News Bytes: ‘Addams Family’ Original Songs, Apple TV+ Launch Date, Disney+ Pulls ‘Muppets,’ & More

‘Steven Universe The Movie’ Soundtrack Debuts in Top 10
Following its Sept. 2 release, the soundtrack debuted in the Top 10 of five Billboard charts, the week ending Sept. 14: #2 Soundtracks, #2 Children’s Top Albums, #6 Top Independent Albums, #8 Current Pop Albums, #9 Digital Albums, #19 Top Current Albums and #20 Billboard Top Albums. The expansive soundtrack continues to be available for download and streaming on all major platforms. Fans can grab a physical copy to treasure on Nov. 15, in both standard and deluxe vinyl sets — pre-orders now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and FYE.

Studio Movie Grill Expands Movies + Meals Program with DreamWorks/Pearl’s ‘Abominable’
Universal Pictures is offering multiple screenings at SMG theaters of Jill Culton’s upcoming yeti adventure. (Read all about it in Tom McLean’s feature story in the latest issue!) SMG Access launched nationwide last summer and is the only theater-loyalty program focused on positively impacting underserved children and local community members. Through their purchases, alongside rewards, loyal SMG guests are able to assist SMG outreach in offering movies and meals to local non-profits and under-resourced community members with the hope of harnessing the power of movies to inspire and change lives. Since the program’s inception, multiple studios have joined the movement, offering screenings and giving SMG the opportunity to give back more than 14,000 Movies + Meals in the program’s first year.

“We are delighted to support SMG’s efforts by offering screenings of Abominable to local non-profits providing services to underserved children in their communities and to join SMG guests in supporting purposeful outreach and a loyalty program designed to give back to local community members through Movies + Meals. Abominable celebrates friendships and the importance of family, and we can’t think of a better partner to help spread that message of kindness and empowerment than SMG.” — JIm Orr, Universal Pictures President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution

‘The Umbrella Academy’ S2 Adds Three to Cast
Ritu Arya (Humans) has been cast as “Lila,” a chameleon who can be as brilliant or as clinically insane as the situation requires. Unpredictable, mischievous and sarcastic, Lila’s gifted with a twisted sense of humor. Yusuf Gatewood (Good Omens) will play “Raymond,” a born leader with the smarts, gravitas and confidence to never have to prove it to anyone. He is warm, dedicated and has the innate ability to disarm you with a look. A devoted husband, he’s the kind of guy everyone wants to know. Marin Ireland (Y: The Last Man) will be playing “Sissy,” a fearless, no-nonsense Texas mom who married young for all the wrong reasons. Still in her prime, she’s eager to rediscover what life and love has to offer.

It was previously announced that Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher and Justin H. Min are set to reprise their roles. Production on season two is currently underway.

’The Muppets’ Disney+ Comedy Series Scrapped
Creators Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis (Once Upon a Time) and Josh Gad (Frozen) have departed Muppets Live Another Day due to creative differences, causing the to-be-launched streamer to scrap the project. Sources say the trouble started when Disney swapped in Disney Parks Live Ent. SVP David Lightbody to head Muppet Studios, with some different ideas on where to take Jim Henson’s beloved characters.

MGM’s ‘The Addams Family’ Scares Up Musical Superstars for Original Songs
The first track to be released, “My Family,” is performed by Migos, Karol G, Rock Mafia and Snoop Dogg and drops Friday, September 13. The song was written by Antonina Armato, Quavious Keyate Marshall, Carolina Giraldo, Danny Parra, Tim James, Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. and Vic Mizzy and was produced by Rock Mafia. The track is being released by MGM Records and distributed by 12 Tone Music. “Haunted Heart,” performed by Christina Aguilera, was written by Antonina Armato, Aguilera and Tim James and was also produced by Rock Mafia, to be released later this month by RCA Records ahead of the film’s debut. Both songs will be available for streaming and \or download at all major music retail digital platforms.

The Addams Family arrives in theaters Oct. 11 — read all about it in the November issue of Animation Magazine!

Apple TV+ Launches November 1
The new service will be available on the Apple TV App worldwide for $ 4.99 per month (free for a year with purchase of any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac as of today), and shareable with up to six people with Family Sharing. At launch, subscribers can catch exclusive originals like See (a post-apocalyptic thriller set 600 years in the future when surviving humans are all blind, starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard), Sesame Workshop’s Helpsters and new Peanuts/DHX animation Snoopy in Space.

Steven Universe soundtrack

Steven Universe soundtrack

The Muppets

The Muppets

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: McFarlane in Talks for New ‘Spawn’ Toons, ‘Earthsea’ Series in Dev, YouTube Fined $170M in FTC Settlement & More

’The Lord of the Rings’ Amazon TV Series Casts Will Poulter as a Lead
The young Brit of Maze Runner fame joins previously announced Aussie actress Markella Kavenagh in the two lead roles of Beldor and Tyra. The show — from writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay and director J.A. Bayona — is set in Middle-earth before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. Casting is underway in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

GLAS Animation Festival 2020: Submissions Open, Kickstarter Final Stretch!
The 5th annual GLAS fest (March 19-22 in Berkeley, CA) welcomes narrative, non-narrative, undergraduate, graduate, commissioned and feature films to November 1, 2019. Award categories include the Grand Prix, New Talent, High Risk, Audience Award and Special Prizes.

The Kickstarter Campaign has reached the halfway point, with just two week to raise $ 8,500 to successfully fund the event — new reward tires are announced every day, including one-of-a-kind t-shirts, sculptures, illustrations, and animation frames, as well as indie games, GKIDS blu-rays, and official GLAS outerwear, so contribute now!

WATCH: ‘Apex Legends’ Gives Wraith a Fantastic ‘Overwatch’-Style Animated Short
In step with the character’s theme Voidwalker event for the game — which includes a special mode, challenges and cosmetics, Respawn debuted a new short reminiscent of Blizzard’s popular character origin vignettes. The animation follows Wraith hopping through dimensions to rescue a younger, parallel version of herself from nefarious experiments.

YouTube Will Pay $ 170 Million, Make Sweeping Changes to Children’s Content in FTC Settlement
The Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into YouTube’s collection of personal data from users under age 13 — sparked by complaints from advocacy organizations like Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center — is over. In tandem with FTC’s announcement that it will fine YouTube a record $ 170 million for alleged violations, the platform revealed plans for sweeping changes to its business practices.

“Responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and nothing is more important than protecting kids and their privacy, We’ve been taking a hard look at areas where we can do more to address this, informed by feedback from parents, experts, and regulators, including [Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act] concerns raised by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that we are addressing with a settlement announced today.” — YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki (YouTube Blog)

’Earthsea’ TV Series Based on Fantasy Books in the Works
A24 and Oscar-nominated producer Jennifer Fox (Nightcrawler) are adapting Ursula Le Guin’s acclaimed fantasy book series to television. Fox received the author’s blessing for the project before her death in January 2018. The books are set in a vast archipelago, where magic-wielding despots upset the natural order of the islands. Tales from Earthsea was adapted into an animated feature by Studio Ghibli in 2006, directed by Goro Miyazaki.

Todd McFarlane Is Developing Two Spawn Animated Series for Kids and Adults
It’s been 20 years since McFarlane’s ultraviolent anti-hero wreaked havoc in HBO’s Emmy-winning adult animated series, and new plans to toon up the franchise are in motion, according to the creator.

“We’re talking right now. I just had a couple meetings this weekend about a couple different animation looks, both something that we can get kids in at a younger age and then get them into the sort of crack cocaine version of Spawn,” McFarlane said during Fan Expo Canada. “And then do the adult one. So we’re talking about that. I think both of those come after the movie.”

Apex Legends

Apex Legends

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: ShaqToons Ups Animator Compensation, ‘Bombay Rose’ Trailer, Anime Against Climate Crisis & More

‘Oxenfree’ Now Available for $ 9.99
Just in time for Halloween, Night School Studio’s acclaimed game gets a permanent price drop across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Oxenfree is a single player game that’s equal parts coming-of-age tale and supernatural thriller. You play as Alex, a bright, rebellious teenage girl who brings her new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight party on a decommissioned military island. The festivities are framed by a dangerous sneak to a forbidden beach, celebrating with friends and navigating prickly situations with enemies. But the night takes a horrifying turn when you unwittingly open a ghostly rift spawned from the island’s cryptic past. How you deal with these events, your peers, and the ominous creatures you’ve unleashed is up to you.

Night School is also gearing up to release its next title, Afterparty, on Xbox One, PC and Mac (via Epic Games Store), PS4 and Switch this year. In the new title, players will take on the role of Milo and Lola, recently deceased best buds who suddenly find themselves staring down an eternity in Hell. But there’s a loophole: outdrink Satan and he’ll grant re-entry to Earth.

Funko Gets Wicked with Disney Villains Cosmetics Line
Inspired by Ursula, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen, the collection includes bronzers, lip glosses, highlighters, eye shadows, eyeliners, blushes and makeup brushes in cute packaging with Funko flair, manufactured by Taste Beauty — which boasts across-the-board gluten free products never tested on animals — and set to retail exclusively at Ulta.

CALL FOR PROJECTS: Luxembourg-Ireland Co-Development Fund for Female Filmmakers
Film Fund Luxembourg and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland are seeking new co-development feature-length (min. 70’) fiction, documentary, animation or TV projects (dramatic series, animated series or animated movie) which are written and/or directed by women. Deadline: September 10, 2019.

Artist Jahan Loh Addresses Global Warming Crisis with Japanese Animation
The National Museum of Singapore has launched a new series of works by local contemporary artist Loh, titled “Intergalactic Dreams.” The three-part presentation combines a large-scale installation with anime to encourage conversations about global warming, as it envisions a possible future for mankind in a world of rising temperatures and sea levels.

WATCH: Bombay Rose Official Trailer
Official selection of the Venice Int’l Film Critics’ Week and Toronto Int’l Film Festival 2019, Bombay Rose is an animated romance hanging precariously between living on the streets and loving on the screen, Bollywood style. Amidst the struggle for survival in a big city, a red rose brings together three tales of impossible loves. The film is the long-awaited feature debut of India’s leading animator Gitanjali Rao (Printed Rainbow). Produced by Cinestaan Film Co. (India), Les Films d’Ici (France) and Goldfinch (U.K.) Full review from Variety.

Shaq Offers to Pay $ 500 for Original Animations, Updates to $ 10,000 After Backlash
Shaquille O’Neal ruffled creatives’ feathers with the launch of his ShaqToons contest, seeking original animations set to stories from his life for his TNT docuseries Shaq Life. After artists balked at the $ 500 reward (which, admittedly, is better than work “for exposure”), the basketball legend cranked up the compensation, Tweeting: “To all my animators out there, I heart you. I love your work and want you to feel the love.”

Funko POP Disney Villains

Funko POP Disney Villains

Oxenfree

Oxenfree

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: ‘Angry Birds 2’ Hatchling Voices, ‘Aladdin’ Hits $1B, KyoAni Update & More

WATCH: Ricky Gervais Guest Stars in ‘Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?’
The popular British comedian appears in the latest episode of the new Mystery Inc. adventures. Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? streams on Boomerang in the U.S. and is coming soon to TV via Cartoon Network, and to Boomerang channels worldwide later this year. New episodes debut Thursdays through Sept. 19.

’The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ TV Series in Works at Hulu from Carlton Cuse & Jason Fuchs
Showrunner Cuse (LOST) and feature film writer Fuchs (Wonder Woman, Ice Age: Continental Drift) are adapting Douglas Adams’ comedy sci-fi classic for ABC Signature. Disney owns the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy IP.

WATCH: Pixomondo ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ S2 VFX Reel
The studio’s VFX Supervisor Mahmoud Rahmana and CG Supervisor Fausto Tejeda are among the 2019 Emmy Award for Best VFX nominees for their work on the CBS sci-fi series.

One Week After Arson Attack on Kyoto Animation Studio, Police Finish Identifying All 34 Victims
DNA testing has conclusively identified employees killed in the fire caused when Shinji Aoba allegedly spread a flammable substance around the entrance of the building and ignited it, causing the three-story studio to burn on July 18. The victims range in age from their 20s to their 60s, with about half in their 20s and 30s. Kyoto police are working with the studio to determine when and how to reveal the identities of the deceased.

