This Week in Animation: ‘Coco’ Returns to Theaters; ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ to Air on ABC

In This Week in Animation News, I’ll take a look at the previous week in the world of animation in order to get you caught up on everything you might have missed. It’s your one-stop shop for news regarding cartoons, anime, and animated web series. We’re talking movies, TV shows, digital shorts, and everything in between!

For the latest animation stories we’ve already covered on the site this week, 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!

See 'Coco' in Theaters This Weekend!

And 'Wreck-It Ralph' Is Back, Too!

Image via Disney

Ahead of the highly anticipated sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, releasing in theaters on November 21, 2018, Wreck-It Ralph takes viewers on a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey on Friday, February 16th from 8:00-10:00 p.m. EST, on The ABC Television Network.

For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has been overshadowed by Fix-It Felix Jr. (voice of Jack McBrayer), the good-guy star of their game who always gets to save the day. Tired of playing the role of a bad guy, Ralph takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a journey across the arcade through multiple generations of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.

On his quest, Ralph meets tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty, and feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart-racing game Sugar Rush, who may just be his first real friend. But everything changes when a deadly enemy is unleashed, threatening the entire arcade and Vanellope herself. Ralph finally gets his chance to save the day – but can he do it in time?

Image via Disney

Wreck-It Ralph won the PGA Award for outstanding producer of an animated theatrical motion picture as well as five Annie Awards, including best animated feature, director, screenplay and actor. The film was named best animated feature by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, earned outstanding achievement in casting for an animated feature by the Casting Society of America and won the Kids’ Choice Award for favorite animated movie. The film was also nominated for an Oscar® and Golden Globe® for best animated feature.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Wreck-It Ralph is directed by Emmy® and Oscar-winning director Rich Moore (Zootopia) and produced by Oscar-winning Clark Spencer (Zootopia).

'Batman Ninja' Officially Rated PG-13

According to BC, the official rating for the anticipated anime Batman Ninja will be PG-13 for “sequences of violence and action, and for some suggestive material.” Sounds about right.

Directed by Jumpei Mizusaki, the movie sees Batman and his cohorts traveling back in time to medieval Japan. Writer Kazuki Nakashima and character designer Takashi Okazaki have crafted a unique and bold take on the beloved character, but we’ll have to wait to see how it’s received by fans worldwide. Other characters in attendance in Batman Ninja besides the title character will be the Joker, Nightwing, Robin, Harley Quinn, Penguin, and Gorilla Grodd.

Starring Koichi Yamadera as Batman, Wataru Takagi as The Joker, Ai Kakuma as Catwoman, and Rie Kugimiya as Harley Quinn, Batman Ninja is due out on Blu-ray/DVD this year.

Image via Warner Bros.

Image via Warner Bros.

Guillermo del Toro on The Cast and Characters of 'Trollhunters'

Stream the First Episode of 'Our Cartoon President'

State of the Union. The President tries to revive his low approval ratings by delivering the greatest State of the Union speech in history and to strengthen his relationship with First Lady Melania by naming her the national bird. Executive Producer Stephen Colbert. Series premiere. Order SHOWTIME to watch more. TV14. New Episodes beginning February 11th at 8PM ET/PT on SHOWTIME.

Image via Showtime

Image via Showtime

'LEGO DC Super Heroes: The Flash' LA Premiere Celebrates the Blu-ray's Arrival

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and The Paley Center for Media invite Los Angeles area fans to attend the World Premiere of LEGO® DC Super Heroes: The Flash at a family-friendly event on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

The screening will commence at Noon (12:00pm) at The Paley Center for Media (465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills). The event will include a post-screening interactive panel discussion, photo opportunities with LEGO® DC Super Heroes standees, an autograph signing on collectible posters, and special LEGO® prizes for all kids in attendance.

Confirmed to attend the event are popular voice actors James Arnold Taylor (voice of Flash), Troy Baker (Batman), Grey Griffin (Wonder Woman, Lois Lane), Phil LaMarr (Firestorm) and Eric Bauza (The Atom, B’dg, Jimmy Olsen) alongside filmmakers executive producer Brandon Vietti, and writers Jim Krieg & Jeremy Adams. Additional talent will be announced as confirmed.

