With the globally beloved animal stars of The Secret Life of Pets 2 ready to make their DVD, Blu-ray and 4K debut on August 27, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has given us a sneak peek at the special features in store on the release. Check out the deleted scene “Wake Up” form Illumination Ent.’s blockbuster sequel below!
Don’t forget to enter our online giveaway for a chance to win this furry frolic on disc!
Synopsis: Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be. The voice cast also features Eric Stonestreet, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford in his first-ever animation role: a farm dog named Rooster.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is helmed by returning director Chris Renaud and co-director Jonathan del Val; produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy.
Prepare to return to a lost world of dinos, danger and tons of laughs in LEGO: Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit, a new two-part animated special coming to Nickelodeon this month! Our pals at Nick gave us a sneak peek at the exciting new brickworld adventure, which launches with Part 1 on Saturday, August 17 at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT) and wraps with Part 2 on Saturday, August 24 at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT).
In The Secret Exhibit, Simon Masrani has an idea for a new attraction that is guaranteed to keep Jurassic World at the forefront of theme park entertainment, but in order for it to succeed, he needs his right-hand can-do problem solver, Claire Dearing, and newcomer Owen Grady, to get a trio of dinosaurs across the park to the new, super-secret exhibit. Unfortunately, delivering the dinosaurs to the new attraction is not as easy as they thought!
Heartwarming, gut-busting animated family blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets 2 is ready to be adopted on disc and digital this summer, through Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Illumination Entertainment’s warm and fuzzy sequel arrives on Digital August 13, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on August 27. DVD and Digital versions are packed with well over an hour of bonus content, including two brand-new mini-movies. Meanwhile, 4K and Blu-ray versions include an exclusive Captain Snowball Motion Comic.
In The Secret Life of Pets 2, terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.
The voice cast also features Eric Stonestreet, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford in his first-ever animation role: a farm dog named Rooster.
Bonus Features (4K, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital):
Mini Movie: Minion Scouts – When Margo, Agnes and Edith return from Badger Scout camp, three of the Minions are entranced by the girls’ merit badges. Their own attempt at scout camp results in attracting a bear, eating poison berries and eventually blowing up a dam, creating a massive flood. But, when they arrive back home, the girls share their badges, encouraging the rest of the Minions to try their hand at scouting.
Mini Movie: Super Gidget – When Max is kidnapped by an army of squirrels, Super Gidget is the only one who can save him. It turns out that Max’s captor is a flea with the power of mind control. Gidget must use her pluckiness, strength and smarts to save her one true love…until it turns out it was all just a dream.
The Making of the Mini Movies – Every Illumination film is accompanied by mini movies that are a production all their own. Each film’s directing partners will explore how the mini movies were made.
Deleted Scenes: “Wake Up” – Max and Duke have a new morning routine with Liam. “Duke Explores the Farm” – Duke has a funny interaction with a goat. “Snowball Karate” – Snowball does his superhero warm up. “Secret Confessions” – Dogs gather to talk about their deepest secrets.
A Tapestry of a Tail: The Making Of – The plot of The Secret Life of Pets 2 involves multiple storylines ultimately coming together to create a larger than life tale. We talk with the filmmakers, editor and cast about the delicate dance of juggling multiple narratives in one movie.
How to Draw – Hosted by Head of Story, Eric Favela, follow the step-by-step tutorial to learn to draw Max, Snowball and Chloe.
Frame by Frame: How to Make a Flip Book – In this DIY-style vignette, Head of Story Eric Favela will teach viewers about the essence of animation and how they can create their very own flip book animations at home.
Character Pods – Get a closer look at your favorite characters of The Secret Life of Pets 2 with these delightful character pods that might just give away a few more pet secrets. Patton Oswalt – Max; Kevin Hart – Snowbal;l Eric Stonestreet – Duke; Jenny Slate – Gidget; Tiffany Haddish – Daisy; Lake Bell – Chloe; Nick Kroll – Sergei; Dana Carvey – Pops; Bobby Moynihan – Mel; Harrison Ford – Rooster
A Party Fit for a Pet – Using stop-motion animation, this step-by-step guide teaches you everything you need to know to throw the very best party for your pet!
Pops’ Puppy Training School with Kevin Hart – Join Kevin Hart as he shows off his dog training skills.
Pets Yule Log – Sit back and relax in front of this exclusive The Secret Life of Pets 2 themed animated ‘Yule Log.’
