Animation Scoop – Animated News, Reviews and Commentary

NEW TRAILER: Pixar’s “Cars 3”

Disney-Pixar has released its latest “official trailer” for Cars 3 – its 4th – the sure-to-be hit coming out June 16th. Lightning McQueen is back to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world. Helping him to do that is director Brian Fee and a voice cast including Owen Wilson, Armie Hammer, Cheech Marin, Bonnie Hunt – and yeah, Larry the Cable Guy as “Mater”.

INTERVIEW: “Peabody & Sherman” Designer Kevin Dart

The Daytime Emmy Awards are this Sunday (4/30), but animator Kevin Dart is already a winner, having been honored for his work in the Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation category for The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show. The popular Netflix/DreamWorks series is also up for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program.

Jackson Murphy: How does it feel to be an Emmy winner?

Kevin Dart: It feels good. And one of the background painters, Eastwood Wong won for the show as well.

JM: That’s fantastic. Have you guys celebrated your Emmy wins?

KD: I haven’t really had the chance. I got some champagne in the mail, but I haven’t had the chance to drink it yet.

JM: Well, maybe you’ll pop it open after Sunday night. Is there someone you have always wanted to meet in the Daytime TV community?

KD: Oh, man. I have no idea. Maybe Ellen [DeGeneres]. (laughs)

JM: Tell me about the episode you won for, “The Wrath of Hughes”.

KD: That’s where Peabody and Sherman get sent to a dystopian future run by Mrs. Hughes, who is their…notary on the show. And she’s in a future taking over the world – and tried to make everything really orderly. We just wanted it to be kind of like “Blade Runner”-y and kind of “Fifth Element” future.

TEASER POSTER: Wes Anderson’s “Isle Of Dogs”

Fox Searchlight has announced the release date and teaser poster for the upcoming stop motion film Isle Of Dogs, directed by Wes Anderson. Isle Of Dogs hits theaters everywhere on April 20th, 2018. Here’s the intriguing poster:

ANIME REVIEW: “Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team #1”

Although there’s plenty of mecha battles, the 13-part OAV Mobil Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (1996) focuses more on the character relationships than other entries in this long-running franchise. Set in 0079 UC (Universal Century), within the main Gundam continuity, 08th MS Team OAV brings Shiro Amada (Steve Cannon) to Earth to lead a Mobile Suit unit in the war with the space-based Zeon regime, accompanied by his nervous friend Michel Ninorich (Tony Ricci).

En route to Earth, Shiro witnesses a minor space battle. Determined to save a stranded pilot, he takes out the transport ship’s clunky mecha. As he maneuvers through a maze of space debris, he also saves a Zeon officer: the aristocratic Aina Sakhalin (Emily Brown), establishing a bond that will transcend politics.

ASIFA-Hollywood and the Animation Educators Forum Announce the 2017 Student Scholarship Program

ASIFA-Hollywood and the Animation Educators Forum (AEF) are proud to announce the 2017 Student Scholarship Program. Applications are currently being accepted for academic year 2017-2018 and are available online at: through June 20. Scholarship recipients will be announced after July 15th.

Proposals will be accepted for undergraduate students entering their sophomore year and above, and for graduate students working toward the completion of a thesis. Awards range from $2500 to $5000 and may be applied to tuition, books and supplies, animation equipment including computer hardware or software, formal academic research and senior or graduate thesis production. Additionally, all scholarship award winners will receive a one-year Associate Membership to ASIFA-Hollywood.

FIRST LOOK TRAILER: Dreamworks/Netflix “Spirit Riding Free”

The Oscar-nominated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) introduced the world to a resilient mustang named Spirit, and now it’s inspired a brand new story and setting for Spirit Riding Free, a Netflix original series from DreamWorks Animation Television, debuting exclusively there on May 5th.

Spirit Riding Free follows the heartfelt journey of a gutsy 12-year-old girl named Lucky who befriends a wild mustang whom she aptly names Spirit. With her two best friends (and their horses) by her side, Lucky and her friends push their own limits, “harness the power of friendship and discover what it truly means to be free”. The trailer dropped today – and here it is:

CROWDFUNDING FOCUS: David Hand’s “Animaland” Restoration

David Hale Hand, son of famed Disney director David Dodd Hand (Bambi) has begun a Kickstarter project to fully restore the ten animated Musical Paintbox shorts, and to update and enhance 9 previously restored Animaland cartoons. They were created in 1948 – 1949 by his father, at that time Managing Director of Gaumont British Animation in the UK and are considered historical treasures in the United Kingdom. David Hand Productions has the copyrights through 2027.