A limited number of free tickets are still available to the general public, and families are encouraged to come enjoy the film and festivities. Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the Los Angeles event on February 10th must RSVP via email to LEGOFlashLA@gmail.com.

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The body of all fan RSVP emails need ONLY include the (1) name of the entrant, (2) valid email address, and (3) the number of tickets being requested (limit four per entry). Fans should keep their entry simple – here’s an example of exactly how the body of the RSVP email should appear:

Tickets to the event will be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis, and fans will be notified via email. Please do not submit more than one request.

In LEGO DC Super Heroes: The Flash, Reverse-Flash manipulates the Speed Force to put The Flash into a time loop that forces him to relive the same day over and over again – with progressively disastrous results, including losing his powers and being fired by the Justice League. The Flash must find a way to restore time to its original path and finally apprehend his worst enemy before all is lost for The Flash … and the world!

Along the route, The Flash encounters numerous new characters being introduced to the popular DC Super Heroes series, including The Atom; B’dg, a squirrel-esque Green Lantern; a pair of legendary super pets in Ace the Bat-Hound and Krypto the Super-Dog, Batman and Superman’s faithful canine pals; as well as Aquaman’s trusted seahorse, Storm.

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Other voices featured in the film are provided by actors Kate Micucci (Zatanna), Kevin Michael Richardson (Doctor Fate), Nolan North (Superman, Killer Croc), Dwight Schultz (Reverse-Flash), Tom Kenny (Plastic Man, The Penguin), Khary Payton (Cyborg), Vanessa Marshall (Poison Ivy), Dee Bradley Baker (Captain Boomerang, Aquaman) and Jason Spisak (The Joker).

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and the LEGO Group, LEGO® DC Super Heroes: The Flash will be available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting February 13th. WBHE will distribute the film on March 13, 2018 on Blu-rayTM Combo Pack and DVD.

Boomerang to Host the World Premiere of 'Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory'

Image via Turner Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation

Boomerang, Turner’s cartoon content streaming network, will play host to the World Premiere of Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory on February 15th! Befriended by Charlie Bucket, Tom and Jerry look to repay the favor by helping Charlie secure a Golden Ticket and a tour of the magical Wonka factory. Inside, it’s a world of imagination for the eyes and tantalizing tunes for the ears.

That’s not the only new content available on the subscription channel this February:

The Sylvester & Tweetie Mysteries – With Sylvester and Tweety, Granny is a globetrotting, mystery-solving maniac! Unraveling crimes around the world keeps her pretty busy so it’s a good thing Hector the bulldog is around to make sure Sylvester keeps his paws to himself.

On February 8th, Boomerang will also feature some Valentine’s specials:

Image via Warner Bros. Animation

I Yabba Dabba Do – The Flintstones celebrate the nuptials of Pebbles Flintstone and Bamm-Bamm Rubble. As Wilma, Betty and Pebbles plan the big day, Fred suffers from the age-old paternal fear of losing his daughter.

My Smurfy Valentine – The residents of Smurf Village cheerfully await Cupid’s arrival… but evil lurks nearby. Can Cupid’s arrow make a dent in the stone-hard heart of Gargamel, the evil wizard? Will Smurfette’s Prince Smurfing ever arrive?

New Looney Tunes – Love Is in the Hare/Valentine’s Dayffy – Bugs’ day at the lake is interrupted by Yosemite Sam. To get Sam off his back, Bugs puts Sam through obstacles and a full makeover. Then, on Valentine’s Day, Daffy runs into Cupid and knocks him out. Cupid tells Daffy to spread love.

The Tom & Jerry Show – Return To Sender – Hildie has received a dozen black roses from her secret admirer. Curiosity piqued, Hildie puts Tom and Jerry up to the task of finding out who her admirer is! Tom’s search starts across the forest at the Enchanted Flower Shop.

Watch 'Fight Boat!', ShadowMachine's NSFW Animated Kumite Comedy

It’s Bloodsport meets The Bachelor… on a boat.

Fight Boat! is an animated short about a megalomaniac tech billionaire who buys an underground fighting tournament featuring the world’s fiercest warriors… just so he can flip it into a reality show. When the feds close in, he takes his motley crew of warriors, cyborgs, mutants, and social media stars to international waters, where anything goes.

