Tuesday, July 28, 2009

News - 07/28/09...

Miyazaki’s Quiet Protest of the Iraq War

Hayao Miyazaki didn’t come to the United States in 2003 to accept his Oscar for Spirited Away because of his opposition to the Iraq War, he recently told the LA Times:

“The reason I wasn’t here for the Academy Award was because I didn’t want to visit a country that was bombing Iraq. At the time, my producer shut me up and did not allow me to say that, but I don’t see him around today. By the way, my producer also shared in that feeling.”

Critic Daniel Thomas MacInnes offers some context to Miyazaki’s actions on The Ghibli Blog:

It should be common knowledge to any serious Miyazaki scholar that he abhorred not only the Iraq War, but war itself. The idea of violence is depicted in his work as violent tragedy, slapstick mockery, or both…I don’t think very many Westerners know that the war in Howl’s Moving Castle was itself a reflection on the Iraq War. It was a comment on that war, viewed through the lens of Miyazaki’s long career.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Notes from the Comic Con

I’m just back from “Comic Con” aka the San Diego Comic Con (for the record, I refuse to call it Comic Con International) and, all said and done, I had a pretty good time. I’m one of those who has been distressed by the Hollywood domination of the convention, and the massive attendance of fans/pros and Hollywood types (125,000 plus) that have made this one-time delightful experience a literal nightmare for the uninitiated.

I’ve finally accepted the Con for what has now become, planned my own schedule of events, met up with my friends, made my way into all the parties and panels I wanted to attend, and just decided to enjoy myself.

I’m not going to recount or review specific panels in great detail; I haven’t even unpacked yet and probably have a bunch of comics, fanzines and freebies worth noting… that’ll wait for later. For now, here’s an overview of selected highlights over the last few days:

Wednesday: I was planning to leave at noon, in hopes of arriving in San Diego before 5pm, so I could attend the Preview Night. I got an email at 8:30am from my friends with the Astro Boy movie and they wondered if I could show up at the Con by 3:30pm to run-through the panel I was to moderate on Thursday morning. Knowing it would take at least four hours (especially if I stopped for lunch), that meant I had to leave at 11am - which I did. At 3:30, I was inside the convention hall reviewing the plans for the panel with the folks from Summit and Imagi.

Thursday: Began the day moderating a 10:30am panel on the new Astro Boy movie (looks great, by the way). Got to meet Freddy Highmore and Kristen Bell, and interviewed them on stage. Superhero Hype.com posted a transcript of the panel here.

Later that day I got to see the Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs panel. The clips they ran were excellent. It’s going to be a very funny movie - unlike almost any CG animated film we’ve seen yet. It’s much more a “cartoon comedy” than I expected and I’m quite jazzed to see the full length film.

Friday: At 8:30am I had breakfast with Craig Yoe, Harry McCracken and Tom Knott. At 12:30pm, I got into Hall H to see the big Disney presentation - and it was superb. John Lasseter was the M.C. and he did a great job presenting the clips and talking about each film. He would tell the crowd how great something would be, then showed a clip to prove it. He showed the first ten minutes of Toy Story 2 in 3D (it looked incredible). Lasseter then introduced the new 3D teaser trailer for Toy Story 3 which was very funny. He also showed a hilarious new short featuring Ken (Barbie’s boyfriend), voiced by Michael Keaton and probably directed by Teddy Newton (that was Teddy’s voice narrating it). This short will probably be a bonus extra on the Toy Story 3 DVD in a year and a half. The short, Groovin’ With Ken, was presented like an old 1970s 16mm promo film (Academy leader countdown, lines, splices, abrupt cuts, etc.) and was a parody of Ken’s supposedly swingin’ life style.

The footage from The Princess and The Frog reassured me that Disney is on the right path with this film. The animation is superb and the storyline is looking to be a lot more clever than I had thought. They showed two long sequences and both were terrifically entertaining. Nothing to worry about here.

The big surprise of the Disney presentation was the the clip (the first five minutes) of Prep and Landing a new CG Christmas special from Disney Animation Studios. I knew very little about this before… the five five minutes are wonderful and it could be a new Christmas classic. It’s about two Santa’s elves who prepare each home for Santa’s arrival. Check this out when it airs in December.

Lasseter showed a sequence (and trailer) for Beauty and the Beast in 3D. This was interesting because it’s not only in 3D, but the new technique they use adds 3D to the 3D, making the “flat characters” feel even more dimensional than the “viewmaster” feel of previous 3-D cartoons like Melody or Lumberjack Rabbit. Not sure if it’ll work based on the clips I saw, but it’s an interesting experiment.

Lasseter then brought out Hayao Miyazaki (to a standing ovation) and they did a little Q & A, showed a great scene from Ponyo and then took questions from the audience - comedian Patton Oswald took over at this point as a moderator. The questions from the audience - mostly directed to Miyazaki - were respectful and intelligent. This was a great panel, perfectly coordinated and produced. Photo above is from Toonzone.com - pictured left to right, Lee Unkrich, Kirk Wise, Ron Clements, John Musker, translator, Hayao Miyazaki, John Lasseter and Patton Oswalt.

Later that day, I attended Mark Evanier’s tribute panel to Stan Freberg, which was delightful - and hilarious. That night I attended a Disney Publishing party. Great party with great food, free books and t-shirts! At 9pm I screened my latest collection of Worst Cartoons Ever to a capacity crowd (2000 plus). If you are interested in obtaining a dvd of my 2009 compilation, please write to me at jbeck6540@aol.com.

Saturday: I began the day doing jury duty - as one of the celebrity judges for Titmouse Animation’s new reality series 7200 Frames (in production), . The judging took place on a yacht docked behind the Marriot Marina hotel, next door to the convention center. Loads of fun.

Later that day, Mark Evanier and Earl Kress did a panel with June Foray. It was a love fest between her and the audience. That night was the annual Writers Guild of America/Animation Caucus cocktail party. Again, great food and drink and wonderful conversation with old friends like Michael Uslan, Patric Varrone, Tom Kenny, Craig Miller, Marc Zicree, Jim Wheelock, Stan Berkowitz and others. This party was on a fourth floor Terrace ballroom at the Hyatt Hotel, and ended with a perfect view of a fireworks show over the Marina.

