Last Week in Animation: May 22nd
By: F. Alexander Bonilla-Chacon
Welcome to Overly Animated’s Last Week in Animation! This is a 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.
Samurai Jack Thrown Back to the Void
After 12 years of waiting, Samurai Jack fans finally got an ending to one of Genndy Tartakovsky’s most beloved series. While the reception to the series finale was mixed (take a listen to our podcast on it), all animation fans should take a moment to appreciate that anything is possible in this increasingly animation-loving world, where a dead series from over a decade ago can make such a triumphant and beautiful return. Rest in peace, Samurai.
J.G. Quintel Returning to Television
After his family-friendly slacker comedy Regular Show finished up its run on Cartoon Network earlier this year, it appears that Quintel kept right on working, as TBS greenlit his next project, Close Enough, for a 13-episode first season. The synopsis of the show is a married couple entering their 30s facing real life challenges and wacky hijinks, with the only public footage of the show being a clown wearing nothing but a thong dancing on a conference room table. Close Enough is the latest announcement to TBS’ first foray into a block of original animated shows, joining a Louis C.K. cop comedy and a Conan O’Brien-produced sci-fi parody. [Deadline Hollywood]
Lin-Manuel Miranda Latest DuckTales Addition
The nostalgia-fueled hype for the upcoming Disney XD reboot of DuckTales increases as Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda has been announced as the voice for recurring character Gizmoduck, who is an intern for a mad scientist employed by Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge is voiced by former Doctor Who leading man David Tennant, with Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live), Kate Micucci (Garfunkel & Oates, Sadie on Steven Universe) and Toks Olagundoye (Nanefua on Steven Universe) also associated with the project; this reboot is building up quite the cast. [Deadline Hollywood]
Scooby-Doo Returns! (Via… Supernatural?)
Supernatural on The CW is 13 seasons deep, something I’d have never guessed for what I assumed to be a run-of-the-mill fantasy drama, but sources tell me that the show has gotten sillier and more self-aware in its later seasons, which has contributed to its increasing cult following. And that definitely shows with the latest announcement that Supernatural will have an upcoming animated episode featuring Scooby-Doo, the famous cartoon canine. No news on whether Shaggy or the rest of the gang will be hunting ghosts with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. [Entertainment Weekly]
Steven Universe-Style Emojis Coming Soon
Google has been heavily publicizing their overhaul of the emoji system on the newest version of their Android operating system, and to give people more choice, they are preparing to roll out their newest machine learning project to Allo, a Google chat app that hasn’t really gained popularity yet among Android users. This project promises to turn your selfies into emojis, in which Google’s image-recognition algorithms analyze your face and map your features using hundreds of eyes, noses, face shapes and hairstyles illustrated by Steven Universe storyboarder Lamar Abrams. [FastCo Design]
The Breadwinner, the latest production by rising indie animation studio Cartoon Saloon, got a trailer. Angelina Jolie is credited as a producer for this adaptation of a 2000 novel about a young Afghan girl forced to work to support her family. Cartoon Saloon’s previous two productions, The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, both received Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature, so this will be a frontrunner for the 2018 Oscars, although a release date is not yet announced.
F Is For Family, the Bill Burr Netflix adult comedy, has a trailer out to advertise its second season premiere on May 30. The comedy, based on Burr’s standup routines, follows a suburban family in the 1970s and also stars Laura Dern and Justin Long.
Other News and Notes
- The track list for Steven Universe Soundtrack: Volume 1 was announced during a Thursday night livestream hosted by show composers Aivi Tran and Steven “Surasshu” Velema. The 37-track album will have all the essentials and even some obscurities (“Big Fat Zucchini” was an upset). However, no instrumentals are present on the album, although the track list for a potential second volume is still up in the air. [Animation Magazine]
- Cartoon Network set a July 18 release date for the DVD collection of Adventure Time‘s seventh season, which includes the entirety of the critically acclaimed Stakes miniseries. It will be on sale for about $25. [Animation Magazine]
- Hayao Miyazaki’s (alleged) final hurrah as a feature film director is now being pushed back to a 2020 release date, although the short film the project is based on is still set to premiere at a Tokyo museum this July. In related news, Studio Ghibli is hiring new animators and background artists in preparation to work on the Miyazaki film by October 2017. [Polygon, Kotaku]
- South Park has been confirmed to return for its 21st season on Comedy Central, with the first episode of the pioneering adult animation program airing August 23 at 10 PM ET, and episodes scheduled through November. [Comedy Central]
- D.W., the younger sister on Arthur, finally celebrates her fifth birthday on a special May 29 episode being advertised on PBS KIDS. She last celebrated her fifth birthday on 1999, so long ago that PBS seems to have forgotten that episode ever aired. Character development, amirite? [Animation Magazine]
- I’m not sure how precedented this is, but Entertainment One, the production company behind international children’s show Peppa Pig, which has already aired over 200 shows since its premiere in 2004, has announced that a 117-episode order has been picked up. The company expects to begin airing the new episodes in the spring of 2019, and spread them across four years. Those of you with preschoolers in the house may already know this, but Peppa is going to rule the world. [The Guardian]
- And finally, in this edition of Weird Animation of the Week, enjoy Patrick Stewart playing a walking piece of poop in the trailer for The Emoji Movie, which is indeed still a thing.