Animation Scoop – Animated News, Reviews and Commentary

Lauren Faust ‘s “DC Superhero Girls” in Production For Cartoon Network in 2018

Production has begun on DC Super Hero Girls, an all-new animated action-comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation and based on characters from DC Entertainment. Featuring fresh character designs and storytelling from producer Lauren Faust (Super Best Friends Forever, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends), DC Super Hero Girls will be coming to Cartoon Network in 2018.

The world may know them as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl, but not-so-typical teenagers Diana, Kara and Barbara, alongside their Super Hero friends have much more to deal with than just protecting the citizens of Metropolis from some of the most sinister school-aged Super-Villains of the DC Universe. After all, being teens is tough enough, what with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life… but add super powers and a secret identity to the mix, and things can get a lot more complicated.

BEING IN BAMBI: A Chat With The Voices of Bambi and Thumper

Bambi, the classic 1942 Disney feature known and loved around the world, is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a new collection on digital HD debuting today (May 23rd) – and on blu-ray on June 6th. As is often the case with these new releases, there’s a slew of new bonus material to make it essential to Disney fans, including deleted scenes and a feature on artist Tyrus Wong. Two voice artists who worked on the film, Donny Dunagan and Peter Behn, have been doing interviews about what they remember of that time, and their personal perspectives on how Bambi has shaped the history of film.

Sony’s “Hotel Transylvania: The Series” premieres on Disney Channel June 25th

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and Sony Pictures Animation announced today the debut details of their new animated series Hotel Transylvania: The Series, based on the blockbuster film franchise of the same name. The 26 episode half-hour series, produced at the Nelvana studio in Toronto, focuses on the teenage years of Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, and her three closest friends Hank N Stein, Pedro and Wendy Blob. With Dracula away on “Official Vampire Business,” Mavis finally sees her chance to show her father what she can do. With the help of her friends, she decides to put her brilliant ideas of how to run the Hotel into motion, but enter Aunt Lydia, Dracula’s older and much meaner sister. While Mavis and friends are ready to let loose and have fun, Aunt Lydia pushes for even more order and tradition at the Hotel.

Hotel Transylvania: The Series premieres on Disney Channel on Sunday, June 25th at 8pm ET/PT with new episodes airing every night at 8pm ET/PT through Thursday, June 29th. The first episode will be available on the Disney Channel app, YouTube and VOD on Tuesday, June 20th. The series will air in its regular timeslot beginning Sunday, July 9th at 8:30pm ET/PT on Disney Channel.

INTERVIEW: “Captain Underpants” Director David Soren

The books have been wildly popular with kids (of all ages) worldwide since the first was published back in 1997. Now DreamWorks Animation is hoping Captain Underpants will be a perfect fit for the big screen. Director David Soren, a long-time fan of the series, joined me for this “brief” Q&A on Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie:

Jackson Murphy: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Captain Underpants books. They were huge when I was in elementary school, and they’re still so popular today. Did you have any connection to them before working on this movie?

David Soren: I did. It’s funny, 20 years ago, I happened to be in a book store. I had just moved to LA, and I stumbled across the first Captain Underpants book in the store. I picked it up and started leafing through it. I thought “this is really silly and looks fun”, and before I knew it I read about half the book right there in aisle and thought, “Man, I wish I came up with this idea myself. It’s so good.” Years later, I had kids of my own and read them to my son and my daughter. And when DreamWorks approached me to direct the movie, I was very familiar with the books and a huge fan.

ANIME REVIEW: “One Piece: Heart of Gold”

Although it aired as a stand-alone broadcast special a week before the opening of the theatrical feature One Piece Film: Gold (2016), the two-hour One Piece: Heart of Gold (2016) is essentially a lengthy introduction to the film. Both adventures were written by Tsuomu Kuriowa and take place shortly after the “Dress Rosa” story arc of the series.

Olga (voice by Sara Ragsdale), a bratty girl who may be 200 years old despite her appearance, escapes from her captors, who want her to lead them to the fabulous treasure of the Pure Gold. The Pure Gold is reported to be so fabulously valuable, it can buy everything in the world. Naturally, everyone wants it.

TMS Will Air English-Dubbed “Lupin The 3rd Part 4” on Adult Swim

TMS Entertainment USA has announced the latest installment of the Lupin 3rd series, Lupin The 3rd Part 4, will launch on Adult Swim on Saturday, June 17th. It will appear in the weekly TOONAMI programming block and be English dubbed.

Lupin The 3rd Part 4 (26 x 30-minute episodes) is the latest series with Lupin trying to outmaneuver MI-6 throughout Italy. The story that began in San Marino will now expand all over Italy as Lupin pursues love and freedom in this exciting new adventure. While Lupin deals with a motley crew of unique characters that come his way, an extraordinary genius that lived centuries ago steps out of history into his life.

Shout! and Funimation Plan Summer Release of “In This Corner Of The World”

Shout! Factory has tapped Funimation Films as its theatrical partner to jointly launch acclaimed animated feature In This Corner Of The World across U.S. cinemas on Friday, August 11th, 2017. Based on the Japanese award-winning manga by Fumiyo Kouno, the film is written and directed by Sunao Katabuchi.