All of the above accounted for only fifty percent of the last five days. I ran into many old friends, Brew readers and business contacts in the exhibit hall (aka dealers rooms) - and I bought way too many things. My head is still spinning but, unlike last year, I’m ready to do it again - next year!

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Film fest spurns demand to dump Israeli animation

The head of the Melbourne International Film Festival said Monday that he has rejected a demand to exclude an animated feature film by an Israeli director.

British film director Ken Roach made good on his threat to withdraw his own film, Looking for Eric, from MIFF if Tatia Rosenthal attended to talk about her film, $9.99.

An Australian-Israeli co-production, the stop-motion feature weaves together stories from the residents of a Sydney apartment block and offers slightly less than ten dollars worth of wisdom about the meaning of life. It is based on the short stories of award-winning Israeli author Etgar Keret.

Roach declared that Rosenthal's presence was unwelcome because of the "illegal occupation of Palestinian land, destruction of homes and livelihoods [and] the massacres in Gaza.”

However, said MIFF chief executive Richard Moore, the festival is an independent arts event and will not give in to political pressure.

"MIFF understands that that this issue is a particularly emotional one for people, but we will not participate in a boycott against the state of Israel, just as we would not contemplate boycotting films from China or other nations involved in difficult long-standing historical disputes," the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted him as saying.

"Mr. Loach's decision is part of an orchestrated campaign to target events that are in receipt of financial support from the state of Israel. Loach requested that we join the boycott, and as an independent arts organization. MIFF has refused," he said.

In May, Loach made a similar threat, leading the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return a 300-pound grant that was to help fund the visit of an Israeli filmmaker.

However, MIFF's Moore refused to knuckle under to Loach. "It's like submitting to blackmail," Moore said.

Loach's canceled film had sold out for its screening, which had been scheduled for this Thursday. Rosenthal's $9.99, meanwhile, is sold out for its August 4 screening; another is scheduled for August 8.

The Israeli Embassy in Canberra is helping sponsor Rosenthal's visit. According to a spokesman, the embassy has been funding the festival for years.

Many of Loach's previous films have been shown at the festival, Moore observed.

Michael Danby, a Labor member of Australia's Parliament, cheered festival organizers for resisting Loach's pressure. "Israelis and Australians have always had a lot in common, including contempt for the irritating British penchant for claiming cultural superiority," he said.

Boycotting Israeli films to criticize the country's government doesn't make sense, Danby said.

"Some people in Israel have been very critical of the Israeli film industry because of the way many films have been critical of the government's actions in the Occupied Territories. Why would you stop showing films that ask serious questions of the Israeli government in order to spite that very government?"

Meanwhile, Palestinian activists in Melbourne said that they would distribute propaganda throughout the festival blasting the organizers for receiving Israeli government funding.

Moore observed that this year's festival includes Young Freud In Gaza, about a young Palestinian psychiatrist dealing with the trauma facing Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

This year's MIFF began Friday and continues until August 9.

Japanese animator Yoshinori Kanada dies at 57

Yoshinori Kanada, an influential Japanese animator who worked closely with famous director Hayao Miyazaki, died Tuesday of a heart attack, animators' resource site Anido reported. He was 57.

He collaborated with Miyazaki closely in movies ranging from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) to Princess Mononoke (1997).

Famed for his character animation skills, he was the character designer, animation director and main animator for 1984's Birth, one of the first original video animations. Kanada was involved in over 50 TV, OVA series and movies since the 1970s.

He was born in Nara, Japan on February 5, 1952. His first screen credit was as an inbetween artist on the 1970 TV series Mahô no Mako-chan (Mako, the Mermaid).

Kanada was an animation director for the TV series Demon King of the Heavens: Gaiking (aka Great Sky Demon Dragon Gaiking; 1976), Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (1987) and Chô tokkyû Hikarian (1997).

Kanada was an animator for Dororon, the Little Judge from Hell (1973); Cutey Honey (1973-74); Getter Robo, Witch Girl Meg and Space Cruiser Yamato (all 1974); Getter Robo G (aka Starvengers; 1975); Candy Candy (1976); Dinosaur War Aizenborg and Dangard Ace (both 1977); Arrivederci Space Cruiser Yamato: Soldiers of Love and Space Cruiser Yamato 2 (both 1978); Mobile Suit Gundam (1979); Space Cruiser Yamato III (1980); Puraresu Sanshirô (1983); Video senshi Laserion (1984); Ronin Warriors (1988); Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Super S (1995); Martian Successor Nadesico (aka Mobile Battleship Nadesico; 1996); and Alexander (aka Reign: The Conqueror; 1997).

In addition, he animated the opening sequences of The Casebook of Charlotte Holmes and Super-Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V (both 1977), Cyborg 009 (1979), Genesis Climber Mospeada (aka Robotech: The New Generation; 1983) and Fushigi Yûgi (1995).

He was a key animation supervisor and storyboard artist for
Josephina the Whale (1979), mechanical designer for Ulysses 31 (1981), and technical director for Chô tokkyû Hikarian (1997)

Early in his career, he was an inbetweener on the anime series
Gegege no Kitarô and Ecchan the Ninja [aka Ninja Girl Ecchan] (both 1971); and Moon Mask Rider, Chappie the Witch and The Gutsy Frog (all 1972).

He was an animator on the 1979 TV-movie
Space Battleship Yamato: The New Voyage (aka Space Cruiser Yamato: The New Journey

As well, Kanada had a long career in anime feature films. He was an animation director and animator for Be Forever Yamato (aka Space Battleship Yamato Forever!; 1980) and Final Yamato (1983), and animation director for Odin: Photon Sailing Ship Starlight (1986).

A key animator for
Akira (1988), Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) and Metropolis (2001), Kanada was a special animator for Armageddon: The Great Battle with Genma (1983), lead animator for Castle in the Sky (1986), and layout artist for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001).

