This Week in Animation News: The Comic-Con 2017 Edition!

Welcome to this very special edition of This Week in Animation News! Normally, this is your one-stop shop for all the animation news fit to print over the previous week. This weekend’s installment is not only getting off to an early start thanks to San Diego Comic-Con, it’s also going to be regularly updated with the latest and greatest announcements that come out of the convention. The programming block is stacked and packed with all sorts of animation goodies, so be sure to revisit often to see what’s new!

We’re expecting some big things out of Comic-Con, like updates on Netflix’s Voltron and Castlevania series, news on Season 3 of Young Justice and more on Disney’s rebooted DuckTales series and Marvel’s animated shows. Plus, we’re expecting to see our first solid looks at Nickelodeon’s modern movie takes on Rocko’s Modern Life and Hey! Arnold, along with their reveal (hopefully) of the stop-motion SpongeBob SquarePants Halloween special. Plus updates on your favorite cartoons, animated movies, and anime series. All that and much more should be revealed by the end of Comic-Con 2017!

Image via Netflix

For the latest animation stories we’ve already covered on the site this week, and for a little bit of leftover news from D23, take a look at the following links. Then, check out a selection of new stories below. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Disney XD Deals Out a Bunch of Clips for 'Milo Murphy's Law'

In Disney XD’s one hour epic event, “Missing Milo,” Milo, along with time-traveling agents Cavendish and Dakota journey into the future only to find that Pistachios have become evil, sentient beings bent on taking over the world. It’s up to Milo to become a hero and save the day—and the future!

Milo Murphy is the great, great, great, great grandson of the original Murphy from “Murphy’s Law.” And anything that can go wrong with him, will most definitely go wrong! He’s a bit of a jinx but since he’s never known life any other way, he just makes the most of the adventure and the unrelenting calamity that follows him.

Here are some more clips from the Disney XD animated series:

Take a Listen to the Theme Song from Disney XD's New Series 'Big City Greens'

Big City Greens follows Cricket Green, a mischievous and optimistic country boy who just moved to the big city. His curiosity and enthusiasm will lead him and his wildly out of place family on epic journeys, perilous escapes, and into the hearts of his new neighbors.

'DuckTales' Sneak Peek Goes on an Underwater Adventure

A sneak peek from the premiere series event “DuckTales: Woo-oo!” where Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby embark on their very first adventure with the legendary Scrooge McDuck!

DuckTales New Series Event Premieres Saturday, August 12th anywhere you watch Disney XD.

Based on the Emmy Award-winning series treasured by a generation of viewers, Disney XD’s animated comedy-adventure series “DuckTales” chronicles the high-flying adventures of Duckburg’s most famous trillionaire Scrooge McDuck, his mischief-making triplet grandnephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, temperamental nephew Donald Duck and the trusted McDuck Manor team: big-hearted, fearless chauffer/pilot Launchpad McQuack, no-nonsense housekeeper Mrs. Beakley and Mrs. Beakley’s granddaughter, Webby Vanderquack, resident adventurer and the triplet’s newfound fierce friend.

'Big Hero 6: The Series' Sneak Peek Finds Hiro and Baymax in Peril

A sneak peek from the episode, “Fred’s Bro-Trillion,” where Hiro and Baymax get trapped inside super villain Baron Von Steamer’s lair.

Disney XD’s animated series Big Hero 6, picks up immediately following the events of the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning feature film and continues the adventures and friendship of Hiro, the fourteen-year-old orphaned tech genius and Baymax, his very special plus-sized inflatable healthcare companion. Big Hero 6: The Series U.S. Premiere Fall 2017.

As the new kid at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, Hiro faces daunting academic challenges at the prestigious “nerd school” and the social trials of being the “little man on campus.” Luckily, Hiro has his brains, his ingenuity and his best friend bot to help him find his way. But it’s off campus where things get dangerous. Along with neat freak Wasabi, bubbly mad scientist Honey Lemon, fanboy Fred and no nonsense Go Go, the friends form an unlikely, but awesome super hero team – Big Hero 6. Together they face madness and mayhem as a colorful array of science-enhanced villains threaten San Fransokyo.

Check out the new series’ opening title sequence below:

'Archer' Season 9 Heads to "Danger Island" on FXX in 2018

After a turn as a hardboiled private eye in 1947 Los Angeles, Archer is headed to “Danger Island” for its upcoming ninth season.

Creators of FXX’s Emmy Award-winning, animated, half-hour comedy revealed the theme and title treatment at the conclusion of the Archer panel this evening at San Diego Comic-Con. The panel discussion in the Indigo Ballroom brought together Executive Producer Matt Thompson and Co-Executive Producer Casey Willis with the voice cast of H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha TylerJessica WalterJudy GreerAmber Nash and Lucky Yates.

