This Week in Animation: ‘Justice League: The New Frontier’ Blu-ray; ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ Debuts

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!

A relatively quiet week in entertainment news, even on the animation front. However, this is a good opportunity to spotlight some worthwhile projects that might otherwise go unnoticed. For example, the Emmy-nominated 2008 feature Justice League: The New Frontier will be getting a commemorative Blu-ray edition! In other animated movie news, Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 gets a new release date, Animal Crackers gets a gorgeous new poster, and GKIDS drops news of a distribution deal for Napping Princess along with the film’s U.S. trailer!

Image via Disney XD

Marvel’s Spider-Man debuted on Disney XD earlier today, but we’ve already got a look at a new character (and cast member) showing up next week. More than 15 years after the original series and 7 years in the making, we also get a first look at the new Jackie Chan Adventures reboot; steel yourselves for this one. There’s word of a new animated comedy series hailing from Amy Poehler and a pair of The Simpsons writers; Fox has ordered up a pilot. Finally, Nickelodeon is unveiling their new Mysticons series with a new trailer and a bunch of character featurettes.

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!

'Justice League: The New Frontier' Gets a Commemorative Edition

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment returns to the roots of DC’s greatest Super Heroes – and their unifying moment – with the celebratory release of Justice League: The New Frontier – Commemorative Edition on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Steelbook, and DVD on October 3, 2017.

For the new Commemorative Edition of the popular 2008 PG-13 animated film, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has produced an all-new featurette spotlighting the late Darwyn Cooke. The comic book author and artist’s seminal work, DC: The New Frontier, received an Eisner, Harvey and Shuster Award, and that six-issue comic book limited series served as the key source material from which the film was adapted. Justice League: The New Frontier – Commemorative Edition also features box art from Cooke’s canon of dazzling New Frontier imagery.

Justice League: The New Frontier – Commemorative Edition is the epic tale of the founding of the Justice League. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the animated film is directed by David Bullock from a script by Stan Berkowitz. Sander Schwartz and Bruce Timm are Executive Producers.  Michael Goguen is Supervising Producer

The action-packed adventure features iconic DC Super Heroes Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman alongside Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and The Flash as they band together to form the legendary team. Strangers at first, these very different heroes must overcome fear and suspicion to forge an alliance against a monster so formidable, even the mighty Superman cannot stop it alone. If they fail, the entire planet will be “cleansed” of humanity.

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Justice League: The New Frontier – Commemorative Edition features an impressive roll call of celebrity voice performances, including Golden Globe Award winner Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, Jeremy Sisto as Batman, Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman, Emmy and Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris as Barry Allen/The Flash, David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Brooke Shields as Carol Ferris, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Kyra Sedgwick as Lois Lane, Phil Morris as King Faraday, and the late Miguel Ferrer as Martian Manhunter. The cast also boasts the voices of Joe Mantegna, Keith David, Vicki Lewis and the late John Heard.

Justice League: The New Frontier – Commemorative Edition includes incredible bonus features on both the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the DVD:

  • Featurette – “Retro Action Cool: The Story of Darwyn Cooke” – A revealing look into the life and times of one of comics’ most brilliant figures, the late Darwyn Cooke.
  • Featurette – “Super Heroes United! The Complete Justice League History” – A comprehensive look at nearly a half-century of Justice League chronology from the inception in the comics to vivid animated renditions in the late 2000s. The story is told with a myriad of interviews tracing the early days of DC Super Hero team ups during the Golden Age to the Silver Age rendition where the established heroes emerged and beyond. Interviews include such notables as Dan DiDio, Michael Uslan, Paul Levitz, Mark Waid, Denny O’Neil, Stan Lee and Marv Wolfman.
  • Featurette – “The Legion of Doom: The Pathology of the DC Super Villain” – This 10-minute piece examines the early mythological archetypes of nemesis characters from a historical perspective and reveals how the tenants of this rich history were adapted and woven into the Justice League stories.
  • Featurette – “Comic Book Commentary: Homage to the New Frontier” – This mini-documentary is a nod to the fans of the New Frontier comics, further expanding the themes contained in the source material and how these elements were truncated or evolved for inclusion in the film. It features vivid imagery culled from the pages of DC: The New Frontier, mixed with the commentary of Darwyn Cooke. This featurette is a treat for both fans and scholars of the medium.
  • Sneak Peak: Gotham by Gaslight – A behind-the-scenes look at the next DC Universe Original Movie, inspired by the 1989 Elseworlds tale of Batman – at the turn of the 20th century – as first created as a graphic novel by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola, with inks by P. Craig Russell.
  • Audio Commentary I/The Filmmakers – Featuring Justice League: The New Frontier filmmakers Bruce Timm, Michael Goguen, David Bullock, Stan Berkowitz, Andrea Romano and Gregory Noveck.
  • Audio Commentary II/Darwyn Cooke – Featuring award-winning writer/artist Darwyn Cooke

'Jackie Chan Adventures' Reboot Goes CG in First Trailer

Where the original animated series had a traditional, hand-drawn style and a focus on family, martial arts, and a bit of mysticism in the real world, the reboot goes full computer-generated graphics and looks completely bonkers.

Were you a fan of the original Jackie Chan Adventures? How are you feeling about this CG, 3D reboot? Let us know in the comments!

'Marvel's Spider-Man': Get a Glimpse of the Next Episode!

Disney star Cameron Boyce will be voice guest starring in Marvel’s new series, Marvel’s Spider-Man. When he appears in next Saturday’s episode, Cameron voices a character named Herman Schultz, a driven young scientist who creates new, wearable technology with his best friend Clayton Cole.

