Animation News Roundup 1/13/17

Here’s the latest from the world of video games, voice acting, and animation! This was a big week in the news for our particular kind of geek. There’s a new sheriff in town over at DreamWorks, there’s a ton of anime news, and Mark Hamill is still doing his thing.

Oh, and the best museum in the galaxy is opening up in the next few years. Read on.

Former Voice Actor Now Head of DreamWorks Animation

Chris DeFaria


This week, DreamWorks Animation underwent a major shakeup. They’ve got a new president, and he’s a voice actor! Chris DeFaria is a well-known producer who worked on hits like Gravity and Mad Max: Fury Road. To us, though, he’ll always be the voice of Peppermint Patty! DeFaria voiced the character in five Charlie Brown specials from 1969-1973.

DeFaria is joined by Chris Meledandri, formerly of Illumination Entertainment. Meledandri now holds a senior advisory role at DreamWorks. The fine folks at Cartoon Brew have penned an article theorizing just what the heck is happening over there. They have a great industry insider perspective, and the article’s worth a read.

Amazon Crunching on CrunchyRoll

Splash ad for Amazon Anime Strike


It’s not news that Amazon is focusing more and more on streaming video. After all, Amazon does everything from home automation to grocery delivery these days. Streaming video’s been on their plate for years.

What is news is that Amazon is apparently launching a second video streaming network, and it’s all anime. Their new Anime Strike service is positioned as a “streaming channel”, like Starz or Seeso. For an additional $5 per month, Amazon subscribers get unlimited access to over 1,000 anime titles. It includes classics like Spice & Wolf, as well as a large number of shows available day-and-date to their original Japanese broadcast.

It’s a major shot at CrunchyRoll, the other big anime streaming service. Amazon might just be the one company that can take on them and their 750,000 subscribers.

New Info and Trailer on Studio Ghibli Series

Speaking of anime, did you know Studio Ghibli has something new coming to the States? It’s a TV series, not a movie, and it’s the first time Hayao Miyazaki’s company has tackled the small screen. Miyazaki himself retired several years ago, and the studio announced it would no longer produce feature-length films.

Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter first hit Japanese airwaves in 2014, where audiences and critics alike ate it up. Amazon (that’s regular Amazon Prime Video, not Anime Strike) has the English translation on the schedule for January 27th. Check out the trailer above. The series is based on a famous children’s novel by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, and it looks great!

Mark Hamill Keeps On Reading Trump Tweets… Maybe!

A lot of celebrities make no bones about their political views, but few get to use their art in protest as much as Mark Hamill. A few days ago, the voice of the Joker began reading Trump tweets… in character. His slimy and downright evil interpretation of the PEOTUS’s holiday wish was such a smash hit that he’s continuing the trend.

Although the Twitter account @hamilltrumpster isn’t run by Mark Hamill, they sure seem to know something. Their proclamation of “2 Days Until Next Trumpster Clip!” was met not with denial, and not with silence, but with a retweet by none other than @hamillhimself.

Here’s hoping!

Site Selected for the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art


The biggest news of the week, though, is the Star Wars museum. That’s not really what it’s called (it’s actually the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art), but for all intents and purposes… we’re getting a Star Wars museum!

Los Angeles and San Francisco engaged in something of a bidding war to win George’s affections and placement of the museum. A little bit of argument over historic districts later, and he’s building the $1.5 billion facility in LA’s Exposition Park.

Although a bevy of Star Wars items direct from the source are sure to be the biggest draw, the museum also promises exhibits based on comics and animation, as well as pieces from Lucas’ extensive collection of fine art paintings by Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

But come on. The place looks like it was designed on Naboo.

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