Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Nickelodeon Issues Message of Solidarity with the Asian American & Pacific Islander Community Following Rise in Hate Crimes

With the recent rise of hate crimes committed against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, Nickelodeon has issued the following statement across their social media channels:

"We stand united against racism, hatred, violence, and the recent rise of attacks against the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate," reads Nickelodeon's message.

Each social media post is accompanied with a link to the Stop AAPI Hate initiative, to where readers can find more resources, report a hate crime and learn how they can help stem the rise of these cruel hate attacks.

From Kidscreen:

Rebuilding the Asian American story for next-gen kids

When asked who they would cast as a lead, AAPI kids picked white characters—it's time for kids media to shift the narrative of how children see themselves and others, writes Nickelodeon's Winnie Cheung.

My dreams were shattered the day I realized I couldn’t be a fairytale princess. While playing together, my friend said to me, “You don’t look like a princess; you can be the princess’s friend.” It made sense. I’m Chinese American. I did not have the same hair, eyes, eye color or skin tone as the princesses I admired on my VHS tapes. The Asian American’s role in history has been that of a perpetual foreigner and model minority—in media, we’re the nerds, best friends or objects of desire, leading to stereotypes of Asian Americans in real life that persist today.

To understand race, identity and the American family, Nickelodeon surveyed more than 15,000 kids and their parents between 2019 and 2020 in a multi-phased qualitative and quantitative study called “Shades of Us.”

When asked who they would cast in the lead role of a movie, Asian children chose a white character instead of picking someone who looked like them. Looking further into the data to see if this differed by ethnicity, we saw there was no difference in responses from Black, Hispanic and white children; there is a belief among all kids that lead characters should be white.

In terms of what role Asian kids believe an Asian character should play, their top choices include the smart kid, the nerd and the sidekick. Across ethnicities, kids agreed they would also cast an Asian character as the nerd, reinforcing a stereotype of Asian people.

Is it possible that Asian children today are also having their dreams of who they want to be shattered like my princess dream?

About half of Asian kids (49%) say it’s important to be represented in media, and many disagree (40%) with the current portrayals of their backgrounds and cultures on screen. Asian girls are interested in seeing more female representation in general.

Showing Asian Americans in media is not only beneficial for empowering Asian children, but it can also change non-Asian kids’ misconceptions. If children are given a chance to see Asian people as unique, human and similar to them, moments of empathy and compassion can be ignited. In fact, we found in our “Shades of Us” study that among all kids, self-identity is largely driven by family, friends and the media.

With all of these shared traits in a child’s identity, there can be multiple combinations of relevant stories to tell with specificity. Even within the Asian community itself, there is a plethora of stories around the East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander experiences. Yet in the media, Asian communities are often represented as one whole community, leaving out the nuances of each specific culture.

Telling these stories and showcasing a variety of Asian characters has never felt more important than it does right now when there is one more role Asian Americans have been miscast in—originator of a global pandemic.

In 2019, Asian parents believed Asian people experienced less discrimination compared to Black and Hispanic people. In 2020, however, a significantly higher percentage of parents—across all races and ethnicities—felt that Asians experienced a lot of discrimination, likely the result of harassment and hate incidents related to COVID-19. If we were to field those same questions today, the result would be even higher.

And this is personal. On a walk with my family last year, a group of teenagers passed by and made exaggerated motions to move away from us, muttering “China flu!” We live in a metropolitan city full of diversity, with a large Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population. Surely they’ve seen faces like ours before?

Over the past year, Stop AAPI Hate has reported nearly 4,000 hate incidents against Asian Americans across 50 states and the District of Columbia. On March 16, eight people were murdered at local businesses in Atlanta, Georgia—six were Asian women.

Change in representation has been growing slowly. Movies and television shows are starting to tell stories from a variety of Asian ethnicity groups. Story themes have also expanded beyond just historical references to more genres like romantic comedies, coming-of-age narratives and stories of loss. There are even stories about Asian princesses.

But there’s more work to do. The potential to counteract discrimination among non-Asian communities could start with a better understanding of what it means to be Asian. Here are some ways to start:

1. Cast Asian leads: Help Asian children feel like they matter by giving them the agency to move a story forward as the protagonist, not just as a side character.

2. Make products (i.e. toys, games, apps) that feature Asian people/characters: Pretend play is a vital activity to a child’s identity development, but if there are no Asian faces in toys, games or digital experiences, Asian children have already lost the opportunity to imagine stories with people who look like them.

