Sony Pictures Animation unveils slate

Sony_Pictures_Animation_logo

MUMBAI: 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. Sony Pictures Animation’s slate includes a mix of originals and franchises, some previously announced, each with its own 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.

Sony Pictures Animation president Kristine Belson said, “We are meaningfully stepping up our level of production, while creating an environment that fosters the best talent. 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.” Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman said, “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.”

Theatrical Features
‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’, a fully-animated comedy that delivers a fresh new take on the blue creatures, hits theatres on 7 April 2017. 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 comic take on the secret world of our phones and the beloved characters that have become daily necessities in global interpersonal communication. The feature is targeting an August 2017 theatrical release.

‘The Star’ (working title) is scheduled for an 8 December 2017 theatrical release. 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 the movie in association with The Jim Henson Company.

‘Hotel Transylvania 3’, a follow-up to Sony Pictures Animation’s highest grossing film in the US and the biggest opening ever for a US September release, is scheduled to hit theaters on 21 September 2018.
Director Genndy Tartakovsky, 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.” Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg will be returning as the voices of Dracula, his vampire daughter Mavis, and her human husband Johnny.

Also, from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the geniuses behind ‘The Lego Movie’, comes an animated ‘Spider-Man’ feature slated for theatrical release on 21 December 2018.

Animated Series
A brand new animated television series, ‘Ghostbusters: Ecto Force’, 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. It is is eyeing an early 2018 debut.

‘Hotel Transylvania’ will also have a TV show. It 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.

Another movie that will make the transition to TV is ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’. It is slated for its television series incarnation airdate in 2017. The 2D animated small-screen series will expand on the adventures of the computer-animated feature films and will air on Cartoon Network in the US and Turner channels across EMEA, APAC and Latin American markets.

Direct-to-video
‘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 will find the biggest waves in the world.

Read more at: http://www.televisionpost.com/television/sony-pictures-animation-unveils-slate/ | TelevisionPost.com

 

The New BEN 10 to Debut This Fall on Cartoon Network

Ben10

Cartoon Network’s newest take on BEN 10, the animated phenomenon that had kids all over the world wanting to transform into their favorite alien, begins its global premiere this fall with Europe, the Middle East and AFRICA (EMEA), and the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), and will continue into 2017 with NORTH AMERICA and Latin America (LATAM). A new generation of fans can expect all the high-energy action and fantasy, along with the heart and humor that made it an international sensation when it originally premiered in 2006.

Building on the highly successful franchise about kid hero Ben Tennyson, Ben 10 will introduce a re-imagined Ben, his cousin Gwen, and Grandpa Max, as they travel the country during summer vacation. When Ben finds the Omnitrix, a mysterious watch that transforms him into 10 different friendly aliens, a world of extraterrestrial superpowers opens up to him. The series is produced by Cartoon Network Studios and created and executive produced by Man of Action Entertainment (Big Hero 6, Generator Rex), with John Fang (Mixels, Generator Rex) on board as supervising producer.

The popularity of the show launched three additional animated series (Ben 10 Alien Force, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Ben 10: Omniverse); two animated movies (Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix, Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens); and two live-action movies (Ben 10: Race Against Time, Ben 10: Alien Swarm).

A proven success for Cartoon Network, Ben 10 is an established sales sensation led by top-selling toys, interactive and home entertainment franchises generating more than $4.5 billion in global retail sales to date. Playmates Toys serves as the worldwide master toy partner for the new Ben 10 with a full line of toys based on the series and will include a range of figures, playsets, and role-play items set to launch at retail globally next fall.

About Cartoon Network: Cartoon Network is Turner’s #1 U.S. ad-supported cable network with kids 6-11. Seen in 192 countries and over 370 million homes, it is an industry leader with a global offering of the best in award-winning animated entertainment for kids and families, known for putting its fans at the center of everything by applying creative thinking and innovation across multiple platforms. Home to the original hit series Adventure Time, Steven Universe, WE BARE BEARS and The Amazing World of Gumball, Cartoon Network also takes its responsibilities to its audience seriously by addressing issues affecting families with the Stop Bullying: Speak Upcampaign and bypromoting education and creative development through its commitment to STEAM enterprises and an integral involvement in Computer Science for All, the White House initiative empowering young people to generate skills to thrive in our digital world.

