Animation Scoop – Animated News, Reviews and Commentary

Comic Con Sneak: First-Look Season 3 clip of “Star vs. The Forces of Evil”

Star Butterfly and Marco are back in a third season Star vs. The Forces of Evil which has just begun airing on Disney XD.

Today at Comic-Con, series exec producer/creator Daron Nefcy debut an exclusive clip from season three, in which Star and Tom (the hot-headed three-eyed demon from the Underworld who is Star’s ex-boyfriend) dance at the Silver Bell Ball. Here’s the clip:

TRAILER: “Animal Crackers”

Animal Crackers, the US-Spanish co-production, co-directed by Scott Christian Sava and Tony Bancroft, that made its smash debut at Annecy – has just released its US trailer via Blue Dream Studios. It’s about a family who use a magical box of Animal Crackers to save a run-down circus from being taken over by their evil uncle. It’s supposed to make its US debut in September.

John Krasinski, Ian McKellen, Emily Blunt, Sylvester Stallone, Danny DeVito, Wallace Shawn, Gilbert Gottfried, Harvey Fierstein are among the voice actors involved. Take a look:

Comic Con Sneak: Nickelodeon Unveils First Footage from “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling”

Nickelodeon treated fans to an exclusive sneak peek of the upcoming TV special Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, based on the classic ‘90s hit series Rocko’s Modern Life, during a panel today at San Diego Comic-Con 2017. Moderated by Marc Snetiker (Entertainment Weekly), the panel reunited the original series’ voice actors Carlos Alazraqui (Rocko), Tom Kenny (Heffer), Doug Lawrence (Filbert) and Charlie Adler (Mr. Big Head and Mrs. Big Head), and featured series creator Joe Murray and Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling director Cosmo Segurson.

The panelists discussed the beloved classic series, what to expect from the upcoming TV special and revealed exclusive new art and a behind-the-scenes look at the special. Here’s our first look at the special:

INTERVIEW: Director Tony Leondis on “The Emoji Movie”

In July 2015, Sony Pictures Animation won a three studio bidding war for rights to make an emoji-based feature film. And just two years later The Emoji Movie is here. The fast-track project was put in the capable hands of director Tony Leondis (Igor), who also has story and screenplay credits on the film.

Jackson Murphy: There are thousands of emojis out there. How did you narrow down all of the emojis that exist into the characters you use for the film?

Tony Leondis: You know, it was really a hard choice because there’s so many emojis in the world, as you said, so… we had to pick our favorite 250. So we have 250 emojis in the movie, which is a huge cast for an animated movie. That’s a lot of characters to build. But we knew that if we wanted it to feel authentic, we needed all those emojis.

The story really dictated which emojis we would use to tell the main story. It all started there. We started with Gene, who’s played by the brilliant T.J. Miller, and we kind of wrote the part for him. It’s an emoji who has every expression, and he can’t help but show it! And that’s just so T.J. And it started from there.

Good Deed Entertainment sets Release Dates for “Loving Vincent”; September in NY and LA

Good Deed Entertainment has finalized their Fall theatrical distribution plans for the award-winning animated feature Loving Vincent. The film will open in New York City on Friday, September 22nd, in Los Angeles on Friday, September 29th, and will expand to top regional markets throughout October and November.

“I was absolutely enthralled with Loving Vincent. It was like watching van Gogh’s extraordinary paintings come to life! GDE can’t wait to share this amazing cinematic experience with audiences as they discover some of the mysteries surrounding Vincent’s life and death,” says GDE CEO, Scott Donley.

ANIME EXPO: Dragon Ball Goes Super at AX 2017

Anime Expo (AX) has become North America’s largest anime convention, with 115,726 attendees jamming the Los Angeles Convention Center and J.W. Marriott this year. For the first time, AX live-streamed thirty hours of programming to over 360,000 views from 67 countries. A perfect venue for a studio to promote their work.

Toei Animation, Inc. displayed a huge banner advertising Dragon Ball Super, the latest Dragon Ball series from creator Akira Toriyama. Funimation, the U.S. licensee responsible for dubbing the show into English, erected an outdoor display featuring Shenron, the wish-granting Eternal Dragon. In the Exhibit Hall, Toei and Scrap Entertainment, Inc. sponsored an interactive Dragon Ball Super Puzzle Hunt based on the Future Trunks story arc.

NYC Event July 25th: “The Amazing and Incredible History and Future of Brooklyn Animation”

2017 is a momentous year for Brooklyn animation. Archivist David Kay is hosting an event next week to celebrate the 150th birthday of Winsor McCay and the 100th anniversary of Max Fleischer’s rotoscope patent).