3. Tell the untold stories: There are great stories out there already featuring the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, but there are so many more to be shared. Take a leap and consider more far-reaching stories than the ones already being told. Not every Asian story needs to include a dragon or kung fu.

4. Celebrate together: We’re all stronger together as human people. Asian American stories can be interwoven with other experiences. With the rise of children who have more than one ethnicity, stories can—and should—cover more than one culture at a time.

5. Be brave: Stories about Asian Americans in the media industry have been mistold, misrepresented, and at times just completely missed. But we have to try to make a difference by bringing new narratives into the mix to replace the misguided ones that exist today.

Importantly, content and products should be led by or made in collaboration with AAPI team members and experts. Companies should also consider a long-term strategy that is connected to specific goals, and hold themselves accountable.

My role has evolved from hopeful princess to a Chinese American woman looking to change the media landscape. I hope that for my kids, their roles can be whatever they want—to be the princess, the hero, the changemaker, the lead—and at the same time be seen as a kid with similar experiences to all other kids, facing fears, triumphs, setbacks, love and hope.

Winnie Cheung is senior director of digital consumer insights at Nickelodeon. Insights development was supported by Kelly Chang (senior analyst of consumer insights) and Andrew Park (manager of consumer insights). 


Originally published: Monday, February 22, 2021.

Nickelodeon Latin America, Cartoon Network & Discovery Kids Partner for Semana Del Juguete 2021

Nickelodeon Latin America (Latinoamérica) and Nick Jr. Latinoamérica, along with Cartoon Network and Discovery Kids are once again joining together to present the third annual Semana Del Juguete (Toy Week), a initiative that invites children and adults to rediscover the important value of play and the bonds that people develop during childhood through toys. Semana Del Juguete 2021 will take place between Monday 12th and Sunday 18th April 2021 in Argentina. The news follows the success of Semana Del Juguete events in 2019 and 2020.

During this week, all the children's brands participating will broadcast a creative short across their platforms that encourages the use of toys and promotes the importance of children and families playing. Registration is still open for more advertising partners to take part in this this year's event. There will also be significant discounts and promotions in toy stores across the country, and will also be featured across all the platforms of the entertainment companies participating.


Las señales infantiles de WarnerMedia, Discovery y ViacomCBS, se unen una vez más en esta iniciativa que busca crear conciencia sobre la importancia del juego y el juguete, y el vínculo entre adultos y niños. La tercera edición se celebrará del 12 al 18 de abril.

Por tercer año consecutivo y luego del éxito de las ediciones anteriores, Cartoon Network, Discovery Kids, Nickelodeon y Nick Jr., las señales infantiles de WarnerMedia, Discovery y ViacomCBS, respectivamente, presentan la #SemanaDelJuguete, una iniciativa que invita a redescubrir el valor del juego y fortalecer los vínculos que se generan en la infancia a través de los juguetes.

La #SemanaDelJuguete se realizará del 12 al 18 de abril. Para apoyar la comunicación de la campaña, las señales infantiles emitirán a través de sus múltiples plataformas una pieza creativa que estimula el uso de juguetes y promueve la importancia de los momentos de juego entre los niños y sus familias. Aún se encuentra abierta la inscripción para que más marcas anunciantes formen parte de esta acción.

Por su parte, las jugueterías ofrecerán durante esta semana promociones e importantes descuentos que también serán difundidos en todas las plataformas de las compañías de entretenimiento involucradas.

"La tercera edición de la Semana del Juguete llega tras un año de pandemia y, sin dudas es una gran oportunidad para impulsar las ventas en los comercios. Después de transitar la cuarentena, noto más que nunca la importancia del juego y su rol fundamental en la conexión con los chicos y chicas; es un orgullo realizar nuevamente esta campaña liderada por tres compañías líderes en entretenimiento.", destacó Enrique Sabatini, Director Ejecutivo de Ventas Publicitarias de WarnerMedia Latin America.

"Estamos muy entusiasmados de acompañar nuevamente desde Discovery Kids esta iniciativa que busca resignificar el papel trascendental que los juegos y juguetes desempeñan en la vida de los niños en todos sus ámbitos. El juego permite a niños y niñas divertirse, descubrir diferentes emociones, trabajar el intelecto, al tiempo que generan vínculos con otras personas", afirmó Martín Hernández, Director de Ventas Publicitarias de Discovery para Cono Sur.

