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

ANIME REVIEW: “Outlaw Star”

The rollicking comedy-adventure Outlaw Star began as manga by Takehiko Ito and the artists at Morningstar Studios, who also made the animated series. In the distant future, interstellar space is divided between Pirates and the Space Forces. The self-proclaimed Outlaws scratch out a living in the odd spaces unoccupied by the two powers.

Like a Hollywood cowboy, Gene Starwind (Robert Wicks) is a crack shot, an eager brawler and a dashing ladies’ man. But his traumatic past left him with a neurotic fear of space travel. He lives on the flyspeck desert world of Sentinel III, where he runs a debt-ridden repair shop with his friend and partner Jim Hawking (Ian Hawk). Jim and Gene find themselves thrust into a complex web of intrigue when rebel pirate “Hot Ice” Hilda (Melissa Williamson) gives them the stolen super-ship, the Outlaw Star, and tells them about a fabulous treasure hidden at the mysterious world of the Galactic Leyline.

Sony Production Designer Noelle Triaureau on “Smurfs: The Lost Village

A veteran animator at Sony Pictures Animation, Noelle Triaureau worked on the first “Surf’s Up”, the first “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and the first “Hotel Transylvania”. Most recently she was Production Designer on “Smurfs: The Lost Village”, which comes out on Blu-ray/DVD this Tuesday.

Jackson Murphy: Smurf Village dominates the beginning section of the film. What did you use as inspiration for the different mushroom houses?

Noelle Triaureau: Well, our main source was obviously this gold mine of comic books that Peyo has drawn and the design that he’s been embracing, which is very round. There’s a lot of buoyancy in his shapes – and especially reminiscent of the Smurfs themselves. So there’s, kind of, already a pre-set shape language going with a lot of spheres, very… generous, rotund, curvy shapes for the houses. We extrapolated that throughout the whole environment around the village itself. The houses – we not only designed them following the comics as closely as possible, but then we arranged them in a topography that was on little hills, little mounds, with… terrain, streets and paths that would lead from one house to another.

Marcelo Vignali, our Art Director, was instrumental in designing the overall topography – the overall layout of the village itself – to echo the bounciness, that friendly curving style of those houses – which help make it feel friendlier with all those curvy shapes. And then we have also bushes in the distance and trees. All those plants kind of echo all the roundness.

ANIME REVIEW: “Dimension W”

Based on the manga by Yuji Iwahara, Dimension W is an oddly uneven series, alternately intriguing and muddled.

The story takes place in 2036, after the discovery of a fourth Euclidean dimension solved all of Earth’s energy problems. Power flows from this little understood dimension through a series of huge stations to individual battery-receivers called Coils. The entire grid is controlled by a single company, New Tesla Energy.

Alienated loner Kyouma Mabuchi (Christopher R. Sabat) is one of the last people to resist the new technology. He hates Coils, and still drives an old-fashioned gasoline fueled car. He dresses in traditional clothes, including a hapi coat, although he sports a trendy goatee and mini-ponytail. He fights by throwing slender daggers and cables. He’s a Collector: He seeks out illegal Coils for Mary (Stephanie Young), a blowsy matron who operates at the fringes of the underworld.

Bernie Wrightson Tribute Book to Debut at Comic Con

Among the many items premiering at the upcoming 2017 San Diego Comic Con is a special limited edition publication, Bernie Wrightson Art and Designs for The Gang of Seven Animation Studio. This is a tribute to the late comic book legend and horror illustrator, published to benefit Wrightson’s wife and survivors.

Animation director/producer Tom Tataranowicz explains, “Bernie died recently and left his wife in tough financial straits. So we are having a book published of the very cool, and largely unseen, art work he did for my studio. We are premiering the book at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con with a Panel. There are signings being planned to also raise proceeds to be donated to help out his wife.”

INTERVIEW: Myles Langlois on Adult Swim’s “Apollo Gauntlet”

Canadian Myles Langlois is not only the creator of Apollo Gauntlet, but he also voices the title character and his #1 nemesis. What began as a one-man passion project on YouTube back in 2012 has become Adult Swim’s newest animated series.

