Tag Archives: animation

Marvel Announces Marvel Rising, a New Animation Franchise

Marvel Entertainment has announced “Marvel Rising,” a brand-new, multi-platform animation franchise starring the next generation of Marvel heroes set to launch in 2018. The program will launch with six, four-minute digital shorts that spotlight Spider-Gwen with her new secret moniker, Ghost-Spider, and introduce audiences to the world of “Marvel Rising.” Following the shorts, a feature-length animated film, Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors will premiere later that year.

The content features an all-star line-up of voice talent including Dove Cameron, Chloe Bennet, Tyler Posey, BooBoo Stewart, Kathreen Khavari, Milana Vayntrub, Cierra Ramirez, Kamil McFadden, Skai Jackson, Kim Raver, Ming-Na Wen, Steven Weber, and Dee Bradley Baker among others. Future stories and content are also being developed across Marvel’s digital and publishing platforms and will be announced at a later date.

Meet the characters behind “Marvel Rising”:

Gwen Stacy aka Ghost-Spider (formerly Spider Gwen) voiced by Dove Cameron (“Descendants,” “Hairspray Live”) – a free spirited teen who found her calling to be a super hero after being bitten by a radioactive spider and gaining spider-like powers. As Ghost-Spider, she aids those in need, but has to keep her alter-ego a secret from her father, Captain George Stacy, who sees Ghost-Spider as more of a menace than a hero.

Daisy Johnson aka Quake voiced by Chloe Bennet (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Nashville”) – a leading agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. whose tendency for rule-breaking gets her into trouble now and then. Daisy befriends the young group of heroes and through them discovers how to become a better leader. She can generate powerful vibrational waves, which produce effects similar to earthquakes.

Dante Pertuz aka Inferno voiced by Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf,” “Lincoln Heights”) – a brooding, dark loner on the run. Dante has the power of pyrokinesis, which makes him capable of generating flames – however, he is not fully in control of his fiery abilities. It’s a thin line between good guy and villain for the unpredictable Inferno.

Victor Kohl aka Exile voiced by BooBoo Stewart (“Descendants,” “The Twilight Saga”) – a charming, handsome, and troublesome young Inhuman whose quest for superiority places him into the wrong crowd. He can use Darkforce energy to create weapons and portals that allow him to teleport.

Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel voiced by Kathreen Khavari (“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” “Big Little Lies”)  – a devoted fan of Super Heroes, especially of her mentor Captain Marvel; she is determined that she too can be a great hero! If only she’d be taken seriously. Kamala is equipped with metamorphic powers that allow her to stretch, enlarge, or shrink her overall size, parts of her body, or alter her physical appearance. She is especially fond of “embiggening” her fists.

Doreen Green aka Squirrel Girl voiced by Milana Vayntrub (“Marvel’s New Warriors,” “This Is Us”) – the uber-positive, hilarious best friend and teammate of Ms. Marvel. With advanced computer skills, enhanced strength, agility, durability, and senses of a squirrel, Doreen (along with her squirrel partner, Tippy Toe!),  is primed and ready to become a successful hero.

America Chavez voiced by Cierra Ramirez (“The Fosters,” “The Secret Life of an America Teenager”) – a strong, independent young hero whose painful past drives her to reject leadership and remain a loner. America’s powers include superhuman strength, speed, and durability, plus the ability to fly.

Rayshaun Lucas aka Patriot voiced by Kamil McFadden (“K.C. Undercover,” “Grown Ups 2”) – a natural born leader who is quick to leap into action to impress his colleagues at S.H.I.E.L.D. Rayshaun strives to live up to Captain America’s legacy with integrity, honesty, and order above all. His skills include heightened strength, speed, stamina, and durability.

Gloria “Glory” Grant voiced by Skai JacksFron (“Bunk’d,” “Jessie”) – Gloria, or ‘Glory,’ is Gwen Stacy’s friend and member of their garage band “The Emm-Jays.” Gloria is a smart, hard-working girl that genuinely cares for Gwen, but has felt a distance growing between them ever since their friend, Kevin, was murdered. When being casual, Gloria’s known to be funny, sarcastic and sassy.

Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel voiced by Kim Raver (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “24”) – a bold leader who doesn’t sugar-coat and is guided by a strong sense of duty and honor. She’s the ultimate inspiration for our band of misfit heroes. She is equipped with superhuman strength, can fly at high speeds, and can project intense energy blasts.

Hala voiced by Ming-Na Wen (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Mulan”) – Hala is a Kree Accuser bent on galactic domination. She’ll go to any length or treacherous means to achieve what she, and the entire Kree race, wants: Power. Hala is cold, cryptic and nefarious, often challenging those who try to oppose her.

