Tag Archives: Hanna-Barbera

Top Animated Features to Look Forward to in 2020

22 Jan

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The 2020 season of animated features is big, and we’re going to see the return of Gru! With streaming video platforms now the norm, distribution is not limited to what’s playing on the big screen. In what I offer is a list of coming works that I’m personally very excited for.

Not a lot of anime is mentioned in this list save for one. They are a unique world onto itself and deserves its own list.

Las Leyendas: El Origen
April 17

Anyone who has watched Netflix’s Legend Quest will be in for a treat! The Hispanic horror-comedy directed Ricardo Arnaiz and produced by Mexican animation studio, Ánima Estudios has gained a loving reputation. It shares the same DNA as Gravity Falls and the character designs are not too different. Instead of a brother and sister team, the tale focuses on a boy who can talk to dead people.

Leo San Juan is your take-charge kind of personality. His companions include a ghost girl, Teodora; a loony old knight, Don Andrés, the mythical dragon (if he can be called that), Alebrije; and two calaveras (skeleton kids), Finado and Moribunda. This film is the origin story about them.

They have to help a human infant who looks trapped in the afterlife. Whether this baby walked through the Espejo Eternal (“eternal mirror”)–a portal that separates the Realm of the Living and the Dead—by accident or not, the details are uncertain. Finando and Moribunda has to protect the tyke from what may be the Mexican version of Charon. As a side-story, I can’t help but be excited for what two skeleton kids can do to keep this franchise ongoing.

Scoob!
May 15

Yes, I’m a sucker for a good Scooby Doo mystery. In this reboot, we see how a pup without a name get named and how he met Shaggy Rogers. Soon, the rest of the gang are reintroduced in modern fashion. It’s weird to not see Fred sporting his trademark ascot, but with a franchise that’s 50 years old, modernizing it is a must. Even Daphne and Velma get an update to their dated look.

As for whether or not this film is a step in the right direction for keeping interest alive, I’ll take a look. This film brings a handful of classic Hanna-Barbera characters into the fold in a not all to surprising shared universe concept. As long as Captain Caveman and Blue Falcon is done right, it’s all good.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
May 22

With this third film, the huge selling point is to see when Spongebob met Gary, his pet snail.

There’s more to their relationship which holds them together. When the gastropod gets snail napped by the sea god Poseidon, my biggest question is why? Does the mewing mollusc possess something the god need? Or is Gary a snail on a mission from god?

The shenanigans will no doubt be crazy, but as long as we get a good story instead of a lengthy sitcom, I’m curious in where this film will go and hope I won’t need earplugs in the end.

Soul
June 19

Joe Gardner is the Soul Man. Well, not quite yet. He’s dreamed of making it big, but is instead a middle school music teacher. When an accident robs him of this life, hopefully his afterlife will be better (or not).

He has to help others who are not as hopeful if he’s to earn his wings. When his heaven (or is that purgatory?) is “You Seminar,” the concept seems scarier than sitting in on a long motivational Ted Falk.

When PIXAR is behind this work, the story will be inspirational. The Jazz soundtrack will no doubt be the driving force behind this work.

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Evangelion: 3.0+1.0
June 27

After 13 long years, the complete Rebuild of Evangelion is finally here! I’ve been holding off watching these set of films (well, except the first).

When Hidiki Anno took time off to make Shin Godzilla. I’m not complaining. He’s a master of his craft, and I feel he can do not wrong. With this final release, I can plan for a weekend of seeing all the films together and try not to cry.

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Finding Meaning from Halloween to Mexico’s Day of the Dead…

2 Nov

Dia de Muertos PosterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Halloween is not over yet. Other cultures have their own variant. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a significant two day fiesta spent celebrating the life and legacy of loved ones who passed on. The first day of November is dedicated to the young who sadly passed before they had their time in the sun and the second day for adults. That is, the Día de los Inocentes (“Day of the Innocents”) precedes Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”).

The entertainment industry can dwell on the complexities of what this event means or go full on horror. I prefer the happier context and only a handful of works exists.

El Universal reported Dia de Muertos, a new animated work directed by Carlos Gutiérrez Medrano, is coming this month! It’s anglicized title is Salma’s Big Wish. As for whether this will get any North American screenings, is Shout! Factory listening?

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Guess Who’s Coming to Scooby-Doo?

11 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Boomerang
Broadcasting on Cartoon Network beginning July 8, 2019

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? is out and about! This new Cartoon Network series has two episodes available and I am hooked! I’m glad the experiment known as Be Cool Scooby-Doo is finished. The stories were okay but to reimagine the gang Calarts style was not for me. I’d rather rewatch A Pup Named Scooby-Doo instead. I can hear and appreciate the voices, but it did not flow well with the visuals.

The character designs and work by Iwao Takamoto defined everything I adored throughout the decades. I believe nostalgia plays an important factor in this franchise otherwise why bother? In what’s enjoyable with the new series is that it not only is it a  light reimagining of the main characters Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby, but also the dynamics that defined many a show get a nudge too. That is, we see them react much like they did in What’s New Scooby-Doo?

 

Plus, this series is bringing the catalogue of past Hanna Barbera properties and celebrity friends they know, like Batman! The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972-4) was the most memorable and Guess Who? borrows from this run.

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DC’s Scooby Doo Apocalypse is a Mixed Bag

3 Jun

HB01By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Scooby-Dooby-Doo, Where Are You?
We got some work to do now.
Scooby-Dooby-Doo, Where Are You?
We need some help from you now.
Come on Scooby-Doo, I see you… pretending you got a sliver
But you’re not fooling me, cause I can see, the way you shake and shiver.

And those are still the words I still hum along to whenever I tune into broadcasts of this fond classic cartoon from the 70’s. It had brief comic book runs by different companies putting their own spin on the tale and they were faithful to the animation, like Gold Key. When I discovered this fond cartoon, not a day in my life could go by without me catching a rerun or reading the Harvey Comics reprint. Woe befell me when I heard about DC comics reimagining of this franchise and after picking up the first issue to read, I strangely found myself enjoying this post-apocalyptic look of my favourite canine turned cyber-mutt.

No, Dynomutt has not been replaced but if later issues start affixing this Great Dane’s body with mechanical parts because he’s been hurt after his encounters with monsters (either attempting to run away or otherwise), I will cry foul. He wears a type of Google Glasses with holoprojectors to give him cartoon eyebrows and show how he’s feeling. What it does is to allow him and Shaggy to work together.

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