is one, and a programming which can easily travel: Kids don’t care or indeed distinguish where animation comes from, just whether they like it.

Presented at Annecy’s Mifa market last year, and produced by former Mexican Cinematheque director Paula Astorga and producer Milko Luis, “Inzomnia,” said to be Mexico’s first stop-motion animation feature, has been developed and put into pre-production at Guadalajara.

That is just one production from the area which can look to a domestic audience in Mexico which is the world’s third biggest market for animation in terms of tickets sold, after the U.S. and China, according to a European Audiovisual Observatory study.

CREDIT: FICG

More Film

  • A Brinks armored truck pulls into

    Layoffs Hit Fox After Disney Completes Deal

    Layoffs have hit Fox following the entertainment company’s sale to Disney. The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level. Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team. There could be as [...]

  • Emily Blunt in Talks for Inspirational

    Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama 'Not Fade Away'

    Emily Blunt is in negotiations to star in Annapurna’s inspirational drama “Not Fade Away” with David O. Russell and John Krasinski producing. The project is based on Rebecca Alexander’s 2015 memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.” Alexander was born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III and [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Nabs Nine Nominations for 6th Premios Platino

    As was widely anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s triple Oscar-winning “Roma” dominated the 6th Premios Platino nominations, unveiled Thursday at Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Oscars. It snagged a total of nine nominations, including best film, director, art direction, cinematography, and acting for its two Oscar-nominated actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de [...]

  • Stephen Bruno

    Stephen Bruno Exits Netflix for Top Marketing Job at MGM

    Netflix global marketing chief Stephen Bruno has exited his post for MGM, where he has been named chief marketing officer. His departure follows that of Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett and marks a major shake-up for the streaming giant. Bruno had been with the streamer since 2014, and is known as an innovator. He joins MGM [...]

  • Laura Linney Cast in Viggo Mortensen

    Laura Linney Joins Viggo Mortensen's Family Drama 'Falling'

    Laura Linney, Hannah Gross, and Terry Chen have joined the cast of Viggo Mortensen’s family drama “Falling.” The movie will be Mortensen’s directorial debut. He’s also producing, wrote the screenplay, and is playing one of the two leading roles in a story about a son’s relationship with his aging father. Production is currently underway in Toronto. [...]

  • Maya Erskine-Jack Quaid Romcom 'Plus One'

    Maya Erskine-Jack Quaid Rom-Com 'Plus One' Sells Ahead of Tribeca Premiere

    Romantic comedy “Plus One,” starring Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid, has sold to RLJE Films in a pre-emptive deal for low seven figures ahead of its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. “Plus One” is written and directed by Jeff Chan (“Adam Ruins Everything”) and Andrew Rhymer (Pregame). The film also stars Ed Begley, [...]

  • Alan Horn Disney

    Walt Disney Studios Leaders Say Fox Deal Represents 'Exciting New Chapter'

    Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and President Alan Bergman are asking Fox staffers to be patient while the company begins the complicated work of integrating the two motion picture teams. Both men were on Fox’s Century City lot for meetings with executives. In a memo, Bergman and Horn said they would try to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content