Tom and Jerry Get Animated in New Live-Action Movie

Trailer for new Tom & Jerry
(YouTube/Warner Brothers Pictures)

When I was a kid, Tom and Jerry were huge.

The cartoon cat and mouse, or mouse and cat (I still don’t know!), were a staple of Saturday morning cartoons. The pair of enemies, constantly trying to outwit, outlast, and outthink each other, were as famous as cartoons get. So famous that they inspired the show-within-a-show of the most famous cartoon of the past 30 years.

The Simpsons‘ insanely homicidal Itchy and Scratchy were a direct commentary on the violence in those Tom and Jerry cartoons. And nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find a little kid, or even a college student, who knows who they are.

But that may be about to change. There’s a new Tom and Jerry movie coming out, and sure, the mix of animation and live-action (it worked for Space Jam) makes it look like a Paula Abdul video, but Rob Delaney and Michael Pena are in it, and he’s funny! Maybe it will be good! Regardless, maybe our kids will like it!

The plot revolves around Tom (the cat) and Jerry (the mouse) moving to the big city, where Jerry moves into a hotel and the hotel hires Tom to exterminate him. Lizzo is on the soundtrack.


Disney+ Debuts New Trailer for Classic X-Men Cartoon Along With All Five Seasons

X-Men Animated Series New Trailer Disney+
(YouTube/Disney Plus)

Since the 2008 release of Iron Man, Marvel Studios has dominated box offices with 23 game-changing movies and counting. Before there was Robert Downey Jr.’s badass Iron Man or Chadwick Boseman’s unforgettable Black Panther, there was Fox Kids Network’s classic animated series.

Saturday mornings were already the absolute best time to be a kid, plopping down in front of the TV with a bowl of Sugar-O’s and the whole weekend ahead of you. From 1992-1997, it was also a time to get lost in the Marvel universe with the X-Men animated series. For five glorious years and 76 unforgettable episodes, the series cemented X-Men in our hearts forever.

For those lucky and committed enough to own the series on DVD, you’ve been able to enjoy perhaps the best version of X-Men ever created uninterrupted. For the rest of us, there’s been no (respectable) way to watch the nostalgic series, save for the episodes we watched so many times we could essentially watch them on-demand if we closed our eyes. That is, until now.

Disney+ is quickly making a name for itself as the streaming service that brings us back to simpler times. Though you can stream some incredible original content like The Mandalorian, Disney+ is also the home of nostalgia. You can watch classics like the 1973 Schoolhouse Rock series, the 1987 version of DuckTales, the OG Mighty Ducks, and now, the X-Men animated series.

All five action-packed seasons are available on Disney+ now, and to celebrate, Disney released a more modern version of the show’s trailer. The new trailer still contains the same wonderfully grainy animation, but the brand new transitions and added graphics give the whole thing a more contemporary vibe.

As if being able to watch the quintessential Marvel series isn’t enough good news, rumors are circulating that Disney+ may take things one step further and continue the series where it left off. I know we’ve come a long way since the 90s in terms of animation, but if the rumors turn out to be true, hopefully, they can find a way to make sure the character’s lips absolutely don’t match up with the dialogue. Something about the puppet vibe really adds to the 90s ambiance.

‘Baby Shark’ Is Now YouTube’s Most Watched Video in History With 7 Billion Views

baby shark most watched
(YouTube/Pinkfong! Kids' Songs & Stories)

It makes you want to go crazy, doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, but Baby Shark has hit a major milestone and become the most-watched video in the history of planet Earth. The bane of parents with toddlers and people with ears, the song crossed the indescribable milestone of 7 BILLION views on YouTube, setting the new world record on YouTube video at 7.04 billion views (and counting).

The 2016 song is many things now. It helped save a drowning boy, it appeared at Coachella, became a cereal, and the song even made the Billboard Top 40! Baby Shark!! So, once more, here it is, in all of its glory, as the new YouTube champion:

The Pinkfong song, sung by Korean-American Hope Segoine, passed ‘Despacito’ for the top honors. And the trajectory of Baby Shark, and the way it’s continued to rise just over the past year, make it seem clear the earworm will continue to climb. Every new child must be indoctrinated into the painfully catchy cult of Baby Shark.

Baby Shark’s 7 billion plays, if put together back-to-back, would be more than 30,000 consecutive years of streaming. The CEO of Smart Study (owners of Pinkfong) said they were ‘very honored’ by the record.

“Without the love and support of fans around the world, Baby Shark’s new record would’ve been impossible.”

Hmmm, fans may be a stretch long, as much as we are all prisoners. Regardless, here’s a doo doo, doo doo doo doo to Baby Shark.

A First Look at the Gremlins Animated Prequel Series Coming To HBO Max

Gremlins Animated Prequel Series, Secrets of the Mogwai

The past few years have been a time of enormous nostalgia, with TV shows and movies trying to recapture the magic of our childhood favorites. Some of the more well-received reboots have been of the cartoon variety, perhaps because it’s much easier to preserve characters in time when you get to draw them. HBO Max is taking the success of cartoon reboots to the next level by cartoonizing a franchise that was originally live-action (mostly).