Captain George Stacy voiced by Steven Weber (“13 Reasons Why,” “NCIS: New Orleans”) – Chief of the NYPD and Gwen Stacy’s loving, but fiercely protective father. Captain Stacy is a very disciplined, hard-working man that will stop at nothing to obtain justice – who unfortunately sees Ghost-Spider as a menace and a threat to society.

Lockjaw and Tippy Toe are voiced by Dee Bradley Baker (“Star Wars Rebels,” “Gravity Falls”). Two lovable and heroic sidekicks: Lockjaw is Kamala’s trusty, teleporting mutt and Tippy Toe is Doreen’s partner in crime and best squirrel friend.

Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors is executive produced by Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, Cort Lane, and Eric Radomski; co-executive produced by Stan Lee, Sana Amanat, and Marsha Griffin. The film and shorts were written by Mairghread Scott. Alfred Gimeno served as supervising director.

Batman Ninja Gets a Trailer

A must-see for all Batman and comic fans! Announced at New York Comic Con, Batman Ninja’s first trailer has been revealed at Japan’s Tokyo Comic Con!

Batman Ninja was directed by Jumpei Mizusaki with a screenplay by Kazuki Nakashima. Character design is by Takashi Okazaki, music by Yugo Kanno, and animation production by Kamikaze Douga.

The film stars Koichi Yamadera as Batman, Wataru Takagi as The Joker, Ai Kakuma as Catwoman, and Rie Kugimiya as Harley Quinn.

Batman Ninja will be released in Japanese cinemas in 2018.

Batman vs. Two-Face Trailer. Out this October.

Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment bring together two of pop culture’s all-time heroes – TV’s original Batman and Captain Kirk, Adam West and William Shatner, respectively – to voice the title characters in the full-length, animated feature film, Batman vs. Two-Face. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will make the all-new movie available October 10, 2017 on Digital and October 17, 2017 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP).

As the sequel to the 2016 hit animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, the all-new Batman vs. Two-Face finds Batman and Robin back in classic 1960s action, protecting Gotham City from some of the most nefarious villains in comics history. But when the mutilated master of multiplicity, Two-Face, begins staging a daring crime wave across Gotham, the Caped Crusaders must work double-time to discover his mysterious secret identity before they can halt his evil-doing – all the while combating the likes of Catwoman, Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Bookworm, Hugo Strange and King Tut!

The late Adam West leads the star-studded cast in his final performance as Batman. The beloved actor delivers an inspired turn opposite fellow pop culture icon William Shatner (Star Trek) as the criminally conflicted Harvey Dent/Two-Face. This is only the second production of any kind to feature the two titans of the fanboy realm together. West and Shatner first teamed in the 1963 “Alexander The Great” television series that never made it past the pilot.

The cast also boasts two more pop culture icons of the 1960s. Burt Ward is back for more “holy” fun as the Boy Wonder himself, Robin, and Tony Award winner Julie Newmar reprises her role as the fiendish feline, Catwoman.

The voice cast includes Jeff Bergman (Joker, Bookworm, Desmond Dumas), Sirena Irwin (Dr. Quinzel), Thomas Lennon (Chief O’Hara), Lee Meriwether (Lucilee Diamond), William Salyers (Penguin), Lynne Marie Stewart (Aunt Harriet), Jim Ward (Hugo Strange, Commissioner Gordon), Steven Weber (Alfred, Two-Face henchmen) and Wally Wingert (Riddler, King Tut).

The core Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders filmmaking team reprises their roles for Batman vs. Two-Face.  Rick Morales (LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash) directs from a script by Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!) and James Tucker (Teen Titans: The Judas Contract). Tucker and Jelenic and also Supervising Producer and Producer, respectively. Sam Register is Executive Producer. Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers.

Special Features for Batman vs. Two-Face include:

  • “The Wonderful World of Burt Ward” (featurette) – Spotlighting Burt Ward’s life away from acting – particularly his many benevolent activities, and his lifelong devotion to the health and welfare of dogs.
  • Adam West Tribute Panel/2017 Comic-Con International 2017 – At the 2017 Comic-Con International in San Diego, a panel celebrated the life and times of the late Adam West, the legendary “Bright Knight.” Fans laughed, cried and cheered as actress Lee Meriwether (Catwoman from the 1966 Batman movie), director/writer/actor Kevin Smith, actor/radio personality Ralph Garman, producer James Tucker and moderator Gary Miereanu captivated the audience with anecdotes and tales about Adam West.
  • Actors Burt Ward and Julie Newmar discussing various aspects of their lives, ambitions and inspirations.

Movie Review: The Emoji Movie

emoji_movie_posterJust how bad is it? It’s really, really, really bad.

