The Kids’ Choice Awards official Social Squad is unlike any other celebrity crew. Each member hails from a different part of the world: Germany, Denmark, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S.
Below the cover of the kitchen’s slime stairs, 25 interns stand around a 10-foot rectangular blue canvas waiting for the 10-gallon buckets of slime to arrive. Phones are in hand to capture the fulfillment of our elementary school dreams. One by one interns, ready to accept the green goo, plant themselves in the middle of the blue tarp. I grab my fellow classmates’ hands. All at once, the green concoction globs over my hair and drips down my face past the wide corners of my smile. The intern to my left raises his head, letting the slime fill the rims of his glasses. We’ve done it, I thought to myself – would I really have graduated the Nickelodeon internship program if I didn’t get slimed?
As a studio built on fostering creator-driven content, backed by a culture built on more than 25 years of animation (with a little bit of slime for good measure), it’s no surprise that Nickelodeon Studio has been a staple in children’s entertainment — and the internship program is no exception.
This 10-week program provides students and recent graduates with the individual attention needed to thrive in a professional studio. Workshops and informational lunches are designed specifically to match the interests of that semester’s class. Students have the opportunity to share their time with executives, show creators, writers, artists, former interns (or “NICKterns”), and everyone in between to better understand the full scope of the studio’s pipeline and different lines of the business. Those interested in pursuing a career in writing or art can also take a multitude of current series tests – essentially a challenge to see if they can create art or scripts that match a show’s exacting style – that will be reviewed by in-house industry professionals.
This biracial princess knight slays gender norms. Photo courtesy of Nickelodeon.
Equal parts glam, girly-girl and brave warrior, Nella lives in a castle and gossips with her pet unicorn about fashion—yet she’s not afraid to get her pink gloves dirty when trouble arises.
Nella grabs her glittering sword and dons pastel armor, embarking on treacherous quests to save her kingdom.
Oh, and she’s biracial.
Since the show premiered earlier this month, Nella’s attracted legions of fans (besides Nick Jr.’s target audience of preschoolers).
Nella is a hero. Not just for the citizens of her fictional village, but for parents, journalists, television critics, African-American bloggers, college students, women’s studies professors, and child media advocacy groups.
According to People, “[Nella] stands for everything our world needs.”
For about four years now, American adults have been obsessed with a presidential election that happens… every four years. And though Nick gave you the chance to have your say in that race, they decided that they won’t make you wait another four years to stamp another ballot – it’s time to cast your votes for the 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards (KCA).
The awards show will hit your screens on Saturday, March 11, but voting is already going on across 28 categories, including some pretty cool new ones, including “Favorite Frenemies,” “Most Wanted Pet,” and “#Squad.” Start voting right now by clicking here. Want more KCA? There’s plenty here.
You can preview all the categories and nominees below, then vote. WWE superstar John Cena will host the event from Los Angeles. We’re not ready to announce who else will be there yet, but we can promise this much: there will be slime.
While you’re at it, check out Cena’s top five reasons why he’s pumped up to host the awards:
Nominees and categories for Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards (*new categories):
In a rousing ribbon-cutting attended by Viacom executives and the real-life embodiments of SpongeBob and Squidward, Nickelodeon opened a vast expansion of its Burbank studio earlier this month, planting a modern and well-appointed workspace for 700 employees at the heart of one of the world’s entertainment capitals.
“The opening of our new offices in Burbank is a significant moment for Nickelodeon,” said Nickelodeon Group President Cyma Zarghami. “We are ushering in a new era of creative excellence and increased collaboration for everyone who works here. Since we first planted our flag on the West Coast in the early ‘90s, Nickelodeon in Burbank has been a beacon to the creative community, and our new complex now signals our increased commitment to giving our creators and employees the very best environment and resources to be successful.”
(L-R) Actor Benjamin Flores Jr. from Game Shakers, voice of SpongeBob SquarePants Tom Kenny, Mayor of Burbank Jess Talamantes, President of Nickelodeon Cyma Zarghami, President and CEO of Viacom Inc. Robert Bakish, Vice Chair of the Board Shari Redstone, voice of Patrick Star Bill Fagerbakke, and actor Cree Cicchino from Game Shakers attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the Grand Opening of Nickelodeon’s State-of-the-Art Complex on January 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
The building distills the essence of Nick’s kid-centric brand into a grown-up workspace dotted with customizable work stations and ample collaborative spaces. Archival libraries warehouse the brand’s deep well of iconic work, while rotating galleries showcase the best of contemporary artists’ efforts from both inside and outside of the company. Threaded throughout the five-story space is an 88-seat screening room, voiceover studios, a café, and rooms dedicated to fitness, music and gaming.
Nick keeps rolling with its original movies this fall, first with the new Legends of the Hidden Templedropping on Thanksgiving weekend, and now with Albert, which will feature the voices of Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan, Sasheer Zamata and Cheri Oteri:
The adventurous anthropomorphic pine tree bounces into towering forests, stows away in the back of a highway-charging truck, and even hitches a ride on a helicopter as his rollicking band of fellow flora take on an unlikely gang of snowbound cactii.
They’re partying right now at The Loud House. And no wonder: Nick’s rollicking portrait of young Lincoln Loud growing up as the only boy in a house of 10 sisters is a smash hit. It’s the number one animated show on television, with an average of 2 million viewers per episode, and the net just renewed it for a third season. Read all about it by clicking through below:
Instead, it will serve as an animation and idea factory that will help launch all of these things and much more out into the wider world. It is Nick’s new Burbank animation studio, currently rising on a busy intersection between the Verdugo and Santa Monica Mountains in Southern California.
Viacom commissioned Southern California filmmaker and photographer Brian Hawkins to distill the project’s energy as it rose in the sun-dappled landscape. He’s headquartered nearby and was able to visit the site several times per month. The result was this stunning video:
I caught up with Hawkins to ask him a bit about how he executed the project and what he thought about Nick’s spectacular new building. The conversation below is edited for length and clarity.
Stuart Winchester: Really awesome video. What was your process for shooting and editing this?
They gave an assistance dog to a quadriplegic girl so she wouldn’t have to call a family member to pick up dropped or needed items around her. They connected 10-year-old Matthias with Aubrey, a similar companion, to ease him through the complex and ongoing battery of appointments necessary to deal with his rare genetic disorder. And they provided wheelchair-bound student Savannah with the nuzzling attention she needs to get through the daily obstacle of hour-long medical procedures.
And they do it all for free.
To bolster that incredible work, the organization is getting a canine companion of its own: the pups of Nickelodeon’s hit show Paw Patrol. The partnership will begin with a variety of events around the country this fall, along with this PSA, which will air across Nick Jr.’s digital properties: