AnimationFix: Your regular round-up of the latest animation news, from HitFix reporter Emily Rome
Moonbot Studios released their latest animated short online this week, and it”s a sweet ode to imagination and forever being a child at heart.
The five-minute short, Taking Flight, is also a tribute to Antonio Pasin, inventor of the Radio Flyer wagon and depicts a small boy”s boring day that turns into an adventure spent with his grandfather.
It”s cute, and it has a timely if oft-heard message urging kids (and adults!) to stop looking at their screens all the time and get outside. But the film falls short of the creativity and unique charm of Moonbot”s first short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, an ode to the power of story and a tale of renewal inspired by the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina. That short, which used a hybrid of stop-motion, computer, and hand-drawn animation, won the 2012 Oscar for Animated Short Film.
Taking Flight is directed by Brandon Oldenburg, who co-helmed Fantastic Flying Books, along with the Emmy-winning films The Scarecrow and Silent.
You can watch Taking Flight below:
• Moana gets a trailer: Disney fans eagerly awaiting the next feature from the House of Mouse were treated to the first full-length trailer for Moana yesterday. It features more footage of Moana”s quest with Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) and another song with the vocals of songwriter Opetaia Foa”i. (The teaser delivered a song sung by fellow Moana songwriter and Hamilton superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda.) Plus: There“s more footage of Alan Tudyk“s chicken character that was nearly cut from the movie. Moana opens November 23.
• Archer picks up an Emmy: At the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, Archer earned its first Emmy statuette, after getting nominations twice before. The FX series beat out Bob”s Burgers, The Simpsons, South Park, and Phineas and Ferb – the only kids” series in the category this year, garnering its first Outstanding Animation Program Emmy, for its final season. The wacky Disney show had earned attention from the Television Academy in other categories, including for music and individual animation artists.
• Pokémon Generation launches: The new series of three-minute shorts debuted on Pokémon”s YouTube channel today. Fans are already saying the new shorts capture the essence of the classic games. This of course comes after the massive success of the Pokémon GO app. With a Pokémon GO movie on the way, the Pokémon has made a serious comeback.
• Dax Shepard will helm Scooby-Doo movie: Kristen Bell recently got into the animation biz behind the scenes, and now her husband is following suit. Shepard is in talks to co-direct and co-write Warner Bros. Animation”s next Scooby-Doo movie. He”d be working alongside co-director Tony Cervone (Space Jam). Dan Povenmire (Phineas and Ferb) will executive produce. WB is keeping their Scooby-Doo brand alive – the update on the new film comes just as Funko announced the addition of Scooby-Doo characters to their popular Pop! Vinyl figurine line.
• Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders schedules theatrical screenings: As WB Animation gears up for its home video release of their new Batman movie, the studio has announced it”s teaming with Fathom Events to bring Caped Crusaders to theaters. Fathom screened Batman: The Killing Joke this summer. Caped Crusaders, which brings the classic camp and Adam West back to Batman, will screen in over 700 U.S. theaters Monday, October 10 ahead of its release on Digital HD on October 11 and on Blu-ray and DVD on November 1.
• Featurette teases Spider-Gwen“s screen debut: Following last month”s announcement that fan-favorite character Spider-Gwen is coming to Ultimate Spider-Man, Disney XD released some footage of the superheroine”s screen debut in a featurette spotlighting voice actress and Disney alum Dove Cameron. Spider-Gwen”s episode airs tomorrow, September 17 at 8 p.m. on Disney XD. It”s the final episode in a four-episode arc called “Return to the Spider-Verse” when Peter Parker and Miles Morales again encounter a bunch of alternate reality Spideys.
• Zita the Spacegirl movie in the works: Fox Animation picked up the film rights for children”s graphic novel series Zita the Spacegirl, about a girl who becomes an intergalactic hero after she voyages to a strange planet to rescue her kidnapped best friend. As Mark Osbourne, who gave a framing story with a young girl to his Little Prince adaption, recently noted, few animated features have main characters who are girls but not princesses. So Zita is a step, intentional or not, to change that.