Cartoon Network is part of Turner, a Time Warner company that creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., HLN, CNNInternational and CNN.com, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, iStreamPlanet and ELEAGUE.

RAIN OR SHINE TRAILER LAUNCHES FROM GOOGLE SPOTLIGHT STORIES

 

Google Spotlight Stories presents

the trailer for their newest story

RAIN OR SHINE

Directed by Felix Massie

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, there’s a spring in everybody’s step.

Everyone in London is enjoying a perfect summer’s day…

Until Ella steps outside.

Everywhere she goes it rains – is she going to ruin everyone’s day forever?

ABOUT “RAIN OR SHINE”

Together with Nexus Animation Studio, Google Spotlight Stories proudly presented a sneak preview of RAIN OR SHINE, directed by Felix Massie, at the Annecy International Animation Festival. The studio’s most interactive short yet — as with other Spotlight Stories, the viewer can look around, and in doing so, can find subplots and surprises, in addition to hold for the viewer to return to main view before returning.

ABOUT GOOGLE SPOTLIGHT STORIES

Google Spotlight Stories is a new form of storytelling made specifically for mobile and VR. In these 360-degree, interactive stories, your phone becomes a window to a world all around you. The sensors on your phone allow the story to be interactive; when you move your phone to various scenes, you are able to unlock mini-stories within the story.

Toon Boom Announces Harmony 14 at MIFA

har14-mifa-2016

Today, Toon Boom Animation announced the upcoming release of Harmony 14 at MIFA. Available in three editions – Essentials, Advanced and Premium – Harmony is the most powerful solution for artists creating feature films, episodic series, games, webisodes, and explainer videos.

Harmony 14 is the best release to date. We’ve made user-requested enhancements and heightened 3D integration, enabling the creation of projects that, in the past, were too complex or costly to produce. This version includes powerful tools for drawing, painting and animating which allow artists to create work in any artistic style they choose. We are also expanding our global reach and meeting our users’ needs by now offering all three editions of Harmony in Spanish,” said Francisco Del Cueto, Toon Boom Animation CTO.

The Toon Boom team at MIFA will be showing product demonstrations of Harmony 14 June 15 – 17, 2016.

9 Story Media Group Acquires Worldwide Rights to Iconic Series GARFIELD AND FRIENDS

Garfield

9 Story Media Group Acquires Worldwide Rights to

Iconic Series GARFIELD AND FRIENDS

Toronto, Canada – May 25, 2016 – 9 Story Media Group announced today that it has acquired Garfield and Friends, the classic animated series from Mendelson/Paws Productions.  The deal includes the fullGarfield and Friends library, which consists of seven seasons (121 x 30’) along with twelve specials and two direct to video titles. 9 Story has secured exclusive worldwide rights across all languages and platforms and plans to remaster the classic content to an HD format.

Produced from 1988-1995, Garfield and Friends is based on the iconic Garfield comic strip created by Jim Davis.  Syndicated in 80 countries and translated into 42 languages, 220 million people read the comic strip each day. The Garfield brand boasts 400 licensees across 5,000 products and has earned over 17 million fans on Facebook.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Garfield and Friends join the growing 9 Story library,” said Natalie Osborne, Chief Strategy Officer for 9 Story Media Group. “Garfield is one of the most beloved and iconic characters of all time, and the classic television series will continue to delight audiences for generations to come.”

“This is the first time we’ve awarded the rights to a single distribution partner who will handle all markets and all platforms.  We’re very excited to see how the library performs, particularly given the opportunities in digital,” said Jim Davis.  “We are sure the classic TV library is in good hands with 9 Story. “

9 Story Media Group Inc. is a leading content creator, marketer and distributor of kids & family focused intellectual property. Recognized around the world for best-in-class brands such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, Wild Kratts, Numb Chucks and Peg + Cat, 9 Story represents over 2,150 half hours of animated and live action programming, seen on some of the most respected international channels and platforms.  With one of North America’s largest animation studios, 9 Story employs over 275 creative and production staff in its Toronto facility and has produced over 900 half hours of award-winning children’s content. Last year 9 Story acquired the award winning animation studio Brown Bag Films, which employs over 175 staff members across Dublin, Manchester and Los Angeles.  Brown Bag is recognized for producing leading animated children’s series such as Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bing andHenry Hugglemonster.  9 Story is owned by senior management, ZMC (Zelnick Media Capital) and media entrepreneur Neil Court.  www.9story.com

 

About Garfield:
GARFIELD was born on the comics pages on June 19, 1978. The creation of cartoonist Jim Davis, GARFIELD is a humorous strip centered on the lives of a quick-witted orange cat who loves lasagna, coffee, and his remote control; Jon Arbuckle, his owner; and Odie, a sweet but dumb dog. GARFIELD was introduced to the world in just 41 newspapers and is now the most widely syndicated comic strip ever, appearing in 2100 newspapers. The strip, distributed by Universal Press, is read by over 220 million people each day and is translated into 42 languages.

The success of the comic strip spawned an entertainment empire including television: Garfield and Friends, The Garfield Show, and a dozen primetime specials; movies: Garfield: The Movie and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; hundreds of best-selling books, and thousands of licensed products.

Garfield has long been considered an evergreen property because he has not only endured, but continues to be fresh and funny after 38 years in the limelight.

Follow Garfield, along with over 17 million other fans, on Facebook (facebook.com/Garfield) and Twitter (twitter.com/Garfield), and visit garfield.com, and Garfield’s free educational site, professorgarfield

BENTO BOX ENTERTAINMENT TO DEVELOP & PRODUCE ‘THE BLUES BROTHERS’ PRIMETIME ANIMATED SERIES

Bento logo

BENTO BOX ENTERTAINMENT TO DEVELOP & PRODUCE ‘THE BLUES BROTHERS’ PRIMETIME ANIMATED SERIES WITH DAN AYKROYD, JUDY BELUSHI AND ANNE BEATTS 

Music, Mayhem and Comedy Starring Jake & Elwood Blues and featuring Special Musical Guests

LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2016 – Bento Box Entertainment (BBE), an independent, Emmy® Award-winning studio (FOX’S Bob’s Burgers; Comedy Central’s Legends of Chamberlin Heights; YouTube’sGlove & Boots), today announced it will develop and produce “The Blues Brothers” as a new primetime animated comedy series. The project comes from Co-Creators and Executive Producers Dan Aykroyd, Judy Belushi and multiple Emmy® Award-winning original “Saturday Night Live” writer Anne Beatts.

Bento Box plans to shop “The Blues Brothers” to television platforms starting in May. The series chronicles the music, mayhem and comedy adventures of Jake and Elwood Blues, along with the characters within their master blues band. Join the journey as the boys take their act on the road and back to that same old place, sweet home Chicago. As Elwood Blues, in announcer mode, has oft said of the Blues Brothers, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, living history is going to be made.”

Music will also be a main character within the new series.  Each episode will feature a score and soundtrack curated with the soul, blues and R&B classics and hits performed by the original legendary musicians, the Blues Brothers, as well as new performances recorded specifically for the show. The series will also highlight special guest appearances from aspiring talent, treasured Blues legends and superstars from today’s music world.

Aykroyd, Belushi and Beatts brought the project to Bento Box Entertainment, the studio best known for producing young adult-targeted primetime animated series for television and other platforms worldwide. They will be joined as executive producers by Bento Box’s Scott Greenberg and Joel Kuwahara; Rehab Entertainment’s John W. Hyde and Blues Brothers’ manager Eric Gardner.

