This Week in Animation: ‘LEGO Ninjago Movie’ Poster Drops; David Oyelowo Joins ‘The Lion Guard’

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 big screen, we saw the arrival of a new poster for The LEGO Ninjago Movie, heralding a new trailer that’s sure to come before the fall release date. And although Batman and Harley Quinn is coming to home video, it’s getting a big-screen world premiere at Comic-Con this summer followed by a one-night-only theatrical release! Oh and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm will be getting a remastered edition on Blu-ray, if that interests you (and it should).

Image via Warner Bros. Animation

On the small screen, Nickelodeon announced two specials: A stop-motion Halloween special titled SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom and the nostalgia-fest that is Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, which will reunite the original 1990s series cast. Joining the cast of Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard will be the Golden Globe-nominated David Oyelowo, taking on an iconic villainous role. And a stellar cast has been assembled for the new Amazon Original series, Danger & Eggs, which makes its debut next Friday.

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!

'The LEGO Ninjago Movie' Poster Debuts

Here’s the official synopsis for The LEGO Ninjago Movie:

In this big-screen NINJAGO adventure, the battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power of Spinjitzu.


Jackie Chan (“Kung Fu Panda,” The Karate Kid”) stars as Master Wu; Justin Theroux (“Megamind 2,” “The Leftovers”) is Garmadon; Dave Franco (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) plays Lloyd; and Olivia Munn (“X-Men: Apocalypse”) is Lloyd’s mom, Koko. Making up the secret ninja crew, Michael Peña (“Ant-Man,” “The Martian”) is Kai; Fred Armisen (“The Jim Gaffigan Show,” “SNL”) voices Cole; Kumail Nanjiani (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”) is Jay; Abbi Jacobson (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) plays Nya; and Zach Woods (“Silicon Valley”) voices Zane.

David Oyelowo Joins Season 2 of Disney Junior's 'The Lion Guard' as Scar

Acclaimed film, television and stage actor David Oyelowo  will voice the iconic role of Scar, the villainous younger brother to Mufasa, in Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard, an animated series that continues the epic storytelling of Disney’s acclaimed feature film, The Lion King. Scar will appear in the flames of a volcano after Simba and Nala’s young son, Kion, unwittingly summons him by using the Roar of the Elders in anger. Season two of the hit series will premiere FRIDAY, JULY 7th (8:00 a.m. EDT), with two back-to-back episodes on Disney Channel. Scar will first appear in the series during a special extended episode titled “The Rise of Scar,” premiering SATURDAY, JULY 29th (9:00 a.m. EDT).

Additional guest stars for the new season include Tony Award-winning actress Renée Elise Goldsberry as Dhahabu, a charismatic golden zebra; Academy and Grammy Award-winning rapper, actor, producer and poet Common as Kiburi, an arrogant crocodile; Kristofer Hivju as Kenge, a ferocious monitor lizard; AJ Mclean as Kuchimba, an adorable golden mole; Carla Hall as Mpishi, a “foodie” African harrier hawk; Christopher Jackson as Shujaa, a massively strong gorilla; CCH Pounder as Kongwe, a wise old turtle; Rico Rodriguez and Raini Rodriguez  as Raha and Starahe, a brother and sister zebra duo; Sinbad as Uroho, a comedic baboon; Michael Dorn as Bupu, a large sable antelope; Justin Hires as Hodari, a tiny gecko; Jacob Bertrand, Mekai Curtis and Cade Sutton as Chama the elephant, Furaha the monkey and Mzaha the antelope, respectively; and Landry Bender as Makini, Rafiki’s spirited young mandrill apprentice.

'SpongeBob SquarePants' Halloween Special Gets the Stop-Motion Treatment

Nickelodeon will take viewers on a spooky Halloween adventure throughout Bikini Bottom with the brand-new, stop-motion special, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom.  In the visual style of classic stop-motion animation TV specials, The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom tells the story of the Flying Dutchman (Brian Doyle Murray) who wants to make sure everyone in town is scared, especially SpongeBob, who thinks scary things are funny.  The special will premiere in October 2017 on Nickelodeon.

Bikini Bottom is decked out for Halloween and features Sandy’s treedome as a mad scientist’s lab, including a giant remotely operated Acorn Monster; Mr. Krabs’ restaurant as “The Horrors of the Chum Bucket,” displaying scenes of Plankton torturing food; and Plankton’s restaurant as “The Horrors of the Krusty Krab,” telling the story of Mr. Krabs turning customers into Krabby Patties and more.

The characters don Halloween costumes, with SpongeBob as a flower, Patrick as a knight, Sandy as a mad scientist, Mr. Krabs as a dollar bill, Plankton as a devil, Squidward as himself, and Karen as a cat. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom features an original song, “The Scare Song,” written by Mr. Lawrence, music by Eban Schletter and performed by the Flying Dutchman’s crew of pirate ghosts.

The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom is being produced at Screen Novelties, a Los Angeles-based stop-motion animation production company, where miniature puppets and sets bring Bikini Bottom to life in three dimensions. The production features 27 unique sets, across five stages, where 15 boxes of breakfast cereal were used to create texture on Bikini Bottom’s coral reefs; eight pounds of glitter were used to decorate SpongeBob’s Halloween pineapple house; hundreds of popsicle sticks created the planks of the rollercoaster track that Patrick and SpongeBob ride; and “black lights” were used to create a fluorescent glow across the puppets and sets.

Marc Ceccarelli and Vincent Waller are the supervising producers on SpongeBob SquarePants. The special was written by Mr. Lawrence, with Brian Morante serving as the storyboard director. The special is being directed by Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh, and produced by Chris Finnegan of Screen Novelties.

'Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling' to Reunite the Original Voice Cast

Nickelodeon announced that its brand-new, original one-hour TV special Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, based on the classic ‘90s hit series Rocko’s Modern Life, will reunite the original voice cast members who will bring their iconic characters back to life.  The special is written and executive produced by the series’ original creator Joe Murray and will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2018.

The voice actors reprising their famed roles include: 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.

The Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling TV special is one of Nickelodeon’s three animated properties from its rich library reimagined for today’s audience, including the upcoming TV movies Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie set to premiere this fall, featuring a storyline that picks up from where the original series ended in 2004; and Invader Zim, following the perpetually desperate and delusional Zim as he creates a new and potentially Earth-destroying plan to finally get the attention he deserves from his Irken leaders, the Almighty Tallest.

'Batman and Harley Quinn' to World Premiere at Comic-Con before One-Night Only Theatrical Release

Celebrating a decade of DC Universe Original Movie world premieres in San Diego, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will once again give fans their first look at an all-new animated feature with the presentation of Batman and Harley Quinn on Friday night July 21, 2017 at Comic-Con International.

In Batman and Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet – and, unfortunately, eliminate most of humankind along the way. To save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to enlist Harley Quinn to catch Poison Ivy, Harley’s BFF and frequent partner-in-crime. But Batman’s patience is put to the test by the unpredictable and untrustworthy Harley during the twists and turns the reluctant companions face during their bumpy road trip. The result is a thrill ride of action, adventure and comedy no Batman fan has seen before.

The world premiere of Batman and Harley Quinn will include a post-screening panel discussion among available members of the core cast and filmmaking team. The latest DC animated film features a stellar voice cast led by Kevin Conroy reprising his role as the Dark Knight, alongside Melissa Rauch making her debut as the irrepressible Harley Quinn. Loren Lester, the voice of Robin in Batman: The Animated Series, returns as Nightwing. Paget Brewster and Kevin Michael Richardson provide the voices of the villainous duo Poison Ivy & Jason Woodrue, respectively.

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Warner Bros. Studios, DC Entertainment and Fathom Events will then hold a special, one-night cinema event for the latest DC Universe Original Movie on August 14, 2017 in movie theaters nationwide. One night prior to the Digital release and 15 days in advance of its arrival on Blu-ray and DVD, Batman and Harley Quinn will screen Monday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m. local time. In addition to seeing the film, audiences at the one-night screening will be the first to experience an exclusive featurette spotlighting the film’s star character, Harley Quinn.

Tickets for “Batman and Harley Quinn” can be purchased beginning Friday, June 30, 2017 online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations will be available June 30 on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

GKIDS, Annecy, and Variety Team for 'Animation Is Film' Festival Launch

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the world’s leading animation Festival and Market, and Variety magazine, have announced the launch of ANIMATION IS FILM, an annual animation film festival in Los Angeles. The first edition will run October 20th-22nd at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood (Mann’s Chinese Theater) with a showcase of 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short film programs.

ANIMATION IS FILM aims to fill a gap in the US market by establishing a world class animation festival on par with the major events in Europe and Asia – and locating it in the world capital of animated filmmaking. The Festival will be a vocal advocate, in the heart of Hollywood, for excellence in animation, and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.

