This Week in Animation: ‘One Piece Film: Gold’ and Prequel Come to Blu-ray

In This Week in Animation, 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!

Another very busy week in the world of animation, but we’ll lead off with the news that One Piece Film: Gold and the prequel One Piece: Heart of Gold are now available to pre-order on Blu-ray. And as of today, the highly anticipated second season for Attack on Titan is finally here! We also have new series orders for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, a new Pixar short film that ties into the upcoming release CocoJohn Cena as a talking bull in the new Blue Sky Studios movie Ferdinand, and Channing Tatum as an R-rated George Washington in Netflix’s first animated movie production, America. It’s a weird week.

The animation wing of Warner Bros. had a busy week! Not only did Teen Titans: The Judas Contract have its world premiere at WonderCon last night–with panels continuing all weekend–but we also glimpsed the first image from the new animated movie, Batman and Harley Quinn. And for Wonder Woman fans, the superheroine’s animated movie adventure is coming to Blu-ray in a special commemorative edition.

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!

'One Piece Film: Gold' and Prequel Film 'Heart of Gold' Coming to Blu-ray

Funimation’s new One Piece Blu-rays will be available on May 2nd! Pre-order One Piece Film: Gold here:

The Straw Hats are at it again in an all-new high-flying adventure! A gripping tale unfolds in the spectacular city of Gran Tesoro, where Luffy and his crew are drawn by dreams of hitting the jackpot. With so much luck, Luffy’s winning streak can’t possibly end. But behind the gilded curtains lies a powerful king whose deep pockets and deeper ambitions spell disaster for all.


*Get 3 random poker chips free with the preorder of One Piece Film: Gold!


*Limited quantities available

Image via Funimation

Image via Funimation

Image via Funimation

Image via Funimation

Image via Funimation

Pre-order One Piece: Heart of Gold here:

With the fight at Dress Rosa behind them, the Straw Hats are enjoying a leisurely day at sea—that is, until the mysterious Olga boards their ship demanding a hot meal. She may seem cute on the outside, but this sharp-tongued firecracker of a girl just happens to hold the secret to an ancient lost city and a treasure rumored to be the most valuable metal in the world.

Image via Funimation

Image via Funimation

'Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition' Gets a Blu-ray Release

On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength – Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world – by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman!

Available on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD May 16 and Digital HD May 2, 2017

Image via Warner Bros. Animation

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital HD starting May 2, 2017, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD beginning May 16, 2017.

  • Featurette – What Makes A Wonder Woman: For 75 years, Wonder Woman has resonated with audiences because of her loving nature and quest for truth. Hear some of her biggest fans and fellow creators discuss how her qualities have crafted her into the icon we know today.
  • Sneak Peek – Batman and Harley Quinn: Sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie, Batman and Harley Quinn, featuring the talented filmmakers and voice cast.
  • Creative Team Commentary: Scene and film analysis by producers Bruce Timm & Gregory Noveck, director Lauren Montgomery and screenwriter Michael Jelenic.
  • Featurette – Wonder Woman: A Subversive DreamA definitive look at a psychologist’s dream, and the rich history of one of the pillars of DC Comics.
  • Featurette – Wonder Woman: Daughter of MythThis revealing documentary explores the archetype and tradition of the female DC Comics Super Hero.

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

'Attack on Titan' Season 2 Finally Arrives!

Attack on Titan is returning with a new season April 1! See another glimpse of the new season here in this official promotional video from Kodansha!

Eren Jaeger swore to wipe out every last Titan, but in a battle for his life he wound up becoming the thing he hates most. With his new powers, he fights for humanity’s freedom facing the monsters that threaten his home. After a bittersweet victory against the Female Titan, Eren finds no time to rest—a horde of Titans is approaching Wall Rose and the battle for humanity continues!

Check out another trailer and behind-the-scenes interviews with creator Hajime Isayama and composer Hiroyuki Sawano below:

'Gravity Falls’ Kristen Schaal and Jason Ritter Want to Sell You Something

Watch Gravity FallsKristen Schaal and Jason Ritter do everything possible to love (and guard) their copy of Journal 3. Also featuring, special guest — and show creator — Alex Hirsch.

Of course, the book sweater and Journalert products are NOT real, but the best-selling Journal 3 is real. And now you can pre-order the Special Edition Journal 3, too! Check out both books here!

Image via Disney

Journal 3 brims with every page ever seen on the show plus all-new pages with monsters and secrets, notes from Dipper and Mabel, and the Author’s full story. Fans of Gravity Falls will simply love this 288-page full-color jacketed hardcover version of Journal 3! Plus the book jacket doubles as an exclusive poster!

Journal 3 COLLECTOR’S Edition! This ultra-rare special edition contains all-new top-secret black light pages on real parchment; a cover with leather texture and shiny metallic pieces; a magnifying glass; a tassel bookmark; and removable photos and notes. This $150 limited edition will also include an adhered signed note from the creator of Gravity Falls and co-writer of Journal 3, Alex Hirsch himself.

Pixar's Short Film 'Dante's Lunch' Introduces the World of 'Coco'

Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, and featuring the voices of Anthony GonzalezGael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt and Renée VictorCoco opens November 22nd.

For more on Pixar’s Coco, take a look at some of our recent write-ups below:

'Batman and Harley Quinn': First Image Revealed

Thanks to the Special Features section on the iTunes page for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, and some sharp eyes over at Flickering Myth, we get our first glimpse at their upcoming production, Batman and Harley Quinn.

As you can see, the DC Universe Animated Original Movie will not only feature the title characters, but fast food-junkie Nightwing as well. Beyond that, all we know for now is that legendary animator Bruce Timm will be acting as Executive Producer for this project; the movie’s writer(s), director, cast, and release date have not yet been announced.

John Cena Sees Red as 'Ferdinand' in the Film's First Trailer

Carlos Saldanha (Rio and Ice Age franchises) directs a stellar cast including John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant, Anthony Anderson, Flula Borg, Sally Phillips, Boris Kodjoe, Jerrod Carmichael, Raúl Esparza, Karla Martínez, and Miguel Ángel Silvestre, some of whom you can meet in character posters below.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

FERDINAND tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover.


From Blue Sky Studios and Carlos Saldanha, the director of “Rio” and inspired by the beloved book “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, “Ferdinand” is a heartwarming animated comedy adventure with an all-star cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson and many more.

Studio Ghibli Theatrical Re-Release Schedule Revealed by GKIDS and Fathom Events

All GKIDS events will include GKIDS MINIFEST, an ongoing festival of award-winning short animated films from around the world, as part of the exclusive event experience. Tickets for these titles can be purchased beginning Friday, April 28, 2017 online by visiting, or at participating theater box offices.

Moviegoers throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy these events in select movie theaters. A complete list of theater locations will be available April 28 on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

GKIDS is also partnering with Fathom Events to release “Mune: Guardian of the Moon,” from the producers of “The Little Prince,” for the first time in U.S. cinemas.  Two additional new release titles are anticipated as part of the 2017 GKIDS/Fathom lineup.

Check out the schedule below:

Image via Studio Ghibli

“My Neighbor Totoro” (1988) – Sunday, June 25 and Monday, June 26

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST kicks off with one of Studio Ghibli’s most iconic films (and characters) in this family classic from legendary director Hayao Miyazaki. Two young girls, Satsuki and Mei, move with their father to a new house in the countryside. But country life is not so simple as it seems, as they soon discover the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, most notably a family of Totoros, gigantic but gentle bear-like forest spirits that can only be seen by children.

Image via Studio Ghibli

“Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989) – Sunday, July 23 and Monday, July 24

This is the beloved coming-of-age story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and set out into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her life journey with her chatty black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a picturesque seaside village, where a bakery owner hires her to make deliveries.

Image via Studio Ghibli

 “Castle In The Sky” (1986) – Sunday, August 27 and Monday, August 28

This title is a rollicking adventure about a young girl with a mysterious crystal pendant, who falls out of the sky and into the arms and life of young Pazu – a consummate mechanic obsessed with aircrafts. Together they search for Laputa, the floating island in the sky, and site of a long-dead civilization promising enormous wealth and power to those who can unlock its secrets. But greedy pirates, spies and the army are also all in hot pursuit!

