Last Week in Animation: November 20
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.
Getting Gifts Early
Thanks to the power of TV listings, we now know that Star Vs. The Forces of Evil‘s hiatus following this Starvember event is not going to be a long one, as we have two episodes, “Stump Day” and “Holiday Spellcial”, scheduled to premiere at 8:30 AM on Saturday, December 2. In other small Star news, showrunner Daron Nefcy posted a video giving credit to a fan by the name of Jay Lazenby for the design of a new dress for Star Butterfly that was used in “Ponymonium”, aired last week. You can listen to our full Starvember coverage on our Star Vs. The Forces of Evil tag.
In other TV listings news, Steven Universe is slated to return to Cartoon Network’s airwaves on December 15 with a dual airing of “Dewey Wins” and “Gemcation” on December 15, “Raising the Barn” and “Back to the Kindergarten” on December 22, and “Sadie Killer” and “Kevin Party” on December 29. For our coverage of the episodes, which are already available on Cartoon Network’s app, please peruse our Steven Universe podcasts. Also, you can check our article on the upcoming January 30 release of Steven Universe‘s first season on DVD here.
While we’re approaching Adventure Time‘s finale, it looks like they’re keeping their wackiness genes up until the end, as it was announced that a Minecraft-themed episode entitled “Diamonds and Lemons” will air some time this summer. Jeremy Shada (Finn) and Olivia Olson (Marceline) appeared in a video introducing a sneak peek of the episode, which consisted primarily of model sheets and animatics of the episode. In other Adventure Time news, the next four episodes—“Seventeen”, “Ring of Fire”, “Marcy and Hunson” and “The First Investigation”—will air back-to-back on Sunday, December 17. [Regular Capital]
An Incredible Discovery
Pixar gave its first look at The Incredibles 2, which has been hyped greatly since being officially announced in 2015. The teaser shows the titular Mr. Incredible discovering Jack Jack is manifesting powers, and not much else, but it’s enough to get the film community excited. As a side note, Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) and Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich, Capote) have reportedly joined the voice cast, which is already expected to bring back most of the members from the original film. The Incredibles 2 is scheduled to premiere in theaters on June 15, 2018. [The Tracking Board]
Other News and Notes
Hiromi Tsuru, most famous as the long-time voice actress of Bulma in the Dragon Ball series, was found unconscious in her car on the side of a Tokyo expressway and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. It was later determined she died of an aortic dissection. While voicing Bulma since 1986, Tsuru also stayed active as a prolific voice actress for other animes and video games during her career. She was 57 years old. [Kotaku]
As the hype for Super Mario Odyssey has taken the Internet by storm, a huge leap was made by Nintendo when they reportedly entered serious discussions with Illumination Entertainment to license the Super Mario Bros. property for an animated film. (It should be noted that neither Illumination nor Nintendo has commented publicly on whether or not the deal’s current status.) This is big for the franchise, which has not attempted a theatrical adaptation since the flop 1993 live action “Super Mario Bros. Movie” starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper. Illumination already has four films with an announced release date, as far out as Sing 2 in December 2020, plus several other projects in development. [Wall Street Journal]
The casualties have continued to pile up from the revelations of sexual harassment sweeping across the Hollywood landscape, and the field of animators has not been spared, as the animation team behind TBS’ The Cops, created by since-dismissed comic Louis C.K., has been laid off as the project has been put on hold. Art director Francis Giglio later posted an open letter (written on a cardboard box) talking about the stress of being laid off so close to the holiday season while expressing support towards those continuing to expose sexual abuse and harassment. [Deadline Hollywood]
Beginning in 2018, DreamWorks will begin following the footsteps of Pixar and attach original shorts to introduce their theatrical releases. This will begin with a short titled Bird Karma being attached to the Japanese premiere of The Boss Baby, scheduled for March. DreamWorks only attempted this once in 2006 with First Flight being attached to Over the Hedge. [Cartoon Brew]
And finally, in this edition of Weird Animation of the Week, have a look at a short from a 1978 edition of Sesame Street in which the spelling of the word “bird” gets a little psychedelic.