One of those feared dead is industry veteran Yoshiji Kigami (Akira, Grave of the Fireflies). The accomplished animator, a mentor to many young artists at KyoAni, has been unreachable since the fire and is 61 years old — the same age as the oldest reported victim, according to Hollywood Reporter. The outlet also relayed that the studio had received around 200 threats in the last year via encrypted online messages, believed to be from the same person.

In an outpouring of support from around the world, the #HelpKyoAniHeal fundraising campaign launched by Sentai Filmworks surpassed $ 2 million after just one week, with more than 66,000 donors.

Box Office: ’Aladdin’ Rides Magic Carpet Past $ 1B as ‘Lion King’ Enters 2nd Weekend

The Guy Ritchie directed Aladdin remake (released May 24) is Disney’s third film of 2019 to hit a billion bucks worldwide, with $ 343.1 million domestic and $ 656.2M international as of Thursday — the surprise summer hit featuring Will Smith as the beloved blue Genie is close to $ 100M in Japan and has passed $ 80M in S. Korea, where it is the No. 4 Western film of all time.

Meanwhile, the latest reimagining of a Disney animation classic, The Lion King is going into its second weekend in the U.S., coming up against Quentin Tarantino’s new flick Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Jon Favreau’s virtual production, CG critter pic was coming in low as of Friday midday, with predictions of a $ 78M~ three-day domestic total for a 60% drop.

‘The Angry Birds Movie 2’ Hatchling Voices Announced
Sony Pictures Animation and Rovio have revealed that the fluffy baby birds will be voiced by Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project), JoJo Siwa, Genesis Tennon, Alma Varsano, Faith Urban and Sunday Urban. The high-flying sequel is smashing into theaters on August 14 — read more about it in Animag’s August issue feature story.

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery

Aladdin

Aladdin

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: Kermit Consults on ‘Amphibia,’ Lupin III’s CG Heist, WB Unpacks SDCC Swag Bags & More

’Lion King’ Star Billy Eichner Wants More LGBTQ Characters in Animated Movies
The actor and comedian, who voices the meerkat Timon in the new movie, told BuzzFeed News: “People are always trying to find the gay character in animated movies. I think the way to correct that is to actually put gay characters in animated movies … I don’t care if Bert and Ernie are gay. I want to see actual gay people that are not a mystery. The way to move on from all those debates is to just create openly gay characters in children’s programming and family entertainment. I think we’re on the verge of that.”

Hasbro Crowdfunds Full-Sized Cookie Monster Replica
A new Pulse HasLab project will bring the huggable blue monster from Sesame Street to life for fans with a 38-inch-tall, full-body replica armature. Set to go into production next year, the $ 300 delight will come in premium retro packaging with two original artwork lithographs and a certificate of authenticity.

via GIPHY

SDCC Panel: The State of the Industry: Animation Superstars
For the 13th consecutive year, ASIFA-Hollywood gathers some of the brightest lights in animation to discuss the current Toon Town climate, visions for the future, and how they got their starts in this crazy business. ASIFA VP Brooke Keesling will moderate a panel comprised of Dave Thomas, Jeanette Moreno King, Matt Braly, Hannah Nance Parlow and David Shair.

WBTV Unveils Official bags of Comic-Con 2019
I.D. Me Promotions has whipped up a whopping 23 different designs inspired by fan-favorite and hotly anticipated titles from the studio. These include WB Animation’s DC Super Hero Girls, Harley Quinn, Looney Tunes Cartoons, Teen Titans GO!, ThunderCats Roar and Young Justice: Outsiders; Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe: The Movie; WB TV’s Arrow, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Doom Patrol, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Pennyworth, Riverdale, The Flash, Supergirl, Supernatural and Titans; HBO’s Game of Thrones and Watchmen; and Conan. More than 160,000 bags have been produced, and can be claimed at check-in while supplies last.

Lupin III: The First; Finally Makes CG Anime Look (and Feel) Good
The first fully 3D computer-generated Lupin III movie is due to reignite fans’ passion for the beloved gentleman thief, timed to the 40th anniversary of the Hayao Miyazaki-directed movie The Castle of Cagliostro and soon after the death of his creator, Monkey Punch (Kazuhiko Katou). The new movie is produced by Toho Animation and directed by Takashi Yamazaki (Stand by Me Doraemon), set for a Japan premiere on December 6.

WATCH: Kermit the Frog (Consultant) | Amphibia
It’s not easy being green, so when you need to understand frog life, it’s best to go to the experts! In this charming behind-the-scenes video, Muppet main man Kermit walks us through his new role, as the chief frog consultant on new animated comedy ”>Amphibia. The swampy adventure screens on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW.

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: Colin Jost Joins ‘Tom & Jerry’, Bilibili Snags ‘Three-Body Problem,’ Licensing Expo ’19 Results & More

GOP Congressman Wants PBS Defunded Over Cartoon Gay Wedding Between a Rat and Aardvark
“Enough is enough,” declared Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), in regards to the adorable season 22 premiere of Arthur … during Pride Month. The episode was pulled in Alabama but you can watch it online.

Blizzard and LEGO Reveal Overwatch Junkertown Sets, Announce Twitch Rivals Tournament
New heroes arrive in two upcoming LEGO Overwatch sets, Wrecking Ball ($ 19.99), piloted by fan favorite Hammond the hamster, and Junkrat & Roadhog ($ 49.99), inspired by the Junkertown map, which will be seen for the first time at the Blizzard Entertainment booth (#140) at San Diego Comic-Con before they are available in October this year. Plus, LEGO Group is hosting a day-long Twitch Rivals Overwatch tournament on July 25 in which teams are battling for a special prize!

WATCH: Juice Reel 2019 – VFX & Animation
Check out the studio’s latest work, from Coca-Cola spots to the incredible world of Cloud Atlas. Juice specializes in animation, effects and sound, with offices in Wroclaw, Warsaw and Tokyo.

Licensing Expo Reinforces Its Value Across All Property Categories with 2019 Results
The Vegas confab saw a 38% increase in repeat attendees year-over-year. The next edition will mark Licensing Expo’s 40th year milestone at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, May 19-21, 2020.

Bilibili Obtains Exclusive Animation Rights to ‘The Three-Body Problem’
The leading online youth entertainment platform in China has snagged exclusive animation rights to the award-winning sci-fi trilogy written by Cixin Liu. The deal was announced at the company’s 10th anniversary ceremony in Shanghai, and included adaptation rights across movies, comics, mobile games, audio dramas and other IP-derived products.

‘Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost Joins Warner Bros.’ ‘Tom and Jerry’
The co-head writer and “Weekend Update” anchor for SNL joins previously announced voice stars Chlöe Grace Moretz and Michael Peña in the iconic cat-and-mouse comedy’s theatrical feature update. Tim Story (Shaft, Fantastic Four) is directing and exec producing the Hanna-Barbera inspired hybrid project, produced by Chris DeFaria with Adam Goodman as EP.

LEGO Overwatch Junkertown Set

LEGO Overwatch Junkertown Set

The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: New Trailers for ‘Bunuel,’ ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’, ‘Toy Story’ Easter Eggs & More

Disney Wants Melissa McCarthy to Play Ursula in ‘The Little Mermaid’
The project is being directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns) and will feature songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman for the 1989 animated feature, as well as new ones from Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Script is by David Magee. McCarthy, star of Ghostbusters and Bridesmaids, was this year nominated for an Oscar for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

BuzzFeed’s ‘Good Advice Cupcake Show’ Is Facebook Watch’s First Animated Series
Cuppy, the tasty toon who has 2.3 million followers on Instagram and 933,000 fans on Facebook, premiered her show Sunday and will roll out additional episodes Saturdays at 11 a.m. ET.

Game Freak Responds to Fan Anger over Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Limited Pokedex
Junichi Masuda, longtime Pokémon series game designer and producer, responded today to fan blowback over the developer’s decision to limit the amount of Pokémon that can be transferred to the game:
“Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokémon and each and every one of them is very important to us. After so many years of developing the Pokémon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I’d like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games.”

‘Toy Story 4’ Has the Most Easter Eggs of Any Pixar Film
Check out the list and see how many props and references to the expansive Pixar universe you caught in theaters!

WATCH: Jumanji: The Next Level – Official Trailer
The gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game. Directed by Jake Kasdan, starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner, Alex Wolff, with Danny Glover and Danny DeVito. In theaters December 13.

WATCH: New Trailer | Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles
In a stranger-than-fiction tale befitting the master filmmaker Luis Buñuel, the film tells the true story behind the fascinating creation of Buñuel’s legendary documentary Las Hurdes: Land Without Bread. Catch Salvador Simo’s animated features in select New York & Los Angeles theaters August 16, through GKIDS.

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: ‘Miracle Tunes’ in Greece, Getting Wild in ‘Planet Zoo,’ the Perfect Con Bag & More

CROWDFUND: HEX x Jim Lee | The First Backpacks for Artists & Collectors
On its way to the stretch goal of $ 250K (contributors receive a Jim Lee print!), this ultimate con-going bag for pros, hobbyists and fans boasts all kinds of features to keep your tools and treasures safe: Removable 11” x 17” portfolio, art supplies organizers, waterproof ink pocket, fleece-lined laptop pocket and padded tablet pocket, charger cable pass-through, quick access card/ID pocket, and more. The Collector’s Backpack boasts individual fleece-lined comic carrying pockets, poster tube holder, anti-theft zipper lock and a pocket that perfectly fits the Overstreet Price Guide. Plus, Jim Lee art that will make the haters say, Holy enviable con accessories, Batman!

WATCH Artists Alley: Kamille Areopagita Shows Us How to Animate Gwen Stacy
SYFY WIRE catches up with the Critical Role animator in the latest installment of its video series. Learn how to brings Ghost-Spider — who made her big screen debut in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — to life!

Facebook Has Built a Real-Time VR FAcial Animation System
Facebook Reality Labs haS developed a revolutionary system called “Codec Avatars” that gives VR users ability to interact with others while representing themselves with life-like avatars precisely animated in real-time. That reality show Catfish is going to be amazing in five years.

Planet Zoo’ Is Using Procedural Animation to Create the Most Realistic Animals We Have Ever Seen in a Video Game
Frontier Developments has honed its digital creations through Jurassic World Evolution, Planet Coaster and Zoo Tycoon to create its most believable animal world yet in this latest management sim title.

Showlab Seals Greek Deal on ‘Miracle Tunes’
On the heels of its Italian debut on Cartoonito, Showlab’s live-action series Miracle Tunes (51 x 26’) — featuring cuddly-cute 3D CG helper creatures — makes its way to Smile TV in Greece later this year. The series is aimed at girls 4-9, and has inspired a range of playthings from master toy partner Giochi Preziosi which will hit Greek shelves after the national broadcast launch.

WATCH: Christian Rich “Shibuya (Ghost II)” Official Video
Blinkink director Olivier Lescot (Breakbot “Another You”) has created another visually compelling animated music video, this time through Parisian partner agency Eddy. The track features Vic Mensa, Jaden Smith and Belly whose stylings are played against a neon-tinged, manga-inspired world as five characters traverse Shibuya’s violent criminal underworld.

Planet Zoo

Planet Zoo

HEX x Jim Lee

HEX x Jim Lee

Miracle Tunes

Miracle Tunes

Christian Rich - Shibuya

Christian Rich – Shibuya

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: ‘Space Jam 2’ Stars Countdown, ‘Hello Kitty’ Movie Gets Writer, Popeye Toons Up Dinnerly Meal Kits & More

Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Youth, Animation, Documentary Selection Panels Announced
The Animation jury will be chaired by Deborah Szapiro (lecturer in animation, University of Technology Sydney, Australia) and include Avid Liongoren (Rocketsheep studio, Philippines) and Ann Marie Fleming (director, Window Horses, Canada). Last year’s Best Animated Feature Film prize went to director Leo Gabriadze and producer Timur Bekmambetov for animated documentary Rezo.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: ANIMARKT Pitching 2019
Central and Eastern Europe’s premiere stop-motion forum will return to Lodz from October 8-12, and is seeking short film and TV special projects under 30 minutes for its pitch competition. All submissions must utilize puppet animation for at least 80% of the runtime, and the event particularly spotlights projects with artists from CEE attached. Apply online by the deadline: August 4, 2019.

WATCH: VFX Legion Breakdown Real for ‘MA’
The Los Angeles and British Columbia-based studio was called up to create a range of photoreal visual effects for Blumhouse Productions’ psychological horror film — from tortured flesh to a raging inferno. Warning, contains spoilers!

Dinnerly Celebrates Popeye’s 90th Birthday with Signature Meal Kits
Timed to National Fresh Spinach Day, the canned-greens-loving sailor man will feature in three Dinnerly x Popeye taste creations across the U.S. the week of July 15: “Strong to the finish, cause I eats me spinach … ricotta dumplings,” “J. Wellington Wimpy creamed spinach burger & oven fries” and “Olive Oyl fried chicken with Popeye’s Spinach Salad.”

“Next to Olive Oyl and Swee’Pea, there’s nothing Popeye loves more than his spinach!” said C.J. Kettler, President, King Features. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Dinnerly to develop these delicious spinach-fueled, strong to the finish recipes in celebration of National Fresh Spinach Day and Popeye’s 90th birthday.”

Lindsey Beer to Write ‘Hello Kitty’ Movie for New Line
Sanrio’s first big Hollywood picture based on the brand will be penned by Lindsey Beer, whose credits include Masters of the Universe, The Kingkiller Chronicles and Transformers: The Last Knight as well as Netflix’s upcoming Mark Millar adaptation The Magic Order (as showrunner, writer and exec producer).

’Space Jam 2’ Begins Production
Star LeBron James shared an excited Tweet about the start of production on the live-action/animation hybrid sequel. The flick recently (finally) confirmed a team of NBA and WNBA co-stars including Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Diana Taurasi and Nneka & Chiney Ogwumike, as well as Star Trek: Discovery actress Sonequa Martin-Green. Space Jam 2 is currently set for release on July 16, 2021.

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: Ann Sarnoff Heads WB, Dream Theatre Adopts ‘Ninja Hattori,’ Academy Presents Star Wars VFX & More

Japanese Artists Reimagine Countries and Their Flags as Anime Characters for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
National identities and colorful flags get remixed into katana-wielding samurai and warrior priests in this 30-image set from “World Flags.” The team of six artists is committed to representing every competing country by the time the games kick off. …But will they finish the fierce fighters collection before someone else does a series of well-endowed international catgirls?

CALL FOR ENTRIES: 11th 3D Wire
The International Animation, Video Games & New Media Market will return to Segovia, Spain Sept. 30-Oct. 6 and is now calling for submissions to its Portuguese-Spanish Projects (animation, VR, games/apps), New Media, Innovative & Transmedia and Online Series.

Toys ‘R’ Us Rebrands and Returns in 2019
After shuttering last year, the retailer will re-emerge as “Tru Kids,” launching with six new stores this year. According to Bloomberg, the new 10,000 sq. ft. brick-and-mortars will spotlight more experiential offerings, including play areas. Former Toys ‘R’ Us exec Richard Barry is running the new shingle.

Bye-Bye Zoom, Ink and Vertigo: DC to Consolidate Its Publishing Under One Brand
The official announcement confirms recent rumors that mature-leaning imprint Vertigo is downshifting — as har middle grade brand DC Zoom and YA line DC Ink. The new lineup will be DC Kids (readers 8-12), DC (ages 13+) and DC Black Label (for those 17 and up), effective 2020.

Galactic Innovations: ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Rogue One’
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences kicks off its summer program of presentations and screenings with Oscar-winning, Oscar-nominated and Scientific and Technical Award-honored panelists, including Ben Burtt, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Harrison Ellenshaw, Bill George, John Knoll, Marcia Lucas, Dennis Muren, Bruce Nicholson and Rachel Rose discussing a galaxy far, far away. Hosted by “Rogue One” co-producer Kiri Hart. Set for June 27, the event will also livestream on the Oscars YouTube channel.

Dream Theatre Acquires Licensing Rights for ‘Ninja Hattori’ in India
The long-running Indo-Japanese series about an 11-year-old boy and his friend, a little ninja who helps with his daily trials, airs in the country on Sonic and is available to view on Amazon Prime Video, Voot and Netflix. Leading brand management/licensing co. Dream Theatre will build and grow a diverse portfolio of Ninja Hattori apparel, back to school, home, personal care, food, promotions and technology to cater to Ninja Hattori’s massive and ever growing audience in India.

Ninja Hattori’s immense and long standing popularity makes it a stand out show in India for kids and we are thrilled to work with the brand to grow the franchise in the licensing realm. We aim to bring a fresh approach and create an effective, multi faceted, multi category program focused on authenticity, availability and accessibility.” — Jiggy George, Founder & CEO, Dream Theatre Pvt. Ltd.

New Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Ann Sarnoff Is the Woman WarnerMedia Needs
Tapped to replace Kevin Tsujihara, the former BBC Studios Americas President brings concrete streaming media experience to the post, having conceived and built BBC’s North American direct-to-consumer service BritBox into a major success. The weight of an ever deepening field of VOD competitors is now on her shoulders as she shepherd key WB brands like DC, Harry Potter and Looney Tunes into the next media era.

2020 Tokyo Olympics - Vietnam flag

2020 Tokyo Olympics – Vietnam flag

2020 Tokyo Olympics - South Africa flag

2020 Tokyo Olympics – South Africa flag

Ninja Hattori

Ninja Hattori

3D Wire

3D Wire

Animation Magazine

Licensing News Bytes

Catch up with part 1 and part 2; of our Licensing Expo news roundups!

Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group (Licensing Expo booth #U202) returns to the expo with an all-star roster of new and returning licensed programs for its iconic game franchises. Call of Duty continues its 2018 success with new collaborations and offerings from DRKN (high-end streetwear capsule collection, Fall 2019) ,Fashion UK (pan-European apparel & accessories, Fall ‘19), Bioworld, KontrolFreek, New Era and Pyramid; plus returning partners Astro, Scuf Gaming, Surreal and Rubber Road. Activision plans to highlight its 40th anniversary with new CP for Crash Team Racing and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Overwatch continues to expand with this year’s first LEGO line, a range of play experiences from master toy licensee Hasbro (including recent Ultimate Action Figures & NERF Blasters, upcoming Overwatch Monopoly and more this fall), the global May launch of UNIQLO apparel (Overwatch and World of Warcraft), Funko Pops!, Insight Editions’ Overwatch: The Official Cookbook. Preorders are open for the third World of Warcraft Traveler book series for young readers (late 2019). Plus, the official Blizzard Gear Store has relaunched in China with new ecommerce licensee Baozun.

On the esports angle, Overwatch League has entered an ecommerce agreement with sports merch leader Fanatics. Baozun launched the official China e-store on Alibaba’s Tmall in May. New partnerships include New Era, Starter, G-III, Outerstuff and esports trading card program Upper Deck. Plus, Funko will launch a new Pop! Vinyl SKu in Q4. ABCPG is currently exploring opportunities for the next iteration of Call of Duty esports.

Animaccord continues the global licensing sweep for Masha and the Bear with new licensing agents appointed across Europe. CPLG will handle consumer products and promotional campaigns for the brand in Germany and Iberia, while France TV will seek out new consumer products partnerships and promos to increase brand awareness throughout France.

Cloudco Entertainment has teamed up with global creative services firm Falcon’s Creative Group in a worldwide agreement to develop retail-tainment venue experiences that bring the Care Bears franchise to life. These experiences will allow guests to physically step into and explore the magical world of Care-A-Lot. Featuring an immersive blend of vibrantly themed environments and seamlessly integrated interactive experiences, guests of all ages are taken on a hands-on adventure as they discover the Care Bear realms via media content and merchandise.

“We are incredibly honored to be working alongside Cloudco Entertainment to expand the universe of such a timeless brand,” said Cecil D. Magpuri, President/Chief Creative Officer of Falcon’s Creative Group. “These future retailtainment venues will incorporate an exciting blend of technology and the colorful theming the Care Bears brand is known for, creating a one-of-a-kind guest experience.”

Firefly Brand Management has inked a pact with U.K. animation studio 3D Sparrow to be the North American licensing agent for the popular, quirky preschool series Booba, and is introducing the property to potential licensing partners across all categories at this week’s Licensing Expo. Currently airing on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and iTunes in the U.S., the non-dialogue show follows a joyful, funny and curious little creature called Booba on his clumsy yet cunning explorations of the world. The series has earned 3.5 billion views with its 43 episodes, garnering 1 billion YouTube views worldwide in its first two years.

“We are delighted to be working with the 3D Sparrow team and Booba, We love the sensational success this unique series has maintained and look forward to introducing Booba to our licensing partners to share the many potential product possibilities offered by the unique and compelling brand of the Booba character,” said Cynthia Modders, CEO of Firefly Brand Management.

Funrise, Inc. (Licensing Expo booth K-82) has enchanted a broad portfolio of licensees in a wide range of categories for its colorful new series Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty. The brand creator’s own toy line will launch this fall, with new partners including Freeze and MAD Engine for apparel; Berkshire Fashions in headwear, cold weather and hosiery; HER Accessories in accessories; American Marketing Enterprises Inc. and Briefly Stated, Inc. – both divisions of Centric Brands – in sleepwear; Handcraft in underwear; Dreamwave in swimwear; Fast Forward in backpacks; Franco in bedding; Kittrich in stationary; Taste Beauty in cosmetics; Amscan in party and costumes; Zak! Designs in mealtime and water bottles; and CSS Industries in seasonal.

“We are thrilled with the growing popularity of Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty,” said Randy Shoemaker, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Funrise. “Fans have truly embraced the uniqueness of the brand and the positive message that it spreads: you don’t have to be just one thing. We are excited to be working with these amazing partners to bring Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty products to life in trendy and innovative new ways.”

Animation Magazine

Licensing Bytes: Anime Giants, Preschool Hits, Adult Swim Bling & More!

It’s that time of year again, toon fans and toy lovers: Licensing Expo is about to kick off in Las Vegas (June 4-6), and lots of exciting news about your favorite animation brands is coming down the pipe! Check out www.licensingexpo.com for more info on the big show.

Masha and the Bear

Masha and the Bear

Animaccord and confectionery brand Ferrero are adding some sweetness to shelves with Masha and the Bear branded chocolate bars launched in Mexico. This is the latest rollout for Ferrero, which has enjoyed a long-term partnership for the property in CIS and Europe for Kinder Surprise, Kinder Surprise Maxi and Kinder Chocolate, and expanded the partnership to Latin America. From May to August 2019, Ferrero is distributing the treats to major retailers including Walmart and traditional stores across Mexico.

King Ice Rick and Morty jewelry

King Ice Rick and Morty jewelry

Rick and Morty Dungeons & Dragons

Rick and Morty Dungeons & Dragons

Cartoon Network Enterprises announced a raft of new and expanded Rick and Morty product collaborations for every taste — over 500 products, from custom jewelry to bikes and pet products — set to launch throughout 2019, particularly around the November premiere of Season 4. New partners include leading street wear/hip-hop jewelry brand King Ice, “rebel backpack company” Sprayground, unmentionables subscription service MeUndies, pet fashion/toys/accessories maker Silver Paw, urban cycling experts State Bicycle Co. for bikes and kit, consumer electronics co. Teenage Engineering, Dungeons & Dragons maker Wizards of the Coast, and a second Rick and Morty vs. D&D comic series is coming from CNE, Wizards, Oni Press and IDW.

Lines and produces have already launched this year from Primitive Skate, sock/undies/tees brand Stance and premiere clothing brand BlackMilk.

Bioworld Crunchyroll Hime Sweater

Bioworld Crunchyroll Hime Sweater

Crunchyroll is expanding its collaboration with Bioworld Merchandising to serve the anime community with head-to-toe lifestyle gear inspired by the platform’s slate of hit series across North America and Europe. The companies will team up for a range of items based on a diverse slate of IP including Dr. STONE, Black Clover, Mob Psycho 100, Yuri!!! On ICE, Bananya, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, The Rising of the Shield Hero, DARLING in the FRANXX, re:ZERO, Goblin Slayer, et al.

“Crunchyroll has the world’s largest collection of anime, and continuing to work closely with Bioworld will improve our speed to market and will bring the anime community an even broader selection of goods for both our new and long-running series” said John Leonhardt, head of consumer products, Crunchyroll. “Our collective teams are passionate fans themselves, and we’re so grateful for Bioworld’s continued dedication and creativity as we work to better serve the global anime fandom.”

Crunchyroll & Bioworld merch has sold in retailers including Hot Topic, Box Lunch, GameStop, Think Geek, Spencer’s Gifts, FYE, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Target and Walmart.

Cannon Busters

Cannon Busters

Manga Entertainment has tapped Reemsborko Ltd. as worldwide agent for Cannon Busters, a new 12-part Netflix original anime series launching in more than 190 territories later this year. The IP is created by LeSean Thomas (The Boondocks, Legend of Korra, Children of Ether) and based on the story published by Udon Comics/Devil’s Due.

“It is a privilege to be working on this great property,” said Max Arguile of Reemsborko. “There is already strong interest — apparel is going into Hot Topic in time for launch and a sportswear range is coming too (those licensees will be announced soon). We are now at contract with a European statue licensee, a U.K. jigsaw company and a U.S. pin badge Iicensee. It’s looking very good for Cannon Busters.”

“I am both humbled and excited about the opportunity to create something truly international in the growing, mainstream appeal of anime,” said creator/exec producer Thomas. “Both Netflix and Manga Entertainment have been integral partners in my vision for a truly globalized approach to Japanese animation production and I am excited about what’s to come for fans of anime with this fun, new entry into the medium.”

44 Cats

44 Cats

Rainbow and master toy licensee Toy Plus have tapped Bandai America to distribute goodies inspired by 44 Cats across the U.S. and Canada — the series is set to make its Stateside debut on Nickelodeon on June 10. Bandai will launch a preschool toy line based on the adorable, adventurous kitten stars of the show which allow kids to play out their favorite scenes and incorporate key elements of the IP: music, creative play and collectability. Plush, figurines, play sets, musical toys and more will begin hitting shelves in early 2020.

“We’re really excited to launch the 44 Cats toy line to the U.S. and Canada market,” said Shusuke Takahara, CEO at Bandai America. “Over the last year, we’ve been looking at new lines to distribute and couldn’t be happier to partner with companies like Rainbow and Toy Plus. From figurines to plush, we can’t wait to see consumer reactions as they collect toys from the adventurous and adorable TV show.”

In addition to master toy Toy Plus, Rainbow previously announced Simba Dickie Group as exclusive distributor for Europe and the Middle East.

Popeye Red Nose Day T-Shirt

Popeye Red Nose Day T-Shirt

Red Nose Day — the charitable initiative launched in the U.S. in 2015 which has raised nearly $ 150 million to make a positive impact for children across the country, in Puerto Rico, and some of the poorest communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America — is getting a strong helping hand from Popeye the Sailorman this year. A limited edition t-shirt debuted on RND 2019 (May 23) and will be available through June. Featuring Popeye wearing the iconic Red Nose, the tee retails for $ 25 with 100% of net proceeds going to the RND Fund.

Naruto Shippuden

Naruto Shippuden

VIZ Media is celebrating the 20th anniversary of anime/manga fav Naruto, which has been delighting the world with its magic-tinged ninja action since the manga by Masashi Kishimoto debuted in 1999. The franchise includes the manga series, Naruto and Naruto Shippuden anime series and films, and the new print and animation sequel Boruto: Naruto Next Generation. VIZ is master licensor for the whole kit in North America, Latin America and West Indies, and will be exhibiting at booth R202.

Official Naruto partners include: Bandai America (6.5 inch articulated action figures), Bandai Namco Entertainment America (videogame), Bioworld (apparel and accessories), Fanwraps (decals and stickers), Funko (collections of “POP!” and “Vinyl” figures), Good Smile Company (collection of “Nendoroid” figures), Great Eastern (novelty accessories), Kura Sushi (restaurant chain activation), Just Funky (drinkware and accessories), Loyal Subjects (collection of “Action Vinyls”), McFarlane Toys (ultra-articulation action figures), Party City (Halloween costumes), Pyramid (posters and stationery), Ripple Junction (apparel and accessories), Spirit Halloween (Halloween costumes), Sprayground (backpacks), Toynami (collection of statues), Trends International (posters), Traly (collection of enamel pins for Target), Uniqlo (apparel).

Latin American partnerships include: DeAgostini (partwork collections), Heredia Clothing, S.A. De CV (apparel), Rosstamp Confeccao e Estamparia Ltda AKA Piticas (apparel), Festcolor Artigos De Festas Ltda (party goods, stickers).

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: ‘Sonic’ Redesign Causes Delay, ‘Shrek’ vs. ‘Thrones,’ Sony Launches PlayStation Productions & More

Mattel & Warner Bros. CP Extend DC Global Toy Partnership
Mattel will continue to be the toy licensee for DC Universe characters and brands in the girls, preschool, vehicles, games and novelty categories, supporting and growing both existing franchises as well as new content from the DC Super Hero Girls brand.

“Mattel has been our partner on DC for over 15 years and really knows our characters and understands the special connection they have with our fans. Their leadership in the preschool, vehicle and girls categories will help us bring great toys and experiences to DC fans of all ages.” — Stephen Teglas, SVP for North America, WBCP

CALL FOR ENTRIES: animago 2019
The 23rd competition for 3D animation, vfx and design will be held Nov. 2-5 in Munich. Submissions are invited to enter for a shot at 10 competition categories, including the new Best In-Game Graphics award, Best Visual Effects, Best Game Cinematic, Best Short Film, Best Advertising Production, Best Character, Best Young Production, Jury’s Prize, Best Motion Design, and Best Still (public vote). Deadline: June 30, 2019.

Sony Interactive Launches Unit to Adapt Games for Film, TV
The new banner headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by Sony Interactive chairman of worldwide studios Shawn Layden will mine the PlayStation games property library for filmed entertainment hits. Titles like Tomb Raider and Ratchet & Clank have previously received live-action and animated movie adaptations.

“We looked at what Marvel has done in taking the world of comic books and making it into the biggest thing in the film world. It would be a lofty goal to say we’re following in their footsteps, but certainly we’re taking inspiration from that … We want to create an opportunity for fans of our games to have more touch points with our franchises. When fans beat a 40-50 hour game and have to wait three-four years for a sequel, we want to give them places they can go and still have more of that experience and see the characters they love evolve in different ways.” — Shawn Layden, SIE Chairman – Worldwide Studios.

Let Us Not Overlook ‘Shrek’s Contributions to ‘Game of Thrones’
One seemingly absurdTwitter thread has outshone every long-gestated fan theory about the show, tbh.

’Game of Thrones’ Alum Bryan Cogman Joins ‘Lord of the Rings’ Amazon Series
Speaking of fantasy epics! Cogman joined GoT as an assistant to creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and went on to write many key episodes (including season 8 tearjerker “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”) and wrap the show as a co-executive producer. The move to LotR is part of his overall deal with Amazon Studios. The new series will further explore Middle-earth outside the familiar book trilogy tale.

