ECCC: Anthony Mackie: Unleash the Falcon
Remember that Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers Japanese cartoon that Marvel announced in October 2013? No? Well, it’s a series that ties into merchandise created by Bandai — specifically, a game called Bachicombat that has similarities to Pogs (remember Pogs?) and ties into the lore of the show, in which Loki trapped a bunch of Marvel heroes in some S.H.I.E.L.D. tech that ordinary kids have to unlock using a Biocode. Yes, it’s exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.
Anyway, it premiered in Japan in April 2014 and now, according to io9, the Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers is set to introduce the Guardians of the Galaxy. But while this version of the team certainly takes its cue from the hit film, there’s a lot about the design that seems a little off. For example, the element gun/hairdryer that Star-Lord is carrying, or the incredibly cute — and, as io9 notes, super-creepy — expression on Rocket Raccoon’s balloon-like face.
I recently had the pleasure of rewatching The Mechanical Monsters, the 1941 animated Superman short from Fleischer Studios. I viewed it once before in the early ’90s on a cheap video tape that virtually disintegrated after just three uses. However, we’re in the new millennium now, and thanks to the dual magic of public domain and YouTube, the Fleischer cartoons are easily accessible for free in the comfort of your own home.
Do remember the “Beware the Gray Ghost” episode of Batman: The Animated Series? Bruce Wayne watches an old serial starring his childhood hero Simon Trent (voiced, in a stroke of genius, by none other than Adam West). He’s suddenly transformed into a little kid again, with all the cynicism of adulthood melting away. That was me watching the Fleischer Superman cartoons. I’d searched for these videos for analytical purposes, but instead I walked away with words like “Wow!” and “Gee whiz!” popping into my head.
Never let it be said that Homer J. Simpson doesn’t have a social conscience. Also, never let it be said that he passed up an opportunity to stick it to Ned Flanders.
Responding to the viral sensation with impressive speed — this isn’t South Park, you know; animation typically takes time — Fox has released a video of Homer embracing the spirit, if not the actual title, of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. All right, maybe a glass of water isn’t in keeping with the spirit.
However, in grand Simpsons tradition, even that doesn’t turn out well for him …
Although I’ve never watched Kill la Kill, I’ve certainly heard about the popular anime series set in a dystopian school where students don sentient Goku Uniforms that give them superhuman abilities. But now, after watching fast-talking PBS Idea Channel host Mike Rugnetta wade into the anime while wrestling with its fascist themes and possibles warnings about wearable technology, I kind of want to seek it out. (And not for the fan service, I swear.)
This is probably a good place to note that UDON Entertainment announced last month at Comic-Con International that it will publish the Kill la Kill manga next year.
If you were as bowled over as I was by Alexey Zakharov’s gorgeous 3D-animated Futurama introduction we spotlighted last month, you’ll be equally impressed by the artist’s new video, which shows how he created the sequence using 3ds Max, Nuke, Photoshop and After Effects.
Particularly fun, as you can see in part in the image above, is how Zakharov combined in image of Futurama’s Mom and a photo of Meryl Streep to create the holographic ad for Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil. I guess she is the most versatile actress of her generation!
Watch the original sequence, and the making-of video, below.
Fans who attended the “30 Years of Usagi Yojimbo” panel at Comic-Con International were treated to a peek at Usagi Yojimbo: The Last Request, a stop-motion animated short that’s still not quite complete. Now Lintika Films has released online the latest version of the proof-of-concept short that convinced Stan Sakai to grant director Roel Robles the feature film rights to the property.
“It’s a still a work-in-progress and about 90% complete,” Lintika explains on its YouTube page. “We’re currently working on the sound mix and refining the film for the DVD release which will include behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, deleted scenes, and interesting details regarding the making of the featurette.”