‘Panda’ Lyric Video
‘It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day (The Secret Life of Pets 2)’ Lyric Video
4K & Blu-ray Exclusive:
The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball (Interactive) – This animated ‘Motion Comic’ expands the world of our furry hero, Captain Snowball. Using a ‘superhero’ comic book style and custom animation, we discover more about the secret world of our caped crusader with a little help from our viewers. At key moments in the story, the viewer is presented with a choice: left, or right? Fight or flight? Their choice determines our hero’s next move!
4K, Blu-ray & Digital Exclusives:
My Buddy and Me – We interview the Illumination cast and crew talking about The Secret Life of Pets 2 while holding (or trying to hold) their pets.
Pets with Jobs: A Documentary – We find and profile animals with special jobs – a service dog that detects when its epileptic owner is about to have a seizure; ponies that provide comfort to children with cancer; police dogs that go the extra mile to catch the bad guys. Meet some of the many animals who make the world a better place every day!
Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pets Massage – A professional pet masseuse shows the cast how to read signs of tension in their pet and use massage techniques to keep their furry babies relaxed and happy!
Production Pets – It takes hundreds of people to make an animated movie and a lot of those people have pets that can’t wait for them to come home. This piece is dedicated to all those faithful companions.
***This article originally appeared in the June/July ‘19 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 291)***
Five years ago, the team at Illumination Entertainment, led by producers Janet Healy and Chris Meledandri, and directors Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney hit animation gold with their exploration into The Secret Life of Pets. The movie received great reviews and went on to gross over $ 875 million worldwide, becoming the animation studio’s biggest blockbuster to date.
This summer, Meledandri, Healy, Renaud and new co-director Jonathan del Val (animation director for the first Pets and The Grinch) offer fans another peek into the lives of Max the terrier, Duke the mutt, Snowball the rabbit and all the other animals they come to meet in a colorful new sequel.
The Secret Life of Pets 2
The new chapter of the animals’ adventures finds Max (now voiced by Patton Oswalt, replacing Louis C.K.) facing empty nest anxieties as his owner’s child gets ready for preschool. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy, and Snowball (Kevin Hart) attempts to free a white tiger (Nick Kroll) from a circus.
“We started working on concepts for the sequel to Pets while we were finishing the first film,” recalls Renaud, an Illumination studio veteran, who directed the first two Despicable Me movies and The Lorax and exec produced the two Minion movies and The Grinch. “Everyone involved loved the characters and felt there was more story to tell. Very early in the process we began focusing on pets and kids.”
Renaud says a sequel is always a bit daunting, because as a director you want to deliver what people liked about the first film but within a completely new and unexpected package. “This means new characters, sets and situations,” he adds. “As filmmakers, creating these new elements becomes the fun part of developing a sequel.”
The Secret Life of Pets 2
One of The Secret Life of Pets 2’s cool visual elements is the introduction of a farm. Renaud says this new environment allowed the team to create a whole new world with new characters. “Additionally, animals on a farm have a very different perspective on life than our pampered city pets,” he notes. “We used this to create some great comedic and dramatic conflict.”
The sequel, which is penned by Brian Lynch (Minions), brings back Duke (Eric Stonestreet), Gidget (Jenny Slate) and Chloe (Lake Bell), and also welcomes new cast members Rooster the farm dog (Harrison Ford in his first animated role!) and Daisy the Shih Tzu (Tiffany Haddish).
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Janet Healy (Despicable Me movies, Sing), who also produced the first movie, adds “All the characters in The Secret Life of Pets 2 are in some way familiar, they represent the personalities and behaviors we see in our beloved pets every day. Just like we humans, these pets have close friendships, deep loyalties, big problems to solve and heroic deeds to accomplish. The pets in our franchise are a familiar and dear part of our families, and now they are a wonderful part of our film experience.”
According to Renaud, the movie utilized over 200 people in both France (at Illumination Mac Guff in Paris) and the U.S. Besides the Illumination team in Santa Monica, the writer and storyboard artists were based in the U.S. Everyone else on the production, from layout up through animation and final rendering, was located in Paris.
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Weaving It All Together
One of the most challenging aspects of the production was the moment when the creative team had to tie all three storylines back together. “Through the course of the film, Max, Gidget and Snowball are operating somewhat independently within their own narrative,” notes Renaud. “But, to make the movie work and create a satisfying ending, we had to figure out how to connect these disparate elements and provide a catalyst into the third act action.”
