Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cartoon Network declares 'DC Nation' Programming For 2012 Season

Television will be getting an additional dosage of the DC Universe next year, thanks to Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation.

During today's Cartoon Network upfront presentation, the network announced plans for on-air and online "DC Nation" programming in 2012, described as a mix of "event indoctrination, interstitials, exclusive behind-the-scenes of dramatic production and an insider look into the world of all things DC."

Produced by "ThunderCats" and "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" producers Warner Bros. Animation, the programming will premiere in 2012. 

Here's the official outline of "DC Nation," as well as the outline for "ThunderCats" and "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" 

DC Nation: A multi-platform, branded block of unique programming and exclusive content based on the DC Comics library of legendary character properties, DC Nation is developed in partnership with Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. The all-new business enterprise will harness the publishing, theatrical and television assets together for one powerful on-air block on Cartoon Network with elite online happy.

ThunderCats: The re-imagined animated series based on the beloved 80s classic tells the tale of a hero’s epic journey to fulfill his final fate. On Third Earth, the kingdom of Thundera is being in danger by the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra and young heir to the throne Lion-O embarks on a great quest to take his rightful place as king. The improbable champion, joined by his faithful comrades Tygra, Cheetara, Panthro, WilyKit, WilyKat and his loyal pet Snarf, must work together to save their world from darkness.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series: Based upon the DC Comics super hero, the series is an all-new CG animated action series from Warner Bros. As Earth’s Green Lantern, Hal Jordan is used to being in dangerous situations but he’s never faced anything like this! Set at the furthest reaches of deep space, Hal must face down an attack from the Red Lantern Corps. Hal is soon joined by an all-new group of heroes on a mission to protect Guardian Space and the Green Lantern group itself!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

US: Lego Ninjago series heads up new Cartoon Network list

Broadcaster confirms 13 new animated series' and 19 returning shows.

In a presentation at the New York Lincoln Centre, Cartoon Network revealed its new programming schedule - with Lego Ninjago and How to Train Your Dragon topping the list.

The CG-animated Ninjago series will air towards the end of 2011 and is yet more proof of Lego’s intention to grow the Ninjago brand.

Earlier this year Cartoon Network aired Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, a movie on January 24th. The story followed Kai, a young Lego man on a journey to become a ninja, and gives a basis for the forthcoming Nintendo DS game called Lego Battles: Ninjago, due for let go in April.

A TV series of Dreamworks’ Oscar nominated How to Train Your Dragon had previously been proclaimed, but with it scheduled in, the brand now looks set to soar, with sequels to the film in already the works.

Turner Broadcasting's animation president and chief operating officer, Stuart Snyder, said: "Our commitment last year to build on the volume of broad content for our audience has paid off in solid ratings growth and rehabilitated strength among our core six to 11 audience.

"We now have successful new shows that we can grow into the next big permits. By partnering with premier entertainment companies like Warner Bros, DreamWorks Animation SKG and DC Entertainment, we are laying the groundwork for even further growth and growth opportunities across the coming year."

Also on the way this year is The Amazing World of Gumball, predicted to be a top brand. Turner has already commissioned a new season of the show, before the first has even aired.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Turner gives Gumball second period order

Turner has ordered a second period of The Amazing World of Gumball, the first sequence to come out of its European Development Studio.

The show was efficiently Cartoon Network Europe's first full-length animated series commission. Cartoon Network said that after imposing testing in the US that it has greenlit another 40x11mins series ahead of the first one airing. It will debut on Cartoon Network in the UK on May 2 before undulating out on its US channel a week later and then internationally from the fourth quarter.

The 2D and 3D comedy show is produced by Cartoon and Irish studio Boulder Media with the 3D elements handled by Studio Soi in Germany.

"There is a unbelievable hunger for high-quality, narrative driven comedy animation amongst children's audiences around the world, and with The Amazing World of Gumball, we are helping fill that gap," said Michael Carrington, Turner Broadcasting's chief content officer, who joined from the BBC last year.

Japanese cartoon uses potty humor to explain nuclear calamity to kids

As officials raced to reinstate power to tsunami-damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant today, one artist is attempting to explain Japan’s nuclear crisis to kids with some potty humour.

“Nuclear Boy” follows a square-headed lad pain from a tummy ache. After Nuclear Boy expels a few troublesome clouds of gas, doctors work around the clock to medicate him with seawater and boron, this so he won’t defecate all over the country.

“Nuclear Boy is infamous for his stinky poo. It would surely ruin everyone’s day if he pooped,” reads the translation.

Set to a banjo soundtrack, the cartoon also skin characters shaped like the stricken Chernobyl and Three Mile Island plants.

The cartoon has gathered more than a million views since it was posted on YouTube last week.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Disney staffs Two Scottish Legends For New Cartoon Short “The Balled Of Nessie”

Disney is grouping up with two Scottish legends for a new cartoon that will be in cinemas after this month. The Loch Ness Monster stars in the short, “The Ballad of Nessie”, which is related by Billy Connolly and sees a go back to classic Disney hand-drawn animation. The animation short will be shown previous to Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, which is in UK cinemas April 15.

Set in the “bonny blue highlands” of Scotland, “The Ballad of Nessie” is a fanciful and colorful high tale about the welcoming Loch Ness monster, Nessie, and how she and her best friend MacQuack the rubber duck came to live in the moor they now call home. Setting the escapade into motion is a gluttonous land developer named MacFroogle, who make a decision to build a mini-golf empire on top of Nessie’s home.

Directed by the Emmy® Award-winning team of Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters (“Prep & Landing,” and the 2007 Goofy short “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater”), “The Ballad of Nessie” is lively in classic Disney hand-drawn style. Written by Wermers-Skelton, Deters and Regina Conroy, the film is produced by Dorothy McKim and Tamara Boutcher, and features a musical score by Oscar(R)-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“Ratatouille,” “Up”). Animation on “Nessie” was supervised by five of Disney’s top talents: Andreas Deja, Mark Henn, Randy Haycock, Dale Baer and Ruben A. Aquino. Scottish comedian Billy Connolly narrates the film.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cartoon Saloon associates on 'Song'

Moore's 'Kells' follow-up bordered as Euro co-prod

Ireland's Cartoon Saloon has joined down European partners on "Song of the Sea," Tomm Moore's follow-up to "The Secret of Kells."

In "Sea's" first sharing deal, Optimum Releasing has nabbed U.K. and Irish rights.
Cartoon Saloon will lead produce "Sea" out of its animation studio in Kilkenny, Ireland. Viborg-based Noerlum Studios will co-produce out of Denmark, as long as close to half the animation.

Big Farm co-produces from Belgium. A joint venture of brothers Serge and Marc Ume's Digital Graphics Studios and Stephan Roelant's Melusine in Luxembourg, Big Farm's involvement opens the manufacture up to both Digital Graphics and Melusine sister company Studio 352.

Digital Graphics will give CG animation, SFX, compositing and ink and paint and stereoscopic work. Paris' Super Prods., the new company of ex-Alphanim head Clement Calvet, will also co-produce, associating on post-production and music.
Pre-production is intended for September on "Sea," which is budgeted at €5.3 million ($7.4 million).

Moore will direct "Sea" from a screenplay co-penned with Will Collins, who wrote Tribeca Fest player "My Brothers," the managerial debut of Shane Meadow's scribe Paul Fraser.

"Song of the Sea" turns on Saoirse, a child who is the last of the selkies, women in Irish and Scottish legends who change from seals into people. She escapes from her grandmother's home to journey to the sea and free fairy being trapped in the contemporary world.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rango – review

Kids and their parents will get more than a few laughs out of "Rango," a enormously bright animated western that looks like it's in 3-D, even though it isn't. A pet chameleon gets estranged from his owners in a desert highway accident. He meanders to a town called Dirt, populated by a amazement of desert beings. Rango becomes the dried hamlet's new sheriff. He has fun live the role until he discovers that the mayor, a wily turtle, may be part of a wicked water-stealing plot that is killing the town.

Then Rango must find the real bravery to save Dirt and win over a girl lizard named Beans. "Rango" comes close to being incessantly pleasant - full of visual humor to amuse kids and references to classic westerns to tickle adults. But near the end there is a big battle that goes on too long and becomes a little too aggressive for under-8s and perhaps for 8-to-10-year-olds.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The PG score is tested a bit in the battle, when bad guys of an undefined species fly into the fray on huge bats. Creepy. The dialogue creates repeated use of the word "hell," along with at least one "damn."