Animation Scoop – Animated News, Reviews and Commentary

OPEN LETTER: Animation Insiders Demand a Change from Sexism and Harassment in the Animation Industry

A letter was sent today by 217 women and non-gender conforming folk to over a dozen studios demanding change and an end to sexual harassment and sexism in the animation industry. Included on the list of recipients are executives at Disney, Sony Pictures Animation, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks Animation, and Warner Bros. Signatures are from people working across the industry, including producers, directors, and show creators. The problem is widespread, although as in live action, has been kept as secrets and discussed only between trusted colleagues and friends.

See the letter below:

ANIME REVIEW: “Studio Ghibli Collection” on blu-ray

Hayao Miyazaki’s brilliant animated features have already been released on disc several times, but this new series from GKids includes additional extras about the making of the films. Each two-disc set comes with a small booklet of statements by Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and/or producer/director Isao Takahata. The sets of Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind include video features from Japanese television, opening day events, etc.

Some of the material in the booklets is reprinted from the Ghibli “Art of” volumes, but some of it has not been presented before. When they began to prepare for the initial Blu-ray release of Nausicaä, Suzuki recalls that Miyazaki denounced the pumped-up colors in many Blu-rays. “He asserted that masterpieces from the past had been turned into tasteless films with gaudy colors. That wasn’t what the creators had intended. This is sacrilege toward the people who made the films. As years have gone by, it is natural for films to look old.” For the transfer of Nausicaä, dirt and scratches were removed, but coloring mistakes remained. Many animators wish American films had such a powerful advocate.

Disney’s “Big Hero 6” Series Sets Debut With Primetime Movie

Disney XD’s animated Big Hero 6 The Series is set to launch Monday Bovember 20th (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), with a one-hour primetime television movie, Baymax Returns, simultaneously on Disney XD and Disney Channel, and available on the DisneyNOW app and Disney XD VOD. Immediately following the TV movie, two special full-length preview episodes of “Big Hero 6 The Series” will debut exclusively on the DisneyNOW app and Disney XD VOD. “Pocket Baymax,” a customizable, interactive virtual assistant which brings Baymax to life, launches on DisneyNOW that same day.

VIP Tickets On Sale Now For Annie Awards

The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced today that VIP tickets for the 45th Annual Annie Awards are now on sale at The 45th Annual Annie Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The price of a VIP ticket admits you to the pre- and post- receptions, beginning at 5 p.m., and to the Annies ceremony at 7 p.m. All events will be held at Royce Hall.

Pricing for VIP tickets is as follows: ASIFA-Hollywood Members through Dec. 31, 2017 – $175; Non-Members, $200. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, ASIFA-Hollywood Members – $200; Non-Members, $250.

General Admission tickets will be sold this year for $35 and can be purchased only through the UCLA Central Ticket Office (CTO) – (310) 825.2101, as well as through or

REVIEW: 19th Annual “Animation Show Of Shows”

On Tuesday, October 10th, I attended the ASIFA-Hollywood screening of Ron Diamond’s 19th annual Animation Show of Shows. The program presented sixteen films this year; fourteen new ones and two “retrospectives”. The sixteen were, as usual, widely varied in subjects and animation techniques, so each viewer will have different favorites. I enjoyed it all.

You Can Do It, directed by Quentin Baillieux (France, 2’54”). A music video directed by French animator Baillieux for young songwriter Charles X, showing a fast-paced stylized blue-hued horse race presented as an urban car race through crowded city streets. Produced in a mixture of 2D and 3D animation at Brunch animation studio in Paris. Shown at several 2017 international animation festivals; winner of 1st prize as Best Music Video at Supertoon International Animation Festival, Šibenik, Croatia, July 23-28, 2017.

Classic Cartoonists Illustrate New Popeye Energy Drink

Popeye the Sailor has been associated with food and beverage products since the 1930’s. His latest endeavor is an energy drink. The artwork on the cans are by veteran Thimble Theatre cartoonists, Doc Winner, Bela Zaboly and Bud Sagendorf. I spoke with the C.E.O. of Popeye Energy Drink, Popeye-fan Jeremy Todd.

Fred Grandinetti: What is Popeye Energy?

Jeremy Todd: Popeye Energy is a healthy alternative energy drink. The character Popeye is nearly 90 years young and has a huge following in the food and beverage industry. With a proprietary blend of 70% NON-GMO juices and B-Vitamins you get an energy drink like no other on the market. There is nothing artificial in Popeye Energy and there never will be.

FG: Why did you choose to use Popeye?

JT: Popeye was chosen as the character to use since embodies health and wellness. He’s also, Strong to the Finish!

“Looney Tunes” Get Animated in SoHo

Last weekend, retail chain BoxLunch teamed-up with Warner Bros. to present the “Get Animated Invasion”, a pop-up store in SoHo in New York City that brought classic cartoons to life.

I had the chance to visit “Get Animated” and had a ball immersing myself in the worlds of the Looney Tunes, Flintstones, Jetsons and more. Kids and adults thoroughly enjoyed posing with Scooby Doo in a life-size, cardboard cut-out Mystery Machine van, and joining Bugs Bunny (and giant carrots) in the “Rabbit Season” woods. But everyone also had to watch out for the Acme anvil, looming over visitors to the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote desert scene.