"El juego para los niños es una actividad fundamental para garantizar el desarrollo de sus capacidades motrices e intelectuales, además de ser un vehículo fundamental para su integración con sus pares. Por eso, estamos muy contentos y orgullosos de participar una vez más en esta iniciativa que impulsamos por tercer año consecutivo junto a las principales networks infantiles", sostuvo Santiago Perincioli Vicepresidente de Revenues de ViacomCBS Cono Sur.

La #SemanaDelJuguete fue impulsada en 2019 como iniciativa colaborativa por las compañías de medios citadas anteriormente para la Industria del juguete, la Cámara Argentina de la Industria del juguete y la Asociación Argentina de Empresas de Juguetes y Afines. La campaña fue reconocida en la premiación de los Effie Argentina 2020 al obtener el Effie de Oro en la categoría Entretenimiento y Ocio.

Argentina es el país con mayor cantidad de jugueterías per cápita del mundo, pero presentaba solo dos grandes hitos de ventas en el año: el día del niño y las fiestas. A partir del lanzamiento de esta iniciativa, se ha logrado instalar en la agenda pública una nueva fecha de celebración para toda la familia: la #SemanaDelJuegute.


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Nickelodeon Japan Launches 'Nickelodeon Animal Carnival' Campaign

Nickelodeon Japan (ニコロデオン 日本) has launched the Nickelodeon Animal Carnival, a brand new campaign which is inviting viewers to send Nick cute photos of their pets for the chance to win Nickelodeon goodies!

Official ニコロデオン 日本 press release, via 時事ドットコム:

あなたのかわいい自慢のペット写真を大募集!「ニコロデオン アニマル・カーニバル」の配信を記念したプレゼントキャンペーンが開始!


米国バイアコムCBS社傘下のバイアコム・ネットワークス・ジャパン株式会社(所在地:東京都港区、代表取締役社長:井股 進)が運営するキッズ&ファミリー向けエンターテインメントチャンネル「ニコロデオン」は、動物祭り特集「ニコロデオン アニマル・カーニバル」の配信を記念して、抽選で3名様にニコロデオンとあなたのペットがコラボしたオリジナルデザイングッズが当たるプレゼントキャンペーンを4月5日(月)より開始いたします。(キャンペーン期間:4月5日(月)~4月30日(金))

「ニコロデオン アニマル・カーニバル」プレゼントキャンペーン概要
 1. あなたのペットのお気に入り写真をご用意
 2. 応募規約に同意し、下記応募フォームにアクセス
 3. 必須事項をご記入いただき、写真を投稿する
「ニコロデオン アニマル・カーニバル」配信スケジュール
■配信情報:Amazon Prime Videoチャンネル、dTVチャンネル、Hulu(※ABC順)
ニコロデオンは世界で最も認知されているキッズ&ファミリー向けエンターテインメント・ブランドの一つです。「キッズ・ファースト(キッズ最優先)」をモットーに、世界170以上の国と地域において、累計11億世帯にリーチし、アニメーション、幼児向け番組、ドラマ・バラエティなど、良質でバラエティ豊かなコンテンツをマルチプラットフォームで展開しています。さらに世界規模でイベントやレクリエーション事業等も手掛け、日本においても、『スポンジ・ボブ』や『ミュータント タートルズ』といったコンテンツを中心に、番組開発・販売、ライセンス事業、デジタルメディア事業など、さまざまなキッズ向けのエンターテインメント事業およびコンテンツ事業を展開しています。
企業プレスリリース詳細へ (2021/04/06-12:46)


More Nick: Gerardo Parra Inspires Yomiuri Giants x Baby Shark Collection in Japan!
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Twin My Heart PODCAST - Season 2 FLASHBACK and TEA SPILLED | AwesomenessTV

Twin My Heart PODCAST - Season 2 FLASHBACK and TEA SPILLED | AwesomenessTV

We're flashing back to the Twin My Heart podcast from Season 2! What memory is your fav?! And don't forget to get your TWIN MY HEART MERCH HERE - http://bit.ly/TMHmerch
→ WATCH the NEW Twin My Heart Season 3 Podcast! ← 

Answering your BIGGEST Assumptions about the show! | Twin My Heart The Podcast w/ The Merrell Twins - http://nickalive.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-truth-answering-your-assumptions.html

🎧Listen along to the Twin My Heart podcast on Spotify: https://at.nick.com/2OfgFmk​