He animated the feature films
Ginga tetsudô Three-Nine (1979), To Terra... (1980), Adieu, Galaxy Express 999: The Signature Edition (1981), Space Pirate Captain Harlock: Arcadia of My Youth (aka Vengeance of the Space Pirate; 1982), Firebird: Karma Chapter (aka Phoenix: Karma Chapter; 1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Porco Rosso and Talking Head (both 1992), Fight for the Netherworld (aka Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie - Poltergeist Report; 1994), X (1996) and Gestalt

Kanada was a mechanical designer for Queen Millenia and Future War 198X (both 1982).

In direct-to-video anime productions, he animated Devil Hunter Yohko 2 (1992), Peacock King: Spirit Warrior 2 [aka Spirit Warrior: Regent of Darkness] and Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals (both 1994), Vampire Hunter: The Animated Series (aka Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge; 1997) and Blue Submarine No. 6 (1998). He animated the ending sequence of Phantom Quest Corp. (1994).

AniPages Daily on Kanada's work and influence

Anime TV scriptwriter Susumu Takaku dead at 76

Susumu Takaku, a scriptwriter for many anime and live-action television series, died Wednesday morning of acute respiratory failure, the Tokyo Shimbun reported. He was 76.

Born in Fukushima, Japan on January 11, 1933, he got his first taste of anime in 1968, when he wrote scripts for Cyborg 009 and Gegege no Kitaro.

He wrote for the anime series Bakuhatsu Goro, Devilman (1972) and Cutey Honey (1973-74), and wrote arrangements of scenes for Mazinger Z (aka TranZor Z; 1972). In 1981, he contributed to the TV series Beast King GoLion, which became the basis for the Lion Force Voltron series.

Takaku wrote for several "crossover" theatrical animated films, combining characters from more than one TV series. His credits included Mazinger Z vs. Devilman (1973), Mazinger Z vs. the Grand General of Darkness (aka Mazinger Z vs. the Great Dark General; 1974), Grendizer, Getter Robo G, Great Mazinger: Decisive Battle! Great Sea Beast (aka Grandizer, Getter Robot G, Great Mazinger Decisive Battle! The Great Sea Monster; 1976) and Fist of the North Star (1986).

As well, he wrote several live-action Japanese horror films, including 1968's Body Snatcher From Hell (under the pseudonym Susumu Tanaka), 1966's The Golden Bat and 1968's' Genocide.

Susumu Takaku is survived by his wife Kumiko.

Nick-at-Nite animated promos

Remember when Nick-at-Nite was good? I’m feeling nostalgic for the retro-nostalgia of the old Nick-at-Nite.

Here’s a collection of N-A-N network ID’s and promo clips from the early 1990s. I believe all these jingles were written by Tom Pomposello. The animators include Marv Newland, Sally Cruikshank, Joey Album, Guido Manuli, JJ Sedelmaier, Jane Aaron, Frank Mouris, David Lubell, Colossal Pictures and I think I spotted a design by Dave Sheldon.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

A New Episode of Simon’s Cat

“Fly Day” is the latest episode of Simon’s Cat by Simon Tofield, a UK-based director on the Tandem Films roster. It’s refreshing to see animation that hinges everything on the quality of acting, characterization, and observation. Tofield directs our attention towards the character’s personality to the point of not including any color, camera moves, or cuts in the entire episode. Simon’s Cat is also a fine example of an on-line animation success story. In a little over a year, the four previous episodes of the cartoon have reached nearly 30 million pageviews, which has led to a book deal for Tofield. More details on the book are available at SimonsCat.com.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Going Hollywood

MTV's Splash Page recently suggested that reports of the death of live action Akira might have been premature. IF Magazine is now echoing the sentiment.

While talking about JONAH HEX at the San Diego Comic Con, producer Andrew Lazar revealed exclusively to iF Magazine plans for an upcoming AKIRA live action film.

“We are working on the script,” Lazar says about AKIRA. “It is a real priority project for Warner Bros. and so [the writers] are working on a draft.”

According to Hollywood Reporter that director Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) has been tapped to direct a Holly Brix written adaptation of Top Cow comic Magdalena. Jenna Dewan ("Step Up") and Luke Goss ("Hellboy II: The Golden Army") are attached to star

Ghibli, Miyazaki and Ponyo News

Hayao Miyazaki spoke to the LA Times about why he was not present to accept to Oscar for Spirited Away in 2003.

"The reason I wasn’t here for the Academy Award was because I didn’t want to visit a country that was bombing Iraq," he said. "At the time, my producer shut me up and did not allow me to say that, but I don’t see him around today. By the way, my producer also shared in that feeling."

Footage of Miyazaki at SDCC

Weigy on meeting Miyazaki

Time on meeting Miyazaki

Variety's online feature on Hayao Miyazaki

NY Times on Miyazaki's visit - also the implacation on SDCC on the Oscars - including when it comes to Ponyo

Variety spoke to Don and Cindy Hewitt about the localization of Ponyo

"On 'Spirited Away', we had no idea what we were doing. We didn't have even a template," Cindy recalls. "There are so many Miyazaki fans, I thought, 'Oh we're going to do this bastardized version, and they're going to be so upset.' "

Industry tribute

a look at the Totoro Forest Project

EW spoke to John Lasseter and Hayao Miyazaki

A collection of Miyazaki's statements from SDCC

footage of the appearance - also on Ghibli World, a look at the Ghibli Museam Ponyo exhibit


Neil Gaiman, who worked on the localization of Princess Mononoke, on Miyazaki, Coraline and other topics

Coraline’s been compared to The Wizard of Oz, Narnia and Alice in Wonderland, but I also saw a lot of Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki in here. Do you think he could have directed this movie?

I would have loved a Miyazaki version of this. I did the English translation of
Princess Mononoke, which means I’m one of the luckiest people in the world because when I go to Japan I get to hang out with Miyazaki.

Last time I was there I visited him at Studio Ghibli and expected just to shake him by the hand, but he took the rest of the day off, showed me around and looked after me. It’s like having Walt Disney spend the day with you, it's awesome.

