Friday, February 27, 2015
Bits Journal #40
A lot going on right now in the industry...
First off, and this is huge news, Disney intends to reboot DuckTales... That's right, a new DuckTales show! It'll be premiering on Disney XD in 2017, the year of the original show's 30th Anniversary! Woo-ooh!
Not much else has been revealed about this new series, but hopefully the animation style they go with is respectful of the original, and the writing is just as good. I wouldn't doubt it, for Disney TV Animation is arguably on a roll these days: Phineas & Ferb, Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, The 7D, and all the original stuff they have coming out. Hey, and this is a bit of optimism here, maybe they might even make a new DuckTales theatrical film one day!
The announcement also makes me wonder... Will they revive other classic Disney TV Animation shows? I'd love to see shows like Darkwing Duck and Bonkers come back, alongside the likes of Gargoyles and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. There were plans to do a live-action/CG hybrid movie based on Rescue Rangers, but I can do without that. Make it a damn 2D film for Pete's sake! A new Darkwing Duck is something Disney can't pass up, since superheroes are currently all the rage.
Warner Archive recently announced that an unfairly-forgotten animated film is finally getting a disc release: John Korty's Twice Upon a Time!
Certainly a real standout when it comes to animated features made in the last 35 years, it's a film with very imaginative visuals, a really cool animation style, and even better... A lot of good folks who would later go on to do great things worked on it! The animation style alone is amazing, it's all cut-out animation. The artists behind it used see-through plastic cut outs and a light table, a technique the filmmakers called "Lumage". Other effects are used as well, ones that add to the surreal look and feel of the film. I do confess that I have not seen the whole thing, but what I saw of it really impressed me.
There are also two cuts of the film, one that's more family-friendly (the director's film), and a more adult-oriented one with some language (which was the version producer-writer Bill Couturie preferred, and Korty wasn't fond of). Both cuts will be available on the DVD, which is coming out sometime this coming spring. This is the first time it's getting a disc release in any form, the last time it hit home media was back in 1991 on VHS and LaserDisc... A good 8 years after the film had its incredibly short run in theaters. The Korty cut was used for the VHS and LD. The more adult-oriented version was shown on HBO a few times in 1984.
Anyways, this is great news all-around and hopefully the film finds a bigger audience. It already has a cult following, but it's great that more people will be to own it and see it!
(Who's also willing to bet that they'll use "Produced by George Lucas!" on the DVD cover?)
The Lego Movie's still untitled sequel finally got its director! And a title too!
The title? The Lego Movie Sequel. Very appropriate.
The director in question is Rob Schrab, known for directing episodes of The Sarah Silverman Program, Children's Hospital, Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Mindy Project, among others. He also created the comic book series Scud: The Disposable Assassin and co-write the 2006 mo-cap feature Monster House. I'd say he's a good fit for the project...
So Lord and Miller writing/producing, this guy directing, it's in good hands. I expect it to be just as good and as fresh as the first film.