The ninth season of Archer will premiere on FXX in 2018.

Archer was created by Adam Reed and Floyd County Productions and is executive produced by Reed and Matt Thompson. Archer recently received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Program for the second consecutive year, and won the Emmy Award last year. The show is produced by FX Productions.

'Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' to Feature a Samurai Arc with Usagi Yojimbo

Turtles fans turned out for Nickelodeon’s Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 on Friday, July 21, where executive producer Ciro Nieli, legendary creators and collaborators Kevin Eastman and Stan Sakai (“Usagi Yojimbo”), Yuki Matsuzaki (voice of Miyamoto Usagi), along with series voice cast members: Rob Paulsen (Donatello), Greg Cipes (Michelangelo) and Eric Bauza (Tiger Claw).

The panel’s sneak peeks included: the world premiere of a full-length episode, “Lone Rat and Cubs,” written and presented by TMNT co-creator, Kevin Eastman; a clip from new episode, “Yojimbo,” from the upcoming Samurai story arc; and concept art by Ciro Nieli showcasing new characters and designs of Usagi and the villains the Turtles will face this season.

The three-part Samurai arc begins Sunday, July 23, at 9:00 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

Cartoon Network's 'Unikitty' Taps "Babymetal" for Theme Song

Cartoon Network’s new series Unikitty! pleased the crowd at San Diego Comic-Con yesterday with a screening of its pilot, but a surprising new fandom sprung up online when it was revealed that the Japanese metal idol band “Babymetal” would be performing the theme song. In an unexpected crossover of the two fandoms, metal aficionados and fans of “Babymetal” alike gravitated toward the new animated kids cartoon simply because of the theme song announcement. That’s very cool. And it’s likely just the start of a very interesting new fanbase, if brand-new fan art is any indication.

Showrunner Ed Skudder and writer Aaron Waltke confirmed the band’s involvement in creating a brand new song over social media, just before interest in the collaboration exploded across Twitter.

Check out the news and some examples below:

Nickelodeon Offers Sneak Peek at 'Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling'

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that this first look at Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling is exactly what I wanted/needed/expected from a reboot. The animation is crisp but in keeping with the original style, the humor is spot-on, and the meta references are just as good today as they were in the 90s, if not better. I can’t wait to see more!

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling stars Carlos Alazraqui as Rocko, Spunky, and Leon; Tom Kenny as Heffer Wolfe, Chuck, and Really Really Big Man; Mr. Lawrence as Filburt Turtle and Maitre D’; Charlie Adler  as Ed Bighead, Bev Bighead, Mr. Dupette, Grandpa Wolfe, and Mrs. Fathead; Linda Wallem as Aunt Gretchen and Dr. Hutchinson; Jill Talley as Nosey and Joe Murray as Ralph. Additionally, Steve Little joins the cast as Cowboy and Cosmo Segurson, who’s also the director, will voice Pillow Salesman.

 

Image via Nickelodeon

Just like the original ‘90s series, this hand-drawn special stars Rocko, a wallaby who emigrated from Australia to the United States and enjoys the simple things in life; Heffer, Rocko’s best friend;  Filburt, Rocko’s other best friend; and Ed Bighead and Bev Bighead, Rocko’s neighbors; as well as the other colorful characters.

 

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling brings the characters back to Earth after being lost in outer space since 1996. Rocko has trouble accepting this 21st century modern life, while Heffer and Filburt embrace every aspect of new technology, social media and the endless diversity of food trucks. Rocko whole-heartedly believes that his nostalgia for the past can save him from the tortures of the modern world.

Here are some more tidbits from the panel:

'Voltron' Season 3 Trailer, Premiere Date Revealed

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t caught up with Netflix’s Voltron Legendary Defender yet, because here’s the Season 3 trailer!

The success of Zarkon’s defeat comes at a price: Shiro has vanished. With the ascension of the mysterious Prince Lotor and without a pilot for the black lion, the team must somehow find the strength to keep fighting. But how can they defend the universe without Voltron? Find out when all-new episodes of DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender come to Netflix, August 4.

Attendees to the Voltron panel today were rewarded with a screening of the Season 3 premiere, “Changing of the Guard.” Executive producers Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery were joined by cast members Bex Taylor-Klaus and Tyler Labine, Pidge and Hunk respectively. A.J. LoCascio (Dawn of the Croods) joins the cast as Lotor, the villainous prince.

Season 3 has been confirmed as a 7-episode run that will premiere August 4th, but fans won’t have long to wait for the follow-up: Season 4 will hit Netflix this October.