Renaud admits, “Sometimes you can get trapped into worrying about logic, but you usually find that you need less than you think. It’s the emotion and character stakes that carry the day.”
One of the director’s favorite sequences of the movie arrives in the end. “I don’t want to give anything away, but it truly turned out the way I had originally hoped,” he says. “The whole movie is really a metaphor for modern parenting, and I think this scene captured the genuine emotion of what parents go through as they recognize they can’t control or safeguard every aspect of their children’s lives.”
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Renaud points out that the first Pets movie clearly struck a chord with audiences around the world purely because it was about pets. “We really tried to capture animals as they are, in both attitude and animated performance,” he explains. “I also feel that the question about what your pets do when you’re not home was so simple and compelling, people couldn’t resist watching a movie that attempted to answer that conundrum.”
When asked to compare the sequel to the original, Renaud says the second movie may have a stronger, more nuanced and layered story. “In the first film, we found that we had to tell a very simple story just to have the space to introduce our huge cast of pets,” he says. “In this one, we can forgo the introductions and get right into storytelling.
The Secret Life of Pets 2
In Pursuit of Perfect Fur
In the five years since the first movie came out, CG animation technology has obviously improved. However, according to Renaud, no new tools were used to produce the animation. It’s just that the old tools kept improving. “For instance, we now review our animation hardware renders with fur on the characters. This is important because a character like Duke can have his whole facial expression wiped out by all of that shaggy fur!”
Since The Secret Life of Pets 2 comes out in the middle of a very jam-packed family movie season — sandwiched between UglyDolls, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Toy Story 4, The Lion King and The Angry Birds Movie 2 — we asked Renaud how he feels about the growing competition. “In reality, every movie made right now seems to be an ‘all audience four quadrant’ family film,” he replies. “This used to be where animated films were unique. However, those days have passed since most parents are happy bringing their young children to the latest superhero movie, science-fiction fantasy or animated reboot. In my view, we have to strive to retain our distinction through unique visual stylization and strong comedy that can only be achieved through broader character animation.”
Snowball vs. Monkey pic
As Healy sees it, the Pets franchise has lasting appeal and will hopefully continue to capture the hearts of moviegoers. “We think this franchise is unique and special because it connects us to our beloved pets in an intriguing and humorous way,” she says. “People in every part of the world adore their pets and wonder what really goes on in their pets’ minds. When they see The Secret Life of Pets films they get a magical, fun insight. The Secret Life of Pets is far more thrilling and busy than we ever could have imagined!”
Renaud says he also hopes moviegoers will relish reconnecting with these lovable, hilarious characters. “I hope the audience will leave the movie theater glad that they had another chance to spend some time with these characters,” says the director. “I know we had a great time working with these guys again, and I’m hoping that joy and fun comes across in this movie!”
Universal/Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 begins its U.S. theatrical run on June 10.
Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment empire is showing no signs of slowing down.
After unleashing The Secret Life of Pets 2 in theaters this month, the studio will release Minions 2 in July 2020 and Sing 2 in December 2020. Here’s a look at the studio’s amazing box office record to date:
Animax Korea’s original animated series Banzi’s Secret Diary has won the Top Content Award for Animation from the country’s ministry of culture. The series will launch in Hong Kong thru Viu TV as well as 15 other territories including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. The producers are also planning an extensive licensing and merchandising program, which will feature 25 products including toys and publications.
Banzi is based on a best-selling comic-books first introduced in 2002 in Korea. The show centers on the endearing adventures of a bright young girl who dreams of becoming a cartoonist and her two good friends. The series first premiered on KBS in 2017 and was also picked up by Animax, Disney Korea, TV Chosun and Cartoon Network Korea.
Animax Korea’s CEO Giro Doo said that he is honored that Banzi’s Secret Diary received an award from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and noted that he sees huge potential in Banzi’s Secret Diary and will do his utmost to make the show an even bigger success in the global area.
First established in Korea in 2006, Animax is a global animation channel operated by Sony Pictures Television. It’s currently watched by 88 million households in 21 countries around the world.
A retired Oregon police officer believes he’s found a way to detect marijuana impairment among drivers, and it starts by looking deep into their eyes.
The struggles behind effectively identifying stoned drivers have only grown for law enforcement as marijuana legalization spreads across the country. Detecting pot impairment isn’t as simple as using a breathalyzer, blood test or urine sample, as THC can affect everyone differently at varied paces. But law enforcement consultant Chuck Hayes (not the 6′ 5″ power forward who couldn’t shoot free throws) believes eye movement can help police officers get a better grip on stoned drivers.
Hayes, who directs drug and alcohol impairment driving programs for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, helped lead a study in 2016 that examined several hundred case studies of drivers who were arrested for marijuana impairment — and no other reported substance use — with a mix of drivers both above and under the 5-nanogram-blood-THC limit many states currently use. His team then studied the driving habits of non-impaired drivers in a controlled environment and compared traffic violations, impairment test results and driving performance.
Marijuana Deals Near You
“It’s an old drug creating a lot of new challenges,” Hayes said while showcasing his findings in a recent webinar. “A lot of researchers have a tough time coming to a solid conclusion as to what [marijuana] impairment level might be in the blood, but with alcohol, we have some pretty established levels.”
Although THC levels can be detected in a driver’s blood, they tend to spike shortly after smoking, leaving a novice user more impaired than their blood levels may suggest; the near-opposite can be said for regular users, who regularly have high THC levels in their blood over twelve hours after consuming.
These obstacles in scientifically detecting impairment have made Drug Evaluation and Classification Program training and the roles of Drug Recognition Experts, or law enforcement officers trained to identify impairment, even more important, Hayes believes, especially when officers make eye contact with drivers.
According to his study, nearly 86 percent of the marijuana impairment cases he studied had some sort of eyelid tremor, while nearly 71 percent had noticeable pupil dilation. Police officers also look for other “eye cues” when pulling over a driver, he said, such as droopy, reddened, watery and bloodshot eyes. At least one of these cues was found in 95 percent of the impairment cases, the study shows.
Hayes pointed out that these factors aren’t proof, but he believes eye movement is “very critical” in the initial stages of detecting marijuana impairment, as are factors such as dry mouth or a white-coated tongue, poor balance during roadside testing and a high pulse. A similar study conducted in California and published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences found strikingly similar data points.
“As corny as it sounds — and I’ve been using this phrase for a number of years — there’s no BAC [blood alcohol content] for THC. We just can’t go there,” he said. “We need to do a better job of understanding and recognizing cannabis impairments. With legalization, the more frequent use and relaxed polices about using marijuana, [this] has made its way to our roads as well.”
According to State Patrol Lieutenant Colonel Barry Bratt, 455 people died on Colorado roads from the beginning of 2018 through October 1, and around 25 percent of those deaths were related to some sort of impairment from alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26, 2018 — Many people rely on chicken noodle soup to soothe a cold, but few know exactly why the warm broth brings relief.
But one dietitian can explain its magic.
“Studies have shown that a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup may help clear nasal congestion and ease cold symptoms,” said Sandy Allonen, a clinical dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “It’s all about the ingredients.”
When you have a cold, it’s also important to stay hydrated, she added.
“A clear broth is warm and soothing, making it a great source of hydration while you’re sick, especially if you have a sore throat,” Allonen said in a hospital news release.
“You may think added salt and other seasonings aren’t great for you, but in moderation, these spices can help combat the feeling of dull taste buds,” she noted. “A loss of taste is common in a cold, but as with any flavor enhancer, salt is great for getting you to eat more.”
The chicken in your soup offers a number of benefits. It’s high in protein that helps the immune system, and is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, which boost immunity and help with digestion.
“Chicken is also high in tryptophan, which helps your body produce serotonin that can enhance your mood and give you the feeling of ‘comfort’ that helps make chicken noodle soup a true comfort food,” Allonen said.
The noodles provide carbohydrates that help you feel full and satisfied. “Carbs are the preferred source of energy for your body, so getting in a good dose through soup can help you feel less sluggish,” Allonen said.
Vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onion have vitamins C and K, and other antioxidants and minerals. “Not only does this help build a healthy immune system to fight off viruses, it also helps your body recover from illness more quickly,” Allonen said.
Even the steam from your chicken soup is beneficial.
“Steam can open up airways, making it easier to breathe. It also has a mild anti-inflammatory effect that can help relax your muscles and soothe the discomforts of cold symptoms,” Allonen said.
The American Lung Association has more on the common cold.
FRIDAY, Aug. 24, 2018 — Could baby poop hold the key to a healthy gut?
A new study suggests that might be the case.
An analysis of fecal samples collected from the diapers of 34 healthy infants identified 10 strains of gut bacteria that may boost the body’s production of short-chain fatty acids.
“Short-chain fatty acids are a key component of good gut health,” explained lead investigator Hariom Yadav. He’s an assistant professor of molecular medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“People with diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disorders and cancers frequently have fewer short-chain fatty acids. Increasing them may be helpful in maintaining or even restoring a normal gut environment and, hopefully, improving health,” Yadav added in a university news release.
“Babies are usually pretty healthy and clearly do not suffer from age-related diseases, such as diabetes and cancer,” Yadav noted. “And, of course, their poop is readily available.”
The researchers used 10 strains of gut bacteria from the infants to create a “probiotic cocktail” and found that it increased production of short-chain fatty acids in human feces and in mice.
The findings suggest that such probiotics could be used to treat decreased short-chain fatty acid production and imbalances in gut bacteria populations, according to Yadav.
The study was published online Aug. 23 in the journal Scientific Reports.
For more on gut bacteria, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
MONDAY, June 18, 2018 — The soothing sound of their mother’s voice may help improve sleep for babies in hospital neonatal intensive care units, researchers say.
This section of the hospital, called the NICU, provides around-the-clock care to sick or premature babies. But the hospital environment can hinder newborns’ ability to have normal sleep, said study lead author Dr. Renee Shellhaas.
“Even though we do our best to make the intensive care unit (ICU) as quiet an environment as possible, there are hospital disruptions that are unavoidable,” said Shellhaas, a pediatric neurologist at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“Alarms, monitors, ventilators, bedside care and even just the building’s heating and cooling noises may be disruptive. We designed this study to see how the sound environment in the NICU potentially influences sleep and to see if there are relatively simple interventions that may make a difference,” Shellhaas said in a university news release.
The study included 50 babies in the NICU who were born after at least 33 weeks of pregnancy. All were medically stable, and had no birth defects that increased their risk of sleep problems.
The infants’ sleep was monitored for six hours while they heard a continuous recording of their mother reading children’s books. Monitoring continued for another six hours without the recording. A number of the babies slept better and woke up less often when they were played the recording of their mother’s voice, the findings showed.
Infants born after at least 35 weeks of pregnancy were most likely to sleep better when hearing the recording of their mother’s voice, the researchers said.
“Sleep is a very complicated phenomenon influenced by many aspects of the ICU environment and the baby’s condition. Another factor may be touch and how often a baby is held or handled,” Shellhaas said.
Further research is needed, she added.
The study was presented recently at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, in Baltimore. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
On either side of the fest, PSIAF will hold a Kick-Off Preview on May 26, and has slated an Award Gala for Feb. 9-10.
Rare Design Document Show Sonic’s Proposed Dance Animation Former Sonic team members Hirokazu Yasuhara and Naoto Ohshima made a rare appearance at Game Developers Conference to share behind-the-scenes secrets of the classic franchise — including the fact that the little blue hedgehog nearly got a Kirby-esque victory dance in the original game!
‘I Kill Giants’ Artist Launches Cooking Comic ‘Umami’ With I Kill Giants starring Zoe Saldana bringing the acclaimed Joe Kelly-written graphic novel to theaters & digital Friday, co-creator and illustrator Ken Niimura has revealed his next project: an ongoing, whimsical webcomic series title Umami, which is being published in monthly installments by Panel Syndicate. Hand-drawn by the Manga Award winning, Eisner-nominated artist, the tale follows two cooks on a quest to save their troubled kingdom with their culinary skills with a mix of high fantasy and utter absurdity.
WATCH: ‘Deadpool 2’ | The Trailer Wade Wilson is back on his ish with the first proper trailer for the hotly anticipated sequel, out May 18 — and he brought friends! Ryan Reynolds returns as the Merc with a Mouth to face off with Cable (Josh Brolin) with a little help from a scrappy group of up and coming mutants dubbed the X-Force. (Caution: Contains strong language, razor sharp comedy and thrilling violence!)
Palm Springs International Animation Festival 2018
Mission Kathmandu: The Adventures of Nelly & Simon
The long-awaited sequel Incredibles 2 finally arrives this summer (June 15!), and now we have the low-down on returning and brand new players in this super story, as Disney-Pixar has revealed character profiles for the movie, which you can read below. The news was synced with some great voice cast + character side-by-side images, inspired by Google’s viral Arts & Culture face match app.