It stars the voices of Paul Scheer (The Disaster Artist, Veep, The League) and Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live) and was animated by ShadowMachine, the studio behind BoJack Horseman. Created by Tony Vitali and Isaac Rentz, and directed by Rentz, it’s the first episode of a series that’s currently looking for a network.

Warning: Probably NSFW. Heads go flying.

CREDITS

  • Created by Tony Vitali and Isaac Rentz
  • Written by Tony Vitali, Isaac Rentz, and Alec Schwimmer
  • Directed by Isaac Rentz
  • Featuring the voices of Paul Scheer, Brooks Wheelan, Eric Bauza, and Minae Noji
  • Animation by ShadowMachine
  • Produced by Tobias Conan Trost and Caitlin Burcham
  • Lead animator Matt Garofalo

'Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Reflections' Images and Official Merch Herald the Film's February 9th Release

Image via Eleven Arts

For the first time in North America, official goods for Seven Arcs Pictures’ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Reflection will be on sale through Tokyo Otaku Mode. (Sorry, that link won’t go live until February 5th at 5pm PST!) The merch offering is in celebration of Eleven Arts’ release of the film in U.S. theaters on February 9th. Items for sale include everything from sleep masks, towels, and tote bags to bookmarks, guidebooks, and keychains. They’re nice additions to fan collections, especially since these items aren’t usually available Stateside.

Here’s a little more on Tokyo Otaku Mode, along with images from the upcoming feature:

Through its Facebook page with over 20 million likes and its e-commerce site, the Tokyo Otaku Mode Shop, Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM) delivers the latest news and products from Japanese anime, manga, games, music, and fashion to fans around the world. TOM also designs and distributes original merchandise with creators worldwide to customers in over 130 countries. Using the know-how it has developed in international business, TOM offers services to support overseas business expansions and inbound businesses. With its vision to “Deliver happiness to the world through otaku culture,” by enriching the lives of Japanese pop culture fans around the world, and also by adding new value to the global entertainment markets.

Image via Eleven Arts

Image via Eleven Arts

Animation Block Party 2018 Dates Announced

Image via Animation Block Party

The 15th annual Animation Block Party will run from July 26-29, 2018 in Brooklyn, NY. Last summer’s festival highlights included a BoJack presentation from Netflix and an exclusive look at the Cartoon Network shorts program. This year’s festival promises to feature incredible parties, diverse juried screenings of all genres and a handful of excellent studio showcases.

Festival prizes will include software from Dragonframe, FlipBook from DigiCel, digital subscriptions to Animation Magazine, art supplies from Sakura, plus all jury award winners will receive Harmony Essentials and Storyboard Pro licenses from Toon Boom.

Head to the following link for festival entry details: http://www.animationblock.com/submit

Dedicated to exhibiting the world’s best independent, professional and student animation, Animation Block Party is the largest animation festival on the East Coast.

'Tabaluga' Acquired Ahead of Berlin European Film Market

Image via Tempest Film

Variety reports that the international rights to Tabaluga, an animated feature adaptation of the TV series by the same name, have been picked up by Global Screen ahead of a planned launch at Berlin’s European Film Market, which runs from February 15th to the 23rd. The highly marketable brand is a big hit in Germany and the TV series about a little dragon and the ice princess Lilli has aired in over 100 territories across the world. Originally created by Peter Maffay back in 1983, one of Germany’s best-known singers, the title character of Tabaluga also fronts popular musical albums, numbering six million copies sold.

The movie, produced by Tempest Film Produktion und Verleih in co-production with Deutsche Columbia Pictures Filmproduktion, directed by Sven Unterwaldt (The 7th Dwarf) and animated by Awesometown, Studio Rakete, Sophie Animation and Trixter, Tabaluga follows “a brave little dragon, who, with the help of beautiful ice princess Lilli, not only finds his fire and the power of love, but also succeeds in saving the world from a tyrannical snowman,” according to a statement.

The film will get a wide release in Germany from Sony Pictures on December 6, 2018. Global Screen will also be releasing 3D animated family entertainment movies Marnie’s World and Luis and the Aliens.

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