Image via Studio Ghibli

“Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (1984) – Sunday, September 24 and Monday, September 25

There are few films, animated or otherwise, of such sweeping scope and grandeur as this one. Set in a devastated future world decimated by atmospheric poisons and swarming with gigantic insects, Nausicaä is a young princess, both brave and innocent, whose love for all living things and passionate determination to understand the processes of nature lead her into terrible danger, sacrifice and eventual triumph.

Image via Studio Ghibli

“Spirited Away” (2001) – Sunday, October 29 and Monday, October 30

Following the smash-hit 15th anniversary celebration, the Academy Award-winning masterpiece “Spirited Away” returns to movie theaters as part of this unique Studio Ghibli celebration, just in time for Halloween. Chihiro thinks she is on another boring trip with her parents, but when they stop at a village that is not all that it seems, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits, shape-shifting dragons and a witch who never wants to see her leave. She must call on the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world.

Image via Studio Ghibli

“Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004) – Sunday, November 26 and Monday, November 27

“Howl’s Moving Castle” is an acclaimed fantasy based on the novel of the same name, and the second Studio Ghibli film (after “Spirited Away”) to be nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. Sophie, an average teenage girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. However, after this chance meeting, the young girl is turned into a 90-year old woman by the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste. Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl’s magical moving castle.

Image via GKIDS

“Mune: Guardian of the Moon” (2017) – Dates TBD

Plunge into a world of wonder, magic and mythology in this fantastic animated adventure from the producers of “The Little Prince,” hailed by critics as “stunning! Like a made-for-children Avatar!” (Le Monde) In a land divided between the realms of day and night, the Guardian of the Sun keeps watch over the sun maintaining light and warmth to all of humanity. The Guardian of the Moon lures the moon to the Land of Darkness to provide a balance to the sun and supply the world with dreams. At the momentous ceremony to appoint the two new guardians, the unexpected occurs: the heir apparent is passed over, and the title Guardian of the Moon is bestowed on Mune, a small forest faun who seems wholly unprepared to take on such a weighty responsibility. Now it is up to unlikely hero Mune and his friend Glim – a headstrong young girl with wax for skin – to save the sun and restore order to the world.

Image via Studio Ghibli

Image via Studio Ghibli

Warner Bros. Brings 'Teen Titans: The Judas Contract' and More to WonderCon

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment hosted the World Premiere of Teen Titans: The Judas Contract last night, but there’s still more to come!

On Sunday, April 2 from 10:00am-Noon in Room 300AB, WBHE will present the World Premiere of DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games.

Image via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Warner Archive Collection will also host the following panels:

Saturday, April 1 from 6:30-7:30pm in Room 300DE

WAC returns its annual, popular Toonstock panel with a nifty, all-Batman: The Brave and the Bold program spotlight the music with the series’ third season, followed by the beloved Mayhem of the Music Meister sing-along.

Sunday, April 2 from 2:00-3:00pm

WAC hosts the “Kids’ WB Flashback,” a nostalgic look at the popular programming of the KidsWB Network, and focusing much attention on The Zeta Project and Static Shock. Talent from the series in attendance will include The Zeta Project actors Diedrich Bader & Julie Nathanson and executive producer/creator Bob Goodman, and Static Shock’s lead actor Phil LaMarr.

Image via Warner Archive Collection

Animated 'Jospeh and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' Movie in Development

As THR reports, STX announced at CinemaCon that they will collaborate with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for an animated adaptation of the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Elton John’s Rocket Pictures producing the film in association with Really Useful Group. The movie is expected to feature new songs written by Lloyd Webber and Rice.

“Originally written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as a pop cantata for students in London in 1968, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was expanded into a concept album and subsequently a globally successful theatrical stage phenomenon,” said David Kosse, president of STX International. “Joseph has become one of the most enduring, irresistible and beloved family musicals of all time. We could not be more honored or excited to be partnering with Andrew, Tim and Elton, legends of music, stage and screen, on this animated telling of this timeless story.”

The story follows the journey of Joseph as he is sold into slavery by his jealous siblings, but while in exile, Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams gains him favor with the Pharaoh, leading to an unexpected reunion with the family who abandoned him.

Disney Junior's 'Sofia the First' Season 4 Premiere Arrives April 28th

Season four of Disney Junior’s hit animated series Sofia the First will debut Friday, April 28th (11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT), on Disney Channel. The series, which holds the record for the top two cable TV telecasts ever among Kids 2-5 and top three cable TV telecasts ever among Girls 2-5, was recently honored with a Humanitas Prize which recognizes film and television programs that inspire compassion, hope and understanding. The new season will find Sofia taking on a bigger role as a protector of her kingdom and will also have her visiting a new enchanted world called “The Mystic Isles.”

The guest voice cast for season four includes Andrew Rannells (“Girls”) as an enthusiastic unicorn named Skye; Megan Hilty (“Smash”) as a Crystalmaster named Prisma; Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan (both from “The Lord of the Rings” franchise) as two gnomes named Malachite and Fig; Ming-Na Wen (ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) as a magical human/hawk character named Vega; Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“Underground”) as a crystal fairy named Christa; and Kimiko Glenn (“Orange Is the New Black”) and Jane Krakowski (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) as dragons named Cinder and Sizzle.

Created for kids 2-7 and their parents/caregivers, “Sofia the First” tells the story of an ordinary girl who becomes a princess and, throughout her journey, learns that possessing the characteristics of a true princess – honesty, loyalty, compassion and grace – is what makes one truly royal. The series stars the voices of Ariel Winter as Sofia, Sara Ramirez as Queen Miranda, Wayne Brady as Clover, Tim Gunn as Baileywick, Darcy Rose Byrnes as Amber, Nicolas Cantu as James, Travis Willingham as King Roland II and Jess Harnell as Cedric. Recurring guest stars include Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Anna Camp, Kiernan Shipka, Hugh Bonneville and Bonnie Hunt.

“Sofia the First” is executive produced by Jamie Mitchell and Craig Gerber. Mitchell also serves as director. Emmy Award-winners John Kavanaugh (“Elena of Avalor”) and Kevin Kliesch (“Tangled: The Series”) serve as songwriter/music director and composer, respectively. “Sofia the First” is a production of Disney Television Animation.

Cartoon Network Announces New and Returning Series for 2017-2018

Here’s a look at the new series ordered up by Cartoon Network, along with their synopses and some early-look images:

  • Apple & Onion – Being new and naïve to the ways of the “big city of sophisticated food” doesn’t stop the wide-eyed enthusiasm of the lovable buddies Apple and Onion who are destined to find their way and make lots of friends on their incredible adventure of life. The friendship comedy is created by George Gendi (The Amazing World of Gumball).
  • Image via Cartoon Network

    Craig of the Creek – At the Creek, the rules of the outside world don’t apply in this kid utopia of untamed wilderness where Craig and his two best friends have ventured and tribes of children reign over tree forts and dirt bike ramps. The adventure series is created by Matt Burnett and Ben Levin, formerly from Steven Universe.

  • Summer Camp Island – Having completed a momentous and critically acclaimed run at this year’s most notable festivals including the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, this wildly imaginative animated series, based on the original Cartoon Network short, will continue unfolding the mysteries that Oscar and his best friend Hedgehog encounter at a magical summer camp. The series hails from creator Julia Pott (Adventure Time).
  • Image via Cartoon Network

    OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes – Cartoon Network powers up a world of original heroes across the TV and gaming landscape together with the greenlight of this action-packed comedy followed by the console and PC game jointly developed with indie video game studio Capybara games. The knockout series is inspired by creator Ian Jones-Quartey’s childhood and follows the heroic feats of K.O., an endlessly optimistic boy attempting to level up to be the best he can be in a dynamic universe of heroes, friends and challenging foes. The series builds on OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo, the network’s first original standalone mobile game and was developed from a pilot that was part of Cartoon Network’s Emmy Award-winning shorts program. 

