Before The Simpsons, before Ren & Stimpy, and before Adult Swim, there was one place animation fans could go to experience outrageous, frequently hilarious adult-oriented cartoons — Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation. A program of animated short films, Spike & Mike’s launched back in the ’70s and provided a showcase for independent, experimental animation for decades. Now, Skybound is bringing Spike & Mike’s back for a new generation of filmmakers! Submissions are open to all today, November 4, 2023, through January 3, 2024. Here’s the official details, along with a suitably eye-popping announcement video…
In a historic move that promises to floor fans of classic animation and contemporary storytelling, Skybound Entertainment, the creator-led multi-platform entertainment company, has announced the revival of the iconic Spike & Mike’s animated film events. Beginning today, submissions are open for short films from creators across North America. 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.
The first window of submissions will be free and open for 60 days beginning November 4, 2023 and ending January 3, 2024. Creator inquiries or catalog submissions can be emailed to:
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.”
As part of the revival, Skybound Entertainment plans to:
- 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.
More About The Festival’s Revival
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. These guerilla style festivals became the theatrical launchpad for many of the animation industry’s most acclaimed figures, including the likes of 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.
“Spike & Mike has been a seminal platform for creative voices in animation,” said Marge Dean, Head of Studio at Skybound Entertainment. “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. 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.