Animation Scoop – Page 2 – Animated News, Reviews and Commentary

ANIME TRAILER: “Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side Of Dimensions”

It’s official! The first animated feature to be released theatrically in 2017, in the US, will be Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side Of Dimensions. Screen Vision Media will give this a two-week release on January 27th.

Supposedly a decade in the making, the film features new designs and an all-new story from the original creator of the 20-year old manga/card-gaming phenomenon, Kazuki Takahashi. This is the fourth Yu-Gi-Oh feature film, following two separate TV series. Playdates, theaters and ticket info can be found here.

Richard Williams Discusses Career With John Canemaker At MoMA

On Saturday, September 24th, animation historian John Canemaker sat down with animator Richard Williams to discuss the Museum of Modern Art’s new release of his classic film, The Thief and the Cobbler: A Moment in Time. An animated masterpiece that was started in 1964, worked on for decades, it was never really finished and had to be re-jiggered into a film in 1992. The Thief and the Cobbler was finally restored and preserved by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Film Academy Archive in 2016. In a vast ocean of potential artistic masters, “Richard Williams is now himself a tasty lobster…” NYU Professor Canemaker declared, in a classically original and complicated metaphor.


During the conversation, the 83-year-old Richard Williams grew livelier and started to relate all sorts of different stories from his long life and career.  When Richard Williams was just 15 years old, he saved up enough money to take a bus from his hometown of Toronto, to California, a long five-day trip. Three times he went on tour of the Disney Studios, where he tried to ditch the guides and talk to the animators. Eventually he succeeded and was kicked out of the lot! Tall tales are sure to grow around such a master of animation… He was kicked out of Disney three times, a hundred times!

FIRST LOOK TRAILER: The Weinstein Company’s “Leap!”

The Weinstein Company is releasing the French-Candian co-production, Leap! on March 3rd – and here is the first trailer. The film stars the voice of starring Elle Fanning as an orphan girl dreaming of becoming a ballerina, making her way to Paris, where she passes for someone else and accedes to the position of pupil at the Grand Opera house.

Directed by Eric Summer and Éric Warin (the latter Eric an animator on The Triplets of Belleville) and produced in Montreal Canada, the film was released in France (under its original title, Ballerina) earlier this month. Here’s out first peek:

Tyrus Wong 1910-2016

Tyrus Wong, a Hollywood production artist and designer, most notable for his delicate work that inspired Walt Disney’s Bambi (1942), has passed away at age 106. A Disney inspirational sketch artist from 1938 through 41 – and later a career film production illustrator for Warner Bros. from 1942 through 1968 – Wong’s work establishing the feel of Bambi was essential to its success as a work of art.

Hired by the Disney studio at first as an inbetweener on Mickey Mouse shorts, Wong became aware of the Bambi production and soon submitted his own landscape paintings as an audition for a job in that production. Walt immediately gave the 28-year-old Wong an opportunity to color key the whole film – make paintings that set the mood of the entire production.


Charles Solomon’s Animation Year End Review 2016

Although he wrote them in 1859, Charles Dickens might have been thinking of animation in 2016 when he penned the celebrated lines, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

Once again, animated films accounted for a disporportionate share of the domestic box office. And once again, animated films failed to get the respect they deserve from the greater film community–although more and more studios seem eager to cash in on its popularity. Disney dominated the box office, with Zootopia, Finding Dory and Moana; The Jungle Book suggests that boundary between animation and live action has become increasingly hard to define.


Charles Solomon Reviews “Sing”

As it’s the 2nd talking koala movie, the 2nd juke box musical and the 11th talking animal movie of year, Illumination Entertainment’s Sing! suffers from a certain lack of originality.

Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), an upbeat, if less than honest koala, runs a crumbling theater that he’d love to restore to its former glory. But the series of flops he’s staged have reduced him to a point where even his llama pal Eddie (John C. Riley) won’t give him any more of his parents’ money. (Although he does have a very rich aunt…) Buster decides to put on a singing competition in the “America’s Got Talent”/”American Idol”/”The Voice”/”X Factor,” etc. mode in a last ditch effort to revive his fortunes. He offers a huge cash prize that he doesn’t have to attract applicants.