→ about AwesomenessTV! ←

Welcome to AwesomenessTV, the destination for Gen Z reality TV shows with your favorite TikTok and digital influencers. Featuring Brent and Lexi Rivera, Nate Wyatt, The Merrell Twins, Noah Beck, Larray, Alex Warren and more, see them in ways you’ve never seen them before! Like in Twin My Heart, a dating show where the Merrell Twins help their closest friends find love. And AwesomenessTV’s Next Influencer, a reality competition show where up-and-coming TikTokers compete at the chance of becoming the next big ATV star. Also, our My Dream Quinceañera channel gives you a real look at planning the Quince of your dreams with rising LatinX influencers! Here you can feel free to express yourself, have fun and get real with us. And we’ll gossip with you daily on The Daily Report 😉. New shows everyday to have an awesome day!

SUBSCRIBE FOR NEW VIDEOS DAILY!: http://bit.ly/subscribe2AwesomenessTV

→ follow AwesomenessTV! ←

#TwinMyHeart​ #MerrellTwins

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Never Done Doing Nickelodeon | UK Version | Nickelodeon UK

Check out Nickelodeon UK's version of the "Never Done Doing Nickelodeon" promo from 1998!

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon UK News and Highlights!

Nickelodeon UK Starts to Premiere New Episodes of 'Danger Force'

Catch brand new episodes of Danger Force, all this week at 9:00am as part of Undercover Easter hosted by The Thundermans' Dr. Colosso, only on Nickelodeon UK & Ireland!

Monday 5th April 2021 - Mime Games: When Danger Force and Captain Man are called to Paris to protect France's national treasures, Bose is accidentally left alone to try and stop The Toddler from breaking into The Man's Nest.

Tuesday 6th April 2021 - Test Friends: Without them knowing, Captain Man puts Danger Force through a series of tests to see if he can trust them. Things get out of hand, and the tables turn on who can be trusted.

Wednesday 7th April 2021 - Lil' Dynomite: When Danger Force accidentally forgets about plans they have with Ray, he surprises them with a brand new member of the team to make them jealous. Special guest star Mitchell Berg (Side Hustle).

Thursday 8th April 2021 - Twin It to Win It: Captain Man makes twin superheroes, ShoutOut and AWOL, compete over who can catch more criminals using their own ways of crime-fighting.

Friday 9th April 2021 - Monsty: When Mika tries too hard to win Man's Nest Employee of The Month, she creates a monster that could ruin the telethon Danger Force is hosting.

Undercover Easter Promo

Nickelodeon UK Easter Bumpers

Originally published: Tuesday, April 06, 2021.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Easter on Nickelodeon UK and Danger Force News and Highlights!

Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for April 5, 2021 | Nickelodeon

Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for April 5, 2021 | Nickelodeon

Rugrats, provided to Creators Syndicate by Nickelodeon, based off the popular animated television series has been created for children and family's to laugh and enjoy together.

Follow these comics and their take on real episodes of the show and their own spin on hilarious adventures.

Read more Rugrats comic strips!: https://www.creators.com/features/rugrats

More Nick: First Look: Nickelodeon's All-New Animated 'Rugrats' Reunites Members of the Original Voice Cast to Reprise Roles!

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A Plethora of Smurfy News: 'The Smurfs' Global Rollout Schedule; Episode Info; Netflix Debut

As previously announced, the brand new CG-animated The Smurfs series is is set to premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. in October 2021, and is slated to roll-out on Nickelodeon channels and programming blocks shortly after, beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.

The current global roll out for The Smurfs is:

Q4 2021:

Europe: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (Italian speaking regions), Netherlands, Turkey, Turkmenistan, U.K., Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Asia and Asia Pacific: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji, India (1, 2, 3), Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Polynesia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

The Americas: Argentina (the series will also air on Telefe), Bolivia, Caribbean Basin, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela.

Middle East and Africa: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Congo Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Additionally, The Smurfs is slated to premiere in French-speaking regions of Switzerland in Q1 2021, on Nickelodeon in France in 04 2022, and on Nickelodeon channels in Austria and German-speaking regions of Switzerland in Q1 2023.

Currently, there are no pencilled in dates for Nickelodeon channels in Ireland (although it shares a feed with Nick UK), Iceland, Germany and Belgium.

In addition to Nickelodeon channels, The Smurfs will also air on ViacomCBS' free-to-air channels and blocks, including Channel 5's Milkshake! block and Argentina's Telefe from Q1 2021.

The new 3D The Smurfs series will also debut on Netflix services worldwide from Q2 2023.

The series will also stream on YouTube worldwide from Q2 2022, including:

• USA: Q2 2023
• UK, Argentina, Greece & Iceland: Q4 2022
• Germany: Q3 2022

Maximum 5 episodes per season at any one time, refresh rights every 30 day.

Episode Information

The Smurfs is set to premiere on Ouf Tivi in French-speaking Belgium on Sunday 18th April 2021, which has given us information about the first two episodes of the series!

A new nose for the Strong Smurf AKA Who Nose!

Convinced that Smurfette is not interested in him because he has too big a nose, Hefty Smurf asks Papa Smurf to do something. Papa Smurf refuses, telling him that his nose is perfect, but Hefty Smurf is ready to do anything to change it. Since nothing he tries works, he decides to resort to a spell that accidentally turns him into a gigantic nose that sucks everything in its path!

Robot-Nanny AKA Diaper Daddy

Since everyone is tired of changing Baby Smurf's diapers, Handy Smurf decides to invent a robot (Robot Nanny) to do it for them. Initially, Robot Nanny takes care of Baby Smurf even better than expected. He reads to it, plays with it and, of course, changes it. Unfortunately, he goes haywire, believes that Baby Smurf is in danger and runs away with him into the forest. The Smurfs must find a way to save Baby Smurf while avoiding he fireballs sent by Robot Nanny!

Based on the iconic property and in partnership with LAFIG Belgium and IMPS, The Smurfs (52 11-minute episodes across two seasons) is a brand-new original CG-animated TV series following Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy, Hefty, Clumsy and others, on all-new adventures, packed with humor, heart and high-stakes action. The series is set to premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. in October 2021, and is slated to roll-out on Nickelodeon channels and programming blocks shortly after.

The Smurfs is produced by Belgium's Peyo Productions and France's Dupuis Edition & Audiovisuel. It is being directed by William Renaud (CalimeroCasper’s Scare SchoolA Kind of Magic) and written by Peter Saisselin (Sonic BoomALVINNN!!! And the Chipmunks) and Amy Serafin (Sonic BoomAlvin!!! And the Chipmunks).

In addition to the content partnership, ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) will manage consumer products licensing for The Smurfs property across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia. VCP will seek new merchandising and promotional partners in select categories and territories for The Smurfs classic brand, in addition to a new product line for the new animated series The Smurfs, spanning categories including toys, stationery, apparel and accessories, home, consumer packaged goods and more, to launch at retail in 2022.

MIPTV is the annual spring market for the international television industry, now in its 58th year.  Digital MIPTV 2021 will take place exclusively online from 12-16 April, bringing together global distributors, producers, buyers and commissioners of drama, doc, kids, factual and formats programming for a curated week of personalised business meetings, exclusive market intelligence, conference sessions and global networking. MIPTV is traditionally the biggest global week in unscripted television and this year features MIPDoc and MIPFormats within the main market. MIPTV is organized by Reed Exhibitions. For more information, visit www.miptv.com.

Created in 1958 by Belgian cartoonist Peyo, pen name of Pierre Culliford (1928-1992), the Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs) evolved from secondary comic characters in Peyo's Johan and Peewit (French: Johan et Pirlouit) comic series and spinning off into their own series the following year, in which they became the small centerpieces of the massive franchise that skyrocketed to global fame with the 1981 launch of The Smurfs (Smurfs' Adventures) Saturday morning cartoon series, which, produced by Hanna-Barbera aired new episodes on NBC until 1989, running for more than 250 episodes and several specials over nine seasons. It would eventually manifest in live-action CG-animation hybrid splendor on the big screen. The 2011 feature film of the same name and its 2013 sequel, The Smurfs 2 were produced by Sony Pictures Animation and released by Columbia Pictures. Hank Azaria and Neil Patrick Harris starred in live-action roles, with voiceovers by Anton Yelchin, Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry (famously providing the voice of Smurfette), Jayma Mays, and George Lopez. A fully CG-animated standalone movie, The Smurfs: Lost Village was released in April 2017, featuring the voices of Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Ellie Kemper, Julia Roberts and Mandy Patinkin. The Smurfs have also featured in two shorts.

More Nick: Free Comic Book Day Announces 'The Smurfs Tales' FCBD 2021 Title!

H/T: Special thanks to AKA Royal Smurf for the news!