Jackson Murphy: Apollo Gauntlet used to be a web series that began in 2012. Old episodes are available on YouTube. Tell me a little about the process of going from the web to Adult Swim.

Myles Langlois: It was kind of a slow, gradual process of getting to the right people – through friends of mine and then through people in the arts community. It eventually got to LA somehow. It’s kind of, I guess, when you post something on YouTube, you’re waiting – you think in your wildest dreams that it will reach somebody. So it reached a company called Six Point Harness, and then they showed it to somebody at Adult Swim. It’s a networking sort of thing, I guess, that happened accidentally.

TRAILER: “My Little Pony – The Movie”

A dark force threatens Ponyville – and the good news is that Lionsgate has finally dropped the official trailer for their My Little Pony – The Movie. And it looks surprisingly good. The film has an all-star voice cast including Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana. The movie features original music and songs performed by Sia, Diggs, Saldana, Aduba, Chenoweth and Blunt.

Lionsgate is releasing My Little Pony – The Movie in theaters nationwide on October 6th. C’mon take a peek:

MONDO to Premiere New Animated Series “Lastman” at Rooster Teeth Animation Festival

Animation company MONDO will premiere two series at Austin’s Rooster Teeth Animation Festival in July: the visually arresting French animated series Lastman and the fourth season of its irreverent Deep Space 69.

The premieres of both Lastman and Deep Space 69 will be included in an hourlong MONDO panel at 11 a.m. Sunday, July 9th. The MONDO panel will feature Brendan Burch, chief creative officer of MONDO and president of Six Point Harness; head of development Wendy Willis; and Greg Franklin, creative director.

In addition to MONDO’s premieres of Lastman and Deep Space 69, the upcoming animated series Apollo Gauntlet, from Six Point Harness, will be part of a special Adult Swim panel Saturday, July 8, on the Center Stage. Apollo Gauntlet creator Myles Langlois will participate, along with Willis, Franklin and lead editor Tony Christopherson.

Lastman

ANIME REVIEW: “The Big O”

The simplified, Art Deco-influenced designs in the mecha adventure The Big O give the series a look that’s closer to Warner Bros.’ old animated Batman than Gundam.

Originally concieved as 26-episode adventure, The Big O premiered in October, 1999, in Japan, but was cancelled after only 13 episodes due to poor ratings. The English language version began on Cartoon Network in 2001, and its international success led to the creation of the 13 remaining episodes, which were co-produced by Cartoon Network.

The Big O is set in Gotham-esque Paradigm City; 40 years ago, the inhabitants lost their memories in a bizarre occurrence referred to as “the Event.” Since then, people have scrabbled out a living in the half-ruined metropolis. Dashing Roger Smith (voice by David Lucas in the first 13 episodeds; Stephen Jay Blum in the second 13), who looks a bit like a young Pierce Bronson, is officially a Negociator who handles difficult situations, but he’s really a covert superhero.

Disney To Reveal Upcoming Film Slate At D23

The Walt Disney Studios will be presenting an exclusive look at its unparalleled film slate at D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California, taking place July 14–16.

At two marquee Hall D23 presentations, the Studio will give fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse at its upcoming releases, with animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios showcased on Friday, July 14, and live-action projects from Disney, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm taking the stage on Saturday, July 15.

While the films to be featured in Hall D23 will remain under wraps until showtime, the Studio’s upcoming slate includes Pixar’s Coco; Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War; Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time and Mary Poppins Returns; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2; and more.

In addition, a new event has been announced for Sunday, July 16, at 10 a.m. in the D23 Expo Arena: Celebration of an Animated Classic: The Lion King. Producer Don Hahn, director Rob Minkoff, animators Tony Bancroft and Mark Henn, and special guests will be in attendance during this not-to-be-missed look back at the timeless and beloved Disney animated film.

Animation Block Party 2017: Complete Schedule and Festival Line-up

The fourteenth annual Animation Block Party is July 27th – July 30th, 2017 at Rooftop Films and BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, NY, has just posted its complete schedule for this year’s event.

