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Nick Sets Cartoon Fest

An animation celebration is coming to five major cities to mark the third annual Nicktoons Network Animation Festival.

Nickelodeon will support the festival with its first mobile tour, beginning Thursday, July 13 through July 16 in New York and New Jersey locations, then moving each weekend thereafter to a different city: Boston, Detroit, Houston and finally the Los Angeles area.

At the in-market events, fans can meet the animators from their favorite Nicktoon Network series and have their pictures taken in front of a green screen. The fans are then digitally placed among their favorite characters.

Other stations will give children a chance to add sound effects to live video, or visit the art studio, where they will be taught skills, such as designing a storyboard using actual boards from Kappa Mikey. A video wall will demonstrate different types of animation, and kids can use technology to play clips at different speeds so they can see, frame by frame, how animation actually works.

Young fans will also be able to compete in thumb wrestling, disguised as their favorite Thumb Wrestling Federation characters. Nickelodeon will record each match so fans can download their personalized video. That download qualifies them for a chance at a sweepstakes prize: a role as a guest “thumb” on the network.

The consumer tour will end at Nicktoons Studios in Burbank the weekend of Aug. 13. That Saturday, the network will add a screening of this year’s animation festival entries, created by viewers, to the interactive attractions. The following day, winners of this year’s student, diversity and producer’s choice awards will be announced at an evening event.

The judges for this year’s animation festival are comedians Shawn and Marlon Wayans; Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane; animator Bill Plympton; and last year’s Producer’s Choice and Student Award winner, JG Quintel. Entrants are rated on story, animation, design, entertainment and fun factors.

Viewers can watch the animated shorts at from Aug. 1 through Aug. 20, and can vote for their favorite submissions.

The $10,000 grand prize winner will be revealed on air Aug. 31.