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Gkids Reunites With Fathom Events In Five-Film Deal Starting With July ‘Fireworks’ – CinemaCon

Fireworks

EXCLUSIVE: Gkids is expanding its relationship with event-cinema company Fathom Events with a deal that will see five more new titles from the animation distributor hitting Fathom screens in the U.S. in 2018. The two companies previously pacted on the premiere of Studio Ponoc’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower as well as on showing product from Japan's Studio Ghibli. The new deal will kick off with Akiyuki Shinbo's Fireworks, the Toho pic that is getting a nationwide release… Read

TV

Hank Azaria Says He’s OK Scrapping ‘The Simpsons’ Apu; Critics Tweet Thanks

Hank Azaria says he’s “willing and happy” to step aside as the voice of Apu on The Simpsons, or to help transition the character into “something new,” calling it “the right thing to do, to me.” Appearing on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, Azaria threw out the possibility of killing off Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, one of 20-30 regular characters he says he’s voiced on the long-running animated Fox series. He’d like to see an Indian-American writer added to the show, “genuinely… Read

Box Office

‘Smallfoot’ Trailer: Warner Animation Pic Breaks The Ice At CinemaCon

Smallfoot

Warner Bros used its CinemaCon presentation this evening to unveil the first trailer from Smallfoot, its Warner Animation Group pic where a yeti (voiced by Channing Tatum) makes a wild discovery that was thought to be only a myth: a human. James Corden, Zendaya, Common, LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, Yara Shahidi, Ely Henry and Jimmy Tatro also provide voices for the pic, which hits theaters September 28. Karey Kirkpatrick wrote and directed the film. WAG… Read

TV

‘Fast & Furious’ Animated Series Set At Netflix Based On Universal Movies As Deal With DreamWorks Animation TV Expands

An animated Fast & Furious series is headed to Netflix. It is the first series in an expansion of an ongoing multi-year deal between Netflix and DreamWorks Animation Television for original animated kids and family programming. The expansion, following Comcast-NBCUniversal's acquisition of the animation studio, includes a first look at DreamWorks Animation animated series based on Universal film properties. First off is Fast & Furious, based on Universal’s multi-billion… Read

Film

Pixar Animator Domee Shi Tackles Empty Nest Syndrome With ‘Incredibles 2’-Opening ‘Bao’ — Tribeca Studio

With the release of the long-anticipated Incredibles 2 on June 15 comes the arrival of another sumptuously original Pixar short. Titled Bao, this short from director Domee Shee and producer Becky Neiman-Cobb follows a Chinese-Canadian woman suffering from empty nest syndrome, getting a second chance at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings comes alive. “Bao is loosely inspired by my own life growing up as an only child to my two Chinese parents, that feeling of… Read

Film

‘Angry Birds 2’: Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez & Others Join Voice Cast

The birds are back in town — well, not yet, but next year’s sequel to The Angry Birds Movie has set its voice cast. Among those joining the avians-vs.-pigs toon franchise from Sony Pictures and Rovio Entertainment are Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, Zach Woods, Awkwafina and Lil Rel Howery. Also set for Angry Birds 2 are Dove Cameron, Beck Bennett and Brooklynn Prince. They join returning actors Jason Sudeikis as the temperamental Red; Josh… Read

Film

‘The Hunt’: Universal Dates Blumhouse Political Thriller Written By Damon Lindelof For Fall 2019

Universal Pictures said today that its newly acquired politcal action-thriller The Hunt will hit theaters on September 27, 2019. The studio noted that Pearl Studio's animated comedy-adventure Everest, which Uni also is distributing, remains set to open that same day. Written by Damon Lindelof and his The Leftovers collaborator Nick Cuse and directed by Craig Zobol (Z for Zachariah, Compliance), The Hunt‘s plot details are under wraps. Jason Blum produces for his Blumhouse… Read

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Jackie Chan, Constance Wu & More Join The Sony/China Co-Produced Animated Film ‘Wish Dragon’

EXCLUSIVE: Jackie Chan, Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu, Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny), Will Yun Lee (The Good Doctor), Nico Santos (Superstore), Jimmy Wong, and Bobby Lee are set as the U.S. voice cast of Wish Dragon, an animated film from Sony Pictures Animation, Beijing Sparkle Roll Media Corporation, and Base Animation. John Cho and Silicon Valley‘s Jimmy O. Yang are also in talks to join the feature which is begin… Read

Box Office

Third ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Pic Gets A Title

UPDATED, 8:49 AM: Universal Pictures said today that the third installment in DreamWorks Animation’s lucrative and toon Oscar-winning franchise now is titled How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The pic is keeping its March 1 release date. PREVIOUSLY, December 5, 2016: Universal Pictures said that DreamWorks Animation's How To Train Your Dragon 3 will now nest on Friday, March 1, 2019 instead of its previously announced May 18, 2018 date. Dean DeBlois, the film… Read

breakingBusiness

Cartoon Network Elevates Vishnu Athreya To SVP Programming

Vishnu Athreya has been promoted to SVP, programming at Cartoon Network, an expanded role. The new title was announced by Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. Athreya will add series development for Boomerang while continue to oversee scheduling, acquisitions, and the strategic positioning of programming content across all branded linear and non-linear program platforms for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Athreya is based in Atlanta and will still report… Read

TV

‘The Simpsons’ Showrunner Al Jean Engages Twitter Followers In Apu Controversy, Vows To “Find An Answer”

The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean said today he’ll continue “to try to find an answer that is popular & more important right” after a couple days of engaging with Twitter followers on both sides of the recent controversy over the show’s longstanding Apu character and the episode that made a brief reference to it. “I truly appreciate all responses pro and con,” tweeted Jean today. “Will continue to try to find an answer that is popular & more important right”. (See it and… Read

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Nickelodeon Animation Studio Joins IATSE & Editors Guild; Viacom OKs Move

EXCLUSIVE: In an increasingly rare occurrence in Hollywood nowadays, the successful effort by editorial employees of Nickelodeon Animation Studio to unionize has been welcomed by the SpongeBob SquarePants home's corporate bosses. An independent arbitrator this morning signed off that a clear majority of the currently nearly three dozen  NAS staff members had inked union cards and sought IATSE and its Local 700, the Motion Picture Editors Guild representation. With that… Read