This Week in Animation: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Closes Season 3 with Admiral Thrawn’s Attack

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!

There’s a lot to cover this week, so here’s a look at what we have in store for you. In addition to a sneak peek at tonight’s Season 3 finale of Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels, we also have teasers for Pixar’s newest short film Lou and the latest effort from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC Entertainment, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.

Image via DreamWorks

As for trailers, we have new ones for the feature film The Boss Baby, the upcoming web series The Kings of Atlantis, and the Disney Junior show, Puppy Dog Pals. There’s a new Resident Evil animated movie coming to theaters later this year, and Godzilla is apparently getting its first-ever anime treatment, which will roll out on Netflix. It’s been a busy week for the streaming giant in terms of animation alone since not only are classic Voltron episodes now available there alongside Voltron Legendary Defender, but they’re basking in the glow of this year’s Daytime Emmy Nominations, of which Trollhunters and Dragons: Race to the Edge are solid contenders.

Elsewhere, all six seasons of Captain Planet are being made available as digital downloads thanks to Turner and Cartoon Network, while Marvel and Disney XD have released the third of 12 Rocket & Groot animated shorts online. If Sausage Party is more your speed when it comes to animation, you’ll be happy to hear that the team behind the adult comedy is bringing the Amberville story of author Tim Davys to life on Amazon.

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!

'Star Wars Rebels' Season 3 Finale Trailer

To win the rebellion, Ezra and the Ghost Crew must band together, resist, and stand their ground! Catch the Epic 1-hour event Saturday, March 25 anywhere you watch Disney XD.

The two-part finale titled “Zero Hour” airs tonight on Disney XD and some new images (via Screenrant) have dropped in anticipation. Check them out below to get a taste of what the Season 3 closer has to offer!

Image via Disney XD

Image via Disney XD

Image via Disney XD

Image via Disney XD

Image via Disney XD

And if you missed the epic duel between Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi, we’ve got it for you right here, along with a very familiar cameo…

'The Boss Baby' Trailer

Featuring the voice talents of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Miles BakshiThe Boss Baby takes over on March 31st.

And here’s the film’s official synopsis:

DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby.  He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby.  The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim.  With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.

Pixar's New Short Film 'Lou' Teased in First Poster

Look for Lou to play in front of Cars 3 when it opens on June 16th.

In the meantime, here’s another tease for Lou from the short’s announcement last fall:

Classic 'Voltron' Episodes Now on Netflix

Before DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender debuted, there was the original 1984 series, Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Now, 12 of these classic episodes have been handpicked and introduced by the creative powers behind DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender, who share the iconic moments that entertained them as kids and inspired them as adults as they formed an all-new Voltron for audiences today. Voltron 84: where 2017 meets 1984.

'Resident Evil: Vendetta' Coming to Theaters This Summer

Based on the worldwide video game phenomenon, the CG animated film Resident Evil: Vendetta will hit movie theaters worldwide this year. The film will be released internationally on May 27, 2017, and in the U.S. and Canada on Monday, June 19 for a special one-night event from Fathom Events, Park Circus and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.

Resident Evil: Vendetta is the third installment in the massively popular CG animated film franchise, following “Resident Evil: Degeneration” (2008) and “Resident Evil: Damnation” (2012). Derived from Capcom’s “Resident Evil,” one of the bestselling video game franchises of all time (72 million + copies sold), Resident Evil: Vendetta features the fan-favorite characters Leon S. Kennedy (Matt Mercer), Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman) and Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill). The film is produced by Marza Animation Planet (“Space Pirate Captain Harlock”), executive produced by Takashi Shimizu (“The Grudge”), written by Makoto Fukami (“Psycho Pass”) and directed by Takanori Tsujimoto (“Bushido Man”).

  • Tickets for Canadian screenings go on sale Friday, March 24 and can be purchased at www.cineplex.com
  • Tickets for U.S. screenings of Resident Evil: Vendetta can be purchased online beginning Friday, March 31, 2017 at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices.
  • For information about all other territories, visit the Park Circus website.

'The Kings of Atlantis' Trailer Heralds YouTube Red's Upcoming Animated Series

Kings of Atlantis is a thrilling, fun, and epic animated series that follows two deposed, young monarchs of the vast underwater city of Atlantis, Cody and Joe, as they seek to overthrow the brutal usurper of their kingdom, reclaim their birthright, and protect their people from his cruel reign. They are brothers, pranksters, and soon to be heroes! Look out for the premiere of the series launching on April 7, 2017!

