Animation News Roundup 12/30/16

Star Wars fans honor Carrie Fisher's passing with a lightsaber vigil outside the Alamo Draft HouseHoly cannoli, 2016 is almost over! It’s been a rough and tumble rollercoaster of a year in SO many ways.

You know what’s always a constant, though? You know what keeps us sane through elections and wars and death and the economy and “oh God that turkey was a little bit off, wasn’t it?”

Geeky entertainment, that’s what! Here’s a rundown of the week in voice acting and voice acting-adjacent news.

Carrie Fisher: In Memoriam

Another lightsaber vigil honoring the passing of Carrie Fisher

The biggest entertainment news of the week is the passing away of Carrie Fisher, and of her mother Debbie Reynolds less than a day later.

It’s an unbelievable tragedy for the family, and an enormous loss to the artistic world. Carrie wasn’t just Princess Leia; she was an amazing advocate for mental health issues. Debbie was a Hollywood legend who will be missed by countless people.

Legendary voice actor and Star Wars costar Mark Hamill has led the remembrance for Ms. Fisher online. In the real world, thousands of fans gathered outside Disneyland for a “lightsaber vigil”, raising the light-up toys in lieu of candles.

In the online game The Old Republic, players gathered outside the virtual House Organa to pay tribute to their fallen hero.

George S. Irving: In Memoriam

George S. Irving, famed Broadway star and voice actor, passed away in December 2016

The voice acting industry lost another luminary this week. George S. Irving, the voice of Heat Miser in holiday classic The Year Without a Santa Claus, passed away on Monday, December 26th. Irving was also the narrator in the 60s cartoon Underdog, and voiced a smattering of other animated projects over the years.

He was best loved as a Broadway actor, and played in 26 major productions from 1943-2005. He made his debut in the original production of Oklahoma!, and in 2008 received an Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.

Irving was 94, and passed away peacefully at home from natural causes.

Wes Anderson’s Return to Animation

A screen from Isle of Dogs, the new Wes Anderson film

Wes Anderson movies aren’t for everyone. They’re pretty sedate, they’re a bit cerebral. They tend to leave the viewer unsure if the film has in fact ended, and what even happened during it.

For those who love his work though (this guy included!), news of a new Anderson movie is always a wonderful surprise. Even better if it’s an animated one.

He’s returning to stop-motion animation, with which he first dabbled in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and used exclusively in Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The new movie is called Isle of Dogs, and it appears to be about: Dogs. You’ll have to watch his very, very Anderson-esque video to hear the voice cast.

More Star Wars Animated TV Coming

Saw Gererra as depicted in Star Wars: The Clone Wars


The folks at noticed that Lucasfilm seems to be gearing up for another Star Wars animated series. The studio has posted job listings for “an Episodic TV Series” that uses “visual storytelling techniques in a 3d environment.”

The article is quick to point out that this could just be replenishing the talent for Star Wars Rebels. That show is entering its 3rd season and will soon feature Oscar-award winning actor Forest Whitaker reprising his role as Saw Gerrera.

However, there are a few other clues that point to a new show. It’s also worth noting that the Rebels story may have seen its conclusion in the final scenes of Rogue One.

It’s Vampire Time!

A terrifying action figure of Simon Belmont, hero of Castlevania


Meanwhile, Frederator Studios is dropping hints that they might be creating an even more momentous new show. Depending on your point of view.

It’s none other than Castlevania. As a cartoon. Maybe an appearance by Marceline.

Frederator Studios are the people behind Adventure Time, and founder Fred Seibert appeared on the Nick Animation podcast recently.

We have a project now that we’re doing that needs to go unnamed, based one of the most world-famous video games of the last 30 years, that we’ve had in our shop for 12 years without being able to get it started. But there were great characters, and a great story, and we eventually got it going. – Fred Seibert, speaking on the Nick Animation podcast

The studio has been quashing rumors of a Castlevania show for a long time, and the bit about “the last 30 years” is a big clue. The game series had its 30th anniversary in September of this year.

Best get those whips crackin’! Holy water twirlin’! That clock too! Whatever that thing did!

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