  • Image via Cartoon Network

    Ben 10 – The newest show coming out of the highly successful franchise has launched multiple animated series, and numerous animated and live-action movies. Playmates Toys serves as the worldwide master toy partner for the new Ben 10 with a full line of toys based on the show that will include a range of figures, playsets, and role-play items set to launch at retail globally this fall. The wild adventures begin debuting Monday, April 10 and will introduce fun loving, 10-year-old, Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen, and Grandpa Max, as they traverse the country during summer vacation. Once Ben finds the Omnitrix, a mysterious watch that transforms him into 10 different heroic aliens, a world of extraterrestrial superpowers opens to him, which kids of all ages will admire. Ben 10 is created by and executive produced by Man of Action Entertainment.

  • Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs The mouth-watering animated comedy series premiered earlier this month and is based on Sony Pictures Animation’s highly successful 2009 global feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and subsequent, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. The TV series is produced in association with DHX Media, Sony Pictures Animation and Corus Entertainment.

The network’s returning series include:

  • We Bare Bears
  • The Powerpuff Girls
  • Mighty Magiswords
  • Adventure Time
  • Steven Universe
  • Teen Titans Go!
  • The Amazing World of Gumball 

Image via Cartoon Network

Image via Cartoon Network

'Your Name' Clip Switches Things Up

Keep an eye out for my review this week and look for the hit movie Your Name in select North American theaters starting April 7th!

From director Makoto Shinkai, the innovative mind behind Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second, comes a beautiful masterpiece about time, the thread of fate, and the hearts of two young souls.


The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint.


When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, it dawns on them. They want something more from this connection—a chance to meet, an opportunity to truly know each other. Tugging at the string of fate, they try to find a way to each other. But distance isn’t the only thing keeping them apart. Is their bond strong enough to face the cruel irony of time? Or is their meeting nothing more than a wish upon the stars?

Channing Tatum to Lead 'America', Netflix's First R-Rated Animated Movie

Deadline reports that not only is Netflix financing its first animated movie, America: The Motion Picture, but that Channing Tatum will be voicing George Washington. This R-rated revisionist history about the founding of the country was written by Dave Callaham (The ExpendablesJean-Claude Van Johnson) with Matt Thompson directing.

Producers include Callaham, Thompson, Adam Reed (Archer),  Tatum with his Free Association partners Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, and Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Will Allegra. Reed and Thompson’s animation credits also include Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo. This should be an interesting one to keep an eye on thanks to Netflix, the assembled talent, and the ambitious R rating.

Adult Swim Orders 'Hot Streets' and 'Apollo Gauntlet'

Image via Adult Swim

Hot Streets, produced by the dynamic Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (Robot Chicken), hails from first-time animated series creator, Brian Wysol (writer on Rick and Morty and Robot Chicken).

“’Rick and Morty’ was my first professional writing job,” Wysol says. “My contributions were minimal, but I consider the experience an intense lesson on storytelling and it had a great effect on the way I ran the writers room. ‘Hot Streets’ is sometimes psychedelic, sometimes crazy, but i think the most interesting thing about it is that it’s ultimately character driven. From the beginning, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios was vigilant in preserving my vision for the show, and it’s been an amazing collaboration.“

Image via Adult Swim

Here’s the synopsis for Hot Streets, which debuts this year:

FBI Agent Mark Branski, his partner, his niece, and her dog, investigate supernatural phenomena. The quarter-hour animated science fiction adventure series is created by Brian Wysol (Rick and MortyRobot Chicken). Seth Green, Matt Senreich, John Harvatine IV, and Eric Towner (Robot Chicken), Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty) and Wysol are serving as executive producers. Produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

Image via Adult Swim

Also debuting this year is Apollo Gauntlet from Independent Canadian animator, Myles Langlois, produced by MONDO’s animation studio, Six Point Harness, and Mosaic. Here’s the synopsis for Apollo Gauntlet:

On Earth, Paul Cassidy is just another cop, but when the evil Dr. Benign transports him to another world, he becomes a new kind of hero. With the help of a magical suit and a set of talking gauntlets, he’s able to fight crime exactly the way he wants…and he’ll do it as APOLLO GAUNTLET!  Set in a futuristic medieval society, the quarter-hour animated adventure comedy series is created by Myles Langlois and is produced by MONDO’s animation studio, Six Point Harness, and Mosaic.

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