The Kings of Atlantis is an epic animated series that follows two young monarchs—Cody and Joe—in the vast underwater city of Atlantis as they seek to overthrow the brutal usurper of their kingdom, reclaim their birthright, and protect their people from his cruel reign.  The series features YouTubers Cody and Joe of the immensely popular TheAtlanticCraft MineCraft channel that boasts more than 4 million subscribers as the voices of the young monarchs.

But there’s more coming to YouTube Red in the near future! YouTube gaming sensation DanTDM, who boasts more than 14 million subscribers, will star in a brand new show called DanTDM Creates a Big Scene, just one of the platform’s programs created especially with the YouTube Kids app in mind. Two future projects are Fruit Ninjainspired by the eponymously named gaming app, and Hyperlinkeda scripted series starring tween music sensation L2M.

DanTDM Creates a Big Scene features DanTDM and his lively group of animated friends as they battle mayhem and misadventure to keep their brand new live show on the road.  Each episode follows their behind-the-scenes exploits as they learn new skills, overcome challenges and find that putting on an epic show isn’t quite as easy as it looks.  The program is a mix of live action and animation and co-stars Danielle Tabor as Eve, who also appeared as Angelina Johnson in the first three Harry Potter movies.  Additionally, DanTDM’s two adorable pugs, who often make cameos on his YouTube channel, are also featured in the program as animated characters of themselves!  Keep an eye out for more from YouTube Red’s animated series in the near future.

Godzilla Gets Animated in 'Godzilla: Monster Planet' Anime

Every once in a while, animation news slips by me, like the fact that Japanese production house Polygon Pictures is dropping a Godzilla anime later this year, a first for the monster franchise. As Anime News Network reports, the new film is titled Godzilla: Kaijū Wakusei /Godzilla: Monster Planet, and its new poster boasts the tagline, “We will definitely take back this ‘Planet’.”

Kobun Shizuno (Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare) and Hiroyuki Seshita (Ajin, Knights of Sidonia) are directing from a story concept and screenplay by Gen Urobuchi (Psycho-Pass) of Nitroplus. The film stars Yuuki Kaji, Takahiro Sakurai, Mamoru Miyano, Junichi Suwabe, Kana Hanazawa, and Tomokazu Sugita, all of whom will appear at an event during Sunday’s AnimeJapan 2017. Keep an eye out for the anime on Netflix later this year.

Here’s the synopsis for Godzilla: Monster Planet, followed by the film’s poster:

The last summer of the 20th Century. That day, the human beings learn that they are not the only ruler of the planet Earth.

 

The appearance of the giant living creatures “Kaiju’s” and the ultimate existence that destroys all monsters: Godzilla. Through the battle against kaiju’s that lasted for half a century, human beings has experienced continuous defeat, and finally plans to escape from the Earth. And in 2048, only those who were selected by the A.I. managed under the central government boarded the inter-sidereal emigrant spaceship “Aratrum” to head for “Tau Cetus e”, the planet beyond the distance of 11.9 light-year. However, the environmental condition differences between that of the Earth and Tau e, which they finally arrived after 20 years were far beyond the predicted numbers, and was not an environment considered to be habitable by human beings.

 

The young man on the emigrant ship: Haruo, who saw his parents killed by Godzilla in front of his eyes when he was 4 years old, had only one thing in his mind for 20 years: to return to the Earth and defeat Godzilla. Shut out from the possibility of emigration, as the living environment in the ship deteriorates, the group of “Earth Returnists” led by Haruo became the majority, and determines to head back to Earth through a dangerous long-distance hyperspace navigation. However, the Earth they have returned has already passed the time of 20,000 years, and has become an unknown world with the ecosystem reigned by Godzilla.

 

At the end, will human beings win back the Earth? And what will Haruo see beyond his fate?

