Last Week in Animation: July 17th
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.
For those of you who follow the Netflix program BoJack Horseman, give the show’s Twitter account a follow, as it encapsulates the humor of the titular character pretty well. On the account, BoJack posted a badly taken picture (standard among 40-year-olds using the social medias) of a message saying “All New Episodes September 8”. This is a little later than people expected, as last season premiered in the middle of the summer, but regardless it’s exciting for BoJack fans to finally have a date to look forward to, as we all need a dose of crippling self-reflection to enter the autumn.
When Making Fun of Award Shows Doesn’t Pay Off
BoJack Horseman had gotten widespread critical acclaim for its third season, which revolved around satirizing the For Your Consideration campaigns that studios have to carry out to be considered for seemingly empty awards ceremonies. Regardless, animation enthusiasts hoped that BoJack would get some mainstream recognition from the Emmys, but during their Thursday announcements, four of the five shows in the Outstanding Animated Program category were the same nominees from last year’s batch (Archer, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, South Park). Awards analysts expected that there’d only be one wild card spot in that group, but the nod went surprisingly to Disney Channel’s Elena and the Secret of Avalor, leaving BoJack Horseman and Adult Swim’s revival of Samurai Jack out in the dust. As a consolation prize, Kristen Schaal was nominated in the Outstanding Voice-Over Performance category for her work as Sarah Lynn in “That’s Too Much, Man!”
Meanwhile, in the Short-Form Animated Program category, Steven Universe received its third straight nomination for “Mr. Greg”, while Adventure Time continues an impressive eight-year streak with the nomination of “Islands Part 4: Imaginary Resources”. The Cartoon Network stars will face off against a Mickey Mouse short, Marvel’s Rocket & Groot and Teen Titans Go!
Disney Goes Big
We got a lot of news on upcoming films from Disney’s D23 Expo over the weekend, with one of the wildest coming from the presentation fo Ralph Breaks the Internet, the sequel to the 2013 film Wreck-It Ralph. According to spectators, footage from the upcoming film revealed that a cavalcade of Disney princesses with their original voice actresses will appear in at least one scene interacting with each other, which is almost unheard of in Disney mainstream projects. Rapunzel, Moana, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and others in the same room will be a strange sight to see on the big screen, but it’s certainly a great headline for a sequel that hadn’t gotten much buzz in the past. Ralph Breaks the Internet will premiere in theaters November 2018. [Entertainment Weekly]
The Incredibles 2 also got some news updates from the Expo. According to Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter, the sequel will at least begin immediately after the movie. (Although, that doesn’t mean much as it could just be an introductory fight against a joke character in the Underminer before moving on to the actual plot.) Director Brad Bird, who worked on the first film, also teased that Elastigirl would have a greater role in this installment, while Mr. Incredible “has to stay home facing his biggest challenge yet”. [IGN, Entertainment Weekly]
Other News and Notes
- According to an Instagram post by art director Scott Wills, a Genndy Tartakovsky movie idea preliminarily titled Can You Imagine has been officially taken off the table from Sony Pictures Animation’s plans. This marks the second such disappointment for Tartakovsky, as the studio took him out of the director’s chair for a CGI-animated adaptation of Popeye in 2015; it is unclear if that project is still in pre-production or has also been abandoned. Sony Pictures Animation has primarily been using Tartakovsky, the man behind televised animation classics such as Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, to helm their Hotel Transylvania franchise, the third installment of which is slated to premiere July 2018. Wills, who revealed the news of this latest cancellation, is a long-time collaborator of Tartakovsky, serving as an art director on Samurai Jack and Sym-Bionic Titan.
- All five episodes of the latest Adventure Time event have been released early onto the Cartoon Network app. We talked about the first episode going up early in last week’s Last Week, but Cartoon Network shifted course a couple of days later to just release all of them at once. The first episode of the TV premiere week, “Abstract”, will air tonight at 7:45 PM, with the rest of the episodes airing nightly at the same hour. Keep on the lookout for Overly Animated’s podcast discussions of the episodes later this week.
- John Oliver is the latest addition to the star-studded voice cast of Disney’s CGI/live-action remake of The Lion King. Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight (thanks for the title idea, John), will be the voice of Zazu, the right-hand man of King Mufasa. Oliver joins Donald Glover, Seth Rogen and James Earl Jones onto the project. The Lion King remake is slated to reach theaters by July 2019. [The Wrap]
- The latest Pokemon movie (yes, these are still happening) has caused a ripple in the fandom after the announcement that the premise is recreating the first season of the anime with new characters Souji and Makoto replacing the classic Ash sidekicks, Brock and Misty. But hey, if you’ve been around 20 years, maybe you need to recycle and adapt, I don’t know. I Choose You premieres July 15 in Japan. [Polygon]
- BREAKING NEWS: We have synopses for the two direct-to-video sequels to the Rob Schnieder classic Norm of the North. The trilogy will culminate in saving the Arctic by challenging an evil bottled water company to an ice hockey tournament. Riveting stuff, cannot wait. [Splash Entertainment]
- And finally, in this edition of Weird Animation of the Week, here is an impressive animation by Adult Swim using Rick and Morty and the “exquisite corpse” process, where every animator gets to contribute a couple of seconds of footage in their own style. As with most Rick and Morty content, a warning for potentially disturbing imagery.