Last Week in Animation: May 1st
By: F. Alexander Bonilla-Chacon
Welcome to Overly Animated’s Last Week in Animation! This is a new recurring series where we aggregate the news items most relevant to fans of the shows we cover regularly, as well as interesting tidbits on other animated television and film projects.
Steven Universe Premiere on the CN App: Take 2
Last week it was announced that Cartoon Network would begin airing the next group of Steven Universe episodes on Monday, May 8. As of today, it appears that we will indeed begin the week with “Lion 4: Alternate Ending”, the episode that was leaked onto YouTube a couple of weeks ago. However, according to Animation Magazine, it seems that Cartoon Network has a plan to release all five episodes on the Cartoon Network app on Friday, May 5. This is in line with the network’s recent strategy of releasing batches of new episodes on the app up to a week before it airs. Notable examples of shows released early under this system include We Bare Bears and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Many of us remember all too well of what was dubbed by some as the “January Spill”, when Cartoon Network tried this the first time. All five episodes of the Zoo arc (beginning with “Steven’s Dream” and ending with “That Will Be All”) were released onto Cartoon Network’s app without warning on the night of January 2. A couple of days after the network pulled all but one of the episodes off the service, a Cartoon Network representative claimed that the network’s early release was meant to be intentional. But after at least one member of the Steven Universe writing staff called the posting a mistake, and others expressed confusion, it ended up being an all-around fiasco. So we’ll see if this second attempt goes smoother for the network and allows Steven Universe fans to binge on the next step in Steven’s journey towards self-realization.
Young Justice: Outside[Normal Streaming Service]rs
In November, Warner Bros. Animation made big waves when it announced that production had begun on a third season of Young Justice, a show with a cult following on Cartoon Network before it was controversially canceled in 2013 after just two seasons. The good news this week is that we have a release date now: some time in 2018. (Hey, it’s something.) The worrying news is that Warner Bros. has decided to debut Young Justice: Outsiders (in conjunction with a live-action project based on Teen Titans) on a new DC-branded streaming service. This means that fans who were hopeful they would be able to binge the series on their usual streaming sites, such as Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, will have to wait a little longer for the show to reach the traditional destinations for online animated television. In the end, some news is better than no news. [Deadline Hollywood]
The Latest in Animated Movies
Disney fans are glad that months of speculation have finally ended, and we now have confirmation that Frozen 2 is happening. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel went onto Twitter immediately after the news and confirmed that they would both be involved. Disney plans to release the sequel on November 27, 2019. Jennifer Lee, who directed Frozen, is also expected to direct the sequel, so Disney appears intent on keeping as much continuity as possible. [Telegraph]
In December, Academy Award-nominated director Wes Anderson made public his return to the world of stopmotion animation with his new project, Isle of Dogs. Last week, the first poster for the film was released, along with a release date: April 20, 2018. That puts it very close to the beginning of blockbuster season, which indicates hope by Hollywood that this will be successful. Anderson, whose last animated film was 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, has a strong cast attached to the project, including Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and Yoko Ono. [Animation World Network]
Other News and Notes
- Gorillaz were the pioneers of animated bands (see Sam Quattro’s article on one of the many groups they’ve influenced), and they have now gotten so famous they’ll get their own animated series in 2018. According to Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the band, the animation for the show will be mostly two-dimensional and in line with the style that the group has used for the past 20 years; the use of CG and collage was also floated as potential styles that will be experimented with by the program. Hewlett is apparently still looking for other directors to help out with the initial ten-episode run planned so far. [Exclaim!]
- We have our first trailer for Disney Channel’s Hotel Transylvania television series, which will premiere this June. Genndy Tartakovsky, who was behind the Hotel Transylvania films, will have no involvement with the series, so this looks to be an entirely skippable project.
- In quite the case of false advertising, The All-New Jackie Chan Adventures was announced as a greenlight by the Chinese production company Zheijang Talent Television and Film, leading some to believe this would be a reboot of the U.S. cartoon from the early 2000s, Jackie Chan Adventures, which had a small fanbase that still remembers the series fondly. However, this series appears to be focused squarely on elementary school audiences, as it’s planned to be your average daytime CGI show imparting values and heavily-handed morals. [The Hollywood Reporter]