Incredibles 2 is directed by Oscar winner Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Iron Giant), who also helmed the original 2004 hit. This time around, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home when a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot that only the Incredibles can overcome together. Produced by John Walker (The Incredibles) and Nicole Grindle (Sanjay’s Super Team short, Toy Story 3 associate producer).
HELEN PARR (voice of Holly Hunter), known in the Superworld as Elastigirl, hung up her Supersuit to raise the family with husband Bob, leaving their crime-fighting days behind them. But when she’s tapped to lead a campaign to bring the Supers back into the spotlight, she finds she can still bend, stretch and twist herself into any shape needed to solve the trickiest of mysteries. In short, she’s still got it. That’s good news, too, because a new villain is emerging—unlike any they’ve ever seen before.
BOB PARR (voice of Craig T. Nelson) cherishes his days as Mr. Incredible—a popular Super with mega-strength and the power to singlehandedly take out the bad guys. Ever since Supers were outlawed, Bob’s been mostly lying low, raising the family alongside his wife Helen. But when she’s called on to stretch her Super skills and hopefully change the public perception of Supers for the better, Bob must manage the household on his own, which calls for a completely different set of super powers.
VIOLET PARR (voice of Sarah Vowell), the firstborn of the Parr clan, is an introverted and intelligent 14-year-old teen that doesn’t quite fit in with the normal crowd. Socially awkward, outspoken and sarcastic, Violet plays her teenager role to perfection—all while secretly mastering her superpowers of invisibility and creating force fields. A Super at heart, Violet can’t help her urge to fight crime alongside her family.
DASHIELL PARR (voice of Huckleberry “Huck” Milner) is a 10-year-old boy—restless, relentless, curious—though his remarkable power of Super speed certainly sets him apart. Dash sports a hearty sense of adventure and a boundless supply of energy. He’d love nothing more than to show off his special skills and fight a few bad guys along the way—and doesn’t understand why he has to keep his powers a secret.
JACK-JACK PARR, the baby of the family, likes to sit back with a bottle and a good story. Well-versed in gibberish with a penchant for throwing food, Jack-Jack may seem like a typical toddler, but he just might turn out to be the most powerful Parr in the household—if only his family had a clue of what this kid can really do.
LUCIUS BEST (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) is not only Bob’s best friend, he’s a fellow-former Super who’s so chill, he can make ice with the point of a finger. But even when he’s not fighting crime as Frozone, Lucius is all about style. He has a quick wit and a cool, can-do attitude—and he wouldn’t think twice about breaking out his Supersuit if it could help bring Supers out of hiding.
EDNA “E” MODE (voice of Brad Bird) possesses impeccable design sense, a keen understanding of cutting-edge technology and an unmatched skillset. A creative visionary, she longs for the return of Supers so she can once again create functional yet edgy Supersuits. The petite and powerful fashionista treats her clients like family, dahling, but sticks firmly to her long-held assertion: No capes!
WINSTON DEAVOR (voice of Bob Odenkirk) leads a world-class telecommunications company alongside his genius sister, Evelyn. Ultra-wealthy, savvy and suave, Winston goes big in everything he does—including his infatuation with Supers. He has been a supporter of Supers returning—all he needs is a hero (or three) to help him change public perception and bring them back into the sunlight.
EVELYN DEAVOR (voice of Catherine Keener), the brilliant brainchild behind her brother Winston’s telecommunications company, knows her way around tech. She loves tinkering with tech, and has never met a problem she can’t solve.
RICK DICKER (voice of Jonathan Banks) heads up the official Super Relocation Program, helping the Parr family keep their Super identities secret—that’s no easy feat with this family. But Rick takes his job very seriously—at least until his division is shuttered, leaving the Parrs all on their own.
VOYD (voice of Sophia Bush) is a young, overeager “wannabe” Super and a mega-fan of Elastigirl. Her superpower is the ability to divert and manipulate objects around her by creating voids that allow the objects to appear and disappear, and shift in space.
The Supers find an advocate in a dignified foreign AMBASSADOR (voice of Isabella Rossellini) who is committed to the support and legalization of Superheroes.
