Animation Scoop – Animated News, Reviews and Commentary

Nickelodeon Dates New SpongeBob Stop-Mo Special “The Legend Of Boo-kini Bottom”

Nickelodeon will treat viewers to a spooky stop-motion special with the premiere of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom, on Friday, Oct. 13th, at 7p.m. (ET/PT). The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom tells the story of the Flying Dutchman (Brian Doyle-Murray) coming to Bikini Bottom to make sure everyone in town is scared–especially SpongeBob, who seems to be unflappable in his belief that spooky things are actually funny.

Inspired by the visual style of classic Rankin-Bass stop-motion animation TV specials, Bikini Bottom is decked out for Halloween and features Sandy’s treedome as a mad scientist’s lab, including a giant remotely operated Acorn Monster; Mr. Krabs’ restaurant as “The Horrors of the Chum Bucket,” displaying scenes of Plankton torturing food; and Plankton’s restaurant as “The Horrors of the Krusty Krab,” telling the story of Mr. Krabs turning customers into Krabby Patties and more. Check out the trailer:

TRAILER: Wes Anderson’s “Isle Of Dogs”

The official trailer for Wes Anderson’s second animated feature, Isle of Dogs, dropped today – and its looks like another winner. and what a killer voice cast: Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Greta Gerwig, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Courtney B. Vance, Bob Balaban and…Yoko Ono!

Opens in theaters via Fox on March 23rd, 2018. Here’s the trailer:

TRAILER: NFB’s “Window Horses”

Another contender appears in time for this year’s awards season: Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, a 2016 Canadian animated feature film written and directed by Ann Marie Fleming – based on her graphic novel. Funding for the film was raised through an Indiegogo campaign. The film was co-produced by Fleming’s Stickgirl Productions, Sandra Oh and the National Film Board of Canada. It opens for an Oscar-qualifying engagement in Los Angeles on September 29th. Here’s the trailer:

Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation Release Date Announcements

Okay, here it is: DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods 2 will be released by Universal Pictures on Friday, September 18th, 2020.

And… DreamWorks Animation’s Spooky Jack will be released by Universal Pictures on Friday, September 17th, 2021.

About THE CROODS 2

In September 2020, DreamWorks Animation invites you on an all-new adventure back in time with The Croods 2. Returning stars Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark Duke welcome Leslie Mann to the film’s cast as The Croods face their biggest threat since leaving the cave: another family.

TRAILER: Pixar’s Latest Trailer for “Coco”

Director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson teamed up for 2010’s Oscar winning feature Toy Story 3, which is the third highest-grossing animated feature in worldwide box office. Now they return this fall with Coco.

When aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) ends up in the Land of the Dead in Disney-Pixar’s Coco his family takes him to the Department of Family Reunions where a busy clerk (voice of Gabriel Iglesias) informs him that he’s cursed. To return to the Land of the Living, Miguel will need a magical marigold petal and the blessing of a family member – but, according to the clerk, the family member can include any condition she likes – even forbidding music forever. Directed by Lee Unkrich, co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist Monsters University) and produced by Darla K. Anderson, Coco opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. Check out the new trailer that dropped today:

John Lasseter to Introduce “Castle Of Cagliostro” at Fathom Events Screenings September 14th & 19th

TMS Entertainment USA and ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio announced the first ever theatrical release of Lupin The Third: The Castle Of Cagliostro, that will be screened nationwide this week on September 14th & 19th through Fathom Events. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting FathomEvents.com, or at participating theater box offices. The film’s long-time fan, John Lasseter, CCO of Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Toon Studios, will be featured in a promo before the screenings to introduce the film. Here is a preview:

Heavens to Murgatroyd: Laff-A-Lympics turns 40

September has always heralded the somber end of summer and the inevitable start of the school year. For several generations however, the sad farewell to vacation days and re-emergence of three ring binders came with only one glimmer of light: the beginning of a new Season of Saturday Morning TV.

Forty years ago this September, Saturday Morning Cartoons were in the midst of their own “Golden Age” and one show was about to emerge that would represent the pinnacle of this era: Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics.

From Hanna-Barbara, the Studio synonymous with Saturday morning, Laff-A-Lympics, which debuted on September 10, 1977 on ABC was something that had never been done before: a two-hour (!) show that featured some of Hanna-Barbera’s most famous cartoon stars.

