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Skybound Entertainment Relaunches Iconic 'Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation'

Submissions now open for short films from creators in the U.S., Canada and U.K.; festival details still to be worked out, but awards will include project stipends, acquisitions, and development opportunities. 

Classic animation fans can rejoice! The famed Spike & Mike’s animated shorts curation, screening, and production engine has been restored, revving up for a new set of competitive events as well as digital content distribution that celebrates and expands the brands’ gonzo roots.

Skybound Entertainment, a creator-led multi-platform entertainment company, has just announced the revival of Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation with a call for submissions for short films from creators across North America and the U.K. In addition, animators, universities, and organizations from around the globe with a library of shorts can also submit original works for the chance to be featured in the newly minted Skybound Presents: Spike & Mike’s library of animation.

This initial submission window is free and runs through January 3, 2024. Submit your work here.

Details of the festival, including partnerships, are still being finalized but festival awards in the works include project stipends, acquisitions, and development opportunities. 

“Bringing this iconic brand under the Skybound umbrella is an enormous opportunity to bring Spike & Mike’s rebel origins to the masses and expand upon what we’re already doing in adult animation,” said Rick Jacobs, Managing Partner of Linear Content, Skybound Entertainment. “Co-founder Mike Gribble once stated that their mission was ‘to find the most original, funniest, and weirdest animation in the world and play it.’ Digitizing the festivals opens the doors for – and to – millions of talented of creators across the globe who will shepherd a new generation of animation.” 

Current Skybound plans include:

  • Relaunch Animation Festivals: Revive the Spike & Mike animation events, inviting creators worldwide to engage in their distinctive, unconventional style
  • Distribute Content Digitally: Make handpicked animated shorts available on online platforms, enhancing global accessibility to both recent and legacy library content while honoring the festivals' gonzo roots
  • Forge New Partnerships: Seek collaborations with contemporary animation creators across a variety of mediums and platforms to spotlight today's talent
  • Reintroduce The Library: Assess opportunities to either rejuvenate iconic tales from the past or craft fresh narratives influenced by its library

Since its inception in the late 1970s, Spike & Mike's curated festivals, including the renowned “Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation,” have showcased cutting-edge, daring, and often hilarious animated shorts. The word “raunchy” also comes to mind. These guerilla style festivals became the theatrical launchpad for many of the animation industry's most acclaimed figures, including Pete Doctor (CCO, Pixar; Monsters, Inc., Up), Mike Judge (Beavis & Butt-Head), and Nick Park (Wallace and Gromit). Put simply, “Spike & Mike came from nowhere with nothing and created a market where none existed,” said animation historian, Jerry Beck. 

According to Marge Dean, Head of Studio at Skybound, “Spike & Mike has been a seminal platform for creative voices in animation. 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.” 

“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,” said Craig “Spike” Decker, Co-Founder of Spike & Mike. “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.” 

Source: Skybound Entertainment

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.