Image via Polygon Pictures

Daytime Emmy Award Nominations Reward Netflix's 'Trollhunters'

The 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards recently released the nominees for a number of categories, including the all-important animated fare … okay, I may be a bit biased when it comes to animation. Here’s a look at the standouts, including Netflix’s Trollhunters, netting a much-deserved seven nominations including Writing, Directing, Acting, and Casting, though the lack of a nod for the late Anton Yelchin‘s performance feels like an oversight:

Image via DreamWorks Animation

Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Animated Program

  • Ask the StoryBots (Netflix)
  • Peg+Cat (PBS)
  • The Snowy Day (Amazon)
  • Tumble Leaf (Amazon)
  • Wallykazam! (Nickelodeon)

Outstanding Children’s Animated Program

  • Disney Milo Murphy’s Law (Disney Channel)
  • Dragons: Race to the Edge (Netflix/Dreamworks Animation)
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures (DisneyXD)
  • The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show (Netflix/Dreamworks Animation)
  • Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure (Amazon)

Outstanding Special Class Animated Program

  • The Boy Who Learned To Fly (YouTube.com)
  • A Love Story (YouTube.com)
  • Octonauts (Disney Jr.)
  • Taking Flight (www.takingflightfilm.com)
  • Trollhunters (Netflix/Dreamworks Animation)

Image via DreamWorks TV

Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program

  • Kelsey Grammer as Blinky – Trollhunters (Netflix/Dreamworks Animation)
  • Danny Jacobs as King Julien, Pancho – All Hail King Julien (Netflix/Dreamworks Animation)
  • Kate McKinnon as Squeeks – Nature Cat (PBS)
  • Andy Richter as Mort, Smart Mort, Morticus Khan, Ted – All Hail King Julien (Netflix/Dreamworks Animation)
  • Rick Zieff as Spike – The Tom & Jerry Show (WarnerBrothers.com)

Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program

  • All Hail King Julien (Netflix/Dreamworks Animation)
  • Trollhunters (Netflix/Dreamworks Animation)
  • Harvey Beaks (Nickelodeon)
  • Disney Milo Murphy’s Law (Disney Channel)
  • Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure (Amazon)

'Teen Titans: The Judas Contract' Clip Spotlights Starfire

Titans…with a twist? If you’ve read The Judas Contract, you know what we’re talking about, and if you haven’t you’re about to! In today’s all new episode of DC All Access, we preview an exclusive clip from this spring’s Teen Titans: The Judas Contract and speak with the voice of Starfire, Kari Wahlgren.

And here’s some bonus Beast Boy and a Terra tease!

All 'Captain Planet' Seasons Available as Digital Downloads This April

Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! The five famous Planeteers Kwame, Wheeler, Linka, Gi and Ma-Ti will join forces with superhero Captain Planet on April 10, 2017, when Cartoon Network releases all seasons of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, The New Adventures of Captain Planet and The All New Adventures of Captain Planet via digital download.

For the first time ever, consumers will have the opportunity to digitally own all six seasons of the trailblazing series, which was one of the first television programs to inspire environmental consciousness. Just in time for Earth Day, individual seasons of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, The New Adventures of Captain Planet and The All New Adventures of Captain Planet will be available for $9.99 and $14.99 each. Individual episodes will retail for $1.99 each. Consumers can purchase full seasons and individual episodes through such digital retailers as iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, Playstation Store, and Xbox Store.

Image via Turner, Cartoon Network

Captain Planet and the Planeteers centers on a team of five teens from across the globe, including Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from North America, Linka from Eastern Europe, Gi from Asia and Ma-Ti from South America, who are chosen to help defend planet Earth from environmental disasters. Gaia, the spirit of the planet, gives each of the teens a magical ring charged with the power to control an element of nature, including earth, fire, wind, water and the heart. The group of teens become known as the Planeteers and are sent by Gaia to right the wrongs of the Eco-villains who are responsible for causing various environmental damage to the planet. Whenever they encounter a situation they cannot resolve on their own, they combine all their powers to summon Captain Planet, a superhero who has the power to bring catastrophic environmental disasters to an end.

Captain Planet and the Planeteers premiered on TBS in 1990. The series name was later changed to The New Adventures of Captain Planet and The All New Adventures of Captain Planet. Altogether, the series aired for a total of six successful seasons and can now be seen on Boomerang.  A total of 113 episodes were produced, which are now available for download. Aside from educating viewers about important environmental concerns such as pollution, deforestation, poaching and overconsumption, the series was also known for tackling serious subject matter such as drug addiction and AIDS/HIV.

Captain Planet and the Planeteers featured a star-studded cast, including the voices talents of Whoopi Goldberg as Gaia, LeVar Burton as Kwame, Louis Gossett Jr. as Commander Clash and Edward Asner as Hoggish Greedly. Other talent who regularly lent their voices to the series included Jeff Goldblum, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Sting, Malcolm McDowell and many more.

Image via Turner, Cartoon Network

Watch the New 'Rocket & Groot' Short "Black Tie Only'

When his search for a bounty leads to a five-star restaurant, Rocket must defy all odds…mainly, his personal hygiene.

Marvel and Disney XD released the third Rocket & Groot animated short, “Black Tie Only.” The all-new animated shorts follow Rocket and Groot as they try to figure out how to get enough credits to buy a new ship after their old one breaks down. A compilation of all the shorts will premiere on Disney XD at7:00am ET/PT on April 10th.

Rocket is voiced by Trevor Devall (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Johnny Test) and Groot is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, The Cleveland Show).

Featuring animation by Oscar-nominated Passion Pictures, the shorts are directed by Arnaud Delord, written by Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Kevin Burke, executive produced by Cara Speller, Alan Fine, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Cort Lane, and co-executive produced by Stephen Wacker and Stan Lee.

Adult CG-Animated Series 'Amberville' Coming to Amazon

Annapurna TV is developing a new adult CG-animated series Amberville at Amazon Studios for Amazon Prime Video. Created by Chris McCoy and Sausage Party’s Conrad VernonAmberville is based on Tim Davys’ “Mollisan Town” book series, published by HarperCollins.

Image via Harper Collins

Amberville is a darkly comedic animated crime show set in a city populated by living, breathing stuffed animals.  The story concerns a reformed Teddy Bear who is pulled back into the criminal underworld when his former boss enlists him for an impossible new job.

McCoy wrote the pilot with a story by McCoy and Vernon. Vernon is attached to direct the pilot.  Annapurna’s Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle and David Distenfeld will serve as Executive Producers on the project alongside McCoy and Vernon.

The project reunites Vernon with Annapurna, who produced his film Sausage Party, which Sony Pictures released this past August. The raunchy, R-rated film, which Vernon co-directed alongside Greg Tiernan, has earned over $140 million worldwide. Amberville continues the expansion of Annapurna TV’s slate under new President of Television Naegle.

Disney Junior's 'Puppy Dog Pals' Are Here to Play This April

Disney Junior’s pugtastic new animated series Puppy Dog Pals, created by comedian Harland Williams, debuts Friday, April 14th (10:30 a.m. EDT), with two back-to-back episodes on Disney Channel and will also become available that day on the Disney Junior app and YouTube page. The show follows two fun-loving pug brothers, Bingo and Rolly, whose thrill-seeking appetites take them on exhilarating adventures throughout their neighborhood and around the globe. Williams also serves as consulting producer and writer and voices the role of Bob, the pups’ devoted owner. Sean Coyle (The Awesomes, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) serves as executive producer.

Whether embarking on a mission to help their owner Bob or assisting a friend in need, the pugs’ motto is that life is more exciting with your best friend by your side. Along for the ride is their community of colorful animal pals including Bob’s cat Hissy and A.R.F., the lovable robot dog created by Bob. Each episode features two 11-minute stories that showcase Bingo and Rolly’s similarities and differences while demonstrating positive lessons about friendship, problem-solving, collaboration, creativity and adventure.

Image via Disney Junior

Recurring guest stars include musician Huey Lewis as Bulworth, the junkyard dog; Patrick Warburton (Family Guy) as Captain Dog, the star of the pups’ favorite television show; Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) as Hedgie the hedgehog; Yvette Nicole Brown (Elena of Avalor) as Daisy, a kind German Shepherd; famed sportscaster Bob Uecker as a baseball announcer; Leslie David Baker (The Office) and Cheri Oteri (Saturday Night Live) as neighbors Frank and Esther Exposition; Jill Talley (American Dad) as bossy pup Cupcake; Mo Collins (Fresh Off the Boat) as Strider, a fast-talking sheep herder; and Tress MacNeille (Mickey and the Roadster Racers) as Bob’s Mom.

Puppy Dog Pals stars Issac Ryan Brown (black-ish) as quick-witted, problem solver Bingo; Sam Lavagnino (Miles from Tomorrowland) as silly, energetic Rolly; Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as A.R.F; and Jessica DiCicco (The Lion Guard) as Hissy.

Games and activities featuring Bingo and Rolly will be available on the Disney Junior app and DisneyJunior.com beginning Friday, April 7. Brand extensions from Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media such as activity and story books will be available beginning June 2017 with apparel and toys launching in August 2017.

The series is a production of Wild Canary in association with Disney Junior.

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