Kids content creator Genius Brands has secured new licensing agreements with Da Vinci Learning, Azoomee and the American Forces Network for its shows Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab and SpacePOP.
Da Vinci Learning, the Berlin-based educational channel for kids and families, has licensed the pay TV rights across Asia for the STEM-based comedy, adventure series, Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab (26 x 30?). The new online platform designed for primary school children, Azoomee, has also licensed, non-exclusively, short-form content for SpacePOP (108 x 3.5?) and music videos for Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab (52 x 1.5?) in the U.K. Additionally, the American Forces Network has picked up the rights to Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, as well as the music-driven adventure series for tween girls, SpacePOP (108 x 3.5?).
“Broadcasters the world over are committed to providing entertaining, informative and engaging content for their youngest viewers, and we at Genius Brands have a broad spectrum of programming that has proven its appeal around the globe,” notes Genius Brands’ Head of Worldwide Content Distribution and Sales Deb Pierson. “We are thrilled to work with Da Vinci Learning, Azoomee and the American Forces Network to bring our ‘content with a purpose’ to the families and young audiences in their respective regions.”
The Secret Service is set to loosen its policy on prior drug use by potential agents, according to new Director Randolph Alles. Alles believes the adjustment will help the agency accomplish its goal of growing the number of agents by at least 3,000 in the next few years. Thursday marked the first time Director Alles […] Marijuana
FRIDAY, March 10, 2017 — Couples who regularly have sex tend to be happier, and now a new study suggests one reason why: affection.
The study of couples in committed relationships found what many others had shown before: Couples who had sex more often were typically happier and more content with their lives.
However, much of that link seemed to be explained not by sex itself, but by couples’ general levels of affection — whether that meant cuddling or whispering sweet-nothings to each other.
It all suggests that the “relational aspects of sexuality — and more specifically, the sharing of affection — are central in understanding why sex does good,” said lead researcher Anik Debrot.
That might be good news for people who worry about things like sexual performance or having a “perfect body,” according to Debrot.
Instead, they could “remember that sex is a great way to share an intimate and affectionate moment with your partner,” said Debrot, a research fellow at the University of Lausanne’s Institute of Psychology, in Switzerland.
She was based at the University of Toronto at the time of the study.
The findings are based on four studies of couples in the United States and Switzerland. In each, couples were asked how often they had sex, and how often they shared affectionate “moments” or “touches.” Two studies asked participants about their typical habits, while the other two tracked them over a specific time period.
Overall, the studies found, couples who were more sexually active tended to report greater satisfaction with life. They also had more “positive emotions” — both in general, and the morning after having sex.
But in each study, affection seemed to largely account for that sex-happiness link.
So does that mean sex, by encouraging affection, helps breed happiness? Or do happy people have sex more often?
One of the studies suggests it may be the former: Debrot’s team found that sex predicted positive emotions the next day — whereas good feelings did not boost couples’ likelihood of having sex over the next 24 hours.
“This is a great study,” said Robin Milhausen. She’s an associate professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada.
Milhausen, who wasn’t involved in the research, said it “sheds light on how sex and life satisfaction are intertwined.”
So while past studies have linked the frequency of sex to couples’ contentment, it’s actually more complicated than that, according to Milhausen.
“Sex can’t be divorced from context,” she said. “It’s not a magic bullet. Affection, including post-sex affection, is important.”
Milhausen also pointed to a particularly interesting finding: Affection mattered to both women and men — in contrast to the stereotype that men can do without the cuddling and sweet words.
Debrot agreed. “This counters the idea that ‘lovey-dovey’ sex would mostly be appreciated by women,” she said.
Still, the research has limitations. For one, couples who volunteer for a relationship study may not be representative of couples in general, Milhausen pointed out.
And, she stressed, it’s never possible to give couples a one-size-fits-all prescription for happiness. So neither more-frequent sex nor extra cuddling and hand-holding are magic bullets.
People do vary widely in how they like to express affection, Milhausen noted. “For some people, it’s hugging. For others, it’s gifts of service, like putting your snow tires on for you,” she said.
Debrot pointed out that no one is saying that life satisfaction depends on affection from a romantic partner. Many studies show that a range of factors contribute to any one person’s well-being.
Nor does this study imply that couples get no emotional benefit from sex itself. For example, Debrot said, the physiological effects of sex — including the hormones it releases — may also boost a couple’s positive feelings.
The study was published in the March issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.