After the box-office success of Monsters vs. Aliens in 2009, Dreamworks Animation green-lit a spin-off TV series to be developed for Nickelodeon. Well, now it’s here! Monsters vs. Aliens premiered on cable TV March 23rd with a special pilot episode, “Welcome to Area Fifty-Something”. Regular episodes begin on Saturday mornings starting this weekend. B.O.B. the blob, Link the fish-man, Dr. Cockroach the bug-man, and Susan (aka Ginormica) the giant-lady just want to live a quiet life on their secret government base, but that’s hard to do when hostile aliens keep showing up — and doing things like kidnapping the President! Nickelodeon has an official web site for the show as well.
For those who missed it (or are too young), Rocko’s Modern Life was a Nickelodeon TV cartoon that ran for four seasons (52 episodes) from September 1993 to November 1996. The main characters, as described by Wikipedia, were Rocko, an anthropomorphic wallaby immigrant to America, “the gluttonous steer Heffer, the neurotic turtle Filburt, and Rocko's faithful dingodog, Spunky. The show is laden with adult humor, including double entendres, innuendos, and satirical social commentary.”
The Cartoon Brew has announced that on Saturday, October 6, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., there will be a voice cast and production crew reunion at the Downtown Independent L.A. Theatre (251 South Main Street, Los Angeles, Calif. 90012; (213) 617-1033; email).
Voice actors Carlos Alazraqui, Mr. Lawrence, Tom Kenny, Charlie Adler along with creator Joe Murray and couple of directors, Swampy Marsh, and Dan Povenmire will perform several episodes live and hold a panel discussion and a meet-the-cast autograph session.
Tickets are $30 each, plus $4 shipping & mailing if you order in advance instead of planning to buy them at the box office if any are left. “Parking can be a challenge.”
Our friends at Cartoon Brew have a link to the first trailer for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series, premiering this fall on Nickelodeon. This new CGI series (similar to the TMNT feature from 2007) features the voices of Jason Biggs (American Pie) as Leonardo, Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) as Raphael, Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs) as Donatello, and Greg Cipes (Teen Titans) as Michelangelo. “Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles chronicles the adventures of the teenage turtle brothers as they emerge from their hidden lair in the sewers for the very first time. Ready to confront the wondrous and hostile world of New York City, they face enemies more dangerous and pizza more delicious than anything they could have ever imagined.” The trailer premiered on Nickelodeon last Saturday.
Franklin is, of course, more than a turtle — He’s a well-known children’s book character with his own long-running TV series from Nelvana. Well now Franklin has returned to Nickelodeon in Franklin and Friends, a new CGI series produced by Nelvana and Infinite Frameworks. Here’s a press release we picked up from Cartoon Brew: “Franklin is back and better than ever in the brand-new CG-animated preschool series, Franklin and Friends, premiering Monday, Feb. 13, at 9:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. Based on the best-selling children’s book series by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, published by Kids Can Press, the half-hour series follows a turtle named Franklin as he experiences adventures and milestones, learning lessons along the way with his pals Snail, Rabbit, Beaver, Fox, Goose and best friend Bear. The series emphasizes the importance of family, friendship, community, personal growth and helping others. Franklin and Friends, produced by Nelvana and Infinite Frameworks Pte. Ltd., will regularly air weekdays at 9:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.” The article goes into much more depth about the show, and includes a video snippet from the first episode.
When first shown the trailer to Nickelodeon Movies' Rango, I was unimpressed. Though the inclusion of Johnny Depp would normally be interesting, I assumed he was just another slumming celebrity voice. And the character designs were a bit offputting. To put it mildly. But the revelation that the director for the movie was Gore Verbinski did pique my interest.
Rango is Verbinski's eighth film; previous work includes such oddities as Mousehunt (which furry fans may be somewhat familiar with), the American remake of The Ring (one of Bravo's "100 Scariest Movie Moments" selections), and the three released Pirates of the Caribbean movies — the third of which made him one of only four directors to gross over a billion dollars at the box office (putting him in the company of Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan and Ursa Major Award-winning James Cameron). In other words, Verbinski is a director to watch.
But does Rango live up to some of his previous works?