Giant murals of Tom & Jerry and The Jetsons hung from the ceiling. A gallery was devoted to artistic Marvin the Martian Funko Dorbz space clones, shipped in from California where they were first on display at San Diego Comic Con this Summer. Visitors had the chance to watch full length episodes of their favorite classic WB cartoons on both large monitors and iPads mounted on the walls of the exhibit. For those with a sweet tooth, Manhattan’s Milk and Cream Cereal Bar provided Fruity, Cocoa and Cinnamon Pebbles ice cream.

Nick Sets “Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie” for Nov. 24th Debut

Nickelodeon fans are getting a Thanksgiving treat this year, as the highly anticipated, brand-new Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie bows Friday, Nov. 24th, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Featuring a storyline picking up where the original TV series ended in 2004, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie follows the kids on the field trip of a lifetime, where Arnold and his friends embark on a quest to achieve his dream of finding his missing parents. Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie will premiere as a simulcast on Nickelodeon, TeenNick and Nicktoons.

Co-written and executive produced by the TV series’ original creator Craig Bartlett, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie features original voice cast members Francesca Marie Smith (The Prince of Egypt) as Helga and Anndi McAfee (Tom and Jerry: The Movie) as Phoebe, alongside dynamic new voice talent Mason Vale Cotton (Mad Men) as Arnold and Benjamin “Lil’ P-Nut” Flores, Jr. (Game Shakers) as Gerald. Take a look at the trailer released today:

George Pal and Puppetoons this week on TCM

Producer-Director Arnold Leibovit guest hosts on Turner Classic Movies with Ben Mankiewicz next Wednesday and Thursday Oct. 11th and Oct. 12th, 2017 introducing his films The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal and The Puppetoon Movie, both produced and directed by Leibovit, plus 8 George Pal features for this Special 2 Day Tribute. Pal was the Academy Award winning Sci-Fi Fantasy pioneer of such classics as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, When Worlds Collide, Houdini, Tom Thumb, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, Destination Moon and many others.

Among the legends of Hollywood, George Pal takes his place as a true visionary, an innovator and a showman who profoundly shaped the art of motion pictures. A peer and friend of Walt Disney, Pal pioneered stop motion animation and went on to virtually invent the modern science fiction and fantasy film genre. Pal’s extraordinary genius molded a dazzling array of films which earned 8 Academy Awards and left a cinematic legacy that served as formative inspiration for the movies of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Gene Roddenberry and many more.

George Pal

Dreamworks Animation Appoints Abhijay Prakash as Chief Operating Officer

DreamWorks Feature Animation today announced that Focus Features COO and Universal Pictures veteran Abhijay Prakash has been named Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he will be responsible for the studio’s strategic planning and primary business operations, including finance, business development, technology and administrative functions. The appointment was made today by DreamWorks Animation Group President, Chris deFaria.

In addition to his other responsibilities as COO, Prakash will also serve as a vital bridge between DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures. The first DreamWorks feature released by Universal Pictures will be on March 1, 2019 with How to Train Your Dragon 3, the much anticipated culmination of the critically acclaimed global box office success. There are currently five other movies in production at DreamWorks. The appointment will be effective in the coming weeks, with Prakash providing transition support to Focus Features until the end of the year and awards season.




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: NUTTY BY NATURE (8/11/17) D: Cal Brunker.

17. LEAP! (8/25/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Eric Summer, Éric Warin.

18. NAPPING PRINCESS (9/8/17) GKids. D: Kenji Kamiyama.

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

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

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

22. WINDOW HORSES (09/29/17) National Film Board of Canada. D: Ann Marie Fleming.

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

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

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

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

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

28. 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. Lionsgate theatrically released DEEP, directed by Julio Soto Gurpide, on August 25th. Viva Pictures released the Mexican made TOP CAT BEGINS, directed by Andrés Couturier, on September 29th. Fathom Events released the anime feature NO GAME NO LIFE ZERO, directed by Ishizuka Atsuko, for nationwide theatre screenings on October 5th and 8th. Fathom Events also released POKEMON THE MOVIE: I CHOOSE YOU, directed by Kunihiko Yuyamait, on November 5th.

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

Fathon Events to Screen “Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!” Nov. 5th and 6th

The prelude story of Ash and Pikachu’s iconic friendship topped the box office charts in its opening weekend where the Pokémon franchise first began – in Japan last summer. Now, The Pokémon Company International and Fathom Events are bringing the new animated feature film Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! to US movie theaters on Sunday, November 5th, at 12:55 P.M., and Monday, November 6th, at 7 P.M. (all local times). More information on theatre locations and tickets, click here. Check out the trailer:

Exclusive Clip: “The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular”

Take a look at this exclusive clip and images from the 22-minute Mickey Mouse Halloween special – that premieres this Sunday October 8th at 8:00pm on Disney Channel.

In The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular, Mickey is challenged by his nephews to tell a scary story on Halloween night. The extended episode pays homage to tales such as Frankenstein and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. And its funny as all HELL! Take a look:

The Academy’s 2017 “Careers In Film Summit” Animation Panel

The Academy will present its 3rd annual Careers in Film Summit on Saturday, October 14th, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The day-long event will provide high school and college students the opportunity to learn about careers in the motion picture industry, as well as hear from Academy members, Oscar-winning and nominated filmmakers, and other industry professionals about the skills, education and hard work required to achieve success. The summit includes six panel discussions that also will be live-streamed on

The final panel of the day – starting at 4:20pm – presents five of the leading animation artists in the field today, who will offer students firsthand knowledge of working in the industry and identify essential skills for their respective careers. Sessions also will incorporate film clips and Q & As with students.