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Newsburst: Onward, Ghost In The Shell: SAC 20145 Trailer, New Bleach Anime And More

Believe it or not, animation news is still happening, but you would be forgiven for missing it in amongst the deluge of serious, scary global news that is coming at us every day. Luckily, your pals at AFA are here and will be rounding up the juiciest news nuggets from the past few days for you in our new regular feature Newsburst.

Disney surprised audiences in the United States by releasing Pixar's Onward on digital, just a couple of weeks after it hit cinemas. Dan Scanlon's movie was hit hard by the Pandemic, leading to some of the lowest box office takings of any of the studio's film. It's technically still on cinema release- it's just that all the cinemas are shut. Scanlon hopes the film will return to cinemas in future, but in the meantime, US viewers can buy a digital copy today. Onward will also hit Disney+ in the US on April 3. International releases are to be announced.

Disney+ finally launches in the UK, Ireland and most of western Europe on March 24. However, Disney have agreed to temporarily reduce their bandwidth usage by 25% in response to a request from European authorities, in reaction to increased internet usage due to the current crisis. Netflix and YouTube have also agreed to reduce their usage temporarily. Disney+'s French release has been delayed by two weeks.

Netflix have released a new, final trailer for the CGI anime Ghost In The Shell:  SAC_2045. The franchise's first 3D animated series has so far received a fairly lukewarm reception from many fans, so it will be interesting to see if the finished product will win them over. The series hits Netflix everywhere on April 23.

Bleach is coming back! The popular Shonen Jump series was one of the biggest anime hits of the noughties and early 2010's, so it was a big surprise when it came to an abrupt end in 2012. As part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the manga, it was announced that a new anime will adapt the Thousand Year Blood War arc from Tite Kubo's original manga. This is the final arc of the manga, which hints at the possibility that this will be a limited run series and not an ongoing, year-round show like the original. Even if it runs for multiple seasons, it seems likely that this will finally give Bleach fans a proper ending. Hopefully, this also means higher production values, that will do justice to Kubo's original art- and none of that pesky filler.

Season 2 of DC Universe's adult animation Harley Quinn is coming on April 3. Check out the trailer here.