Yesterday (13/03/2017), Cartoon Network hosted three different events at SXSW (South By Southwest) 2017 in Austin, Texas, so here’s a summary of everything Cartoon Network related at the media festival.
Cartoon Network: Creativity and Coding: Inspiring Future Innovators Panel
Cartoon Network’s first event at SXSW 2017 was a creativity and coding technology panel. The panel discussed the synergy of creativity and technology, especially the Scratch programming language coding platform, which combines drawings with simple programming commands which can be used to create animated stories. Minecraft was another example of combining creativity and technology that was mentioned at the panel. Minecraft is a sandbox/open-world adventure game where the player can practically build anything they can think of, the game also features command blocks and logic circuitry, these features in the game can be used for educational purposes; by chaining commands and building circuits, players can learn the fundamentals of programming and electronics. Last December, Cartoon Network USA assembled their very own STEAM (science, technology engineering, arts and mathematics) team, furthering their commitment to technology and the arts in the classroom.
The Cartoon Network: Creativity and Coding: Inspiring Future Innovators Panel was attended by Christina Miller, President of Cartoon Network and General Manager of Cartoon Network USA, Saxs Persson (From Mojang, creators of Minecraft), Mimi Ito (Professor in Residence and MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning from University of California Irvine, also a member of Cartoon Network’s STEAM team) and Mitchel Resnick (LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and Head of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, also a member of Cartoon Network’s STEAM team).
SXSW 2017 was an another opportunity for people to “Powerpuff” themselves, at the event, people were able to create their own Powerpuff Girl-like avatar and complete a personality test to find out what their “Powfactor” is – a personality trait which makes them unique.
Cartoon Network’s screening event was the main and final event of their day at SXSW 2017. At the event, attendees got to enjoy never-before-seen sneak peeks on a large outdoor cinema screen. At the Cartoon Network New New New New Screening, there were sneak peeks of The Amazing World of Gumball, We Bare Bears, Teen Titans Go!, the upcoming Ben 10 reboot series which will premiere in the U.S. in April, and a special sneak peek of Cartoon Network’s upcoming show OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes. Greg Cipes (voice actor of Teen Titans Go!’s Beast Boy) appeared at the event as a special guest. To promote the big screening event, large balloons of Teen Titans Go! characters (Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg) were inflated to grab SXSW visitors’ attention.
Next Monday (13/03/2017), Cartoon Network USA will be hosting three events at SXSW (South By Southwest) media event in Austin, Texas. SXSW is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences. At the SXSW festival, Cartoon Network will be hosting a special screening filled with exclusive sneak peeks, dance parties, trivia, prize giveaways and a very special surprise! Below is a timetable of all three Cartoon Network events running at the festival.
Cartoon Network: Creativity and Coding: Inspiring Future Innovators Panel
Venue: JW Marriott Austin Hotel, Salon E Date and Time: Monday 13th March, 11am to 12pm Badge Required
With Christina Miller, President of Cartoon Network and General Manager of Cartoon Network USA. Saxs Persson (From Mojang, creators of Minecraft), Mimi Ito (Professor in Residence and MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning from University of California Irvine, also a member of Cartoon Network’s STEAM team) and Mitchel Resnick (LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and Head of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, also a member of Cartoon Network’s STEAM team)
This panel will look at coding as a means to unlock creativity and innovative thinking that can be applied to all aspects of life. Speakers will address how – by engaging users at the intersection of creativity and technology – platforms like Scratch and Minecraft, and leading youth brands like Cartoon Network – are tapping into this generation’s inherent desire to shape their world – both digital and physical – in unique and powerful ways, with lasting benefit to them as individuals and the digital landscape overall.
Venue: Long Center For Performing Arts Date and Time: Monday 13th March, 6pm to 8pm Concessions, 8pm Screening Badge Not Required (Preliminary information suggested that a badge was required, this has now been changed)
Join Cartoon Network for NEW, NEW, NEW, NEW content from The Amazing World of Gumball, We Bare Bears, Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go! and a special sneak peek of Cartoon Network’s upcoming show OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes.
Cartoon Network Studios Greenlights OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes Animated Series
Today (09/03/2017), Cartoon Network Studios has announced that Ian Jones-Quartey’s animated creation OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes will be having a full animated series and will premiere on Cartoon Network USA this summer. The brand new animated show is set in Lakewood Plaza, referred to as a shopping mall for heroes, K.O. and his friends try to impress each other and “level-up” like video-game characters so they can overcome the evil Lord Boxman’s obstacles and foil the Lord’s plans to destroy the plaza.
