This Week in Animation: ‘Rick and Morty’ Jerry Episode Explained, ‘South Park’ Marathon Coming

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!

On the TV side, Rick and Morty fans are going to want to hear what Justin Roiland and his writers have to say about that “Jerry episode.” South Park is about to launch into its 21st season on Comedy Central Wednesday, September 13th, but the cable channel is running an eight-day marathon of the entire series before it! Another animated special event arrives next week when Vixen gets a two-hour broadcast premiere on The CW. Fans of Samurai Jack will seriously want to consider picking up the epic complete series Blu-ray that’s on the way. And last but not least, Netflix has unveiled some gorgeous trailers for their new series LEGO Elves (trust me and take a look before you judge) arriving September 1st.

Image via Toho, Funimation

In movies, you can start the countdown clock for Pixar’s next heart-warming, family-friendly film, Coco. On the home video front, the rich and rewarding anime sensation Your Name arrives on an amazing Limited Edition Blu-ray. Even video games are getting into the mix; Blizzard’s Hearthstone game gets an animated short that’s packed full of Easter eggs!

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!

Justin Roiland Explains "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy"

Rick and Jerry, together… for once.

Hearthstone Animated Short: Hearth and Home

Harth Stonebrew’s Tavern is a special place. If you strolled among the packed tables and raucous laughter on a busy night, you’d overhear stories of exhausting travel and perilous adventure—and of lucky voyagers somehow finding the tavern just when they needed it the most.


For the colorful cast of characters who call it home, the tavern is more than just a place to put up their feet or toss back a tasty brew. For them, it’s where the magic of hospitality fills the air, and good times are shared by everyone who happens through the door. In the tavern, the joy of the unexpected or the thrill of competition can be found at any hour.

Watch, and discover why Hearthstone is home.


Hearthstone is Blizzard Entertainment’s highly acclaimed digital strategy card game that’s easy to learn and massively fun. Start a free game and play your cards to sling spells, summon creatures, and command the heroes of Warcraft in duels of epic strategy.

Image via Blizzard

Image via Blizzard

Image via Blizzard

Image via Blizzard

Image via Blizzard

'South Park' Eight-Day Series Marathon Arrives This September

As THR reports, Comedy Central is letting South Park take over their programming for 8 solid* days before the Season 21 premiere drops. (*Only The Daily Show will interrupt the marathon.) 254 installments of the long-running animated series will air in order from September 6th up to the premiere on September 13th. Fans can expect a likely return to form from Trey Parker and Matt Stone in the new season since they’ll be tackling contemporary one-offs rather than replicating the not-so-successful season-long arc following the Presidential election.

And if you needed even more South Park, you can play the highly anticipated, long-awaited video game South Park: The Fractured But Whole once it hits shelves on October 17th.

CW Seed's 'Vixen' to Air as a Two-Hour Special on The CW

BC brings us word of a very cool special coming to The CW: The network’s animated series Vixen is getting a broadcast premiere, a two-hour special that will air Wednesday, August 30th starting at 8pm. The story previously ran in segments on CW Seed before arriving on Blu-ray/DVD. This is a great opportunity to check it out!

Vixen is led by Megalyn Echikunwoke with appearances by Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), The Flash (Grant Gustin), The Atom (Brandon Routh), Black Canary (Katie Cassidey), Vibe (Carlos Valdes) and Firestorm (Franz DramehVictor Garber).

Originally from Africa, Mari McCabe’s parents were killed by local greed, corruption, and wanton violence. But the orphaned Mari refuses to succumb to the terrors surrounding her.


Inheriting her family’s Tantu Totem, Mari can access the powers of animals – anything from the super-strength of a gorilla to the speed of a cheetah. As Vixen, she fights valiantly to protect the world from threats like those that claimed her family.

Lee Unkrich Counts Down to 'Coco'

Here’s the official synopsis for Coco:

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

Image via Pixar

'Your Name' Arrives on Limited Edition Blu-ray in a Gorgeous Display

Your Name should be on your must-watch list whether your a fan of anime specifically or just well-told dramatic stories in general. Now, Funimation is releasing a Limited Edition version of the film on Blu-ray that comes in some appropriately gorgeous packaging and with some awesome extras.

