Cartoon Network Announces “Ben 10″ CGI Animated Movie

HONG KONG (25 July 2011) — Cartoon Network announced today that its alien-morphing boy hero, Ben 10, is set to star in his first CGI animated television movie: Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens. Slated for premiere in 2012 on Cartoon Network globally, the movie is being directed by Victor Cook (The Spectacular Spider-Man, Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated,) and executive produced by Silas Hickey, Creative Director for Animation, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc.

Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens turns the clock back to 10-year-old Ben Tennyson, struggling with teachers, detention, school bullies and the dreadful fate of missing out on his weekend fishing trip with Grandpa Max, when grounded by his parents. Desperate times call for desperate measures as Ben jumps at the chance to escape from it all at the Total Alien Immersion training program on the far side of the galaxy.  Little does Ben realize the irreversible consequences of the program which sends him crashing back to earth stuck in his alien forms battling an all-new evil alien, Mechamorph Warrior.

Ben 10’s enduring popularity with kids is undeniable and this movie brings the hugely successful franchise to an exciting new level. Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens is set to be 2012’s television movie event of the year as Ben 10’s legions of fans around the world unite to watch him, cousin Gwen and Grandpa Max save the world from evil with awesome, never-before-seen CGI effects,” said Hickey.

Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens is written by Marty Isenberg and features the original voice actors from the Ben 10 animated series.

Cast list and credits

•    Victor Cook is Supervising Producer and Director
•    Silas Hickey is Executive Producer
•    Tara Strong as Ben and Upgrade
•    Meagan Smith as Gwen
•    Paul Eiding as Grandpa Max
•    Steve Blum as Heatblast
•    Dee Bradley Baker as Stinkfly and Wildmutt
•    Richard McGonagle as Fourarms
•    Richard Horvitz as Grey Matter
•    Jim Ward as Diamondhead

Syfy Series “Eureka” Set for Christmas-Themed Animated Episode in December

NEW YORK — July 25, 2011 — Syfy’s hit series Eureka gets an animated makeover this December for a special holiday themed episode, proving that indeed anything is possible in the town of Eureka. In the first-of-its-kind episode, the quaint town of geniuses will be transformed into animated versions of themselves. The stand-alone holiday episode will also feature a stellar line up of guest stars lending their voices to a variety of characters — Jim Parsons, Chris Parnell, Matt Frewer and Edward James Olmos. The airdate for the holiday episode will be announced at a later date.

In the episode “Do You See What I See,” it’s Christmas again in Eureka, and Sheriff Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) are secretly planning the perfect holiday surprise for their kids. But something mysterious interferes with the super-photon generator designed to create a faux winter wonderland on Main Street, sending a kaleidoscopic wave of color crashing over Eureka, and leaving the entire town and its inhabitants animated. Adapting to the rules of their animated world, our cartoon heroes encounter talking creatures, anthropomorphized machines, and snowy foes as they race to find a solution before Christmas morning…or face potentially being a cartoon forever.

Jim Parsons is set to voice Carter’s long put-on Jeep, who’s had enough of his owner’s cavalier attitude towards him. Edward James Olmos will voice Rudy, the leader of a pack of sled dogs who befriends Deputy Andy. Chris Parnell also guest stars as Dr. Noah Drummer, reprising his role from last year’s Christmas special. Matt Frewer will be featured as an animated, altered version of himself, and helps Jo (Erica Cerra) make an important realization about her tough-girl personality.

Leading production and entertainment company Curious Pictures will produce the animation featured in the episode, which will be broken up into different styles including Anime, claymation, animation inspired by the Looney Tunes cartoons and modern cg.

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Partners with Pencils.com for “The Chuck Jones Big Draw”

Tustin, CA–The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity announced today that the manufacturer of Chuck Jones’s favorite pencil, Pencils.com (a California Cedar Products Company) will be a sponsor of the Chuck Jones Big Draw, scheduled for Sunday, August 7, 2011 at SOCO (South Coast Collection), 3303 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, CA. Pencils.com will provide the drawing pencils for participants of the Big Draw and gift the Center’s teaching artists with its newly re-designed Blackwing 602, the favored pencil of legendary animation director and creator, Chuck Jones. Jones employed the Blackwing 602 for the six decades of his storied career and was rarely seen without one.

“Chuck Jones loved Blackwing pencils and his art epitomized the fun, creative culture that our company tries so hard to promote. We’re thrilled to partner with an organization centered on inspiring the type of creativity that can lead people of all ages to a more joyous and harmonious life,” stated Charles Berolzheimer, President of California Cedar Products and Pencils.com

Pencils.com is the internet’s leading resource for information about pencils and the creative processes that help define them. Pencils.com aims to grow the use of pencils throughout the world by offering lessons and articles that investigate and promote creativity through writing and drawing. Pencils.com offers one of the best pencil collections on the web, with a broad range of school, art and writing supplies from leading manufacturers, including their own California Republic family of brands. This includes the rebirth of the famed Blackwing pencil, along with its premium Palomino art pencils and eco-friendly ForestChoice writing products. Behind Pencils.com is California Cedar Products Company, the world’s leading supplier of wooden slats used to manufacture pencils. A fourth generation, family-owned company, Cal Cedar has been built on a tradition of excellence both in the production of superior products and in our dedication to building strong relations with our customers.

“The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is honored to welcome Pencils.com as a sponsor of our upcoming Chuck Jones Big Draw. My grandfather’s attachment to the Blackwing 602 pencil is legendary. As the artist Paul Klee once said, “A line is a dot out for a walk,” and Chuck wouldn’t think of taking a walk without his Blackwing 602,” said Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and the grandson of Chuck Jones, “their support means so much to so many and we look forward to future collaborative efforts with Pencils.com.”

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was founded in 1999 by four-time Academy Award recipient, Chuck Jones to promote his unique philosophy of developing the creative genius that resides in all of us, utilizing his drawings, films and writings as the springboard to a more joyous and innovative life. Through public educational programs such as the Chuck Jones Big Draw, the Center reaches out to families, students and adults through interactive programs that lead them to a more passionate, joyous, and harmonious life and world.

“Small Potatoes” Take Root On Disney Junior


NEW YORK , July 25, 2011 — Small Potatoes, the newest short-form preschool series from Josh Selig and Little Airplane Productions, is set to premiere Tuesday, September 6 in the US and will air daily on Disney Channel’s Disney Junior programming block for kids 2-7 and their families. This series premiered on CBeebies in the Spring where it took three of the top five spots on the CBeebies iPlayer during its very first week, including the #1 spot. The series has also had successful launches on the ABC in Australia and Canal+ and Piwi in France.

Each episode contains one Small Potatoes music video and two comedy sketches. The members of the band are Ruby, the diva, Nate, the artist, Olaf, the caretaker, and Chip, a quirky little spud. The band’s songs cover every popular musical genre, from Motown to reggae and rock & roll. Composers and lyricists for Small Potatoes include such luminaries as Jerry Bock, Tony Award winner for Best Musical and Best Composer and Lyricist of the classic Fiddler On The Roof. All the music for Small Potatoes is produced by Little Airplane’s three-time Emmy Award-winning Musical Director, Jeffrey Lesser. The series was created, directed and executive produced by Josh Selig, Founder and President, Little Airplane Productions.

In conjunction with the US launch, SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live will air a one-hour radio special. Titled Small Potatoes, Deep Roots, it introduces America to the band and covers their history. The radio show includes narration by the legendary British actor Malcolm McDowell who voices the role of the band’s manager Lester “Loops” Koop. The special will be preceded by an interview with Josh Selig and Kids Place Live’s Absolutely Mindy host Mindy Thomas. The radio special will air five times leading up to the television show’s launch on Disney Junior, with the premiere radio broadcast on Friday, Sept. 2 at 9:00 pm (EST) and 6:00 pm (PST) on Kids Place Live, channel 78.