Here’s a look at what the cast and crew had to say:

LAIKA Unveils Movie-Related Merchandise

Every once in a while, I have a good idea. This one happened to suggest that acclaimed stop-motion animation studio LAIKA needed a bold licensing and marketing strategy in order to thrive. Well that day is finally here!

The National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA), an entertainment conglomerate and global leader in licensed consumer goods, has signed a deal to produce a multi-category lineup of merchandise with Oscar-winning animation studio LAIKA. NECA will arrive in San Diego with an exclusive action figure for sale at Comic-Con, a Coraline in a Deluxe Display Box, and will be promoting the high end bespoke replicas of LAIKA’S hero puppets from its four Oscar-nominated films:  Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014) and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016).  The deal was brokered by licensing agency Striker Entertainment, which represents the rights to the LAIKA library of legacy and future films.

The deal with NECA coincides with LAIKA’s pop-up exhibit The LAIKA Experience, which is now running  in San Diego through July 23rd.  The exhibit, located at 520 Fifth Avenue in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, features props, puppets, monsters, and sets from LAIKA’s award-winning films as well as fan art,  photo ops with LAIKA’s costumed characters, daily drawings for a pair of Nike’s LAIKA-themed shoes designed by Tinker Hatfield, social media activations, giveaways, and more.  Travis Knight, President & CEO of LAIKA and director of Kubo and the Two Strings, is scheduled for an autograph session on Friday, July 21st at 3pm.  LAIKA merchandise is also available at the pop-up store at The LAIKA Experience.

Highlights of NECA’s multi-category merchandise lineup include:

  • Bespoke reproduction hero puppets (CoralineNorman, Eggs and Kubo) available for consumer orders by end of 2017.  More characters will follow.
  • Limited edition (only 3000) Coraline in a Deluxe Display Box exclusive action figure will be available at the NECA booth (#3145) at San Diego Comic-Con and at The LAIKA Experience pop-up shop. 

Future products will include:

  • Traditional   articulated   and/or   non-articulated   figures and/or dolls, sold with or without scenes/backdrops
  • Resin statues
  • Plush figures
  • Bobble head figures
  • Stylized vinyl toys
  • Large scale foam figures
  • Prop replicas
  • Board games

“We are thrilled to have kicked off our new licensing program with this deal,” says Brad Wald, LAIKA’s CFO and SVP of Business Operations.  “There’s a history in working together with NECA on top-selling Coraline replicas (one is back by popular demand and available exclusively at the pop-up store at The LAIKA Experience).  NECA is a leader in the industry in providing quality fan-based products and we’re excited to offer a wide portfolio to consumers that reflects LAIKA’s dynamic characters and unique aesthetic.  We’re particularly excited by the bespoke puppet reproductions, which answer an ardent fan request that dates back to our first film.”

“Having worked with LAIKA in the past, we experienced that spark that is so necessary, yet so rare,” says NECA President Joel Weinshanker.  “We look forward to working with the amazingly creative folks at LAIKA to bring their amazing characters in physical form to the masses.”

New 'RWBY' Volume 5 Trailer Short Centers on Weiss

RWBY Volume 5 Premieres October 14 on Rooster Teeth FIRST. Start your free trial!

 

All her life, Weiss Schnee has lived a privileged and pampered life… but it did not come without its own hardships

Be sure to check out my previously posted coverage of RWBY at the following links:

Image via Rooster Teeth

'DuckTales' Offers Up a Sneak Peek in a New Clip

A sneak peek from “Daytrip of Doom!” where Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby have an epic dart gun fight that ends up a little more intense than some of them are comfortable with.

DuckTales New Series Event Premieres Saturday, August 12 anywhere you watch Disney XD.

Based on the Emmy Award-winning series treasured by a generation of viewers, Disney XD’s animated comedy-adventure series “DuckTales” chronicles the high-flying adventures of Duckburg’s most famous trillionaire Scrooge McDuck, his mischief-making triplet grandnephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, temperamental nephew Donald Duck and the trusted McDuck Manor team: big-hearted, fearless chauffer/pilot Launchpad McQuack, no-nonsense housekeeper Mrs. Beakley and Mrs. Beakley’s granddaughter, Webby Vanderquack, resident adventurer and the triplet’s newfound fierce friend.

'Big Hero 6: The Series' Opening Credits Revealed

Disney XD’s animated series Big Hero 6, picks up immediately following the events of the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning feature film and continues the adventures and friendship of Hiro, the fourteen-year-old orphaned tech genius and Baymax, his very special plus-sized inflatable healthcare companion. Big Hero 6: The Series U.S. Premiere Fall 2017.