The Jerry Beck Winter Tour 2016

I don’t know about you – but I’m celebrating the holidays with two local cartoon screenings and two animated radio broadcasts and I’m inviting everyone – and that means YOU – to join me. The first is tonight, as I appear on Stu’s Show, an internet radio broadcast of media-maven Stu Shostack. I suppose we could call this a “podcast”, but it is indeed broadcast FREE today at 7pm EST / 4pm PST for at least two hours. Click here to listen. We talk cartoons old and new, and take questions from listeners – you have to email the questions to Stu at The show is then archived and is available for download for $2. – if you want to hear the show at a later date or time, click here.


MOBILE TEASER: Sony’s “The Emoji Movie”

Sony Pictures Animation has launched the world’s first-ever vertical movie trailer designed especially for mobile users supporting the forthcoming animated The Emoji Movie – a computer animated adventure that “unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone”. For the first 24 hours, the trailer will be optimized for mobile users and best viewed on the phone. Mobile moviegoers can see the teaser trailer for The Emoji Movie if you CLICK HERE – an extended version in theaters nationwide this Wednesday.

The teaser trailer features the vocal performance of Steven Wright, who joins the cast as Mel Meh, the father of T. J. Miller’s character, Gene. The Emoji Movie will be released in theaters nationwide via Columbia Pictures on August 4, 2017.

Production Starts on “Street Gang” – A Feature Documentary on “Sesame Street”

Production is just underway on Street Gang, a documentary on the origin of one of the most iconic shows in the history of television Sesame Street. Macrocosm Entertainment and Citizen Skull Productions are producing the feature based, in-part, on the 2008 New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Michael Davis profiling the creation and history of of the show.

Street Gang will be directed by Marilyn Agrelo, director of the award-winning film Mad Hot Ballroom. Agrelo will have access to Sesame Street archives through Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, and The Jim Henson Company. Using new animated sequences, new character and cast interviews, and exclusive archival materials, Street Gang will tell the origin story of the show and how creator Joan Ganz Cooney, director Jon Stone, and visionary Jim Henson came out of the ideals and the societal unrest of the sixties to make something that changed history.



With Sing coming out out on Wednesday, and Summit Releasing’s La-La Land in theaters – both films reviving musicals – Summit is in good shape with its plans to put the animated Rock Dog in theaters this coming February. Today the studio dropped its latest trailer (below).

Opening theatrically on February 24th via Summit Premiere (a subsidiary of Lionsgate), the pic was directed by Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2) at Reel FX in LA and Texas (though financed by a Chinese production company).

Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliott lead the voice cast. Here’s the new official trailer:

Midwell – 2



GLAS Animation Festival 2017 Announces Special Guests

The second edition of the GLAS Animation Festival is on its way, taking place March 2nd-5th, 2017 in the city of Berkeley, California, just a quick ride away from San Francisco. Guests this year include Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant), Massaski Yusa (Mind Game), George Schwizgebel (Jeu), Mathieu Labaye (The Labyrinth), Amy Lockhart (Walk For Walk), Lei Lei (Recycled), Experimental animator Peter Burr, Ana Ramirez (So Long, Yupi), Madeline Sharafian (Acorn) and Ottawa Animation Fest topper, Chris Robinson. Even more guests will be announced early in the new year.


Midwell – 3


Gkids To Release Studio Ghibli’s 1993 TV Feature “Ocean Waves”

Distributor GKIDS has announced that it will release Studio Ghibli’s Ocean Waves, which has been unreleased in the U.S. until now. The film will play starting on December 28th at IFC Center in New York, and one night only in Los Angeles at the Egyptian Theatre, in a new 4K restoration. The film will then be released on home video formats in Spring 2017.

Ocean Waves is directed by Tomomi Mochizuki and written by Kaori Nakamura, which was adapted from a novel of the same name by Saeko Himuro. The film was originally made in 1993 for Japanese television.

“Lion King” and “Roger Rabbit” Added To National Film Registry

Twenty five new additions to the National Film Registry were announced this past week by The Library of Congress. Among the 2016 honorees are two now-classic Disney features that helped bring about the animation renaissance of the 1990s: The Lion King and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the annual registry selections after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB).