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

Mouse House Announces Intl. Disney+ Launch Dates, Prices

Disney announced the first global launch dates and prices for its upcoming streaming service Disney+: The streamer will arrive in Canada and the Netherlands on the same day as the United States, where the service becomes available Nov. 12. The Canadian version of Disney+ will be priced at CAD$ 8.99 per month, or CAD $ 89.99 per year. The Dutch version will cost 6.99 euros per month or 69.99 euros per year.

The Canadian service will be slightly cheaper than its U.S. equivalent ($ 6.77 per month compared to the U.S. version, which will start at $ 6.99 per month). The Dutch version of Disney+, however, will be more expensive in U.S. dollars, at $ 7.75 per month, based on current exchange rates.

A week later, Disney+ will arrive in Australia and New Zealand on Nov 19, priced at AUD$ 8.99 per month or AUD$ 89.99 per year and NZD$ 9.99 per month, or $ 99.99 per year, respectively. (Equivalent of $ 6.09 per month and $ 6.42 per month in U.S. dollars). According to the studio, more global territories will be announced in the first two years. Disney will also offer a bundled package of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $ 12.99 per month in the U.S.

Analysts predict that the service will have over 60 million to 90 million global subscribers in the next four years. Disney+ will offer shows and movies from the Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, National Geographic and 21st Century Fox library, and will also offer original content, including new live-action Star Wars and Marvel shows, a Phineas and Ferb movie, Monsters at Work (a spinoff of Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.), short films created in the SparkShorts program and Forky Asks a Question, a series of short films based on Toy Story 4’s popular new character! Also on tap are a new High School Musical series and a live-action version of Lady & The Tramp.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Disney+

Disney+

Disney+

Disney+

Animation Magazine

Watch: Netflix Dates ‘Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling’ Global Launch

Following the news that global streaming giant Netflix had snapped up the highly anticipated Nickelodeon movie, fans around the world can now look forward to reconnecting with Joe Murray’s O-Town gang when Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling premieres on the platform August 9. The movie brings back the classic characters of Nickelodeon animated series Rocko’s Modern Life (1993-1996) in an all-new culture shock adventure.

Synopsis: After being in space for around 20 years, Rocko and his friends attempt to conform to an even more modern life in O-Town, where coffee shops are on every corner, food trucks offer multi-layered tacos, touch-screen O-Phones are being upgraded on a near-constant basis, an instant-print kiosk has replaced Rocko’s old job at Kind-of-a-Lot-O-Comics, and radioactive energy drinks turn their consumers into mutants.

Original series voice actors and newcomers make up the energetic cast: Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny, Charlie Adler, Mr. Lawrence, Jill Talley, Linda Wallem, Steve Little, Joe Murray, Cosmo Segurson, Tom Smith, and Dan Becker

The movie is written by series creator Joe murray with Doug Lawrence and Martin Olson; Murray also directs, with Cosmo Segurson, and exec produces. Lizbeth Velasco is producer. Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling is a Nickelodeon production.

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling

Animation Magazine

Hasbro ‘Overwatch’ Figures Launch Hit Shelves in US/Canada

Fans of the smash-hit brawler game Overwatch can now get their hands on Hasbro’s fab Overwatch Ultimates Series 6-Inch Figure & Dual Pack Assortments, as well as the Reinhardt Figure, available at most major toy retailers in the U.S. and Canada. Carriers include GameStop, Walmart, Toys R Us Canada and EB Games.

OVERWATCH ULTIMATES SERIES 6-INCH Figure & Dual Pack Assortments

(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $ 19.99, $ 39.99 for Dual Pack)

With the OVERWATCH ULTIMATES SERIES, fans and collectors can build a roster of their favorite heroes and imagine the action of Overwatch leaping onto their shelves and into their collections. These premium 6-inch-scale figures feature game-inspired designs with multiple points of articulation, and come with their signature in-game accessories for high poseability and display. Heroes in this single-figure assortment include Tracer, Lúcio, Sombra and Blackwatch Reyes (Reaper). The Dual Pack assortment include Soldier: 76 and Ana; and Pharah and Mercy. Includes: figures and accessories. Each figure or Dual Pack sold separately.

OVERWATCH ULTIMATES SERIES 6-INCH REINHARDT Figure

(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $ 49.99) The heavily armored Reinhardt charges into battle with his Rocket Hammer, and always has his Barrier Field ready if his team comes under heavy fire. This premium 6-inch-scale Reinhardt figure comes with his signature accessories and features game-inspired design and multiple points of articulation for high poseability and display. With the premium OVERWATCH ULTIMATES SERIES, fans and collectors can build a roster of their favorite heroes. Additional figures each sold separately. Includes: figure, accessories, and 2 shield stands.


Animation Magazine

Duncan Studio Reveals Launch Originals Slate

Duncan Studio, which delivered the 2D animation interlaced through Disney’s Annie Award-winning sequel Mary Poppins Returns, is ready to launch its new in-house development and production division Duncan Originals. Headed by studio founder and Disney alum Ken Duncan, the shop is developing a slate of animated features, series and short-form content.

The launch slate includes:

Nature’s End (live-action/animation/gaming hybrid feature film) – A sci-fi/fantasy adventure starring a female hero who finds a way to overcome an ecological crisis without resorting to violence or imitating her male counterparts.

R.E.D. (six-part series) – A humorous sci-fi detective story inspired by 1950s pulp novels, which centers on a machine which is questioning its value as a “living” being.

“Our development division has created a slate of unique, inclusive, gender balanced and visually compelling stories, that will engage and resonate with audiences globally. Our mission is to work with culturally diverse established and emerging new talent to expand the creative boundaries of the animation art form,” Duncan told Deadline.

Founded in 2007, Duncan Studio has worked talented filmmakers including Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall, Brad Bird, Tom Hanks and Katherina Bigelow, and with top studios like Illumination, Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal.

[Source: Deadline]

Animation Magazine

Tshimologong, Animation SA & AFD Launch Short Script Contest, Intern Program

Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), in partnership with Animation South Africa, have announced the launch of a short film competition aimed at improving the development of animated films, and announced the 2019 Digital Content Hub intern skills development program.

Professional script writers are invited to submit scripts which are no more than five minutes’ duration and authentically African with global appeal, while interested interns are encouraged to submit their CVs for a place in the development program. The winning script will have free visual development and storyboards done by the 2019 skills pipeline.

The selected short film scripts will have concept design and storyboarding developed and directed by art director Lesego Vorster, a former lecturer of The Animation School and Les Gobelins Masters graduate. Vorster will be assisted by Bokang Koatja and Jeani Varty — two industry specialists in concept design and storyboarding who are currently training at Les Gobelins, one of France’s leading Animation Schools. The curriculum for the internship is also being refined by experts from the same institution.

The digital skills development program, called the “Skills Pipeline,” is a seven-month paid internship for 20 candidates. Aimed at unemployed BEE graduates and talented artists in concept design and storyboarding, it offers experiential learning in visual development and storyboarding focused on animation. The internship runs from January to August 30, 2019.

“This is an exciting internship, competition and transformation initiative. It will focus on concept design and Africanisation of imagery in animation and storyboarding. One of the major constraints of developing world-class digital content in South Africa, and elsewhere in Africa, is a shortage of people with specialised skills. This is exasperated by a very competitive and tough job market. We are hoping that this initiative will go a long way to assist both interns and the market in general,” says Isabelle Rorke, Chief Enabling Officer, Animation.

Eligible candidates for the competition are required to submit their complete short film script for animation by December 5, 2018, while CVs and portfolios for the internship must be sent by 5 p.m. on November 25 to [email protected]. Selected candidates will be contacted directly and sent details about the interview dates and venue.

Animation Magazine

Ask a Stoner: Can I Launch a Pot Business Without Deep Pockets?

Dear Stoner: I keep seeing all these big-business names jumping into legal weed — Coca-Cola, Corona, etc. Do we little guys still have a chance to open a cannabis business?
Davey

Dear Davey: Coca-Cola was reportedly in serious talks about partnering with a Canadian cannabis company to create CBD-infused drinks, but no official purchase or partnership has been announced. Still, you’re not crazy if you think there’s a trend. In August, Corona’s parent company, Constellation Brands, pumped $ 4 billion into a Canadian cannabis firm it owns part of, while Reuters recently reported that Walmart was considering jumping into the CBD trade in Canada. Other industry giants getting into the cannabis business are Molson-Coors and tobacco companies Altria and Imperial Brands. But here’s the good news for you: They’re all in Canada, because marijuana is legal throughout that country as of this month, and that makes it easier to invest there.

Ask a Stoner: Can I Launch a Pot Business Without Deep Pockets?

As long as cannabis policy remains a (mostly) states’ issue in the United States, little guys will still have a chance — albeit a declining one — at building their own pot companies. Opportunities still exist in Colorado, particularly the farther you get from Denver, and new states continue to legalize medical and retail pot, providing even more chances to get in the biz. But be prepared to work hard.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.


Toke of the Town

Cartoon Network & Black Women Animate Launch Burbank Boot Camp

Cartoon Network has partnered with Black Women Animate to host its first-ever Boot Camp Training Day on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif. The intensive training day will provide BWA’s collective members and extended community the opportunity to develop and enhance their animation skills through a series of master classes and panels with industry leaders.

The event will kick off with a conversation featuring the team behind Cartoon Network’s hit series Craig of the Creek. The groundbreaking show has connected with viewers through its relatable characters and universal storylines and has been celebrated for its attention to inclusion and positive representation of minorities.

“Cartoon Network Studios recognizes the value that Black Women Animate and its members contribute to the larger animation community,” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer, Cartoon Network. “This partnership is designed to inspire conversation and creativity and is another step in our ongoing drive to be the inspirational home base for diverse talent.”

Black Women Animate founder and CEO Taylor K. Shaw will moderate a roundtable conversation titled “The Power of Our Roots” with other trailblazing women in animation. Attendees will participate in in-depth sessions focused on storyboarding, character design, writing and other topics. In addition, BWA managing partner JLove Calderón will moderate a panel discussion on how to be an ally to women of color.

Artists can also submit an animated short five-minutes or less for competition. A panel of esteemed judges from various animation studios will select the winning short and it will be screened at the event.

“We are so happy to partner with Cartoon Network on this revolutionary event. Sponsoring our Boot Camp demonstrates their commitment to building the future of animation,” said Shaw. “Black Women Animate is committed to shifting culture through meaningful diversity and inclusion efforts. This Boot Camp is just the beginning of us giving our base the support they need to soar.”

Cartoon Network Studios is committed to supporting diverse and emerging talent by providing education and inspiring creativity. Most recently, the studio launched CNS Academy to provide resources and tools to a growing animation community to help discover and develop their professional and personal skills.

For more information about the Black Women Animate Boot Camp Training Day, visit: www.bwabootcamp.com.

Animation Magazine

VRV Is Premiere Launch Partner for NickSplat SVOD Channel

Hold on to your nostalgia, buckaroos. Ellation’s VRV platform has partnered with Nickelodeon to become the premiere launch partner for NickSplat, available as an OTT channel on VRV starting today.

NickSplat is a multi-screen destination featuring beloved Nickelodeon classics from the 1990s and beyond across TV and social platforms. Nick collaborated closely with VRV to craft a NickSplat-branded streaming channel boasting a rotating tap list of nearly 30 series of the network’s most beloved animated and live-action programming of yore, including Nicktoons AAAHH!!! Real Monsters, CatDog, Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, The Angry Beavers and The Wild Thornberrys, as well as All That, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Clarissa Explains It All, Kenan & Kel and Legends of the Hidden Temple — among others, plus more to be added in the future.

The channel will be available to purchase a la carte for $ 5.99 per month, and will be included in the VRV Premium bundle ($ 9.99 per month). Check out the channel guide at vrv.co/nicksplatguide and access NickSplat now at https://vrv/co/nicksplat, or by downloading the VRV app on your console, smart TV or mobile device.

“Using the VRV platform, our goal is to empower both traditional media and popular digital brands to launch or extend their OTT channel presence,” said Eric Berman, head of content partnerships, VRV, Ellation. “Our partnership with Viacom is a first of its kind. We’re very proud to be the premiere launch partner to bring a NickSplat channel into SVOD and share these nostalgic series so our passionate audience can fall in love with them all over again.”

“VRV, with a sophisticated user base that loves the best in animation, is the perfect platform to launch our NickSplat channel,” said Sam Cooper, Viacom Executive Vice President of Distribution and Business Development Partnerships. “Viacom’s content – including our deep library of genre-defining television – is highly in demand, and our audiences are always looking for new and innovative ways to enjoy our programming. We’re committed to finding the best partners to bring our individual brands direct to the consumer, and this relationship with VRV is an exciting step forward in our strategy.”

“We’re building a basecamp for unique fandom experiences within the VRV universe. By rallying and connecting fan communities, we make it easy to be fan,” said Arlen Marmel, general manager of VRV, Ellation. “NickSplat is an incredible brand with content that’s been delighting fans for more than 30 years and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Nickelodeon team to broaden the VRV universe.”

In celebration of the NickSplat channel launch, VRV is kicking off a “childhooding” tour of experiential events, starting in Santa Monica the weekend of September 7. Attendees will find nostalgic toons, a cereal bar, ‘90s-themed photo activation and more. Additional tour stops TBA.

The Angry Beavers

The Angry Beavers

AAAHH!!! Real Monsters

AAAHH!!! Real Monsters

Rocko's Modern Life

Rocko’s Modern Life

CatDog

CatDog

The Wild Thornberrys

The Wild Thornberrys

Animation Magazine

Academy and Linux Launch Software Foundation

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Linux Foundation have launched the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) to provide a neutral forum for open source software developers in the film and broader media industries to share resources and collaborate on technologies for image creation, visual effects, animation and sound.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Linux Foundation for this vital initiative that fosters more innovation, more collaboration, more creativity among artists and engineers in our community,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “The Academy Software Foundation is core to the mission of our Academy: promoting the arts and sciences of motion pictures.”

“Open Source Software has enabled developers and engineers to create the amazing visual effects and animation that we see every day in the movies, on television and in video games,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation. “With the Academy Software Foundation, we are providing a home for this community of open source developers to collaborate and drive the next wave of innovation across the motion picture and broader media industries.”

The ASWF is the result of a two-year investigation by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council into the use of Open Source Software (OSS) across the motion picture industry. The survey found that more than 80% of the industry uses open source software, particularly for animation and visual effects. However, this widespread use of OSS has also created challenges including siloed development, managing multiple versions of OSS libraries (“versionitis”) and varying governance and licensing models that need to be addressed in order to ensure a healthy open source ecosystem.

The mission of the ASWF is to increase the quality and quantity of open source contributions by developing a governance model, legal framework and community infrastructure that lowers the barrier to entry for developing and using open source software. Developers interested in learning more or contributing can sign up to join the mailing list at www.aswf.io/community.

The ASWF Goals are to

  • Provide a neutral forum to coordinate cross-project efforts, establish best practices and share resources across the motion picture and broader media industries.
  • Develop an open continuous integration (CI) and build infrastructure to enable reference builds from the community and alleviate issues caused by siloed development.
  • Provide individuals and organizations with a clear path for participation and code contribution.
  • Streamline development for build and runtime environments through the sharing of open source build configurations, scripts and recipes.
  • Provide better, more consistent licensing through a shared licensing template.

For more information, visit http://www.aswf.io/.

Animation Magazine

Boomerang Streams into Year 2 with New Series, Spanish Launch & More

Boomerang

As Turner’s premium SVOD toon service Boomerang embarks on its second year, subscribers are in store for a slate of new series for kids, families and animation fans, renewed original series and acquisitions, additional platform partners and enhance product features — including a fully translated Spanish language experience premiering this Memorial Day Weekend.

Launched April 2017 with a library of over 5,000 animation titles up its sleeves — including the Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes franchises (alongside original series) — Boomerang now offers users access to more than 2,000 titles for streaming and download-to-go. Through 2018 and beyond, content will continue to increase at a strong rate.

NEW ORIGINAL SERIES

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?: The all-new series from Warner Bros. Animationfollows the grand tradition of Scooby-Doo team-ups and takes the idea to hilarious new heights. Faced with some of their toughest mysteries yet, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo will join forces with some of the biggest names in celebrity and pop culture including NBA superstar Chris Paul, recording artists Halsey and Sia, Ricky Gervais, Kenan Thompson, Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Mark Hamill, Steve Urkel (voiced by Jaleel White reprising his iconic role), Batman, Sherlock Holmes, The Flash, Wonder Woman and many more!

Chris Bailey (Kim Possible) serves as producer with Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) as executive producer. Premieres in 2019.

Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs

Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs

Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs!:  This quarter-hour comedy from Warner Bros. Animation takes you beyond Bedrock to The Crags, a vast land that is as dangerous and wild as the dinosaurs that inhabit it. Pebbles Flintstone and Bamm-Bamm Rubble are two best friends, growing up in the prehistoric time when dinosaurs and giant beasts still walked the earth. But they live in peaceful, quiet ol’ Bedrock — and whenever they get the chance, Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm and Dino head to the open wilderness, helping new friends, fighting new enemies and learning about life through their endless crazy adventures. Back in Bedrock, Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty still enjoy all the familiar quirks and trappings of life as a modern Stone Age family not knowing all the trouble (and fun!) their kids are getting themselves into.

Mark Marek (MAD) and Marly Halpern-Graser (Right Now Kapow) serve as producers with Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) as executive producer. Premieres in 2019.

RETURNING ORIGINAL SERIES

Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!

Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!

Be Cool Scooby-Doo! (New season 2 episodes premiere through 2018.) With high school over and one last summer to live it up, Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, Velma, Daphne and Fred decide to travel during what could be their last summer break together. The gang hits the road in the Mystery Machine, chasing fun and adventure. However, danger and trouble are never too far behind as Scooby and the gang encounter new mysteries that may end up spoiling their fun.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Jeff Mednikow (Teen Titans Go!) and Mark Marek (MAD) serve as producers, Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!) as supervising producer with Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) as executive producer.

Bunnicula

Bunnicula

Bunnicula (Season 2 premieres continue through 2018; newly greenlit season 3 coming 2019.) The Monroe family homestead and its two resident pets, droll dog Harold and hyperactive feline Chester, are thrown into a tizzy by the arrival of a new creature, Bunnicula – a vampire rabbit with a taste for carrot juice – that drags them into a variety of paranormal adventures.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Jessica Borutksi (The Looney Tunes Show) serves as producer, James Howe (Bunnicula book series) serves as consulting producer and Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) is executive producer.

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz (Season 2 kicks off with a Memorial Day movie special. Premiere episodes will continue into 2019.) After the Wicked Witch of the West’s defeat, Queen Ozma has appointed Dorothy the Princess of Emerald City. With her feet firmly grounded in her ruby slippers, Dorothy tackles her royal duties with enthusiasm, bravery and farm girl feistiness. And whether it’s magic, munchkins, flying monkeys or her arch-nemesis Wilhelmina, the wicked witch in training and niece of the Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy is ready to track down and put a stop to any problem that comes Oz’s way.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Jeff DeGrandis serves as producer (Dinotrux) with Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) as executive producer.

New Looney Tunes

New Looney Tunes

New Looney Tunes (New season 2 episodes continue to be added through 2019.) The hilarious, heroic and mischievous Bugs Bunny you love is back! Follow Bugs as he stars in a new series consisting of slapstick comedic shorts that find the iconic, carrot-loving rabbit matching his wits against classic characters, such as Theodore “Tasmanian” Devil, Wile E. Coyote and Yosemite Sam.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Matt Craig (Saturday Night Live) and Gary Hartle (Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters) serve as producers with Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) as executive producer.

The Tom and Jerry Show

The Tom and Jerry Show

The Tom and Jerry Show (Season 2 premiere episodes continue through 2018, S3 has been greenlit for 2019.) The iconic cat and mouse rivals are back and up to their old antics in a new setting that puts a fresh spin on the classic series. Follow Tom and Jerry as they explore fantastic new places, including a witch’s cabin and a mad scientist’s lab, in The Tom and Jerry Show. Preserving the look, characters and sensibility of the original, this series shines a brightly colored, high-definition lens on the madcap slapstick and never-ending battle that has made Tom and Jerry two of the most beloved characters of all time.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Ashley Postlewaite (Funny Face) and Darrell Van Citters (The Mr. Men Show) serve as producers with Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) as executive producer.

Wacky Races

Wacky Races

Wacky Races (Season 2 of the new, reimagined series will premiere later in 2018.) When the engines start, the laughter roars in this animated comedy series featuring the return of your favorite racers and, of course, their wacky cars! Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat is the sassy Southern bell whose charm and intelligence make her a formidable racer but most of the time she’s taking a detour to save the other racers. Penelope’s best friend, Peter Perfect in the Turbo Terrific, has a big heart and an even bigger ego, which fuels his super positive can-do attitude. Meanwhile, in the Mean Machine, Dick Dastardly and his accomplice, Muttley, stop at nothing to win the race by any means necessary. And if it’s bizarre, creepy, slimy or just plain weird, The Gruesome Twosome, Tiny and Bella, are either related to it or keep it in their monster truck, the Doombuggy.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Mike Disa (Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon) serves as supervising producer with Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) as executive producer.

ACQUISITIONS

Wind in the Willows: Based on the classic novel, this new, original animated series from UK distributor HoHo Rights will be available exclusively in the U.S. on Boomerang in 2019. Part of Britain’s great literary heritage, Wind in the Willows was first published in 1908 and the riverside adventures of Mole, Rat and Toad have been enchanting children ever since. Harking back to a gentler era of altruism, good manners, community and citizenship, the values in The Wind in the Willows continue to endure.

PRODUCT UPDATES

+      Spanish language: Coming this Memorial Day Weekend, Boomerang will launch a full Spanish language experience for its users.

+      Profiles & Personalization: Giving families and individual fans the ability to personalize their Boomerang experience through avatar creation and show discovery.

+      User Created Playlists and Interactivity: Users will have the ability to create and share playlists featuring their personal cartoon favorites along with other features under development aimed at elevating interaction with Boomerang’s beloved characters.

+      Universal Search: Available on Thursday May 24 th across Roku, Amazon and Apple, Universal Search will easily allow animation fans to find Boomerang content when searching their favorite animated series and characters. Universal Search on Google will be available later in the Summer.

+      New Platforms: Boomerang will be available via Android TV starting Memorial Day Weekend, with additional platforms to come by the end of the year.

Animation Magazine

Bankside Picks Up ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ for Cannes Sales Launch

Kensuke's Kingdom

Kensuke’s Kingdom

London-based international sales & production company Bankside Films has acquired upcoming animated, ecologically-themed feature adventure Kensuke’s Kingdom, to be directed by animation veteran Neil Boyle (Sherlock Gnomes, The Simpsons, Ethel & Ernest, Space Jam, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and award-winning filmmaker Kirk Hendry (Junk), and is based on the best-selling children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo (War Horse).

“It is amazing how many parents and children have told us that Kensuke’s Kingdom is their favorite book. The story has real staying power and that is down to the memorable characters and resonant themes Michael Morpurgo has woven into it. We are really looking forward to using the magic of animation to translate this novel into a spectacular and heartwarming big screen adventure for audiences of all ages. We can’t wait to begin,” commented the directors.

The screenplay is written by BAFTA nominee Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man, Hilary and Jackie). Producers are Working Title co-founder Sarah Radclyffe, Lupus Films’ award-winning duo Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding (Ethel & Ernest, The Snowman and the Snowdog, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt), BAFTA nominee Barnaby Spurrier, and Melusine Prod.’s Stéphan Roelants (Ernest & Celestine, Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner).

Storyboarding and main animation production will take place in London at Lupus Films’ studio, overseen by Deakin and Fielding, with additional animation and coloring at Melusine in Luxembourg overseen by Roelants, and compositing, VFX and post-production at Windmill Lane in Ireland overseen by visual effects head Ciaran Crowley.

Bankside will launch sales for the title at the Cannes Film Festival this month. Production is expected to begin this fall.

Kensuke’s Kingdom is an incredibly special story which has so much relevance to the world we live in today,” said Stephen Kelliher of Bankside Films. “Adapted from first class source material, it comes from a world class creative team who will execute the animation exquisitely, delivering a moving story which will resonate with audiences young and old.”

Kensuke’s Kingdom tells the story of Michael, who is stranded on a remote Pacific island when a storm washes him overboard during a family round-the-world sailing trip. Struggling to survive and knowing he and his dog won’t last long, Michael realizes that someone has been watching over him and helping him stay alive. This mysterious stranger, a Japanese man named Kensuke, reluctantly allows Michael into his world. But something threatens to destroy the fragile world Kensuke has createdon the island, and the unlikely friends must use all their courage, skills and resourcefulness to save it.

Screenwriter Cottrell-Boyce said, “Kensuke’s Kingdom has everything you wish for in a thrilling adventure — storms at sea, shipwrecks, lost islands, mysterious strangers and majestic animals. But it’s got something more. In the end it’s a story about our fragile environment and how we can protect it. It comes along at a time when young people are more aware of this than ever.”

“Of all the books I have written, it is Kensuke’s Kingdom that without question remains the most well-loved. And now it is to be an animated film for which Frank Cottrell-Boyce has written a wonderful screenplay that reflects the spirit of the story, with its strong message of the importance of reconciliation and friendship, and of living in harmony with our fellow creatures and with the world about us,” added Morpurgo. “It is certainly an ever more relevant story. And this is animation film-making and writing at its best, bringing to the story great emotional power. They have taken the best of the book and made it better. I am sure this will be a remarkable film that millions will love. I can’t wait to see it!”

Executive producers for Kensuke’s Kingdom are Bill Godfrey, Courtney Pledger and Tim Morris. Associate producer is Anna Webster. Co-producers are Jigsaw Films, Lupus Films, Melusine Productions and Windmill Lane Pictures. The film will be a co-production between the UK, Luxembourg and Ireland. Development of the project has been supported by the BFI, Film Fund Luxembourg and Ffilm Cymru Wales.

Kensuke's Kingdom

Kensuke’s Kingdom

Kensuke's Kingdom

Kensuke’s Kingdom

Animation Magazine

Mattel and Bad Robot Launch Monster Plans for ‘Beastlies’

Beastlies

L.A.-based sculptor Leslie Levings’ charming monsters The Beastlies are coming to animated or hybrid life, thanks to a new plan launched by Mattel and Bad Robot. According to Deadline, Bad Robot’s  J.J. Abrams pitched the characters to Mattel president/COO Richard Dickson two years ago when they met on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Although producers are tight-lipped about the details of the new project, Bad Robot and Mattel seem to have big plans for the creatures. “The Beastlies is a passion project we have been working on at Bad Robot for years with the creator of these extraordinary creatures, Leslie Levings. To finally bring The Beastlies to the world, in collaboration with the brilliant minds at Mattel, is an absolute dream,” said Abrams.

Dickson told Deadline,  “Abrams presented this character concept he believed is aesthetically inspiring and creative, and then we got together the character drawings and creative conversations and that brought us to the point where we could reveal the partnership and concept…The combination of JJ and Bad Robot’s content creator powerhouse abilities and Mattel’s global marketing and branding abilities seemed a strong match for an amazing collaborative effort.”

Levings’s website describes the colorful Beastlies as “small but expressive monsters collected by fans around the world.” Her work has been exhibited in galleries around the country, and as far away as Tokyo. Her Beastlies and other creations have appeared in several publications, including the cover of the farewell issue of Nintendo Power. She also founded and runs the Wayward Retreat, a creative retreat for women pursuing their artistic passions that is held annually on a small island in Canada.

Beastlies

Beastlies

Beastlies

Beastlies

Animation Magazine

Simka and Katz Launch Multi-Channel Venture SuperdopeTV

superdopetv-150

Writer/producers Mychal Simka and Barry Katz are launching SuperdopeTV, a new on-line content network devoted to kids (age 5 to 12) properties. The venture is now raising capital through an equity crowdfunding offering, which is a joint venture between Micro Ventures and Indiegogo. According to the organizers, investors can invest as little as $ 100 to support the launch campaign and participate in the potential growth of the next family entertainment brand for Generation Z, SuperdopeTV.

The goal of SuperdopeTV is to produce live-action comedy sketches, animated series, celebrity and brand-sponsored content and music. SuperdopeTV will offer a large selection of relatable content for today’s growing Generation Z with a variety of entertainment programs formatted for kid-specific interests. In addition to online programming, SuperdopeTV will offer a weekly half-hour series for traditional television. SuperdopeTV is a sketch comedy show built for online and conventional television platforms as well as a multi-channel network of the same name.

“Thirty-two percent of all kids in 2016 preferred getting their content on a digital device, something other than traditional television, and we are seeking to meet that demand,” says Mychal Simka, Founder & CEO, SuperdopeTV. “As more children and teens turn to the internet for entertainment, pop culture studios have become increasingly important in the creation of intelligent, high-quality content. SuperdopeTV believes that this online terrain presents a significant opportunity for the family entertainment industry. Like AwesomenessTV, which was funded for only 3 million dollars and is now valued at $ 650 million, SuperdopeTV aspires to create the first household name in kids entertainment online.”

“As my kids grow from tweens to teens in this complicated world, I wanted to work on an extraordinary venture that would inspire them and millions of other kids like them from around the world,” say Barry Katz. “Mychal Simka is a true visionary that sees the future of family media authentically and I believe he will change the face of entertainment.”

Mychal Simka and his co-producer Bart Baker successfully used equity crowdfunding to raise capital in an oversubscribed offering for the animated film Adventures of Bunny Bravo,” which is currently in production. For more info, visit www.superdopetv.net

Mychal Simka / Barry Katz

Mychal Simka / Barry Katz

SuperdopeTV

SuperdopeTV

Animation Magazine

CAKE Inks Multiseries Deal with Virgin TV Following App Launch

Angry Birds Blues

Angry Birds Blues

Kids entertainment co. CAKE has secured a distribution deal with Virgin TV which will bring programs from the CAKE catalog — nearly 500 episodes in all — to Virgin TV Kids’ no demand service (available to Virgin Media subscribers in the UK and Ireland) and its brand new Kids app, launched August 24.

“We are very excited to bring nearly 500 episodes of great kids content to Virgin TV with CAKE,” said David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin TV. “The addition of programming such as Angry Birds, Total Drama and Wanda and the Alien underlines our commitment to a market-leading kids offer for Virgin TV. Kids TV is a clear focus for us and it is great to have CAKE as key a partner.”

Additional highlights of the deal’s programming package include Rovio Ent.’s latest Angry Birds toons Angry Birds Blues (launched earlier this year) and Piggy Tales: 4th Street (in production) and BAFTA-nominated kids’ live-action sci fi series The Sparticle Mystery.

Ed Galton, CCO and Managing Director at CAKE said, “It is exciting to be working with Virgin TV as they expand their offering to kids and we hope this will be the beginning of a fruitful partnership.”

Angry Birds Blues

Angry Birds Blues

Animation Magazine