If you’re not family with the title, here’s the synopsis:

Mitsuha and Taki are strangers until, one day, they suddenly switch places! Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre connection leaves them wanting more. But when they seek to connect, something stronger than distance keeps them apart.

Limited Edition includes:

  • Two-piece double-sided collectible chipboard box with rainbow holographic finish, featuring the star-crossed lovers Taki and Mitsuha
  • Your Name. 2-disc original soundtrack by RADWIMPS, with English and Japanese versions
  • 60-page hardcover art book
  • Art digipack
  • Blu-ray + DVD of the film and extras

The Blu-ray is available for pre-order now and will arrive on November 7th!

Image via Funimation

Image via Funimation

Image via Funimation

'Samurai Jack: The Complete Series' Blu-ray

Following the epic conclusion of its fifth and final season, Adult Swim’s four-time Emmy Award-winning series, Samurai Jack, arrives as a complete series on Blu-ray, and Digital HD October 17, 2017. Featuring all 62 heart-pounding episodes of the critically acclaimed animated show, Samurai Jack: The Complete Series also arrives with action-packed bonus content including exclusive featurettes, behind the scenes looks and special commentary. Fans will also relive the first four seasons in HD for the first time as each episode has been remastered to perfection. The box set also features a one-of-a-kind metal art print, created especially for the show’s devoted fans.

In addition to the release of Samurai Jack: The Complete Series, fans can celebrate even more of their favorite Samurai with a dynamic lineup of additional releases featuring new content from the beloved series. Providing fans an entertainment experience like no other, Adult Swim’s full lineup of action-packed upcoming releases includes:

  • Samurai Jack: The Complete Series – Including all five seasons of the highly-acclaimed animated series, the complete series box set showcases 1,364 minutes of high quality animation and never-before-seen bonus features, as well as a one-of-a-kind metal art print created especially for this collector’s item. Available October 17, 2017
  • Samurai Jack: Season Five Soundtrack – Featuring 22 spellbinding tracks produced by celebrated film composer and producer Tyler Bates and composed by Joanne Higginbottom and Dieter Hartmann for the show’s explosive final season, the emotional and action-filled album awakens the spirit of theSamurai with every listen. Hand-selected to provide fans the ultimate Samurai Jack experience, each track takes listeners back to season five. Available for digital download and streaming this fall.
  • Samurai Jack: Season Five – Following the conclusion of the series’ epic final season, fans can revisit season five anytime with the release of the complete fifth season on DVD and Blu-Ray. Available on October 17, 2017
  • Samurai Jack: The Premiere Movie Event – Adult Swim and Fathom Events are teaming up to provide the ultimate fan experience with an exclusive one-night cinema event. Arriving in movie theaters throughout the U.S. on October 16, 2017, Samurai Jack: The Premiere Movie Event offers fans an exclusive experience including the series first season movie remastered in high-definition alongside content from the highly anticipated complete series box set. Additional surprises are anticipated; with more information, including ticketing and participating theaters, to be announced in the coming weeks.

Image via Adult Swim

'LEGO Elves: Secrets of Elvendale' Trailers Reveal the Netflix Series

Thanks to SR, we’ve got an early look at Netflix’s new series, LEGO Elves! Be sure to head there after watching these trailers in order to check out the related toy sets.

LEGO Elves picks up with its hero character Emily Jones as she returns through the portal to Elvendale with her little sister, Sophie. After charming many of the Elves upon her arrival, Sophie is taken by the cruel Goblin King and his evil minions. Emily and her cast of Elf friends head deep into a magical forest to save her sister and free Goblin Village from its tyrannical king. Adding to the existing line-up of Netflix original series from The LEGO Group (LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One and LEGO Friends: The Power of Friendship), LEGO Elves will launch on Netflix September 1 with 8 new episodes.”

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