The mission of the Festival is to:

  • Present a highly selective, annual showcase of the best new works of animation from around the world, with programs for both adults and families.
  • Champion and support filmmakers who use animation to pursue unique cinematic visions and who are unconstrained by conventional notions of what animation is capable o f.
  • Champion and support women filmmakers.
  • Champion and support filmmakers from a wide range of cultural, economic, and national backgrounds.
  • Support communication, understanding and positivity in the world.

The Festival Organizing Committee includes:

  • Eric Beckman – Founder and CEO, GKIDS, Co-founder, New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival
  • Patrick Eveno – CEO, CITIA – Annecy International Animation Film Festival
  • Mickaël Marin – CITIA Managing Director, Head of Economic Development & Mifa
  • Marcel Jean – Artistic Director, Annecy International Animation Film Festival
  • Michelle Sobrino-Stearns – Group Publisher, Variety
  • Steven Gaydos – Executive Editor, Variety
  • Peter Debruge – Chief Film Critic, Variety
  • Fumi Kitahara – Chair of Publicity, Women in Animation

Rooster Teeth's Summer of Animation Continues with 'Camp Camp', 'RWBY Chibi' and 'Red vs Blue'

In Camp Camp, Max, a jaded ten-year-old, finds himself stuck at the most dysfunctional summer camp known to man. The new season kicks off with Camp Campbell putting out an ad for a new camp counselor, but there seems to be something off about the new hire…

RWBY Chibi lets you be a fly on the wall in the exciting World of Remnant. This week we learn the only thing worse than Yang’s puns…are her dad’s dad jokes!

In the 15th season of Red vs Blue, the Reds and Blues battle for control of the least desirable piece of land in the known universe. In the latest episode we find out what the missing freelancers have been up to, hint: malarkey.

'Batman: Mask of the Phantasm' Gets Remastered on Blu-ray

Image via Warner Archive Collection

Warner Archive Collection announced this most excellent news on Facebook:

When the city’s most feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the Caped Crusader is blamed. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain, the Phantasm, a sinister figure with some link to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the police, capture the Phantasm and clear his own name?


Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in this dazzling animated feature. Discover revelations about Batman’s past, his archrival the Joker and Batman’s most grueling battle ever — the choice between his love for a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is “a mystery that is genuinely absorbing, suspenseful and moving” (Cincinnati Enquirer).


  • Presented in both the original theatrical 16×9 aspect ratio (1.78:1) AND open matte 4×3 (1.37:1) aspect ratio
  • DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 Stereo – English

New Images from 'Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' Arrive

We posted a handful of exclusive images from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s upcoming release Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in an earlier article this week, but now Kidzworld has a few new ones as well! Check them out below:

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

In this entertaining new film, Tom and Jerry meet Charlie Bucket, a young boy who finds one of five golden tickets, hidden inside the wrappers of Wonka chocolate bars. The lucky few who find a golden ticket are invited to visit Willy Wonka’s world famous chocolate factory and win a lifetime supply of chocolate.


As Charlie sets out to meet Willy Wonka, Tom and Jerry secretly accompany him. Along the way, they help him steer clear of the evil Arthur Slugworth, who tries to talk Charlie into bringing him Willy Wonka’s latest creation, the Everlasting Gobstopper. They also meet Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teevee, the four other kids who also find golden tickets and are invited to tour the chocolate factory with Charlie.


Favorite Tom and Jerry cartoon characters, including Tuffy, Spike and Droopy also join in the fun. A fresh take on the classic story, Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is an action-packed family film filled with laugh-out-loud moments and fur-flying exploits that only our favorite cat and mouse duo can deliver!

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Amazon Original Series 'Danger & Eggs' Trailer

Bleeding Cool had the inside scoop on Amazon’s latest animated series, Danger & Eggs. Though the new series premieres on the massive content provider on June 30th in the U.S. and U.K., its original short debuted back in 2015; you can watch it on Amazon for free. All 13 episodes of Season 1 of Danger & Eggs will be part of Amazon Prime, as well.

Featuring the voicework of Aidy Bryant and Eric Knobel, with guest stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray, Kate Micucci, Stephanie Beatriz, Angelica Ross, Jazz Jennings, and Jasika Nicole, the Season 1 synopsis is as follows:

In this new Amazon Original Series, Danger & Eggs, fearless D.D. Danger is always chasing her next big thrill but luckily for her, Phillip, her giant talking egg friend, is always there by her side with his jerry-rigged safety mechanisms to make her daring dreams come true. Together, they go in search of new adventures at their favorite spot, Chicken Paw Park.

Keep an eye out for this one next week!

Image via Amazon Studios

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