As the new kid at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, Hiro faces daunting academic challenges at the prestigious “nerd school” and the social trials of being the “little man on campus.” Luckily, Hiro has his brains, his ingenuity and his best friend bot to help him find his way. But it’s off campus where things get dangerous. Along with neat freak Wasabi, bubbly mad scientist Honey Lemon, fanboy Fred and no nonsense Go Go, the friends form an unlikely, but awesome super hero team – Big Hero 6. Together they face madness and mayhem as a colorful array of science-enhanced villains threaten San Fransokyo.

'In This Corner of the World' Clip Shifts the World War II Perspective to Japan

The award-winning story of IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD follows a young lady named Suzu Urano, who in 1944 moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima to live with her husband’s family. Suzu’s life is thrown into chaos when her town is bombed during World War II. Her perseverance and courage underpin this heart-warming and inspirational tale of the everyday challenges faced by the Japanese in the midst of a violent, war-torn country. This beautiful yet poignant tale shows that even in the face of adversity and loss, people can come together and rebuild their lives.

William Shatner to Guest Star on 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic'

Exciting new adventures are on the horizon for the Mane 6 and some very special celebrity guests in the continuation of the seventh season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, returning to Discovery Family on Saturday, August 5th at 11:30a/10:30c with 15 half-hour episodes and brand-new characters including “Grand Pear” (William Shatner) and “Pear Butter” (Felicia Day). Additionally, new episodes of the Hasbro Studios’ produced animated series will stream live and on demand on Discovery Family GO, the network’s TV Everywhere app.

In the back-to-back mid-season premiere episodes titled “Discordant Harmony” and “The Perfect Pear,” Discord invites Fluttershy to his realm for tea but worries she won’t be comfortable and begins to change it and himself with disastrous results. Immediately following at 12/11c, William Shatner guest stars as “Grand Pear” and Felicia Day as “Pear Butter” in a classic “Romeo and Juliet” inspired love story that spans multiple pony generations when the Apple Siblings learn about their parent’s love story and discover that they’re half Pear!

Equestria’s bravest ponies and familiar faces keep Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy on the tips of their hooves through ups and downs, new songs and the elements of friendship – Honesty, Kindness, Loyalty, Generosity, Laughter and Magic. Throughout the second half of the season, Pharynx learns that love is a strength and not a weakness, Twilight Sparkle battles the Pony of Shadows, famous author A.K. Yearling teases a new novel, the Cutie Mark Crusaders learn that nothing is impossible with courage and strength, and much more!

Plus, here’s a new poster from the upcoming film from Hasbro and Lionsgate, My Little Pony: The Movie:

Image via Hasbro, Lionsgate

Twitch Partners with Crunchyroll for First-Ever Anime Marathon

Two top content streamers, Twitch and Crunchyroll, have teamed up for a five-day marathon of all the anime you can handle! We’re talking about more than 15 different beloved anime series with episodes from Yuri on IceMob Psycho 100Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers on display. The full programming schedule will be announced on July 21st and the marathon itself will begin on July 27th at 3:30 p.m. PT and run through August 1st.

Image via Crunchyroll

Witness the Women Warriors of 'Mysticons'

A great adventure is coming to Nickelodeon August 2017, as four warriors are chosen to undertake an epic quest to protect their world from the forces of evil.

This is an interesting project in part because there’s so little information currently available on it, but also because of it’s curious origins. First developed as a show targeting boys ages 6 and up, the gender demographic switched to girls when Nickelodeon came onboard with a desire to change the show’s focus. The cool thing is that it doesn’t look like much was changed besides the gender of the title characters themselves, so what we have here is a very familiar “boys” action cartoon that just so happens to feature girls in the heroic roles. That’s highly unusual, but very welcome.

Sean Jara (Ben 10Johnny Test) created the show and will serve as executive producer and lead story editor. Nelvana Studios produced the show, which will appear on Nickelodeon as the global broadcast partner; The Topps Compay is also a partner in the production. Playmates Toys will act as the brand’s global master toy partner, so you should expect to see much more from Mysticons in the weeks and months to come!

Skydance Taps Two Directors for High-Profile Animated Features

THR reports that Skydance and partner Ilion Animation Studios have tapped Alessandro Carloni (Kung Fu Panda 3 co-director) for Luck, written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who are also the screenwriters behind Kung Fu Panda. This story, with a working title, “aims to pull back the curtain on the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affect the daily lives of humans.”

Also in the new is Vicky Jenson (Shrek co-director) will helm the companies’ untitled fantasy script by Linda Woolverton (The Lion KingBeauty and the Beast). This film will “center on a teenager who comes of age using her magical powers to defend her family when the opposing forces of light and darkness threaten to divide her kingdom.”

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