Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Matt Groening Creates New Show 'Disenchantment' For Netflix

There are few names that can claim to have had a bigger impact on US television animation than Matt Groening.  Had he created only The Simpsons his place in animation history would be pretty significant, but he also went on to create Futurama, a series which while it didn't have such mainstream success is still iconic. Now, it seems he is about to make another new show- this time for Netflix.

Netflix has ordered 20 episodes of Groening's new adult animated comedy series Disenchantment. Set in a "crumbling medieval kingdom" called Dreamland, this looks like it could do for fantasy what Futurama did for fantasy. It will feature a hard-drinking young princess, her elf companion and her "personal demon". The world of Dreamland will be full of ogres, sprites, harpies and other fantasy creatures.

“Ultimately," says  Groening, "Disenchantment will be about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you." Sounds like a hoot!

The series will be produced by Rough Draft Studios who previously brought us Futurama. The voice cast will feature Abbi Jacobson, Eric Andre and Nat Faxon in the lead roles and will also feature Futurama vets  John Dimaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, plus British comedy stars Matt Berry and Noel Fielding.

This sounds very exciting. Anyone who misses Futurama will be thrilled to see much of the cast and crew of that working on a new series, and the fantasy setting seems like a perfect fit. We imagine it will both send up fantasy tropes, and use it as a device to skewer modern life and culture at the same time- much like Futurama did with science-fiction. We're also excited to see that this is being aimed at adults, and working with Netflix will give them the freedom to take full advantage of it. It's a good time to be an adult animation fan.

The series will premiere in 2018 and will be released 10 episodes at a time.

Nora Twomey's 'The Breadwinner' Will Premiere At TIFF 2017

Toronto International Film Festival is kind of a big deal. It is one of the biggest cinema festivals in the world, and screening there gives a film considerable prestige.  This year's festival will take place September 7- 17 and the first slate of screenings has now been revealed.

This year's festival will host the world premiere of the eagerly anticipated new film from Cartoon Saloon and director Nora Twomey, The Breadwinner. It's Cartoon Saloon's third feature, and Twomey's second, having previously co-directed The Secret Of Kells with Tomm Moore.

Adapted from the novel from Canadian author Deborah Ellis, the film follows the struggles of a young girl in Taliban controlled Afghanistan. When her father is imprisoned, she has no choice but to disguise herself as a boy in order to work and support her family. The screenplay was adapted by Ellis herself alongside Anita Doron, and Angelina Jolie came on board as a producer. The film is co-produced by Canada's Aircraft Pictures and Luxembourg's Melusine Productions, alongside Jolie's production company and GKIDS Films.

"On behalf of the entire cast and crew of  The Breadwinner, I am absolutely delighted that the film will premiere at TIFF," Twomey said.  "Toronto is home to so many of our talented team and is where the idea to adapt the book was first formed. This will complete a full circle for The Breadwinner film and I hope audiences enjoy it as much as we've enjoyed making it."

The time and date of the screening will be revealed next month. The Breadwinner will be released in the US later this year via GKIDS Films and will premiere in the UK and Ireland in early 2018 via Studio Canal.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The AFA Podcast: Episode 81

This week on the podcast Chris is joined by Jill to talk about her adventures at this year's D23 Fan Expo.

First up we talk news including GKIDS Films' new editions of the Studio Ghibli Collection, before diving into all the news out of D23 (0:09)! Then, Jill talks about her experiences visiting the expo, (0:49) and finishes up with a visit to The Watercooler, (1:15) which this week focuses on Star Vs The Forces Of Evil.

Listen to the episode here, or find us on iTunesPodcasts.com and Stitcher. If you like the show, don't forget to subscribe via the method of your choice, and why not leave us a review? They can really help others discover the show! Directly download the podcast here.  Get the RSS feed here

Find all our previous episodes here.

Archer Season 9 Heads to 'Danger Island'.

Archer is the spy show that isn't always a spy show. For three of its currently available eight seasons, Sterling Archer and his cohorts have left the spy-game behind to become drug runners (season six) or private detectives (seven and eight). Season Eight was particularly unusual, taking place in a 1940's Film Noir style setting inside Sterling's head. Since that season wrapped, fans have wondered where the show will go next. Now, thanks to the Archer panel at San Diego Comic Con, we have our answer.

Monday, July 24, 2017

ComicCon 2017 [Part Three] 'DuckTales' ,'Hey Arnold' and more

Here's our third and final round-up of the big animation stories from this year's San Diego Comic Con! You can read the first two parts here and here. Same time next year?

We've already seen quite a few clips from the upcoming new version of DuckTales, which finally arrives next month.This new SDCC exclusive clip is particularly interesting though, as it gives us our best look at the show's script, and gives us a taste of the character dynamic. It feels different from the original for sure- but still retains the spirit. It's funny, beautifully animated and the voice actors hit it out of the park. Is it August yet?

ComicCon 2017: [Part Two] 'Close Enough' 'Big Hero 6: The Series' and more

As San Diego Comic Con 2017 rolled on the animation news kept on coming. So here's the second part of our round-up of the biggest stories that came out of this year's event. Part one can be found here. And there's more to come!

TBS showed off clips from their new adult animation line-up that will be joining American Dad from the 2017- 2018 season. These are Tarantula, Final Space and Close Enough. The latter of these is the new series from Regular Show creator J G Quintel, and will be his first foray into animation aimed at an adult audience- and it's looking pretty awesome!  The preview of Sci-fi comedy Final Space meanwhile, doesn't actually feature any actual finished animation, but gives us a good idea of the overall tone of the series and shows off the all-star cast.

Friday, July 21, 2017

ComicCon 2017 [Part One]: Voltron Season 3, Kingsman Meets Archer, and more

Every July, nerds of the United States (nay, the world) flock to San Diego for Comic Con. It's basically Nerd Christmas. There's always some exciting animation related happenings there, too. This year's Con runs until Sunday July 22, but there's already plenty of news to get excited about. So we've rounded up a few of them for you right here! More soon!

Voltron Legendary Defender's panel revealed that the series will return on August 4 with seven new episodes, with another batch of six episodes hitting in a to-be-disclosed date in October. While fans might be slightly disappointed that the number of episodes in seasons going forward will be smaller, it's one way of ensuring that you get to see them sooner. Animation of such quality is time-consuming, so to get a full 11 or 13 episode season like the first two would have meant a longer wait. The long-awaited trailer was also finally released (spoilers for seasons 1 and 2)

Kingsman was an outrageously entertaining comic-book based spy movie from X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn. At the panel for this September's sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, there was an unexpected surprise for animation fans. The producers of Archer made a hilarious short in which Sterling Archer meets Kingsman's lead character Eggsy (voiced by Taron Egerton). It's a crossover we never saw coming, but it's utterly inspired. Anyone else really want a Kingsman animated series now?

At the Ghostbusters panel, it was revealed that the untitled animated Ghostbusters movie was still in development, for a possible 2019 release. Ivan Reitman teased that it would be told "from a ghost's point of view", which certainly promises to be unique. But which Ghostbusters team will feature?

The Lego Ninjago Movie released a hilarious new Comic-Con trailer.

We also got our first look at the upcoming Rocko's Modern Life comeback movie Static Cling. It looks set to be a perfect update of the original, with hand-drawn animation that captures the original, while giving it a modern HD-powered sheen. And the sense of humour seems to have survived intact, too. "Fellas... I don't think we're in the 90s any more..."