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

Marvel and Disney XD announce mini-series of “Rocket & Groot” shorts

Marvel and Disney XD announced today a 12-episode series of Rocket & Groot animated shorts. The shorts follow Rocket and Groot (from the Guardians Of The Galaxy) as they try to figure out how to get enough credits to buy a new ship after their old one breaks down. A compilation of all the shorts will premiere on Disney XD at 7:00am ET/PT on April 10th.

Below is embed the first of the shorts – “Dream Machine” – in which Rocket & Groot find their dream ship in the Broker’s junkyard, but encounter one very expensive problem before they can buy it.

NFB Animation on TCM – April 9th

SchoolWood is proud to announce that Ellen Besen and Aubry Mintz will be guest presenters of an evening of NFB Animation on TCM (Turner Classic Movie Channel) on April 9th at 8:00 PM EST (5pm Pacific). The program will survey the incredible body of work produced by the National Film Board of Canada in this medium from the early 1940’s to the end of the 1990’s.

Norman MacLaren, Caroline Leaf and Richard Condie are just a few of the animators who’s greatest works will screened. Over the course of the last year, Aubry and Ellen viewed and researched many titles from the NFB archives to create this 4 hour package which includes the work of more than 30 directors working in a variety of techniques. As part of the presentation, they will be discussing the films with TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz.

Fred Seibert: Saturday Night at The Norman Rockwell Museum – UPDATE with Video Embed

Fred Seibert is one of my favorite people – and a significant force in contemporary animation. Anything he has to say on the subject (and on a variety of other subjects, including classic rock & roll) is worth listening to. Saturday night he’s making an appearance at the must-see Norman Rockwell Museum in Stocbridge Mass (currently displaying a Hanna Barbera exhibit I highly recommend). Seibert, the television producer who served as the last president of Hanna-Barbera from 1992 to 1996 will be giving a lively talk about H & B and his illustrious career. Even cooler – if you couldn’t make it to Stockbridge (and you really should try) the event was live streamed on Facebook – and we have the embed below.

Cartoon Network Greenlights Ian Jones-Quartey’s “OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes”

Cartoon Network powers up a connected world of original heroes across the TV and gaming landscape with the greenlight of animated series OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes followed by an integrated console game jointly developed with indie video game studio Capybara Games.

Created by Ian Jones-Quartey, and produced by Cartoon Network Studios, the action-packed show follows the heroic feats of K.O., an endlessly optimistic kid attempting to level up to be the best he can be in a dynamic universe of friends and challenging foes. The console and PC game is an action brawler with RPG elements and is expected to arrive later this fall and will be previewed at PAX East on Friday, March 10.

Can Laika Survive Without Travis Knight?

With the news that founder and animator/director Travis Knight will be taking the reigns for the next installment of the Transformers franchise, one can’t help but speculate about the future of Laika and whether it will continue to exist.

Kubo and The Two Strings failed to win an Oscar, but it did receive plenty of critical acclaim to which the studio is no stranger. Its films however, while unique, intriguing, and visually stunning are not cash cows like Disney’s and Pixar tend to be. That said, those same films fall under the general definition of successful and the performance of each one allowed production to proceed on the next.

Travis Knight is the leader and a significant reason for Laika’s existence. He’s tread a careful course over the years, and the studio’s gradual progression from production house, through to commercials, shorts, and lastly, features exhibits all the traits of a carefully thought out plan. Except that he’s now going off to direct a CGI film for another studio. Hmmm…

INTERVIEW: Actor Phil LaMarr On Returing to “Samurai Jack”

Genndy Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack is Back! After 10 years, the four-time Emmy Award-winning animated series returns to TV on March 11. And no one is more excited about the revival than veteran voice actor Phil LaMarr. We spoke about the challenges of reprising this legendary role and why, for fans, this final chapter of “SJ” will have been well worth the wait.

Jackson Murphy: You’ve had an incredible voice acting career. Who were some of the voice actors you looked up to when you were younger?

Phil LaMarr: Well, you have to remember, when I started out, voice acting wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t terminology we used. You were just an actor. Some actors worked on TV shows. Some actors worked on movies. And some actors worked on cartoons. Pre-Internet, most of the people who did cartoons were mostly anonymous. Those of us who dug that stuff knew – obviously everybody knew who Mel Blanc was – but a handful of us knew who Daws Butler were and Don Messick and John Stephenson. Nobody knew what they look like, but you knew their names and their voices. But voice acting was not a goal. It was not a career. It was something that someone did once.

Turner and Warner Bros. Announce new ‘Boomerang’ standalone premium video subscription service

Time Warner’s Turner and Warner Bros. announced today they have partnered on a new standalone domestic premium video subscription service – Boomerang – that will launch in the Spring. This will be the first time the two companies have offered the massive Hanna-Barbera, Looney Tunes and MGM animation library – not to mention Fleischer/Famous Popeye and Superman – with over 5,000 titles on a streaming platform. Boomerang will “provide audiences instant and exclusive access to both brand-new original series and timeless franchises like Scooby Doo, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, The Jetsons and The Flintstones among many others. Launching with a vast number of episodes, new content will be added weekly for kids, families and animation lovers of all ages to enjoy.”

INTERVIEW: Stoopid Buddy’s Eric Towner on Netflix “Buddy Thunderstruck”

He’s one of the founders of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the minds behind the wildly popular and Emmy-winning Robot Chicken. I recently flagged-down Eric Towner to discuss the ‘Buddies’ latest show – Buddy Thunderstruck – which stars a cool dog who races hot trucks and, unlike all their previous creations, is actually for kids.