Produced by GENCO and Japanese animation studio MAPPA, In This Corner Of The World is a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of WWII and captures the resilience and triumph of the human spirit. The film recently won the coveted Animation of the Year award at this year’s 40th Japan Academy Prize and has been selected to premiere in competition at the LA Film Festival in June.

OFFICIAL TRAILER #1: “The Emoji Movie”

I know everyone in the animation community is looking forward to The Emoji Movie – and here we get our first good glimpse of the film and its storyline, humor and animation. Directed by Anthony Leondis (Igor) and starring the voices of T.J. Miller, Anna Faris, James Corden, Patrick Stewart, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright, Rob Riggle, Jennifer Coolidge and Sofia Vergara, the film was produced by Sony Pictures Animation and will be released on July 28th, 2017 by Columbia Pictures.

TEASER TRAILER: Cartoon Saloon’s “The Breadwinner”

GKIDS, distributor of some of the most sophisticated animated features over the last eight years, has released the first teaser trailer for Cartoon Saloon’s new feature The Breadwinner from director Nora Twomey (co-director of The Secret of Kells). GKIDS CEO/Founder Eric Beckman and President David Jesteadt are executive producing The Breadwinner along with Angelina Jolie. The film is tentatively scheduled to open at the end of the year.

Based on the award-winning, best-selling young adult novel by Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner is about Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime, who cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family after her father is imprisoned. “A powerful and riveting story of self-empowerment and imagination in the face of oppression, The Breadwinner boasts the breathtaking hand-drawn animation that has made Cartoon Saloon one of the world’s most well-loved and respected animation studios.” Here’s our first look:

INTERVIEW: Gilbert Gottfried on “Aladdin”, “Animal Crackers” and “Life Animated”

Gilbert Gottfried is not only one of the most popular comedians working today, but he’s also an animation legend. His voice work in 1992’s “Aladdin” turned Iago the Parrot into one of the most iconic Disney characters of all-time. Gottfried has reprised that role for sequels, TV movies/series and video games. He’s also voiced characters in “The Fairly OddParents” and “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series’, the Aflac TV commercials and the upcoming animated feature “Animal Crackers”. And he has a pretty nifty podcast.

Jackson Murphy: This year marks the 25th anniversary of Disney’s “Aladdin”. Of course, you voiced Iago the Parrot. What are some of your memories of working on that film a quarter-century ago?

Gilbert Gottfried: Well, the funny thing about that film is, like, when people – I hear so many people say, “Oh, and Gilbert and Robin Williams were in that sound booth together. It was crazy!” And I did not run into Robin Williams ONCE during the making of that film. We all recorded our stuff privately. I mean, I’ve run into him a million times at comedy clubs – but never once during “Aladdin”.

Midwell


AWARDS WATCH 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24. 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.

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

The 40th Anniversay Screening of Richard Williams “Raggedy Ann & Andy” at Animation Block Party

Brooklyn’s Animation Block Party will be presenting a 40th year anniversary screening of Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure with a brand new 35mm restored print via Steve Stanchfeld, who will participate in a post-screening Q&A moderated by Jerry Beck. This event is scheduled for 4:30pm on Saturday July 29th at BAMcinématek in Brooklyn.

Twenty years before Toy Story, and a decade before Roger Rabbit, Williams corralled some of the greatest animators alive – including Grim Natwick, Emery Hawkins, Art Babbit, Irv Spence, Corny Cole, Tissa David, Michael Sporn, Eric Goldberg, Hal Ambro, and Williams himself – to name but a few – to create this toys-come-to-life/vaudeville-musical/adventure. Long out of release, over looked and under-appreciated, not on DVD or blu-ray, a rare film print will be screened on the big screen at BAM. In addition to Beck & Stanchfield, the post screening panel will include members of the film’s production team, animators and perhaps a voice actor or two (panelists will be announced in advance closer to the screening date).

Gkids Set To Release “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children”

GKIDS announced today that it has acquired the North American distribution rights for the animated feature Birdboy: The Forgotten Children. The film, known internationally by its original Spanish title Psiconautas, los niños olvidados, is directed by Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero, and is based on Vázquez’s graphic novel and award-winning short film, Birdboy. GKIDS will release the film theatrically in Fall 2017, in both its original Spanish and a new English language version.

Date Set For Disney XD’s “Billy Dilley’s Super-Duper Subterranean Summer”

Billy Dilley’s Super-Duper Subterranean Summer, an animated comedy series from Emmy Award-winning director Aaron Springer (Disney’s “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts), premieres with multiple airings Saturday June 3rd (7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m. EDT), on Disney XD. Produced by Disney Television Animation, “Billy Dilley’s Super-Duper Subterranean Summer” stars Springer as Billy, Tom Kenny (“SpongeBob SquarePants”) as Zeke and YouTube star Catherine Wayne (“Animalist”) as Marsha

New episodes will continue to roll out daily through Thursday, June 15. The series follows the adventures of an eccentric science-obsessed seventh-grader, Billy Dilley, and his lab partners Zeke and Marsha, whose summer break takes an unexpected turn when they get stuck in a bizarre, magical world beneath the earth’s surface.