In the episode, titled “Osborn Academy,” Herman is auditioning for the new, prestigious title school, which inadvertently pits him against his best friend Clayton Cole. The two battle it out for a coveted spot at the school. Comic book fans will recognize Herman as the inventor of gauntlets which can control vibrations, leading to his alter-ego, “Shocker.” And, of course, Cole had his own … clash … with the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, too.

Be sure to get caught up on my recent review and interviews here:

And if you missed the first half of the hour-long series premiere on Disney XD, you can watch the whole thing right here!

Peter is accepted into Horizon High: a school for geniuses, where his best friend Harry Osborn was just suspended. Peter makes his debut as Spider-man and must battle the Vulture.

'The Secret Life of Pets 2' Gets a Release Date

Illumination Entertainment’s sequel to the smash hit The Secret Life of Pets will be hitting theaters a bit earlier than last reported. Universal has set The Secret Life of Pets 2 for a June 7, 2019 release date, bumping it up a little from its previous slot of July 3, 2019; that came after a delay from the original July 13, 2018 spot.

The early June 2019 weekend puts SLoP 2 in competition with Sony’s Charlie’s Angels reboot and Fox’s untitled Fox/Marvel film. That’s going to be a rough weekend since the original 2016 animated family-friendly sequel banked nearly $875.5 million worldwide on its $75 million budget. Still, it moves back safely from the Fourth of July’s weekend’s big opener Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 and the juggernaut of Transformers 7 that opens the week before.

'Animal Crackers' Movie Poster Is a Real Cut-Up

These days, movie posters do little to distinguish themselves and even less to try and achieve something artistic. That’s not the case with the upcoming animated release Animal Crackers, a curious American-Spanish co-production with significant Chinese financing. The cast boasts John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Raven-Symoné, Ian McKellen, Sylvester Stallone, Danny DeVito, Patrick Warburton and Wallace Shawn, among others.

The music is being handled by Emmy-winner Bear McCreary, who shared this fantastically designed poster for the upcoming film via Twitter. Check it out below and keep an eye out for Animal Crackers to arrive September 1st (if distribution is locked down…)

Image via Blue Dream Studios

Here’s the synopsis:

Owen Huntington’s life is one continuous loop of work, eat, and sleep. A loop that keeps him from ever seeing his wife Zoe, or his three year old daughter MacKenzie. A loop that is sure to kill him. Then, one day, Owen discovers a long lost Uncle passed away – and left his Circus to Owen. What could have been a blessing – soon unfolds into a curse. The circus is broke. The animals are all gone. And most of the crew are too old to be of any use. It’s a disaster. But something magical happens. Owen discovers Buffalo Bob’s secret. A box of Animal Crackers that gives the bearer the ability to become any animal in the box. Suddenly – there’s hope. If Owen can use the box to become these animals and perform people will come. He’ll be rich. But Owen forgot one thing. Buffalo Bob had a brother. Horatio P. Huntington. Owner of the largest chain of circuses in the world. And Horatio would stop at nothing to get his hands on the Magical Animal Crackers

'Napping Princess' Trailer Debuts; GKIDS

GKIDS announced that it has acquired the North American distribution rights for the animated feature Napping Princess. The film is written and helmed by Kenji Kamiyama (East of Eden, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex). GKIDS will release the film theatrically on September 8th at Village East Cinema in New York City and at Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angeles, with a national expansion to follow. GKIDS will release the film theatrically in both its original Japanese language and a new English dubbed version.

Formerly known as Ancien and the Magic Tablet, Napping Princess was an official selection at this year’s Annecy Int’l Animation Film Festival, as well as the Fantasia Film Festival, where it won the Best Animated Feature award.

Image via GKIDS


The year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa is often dozing off, stuck between reality and a dream-world full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But after her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is kidnapped for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it’s up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him.


Together they realize that Kokone’s dream-world holds the answers to the mystery behind the stolen tech, and they embark on a journey that traverses dreams and reality, city and country, and past and present. Their mission uncovers a trail of clues to her father’s disappearance and ultimately a surprising revelation about Kokone’s family.


From visionary director Kenji Kamiyama comes a sci-fi fantasy that effortlessly weaves together the rapidly evolving technology of today’s world with the fantastic imagination of the next generation. With an ambitious mix of multilayered action, whimsical characters and inventive machines, Napping Princess is a genre- and universe-blending film that shows that following your dreams is sometimes the best way to face your past.

Image via GKIDS

Image via GKIDS

Image via GKIDS

Image via GKIDS

Image via GKIDS

Image via GKIDS

Image via GKIDS

Image via GKIDS

Amy Poehler and 'The Simpsons' Writers Team for Animated Comedy Series

Deadline has word that Fox has ordered a script and pilot production for an animated comedy series from Amy Poehler and The Simpsons writers Mike and Julie Scully. The untitled half-hour series centers on “the family and friends of 15-year-old Duncan Harris, an average kid with dreams of being a UFC fighter, tech billionaire, video game champ, or any job where you make a ton of money and don’t have to wear a tie.” Poehler and the Scullys will executive produce with Poehler also attached to voice multiple characters.

Nickelodeon Unleashes a New 'Mysticons' Trailer

The fantastical world of Gemina is about to get four unexpected heroes. Meet Arkayna, Zarya, Emerald, and Piper, and join their battle against the bad guys in this extended look at the brand new show, Mysticons! Catch more of the Mysticons on Nick!

You can meet a bunch of the upcoming series characters in the following featurettes!

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