“It is such a privilege for us to be able to produce the work of the very same people who played such an instrumental role in creating one of the most iconic, multi-faceted comedy and music brands of all time,” Greenberg said. “Now we all have the rare opportunity to translate the timeless comic genius of Dan and John from live-action to animation, while offering an entirely new generation of Blues Brothers fans the chance to appreciate them.” 

Aykroyd commented, “It’s so great to accelerate Jake and Elwood at digital speed into the 21st Century via the outstanding creative group at Bento Box.  The show will be the Blues Brothers living in America and utilizing all new technology to make and promote their own records, seek out and record new artists and avoid law enforcement – and all while fighting for truth, justice and a better breakfast sandwich.”

After debuting as the musical guests in a 1978 “Saturday Night Live” episode hosted by Steve Martin, Martin asked Aykroyd and John Belushi to serve as the opening act at his upcoming show at the Universal Amphitheater. This set in motion a series of events that led to an Atlantic Records recording contract and the hiring of then-SNL piano man Paul Shaffer as musical director. Together, the trio painstakingly selected the perfect band to create the sound they wanted; Stax recording stars Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck “ Dunn, blues legend Matt “Guitar” Murphy and drummer extraordinaire Steve Jordan became the backbone of the band. For that big horn sound they turned to the multi-talented Tom Scott and three of the top NYC horns: Tom Malone, Lou Marini and Al Rubin.

Band in tow, the Blues Brothers embarked on a sold-out national tour that same summer. Their debut album, “Briefcase Full of Blues,” recorded live on that tour, sold more than 3.5 million copies. In 1980, the John Landis-directed film, “The Blues Brothers” hit theaters, grossing more than $100 million worldwide. Following Belushi’s 1982 passing, Aykroyd was determined to keep the Blues Brothers’ spirit alive. In 1992, he and Judy Belushi co-founded The House of Blues franchise with Hard Rock Cafe founder Issac Tigrett, which grew to a dozen venues across the country before being sold to Live Nation in 2006.

Aykroyd has hosted his nationally syndicated radio show, recently rebranded “The Bluesmobile Radio Hour,” for the past 25 years.  The sequel to the original film, “Blues Brothers 2000,” was released in 1998, and Aykroyd continues to perform as the Blues Brothers with John’s brother, Jim Belushi (Zee). Universal Music Group recently announced the formation of Blues Brothers Records, a joint venture between Don Was’ Blue Note label and Aykroyd, Judy Belushi and Gardner, with a mission to give aspiring blues artists a home and a global voice.

Bento Box is represented at WME by Greg Hodes and at Ziffren Brittenham by Ken Ziffren.

About Bento Box Entertainment

Bento Box Entertainment (bentoboxent.com) is an Emmy® award-winning studio that develops and produces quality animated content for all distribution platforms worldwide.  With studios in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Toronto, the company is recognized as the leading producer of primetime animated comedy series for broadcast, cable and digital networks.  Bento Box Entertainment is currently in production on the Emmy® Award-winning series Bob’s Burgers on FOX with 20th Century Fox Television and creator Loren Bouchard; Bordertown on FOX with 20th Century Fox Television, executive producer Seth MacFarlane and creator Mark Hentemann; Legends of Chamberlin Heights on Comedy Central; puppet series Glove & Boots on YouTube; and multiple other projects with the leading creators, studios, networks and distribution platforms. In addition to its production business and Bento Box Digital Studios (bentobox.tv) – which launched in February 2016 – the company is committed to identifying and executing opportunities to maximize the power of its and its partners’ entertainment properties by creating new brand extensions and experiences through its live events and brand management divisions.  The company can be followed @bentboxent.

# # #

Press Contacts

 

Jim Benson or Kevin Broderick                                              Matt Biscuiti

The Lippin Group (Los Angeles)                                             The Lippin Group (New York)

323-965-1990                                                                          212-986-7080

jbenson@lippingroup.com / kevin@lippingroup.com             matt@lippingroup.com