I promise that my next blog post will be the review of Gordon the Big Engine (if anyone asks when that will be I swear to God I will not be responsible for what I say or do), but this is such important news so I cannot really wait to do this.
For those who don't know, HiT Entertainment have announced that Canadian animation studios Arc Productions will be taking over from Nitrogen Studios to animate Thomas and Friends, starting from Series 17 (read this for further information). Some, as usual, have criticised HiT for the change, as most had become fond of Nitrogen's animation, despite their disappointingly short tenure. Me? I'm open minded, but I also have VERY mixed emotions.
I'm very angry, first and foremost. Because of what's been read of Greg Tiernan on SIF, you can CLEARLY tell that he is passionate for the sseries, and an extremely kind-hearted, generous man. He was the perfect person to lead Thomas to the success it deserves. But he was never really given that chance, due to the poor writing that the series has acquired. He, and his team, are the people I feel sorry for the most. 80 episodes (100 if you count the CGI elements in Series 12) and 4 specials and they're all just tossed aside without so much as a "thank you". One theory is that it was stated that Nitrogen would be doing 80 episodes and 4 specials when the CGI switch was announced in 2007/08. This is true, but even so, the fact there may not have been even an attempt to re-sign Nitrogen is absolutely disgusting to me.
I'm also concerned. Unlike Greg, who's told of his passion for the TV series and the brand, we have no idea who the new director is - apart from his name - and what he has in store for the series. We also have no idea whether he knows anything about railways or not, or whether he'll be willing to do the research that is, in my opinion, vital for a show like Thomas and Friends. For all we know, he could be the Sharon Miller of directors (and God help us if that's the case...)
I'm also quite confused. It's been reported that Nitrogen may send their render files to Arc. What's the poinr in that? It would be just as easy to discuss a new contract with Nitrogen. If you're going to switch animation companies, we should see what they're able to do themselves rather than use what's already been made.
Overall though, I am quite neutral. I'll miss Nitrogen's animation, and I wish them all the success in the future, but I do think that this new studio should be given a chance. When Nitrogen were first announced to create the series taking over the model animation at Shepperton Studios, there was a huge uproar. But in 4 short years, they've managed to win over the majority of the fanbase and are now sad to see them go! Who's to say the same thing won't happen in 2016? We'll have to find what they do. But good luck Arc, you're going to need it...