💩 💩 💩 💩 💩 out of 5 🌟

But were we really expecting anything less from this? The very idea of it sounded terrible from the outset. No one in 1975 decided to make a kids film about the pet rock. There’s no 90’s-tastic The Slap Bracelet Movie or Pogs! The Movie! (We do have Space Jam, but that’s not all that terrible.) The biggest problem is that huge amount of legitimate talent they must have had kompromat Russian dossiers on in order to blackmail them to make this.

TJ Miller is a “Meh” emoji 😒 living inside high school freshman Alex’s phone, where every app is its own city. And on his first day on the job he messes up the face he’s supposed to pull– and emoji aren’t supposed to be able to have more than one emotion. So he goes on a quest with Hi5 ✋ (James Corden) to find a hacker (Anna Faris) who can upload them onto the cloud where he can fix his code. Sound dumb? It is. And so much worse.

Literally the only moment of joy in this entire film is when they wander through YouTube and are momentarily mesmerized by a cat video.

There. You’ve now experienced 100% of what is good and entertaining in The Emoji Movie.

Mentioning YouTube, this film is chock-full of internet product placement. Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Crackle — they all make cameos. And the worst is a sequence in the Just Dance app introducing The Emoji Dance, which is one of the most cringeworthy moments in a movie chock full of them.

SmilerAnd then there’s the film’s purported antagonist– Maya Rudolph as a smiley emoji whose presence is nails on a chalkboard  in a movie that is a swimming pool full of glass shards, razorblades, and lemon juice.

When a movie like The Lego Movie works, it’s partially because its villain Lord Business delivers a greater meaning about the dangers of conformity. But Smiler is just an awful generic discount store brand version.  So while a positive message about being yourself and it being ok to have other emotions might have been intended, it’s so lost in an incredibly uninspired and dumb script.

It’s a shame because Rudolph is incredibly talented. So are Miller, Faris, Corden and the rest of the cast. To a person — up to and especially including Sir Patrick Stewart who has a brief cameo as the poo emoji — the entire cast are talented people who deserve better material. Indeed, the first trailer and the cast led me to believe this might not be awful. But it wastes their talents like gold-plating a toilet does. Just because it’s covered in gold doesn’t make what’s in the bowl stink any less. This movie is a gold-plated commode filled with a mountain of filth like you’d find on one of those episodes of Hoarders.

For another perspective, this is how my 11 year old daughter — the target demographic for this “film” — responded: halfway through, she got up to leave the theater to text her friends how bad it was:

texts emoji movie

1- Imminently proud that my daughter knows NOT to text in the theater.

2- Even more proud that she can recognize how terrible this abomination is.

It’s sometimes the case where a critic sees a movie and it doesn’t resonate, because, well, it just wasn’t made for them. I get that. This is not one of those cases. This is a case of where the movie doesn’t understand itself.

One needn’t be 13 to understand the appeal of emoji. But the people who made this movie obviously don’t. And they also don’t understand how smartphones and apps work, either.

giphy

It’s also not clear any of them know or regularly interact with any teen or tween of any sort. As much of a creative wasteland as Hollywood movie studios can be, this is the absolute most uninspired and creative nadir of not only the year, but perhaps the decade.

This was made by the same out of touch corporate groupthink that gave us Poochie, the Edsel, and New Coke.

So, yes. The Emoji Movie is truly that bad. And, unfortunately, according to box office figures and how it beat the vastly superior Atomic Blondethis is a sign of why in America we can’t have nice things.

ZERO stars out of 5

Movie Review: Despicable Me 3: Family, Fun, and Hollywood’s Sequel Obsession

The only thing more inevitable in Hollywood than a sequel to a popular franchise is a sequel to a popular children’s franchise. And so we have the fourth movie surrounding supervillain Gru (Steve Carell), his Minions, and his rapidly expanding family. Despicable Me 3 finds Gru fired from his job at the Anti-Villain League for failing in to bring in 80’s obsessed former child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), whose schemes involve him acting out the tv show he starred in as a child as. . . a child supervillain.

Down on his luck, he is contacted by a long-long and mega-rich twin brother Dru (also Carell), who wants him to rejoin the family legacy of supervillainy. Meanwhile, his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiigis trying to bond with their adopted daughters and become as much of a super mom as she is a super spy.

Sibling rivalry, daddy issues, mommy issues. . . they’re all in there. Oh, and plenty of the Minions doing their typical schtick for everyone who loves that.

It’s not a perfect film, or anything really groundbreaking, but it’s enjoyable and will make children squeal with laughter while not annoying or boring parents. Indeed, many of the 80’s throwback jokes seem tailor-made for adults, though broad enough that it doesn’t completely go over kids’ heads.

But where these films have always succeeded is in having a great heart. This has always come from the three little girls who stole Gru’s heart in the first film, and they continue to do the same here. A specific highlight comes from Agnes and her search for a supposed real-life unicorn. Even better comes from the emotional payoff of Lucy finally bonding with her adopted girls. If your heart doesn’t cry just a little bit, you may be a supervillain yourself.

The film all ends with a spectacular action sequence of Balthazar Bratt literally attacking Hollywood in a giant robot in a re-enactment of one of his classic tv episodes. You can’t help but feel there is a little bit of commentary here about Hollywood’s lack of creativity and insistence on recycling and rebooting everything coming to destroy the city, a literal robot covering it in literal sticky-sweet bubble gum. Or maybe it’s just a fun action sequence: one which other big budget directors could take some cues from in terms of pacing, excitement, and–most of all–fun.

There’s nothing earth-shattering here, but given your others choices in theaters right now (shudder. . .  Transformers. And the snoozefest cashgrab that is Cars 3) you could do much worse. And if you liked the previous movies, there is a nearly perfect probability you will enjoy this one, too.

3 out of 5 stars

Check Out the New Ant-Man Animated Disney XD Shorts

We’ll be getting a bunch of Ant-Man shorts courtesy of Disney XD. Check out three of them.

Despite Hank Pym’s warning, Ant-Man manages to spill soup on his suit, sending him into a size-changing frenzy while trying to defeat the nefarious Egghead!

Scott helps his daughter Cassie at her school science fair but he forgets one key ingredient. Not only does he have to fix her volcano, but fend off Yellowjacket too…as Ant-Man!

Ant-Man and The Wasp are in Hank Pym’s lab when they are attacked by an army of tiny alien invaders seeking Pym’s growth technology.

DC Super Hero Girls Gets an All New Animated Series in 2018

Production has begun on DC Super Hero Girls, an all-new animated action-comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation and based on characters from DC Entertainment. Featuring fresh character designs and storytelling from Emmy Award–winning producer Lauren Faust, DC Super Hero Girls will be coming to Cartoon Network in 2018.

The world may know them as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl, but not-so-typical teenagers Diana, Kara and Barbara, alongside their Super Hero friends have much more to deal with than just protecting the citizens of Metropolis from some of the most sinister school-aged Super-Villains of the DC Universe. After all, being teens is tough enough, what with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life. . But add super powers and a secret identity to the mix, and things can get a lot more complicated.

Sure, gal pals Bumblebee, Zatanna and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz are always there to lend an ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a fist to punch with, and their bros in the Justice League amp up the fun whether they’re at a concert or taking down a crime ring. But what happens when Diana and her favorite study buddy and fencing partner, Tatsu, can’t agree on how to dole out justice as Wonder Woman and Katana? Or when Barbara finds out her Gotham-Con bestie is teen-fiend Harley Quinn? Along with all their friends, foes and frenemies, this squad of super teens navigates the unique growing pains that come when you’re a teenager trying to fight the battles of the world and the battles of growing up at the same time.

The new series is a global initiative with Cartoon Network and builds on the successful DC Super Hero Girls direct-to-video movies as well as digital webisodes launched in 2015 and viewed by millions of fans on the DC Super Hero Girls YouTube channel, as well as the DC Super Hero Girls mobile app.

Sam Register serves as executive producer.

Young Justice is Returning for a Third Season

After a lot of fan demand it looks like the social pressure has paid off as it has been announced that the much beloved animated series Young Justice will be getting a third season.

It’s unknown exactly where/how/when/what platform the series will be returning, but you better believe we’re excited!

Check out the full press release below.

The Team is back and it’s “business as usual.” Warner Bros. Animation has begun production on a third season of all-new episodes of the acclaimed hit, action-animated series “Young Justice,” based on the characters from DC Entertainment. Season three promises new twists, turns and dangerous new threats for the team, but most importantly, the opportunity for fans to finally continue the adventures of some of their favorite Super Heroes. Further details about the new season — including premiere date and network partner — will be announced at a later time.

Heralded by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “9 Best Animated TV Series Drawn from Comics,” “Young Justice” has been equally praised by critics and viewers for its impressive visuals and rich storytelling. The series reached more than 25 million unique viewers in each of its two seasons on Cartoon Network.

“The affection that fans have had for ‘Young Justice,’ and their rallying cry for more episodes, has always resonated with us,” said Sam Register, President, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series. “We are excited to bring the show back for this loyal fanbase and to provide an opportunity for new viewers to discover this excellent series.”

Producers Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman: Doomsday) and Greg Weisman (Star Wars Rebels, Gargoyles) will be returning to the series.

In “Young Justice,” the teenage Super Heroes of the DC Universe come of age in a world of super powers, Super-Villains and super secrets. Used strategically as the secret covert weapon of the Justice League, Nightwing, Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and a host of others strive to prove to their legendary mentors, as well as to themselves, that they have what it takes to be heroes.

For more information or to sign up for updates, visit YJS3.com.

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