Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Like Zoinks, Scoob!: Warner Animation CinemaCon Updates, Possible Hanna-Barbera Shared Universe?

At CinemaCon earlier, Warner Bros. revealed a thing or two about what's going on with their animation team...

Remember that untitled all-animated Scooby-Doo film? It's now called S.C.O.O.B., and apparently it'll kick off... Wait for it... A Hanna-Barbera shared universe. This is unsurprisingly in a lot of ways, considering that Hanna-Barbera cartoons have crossed over many times. (The Flintstones Meet The Jetsons, anyone?) They were a shared universe before it was cool! As were the Universal monsters of the 1930s and 1940s.

It's also unsurprising considering that Warner Animation has an animated Flintstones movie in the works, alongside an animated Jetsons movie. How long till we hear about an animated Hair Bear Bunch or Grape Ape film? This could actually work, considering that Hanna-Barbera did actually put out a lot of decent stuff in the 1960s. If they can keep the charm of those shows and give it new energy, what's the fuss? I'll take that over live-action takes on them.

I mean, we saw Warner Animation take something so unlikely (The Lego Movie) and use its unlikeliness to its advantage, and HOW! I think they can do the same with Hanna-Barbera's library of cartoons, considering that they are cartoons that operate on pure cartoon logic. If they exploit the heck out of that for the movies, we could be in for some serious fun!

Aside from these developments, more info on upcoming Lego movies was given... The Lego Batman Movie footage shown at CinemaCon drew good response, as Ninjago (opening 9/22/2017) was described as "a mash-up of kung fu films and kaiju movies, and which looked like a LEGO version of Pacific Rim"... Count me in! I admittedly know little about the Ninjago line and its story (but I could tell you a thing or two about BIONICLE. Please make that happen Warner Animation/Lego Group!), but this sounds like it'll be fun. Again, these movies give the people working them a lot to work off of.

Interestingly enough, EW's article makes a brief mention of WAG original Smallfoot. We heard about this project - which was conceived by Despicable Me originator and veteran Disney animator Sergio Pablos - and this autumn's Storks way back in January 2013, when Warner announced that they would be forming the Warner Animation Group. I had a feeling Smallfoot would WAG's early 2018 release, since The Lego Movie Sequel filled the summer 2018 slot, but this little blurb indicates that it's moving ahead. We now know the premise, and it sounds like fun! A yeti thinks humans are real, I guess in a world of yetis that think humans don't exist.

Either way, it sounds like a fun "what if" premise, and I'm interested to see what they do with it.

On the live-action front, footage from The Nice Guys (Shane Black's 70s-set detective thriller-comedy, which I've been on board since the day I saw the first trailer), The Conjuring 2, and The Legend of Tarzan were met with good-to-great reception.

For DC, it's true that Justice League Part One will remain the fall 2017 DCEU release. Filming is already underway in London, as Zack Snyder sent a video message from the set. All I can say is... I'm not thrilled about this, especially after Batman v Superman. It seems Warner Bros., if they are truly upset about the film's box office performance, just doesn't know how to learn a lesson... And that maybe Snyder is not the best fit for these kinds of films, alongside their meddling.

It was also confirmed - though this is not shocking at all - that Ben Affleck is writing and directing the solo Batman film, whenever that hits. (Maybe 10/5/2018? 11/1/2019?) Hopefully Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Aquaman are better films than what we've got so far. Hopefully Justice League - which is being written by Chris Terrio from the ground up this time - is surprisingly decent.

Anyways, what do you make of all these announcements?


  1. I'm really excited about this. You gotta wonder why Walt Disney Animation Studios hasn't thought of something like this yet. Think about it, an animated shared universe with Disney's established characters kicking off with a stand-alone Mickey Mouse film and possibly continuing with other characters like Chip'n Dale and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. That would be really cool to see, but S.C.O.O.B. would probably need to be a huge hit in order for that to happen (which of course would be inevitable because, who doesn't know Scooby-Doo?)

    1. Speaking of Disney, do you happen to know when their CinemaCon presentation this year is?

  2. I am into the idea of animated hanna-barbera movies especially Scooby-Doo. Are Frank Welker and Matthew Killian reprising their roles?