The new animated series originated from an animated pilot named “Lakewood Plaza Turbo” which was developed at Cartoon Network Studios and was released in 2013, at the time Ian Jones-Quartey was working on Steven Universe as supervising director while season one of Steven Universe was still in development, prior to Steven Universe, he worked on Secret Mountain Fort Awesome in 2010. Later, Cartoon Network released a series of digital shorts also under the title of “OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes” from February 2016, the digital shorts were uploaded to Cartoon Network USA’s YouTube channel as well as the Cartoon Network app.
A mobile beat ’em up game based on the animated shorts – OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo, was launched on mobile devices on 4th February 2016. Also last summer, Cartoon Network hosted an “Animation Jam” event which was a gathering of university undergraduates from across the United States, at the animation jam, students had the opportunity to produce a 15-second animation short based on OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes. Prior to the “Animation Jam”, there was also a “Game Jam” event which happened last February, where independent game developers got involved and made their own games based on the OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes IP.
The show’s digital origins is a similar story on how another Cartoon Network original – Mighty Magiswords was developed, a series of digital animated shorts were released on the Cartoon Network Anything and YouTube, using this marketing method, Cartoon Network can gauge the popularity of a show that could potentially be greenlit, if a show idea is well received, there’s a high possibility that Cartoon Network would develop the show as a full animated series.
Next Monday (13/03/2017), Cartoon Network USA will be hosting a special screening during the SXSW 2017 (South by Southwest) media event in Austin, Texas. The screening will feature a sneak-peek preview of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes and never before seen episodes of The Amazing World of Gumball, We Bare Bears, Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go!
Cartoon Network Games will be collaborating with independent game studio, Capybara Games to produce an RPG action-brawler game based on OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, the game will be released this autumn and will be previewed at the PAX East gaming convention in Boston, Massachusetts tomorrow (10/03/2017).
OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes will also be premiering on Cartoon Network’s international feeds, Cartoon Network UK has already confirmed that they will be airing the new show in a press release (see bottom section of the blog post), Cartoon Network UK will premiere the show sometime after the U.S. premiere. No exact U.S. and international broadcast dates have been released yet.
From The Turner UK Press Release: Cartoon Network Powers Up a Connected World of Original Heroes Across TV and Gaming with OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes: New Series Gets Greenlight Along with an Integrated Console Game
Cartoon Network powers up a connected world of original heroes across the TV and gaming landscape with the greenlight of animated series OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes followed by an integrated console game jointly developed with indie video game studio Capybara Games. Created by Ian Jones-Quartey, and produced by Cartoon Network Studios, the action-packed show follows the heroic feats of K.O., an endlessly optimistic kid attempting to level up to be the best he can be in a dynamic universe of friends and challenging foes. The console and PC game is an action brawler with RPG elements and is expected to arrive later this fall and will be previewed in the U.S. at PAX East on Friday, March 10.
To help build this highly-developed world, Cartoon Network opened the door to the gaming and creative communities to produce custom multiplatform content. At a Game Jam last year, independent game developers created their own original games based on the characters. Following the Game Jam, college undergraduates were invited to craft 15-second animation shorts using the IP at an Animation Jam. A standalone original mobile game, titled OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo, also launched last year based on Jones-Quartey’s short, of the same name, from Cartoon Network’s Emmy-winning artist program.
“This combined launch marks the culmination of a unique multi-media development process,” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. “The result is an entirely connected world which provides deeper satisfaction as fans get further into the property from every access point.”
Added Jones-Quartey: “For me, video games and animation have a lot in common and having fun is the main goal. OK K.O.! is a video game-inspired world expressed through the language of animation, but mostly an adventurous playground with heart-warming heroes who battle against robots.”
OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes is set in Lakewood Plaza, a mall for heroes, where K.O. and his cool crew of friends are constantly trying to impress each other in their efforts to level up and overcome the obstacles that evil foe Lord Boxman sends their way on his quest to destroy the plaza. A sneak peek of the new series will be presented in the U.S. at SXSW on Monday, March 13. OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes is slated to premiere this summer in the U.S. and will also roll out across the UK and all global markets.
Jones-Quartey first joined the Cartoon Network family in 2010 as a storyboard artist on Secret Mountain Fort Awesome. Most recently, he served as the co-executive producer on the Emmy-nominated series Steven Universe. He is an alum of the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
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