Tag Archives: Animated Series

The Usagi Chronicles isn’t Running at Full Throttle Yet

20 May

Samurai Rabbit The Usagi Chronicles Fans of Usagi Yujimbo by Stan Sakai are most likely thrilled that he’s fully crossed over to the animation medium in The Usagi Chronicles. His appearances in the past were scant and even though Miyamato is mostly a background character in this new Netflix series, it’s his ancestor, Yuichi Yujimbo, who is the star of Samurai Rabbit.

The emphasis is on the latter since it’s his story. This youngling’s goal to become a samurai. One day, he’ll be the leader of the team he’s friends with. The first episode sees him having difficulty gaining Gen the Rhino, Kitsune the Fox, and Chizu the Cat’s respect. This rabbit has much to learn, especially when making the rough and tumble streets of Neo-Tokyo his “home.”

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From Film to Cartoon and Back, A Look Back at Men in Black

19 Dec

by Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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The Men in Black are back … ten years ago. Last year brought the boys out of semi-retirement with a third instalment of this dated franchise product. The last film was released in 2002, and the ten-year plus wait is enough to kill any idea for a series of films.

Unlike Spider-man, also by Sony, the anticipation for another film is as exciting as watching paint dry. Both products are better off retired than given a fresh coat. While Spider-man can easily doff off his red and blue and don the black, leading up to another Venom storyline, at least that is far more exciting than in what the third film offered. The Amazing Spider-man is its own new beast, and some fans will like itnand others will not. For MIB, the third film mostly rehashed old ideas.

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Star Wars: Rebels is set for TV Fall 2014

20 May

By Ed Sum

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Coming in Fall 2014 will be a new animated television series set in the universe as first conceived by George Lucas and wonderfully illustrated by Ralph McQuarrie. This series is said to be inspired by this illustrator’s works and that can be particularly exciting for Generation One fans.

With luck, Star Wars: Rebels may well bridge the gap between Episode III and IV without Darth Vader taking center stage. Well, one can only hope. The premise is set in an era where the Empire is firming its grip upon the galaxy, and the Jedi Knights are nearly extinct.

If the news from StarWars.com is any indication of the potential this series has to win new fans, screenwriter/producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class), Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Greg Weisman (Young Justice) are serving as executive producers.

For Weisman, it will moreorless be a return to working with Disney. He quickly rose to become a fan favorite for having produced Gargoyles back in the 90’s. With luck, and if Star Wars: Rebels takes off, he may be able to return to bringing these creatures of stone back to life for a new generation of fans. Or Disney can finally consider releasing the last volume of the Gargoyles series to DVD. Many fans have been patient.

Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated Season One and Season Two Review

9 Apr

MysteryInc_largeCreators: Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
Producer/writer: Mitch Watson

Animation is no stranger to the horror genre and one of the most enduring cartoon icons associated with this crossover is Scooby-Doo. The cartoons that follow his capers made those spooks that went bump in the night not as terrible as it should be. The scares are only as real as Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby want it to be and by the episode’s end, they usually face up to it. The only thing they have to fear is fear itself.

And in the 40+ years since this franchise’s inception, nearly everyone has grown up watching at least one episode of this great dane buffooning his way into popular culture. The comedy relief Scooby provides take the edge out of nearly all of the frights that play out on network television. Unlike Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, this cartoon series gives younger viewers a campfire story they can comfortably fall asleep to.

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