Animation Block Party Opening Night at Rooftop Films begins on Thursday, July 27th – a diverse compilation of extraordinary animated shorts from all over the world. This will be held at Coutyard 5-6 at Industry City.

SIGGRAPH 2017 Announces Floyd Norman as Keynote Speaker

SIGGRAPH 2017, the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, proudly announces Floyd Norman, the first African-American animator to work for Walt Disney Animation Studios, as its keynote speaker. SIGGRAPH’s keynote session featuring Norman will be presented as a fireside chat, allowing attendees the opportunity to hear a Disney legend discuss his life and career within an intimate setting. SIGGRAPH 2017 will mark the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and will be held 30 July–3 August 2017 in Los Angeles.

Floyd Norman was the subject of a 2016 documentary film entitled Floyd Norman: An Animated Life from filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey. The film, which covers Norman’s life story, also includes interviews with such notables as actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg (voice, “The Lion King”), Richard Sherman (composer, “Mary Poppins”) Leonard Maltin (film critic), Ralph Guggenheim (former vice president of animation at Pixar) and Gary Trousdale (co-director, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”), among others. Ain’t It Cool News hailed the film “delightful” and said, “[Norman is] a man who has undoubtedly brought joy to your life without you even knowing it.”

Gkids Dates “The Girl Without Hands” in New York and LA

GKIDS has set the release dates for Sébastien Laudenbach’s animated feature The Girl Without Hands. The film will open in New York at IFC Center on July 21st, and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Music Hall on August 4th, before traveling to more cities nationwide.

The trailer dropped today – here it is:

GLAS Presenting Georges Schwizgebel Retrospective This Thursday in DTLA

GLAS Animation (GLobal Animation Syndicate), the Los Angeles non-profit organization run “by animators for animators”, is presenting a retrospective of the work of Swiss animation legend Georges Schwizgebel, one of the most celebrated independent animators of all time. The event will happen at LA’s Downtown Independent Theatre on Thursday June 22nd at 8:30pm.

Schwizgebel was awarded an Honorary Cristal at the 2017 Annecy Festival this past weekend, to commemorate his prolific career. “Georges Schwizgebel is an animation guru, an artisan of precision and an artist who has inspired many young animators,” says Marcel Jean, artistic director of Annecy. “His style can be described as baroque and swirling, characterised by a confident brushstroke and a resolutely postmodern approach with his relationship to history and art.”

INTERVIEW: Disney Channel’s “Hotel Transylvania” Series Exec Producer Rick Mischel

Yet another highly successful animated movie series has made it’s way to the small-screen. Sony’s Hotel Transylvania: The Series debuts Sunday June 25th on The Disney Channel. Sony Pictures Animation veteran Rick Mischel is the show’s executive producer.

Jackson Murphy: Much like with the new Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs series that you’re also a part of [which debuted in February on Cartoon Network], “Hotel Transylvania: The Series” is a prequel show to the movies. But unlike the “Cloudy” series [which focused on the younger versions of the main characters], with “HT” you’re focusing on Mavis and a handful of her young friends who also happen to be kids of the film’s supporting characters. It’s definitely a unique approach you’re taking.

Rick Mischel: Yeah, we really created a whole new cast of characters when coming up with this series. Mavis, of course, was one of our favorite characters from both movies. She consistently is rated one of the most popular animated characters for Sony. So we knew that we wanted to feature her in the series and age her down. She’s actually 114 3/4 years old in this series, because as you remember in the movie, she was 118, not 18.

Gkids, Annecy and Variety To Launch L.A. “Animation Is Film” Festival in October

GKIDS, the distributor of acclaimed animated features, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the world’s leading animation Festival and Market, and Variety magazine, have announced the launch of ANIMATON IS FILM, an annual animation film festival in Los Angeles. The first edition will run October 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood (Mann’s Chinese Theater) with a showcase of 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short film programs.

ANIMATION IS FILM aims to fill a gap in the US market by establishing a world class animation festival on par with the major events in Europe and Asia – and locating it in the world capital of animated filmmaking. The Festival will be a vocal advocate, in the heart of Hollywood, for excellence in animation, and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.