The event is titled The Amazing and Incredible History and Future of Brooklyn Animation and it hopes to enlighten, inspire and appreciate the home-grown roots and development of American animation. The panel will include animation historian John Canemaker, Film Collector Tommy Stathes and Animator/Creative Director Jennifer Oxley (Peg + Cat).

D23: Mickey Shorts Ride Planned for Disney’s Magic Kingdom

I love any news relating to do with those new Mickey Mouse shorts. I’ll post even sketchy information about further plans for these shorts and this crew. Disney announced today at D23 that their are plans for Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida for a ride using the designs from the current Paul Rudish shorts series.

Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announced these plans this afternoon. “Disney remains at the cutting edge of deeply immersive, creative storytelling that draws guests into new worlds, and it is a legacy that lives on in every new Disney Parks experience. The first-ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.”

D23: “Big Hero 6: The Series” Opening Credits

Disney XD has ordered an early second season of the highly anticipated Big Hero 6 The Series before the first season premieres this fall, with Emmy Award-winners Mark McCorkle, Bob Schooley and Nick Filippi (the team behind the global hit Disney Channel series Kim Possible) as executive producers.

The announcement was made today by Marc Buhaj, senior vice president, Programming and general manager, Disney XD. Buhaj said, “Mark, Bob and Nick have delivered a dynamic adventure series that follows the Big Hero 6 superhero team, led by audience favorites Hiro and Baymax. We are honored to have the opportunity to further expand the elaborate world and engaging characters of ‘Big Hero 6 The Series’ with this early second season order.” Disney also released the opening title sequence:

CROWDFUNDING: “Ren & Stimpy” Documentary

It’s been twenty-five years since Ren & Stimpy caused mayhem on Nickelodeon. And unless you’re a hardcore fan, you might still wonder if Ren is the demented chihuahua or the half-witted cat. (Stimpy, for the record, is the blue-nosed cat; Ren the mosquito-looking dog.) The series ‘black comedy, toilet humor, and sexual innuendo’ led to altercations with Standards and Practices and earned ardent fans worldwide. Those fans now have a chance to be an instrumental part of this cult favorite – through a Kickstarter launched in support of the documentary Happy Happy, Joy Joy – The Ren & Stimpy Story.

Production industry veterans Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood, the duo behind the film, argue that the creativity that fueled the animated series is akin to the intrepid genius and controversial merit of Banksy and Warhol. And like any great art, it had a deep emotional impact on a range of viewers from a self-described “Hillbilly Bartender from Myrtle Beach” to celebrities like Jack Black, Billy Gibbons, and Iliza Shlesinger.




Checklist of Animated Features Slated for U.S. Release for 2017

1. YU-GI-OH! DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS (1/27/16) Screen Vision Media. D: Satoshi Kuwabara.

2. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2/10/17) Warner Bros. D: Chris McCay.

3. ROCK DOG (2/26/17) Summit. D: Ash Brannon.

4. THE BOSS BABY (3/31/17) Dreamworks-20th Century Fox. D: Tom McGrath.

5. SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/7/17) Sony. D: Kelly Asbury.


7. SPARK: A SPACE TAIL (4/14/17) Open Road. D: Aaron Woodley

8. ANIMAL CRACKERS (4/21/17) D: Tony Bancroft, Scott Christian Sava.

9. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS (6/2/17) Dreamworks. D: David Soren.

10. CARS 3 (6/16/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Brian Fee

11. DESPICABLE ME 3 (6/30/17) Universal (Illumination). D: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon.

12. THE GIRL WITH NO HANDS (7/21/17) GKids. D: Sébastien Laudenbach

13. THE EMOJI MOVIE (7/28/17) Sony. D: Tony Leondis.

14. BLAZING SAMURAI (8/4/17) Open Road. D: Chris Bailey, Mark Koetsier.

15. IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD (8/11/17) Shout! Factory/Funimation. D: Sunao Katabuch.

16. THE NUT JOB 2 (8/18/17) D: Cal Brunker.

17. LEAP! (8/30/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Eric Summer, Éric Warin.

18. ANIMAL CRACKERS (9/21/17) Blue Dream Studios. D: Scott Christian Sava, Tony Bancroft.

19. THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE (9/22/17) Warner Bros. D: Charlie Bean.

20. LOVING VINCENT (09/22/17) Good Deed Entertainment. D: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman.

21. MY LITTLE PONY THE MOVIE (10/6/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Jayson Thiessen.

22. BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN Gkids. (Release date TBA). D: Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero.

23. THE STAR (11/10/17) Columbia Pictures. D: Timothy Reckart

24. COCO (11/22/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina.

25. FERDINAND (12/15/17) 20th Century-Fox (Blue Sky). D: Carlos Saldanha.

26. THE BREADWINNER Gkids. (Release date TBA). D: Nora Twomey.

NOTES: 2017 Limited-release theatricals (movies going Direct-to-Video (DVD, VOD but getting a theatrical billboard) began this year with ONE PIECE FILM: GOLD, directed by Hiroaki Miyamoto, on January 10th via Funimation. Studio Ghibli’s 1993 TV movie OCEAN WAVES, directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, got a U.S. theatrical release via Gkids on January 13th. Similarly, the 1993 anime feature SAILOR MOON R THE MOVIE, directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, was also a limited U.S. release by Eleven Arts on the same date, January 13th (in Los Angeles at the Theater in the Ace Hotel). Denmark’s 2010 feature THE TROUBLE WITH TERKEL was given a token theatrical run in several U.S. cities on February 3rd, via Indican Pictures. BUNYAN AND BABE, directed by Tony Bancroft and Jim Rygiel, was given a limited NY/LA theatrical release by Cinedigm on February 3rd. Fathom Events, ELEVEN ARTS, and Aniplex held a one night theatrical for SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE: ORDINAL SCALE, directed by Tomohiko Itō, on March 9th. Viva Pictures opened Spanish family film OZZY, directed by Alberto Rodríguez and Nacho La Casa, on April 21st. GKids and Fathom Events did a one-day 350 theatre nationwide release of MUNE: GUARDIAN OF THE MOON, Directed by Benoît Philippon and Alexandre Heboyan, on Saturday, August 12th. Warner Bros. and Fathom Events presented a one-night nationwide cinema screening of BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN on August 14th.

Click for more information on 2016 animated feature releases – and for further information on all U.S. Animated Feature releases since 1937 Click Here.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Smurfs’ Remix Video by KT Tunstall

To celebrate the home video release of Smurfs: The Lost Village – now available on all formats (Blu-ray, DVD and 4K) – here’s a fun Smurfs remix video by singer KT Tunstall.

Shaley Scott was the performer of the original version of the song in the film – which was written by Christopher Lennertz, who scored Sausage Party, Bad Moms, Hop, the short I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat, among others. KT Tunstall is the renown Scottish singer-songwriter, musician and Grammy nominee.

ANIME EXPO: When Dancing Becomes a Battle “Welcome to the Ballroom”

Poor Tatara Fujita. He’s a junior high kid with no idea what he wants to do with his life. He’s smitten by Shizuku Hanaoka, a smart and attractive girl in his class but he’s too shy to approach her. He has no job and he’s flat broke.

What’s the solution to his problem?

Ballroom dancing.

Ballroom dancing? Well, yes. Even Tatara is surprised, at first. But he learns its value after he’s saved by Kaname Sengoku, a dance instructor who repels a gang of bullies by sheer machismo. Sengoku introduces him to dancing as a professional sport, where competitors earn prestige through hard work and determination. Tatara discovers that dancing is his passion, and thus begins Welcome to the Ballroom.

Tatara’s struggles were first serialized in manga form as Ballroom e Youkozo, written and drawn by Tomo Takeuchi. Kodansha published the series in Monthly Shōnen Magazine beginning December 2011. The manga grabbed the attention of Production I.G., the studio responsible for such anime classics as Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor, and more recently, Attack on Titan.

ANIME EXPO: 50 Years of Thievery – A Celebration of Lupin the 3rd with the U.S. Premiere of “Italian Game”

A master thief. A hit man. A Samurai warrior. A femme fatale. Add a Japanese detective as tenacious as Wile E. Coyote. Mix them all together with clever plots, over-the-top action, slapstick humor and snazzy theme music, and you have the ingredients for Lupin the 3rd, a formula that has generated a 14-volume manga series, five animated TV series, 26 TV specials, and eight theatrical films (two live-action), including The Castle of Cagliostro, the first feature directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

It seems appropriate that the American premiere of Lupin the 3rd: Italian Game happened on July the 3rd. TMS Entertainment USA arranged the screening at Anime Expo in Los Angeles at the J.W. Marriott’s Diamond Ballroom. Hundreds of fans lined up for the occasion. You can get an idea of the fun from this trailer: