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18

Apr

Another clip from How To Train Your Dragon 2. This one hinges on a new dragon and sheep sport! Sheep Ball? The colors and flying shots are just beautiful. I don’t know what else to say about this movie, because I think it goes without saying that it looks good and we are looking forward to it! It’s sure to be an exciting and fun ride, if nothing else!

-Chris

15

Apr

Anime Adaption for The Seven Deadly Sins announced!


Last week, Kodansha announced that The Seven Deadly Sins (Nanatsu no Taizai) will be getting an anime adaption.

The series started in 2012 by Nakabe Suzuki and quickly grew in popularity with over 3,000,000 volumes currently in circulation. Kodansha hasn’t yet stated who the animation production will be done by, but we can expect to hear sometime later this year. Kodansha Comics, their North American manga publishing company, recently published the first volume of the manga in North America along with the synopsis written below.

Synopsis: “When they were accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy, the feared warriors the Seven Deadly Sins were sent into exile. Princess Elizabeth discovers the truth - the Sins were framed by the king’s guard, the Holy Knights - too late to prevent them from assassinating her father and seizing the throne!

Now the princess is on the run, seeking the Sins to help her reclaim the kingdom. But the first Sin she meets, Meliodas, is a little innkeeper with a talking pig. He doesn’t even have a real sword! Have the legends of the Sins’ strength been exaggerated?”
(Source: Kodansha Comics)

-Josh

11

Apr

With 2014 being Batman’s 75th anniversary, DC has been going all out in celebration of the famed hero’s legacy. This short, entitled Batman: Strange Days, was produced by long time Batman veteran Bruce Timm. Known as one of the biggest names behind the DCAU, or the DC Animated Universe, Bruce Timm is perhaps best known for co-creating and co-producing Batman: The Animated Series from the early 90s. The style and tone that Timm brought to Batman became the standard in TV animation for the better part of a decade. Many of the other television super hero franchises in subsequent years were either produced by Timm or heavily influenced by him.

Besides this short, DC All Access had an "All-Batman" episode, featuring an interview with Bruce Timm, as well as some interviews with some of the writers of the comics.

This fantastic short personally has me wishing there was more. Batman: The Animated Series was classic, and many other series on television have been great for Batman. Batman: The Brave and the Bold, for example. Seems about time we had another traditionally animated Batman TV series.

What do you guys think? What was your favorite Batman? Does this short leave you longing for more? Reblog with a reply, reply to this post, or comment on our tumblr page, and tell us what you think!

-Chris

Everybody! Everybody!

The wait is finally over! On April 1st, the folks at homestarrunner.com, home of the acclaimed internet cartoon series, have finally updated their website after a three year hiatus!

For those who’ve been living under The Stick, Homestarrunner.com follows the adventures of the titular absent-minded Homestar Runner and his masked rival Strongbad along with a slew of other colorful characters including Strong Sad, Strong Mad, The Cheat, Bubs, Pom Pom, Coach Z, Marzipan, The King of Town, The Poopsmith, Homsar, and Senor Cardgage. Note: My computer is obsessively trying to autocorrect an ñ into that last name. It’s pronounced “Sen-or”.

Together, these characters star in the series of flash animated shorts (usually running around five minutes each) making tongue-in-cheek commentary of some form or another of popular culture. 

http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail167.html

Since its debut in 1996 as a parody children’s book, and in 2000 as a website, the series has gone onto several other forms of media including DVD and even an episodic “point-and-click-em-up-adventure” video game (Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People) made by Walking Dead developer Telltale Games. Series’ loose antagonist Strong Bad has also appeared alone in games like Poker Night at the Inventory, while the popular song “Trogdor” has appeared in Guitar Hero II.

image

Multitudes gather at the Vatican to celebrate homestarrunner.com’s surprise update.

Since the hiatus, brotherly show runners Mike and Matt Chapman have gone onto other things. Matt, the show’s animator, is now a writer for preschool show Yo Gabba Gabba, while Matt, the voice of every Homestar Runner character except for Marzipan and Pom Pom, also writes for TV, lending his pen to the likes of Yo Gabba Gabba, Wander Over Yonder, and The Aquabats! Super Show, lending his voice to two episodes of the latter.

http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail110.html

No word yet on whether the show will see an actual revival. The new short, while very self aware of its state as the first one in years, was very unclear about the future of the series.  

What’s my fond wish? Let the sbemails recommence!

http://www.homestarrunner.com/

Jesse A.

10

Apr

!!SPOILERS?!! As previously mentioned, these How To Train Your Dragon 2 Trailers may contain more content explicitly stated, than some viewers would care to see before the premier.

With the June 13th release date quickly approaching, How To Train Your Dragon 2 just gets better and better. Featuring all of the original voice cast, along with several notable new additions, and an even more colorful and epic world added to the one we already know and love, I’m getting really excited. 

-Chris

This commercial for the 2014 Peugeot 208, pays tribute to the Hanna-Barber animated TV series, Wacky Races. The commercial has been around for a while, but I think it’s very well done and a lot of fun. Definitely worth a second look.

The original Wacky Races series ran from September 1968 to January 1969, and featured a large cast of characters in “wacky” vehicles. I always thought the characters and cars were extremely interesting and inspiring. The series itself feels pretty 60s, with a slow pace, and was itself based off of 1965’s The Great Racewhich was similar in concept and characters, with a lot of slapstick humor and ridiculous situations. The characters in Wacky Races also look a lot like some of the characters from The Great Race.

Wacky Races has been made into several video games starting in 1991 on the Nintendo Entertainment System, for Sega Dreamcast in 2000, at least once on gameboy, and later for Playstation 2, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo DS–the most recent iteration coming out in 2008. Personally I was introduced to Wacky Races series through a video game for Gameboy, and it was a lot of fun to play with the various characters and vehicles. Each vehicle was so unique it made the racing style of each one very different.

More recently, there have been rumors that Wacky Races, was to be made into a live-action feature film. However, other than the uncited statement on the wikipedia article about the series, I have been unable to find any hard evidence that this is true.

Though Wacky Races is very much a product of the late 1960s, the design and light-heartedness of the show still hold their value. The detail and entertainment of the series put into this commercial are evidence of the fact. I love going back to some of the older animation and series that have helped pave the way for the animation we have today (however small their role). It can be inspiring, educational, and sometimes unintentionally funny seeing the different style and culture of older cartoons.

-Chris

Wacky Races

04

Apr

Aldnoah Zero

A few weeks back I made a post talking about a new anime being written by Gen Urobuchi (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, Psycho-Pass.) At the time, there wasn’t much information about it other than a promotional picture, but just last week the animation company, A-1 Pictures, (Sword Art Online, Blue Exorcist, Fairy Tail) announced a July airing date, along with a promotion video available for watching here.

I like Gen Urobuchi’s works, so I have relatively high expectations for this show. Hopefully we should get more information as to its plot in the coming weeks.




-Josh

02

Apr

Here’s the latest promo video for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders which features the protagonist: Jotaro Kujo.

I already posted about this particular anime in an earlier post but since it’s going to start airing this week I figured I’d make another one about it.

The animation company, David Productions, has also recently announced that composer Yuugo Kanno (Birdy the Mighty, Pyscho-Pass, Library Wars) will be composing the soundtrack. Yuugo isn’t very well known, but boy does he make some good music. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Check out some of the music he’s done for Birdy The Mighty and Psycho-Pass. Absolutely fantastic.

Be sure to check it out when it airs at the end of the week!

-Josh

01

Apr

Do you ever have that moment where you are confuse which studio made what movie?

Content is content. And to general audiences especially to those who grew up on Peanuts the idea of taking the franchise to a 3D film is detestable to say the least.

I can’t say that I disagree with that completely; I think classics should not be rehashed to oblivion and somethings should be allowed to exist in the past and be revisited to remember and experience that charm again. However, the teaser trailer above does contain rewarding properties. It is pushing the medium of 3D animation, stylizing it trying to bring in classic 2D principles- and that I think is commendable. Hopefully the risk taken on this franchise to stylize and cultivate a different look can carry over to Blue Sky’s future original content. In the end though; it’s going to come down to the depiction of the characters and story (as it always does).

There is not much we can tell from a trailer and only when the Peanuts film comes can we make a final judgement. Even if it is disappointing that doesn’t take away the value of the original comics or cartoons for those that hold them dear. 

Isaiah

29

Mar

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Review)

For my first post here with Animation Force, I wanted to take a look at the series that made me realize that animation was something I truly wanted to pursue - Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (not to be confused with its 2003 predecessor, Star Wars: Clone Wars) first aired on October 3, 2008 just months after the theatrical release of the movie by the same title. The series, directed by Dave Filoni, ran for five seasons on Cartoon Network until Lucasfilm was bought out by Disney. The sixth season (trailer above), which was in production when the show stopped airing, was released on Netflix on March 7, 2014 along with the movie and the previous five seasons. The series’ timeline fills the three-year gap between Episodes II and III. With many old (and beloved) characters, as well as some new faces, we follow Anakin Skywalker and his new padawan, Ahsoka Tano as they fight on the front lines. We gain a better understanding of the political corruption within the Republic Senate and experience the culture and brotherhood of a manufactured, human army.

I started watching Clone Wars on May 5, 2012. I remember this because it was the day after National Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with You). It’s tradition for my friend Alex and I to marathon the saga through the day. So, May 5th (Revenge of the Fifth. HA Star Wars puns), we begrudgingly decided to give the series a try. The first episode made an entertaining and endearing splash, but the following episodes were… well rough. The story was juvenile - with no real arc structure - and was stifled by poor pacing. The animation was choppy and Sims-like, but it was the evolution of this series that made me love it so much.

Filoni said in his introduction to The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “It began with a drawing of a young Togruta girl who would go on to become Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, Ahsoka Tano. From the first sketch, the series was born…” My first reactions to Ahsoka were very negative. She was disrespectful and whiny. But the series takes her from dis-likable to irresistible. She matures in mind, body, spirit, and skill. Even her design change - from original concepts, to Seasons 1-2 and 3-5 - (see below), makes her evolution as a character even more evident.

Like Padawan Tano, Star Wars: The Clone Wars was a TV series that matured beyond my expectations. The original, choppy, Sims-like animation of the first season was transformed into a fluid semi-masterpiece (Just look at those action sequences). The story switched to a 3-episode arc format, and every arc kept me on my toes. The characters also slowly unveiled a depth that was not present before as the timeline approached the end of the Clone Wars. I found myself feeling deeply for characters that I had known the whole series and characters I had just met. The soundtrack made use of themes by John Williams from the movie saga, and used it to their advantage. In all elements, Clone Wars became absolutely stunning!

The series was created by Star Wars fans for Star Wars fans. The creatorsalways said that they wanted the series to be an expansion of the Star Wars universe, which has reached far past the 6 movies and into novels, TV, video games, and comics. Because of this, they were tasked with designing and re-designing alien species and native beasts, weapons and armor, droids and technology, ships and speeders to entire worlds and civilizations that could have been seen during this period in the timeline. In his interview on the original Star Wars Concept Artist, Ralph McQuarrie, George Lucas comments, “Whenever you’re doing something like The Clone Wars, whatever we do, we use the library of information and and the drawings from the archives to say ‘We want things to be consistent.’” The amount of detail and research that was put into the creation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was simply mesmerizing. I find that I learn something new every day. 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an original and beautiful masterpiece, different from any other cartoon on television. I cannot express how grateful I am that this series was created (even the rough beginning). It was the magic of its evolution that brought my passion for animation and story telling to the forefront. I highly reccomend this TV series to anyone, even those who don’t consider themselves Star Wars fans. The movie (which should be seen before watching the series) and Seasons 1-5 are available on Netflix and iTunes, but Season 6 is only available on Netflix. Happy watching!

Also! Keep and eye out for the series sequel, Star Wars: Rebels, set to premier this Fall on DisneyXD 

-Ellen