So, with the Miyazaki stuff, we have very similar things. People said to me
Coraline and Spirited Away are very similar, and I say, yes but Coraline was finished in 2000 and Spirited Away came out in Japan in 2001. We were just working on the same kind of thing at the same time.

Mr Miyazaki of course is always retiring, and then comes back and does another film. But, if one day he read one of my things and wanted to film it then I would just be very happy.


Nausicaa.net notes
Previews, the solicitation catalog for direct market comic shops, lists that North American DVD ($19.99), special edition DVD ($32.99) and Blu-ray ($39.99) of Ponyo for 10/28 release.

Also of note, Amazon has a placeholder listing for a December 2010 release of the Totoro Project book

Ghibli Blog points out reports that the French DVD and Blu-ray of Ponyo for a December release


New York Int'l Children's Film Festival is presenting the first East Coast screening of the film in a special pre-release event 3:00pm on Sunday, August 9th at Symphony Space.

Tickets can be purchased here
NEW YORK - TOKYO will be giving away 5 pairs of tickets to this event through a random raffle.


Miyazaki's adventure caper Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro will be screen by the DC Anime Club and Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan July 31st

Friday, July 31, 2009
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM EDT

Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

for tickets, e-mail jiccrsvpsummer09@embjapan.org

Comparisons between the Japanese and Miramax version of Princess Mononoke

Western IPs Go Anime

Non-anime projects include more Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man: Armored Adventures and upcoming Superhero Squad - featuring Tom Kenny, Charlie Adler, and Grey Delisle and Stan Lee - and BET's Black Panther

Iron Man watchers can look forward to seeing Black Panther, Ultimo, Ghost, the Controller, Living Laser, MODOK and SHIELD

X-Men will see Angel become Archangel, Havok, Magik, and Deadpool.

Thor: Tales of Asgard - featuring the character as a teen - is slated for direct to video release in 2011.

Planet Hulk, in which the character is exiled to a planet on which his is forced to engage in gladiatorial combat, will hit stores in February.

Writer Warren Ellis is attached to the Madhouse produced anime project

The Wolverine anime is loosely based on historic Chris Claremont and Frank Miller miniseries that sees the character operate in Japan

Iron Man will look at culture clash and Japan's unique post World War II position as a nation without a military.

The prospect of Blade and X-Men anime were also mentioned.

Worth Checking Out

Why Shinbo (was: Wherefore shafting)?

Few figures in animation are more divisive than Akiyuki Shinbo, studio head and famously iconoclastic director at SHAFT animation studio. Some love his visually bizarre work, others loathe it for its apparent pretentiousness.

Also on the animation front Even in soft focus, there’s no substitute for “being there”

Vice talks to Chip Kidd about Bat-Manga among other topics

The Wall Street Journal on the Gundam Statue

Destroy All Podcasts DX on Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor

A History of DragonBall Z DVDs in North America

on Eastern Standard
Kazuo Umezu's mutant chicken-man
also on Sky Crawlers - more here

Cultural Notes
With Pokémon: Arceus To The Conquering of Space-Time now holds the Guinness record for the animated motion picture with the most advance ticket sales

Japanese Anime Political Ad Gets 219,000+ Hits

The end of India's adult cartoon star


King of Kaiju

Swipe File: Panini Removes All Traces Of Miyazaki

Shonen Sunday 1983: A Manga Flashback to the Flashdance Era
sadly missing Cat's Eye (which wasn't a Sunday title)

The Tonight Show spoofs anime localization

Katsuhiro Otomo's yoroinu (armored dogs)


Comic-Con: What's new, what's familiar in Toy Story 3

Grown men watching Toy Story 2 still burst into tears when Sarah McLachlan's "When She Loved Me" plays during Jessie's memory. That hit sequel ended on a bittersweet note, with the toys deciding to stay with Andy even though they knew he would eventually outgrow them. Now the upcoming 3-D Toy Story 3 will fulfill that theme, with Andy at 18 going off to college.

"Well, in that song, we took a character who we didn't really know yet in Toy Story 2, and we put her through that, and we saw what she'd been through emotionally," said Lee Unkrich, the director of Toy Story 3, in a group interview at Comic-Con in San Diego over the weekend. "Now we're going to see how it affects our main characters to be in a similar situation. It's really fun to take them and put them in a situation where we don't necessarily know how they're going to react. Each character is going to react in a different way to the situation. So that's exactly what happens. Everybody deals with it differently, and that's what drives a lot of the conflict."

Toy Story was Pixar's first feature-length animated film, and since then many Pixar artists who had been with the company before then have grown up, had children, won Oscars and more. It's been 11 years since Toy Story 2.

"A lot of that is informing, just emotionally, what we're doing in Toy Story 3," Unkrich continued. "The last thing we wanted to do was make a movie about these characters going off and having a wacky adventure somewhere. When we arrived at the notion of having Andy grown up and about to head off to college, that seemed like the perfect life event to place our story at, to provide that rich, deep emotion."

Pixar may have been picky about what would justify making Toy Story 3, but the voice actors were just waiting for the call. "Every time we would bump into Tom Hanks or Tim Allen or anyone, they would always ask, 'When? When is Toy Story 3?'" Unkrich recalls. "They all wanted to do it, and they were all instantly on board and excited to be a part of it."

Hanks, Allen, Joan Cusack et al. will welcome even more new toys into Andy's room. Unkrich announced that a Ken doll, to be voiced by Michael Keaton, will join the Barbie who joined the gang when they infiltrated Al's Toy Barn in Toy Story 2.

"I mean, we actually have more characters in Toy Story 3 than any film that we've made at Pixar," Unkrich said. "When we decided to have Ken in the film, I had a very specific vision of which Ken I wanted to have in the film, because there've been a lot of Kens over the years. Sometimes he has real hair, sometimes he has molded hair, but there was a Ken kind of from the late '80s that's my personal version of Ken, that kind of really smarmy, molded plastic feathered hair. I knew from the get-go that that's the one that we had to go with. Michael Keaton came to us very early on, when we started to think about who would be the perfect voice of Ken."

Pixar continues to push visual boundaries with their films. The fur in Monsters, Inc. was a breakthrough, as was the water in Finding Nemo and the post-apocalyptic Earth and deep space in WALL-E. Even though Toy Story 3 returns to familiar territory, animators are still pushing it further.

"If you've been watching our movies over the years, you know that each one has gotten more and more beautiful-looking, I think, than the last," Unkrich said. "They've gotten more sophisticated. It's not just the technology, it's also the artistry at the studio. So when we sat down to start working on Toy Story 3, we knew that we were capable of making a really, really rich, beautiful world, because we'd done it on Ratatouille and WALL-E. The decision we had to make was 'How much different do we want this film to look?' Just because we have the technology now to do so much more, do we really want to? Because we wanted Toy Story 3 to fit in the canon of Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2 and feel of a piece. That being said, we wanted it to look really beautiful. It feels of the universe, of the world that we created, yet it's exponentially more rich and beautiful and detailed."

One obvious evolution will be Andy's room. The bedroom of a teenager will have to be updated from the blue wallpapered design we saw in the first two films. "You can use your imaginatiom," Unkrich said. "It would be kind of weird if an 18-year-old was still living in the room of Toy Story 2. We can use a lot of design, because a lot of that great design work had been done on the other movies. But we now had to fill in those ensuing six, seven years in Andy's life, from where we were in 2 to 3."

Toy Story 3 opens June 18, 2010.

Mixtape Club Helps Relaunch Woolworths

Hornet Inc’s Mixtape Club directed this new CG spot that promotes the relaunch of Woolworths’ website in the UK. The spot, which was led by The Brooklyn Brothers agency, was animated by Royce Wesley. The ad is titled Training Day.

Minos and Crush Spread Knight Fever

To produce his latest short, Knight Fever, Christopher Minos utilized a relatively seamless mixture of 2D and CG aniamtion. The 3-minute, medieval film, which premiered at the 2009 LA Shorts Fest was written, directed and animated by Minos, a veteran of major film studios like Disney and ILM. More recently, he joined Crush in Toronto, where he oversaw the production of Knight Fever.

Stop Motion Worm Feature Coming in 2010

Minhocas (Worms) is a new stop-motion feature film emerging from Brazil. In fact, it’s the country’s first stop-motion feature. The project was spawned at the 2006 Anima Mundi event, and production is being led by Animaking, the largest stop-motion studio in Brazil. Here’s the first teaser from the family-oriented project, which is due to hit theaters in late 2010:

Simpsons Announces 21st Season Guests

The Simpsons exec producer Al Jean has revealed the celebrity guest voices lined up for the 21st season of the long-running hit animated series. Jean told EW.com that Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin stars in an episode in which Homer wins a million-dollar lottery and hires the band to play a concert just for him and Bart. Apparently, when Bart takes a bathroom break, the whole Coldplay has to wait for him to finish his business.

Foul-mouthed comic Sarah Silverman will also be lending her voice talents in an episode in which she plays Bart’s new girlfriend, who “alternately loves him and hates him for no reason,” according to Jean. Season 20 guest star Anne Hathaway also returns as a princess character that the producers of Krusty the Clown’s show bring onto the series in hopes that more young girls will tune in.

The season premiere, written by and guest-starring Seth Rogen, is scheduled for Sept. 27 on FOX-TV, Other season guests include Eartha Kitt, who recorded a part shortly before passing away earlier last year, Neve Campbell, Jonah Hill, the Smothers Brothers and Eli Manning. Fox Home Entertainment will release The Simpsons: The Complete 12th Season comes out on DVD on August 18.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Juiced and Jazzed

We linked to a preview of Justin Weber’s Juiced and Jazzed a few months ago, but now the whole film is viewable online at liquorflicker.com

The cartoon began as Weber’s senior film at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. It was completed at MAKE in Minneapolis. Weber writes:

“I graduated in December 2008, having completed a black and white version of the cartoon, I was employed at MAKE, a design studio in Minneapolis that specializes in motion graphics and animation. There, with the help of fellow MCAD graduates Andrew Chesworth, Aaron Quist, and Joe Kim, we colored and finished the cartoon. It premiered at the Palm Springs International ShortFest in June and won 2nd Place in the Animation category.”

The cartoon features the recordings “The Uptown Lowdown” by Joe Venuti and “The Charelston” by Spike Jones. I always have a soft spot for “retro-30s” rubber hose tributes like this. Well done, Justin.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Actor Christopher Meloni On His Title Role In "Green Lantern: First Flight" Animated Feature

Warner Bros. has released a new studio-conducted interview with actress Christopher Meloni, the voice of Hal Jordan / Green Lantern in the upcoming direct-to-video Green Lantern: First Flight animated feature.

Christopher Meloni Moves to a New Precinct as Title Character in Green Lantern: First Flight

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star leads Stellar Voice Cast for DC Universe film;
World Premiere draws over 5,000 at Comic-Con; DVD release slated for July 28

With breakouts performances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and HBO’s OZ, Christopher Meloni has effectively played both side of the law. But he’s taking his next legal procedure in an altogether new direction.

Christopher Meloni provides the voice of the title character in the next DC Universe animated original movie, Green Lantern: First Flight, which is set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

Meloni provides the voice of Hal Jordan, the alter ego of the title character in Green Lantern: First Flight, the next DC Universe animated original PG-13 movie coming to DVD on July 28, 2009.

In his first-ever voiceover for animation, Meloni leads a stellar cast that includes Victor Garber, Trifica Helfer and Michael Madsen. Green Lantern: First Flight filled to capacity it 4,250-seat World Premiere at Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 23, forcing an encore presentation for an additional 900 fans on Sunday, July 26.

Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation are set to release the all-new Green Lantern: First Flight this Tuesday in a Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def edition, a special edition 2-disc DVD, and a single disc DVD. Warner Home Video will distribute the action-packed movie, which will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download day and date, July 28, 2009.

Meloni began his career in sitcoms, playing the ex-con quarterback Johnny Gunn in HBO’s 1st & Ten and then as a member of NBC’s The Fanelli Boys. He also supplied the voice of Spike in Dinosaurs. Meloni’s film credits include roles in Clean Slate with Dana Carvey, Junior with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Twelve Monkeys with Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. It was seemingly a recurring role on NYPD Blue that finally steered him down the dramatic TV path.

Still, Meloni frequently dips into the lighter fair, stealing the spotlight as Freakshow in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and as the go-get-‘em football coach/prospective groom in Garry Marshall’s Runaway Bride.

Green Lantern: First Flight takes the best of Meloni’s prior performances – dramatic and comedic – and allows the actor to play to his strengths. In this Q&A with the actor, Meloni discusses Victor Garber’s acting, Alan Burnett’s writing, Clark Gable’s philosophy, and his personal pride in bringing Green Lantern into the spotlight. Read on …

QUESTION: How did you approach this the role of Hal Jordan?

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t quite certain about Green Lantern. I just didn’t know what his shtick was. But I was onboard just to play a super hero. The script was so great, I had to do it. I didn’t really want to play him too heroic, because he’s a human caught in a different world. They gave me a lot of great snappy lines to play off, so I thought it was just kind of easy and normal, then every once in a while they gave me that kind of heroic line that you had to summon up from your belly. But for the most part, I just kind of kept it real. (he laughs) Yeah, I kept the Green Lantern “real.”

QUESTION: You’ve played a very wide range of characters. How does Hal compare to any of the characters that you’ve played previously?

I think he’s having a whole lot more fun than any character I’ve ever played, zipping around wherever he needs to go, having all these powers. It’s a different universe, different challenges, so how could you compare Hal to my other characters? Can I put Freakshow in an intergalactic battle for policing the universe? I don’t think so. Maybe Hal is the intergalactic Elliot Stabler. Are there sex crimes in outer space? Tune in.

I think the only hero I’ve ever played is kind of Elliot Stabler and Elliot is flawed in a different way. Hal has his flaws – he’s more fun-loving and cocksure of himself and those qualities, you’ll find, are what makes him all too human.

Green Lantern summons the strength of his power ring to battle villainous forces in Green Lantern: First Flight, an all-new DC Universe animated original movie set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video. Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) provides the voice of Hal Jordan, aka the Green Lantern.

QUESTION: What attracted you to this character and why did you want to accept this role?

I enjoy exploring my own prejudices and one of the benign ones is that I’m not familiar with (Green Lantern), he’s kind of a next-tier guy. Green Lantern isn’t Superman or Batman, but he’s cool, and that intrigued me. I wanted to help elevate him, I wanted this guy to have his own movie. I’m sure you’ve got enough of Batman, Spider-Man and Superman – now it’s Green Lantern’s turn in the spotlight. He’s gotten a little dissed. He hasn’t gotten the respect he deserves. I’m going to change that.

QUESTION: Once you got the role, did you get feedback from anyone that might have influenced your approach to the role?

Actually, this was pretty great – I had a rock and roll friend and his wife staying with me. He’s a pretty hardcore, heavy metal guy. They were there when I got the news that I’d gotten the gig of the Green Lantern and I was really pumped. They’re both Green Lantern fans, so they were double pumped – and so that got me even more excited. They gave me a crash course education on Green Lanternism, and it became kind of a general enthusiasm feedfest.

QUESTION: So you wowed your friends. What about your children?

Any opportunity I get to impress my children is always huge. They’re a little young but, I did bring the illustration back home and it already has “Daddy” written on it, so they’re making the connection. Having a four- and seven-year-old and being a super hero, that’s pretty impressive. They were a big part of the decision on why I took the job.

QUESTION: What appealed to you most about Alan Burnett’s script?

What most impressed me was how quickly the script moved, how far it delved, the quickness with which it got into the story and didn’t get bogged down with the (back story). There was a clear thread in the story of a human, how he got the ring, is introduced to the characters, and brought into the universe; how he’s not accepted, then taken deeper into his new role in life, and the challenges that arise, the betrayals, etc. It just kept moving and it was very adult in that it didn’t pander, it didn’t try and explain stuff, it just kept pushing the story forward. That’s what a page-turner is supposed to do – to keep you going, keep you engaged, so you don’t want to stop or slow down. That was the most impressive thing to me – the economy with which they told the story.

QUESTION: Did you stick to the script or was there leeway for improvising in your interpretation of the character?

There was a certain amount of freedom and I hope I did him justice. Mostly, though, I just relied on the writers’ interpretation, because it was a great script. They gave me a lot of smart-alecky retorts and Hal didn’t have to go through a real long journey of self-doubt, so that was cool. So everything was kind of on the page for me.

This is rare, but I was pleasantly surprised that I felt as though the writer really had an affinity for this guy, he had a love for this guy and really wanted to tell this guy’s story. As an actor, you hook into that spirit and so that made it very easy and a lot of fun.

QUESTION: This is a relatively new form of acting for you. Did you encounter any difficulties in the process?

The most difficult part of the voice over process was that they actually had Sinestro in the booth with me – he’s played by Victor Garber, and he’s not a very good actor (he laughs), so that was tough for me to work off of (laughs harder). But I did the best I could. No, really, I love Victor, and he is amazing.

Really, the most difficult thing was when the director was reading all the actions, where this happens and that happens, and then there’s an explosion and you’re hurtling through the air and then you grab onto someone and you save them, and you’re line is “I gotcha.” That’s 45 seconds of action all I got was “I gotcha!”?

I’ll admit it – while I was performing the lines, I did have a tendency to stand with my chest out, hand-on-hip, heroic-style. You know, the way they used to draw the super heroes all the time. I assumed the stance.

But it is fun. And it’s a great exercise for your instrument – your emotional instrument, your vocal instrument, and your imagination, I mean, it’s like you’re a child – you get to have your imaginary play-friends all over again. I know it opened up for me certain things creatively. So just to be involved with anything creative that I’m not usually exposed to is always good.

When the ring moves from Abin Sur to its chosen target, Hal Jordan is changed from human to super hero as the title character in Green Lantern: First Flight, an all-new DC Universe animated original movie set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video. Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) provides the voice of Hal Jordan, aka the Green Lantern.

QUESTION: Green Lantern is your first voiceover for animation, but you did supply the voice of Spike in Dinosaurs. How did the two experiences differ?

For the “Dinosaurs” role, they would shoot the show and there were actors in costumes, so it was more like looping a scene. I had to loop my lips to what the puppeteer was doing with the dinosaur. For Green Lantern, the animators have to follow my lead. It’s so exciting and so rare that you’re the leader of the parade as an actor. I had my little baton (laughs) and I’m sitting there going like that (waves arms, conductor style), everyone has to follow my rhythm, my beat. It’s not usually that way.

QUESTION: As heroic as you played Hal Jordan, how villainous was Victor Garber’s Sinestro?

Victor met the perception of Sinestro with aplomb. Victor has a velvety, baritone voice in projecting evil – I really enjoyed it. I thought he came to play and I tried to match up as superhero-y as I could.

Victor has these long monologues and he really pulled it off. What can you say? He’s a longwinded bad guy and he did it great. I was a little jealous, because I wanted to be the longwinded good guy. But instead I’m kind of the short, snappy, one-liner good guy.

QUESTION: Do you think your personality and Hal Jordan’s mesh well?

Any time I’m given a role, I always ask, “Why? What did they see in me?” And I still haven’t answered that question, but I think “kind of smart-alecky” might fit the bill. I don’t know if it’s a compliment or not, all I can tell you is it’s a job for me. It goes all the way back to Mrs. Evans, my second grade teacher. She was wrong. Being a smart aleck can get you a living.

In elementary school, I was the kid who always sat in the back of the class, shooting spitballs and doing humorous things. I look at it now as that I was just working my craft, trying to gauge the audience, seeing where I’d lose ‘em if I went too far. You know, measuring the spectrum of funny or acceptable. The teachers didn’t really understand that, but I worked my craft hard, I paid my dues, having to stay after school or having parental visits or being suspended. And look where it’s gotten me.

QUESTION: Did you expect to be so physical during the voiceover performance?

You kind of have to be physical – you have to use everything because the process is not just words on a paper. You read it and that gets projected out. Literally, this universe you’re constructing comes out of your voice – so you really have to place yourself there and understand this place and be comfortable with this place. You have to make it real and grounded. You have to make sure that your voice is not just disembodied, that the voice is connected to the body – which then is connected to the place that you’ve built for yourself up here (points to head). That’s both kind of exhausting and kind of cool.

The toughest thing about the whole process was anytime we’d take a break, it would take me five minutes to get back into the imagination land. I didn’t realize how deeply in imagination land I was until I broke out for a water or bathroom break, or just to rest my voice. So that was interesting.
combination of kung fu cinema and comic books.

QUESTION: What is the big enticement to do voice over work for you?

I think it was Clark Gable that said “I act for free. I get paid to wait.” That’s how I feel about acting. It’s an awesome job, and waiting stinks. You do voiceover, and it’s like I told Victor: “You and me, we’re the lead Clydesdales pulling this beer wagon.” Just you and the microphone and the great words that they wrote. No waiting, just acting. It’s great.

QUESTION: Are you a fan of the whole comic book genre?

I love the storytelling. I love the art of the storybook. I think The Matrix was the first time I saw very clearly the influence of comic book storytelling. I literally saw the storyboard, how the shots were set up as a comic book, and that to me was really cool –that

QUESTION: Do you have a preference in the type of role you accept?

I like to do whatever I’m not doing. I haven’t been a super hero lately, so that was near the top of the list. But ultimately, whatever I’m not doing, that’s where I’d like to be. It’s a very pleasant grass is always greener on the other side thing.

Playing a sweet person is the toughest. I think to play the bad guy is, hands down, a thousand times easier, because the spectrum of acceptable behavior is wide. You can pick from anything you want. But if you’re the hero, your spectrum is here (holds his hands at shoulder width). You can’t be too much of a scumbag or people aren’t going to follow you. You are kind of the emotional tether to the people, but within that spectrum, and it’s tough to make a character like that interesting. How do you make a him a real, flawed, warts-and-all guy? Well, that’s basically what the human is. That’s your acting challenge – to make them interesting in that place.

Novice Green Lantern Hal Jordan is placed under the guidance of veteran Sinestro (right) for training in Green Lantern: First Flight, an all-new DC Universe animated original movie set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video. Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) provides the voice of Hal Jordan, aka the Green Lantern, opposite Victor Garber’s perfomance as Sinestro.

QUESTION: Did you do anything special to prepare to make Hal Jordan interesting?

I didn’t wear underwear to the recording, and I thought that would make him interesting. Actually, I’m not wearing underwear now.

QUESTION: Did having an illustration of Green Lantern have any influence on your performance?

Seeing the picture was a big help. As simple as this may sound, I enjoyed the artist’s vision for who Hal Jordan is. I felt like it was kind of coming into me – the artist’s vibe for who he saw this guy to be, and that made it very cool.

By the way, I really liked the illustrator’s work (Jose Lopez). Hal Jordan was Mac Daddy, ready to roll. Nobody wants a normal super hero – you want a buffed out guy like this. Look at Batman – he’s a normal kind of guy, and then he gets in a suit that the muscles are already carved out for him. Hal Jordan is a test pilot – pop him in a green leotard and he looks good. I’d love to get a hand-drawn illustration of the Green Lantern – signed, of course. And I want my own ring, too.

For more information, images and updates, please visit the film’s official website at www.greenlanternmovie.com

King Kong to return in King of Skull Island prequel picture

King Kong will be coming back in Kong: King of Skull Island, a prequel to the well-known tale of the big ape, Variety reported. Producers at Spirit Pictures have picked up the rights to a book by that name that was written at the same time Peter Jackson was producing his 2005 remake of King Kong.

Kong: King of Skull Island, written by Joe DeVito and Brad Strickland, focuses on the backstory of Skull Island and how the giant gorilla became king there. It introduces other giant gorillas and dinosaurs only hinted at in the previous films.

Rights to make the movie were brokered with the Merian C. Cooper family, who own the Kong property. Cooper co-directed the original King Kong, released in 1933.

