May 18, 2024

Skybound Entertainment, the company behind animated TV series “Invincible,” has acquired the historic Spike & Mike’s animation events, with plans for a revival. Marge Dean, head of studio at Skybound Entertainment, announced the news at Toronto’s Animation Industry Conference (TAAFI) on Saturday.

Spike & Mike began in the 1970s as a curator of animated shorts. “Spike & Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation,” which showcased out-of-the-box animated shorts, is known today for launching the careers of industry professionals such as Pete Docter (“Inside Out”), Matt Stone and Trey Parker (“South Park”) and John Lasseter (“Toy Story”).

Skybound said it will seek to honor the treasured brand by relaunching the animation events, making animated shorts available digitally, highlighting current talent in the animation industry through collaborations and reintroducing the Spike & Mike library. Details of the festival are still in the works, but planned awards initiatives include development opportunities, project stipends and acquisitions.

Festival categories include the original “Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation,” “Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted” (for NSFW/adult animated content) and “Spike & Mike’s Arty Farty” (for ambitious content).

“I’m incredibly appreciative of Skybound’s respect and understanding of what the Spike & Mike brand has accomplished, and what we can continue to offer. I’m excited to see what they’re able to do for existing Spike & Mike work and look forward to developing a new chapter with them,” said Craig “Spike” Decker, co-founder of Spike & Mike. 

“Spike & Mike has been a seminal platform for creative voices in animation,” said Dean. “There would be no place for shows like Invincible to exist without their efforts to develop a safe space for creators to express both the uplifting and introspective or ‘sick and twisted’ in an incredibly innovative, complex, and boundless art form.” 

In his review of the Spike & Mike documentary “Animation Outlaws,” Variety‘s Peter Debruge described Spike & Mike as the “razor blades” to Disney’s “candied apples” at the time.

“Spike and Mike delivered the counterprogramming, encouraging indie toon creators to develop their more subversive side, and rewarding them with national exposure — and in-person appearances — as part of a well-publicized theatrical program,” wrote Debruge.

For animators interested in being featured as part of “Skybound Presents: Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation,” submissions for animated short films are now open online through (U.S., Canada and U.K. only). Submissions for “Skybound Presents: Spike & Mike’s Library of Animation” are open to global participants.

More information about submission guidelines can be found at skybound.com/spikeandmikefest.

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