Anime Review: “Hyouka: Part 1”

Hotaro Oreki (voice by Adam Gibbs) might hold the record for teen-age angst. He talks about living a life that “conserves energy” by following the motto, “If I don’t have to do something, I won’t; but if I have to, I’ll do it quickly.” His cheerful best friend Takeo Katsuta (Aaron Dismuke) comments that Oreki creates his very own little black cloud over Kamiyama High. A self-styled “human database” (and chatterbox), Katsuta regards himself as just a normal guy with no outstanding qualities or attributes. He accepts that belief with good humor.

Oreki is terrified he may also be ordinary, but it’s clear to everyone else he’s anything but. Although he has no compelling interest in the subject, his older sister Tomoe bullies him into joining the Classic Literature Club, which always needs members. Although he already belongs to several other groups, Katsuta can’t resist tagging along. The president of the Literature Club is pretty Eru Chitanda (Madeline Morris), who fixates on seemingly unsolvable questions—which Oreki has to solve using a combination of observation and deduction. His, “Yeah, whatever” attitude galls the fourth member of the club, Mayaka Inbara (Jill Harris), who berates him constantly.

HOKEY SMOKES! A June Foray Celebration on September 19th at the Academy

And Now, Here’s Something We Hope You’ll Really Like… On September 19th, 2017, a group of June Foray’s friends will gather to celebrate her life, her career and her all-around wonderfulness. It will be at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater which is housed in the headquarters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This awesome place is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, CA. There will be cartoons. There will be speeches. There will be rare clips of June speaking and performing.

Would you like to attend? If so, do not dawdle. Send an e-mail right this minute to friendsofjuneforay-at-gmail.com. Let me give you that address one more time: It’s friendsofjuneforay@gmail.com.

Amazon Alexa Welcomes Nickelodeon’s “The Spongebob Challenge”

Kids can interact with their favorite characters from Bikini Bottom like never before as Nickelodeon unveils The SpongeBob Challenge, part of the inaugural kid skills available now on the Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices. In The SpongeBob Challenge memory game, kids will be transported into the center of the SpongeBob SquarePants series itself, where they will become a new Krusty Krab restaurant employee tasked with taking increasingly complicated food orders and then relaying those orders to the staff, including SpongeBob, Squidward and Mr. Krabs.

Parents and their children can enable the skill by saying, “Alexa, start The SpongeBob Challenge” or using the Alexa app.

Midwell


AWARDS WATCH 2017

awards-watch-2017

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.

6. MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA (4/14/17) GKids. D: Dash Shaw

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.

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

ANIME REVIEW: “And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online?”

Hideki Nishimura (Dallas Reid), the hero of the adventure-comedy And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online? (2016), is a typically nerdy student at Maegasaki High. He’s not a math wizard or an unshowered programming genius. He’s just an insecure, slightly out of it guy with few real friends.

Nishimura finds the companionship he seeks in the cyberworld of the massive multiplayer online role-playing game Legendary Age (LA). As Rusian, a warrior of some skill (though by no means a star), he enjoys hanging out with the other members of the Alley Cats Guild: Master Apricot (Mallorie Rodak), Schwein (Jad Saxton) and Ako (Trina Nishimura). Apricot and Schwein are redoubtable fighters. Ako is a healer, but a rather klutzy one. Nevertheless, they’re all pals, and Nishimura assumes they’re guys from somewhere in Japan in real life.

Ginni Mack, Disney Ink & Paint Veteran and “Tinkerbell” Model Passes Away

Ginni Mack, a veteran Disney studio ink and paint artist – and the original model for Tinker Bell – has passed away. Disney historian and Mack family friend, Mindy Johnson, has reported that Mack passed on Wednesday August 23rd at age 90.

Mack made numerous contributions to the studio – and the classic films they produced. She was married to background painter Brice Mack (who passed away in 2008). In addition to color styling, Ginni Mack was instrumental to the development of Disney’s digital ink and paint system in the 1980s.

Ginni Mack with Walt Disney in 1950

90th Anniversary of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Celebrated in Definitive New Book

Before there was a mouse, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit . But just how important this character is to the legacy of The Walt Disney Company has never been fully understood—until now. From David A. Bossert, an acclaimed 32-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, and award-winning artist, filmmaker, and author, comes an exclusive look into the real—and surprising—history behind this notable character in: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons (Disney Editions; On sale August 29, 2017).

A story sketch page from the lost cartoon THE BANKER’S DAUGHTER, which was released on November 28, 1927; ©Universal/NBC