Jackson Murphy: You and everyone at “Robot Chicken” recently won an Emmy for Outstanding Short-Form Animated Program. Congratulations.

Eric Towner: Oh, thank you so much. Yeah, the whole experience is just surreal and insane. [We] just feel incredibly fortunate to be continuing to make this show that we love and that the fans are loving. And to be recognized with something like an Emmy is just super bizarre and surreal and really amazing.

ANIME TRAILER: “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale”

Opening in the U.S. this Thursday – an anime feature based on the Sword Art Online light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. This feature was produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomohiko Itō, featuring an original story by Kawahara, character designs by Shingo Adachi and music by Yuki Kajiura. Animplex, Eleven Arts and Fathom Events are scheduling the release as a one-night theatrical event in the United States on March 9th, 2017. Here’s the trailer:

SNEAK PEEK: The First Five Minutes of “Tangled Ever After”

Disney posted a sneak peek at the first five-minutes of the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie Tangled Before Ever After on YouTube page! Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprise their roles as Rapunzel and Eugene (formerly known as Flynn Rider), and favorite characters like the loyal chameleon sidekick, Pascal; no-nonsense and dutiful horse, Maximus; and the Snuggly Duckling Pub Thugs are set for a return.

The Disney Channel Original Movie will also introduce newcomer Cassandra (voiced by Broadway star Eden Espinosa), a tough-as-nails lady-in-waiting who becomes Rapunzel’s confidante. Tangled Before Ever After makes its debut on Friday March 10th at 8pm, leading to the premiere of Tangled: The Series on Friday March 24th (7:30pm). Here’s the sneak peek:

ANIME REVIEW: “Ultimate Otaku Teacher”

The 2015 broadcast comedy Ultimate Otaku Teacher focuses on the nutty Jun’ichiro Kagami (Anthony Bowling). At 17, Kagami was a physics prodigy, authoring a paper that proved it was theoretically possible to create Doraemon’s Anywhere Door. But when he discovered the technology needed to realize his vision wouldn’t exist for at least another century, he lapsed into apathy. He spends all his time working on a geeky anime blog, and claims to be suffering from “YD Disease:” He can only do what he Yearns to Do. His baseball bat-wielding younger sister Suzune (Mikeala Krantz) has had enough: she finds him a job as teaching at his alma mater, Higashi Shinmei High School.

Within weeks of introducing his unconventional teaching methods to Higashi Shinmei High, Kagami’s recruited by the prestigious private school, Icho Academy. This grand institution is run by Koyomi Hiiragi (Jad Saxton), who finds modern Japan too boring. Something needs to be done to make it more “amusing,” and Hiiragi realizes she’s found the ideal ally in Kagami. But his outré manners and refusal to obey rules infuriates student council president/enforcer Makina Momozono (Caitlin Glass), who brandishes a bokun (wooden practice sword) with dismaying force and frequency.

MODERN MONDAY @ MoMA: An Evening with Suzan Pitt

Suzan Pitt’s wildly imaginative and comically sinister animation has dazzled Museum of Modern Art audiences for nearly 45 years. An award-winning artist and filmmaker who variously calls Los Angeles, Mexico, and a remote cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula her home, Pitt returns to MoMA on March 6th to introduce the New York premiere of five newly restored films as well as her most recent work.

This career-encompassing Modern Mondays is presented in partnership with the Academy Film Archive as a featured event in MoMA’s To Save and Project festival. Highlights include Pitt’s earliest 16mm films, Bowl, Theatre, Garden, Marble Game (1970) and Crocus (1971). Also screened are her magisterially oneiric Asparagus (1979), which for nearly two years was the wet-and-wild amuse bouche for David Lynch’s Eraserhead on the midnight-movie circuit; excerpts from her unfinished ESO-S (c. 1980/86), a hybrid of live action and animation; and Joy Street (1995), her exuberant expression of desire, defiance, and suffering.

NEW CLIP: DISNEY XD Orders Second Season Of “DuckTales” Ahead Of It’s Summer Premiere

Disney XD has ordered a second season of the all-new reboot of DuckTales ahead of its highly-anticipated summer premiere. Based on the Emmy Award-winning series, which itself was based on Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge comic book stories, the Disney Television Animation-produced series stars David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck; Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz and Bobby Moynihan as the voices of Huey, Dewey and Louie, respectively; Kate Micucci as Webby Vanderquack; Beck Bennett as Launchpad McQuack and Toks Olagundoye as Mrs. Beakley. Today, a :90 second first-look of the series was released on the Disney XD YouTube page.

This Weekend in Berkeley: Pre-Code Cartoons, Brad Bird, China’s Lei Lei, Japan’s Masaaki Yuasa at GLAS

The 2nd annual GLAS Animation Festival is happening this weekend – Thursday (3/2) and runs through Sunday (3/5) – in Berkeley California, and its got a line-up that should appeal to anyone interested in the art of animation. I will be there to present a screening of Pre-Code Cartoons – Hollywood cartoons on the big screen from Fleischer, Ub Iwerks, Harman-Ising, Van Buren and Terrytoons from before the self censorship code that went into effect in 1934 – 3pm Friday at the Shattuck Cinemas, and again on Sunday morning at 10am in the David Brower Center. Tickets available here. And that’s NOT all…

TRAILER: “Spark: A Space Tail”

Here’s a nice surprise. The trailer for Aaron Woodley’s Spark: A Space Tail which is opening next month, on April 14th. Jessica Biel, Susan Sarandon and Patrick Stewart topline the voice cast on this film – from our friends who created The Nut Job. This looks to be a vast improvement in visual quality and storyline. It’s got a wacky fast-paced, sci-fi monkey-king vibe… I like it. Take a peek: