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

INTERVIEW: Dav Pilkey, Author of “Captain Underpants”

It took two decades for author P.L. Travers to allow Walt Disney to bring her “Mary Poppins” books to the screen and it took about as long for Dav Pilkey to grant DreamWorks (or any studio) the rights to produce Captain Underpants—The Epic Movie which opened this weekend.

“I was approached throughout the run of the book series by some people who wanted to do a live action version and I thought, ‘Oh, you just don’t understand this at all, do you?’” Pilkey recalls. “Nobody wants to see a real old guy running around in his underwear. That’s really creepy. I really was saying no to everybody, or my agent was.

“When I met David Soren, we talked for about 20 minutes and I knew right away. He grew up making comics with his friends. He knew exactly what my books were about. He said, ‘There’s all this crazy insanity, but that’s not really what it’s about. There’s a heart to the book, there’s a lot more to it. And it’s about more than just friendship, it’s about creative friendships, where kids create together—and that becomes their superpower.’ And I thought, ‘Oh! He gets it!’”

ANIME REVIEW: “Girls und Panzer”

The parvenu father in Thomas Mann’s short story “The Blood of the Walsungs” tells his future son-in-law that the secret to enjoying life is never to get used to anything, to be constantly surprised.

He would have loved anime.

No matter how many series or features you watch, there’s always something new and unexpected. And only in Japanese animation could you find a film about cute girls battling in WW II-vintage tanks to save their high school from being shut down.

The TV series Girls und Panzer aired in 2012 and was later adapted to a manga, a light novel and a video game. “Der Film” was released in 2015 as a sequel to the broadcast series. This trailer will give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

WB Animation Sets “Batman & Harley Quinn” for August 29th

A global catastrophe forces Batman and Nightwing to partner with an unlikely hero in Batman and Harley Quinn, the next entry in the popular series of DC Universe Original Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the all-new, feature-length animated film arrives August 15th on Digital and August 29th on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Deluxe Giftset, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD.

Sam Liu (Batman: The Killing Joke) directed from an original story by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) with a teleplay written by Timm & Jim Krieg (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox). Co-Producer is Alan Burnett (The Batman). Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce Timm. Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers. Here is the trailer:

SATURDAY: “Cartoon Dump” with Frank Conniff in Hollywood

Comedian Frank Conniff (Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Invader Zim) returns for one final performance of Cartoon Dump this Saturday night at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood. Started in 2007 by Conniff and animation historian Jerry Beck (yours truly), the show is a stand-up comedy revue, done in the style of 1960s afternoon kids shows, hosted by Moodsy, the clinically depressed owl (Conniff). The comedy skits and guest performers are intertwined by the world’s worst cartoons – real ones from the 1950s, like Mighty Mister Titan (a physical fitness cartoon) and Captain Fathom (an cartoon sea captain with live-action lips).

Comedians Emo Philips, J. Elvis Weinstein, Jimmy Dore, Lisa Corrao, and others to be announced – along with Jerry Beck who will introduce the cartoons – will appear at the Steve Allen Theatre (4773 Hollywood Blvd.) on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 at 8:00pm. The theatre will be closing this summer (to be torn down and replaced by condos).

ANIME REVIEW: “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya: The Movie”

Haruhi Suzumiya (voiced by Wendee Lee) is a fascinating individual, as she’d be the first person to tell you.

She’s smart, athletic and may be the prettiest freshman in North High, but she’s also the most difficult. She wants nothing to do with the “boring” activities most high school students enjoy. She establishes the SOS Brigade to help her find individuals she considers interesting: “aliens, time travelers, and espers.” Although she doesn’t realize it, she’s found exactly what she was looking for in the students she’s shanghaied into the Brigade. Brilliant Yuki Nagato (Michelle Ruff) is an alien; cute, painfully shy Mikuru Asahina (Stephanie Sheh) is visiting from the future; and seemingly laid back Itsuki Koizumi (Johnny Yong Bosch) is an esper.

FIRST LOOK: Genndy Tartakovky’s New Short “PUPPY!”

Here’s our first look – via this one-sheet that dropped today – at Sony Pictures Animation’s brand new Hotel Transylvania computer animated short film, PUPPY! The film will debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival next month and in theaters worldwide this summer attached to The Emoji Movie.

Puppy! is directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack) and produced by Michelle Murdocca (Hotel Transylvania).

William Joyce to Direct Cirrina’s Debut Animated Feature “The Extincts”

Cirrina Studios, the recently launched entertainment finance, development and production company has announced its first animated feature film, The Extincts. Based on British writer Veronica Cossanteli’s popular middle grade novel of the same name, and adapted by David Lipman (producer, “Shrek 2”), the film will be directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker and celebrated author/illustrator William “Bill” Joyce.

David Lipman will also produce the film with Michael Siegel (executive producer, “The BFG”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Rise of the Guardians”). Jane Startz and Barry Cunningham will executive produce alongside Jim Pesoli and Karine Martin of Cirrina Studios.

Pre-production starts in June, with an eye towards a 2019 release, The Extincts, will be the first Cirrina Studios feature to start production at Dwarf Animation Studio in Montpellier, France, which was founded by CEO, Olivier Pinol.

Brothers Day Trailer: “Despicable Me 3”

The new trailer for Despicable Me 3 has debuted online, just in time for a #NationalBrothersDay. Illumination continues the adventures of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters — Margo, Edith and Agnes — and the Minions in the latest despicable chapter. Despicable Me 3 was directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, co-directed by Eric Guillon and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio; produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and executive produced by Chris Renaud.

Take a look:

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.