Welcome to the summer packed edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
Earlier this month, we highlighted the long awaited Hey Arnold jungle movie. Last week, Nick has confirmed reports after facing pressure from recent fans of the show to see what happened to Arnold’s parents. That was first mentioned back in 2004 of said TV movie but gave Hey Arnold! The Movie instead. Will the original actors from the movie return to the neighborhood Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- Nickelodeon announced that the upcoming TV movie titled Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie will feature 19 original voices from the beloved television series. The announcement comes in the midst of Nickelodeon’s 25th anniversary celebration of original creator-driven animation. Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie is written and executive produced by the series’ original creator Craig Bartlett and produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank. The two-hour TV movie will debut in 2017.
The voice actors reprising their famed roles include: Francesca Marie Smith (The Prince of Egypt) as Helga; Anndi McAfee (Tom and Jerry: The Movie) as Phoebe; Justin Shenkarow (Recess) as Harold; Olivia Hack (Family Guy) as Rhonda; Nika Futterman (The Boxtrolls) as Olga; Dan Butler (Frasier) as Mr. Simmons; Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons) as Grandpa; Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons) as Grandma; Antoinette Stella (Melrose Place, writer) as Stella; Carlos Alazraqui (Happy Feet) as Eduardo; Dom Irrera (Back at the Barnyard) as Ernie; Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) as Bob Pataki; Kath Soucie (Rugrats) as Miriam; Danielle Judovits (Toy Story) as Big Patty; Danny Cooksey (The Lorax) as Stoop Kid; Jim Belushi (According to Jim) as Coach Wittenberg; and Craig Bartlett as Miles.
Additionally, Lane Toran (original voice of Arnold) and Jamil Smith (original voice of Gerald) will supplement the returning cast by lending their voices to several other roles.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to work with these talented voice actors who brought to life one of the most celebrated cartoons in Nickelodeon’s history,” commented Chris Viscardi, SVP, Content Development, Nickelodeon Franchise Properties. “The voice cast is an essential piece to the Hey Arnold! universe and we’re excited for a new generation of fans to hear these characters in a new TV movie.”
Original cast members will give new life to Helga, a complicated and cynical girl who puts up a mean front, but is full of extreme emotions; Phoebe, Helga’s confidante and loyal best friend; Harold, a former bully with a tough exterior and soft interior; Rhonda, a fashionista who comes from a preppy and prestigious family; and Olga, Helga’s beautiful, intelligent and friendly older sister; as well as the other colorful characters.
New voices in the Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie include: Mason Vale Cotton (Mad Men) as Arnold; Benjamin “L’il P-Nut” Flores, Jr. (Game Shakers) as Gerald; Gavin Lewis (Real Boy) as Eugene; Jet Jurgensmeyer (Bubble Guppies) as Stinky; Aiden Lewandowski (Comedy Bang! Bang!) as Sid; Laya Hayes (Santa Hunters) as Nadine; Nicolas Cantu (The Impossible Joy) as Curly; Wally Wingert (Sonic Boom) as Oskar; and Stephen Stanton (Star Wars Rebels) as Pigeon Man.
Rounding out the cast, Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) voices resident villain, Lasombra, an infamous river pirate operating from a secret compound in the jungles of San Lorenzo.
The greenlight for an original Hey Arnold! TV movie was announced earlier this year. Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie will feature a storyline that picks up from where the original series ended in 2004 and will resolve unanswered questions and plotlines–including Arnold finally getting answers about the whereabouts of his missing parents.
This August celebrates 25 years of original creator-driven animation for Nickelodeon, marking a significant milestone exemplifying decades of rich history and commitment to bringing fresh innovative content to kids and families around the world. Later in the year, Nickelodeon will open up a 190,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art complex to serve as the West Coast hub for the network, housing the ever-growing number of animated and live-action series, TV movies, and award shows and events seen globally.
The previous season of Gumball followed the origin of Gumball and Darwin’s friendship and promising that their friendship should stay true forever. That’s the highlight from season 5 after being soaked by the Sponge at the KCA’s this year. This week, Cartoon Network has given The Watterson’s an extra season to make things right again. Will things turn right for the family Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Cartoon Network announced that it has greenlit a sixth season of the global hit animated series, The Amazing World of Gumball, further building on the studio’s hugely successful comedy slate and the show’s outstanding performance to date. Produced in the UK and Germany, the mixed media family sitcom has become a global favorite since it first launched in 2010.
The multiple award-winning series has scooped 28 international awards to date including six BAFTAs and an Emmy. Production began this month at Cartoon Network’s EMEA studio, Great Marlborough Productions, in Shoreditch, London. Season five is slated to begin airing from September 2016 internationally and is set to premiere next year in North America.
Now in its fourth season, The Amazing World of Gumball cleverly combines live action with 2D and 3D animation to chart the adventures of the energetic and fearless blue cat, Gumball, and his idiosyncratic family, the Watterson’s. The series is created by Ben Bocquelet, executive produced by Sarah Fell and series-directed by Mic Graves.
The show reached more than 165 million viewers globally in Q1 2016 with an increasingly strong presence across digital platforms, with the latest global mobile game launch Agent Gumball reaching #1 overall in the iTunes charts on iPad in five countries and #1 in the Kids category in 27 countries. Last year’s EMEA-developed app Rainbow Ruckus also ranked number one in the iTunes paid apps chart in 27 countries across the globe and a top #5 paid app in 65 countries in its launch week. To date, Gumball has produced almost 7 million app downloads worldwide, attracted more than 9 million Facebook fans and has generated 8 million views on its YouTube channel this year alone.
Patricia Hidalgo, Senior Vice President, Chief Content & Creative Officer, EMEA Kids & International Kids Strategy at Turner commented, “The Amazing World of Gumball is a great example of how a European production can establish itself as a top performing kids’ animation around the globe and a pillar to Cartoon Network’s ratings and DNA globally. We continue to be thrilled by its performance, not just on our linear channels but on multiple Cartoon Network platforms right across the world and there was really no question that we’d be taking Gumball’s amazingly imaginative world into a sixth season.”
Ben Bocquelet, Series Creator, The Amazing World of Gumball, added, “Gumball, Darwin and the Watterson family have so much more to give and I’m excited to be working with our fantastic team at Cartoon Network Studios here in London to create a sixth season of The Amazing World of Gumball. We have big plans for the show and are already working on new episodes that we hope will have audiences laughing louder than ever. Thank you to Cartoon Network for truly supporting the show and our creative vision, and apologies once again to my family who are about to be the butt of another series of jokes.”
The Amazing World of Gumball follows the Watterson’s, a totally normal family. Dad is your regular 6’4” pink rabbit who stays at home while Mom works in a rainbow factory. Their kids are pretty standard too. There’s Gumball, a blue cat with a giant head; Anais, a four-year-old genius bunny; and Darwin, a pet goldfish who became part of the family when he sprouted legs. At the heart of the show is Gumball who faces the trials and tribulations of any twelve-year-old kid, like being chased by a rampaging T-Rex, sleeping rough when a robot steals his identity, or dressing as a cheerleader and doing the splits to impress the girl of his dreams.
The Amazing World of Gumball is an animated family sitcom for kids that offers a warm hearted, funny and surreal kid perspective into everyday life, in a way that they and their families can relate to. Season four is currently airing on Turner channels across the globe and season five is set to roll-out from September 2016.
Since Gumball’s busy this summer, we should expect the Watterson’s to start season 5 and right towards season 6 this fall.
We also took a sneak peak at Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania starring the WWE. Sony Pictures revealed next year’s animation schedule this week. Where does this flick fall in this list next year Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World (continued)- In a move signaling an expansion of its output and increased year-round production across multiple platforms, Sony Pictures Animation has announced its slate through 2018 which includes five theatrical features, three television series and one direct-to-video movie.
“We are meaningfully stepping up our level of production, while creating an environment that fosters the best talent,” Kristine Belson, President of Sony Pictures Animation, said in a statement. “Our goal is to enlarge our presence in the animation landscape with a uniquely diverse slate, and our strategy to get there is to let artists drive the movies creatively.”
“I could not be more proud of the way Kristine Belson has rebuilt Sony Pictures Animation into the boldest home for animation in the industry,” added Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.
Sony Pictures Animation’s slate includes a diverse mix of originals and franchises, some previously announced, each with its own unique style and tone, underscoring the Studio’s pledge to develop projects aimed both inside and outside of the Sony Pictures Animation family brand intended for traditional, as well as online, distribution platforms.
Smurfs: The Lost Village — a fully-animated comedy that delivers a fresh new take on the famous blue creatures and marks a return to the tone and style of the beloved comic book creations of Peyo—hits theaters April 7, 2017. The feature is directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet), produced by Jordan Kerner (The Smurfs 1 & 2, Charlotte’s Web), co-produced by Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews (HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA) and written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon, based on the characters and works of Peyo. The voice cast includes Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy, Joe Manganiello as Hefty, Danny Pudi as Brainy, and Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, with Mandy Patinkin as Papa.
Emojimovie: Express Yourself will offer a surprising and comic take on the secret world of our phones and the beloved characters that have become daily necessities in global interpersonal communication. The feature, targeting an August 2017 theatrical release, is directed by Anthony Leondis, produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate, and written by Anthony Leondis & Eric Siegel.
The Star (working title) is scheduled for a December 8, 2017 theatrical release. The computer-animated feature is directed by Oscar nominee Timothy Reckart (Head Over Heels); executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Lisa Henson, and Brian Henson; co-produced by Jenni Magee Cook; and written by Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moore. In The Star, a small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the greatest story ever told, the first Christmas. Sony Pictures Animation produces in association with The Jim Henson Company.
Hotel Transylvania 3 — the follow-up to Sony Pictures Animation’s highest grossing film in the U.S. and the biggest opening ever for a domestic September release —is scheduled to hit theaters September 21, 2018. Director Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone Wars), who returns to helm this brand new adventure, says, “I thought I was done exploring the world of Hotel Transylvania after the first two films, but while I was away from the franchise finishing my TV show Samurai Jack, an idea sparked that I got really excited about and made it irresistible to return and helm myself this third adventure.” Michelle Murdocca is back producing, with Adam Sandler executive producing, and Michael McCullers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Boss Baby) writing the screenplay. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg will be returning as the voices of Dracula, his vampire daughter Mavis, and her human husband Johnny.
Spider-Man — From Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, the geniuses behind The Lego Movie, comes an animated Spider-Man feature slated for theatrical release December 21, 2018. The film is being written by Phil Lord. Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller are producing; Craig Sost is co-producing. Bob Persichetti (head of story on Puss in Boots and The Little Prince) is directing.
Ghostbusters: Ecto Force — A brand-new animated television series that will further expand the Ghostbusters cinematic universe and focus on a new generation of Ghostbusters in the year 2050 who capture ghosts around the world with help from local teams — and some very cool gear! The younger-skewing Sony Pictures Animation project is being creatively spearheaded by Ivan Reitman and his production company Ghost Corps. Ghostbusters: Ecto Force is eyeing an early 2018 debut.
Hotel Transylvania: The Television Series is targeted for a 2017 airdate. The animated television series, produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, will focus on the teenage years of Mavis, Dracula’s daughter, and her friends. It will be airing on the Disney Channel worldwide.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is slated for its television series incarnation airdate in 2017. The 2D animated small-screen series, produced in partnership with DHX Media and commissioned by TELETOON in Canada, will expand on the adventures of the computer-animated feature films and will air on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and Turner channels across EMEA, APAC and Latin American markets.
Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania will debut on home entertainment in the Spring of 2017. Directed by Henry Yu and produced by Michelle Wong, the follow-up to the 2007 Oscar nominee will hit the shores in time for the 10-year anniversary of the franchise. The project is in partnership with WWE Studios and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The voice cast includes WWE Superstars John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H, Diva Paige and Mr. McMahon as an infamous big wave riding crew of penguins known as The Hang 5 which Cody Maverick convinces to let him join on their journey to a mysterious surf spot where legend has it they’ll find the biggest waves in the world.
Senior Vice Presidents of Development Michael Lachance (Emojimovie: Express Yourself, Ghostbusters: Ecto Force), Jenny Marchick (The Star, Hotel Transylvania 3) and Mike Moon (untitled animated Spider-Man) are in charge of creatively spearheading the Sony Pictures Animation slate.
1,491 fans are currently on the board on the Penguins tally as box office records continue to pull in as the aliens come back to invade Earth.
And speaking of the invading aliens, they return after 20 years of their first invasion. Now, they’re here to hurt us bad unless our heroes stop them in the invasion flick Independence Day: Resurgence. Will it shoot with lasers blazing for box office domination? Find out in this weekend’s box office report. See you next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.