AnimationFix: Ming-Na Wen goes from S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to time travel agent for Disney XD
AnimationFix: Your regular round-up of the latest animation news, from HitFix reporter Emily Rome
Wen — known for kicking butt both as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Melinda May and as the voice of Mulan — has joined Milo Murphy’s Law as a recurring cast member. Her character, Savannah, is described as a “high-level time travel agent.” This should be fun.
She joins “Weird Al” Yankovic, who voices the title character.
The series follows 13-year-old Milo Murphy, the fictional great-great-great-great grandson of the Murphy’s Law namesake. Milo is the personification of Murphy’s Law, where anything that can go wrong will go wrong. But he faces life with endless optimism and enthusiasm that can turn any catastrophe into a wild adventure.
Along with today’s casting news for Wen, Milo Murphy’s Law got a premiere date: Monday, October 3 at 8 p.m. on Disney XD.
The series comes from Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, creators of much-beloved Disney Channel toon Phineas and Ferb, which has also featured Wen’s voice acting.
In the main title sequence for Milo, also revealed today, the onslaught of “what can go wrong,” along with the vocal stylings of Yankovic, looks to promise some wacky entertainment akin to Phineas and Ferb.
• Kubo still on the quest for box office glory: Stop-motion film Kubo and the Two Strings completed its opening weekend with $12.6 million in U.S. theaters. Slightly higher than many box office experts’ predictions, it’s still the lowest opening for Laika (Kubo is the fourth feature from the Oregon-based animation studio). But the "A" Cinemascore score from audiences and widespread love from critics (it’s at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes) may propel Kubo into word-of-mouth success. Meanwhile, a couple days before Kubo’s August 19 debut, Disney-Pixar behemoth Finding Dory cleared the $900 million mark at the worldwide box office.
• Adam West’s return to Batman is here for your listening pleasure: Less than a week after news broke that Adam West and Burt Ward — stars of the celebrated 1960s Batman series — would be returning to their superhero roles in animated form, today we got a trailer for Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. A far cry from the dark tone of WB’s latest Batman animated project, the adult-geared The Killing Joke, this movie appears to channel the goofy charm of West’s TV series. This trailer’s even got the the ’60s “na-na-na-na-BATMAN” theme and Robin exclaiming, “Holy Unholy Alliance!” Return of the Caped Crusaders will be released on Digital HD on October 11 and on Blu-ray and DVD November 1. Before then, Batman will also appear in direct-to-video animated movie Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants, based on the Mattel action figure line, set for a September release.
• DreamWorks Animation officially has a new home: Comcast’s $3.8 billion purchase of the Shrek animation studio closed on Monday. Plans for the acquisition were first reported in April. DWA co-founder and CEO (and former Disney exec) Jeffrey Katzenberg has transitioned into the role of chairman of new entity DreamWorks New Media, and president Ann Daly is stepping down. Feature animation co-Presidents Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria will continue to oversee DWA’s film production. Yet to be seen is where Illumination Entertainment — the Despicable Me production company — CEO Chris Meledandri fits into all of this and what things will look like now that the Minions, Kung Fu Panda, and Toothless the dragon are all under one roof.
• Godzilla will get his first big screen animated epic: The iconic giant monster will be animated for a feature film for the first time in his 62-year history. (Or its history… we don’t really know if the big kaiju is male or female.) An animated take on Godzilla has aired on the small screen though, in Godzilla: The Series, starting in 1998 on Fox Kids. This new feature, simply titled Godzilla, comes from major Tokyo-based entertainment company Toho, which is eyeing a 2017 release.
• South Park wants to give fans the ultimate photo op: The animated sitcom is celebrating 20 seasons with an exhibit at Beverly Hills, CA’s Paley Center for Media. Fans can insert themselves into 20 life-size recreations of memorable moments from South Park. Original animation cells from the pilot episode will also be on display at the exhibit, opening this Wednesday, August 24. Season 20 premieres on September 14.