David Dodd Hand was an Animator and Director, and best known as Supervising Director of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Bambi (1942). He was also Studio Production Supervisor while he was at the Disney Studios from 1930 – 1944. At Disney Studios, he answered only to Walt Disney. Leaving Disney, he was creator and Managing Director of Gaumont British Animation (GBA), a J. Arthur Rank Studio, where he created the 19 films about which are the focus of this project.

Animator Mark Kausler To Present “I Love Cartoons” Screenings At The Animation Guild

No one (and I mean NO ONE) knows classic cartoons better than Mark Kausler. A veteran animator for Disney, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, Bakshi, Spumco and others, Kausler has also been collecting animation for decades on 16mm and now plans to open his vault to screen selected examples from his archives on a regular basis at the Animation Guild in Burbank.

“The idea behind the “I Love Cartoons” program is to showcase the terrific artistry and passion found in the best hand-drawn and painted cartoon films,” says Kausler. “And when I say “films”, I mean it! The program will be exhibited on 16mm prints!”




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

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

12. THE GIRL WITH NO HANDS (2017 TBA) GKids. D: Sébastien Laudenbach

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

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

15. LEAP! (9/1/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Eric Summer, Éric Warin.

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

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

18. THE EMOJI MOVIE (10/10/17) Sony. D: Tony Leondis.

19. IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD Shout! Factory. (Release date TBA). D: Sunao Katabuch.

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

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

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

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.

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

USC’s School of Cinematic Arts presents ‘First Frame 2017’ Next Friday

USC’s School of Cinematic Arts presents First Frame 2017, the annual showcase featuring the latest achievements in animation from students and alumni in the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts (Hench-DADA), it was announced by Hench-DADA Chair, Tom Sito.

The showcase will feature original student work spanning all forms of animation including experimental and character, hand-drawn, stop motion, digital 2D and 3D, and virtual reality. A jury composed of full-time animation faculty selected the line-up of projects.

“Once Upon A Line” by Alicja Jasina

ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Educators Forum Announces Winners of First Faculty Grants

The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Educators Forum (AEF) has awarded its first annual Faculty Grants to Owen Klatte (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Dave Mauriello (Drexel University). The competition for the Grants, designed to provide support for individuals or groups with reasonable expenditures associated with research, scholarly activity or creative projects in the field of animation, were open to both full- and part-time teachers at accredited post-secondary institutions around the world.

Applicants for the inaugural awards came from Asia, North America and Europe, and included educators from China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Australia, France, Canada and the United States. Their proposals covered a variety of original animated projects, scholarly efforts and conference travel requests.

New “Ghost in the Shell” Anime Annouced

Kodansha Ltd. (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo with CEO/President Yoshinobu Noma) and Production I.G, Inc. (Musashino-shi, Tokyo with CEO/President Mitsuhisa Ishikawa) have announced the production of a new anime feature of Ghost in the Shell

The new animation will be co-directed by Kenji Kamiyama (director of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series) and Shinji Aramaki (director of Apple Seed and Apple Seed Alfa)
Release date is to be announced.

What Lessons Have We Learned from Ghost in the Shell Flopping?

Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell film is officially a flop after pulling in $19 million on its opening weekend and on course to lose $60 million overall. Live-action adaptations of anime and manga series’ are always tough, but with this latest disappointment, what, if any, lessons have we learned?

There’s no shortage of lessons, that’s for sure. To say that the original Ghost in the Shell manga and anime were groundbreaking is an understatement. They fueled the sci-fi cyberpunk boom and quickly developed mass appeal outside of Japan. The property is one of the most popular and recognizable animated ones to emerge from Japan and Paramount bet big on it kickstarting a new live-action franchise. There’s a host of lessons to be learned and they don’t all involve adapting an animated film to live-action.

MONDO Acquires English-Language Rights to French Animated Series “LastMan”

MONDO has acquired exclusive worldwide English-language television rights to the action/sci-fi animated series LastMan, which will debut on MONDO’s SVOD channel on VRV, adding to its growing slate of action and drama animated series geared toward audiences 18 to 34.

The traditionally animated LastMan, which recently debuted on France4 in France, is produced by feature-film producer Didier Creste. Based on an acclaimed, best-selling comic series, LastMan tells the story of Richard Aldana, a talented young boxer and mixed martial arts fighter who, out of loyalty, becomes the guardian of Siri, the daughter of his murdered best friend. He is drawn into a supernatural web of danger when the murderous religious sect The Order of the Lion targets the young girl as the key to their “other world.”