Tim Burton to direct live action Dumbo movie; Layoffs begin at MTV Networks as changes continue; Odd Bods to debut soon on Disney XD



Welcome to the Disney reboot edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment Report. Here’s what’s topping today!




The reboot extravaganza continues as Disney’s Dumbo finally flies into the real world. That happened yesterday as the mouse prepares to release Cinderella in time for the box office as another live action flick. As for the flying pachyderm himself, who’s gets in the director’s chair Jim?



Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Tim Burton will direct Disney’s live-action Dumbo.

In the latest move by the studio as it continues to make live-action versions of its animated classics, Disney has tapped the Big Eyes helmer to take on the tale of a baby circus elephant who is made fun for his large ears, based on the 1941 iconic film.

As THR exclusively reported, Transformers franchise writer Ehren Kruger penned the script. The film will be a mix of CG and live-action to bring the classic elephant story to life, and will add a unique family story that parallels Dumbo’s journey. Justin Springer, who worked on Tron: Legacy as well as Oblivion, is producing with Kruger.


Disney’s latest live-action makeover Cinderella, starring Lily James, opens this weekend. The studio has had strong success with its live-action versions, including Burton’s reimagined Alice in Wonderland, which grossed a staggering $1.02 billion. And after Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as the iconic villainess, opened in May 2014, it went on to earn a stunning $758.4 million worldwide.

Burton, who is currently working on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is repped by WME.



Layoffs were underway at Viacom as the company cuts their workforce in half. Plans were drawn up back on February 22nd, as each executive splits up each group to coincide with each MTV network in their disposal. Which network was the first to make the cut on layoffs Angie?


Angie Angelfish (via Deadline Hollywood)- The wave of Viacom layoffs has reached MTV. We’ve learned that layoffs are underway at the music network. There is no ballpark headcount yet as I hear the process started yesterday and continues today, with some estimate that as much as 12% of MTV’s staff may be gone by the time this is over at the end of day today. I hear no department is being spared but for now, I hear the New York group has been seriously hit, especially those working on the unscripted side, including longtime staffers. Sister network VH1 also is being hit we hear, with veteran employees in marketing and promotion, design and PR among those impacted by layoffs.



“As announced, we are in the process of restructuring and there will be employees leaving the company as a result. We are so grateful for the contributions they have made to Viacom,” the company said in a statement to Deadline, declining further comment.

Viacom is in the process of combining the bulk of two network groups – Music and Entertainment – into one under Doug Herzog, and there is an ongoing consolidation in a number of departments as part of that, including Production, Research and Digital.


New shows keep coming in this week as Spring approaches less than a week away. Last time, Disney XD unveiled a Duck Tales reboot, including new seasons of the 7D’s, Wild Over Yonder, Star Wars Rebels, Kirby Buckets, and Star vs. The Forces of Evil with season 2 coming in 3 weeks to Monday. The Galaxy Guardians join the rest of the animated Marvel universe such as Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH as Guardians of the Galaxy becomes part of the Marvel Universe lineup. Now a playful team is entering the CG world as the extreme channel plans a welcome party. Who’s coming to visit this time Dan?


Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Singapore-based One Animation is launching Oddbods, a new sketch-based CG-animated comedy series for kids that follows the adventures of seven adorable characters as they laugh, fool, and trip their way through the most seemingly ordinary situations, often with unexpected consequences.

Each Oddbod has a distinct personality that was created to appeal to adults and children alike. The series has already attracted broadcasters in France and the U.S., landing on Disney XD in the States, and the popular PTDR cartoon slot on the Canal+ Kids channel Télétoon+ in France. The French channel ran a successful trial of the series in December and will be presenting the shorts twice weekly throughout February and March of this year.

“We are delighted to partner with Canal+ to bring Oddbods to France,” comments One Animation CEO Sashim Parmanand. “The show’s unique design and humor make Télétoon+ the perfect partner for the brand.”


One Animation has also expanded its senior executive team with the appointment of Carlene Tan as Business Development Director. In her new role, Tan is charged with building and expanding the studio’s business across both traditional and emerging content platforms. Tan brings 15 years of industry experience to One Animation, and previously worked for the Singapore Media Development Authority specializing in animation and visual effects.

“In the course of the last 15 years, I’ve had unique opportunities to grow my animation career across development, production and distribution. More recently in the last three years, I’ve been focusing on technology and digital platforms,” explains Tan. “I am very excited to get back into content creation and looking forward to working with the management team at One Animation.”



Checking the Penguins tally, 1,757 fans sign in as Team Skipper’s DVD prepares to hit store shelves next week as fans of the TV show will discover how the team came to be before they met Alex and the group in Central Park Zoo.



Spring’s almost here folks! With all TV networks getting ready to unveil their inner most secrets, we’ll be here with all the upfront news from the animated world as some of the current shows come to a close. Who’ll stay another season longer and which of them will be gone? Season renewals are at stake on the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.

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