"We're very concerned with honoring Merian C. Cooper's legacy in Hollywood," said Spirit's Steve Iles, who worked on video games for the Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises through his Pocket Studios game company. "We want to make sure that whatever we deliver will honor his memory."

The plan is to produce the film using motion-capture technology like that Robert Zemeckis used to make The Polar Express, Beowulf and the upcoming A Christmas Carol.

Jon Favreau Says 'Iron Man 2' Won't Leave Cliffhanger For 'Avengers' To Resolve

So far, we've learned from the "Iron Man 2" cast that War Machine will make a significant appearance, Black Widow could be good or evil, and Sam Rockwell will be reinventing the character of Justin Hammer. Director Jon Favreau weighed in as well at Comic-Con with his own details on the film, stating that the sequel won't leave an open-ended cliffhanger for Marvel's 2012 "Avengers" movie.

"We're working towards 'Avengers,' but by the same token we want to resolve this film and make ['Iron Man 2'] play on its own," Favreau told MTV News. "It's not a serial. It's a self-contained film."

Since Marvel Studios began planted movie crossover appearances in "The Incredible Hulk" and the first "Iron Man," continuity buffs have had a great deal to speculate about, given Marvel's ambitious calendar of releases, including "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger." Favreau stressed that while the movies would all be working off of each other, his focus remains on making his film work on its own.

"It's not building towards a cliffhanger that's the next movie," he explained. "It's about wrapping up our story and making it a complete tale."

Wolverine Hits Blu-ray & DVD Sept. 15

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced that X-Men Origins: Wolverine will hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 15th. Here are the full specs followed by the cover artwork:

Experience the very first chapter of the exciting X-Men saga through the eyes of a true Marvel legend when X-Men Origins: Wolverine arrives Blu-ray Disc (BD) and Special Edition DVD September 15 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Hugh Jackman (Australia, Deception) returns as the iconic character in an epic adventure that pits Wolverine and all mutants against powerful forces determined to eliminate them. Spanning over 150 years, X-Men Origins: Wolverine chronicles young James Logan and his tortured past… from boy, to man, to mutant. From conflicts with his half brother Victor Creed – aka Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber; Defiance, The Ten), his membership in Team X, his infamous adamantium rebirth and the total memory loss that ultimately fuels his angry quest, X-Men Origins: Wolverine paints the vivid and difficult journey of the legendary superhero.

Directed by Gavin Hood (Rendition) from a script by David Benioff (The Kite Runner, Stay) and Skip Woods (Hitman, Swordfish), X-Men Origins: Wolverine delves deep into the X-Men universe by introducing comic-book mainstays into the film including Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal, Van Wilder) as Deadpool, Taylor Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights,” Snakes on a Plane) as Gambit, Danny Huston (30 Days of Night, The Kingdom) as Colonel William Stryker, Dominic Monaghan (“Lost,” The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Bolt and Black Eyed Peas front man Will.i.Am as Wraith. The two-disc BD offers fans the studio’s first ever release featuring “Live Lookup, an interactive BD-Live technology gives fans access to up-to-date filmographies and information related to the film via IMDb.

The X-Men Origins: Wolverine BD and Special Edition DVD are both loaded with bonus material including commentary by director Hood and producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, a conversation with Wolverine creators Stan Lee and Len Wein, deleted and alternate scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes and much more. The Ultimate 2-Disc Blu-ray will be available for a suggested retail price of $39.99 U.S. / $49.99 Canada while the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD will be available for $34.98 U.S. / $45.98 Canada, both featuring Digital Copy. Additionally, a single-disc DVD will be available for $29.98 U.S. / $43.48 Canada. Prebook is August 19.


Leading up to the events of X-Men, X-Men Origins: Wolverine tells the story of Wolverine’s epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed and the ominous Weapon X program. Along the way, Wolverine encounters many mutants, both familiar and new, including surprise appearances by several legends of the X-Men universe whose appearances in the film have long been anticipated.

Blu-ray Disc Specs:

The X-Men Origins: Wolverine BD is presented in widescreen (FOX TO PROVIDE ASPECT RATIO) on a 50GB dual-layer disc authored in BD-J with AVC (MPEG 4) compression with English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio and French / Spanish 5.1 DTS along with English / French / Spanish subtitles. Special features include:
· Disc One

o Commentary by Director Gavin Hood
o Commentary by Producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter
o The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with X-Men creators Stan Lee and Len Wein
o Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins
o “Wolverine Weapon X Mutant Files Featurette: 10 Character Chronicles
o “The Thrill of the Chase: The Helicopter Chase Sequence” featurette
o “X Connect and On Set With Gavin Hood” featurette
o X-Facts: Trivia Track
o Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Gavin Hood
o Alternate Memory Erase Sequence
o Alternate Tag Scene: Japan
o Fox Movie Channel Presents: World Premiere
o IMDB BD-Live technology

· Disc Two

o Digital Copy

Two-Disc Special Edition Specs:

The X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2-Disc Special Edition DVD is presented in widescreen (FOX TO PROVIDE ASPECT RATIO) with English 5.1 Dolby Surround and French / Spanish Dolby Surround along with English / French / Spanish subtitles. Special features include:

· Disc One

o Commentary by Director Gavin Hood
o Commentary by Producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter
o The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with X-Men creators Stan Lee and Len Wein
o “Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins” featurette
o Deleted and Alternate Scenes
o Alternate Tag Scene: Japan
o Anti-Smoking PSA: Bubbles

· Disc Two

o Digital Copy

Single-Disc Specs:

The X-Men Origins: Wolverine Single-Disc DVD is presented in widescreen (FOX TO PROVIDE ASPECT RATIO) with English 5.1 Dolby Surround and French / Spanish Dolby Surround along with English / French / Spanish subtitles.

Special features include:
o “Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins” featurette
o Anti-Smoking PSA: Bubbles

Star Trek DVD Artwork

About a week ago, Paramount announced the release details of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek DVD/Blu-ray. Well, now they have released the artwork that is going to go along with it, pictured above.

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