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Animation Magazine Honors Christina LaFerla, CG Supervisor on 'Big Nate', As One of 2021's Rising Stars of Animation

Animation Magazine has announced Christina LaFerla, who is currently serving as an CG Supervisor on Nickelodeon's upcoming Big Nate animated series, as one of 2021's Rising Stars of Animation!

Animation Magazine will profile each of their 16 2021 Rising Stars of Animation honorees in their May 2021 issue. The publication will also release a special hour-long video spotlight on these 16 scene-stealers this Friday, April 10th, which will be available to stream on https://www.animationmagazine.net.

The 16 women and men come from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. What they share is a passion for the art and craft of animation and storytelling, deep respect for the trailblazers before them and a burning desire to make a difference in their specific field of expertise.

Big Nate (middle)

"The class of 2021 is certainly one of the most impressive, diverse and creative groups of shining stars in recent memory," said Animation Magazine. "It’s so encouraging to see so many brilliant artists exploring new ways of telling their stories and expressing their true visions in different media today. We can’t wait to see what they’ll share with us in the months ahead."

A huge congratulations to Christina LaFerla and everyone honored in Animation Magazine's 2021 Rising Stars of Animation feature! You can read more about each honoree here.

Christina LaFerla
CG Supervisor, Big Nate [Nickelodeon]
Stats: 36, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

I knew I wanted to work in animation when: I have always been passionate about cartoons, games and technology. As a kid, I was either making movies with my friends or playing on the computer. Being good with computers allowed me to put my passions together and get into CG animation.

First job in animation: Thanks to a college alumni, I was able to intern at Nickelodeon Movies on the Paramount lot in 2006. I used every opportunity during my internship to work hard, network, learn and tour other studios to meet with recruiters. Before graduation, I was sending Nickelodeon recruiters monthly emails letting them know I was open to any opportunity that was available in order to get my foot in the door. My persistence paid off and I was hired on as a production assistant for one of Nick’s first CG TV shows, Tak and the Power of Juju, shortly after graduation.

What I love about working on Big Nate: Adapting a 2D comic into a CG world is a group effort. I love that I get to be a part of each step in the CG animation pipeline. We have an awesome crew and I’m able to work with writers, designers, board team and directors, modelers, look development, animators, lighting and compositing teams as well as our vendor studio teams in India. It’s great to see a script come to life in CG after months and months of teamwork.

Toughest part: Building a team and starting a brand new show from home during a pandemic brings new challenges. I have found that communication with my team as well as with our team in India has been essential in keeping our show moving forward.

Favorite toons growing up: I never missed an episode of The Simpsons after school. I loved Disney classics, like Sword in the Stone and The Lion King, but once Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. came out, I knew I wanted to work in CG.

Best advice: I was probably obnoxious, calling people, writing people, emailing companies I liked for any opportunity they’d give me. If I watched a cartoon I liked on TV, I’d go to their website and email them about an internship. I was annoying, but it got me to where I am today.

Future plans: I’d love to run my own CG animated show one day. Until then, I will continue to learn, grow and make a difference while at work.

Announced in February 2020, Nickelodeon is taking the misadventures of Big Nate from page to screen with an all-new animated TV series based on the best-selling children’s books written and drawn by acclaimed author and cartoonist Lincoln Peirce. The eponymous 26-episode series follows Nate, a precocious 11-year-old boy, and his best friends as they navigate sixth grade with humor and style. Big Nate is being produced by Nickelodeon in Burbank, Calif., and is slated to premiere on Nickelodeon in September 2021.

Big Nate is a book title I've wanted to translate into a series for a long time, and I am so happy this awesome, super-funny character is coming to Nickelodeon," said Ramsey Naito, Executive Vice President, Animation Production and Development, Nickelodeon. “All of creator Lincoln Peirce's slightly unruly, but entirely relatable characters share Nick’s same creative DNA, and we can't wait for them to join our amazing family!"

The TV series will feature brand-new original storylines centered on Nate and his mischievous shenanigans that usually result in disaster, detention or both. Whether trying to convince everyone that their school is haunted to get out of a test, or accidentally setting the pet iguana free in the school’s air ducts, Nate and his friends cause trouble everywhere--and must keep their cool before they get caught.

The Big Nate TV series is executive produced by Mitch Watson (All Hail King Julien) and John Cohen (The Angry Birds Movie), with Peirce serving as consultant throughout development and production. Bridget McMeel is co-producer.

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