Although the show has yet to hit the airwaves in the U.S., Small Potatoes has already become a phenomenon on Facebook. With over 1,000 new Facebook ‘likes” each week, these rockin’ spuds are social media’s hottest dish. In addition to interacting with the band members, fans of the Facebook page are invited to request their own free custom potato based on their Facebook profile picture. These “Photatoes” are adopted by their fans and used as avatars for all their Facebook activity. The Small Potatoes Facebook page has a strong following among teens and college students as well as parents of preschoolers (www.facebook.com/thesmallpotatoes).

“Fans all over the world are discovering the ‘Small Potatoes’ both on-air and on-line,” said Selig, “And once Small Potatoes begins airing on Disney Junior in the US, we anticipate Potato-Mania will be sweeping the globe!”

Small Potatoes has already won a 2010 BAMmie award at the 12th Annual BAMkids Film Festival for “Best Film for 2 – 5 Year Olds.” This award is given out each year by The Department of Education & Humanities at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

Anime Director Toyoo Ashida (“Fist of the North Star,” “Vampire Hunter D”) Passes Away

AnimeNewsNetwork.com is reporting that Japanese animation director/designer Toyoo Ashida passed away on Saturday July 23rd at the age of 67.

Ashida’s is best-known for his work with the Fist of the North Star franchise; he directed the movie as well as being the series director for the first two television series. He also served as director for the original Vampire Hunter D anime. He is also credited as founding the animation studio Studio Live in 1976, and co-founded the labor union Japanese Animation Creators Association (JAniCA) in 2007.

Matt Groening Introduces “Futurama Head-In-A-Jar Creator” App

NEW YORK, July 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Matt Groening, creator of the Emmy®-Award-winning series Futurama, today announced the launch of the Futurama Head-In-A-Jar Creator App during the show’s panel at Comic-Con. The free App – developed in a collaboration between Comedy Central, the producers of Futurama and Rough Draft Studios – allows fans to design their own Head-In-A-Jar, a popular recurring feature of the show. The Futurama App was released simultaneously with Groening’s announcement and is now available for download on iPhone and iPod Touch.

“The ‘Head-In-A-Jar’ App is an interactive playground for fans,” said Michele Ganeless, president, Comedy Central. “The new App truly celebrates the show and gives fans a great place to enter and experience the world of ‘Futurama.’”

“In the future, we’ll all be heads in jars,” said Groening. “But right now we can live this utopian fantasy in cartoon form.”

The new App is loaded with a wealth of features. The “Head-In-A-Jar Creator” feature allows users to jump into the animated world of Futurama and create their own customized character. Users can choose from a male or female human, robot or alien, and customize many traits including the eyes, nose, hair, blemishes and background. Original artwork and sound design were created by the Futuramateam specifically for the App. Additional features include Futurama-themed accessories, such as a foil hat, Flexo’s beard, Nibbler’s antenna and a customized name plate for each head designed. Once a Head is created, users can upload it to Facebook and Twitter and share with friends. Users can also save them to their photo gallery, set as their wallpaper or as an icon for one of their friends’ contacts.

“The Head Museum” is an innovative feature that allows fans to create customized exhibits of all their Head creations. Users can then curate various groups (e.g. family, friends, co-workers, favorite sports team) to display the Heads. Users can also share these Exhibits on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional App features include streaming clips from the current season of Futurama airing on Comedy Central.

LEGO Star Wars Animated Special Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD September 16, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, July 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — After the Cartoon Network debut of their first-ever original television special, The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm will join forces once again to bring LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace to Blu-ray Disc and DVD. Launching on September 16, the 22-minute original standalone special will feature the charm, action and irreverent humor that have become the signature style of LEGO Star Wars animation collaborations and will include five LEGO Star Wars shorts, as well as an exclusive, collectible minifigure.

LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace BD/DVD combo pack is available now for pre-order exclusively at WalMart.com.

Featuring situations, characters and locations from throughout the entire Star Wars Saga, the original adventure is written by Emmy Award winner Michael Price (The Simpsons) and produced by Oscar-winning Animal Logic, the production company behind Happy Feet.

To date, Star Wars is the first and most successful LEGO licensed product collection in the company’s history, generating more than 200 LEGO models and approximately 275 LEGO minifigures inspired by the Saga, which has also spurred a blockbuster collection of videogames, selling 25 million units to date worldwide. In addition to its popularity among younger fans, a significant portion of the LEGO Star Wars consumer fan base is made up of adult fans and franchise collectors.

BONUS MATERIAL :
– Hunt for R2D2
– Bombad Bounty
– Star Wars in Two Minutes (Part 1)
– Star Wars in 2 Minutes (Part 2)
– Star Wars Clone Wars In Cinema

SYNOPSIS:
A routine Jedi Academy field trip is turned into a rip-roaring comic adventure in LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace. Tour guide Master Yoda leads a group of rambunctious Jedi Younglings through Senate chambers when he senses a disturbance in the Force. Summoned to help save the Republic, he discovers that one of the Younglings secretly boarded his ship…and has a taste for adventure! Meanwhile, C-3PO and R2-D2 are put in charge of the boisterous group and find themselves in over their heads. As the evil Sith prepare to wreak havoc, it’s up to Yoda and the Droids to ensure that their young charges aren’t torn to bricks!

Powe-Con Organizes ThunderCats/He-Man/She-Ra Convention in California

July 18, 2011 – Three of the 1980s most blockbuster properties are joining forces for their first ever fan convention. Power-Con, LLC is proud to present POWER-CON / THUNDERCON — a celebration of Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power, and ThunderCats all together for one great fan convention.

The convention is being presented at the Four Points LAX in Los Angeles, California, on September 24th and 25th 2011. Reduced ticket pricing is available through September 1st 2011 (1-day pass: $20/person, 2-day pass: $30/person) and kids 12 and under get in free with paying adult. For fans wanting more, a Power Package bundle is available that includes exclusive convention memorabilia. There is also a Roast Gooble Dinner Package which offers a limited number of fans the rare opportunity to dine with celebrity guests from the show.

Guests include Larry DiTillio, writer of numerous He-Man and She-Ra episodes and developer of She-Ra; Don Glut, writer of the original He-Man mini comics; Michael Halperin, writer of the original Masters of the Universe series bible; Larry Kenney, the original voice actor for ThunderCat’s Lion-O; Roger Lay Jr., filmmaker of the upcoming Toy Masters documentary; Ted Mayer, one of the original designers of the Masters of the Universe toy line; Mattel, creators of the original He-Man and She-Ra toy lines and current producer of MattyCollector.com’s Masters of the Universe Classics; Earl Norem, painter of the iconic He-Man magazine; and Dean Stefan, lead story editor of the 2002 He-Man series on Cartoon Network. But, that’s not all! Our complete guest list can be found online at:
http://www.thepower-con.com/guest-list/

TELETOON Canada Announces Fall 2011 Line-Up

Toronto, ON, July 25, 2011) — TELETOON Canada inc. today unveiled its fall 2011 lineup for TELETOON, TELETOON at Night and TELETOON Retro featuring new series and new seasons of popular returning programs on all three schedules. Launching Monday, September 5, the new slate is full of comedy and action and is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with unexpected surprises all season long.

“We have something exciting in store for viewers of any age with new series premiering on TELETOON, TELETOON at Night and TELETOON Retro this fall along with a whole host of returning favourites,” said Carole Bonneau, Vice President, Programming, TELETOON Canada inc. “Our lineup of original productions continues to grow with Crash Canyon and the popular Jimmy-Two Shoes and Johnny Test. Meanwhile we’ve bolstered our schedule with acquisitions such as The Looney Tunes Show, Hole in the Wall and season four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, to name just a few.”

TONIGHT in LA: “CARTOON DUMP” 4th Anniversary

It’s that time of year again. This month the gang at Cartoon Dump invites you to help celebrate their 4th anniversary. Join Jerry Beck and Frank Conniff (“TV’s Frank” from Mystery Science Theatre 3000) with Erica Doering as “Compost Brite” and J. Elvis Weinstein as “Dumpster Diver Dan” for Cartoon Dump – for another depraved offering of sketches, songs, puppets, stand-up comedy, and the most God-awful Saturday Morning Cartoons from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Is there any better way to wind down from Comic Con? Special anniversary guests include Emo Phillips, Blain Capatch and other surprises. It’s tonight, Monday July 25th, at 8pm at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. Advanced tickets can be ordered here. Also join the Facebook Page.

Trailer for Mexican Animated Feature “Ana”

If the Mexican Top Cat feature isn’t your cup of tea, here’s the slick trailer for Ana, a 3-D CG feature directed by Carlos Carrera currently being produced in Mexico. The production company Lo Coloco Films has a placeholder website for now. A Hollywood Reporter piece from three years ago suggested the film’s budget was only $3.2 million which I find kind of hard to believe. But even if it that number doubles or triples, it’s still a bargain compared to American and European animated features.

There’s not much to go by in this trailer, but Carrera has a strong track record as a director. He was nominated for an Oscar for his 2002 live-action film El crimen del Padre Amaro, and earlier he made animated shorts, like El héroe (below) which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

UPDATE: A five-minute clip from Ana was posted today on the film’s Facebook page. The release date on Facebook is listed as May, 2013.

(Thanks, Elisa H. García)

“One Past Two” by Aimee de Jongh

Aimee de Jongh‘s One Past Two is about as depressing as student films get. The filmmaker effectively pairs unpredictable violence with the mundanity of everyday life in a way that makes the events even more shocking, and it all leads to a twist ending. Animated in TVPaint, the short was finished this year at the Willem de Kooning Academy in The Netherlands.

Buy Walt Disney’s House

Continuing our real estate listings for the legends of animation: Walt Disney’s Los Feliz Woking Way residence is up for sale. The property, where the Disney family resided from 1932 to 1950, includes a Snow White-styled playhouse designed for his daughters. Here’s the complete listing:

Private, Gated, Historic home on large Double lot; over ONE ACRE in total. Mediterranean entry; circular rotunda, painted ceilings, vaulted beamed ceilings, original stained leaded glass, Juliet balcony. The EPIC IMAGERY: PROJECTION and SCREENING Room built for Walt Disney to watch his dailies, perhaps Snow White, Fantasia, Cinderella… and enjoy private screenings. Beautiful Floor Plan: 4 Bedrooms, 5 Baths. Downtown VIEWS, Pretty Swimmers Pool, Billiard’s Room with Sleeping Porch, 2 fun Original Bar areas and the Original Playhouse featured in “The Man Behind the Myth”. Renowned history from Hollywood Royalty, yet a place for your imprint could make this the happiest place on earth.

The asking price is $3,650,000. Take a virtual tour of the place here. If you feel you have what it takes to purchase this piece of Disney history, contact agent Patricia Ruben at Sothebys Realty.

UPDATE: David Lesjak has posted amazing then-and-now photos of this home on his blog Vintage Disney Collectibles.

(Thanks to David Lesjak, Stepehn Arnold and David Bowers)

Animation vs. Animations

Does it bother you when someone calls multiple pieces of animation “animations”? Well, there’s a Facebook group for that: Stop Calling What We Do “Animations”. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me as much as it should. If the craft and creative instincts of the animation are solid, you can call it whatever you want. Plus, it’s a useful term to keep around for distinguishing who knows what they’re talking about and who doesn’t.

TODAY AT TR!CKSTER: Cartoon Brew Student Festival

Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival

If you’re in San Diego today, drop by Tr!ckster at 6pm for a screening of Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival. All ten films from our second annual festival (currently in progress) will be presented. The program is only 45 minutes long, but it packs a real punch. Today’s young animators have incredible breadth and depth, which will become evident when you watch all these films together. Best of all, the screening is completely FREE. And after the screening is done, stick around for the one-night only “Tribute to the Films of Akira Kurosawa” gallery show. It’s going to be a great evening!

If you’re at Tr!ckster, share your thoughts on this first-year event. Have you attended the Symposia or figure drawing sessions? How’s the selection of art books? Have you tried the sushi? We want to know!

Looney Tunes on Blu-Ray: The Platinum Collection

At a special Comic Con panel today in San Diego, Warner Bros. Senior VP George Feltenstein announced the forthcoming release of the first Blu-Ray collection of classic Warner Bros. cartoons, The Looney Tunes Platinum Collection. The panel, moderated by yours truly included writer Paul Dini, and directors Spike Brant and Tony Cervone, included a video presentation comparing a standard DVD image against the new blu-ray transfers. Two cartoons in blu-ray were also shown, Bob Clampett’s The Great Piggy Bank Robbery and Hanna-Barbera’s Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Mouse. Information about the Tom & Jerry Golden Collection was posted here.

The Looney Tunes Platinum Collection contains 50 classic cartoons in high definition. Disc #1 includes Hare Tonic, Baseball Bugs, Buccaneer Bunny, The Old Grey Hare, Rabbit Hood, 8 Ball Bunny, Rabbit of Seville, What’s Opera Doc?, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, A Pest In The House, The Scarlet Pumpernickle, Duck Amuck, Robin Hood Daffy, Baby Bottleneck, Kitty Kornered, Scardy Cat, Porky Chops, Old Glory, A Tale Of Two Kitties, Tweetie Pie, Fast And Furry-ous, Beep Beep, Lovelorn Leghorn, For Scent-I-Mental Reasons and Speedy Gonzales.

Disc #2 includes One Froggy Evening, The Three Little Bops, I Love To Singa, Katnip Kollege, The Dover Boys, From A To ZZZZ, Chow Hound, Feed The Kitty, Hasty Hare, Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century, Hareway To The Stars, Mad As A Mars Hare, Devil May Hare, Bedevilled Rabbit, Ducking The Devil, Bill Of Hare, Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare, Bewitched Bunny, Broomstick Bunny and several others to be announced.

Bonus material includes several Behind-The-Toons pieces and Chuck Jones documentaries, numerous bonus cartoons including Chuck Jones’ FDR re-election film, Hell Bent For Election (1942), a rare Air Force re-enlistment film, A Hitch In Time (1955), and Ken Mundie’s expressionist anti-war animated short, The Door (1967) – plus two all-new documentaries on Marvin The Martian and The Tasmanian Devil.

Additionally, the collection comes in a sturdy plastic box, which will include a 52 page booklet, a commemorative magnet and mini collectible drinking glass. The Looney Tunes Platinum Collection will go on sale in November.

Nicktoons Greenlights Series Based on Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek

SAN DIEGO — July 21, 2011 — Professional skateboarder/entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek (star of MTV’s Rob & Big and Fantasy Factory) will bring the fun, fast-paced world of skateboarding to Nicktoons with an original, animated series, Wild Grinders, it was announced today by Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Nicktoons and TeenNick. Inspired by Dyrdek’s real-life experiences, the half-hour comedy follows the cartoon adventures of a group of friends bonded by their love of skateboarding. The 26-episode series is produced in partnership with Home Plate Entertainment, Moonscoop and Dyrdek’s Wild Grinders LLC, and will premiere on Nicktoons in 2012, preceded by a number of some shorts and other original multi-platform digital content launching this fall. Agogo Corporation, Telegael Teoranta and Copernicus Studios are also co-producers on the HD production.

Wild Grinders is a great fit for Nicktoons because it has the comedy and adrenaline boys love,” said Dawkins. “Rob Dyrdek brings an authentic look at the skateboard culture and a diverse cast of characters who reflect our audience. We think they’ll enjoy this dynamic journey of a 12-year-old skater and his friends.”

“I wanted to make a cartoon that made me laugh. I have always tried to create programming that was funny. Skateboarding is a backdrop to our main characters comedic situations, but not necessarily our primary focus,” stressed Dyrdek, who also is voicing the lead character and Exec Producing.

Rooted in fun, humor and a genuine take on the attitude and spirit of today’s skateboarding, Wild Grinders follows a quick-thinking skater kid, Lil Rob, his right hand dog, Meaty, his nerdy inventor buddy, Goggles, and his middle school friends, known as the Wild Grinders. Lil Rob and his thrill-seeking crew, who come from all walks of life, find themselves amid many zany skateboarding adventures in and around their hometown of Sprawl City, from shrink rays that make “getting through the living room” an imaginative adventure to a story about cursed pumpkin zombies, the show features the bright appealing look of original artwork.

Dyrdek will be signing exclusive Wild Grinders posters at San Diego Comic Con at the Nickelodeon booth on Friday, July 22, at 11 a.m. (PT). Additionally, Wild Grinders shorts, behind-the-scenes videos, character descriptions and more will be available on Nicktoons.com/wildgrinders beginning this September.

Skywriter & Roddenberry Ent. To Bring “Gene’s Journal” Webcomic To Animation

TORONTO, July 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Skywriter Media and Entertainment Group and Roddenberry Entertainment are joining forces to develop an animated kids’ comedy series, Gene’s Journal, based on the hilarious web comic created by Trevor Roth and illustrated by cartoonist David Reddick; it was announced by Skywriter Media and Entertainment Group CEO Kevin Gillis.

A chronicle of legendary science-fiction icon Gene Roddenberry’s adolescent years, the new animated Gene’s Journal will be targeted to Kids 6-11. Alex Galatis (Atomic Betty, Jimmy Two Shoes) is attached to the project as head writer of the new series.

“We are beaming with excitement at the opportunity to bring television audiences a glimpse into the life and experiences that shaped a young Gene Roddenberry into one of the greatest and most imaginative storytelling minds of the 20th century. Roddenberry’s successful web comic offers a wonderful foundation for this fantastic journey and we look forward to expanding on it in an animated series worthy of the Roddenberry tradition,” said Gillis.

“It’s fun to play with the what-could-have-been part of my father’s life. Gene’s Journal is a concept full of imagination and possibility. I’ve always thought about what the idea could become when it’s able to really spread its wings in a new medium. I couldn’t be more thrilled than to see it making that evolutionary step, and I can’t think of any better place to announce it than here at Comic Con,” said Rod Roddenberry.

“There’s nothing better than working with people who recognize the true potential of a concept you created. Gene’s Journal has always been the story of a unique young boy trying to reconcile the trials and tribulations of adolescence with the hilarity that science fiction has to offer. To adventure into the childhood of such an extraordinary character alongside Alex and Kevin is going to be a real treat, for Roddenberry and for TV audiences,” said Roth.

Gene’s Journal is the untold, true story behind the adolescent years of Gene Roddenberry. It was during these years that Gene was continuously abducted by aliens for the extraterrestrial purpose of studying human beings – all of his experiences recorded faithfully in his boyhood journal.

The fantastic stories detailing the alien wonders he encountered would later inspire Gene to create some of the greatest science fiction television the world has ever seen. However, in the childhood moments of these experiences, Gene found them to be less than inspiring. Young Gene is constantly trying to reconcile his earthling life with the hilarious alien encounters. After all, it’s quite hard to do your homework, meet girls, play on sports teams, etc., when aliens from the future continue to abduct you for their outlandish needs, missions and entertainment.

Kevin Smith Brings “Smodimations” To DVD via Shout! Factory


Los Angeles, CA (July 19, 2011) — Shout! Factory, Kevin Smith and SModCo announced a multi-property alliance to bring Kevin Smith’s popular comedy special Kevin Smith: Too Fat For 40 and uproarious animated property Smodimations from Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier to the home entertainment marketplace. This alliance provides Shout! Factory with licensing rights to distribute over six hours of original content from Kevin Smith: Too Fat For 40 on DVD and Blu-rayâ„¢ and Smodimations on DVD in the United States and Canada. This announcement was made today by Shout! Factory founding partners Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos ; and filmmaker, producer, writer and SModcast personality Kevin Smith.

“We’re pop culture fanatics here at Shout! and have been long-time fans of Kevin, Scott and SModCo,” stated Shout! Factory founding partners. “It’s a privilege to work with Kevin; and we look forward to combing our efforts to bring these two pop culture properties to fans. We hope this is just the start of a long and rewarding relationship.”

“This is a major coup for me and SModcast because Shout Factory is the gold standard in specialized and geek-centric video. I’ve always oohed and ahhhed over the packaging and presentation Shout puts into all their titles, so it’ll be an honor to stack the Shout Factory Kevin Smith: Too Fat For 40 and Smodimations dvds beside my Shout Factory Freaks & Geeks and SCTV box sets” stated Kevin Smith.

Kevin Smith: Too Fat For 40
Poking fun at his much-publicized brouhaha with Southwest Airlines, Kevin Smith declares himself too fat for his 40th birthday in a hilarious live performance comedy special with his loyal fans. Filmed at the historic Count Basie Theater in Smith’s hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey, this extended cut of TOO FAT FOR 40 spotlights Smith’s self-deprecating sense of humor, irreverent and revealing tales of his adventures and his fondness (and true gift) for spinning a good yarn! Shout! Factory is proud to present the EXCLUSIVE 3 ½ hour version of Smith’s wildly popular performance. Bonus features include an additional 90 minutes of footage from the evening and a new introduction by Smith.

Smodimations
Featuring only the choicest tales from Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier ‘s weekly podcast, SModcast, SModimations bring those stories to life via the magic of animation – from the wizarding world of Harry Scotter to end of the world old-timey boxing. The complete first season of SModimations has it all.

Season one has been edited into a single feature, with newly created transitions and including the EXCLUSIVE third part of the Harry Scotter trilogy and additional exclusive content.

Shout! Factory To Release “JEM And The Holograms” Boxed Set

America’s best-loved and truly outrageous animated pop star was Jem from the memorable 80’s pop culture series JEM and The Holograms. Best known for her iconic pink hair, star shape earrings, rousing musical numbers and trend setting fashion, Jem knew how to rock her glamour, glitter, fashion and fame and influenced a generation of viewers who grew up watching this animated series.

On October 11, 2011, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro Inc., will release the long-awaited JEM and The Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series! 11-DVD box set, sparkling with all the episodes in the order they were intended and an exclusive extra DVD packed with bonus features, including archival material rarely seen by fans! Poised to present a hard-to-refuse offer for loyal fans, this uncompromising 11-DVD box set is collected in a specially designed box and will be made available in stores nationwide. Also available to own on the same day is the single season DVD debut of JEM and The Holograms: Season One in a 4-DVD box set.

The series JEM and The Holograms ran from 1985-’88 in first-run syndication and still boasts a loyal and vocal fan base. It is frequently credited with influencing fashion in the late 1980s and beyond, and launching the careers of female pop-rock stars and music groups. The series follows Jerrica Benton, whose discovery of Synergy, a powerful computer companion, allows her to transform from co-owner of Starlight Music into rock star Jem. Teaming with her sister and best friends who form The Holograms, Jem sets out to make their musical dreams come true, even as she battles against the ruthless Eric Raymond and his musical protégés.