Jeff Fowler: ‘Sonic’ Date Pushed Back for Redesign
After the debut trailer for live-action/CG event feature Sonic the Hedgehog gave the entire collective internet a conniption and caused director Fowler to announce a redesign of the lead character, the helmer posted to Twitter Friday that the release is being delayed to accommodate the makeover. “Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right. #novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie,” Fowler tweeted, with a sketch of Sonic’s gloved hand (are they turning his furry white hands back into gloves?!) holding a sign with the date February 14, 2020. The new date means Sonic debuts the same day as comic-book movie Kingsman 3 and a week after hybrid family flick Peter Rabbit 2.

Animago

Animago

DC Universe toys

DC Universe toys

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Sneak Peek, Nick Park Promises More ‘Wallace & Gromit,’ ‘Spider-Verse’ Heads to Netflix & More

DeviantArt ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Discover Your Duo Contest
To celebrate the home entertainment release, this art competition challenges fans to bring their favorite character combos from the Hidden World to life! First, Second and Third Place winners will be chosen by series writer and director Dean DeBlois. Entry deadline is May 28.

Disney’s Meta Take on ‘Rescue Rangers’ Finds Its Director with Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer
The mischievous chipmunk duo Chip and Dale will make their big screen debut in a live-action/CG hybrid take on their adventure-comedy TV toon. The characters debuted in 1943; the original Rescue Rangers 2D series launched in 1989. Dan Gregor and Doug Mand *Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, How I Met Your Mother) wrote the underwraps script.

Women Try to Break Cel Block Ceiling
“I do feel like there’s been a glass ceiling that I’ve been hitting up against. I feel like I have to justify myself and my position, or explain myself in more detail than my male colleagues have to. I think I have to work a little bit harder to prove myself.” — Marge Dean, President, Women in Animation.

’Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Is Coming to Netflix This June
Sony Pictures Animation’s Oscar-winning feature will arrive on the streaming platform on June 26. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman based on a story by Phil Lord, Spider-Verse centers on Afro-Latino Brooklyn teen Miles Morales who discovers he has Spider-Man’s powers, and gets caught up in an interdimensional team-up of parallel reality Spideys.

Want more Spider-Verse? Check out the brilliant animation/reference footage comparison shared by animator Emma Shih.

New ‘Wallace & Gromit’ Projects in the Works, Says Nick Park
The U.K. stop-motion icons will return to screens in the next couple of years, the Aardman Animations founder tells Hollywood Reporter. In this interview, Park reflects on favorite properties, and easing into its new employee-controlled business model.

’Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,’ The Ultimate Preview
Vanity Fair and photographer Annie Liebovitz go behind the scenes and debuts fresh stills for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming culmination of the Skywalker saga. The sequel reunites Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Marie Tran, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Billie Lourd, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid and footage of Carrie Fisher as the remnants of the Resistance tussle with the First Order once again. Newcomers include Keri Russell as “masked scoundrel” Zorri Bliss, Richard E. Grant as General Pryde and Naomi Ackie as Jannah.

Nick Park

Nick Park

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: ‘Maleficent 2’ Enchanting Teaser, That ‘Aladdin’ Clip, New Manga from ‘Naruto’ Creator & More

Godzilla Asserts Online Dominance with First Official Website
Launched by Japanese studio Toho in time for the highly anticipated feature film Godzilla: King of the Monsters on May 31, Godzilla.com commemorates the big screen monster icon’s 65th anniversary by connection fans around the world with content from more than 30 films, comics, art, apparel, toys, and a “Monsterpedia” guide unlocking the secrets of the entire Godzilla universe!

“We’re thrilled to unleash a world of content around our most beloved Godzilla. Fans have been longing for a universe that celebrates the all-mighty king of monsters and Godzilla.com delivers the most exciting news and stories about upcoming events, new merchandise and special releases as we commemorate the 65th anniversary of Godzilla.” — Keiji Ota, CGO (Chief Godzilla Officer), Toho.

AMC & Survios Announce ‘The Walking Dead Onslaught’ VR Game
Coming this fall, fans can get their aggro out by bashing virtual walker skulls in in the new official game. Onslaught putes players in ultimate survivor mode to experience two different sides of the apocalypse: an original, gut wrenching narrative and classic supply runs with randomized weapon/item pickups. The whole thing is made even more satisfying/disturbing by Suvrios’ new, multilayered Progressive Dismemberment System.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: TAAFI Toronto Animation Arts Festival International
Showcasing the best in animation artistry from around the world in one of North America’s top toon hubs, TAAFI offers awards in juried categories including Best Student Short, Best Canadian Short, Best International Short, Grand Prix, Audience Choice and Best Kids’ Short. Submissions are now open for the 2020 edition. Deadline: October 31, 2019.

‘Samurai 8’, ‘Naruto’ Creator’s New Series, Now Available on Shonen Jump
The first full chapter of Masashi Kishimoto’s thrilling new adventure Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru is available now for free through VIZ Media’s manga platform, with new chapters debuting simultaneously with Japan each week. The sci-fi samurai story is illustrated by Kishimoto’s longtime collaborator, Akira Okubo. VIZ is also adding three new series to the Shonen Jump digital vault: One Punch Man, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (first three arcs) and Golen Kamuy (mature-rated, web only). Fans can access the title via shonenjump.com or the iOS/Android app — digital membership is just $ 1.99 a month.

I’ve Got a Bad Feeling about This, Aladdin
People are certainly feeling some ways about the new clip of Will Smith singing “Prince Ali” that IGN dropped Monday. But… can a (truly) live-action remake really capture the magic and energy of an animated classic without breaching the borders of the Uncanny Valley? That is one for the philosophers and whoever wants to Tweet about this.

WATCH: Official Teaser | Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Set several years after the first film, this dark-tinged fantasy adventure continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.

The film is directed by Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) from a story by Linda Woolverton (Maleficent, 1994’s The Lion King) and a screenplay by Woolverton and Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster. Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning reprise their roles as Maleficent and Princess Aurora, joined by Michelle Pfeiffer, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Riley, Harris Dickinson, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville. In theaters October 18.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

TAAFI

TAAFI

The Walking Dead: Onslaught

The Walking Dead: Onslaught

Samurai 8

Samurai 8

Animation Magazine