McDonald’s Introduces New Mascot Called Happy [UPDATED]

If Ronald McDonald wasn’t disturbing enough, McDonald’s has unveiled a creepy-looking animated mascot in the United States called Happy. The Happy Meal box-shaped creature has rubber-hose arms, a huge set of realistic chompers, bulging eyballs, and the McDonald’s arches as eyebrows.

‘Legends of Oz’ Investors, Who Each Paid $100,000, Believe Hollywood Conspiracy Destroyed Film [UPDATED]

Although Greg Centineo, the producer of “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” had hoped for a big second weekend, the film plummeted 48% this weekend and ended up with a sophomore frame of $1.9 million. The movie has struggled to find a fan following, except for the film’s Facebook page which is filled with a curiously large number of middle-aged and elderly people who absolutely adore the film.

John Lasseter Becomes A Doctor…Again

This evening John Lasseter received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater California Institute of the Arts. He also delivered the commencement address to the graduating class. Five years ago, Lasseter received his first honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University, the school that he dropped out of to attend CalArts. So, does this mean we have to call him Dr.² Lasseter now?

Watch the Banned Danish Election Cartoon ‘Voteman’ (NSFW)

What’s the best way to encourage young people to vote? The Danish parliament (or Folketinget) decided that the answer was an ultra-violent, sex-filled Adult Swim-style cartoon. To encourage young Danes to vote in the upcoming European elections, the Folketinget commissioned a 90-second piece of animation starring a leather-clad dolphin-riding muscleman named Voteman who gets blowjobs from an army of women when he’s not busy decapitating Danish people who don’t vote. The reported budget for the piece was $30,000.

Watch 2 New CN Pilots By ‘Regular Show’ Staffers

Tonight, Cartoon Network quietly released two new pilots that were produced in 2013: “AJ’s Infinite Summer” created by Toby Jones and “Long Live the Royals” by Sean Szeles. Both Jones and Szeles work on “Regular Show”—Jones as a writer/storyboard artist and Szeles as a supervising director/writer/storyboard artist.

‘Steven Universe’ Recap: ‘Rose’s Room’

Reading beforehand what this episode was supposed to be about, my mind completely went somewhere else. Steven’s at that age when boys want alone time for a very specific reason and while I was 99.9% sure Cartoon Network wasn’t going to go that far, I thought they’d at least allude to that idea of adolescence and growing up. Instead we dived into the real reason (sort of) that Steven wanted to be left alone, and dug a little deeper into the idea of his parental units via a room and a weird, very strange world created by said room.

This Sunday in NYC: 45th Annual ASIFA-East Animation Festival Awards Ceremony

There is just one annual animation award in the United States that is older than the Oscars and that’s the ASIFA-East Animation Festival. This year’s ceremony will mark the 45th year in a row that the festival has been presented. It takes place this Sunday, May 18th, at the New School’s newly built Tishman Auditorium (63 5th Avenue in Manhattan).

‘The Begun of Tigtone’ by Andrew Koehler

“The Begun of Tigtone” is a parody of every fantasy convention there is, from movies to games. And the star character of this story is Tigtone, a man whose personality is intentionally modeled after a two-dimnesional, anti-hero cliche. Along his journey, he is challenged by pointless puzzles, preposterously clad goddesses, and generic quest goals. Not even the dialog is safe from skewering, as the fantasy convention of convoluted language is parodied right down to the very title of the story.

Did Jeff Koons Just Make $28 Million By Plagiarizing A Dark Horse Popeye Toy? [Update: No, He Had Permission To Copy]

Last night Jeff Koons sold a sculpture of Popeye for over $28 million. Today, evidence has emerged that Koons may not have designed the sculpture. In the comments of our previous post about the Popeye sculpture, Brew reader Alex Kirwan pointed out that Koons’s sculpture bears a substantial similarity to a Dark Horse-produced Popeye PVC figur released in 2002.

Animation’s Domination Slips on Fox Sundays

While Fox’s Sunday night lineup was dubbed Animation Domination in May 2005, it did not officially become all-animated until 2010. Now, the announcement of their fall 2014 schedule reveals that the cartoons will be ceding some of their Sunday night territory to live-action comedies “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Mulaney,” which will be taking over the 8:30 and 9:30 time slots, respectively.

Some Lucky Person Will Pay $25 Million Tonight For Jeff Koons’s Popeye [UPDATED]

Tonight in New York City, Sotheby’s will auction a stainless steel, 2000-pound, six-and-a-half-foot-tall Popeye sculpture by Jeff Koons that is estimated to sell for between $25-35 million. Koons, who is already among the top three richest living American artists not to mention an avowed lover of “Croods,” made three of these Popeye sculptures, which probably represents the number of people who he thinks are dumb enough to pay between $25-35 million for a Popeye sculpture.

‘Lord of the Rings’ Animation Supervisor Randall William Cook Speaks Out On Andy Serkis

Our post on Andy Serkis’s inflammatory rhetoric about the limited role of animators on his motion capture performances generated a robust, often heated, discussion in the comments. By far, the most informative comment was provided by 3-time Oscar winner Randall William Cook, who was the animation supervisor and designer at WETA on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy that was released between 2001 and 2003.

‘Ping Pong’ Recap: ‘Where Did I Go Wrong?’ (Ep. 5)

Ryuichi Kazama continues his victorious streak with a singles win at the Youth Olympics, while Sakuma and Peco realize they aren’t cut out for the sport after witnessing Smile’s continued improvement. At the halfway point in the story, we seem to be in a transitional stage in which the relationships of the players to one another and their attitude towards the sport are changing. The episode didn’t have much tension to it partly as a result of that. There was no strong driving narrative force. That made it one of the less memorable episodes so far.

‘Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return’ Has Record-Breaking Bad Debut

If you didn’t hear about last weekend’s opening of “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” don’t worry because no one else in America did either. Opening in 2,575 theaters, the film eked out $3.7 million, which is the worst opening ever for an animated feature in saturated release (over 2,500 theaters). The previous animation record holder in this dubious category was the 2011 Weinstein Company release “Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil,” which grossed $4.1M from 2,505 theaters.

Watch This New Mini-Doc About Joy Batchelor on Her 100th Birthday

Today is the 100th birthday anniversary of one of the most important women who ever worked in animation: Joy Batchelor. With her husband, she ran the studio Halas & Batchelor, which was the largest English animation outfit for a good part of the 20th century and made that country’s first feature-length animated film, “Animal Farm.”

The Akira Project Crowdfunds Fanboy-Approved ‘Akira’ Trailer

Hell hath no fury like a fanboy spurned, but that usually doesn’t occur until after the film in question has been released to theaters. Tired of having their expectations dashed by disappointing news of the long anticipated live-action “Akira” adaptation, fans completed their own live version of a trailer for the popular manga-turned-anime, one that attempts to “do ‘Akira’ justice” by following the source material as closely as possible.

How Will Vinton Lost His Studio to a Rapper Named Chilly Tee

Laika does amazing work as an animation studio, no doubt about it, but the studio’s history is somewhat less admirable. The company was built on top of Will Vinton’s eponymous Portland studio in a shrewd corporate takeover by multi-billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight. After Knight took control of the company in 2002, he placed a failed rapper named Chilly Tee with slight experience in animation, who also happened to be his son Travis Knight, in charge of the entire company.