Reports of the Avengers: Age of Ultron footage screened Saturday at Comic-Con International have you wishing May 1 would hurry up and get here … well, there’s nothing I can do about that. However, I can point you to the latest installment in CineFix’s 8-Bit Cinema series, which allows you to experience Marvel’s The Avengers once again, only this time as a classic arcade game.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since Futurama ended (again), but if the series still holds a Bender-shaped place in your heart, you’ll likely appreciate this: Alexey Zakharov has created a gorgeous 3D-animated “test shot” of the Planet Express ship soaring over New New York (note the hologram ad for Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil).
On Behance, Zakharov also shows off some equally beautiful illustrations of the cityscape and ship (if you squint, you can even see a tiny Leela in one).
This may not be the best thing you’re likely to see all week, but it’s pretty close. Because how often do you get to witness an animated Dark Knight, backed by the band Children of Batman — Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin — rocking out to Dethklok’s “Face Fisted”? Not often enough, I’d wager.
Created by ArhyBES, the “Batmetal” short also features cameos by Bane, Poison Ivy, Alfred, Brother Eye, Rocket Raccoon, Deadpool, Superman, Harley Quinn and a host of others. Oh, and Batman’s butt and jiggling crotch. So between that and the dicey language, this video probably isn’t safe for most workplaces.
Fox may have pulled the plug on its fledgling late-night programming block, but Animation Domination High-Def is still chugging along online, delivering its own lead-in to Independence Day: a parody of the opening to the 1966 Captain America cartoon that celebrates — ahem, make that “celebrates” — the United States’ statistical rankings in the world.
Watch the ADHF sendup, and the original cartoon’s intro, below.
Nickelodeon for the first time will hold an open call for original animated projects next month at Comic-Con International.
“Performance art, costumes, story boards, video, a sketch on a napkin — we’ll look at it all,” Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s president for content development and production, told The New York Times. “We’re not looking for these shorts in and of themselves to become shows. That’s too much pressure. What we’re looking for is raw talent.”
Springfield, Oregon, will honor its connection to The Simpsons in September with an officially sanctioned mural depicting Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.
Announced Friday, the mural will be painted on the west side of the Emerald Arts Center by a local artist or organization, using as a basis original artwork provided by 20th Century Fox. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening will have final approval.
Fast on the heels of the impressive live-action fan trailer for Akira comes a stunning homage to another pioneering sci-fi anime: Designer/illustrator Ash Thorp brought together more than 30 artists for a live-action recreation of the opening of 1995’s Ghost in the Shell using still photography. The result, the 39-frame Project 2501, is mind-blowing — and frequently not safe for work.
“I originally wanted this to be just a fun side project to create with some friends on my free time over a time span of a month, if that,” Thorp told The Verge. “But as we opened up the opportunities it got bigger and more complicated as the team grew.”
You can see some of the frames, as well as a NSFW making-of video, below; there are of course more on Thorp’s site.
It’s been a long time coming, but Eric Powell has offered an update on the Kickstarter-funded story reel for a CG-animated adaptation of The Goon, teasing, “we continue to inch closer to our final goal of Franky, via Paul Giamatti, screaming ‘KNIFE TO THE EYE!’ in theaters world wide!”
“I have seen about 90% of the story reel footage, and I’m super proud of the efforts of everyone involved,” he wrote Wednesday on the Kickstarter page. “Everyone remains just as passionate as ever to get this film completed, and it shows in every frame of the story reel. We still have hurtles [sic] to cross, but armed with this story reel and your overwhelming support, we remain confident we will find the right home for this film.”
There’s probably no other superhero more closely associated with New York City than Spider-Man, who was born and raised in Forest Hills, attended college in Greenwich Village, and swings from skyscraper to skyscraper across Midtown.
But in the latest installment of Podtoons, from Left Handed Radio and Above Average, a distracted wall-crawler gets a taste of suburban life when he rescues a woman from Green Goblin and returns her to her New Jersey home. Her spacious three-bedroom New Jersey home … with an office … and in-ground pool.