In HBO Max’s upcoming Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai series, viewers are taking a trip back in time. In the early 1980s, we were first introduced to the adorable creatures known as Mogwai. The fluffy, curious critters served as extremely good teachers, reminding us just how important it is to both read and follow instructions.

The 1984 film has endured the test of time, with references still being made in pop culture nearly 40 years later. Though the movie was engaging and the storyline was brilliant, the film left a lot of questions unanswered. Where did Mogwai come from? How does daylight savings time play into the whole “don’t feed them after midnight” thing? We became absorbed in the saga of mitigating a Mogwai disaster without ever really understanding what a Mogwai was. Fortunately, the HBO Max series plans to take us on a journey to 1920s China and clear up some of the film’s many mysteries. The show will combine both Chinese mythology and Mogwai mythology, weaving together an entrancing and comedic storyline fit for the whole family.

According to IMDB, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai “Tells the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo take a perilous journey through the Chinese countryside, encountering, and sometimes battling, colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. On their quest to return Gizmo to his family and uncover a legendary treasure, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.”

HBO Max has yet to release an official trailer, and no date has been set for the series premiere. However, showrunner Tze Chun recently released a first look at the show’s concept art. A single artistically-stunning teaser photo showing little Gizmo walking alongside an unknown boy (though Chun previously stated that the show would follow a 10-year-old Mr. Wing, the elderly owner of the shop where Gizmo was purchased in the Gremlins film).

So far, the reception on social media has been extremely positive, with fans of the franchise looking forward to diving into the Mogwai world in a brand new way. Only time will tell what secrets of the Mogwai will be unveiled, and honestly, we can’t wait.

Tiny Toons Reboot Sends 90s Favorites to College

Tiny Toons Reboot
(HBO Max/Cartoon Network)

A bit of old-school animation seems to be making a comeback!

Granted, by old-school I mostly mean the 90s, but still. Space Jam is getting a Lebron-starring sequel, The Animaniacs are coming back next month for more pop culture skewering, and now the Tiny Toons are being rebooted for HBO Max.

Tiny Toons Looniversity got a two-season order and will follow the stars of Tiny Toons Adventures into college.

The synopsis, from Deadline: “The Tiny Toons Adventures reboot follow the characters’ comedic ambitions all the way to Acme Looniversity, the esteemed institution of higher high-jinks learning, where young dreamers become professional toons. Here they form long-lasting friendships with one another and perfect their cartoony craft while studying under the greatest cartoon characters in history, the Looney Tunes.”

The series is one of several kids shows under development at HBO Max, including Unicorn: Warriors Eternal and three series from popular children’s book author Mo Willems.

“Tiny Toons Looniversity will capture all the clever, subversive and smart humor that made Tiny Toon Adventures such a standout series,” said Tom Ascheim, President of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics. “Fans old and new will love to laugh at and with these characters all over again.”

When I was a kid, the Looney Tunes were huge, and now it seems like they may be making a bit of a comeback. It’s pretty clever to incorporate them into the show as mentors for their younger counterparts.

My kids basically have no idea who Bugs Bunny even is, but thanks to HBO Max, it won’t be long before they do!

Trailer for Animaniacs Reboot Takes Aim at Reboot Culture

Animaniacs Reboot Trailer

If you’ve been reading The Dad for a while, you’ve probably noticed we spend a fair amount of time talking about – and bemoaning – the constant stream of news about reboots and remakes and reinventions. Partially because that’s all Hollywood seems to make these days, but mostly because it’s annoying!

One reboot we’re totally down for, however, is the forthcoming revival of Animaniacs, the hilarious cartoon from the 90s that makes fun of pop culture just as much as we do. The first season arrives in November (with a second season slated for 2021), and here’s the official synopsis:

They’re back! The Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot, have a great time wreaking havoc and mayhem in the lives of everyone they meet. After returning to their beloved home, the Warner Bros. water tower, the siblings waste no time in causing chaos and comic confusion as they run loose through the studio, turning the world into their personal playground. Joining Yakko, Wakko and Dot, fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain also return to continue their quest for world domination.

Sounds like they’re going to be up to their old tricks, and based on the new trailer, maybe some new ones too. Because guess what? The Animaniacs are as fed up with Hollywood’s constant “re” stuff as we are. Even their own!

Check it out:

Animaniacs Spoof “Jurassic Park” In First Clip From Series Reboot

Animaniacs Spoof Jurassic

Thanks to a dearth of creativity and an explosion in content outlets, the last few years have become an Oprah-style “everybody gets a reboot!” free-for-all. Not all of the properties being revisited are deserving of a second-life, but there is one unexpected series that couldn’t be more welcome.

That’s Animaniacs, the beloved 90s cartoon that took loving, biting aim at Hollywood and pop culture via it’s three zany stars, Wakko, Yakko, and Dot. The series returns with all-new episodes on November 20th, we recently got treated to some behind the scenes footage and now Hulu has released a new clip that makes it clear that the show has lost none of its edge, humor, or charm.

In the clip, the Animaniacs revisit Jurassic Park and go meta, reimagining the scene whereupon the cast of the classic Spielberg movie arrives on the island and sees something amazing – but it isn’t dinosaurs. It’s the resurrection of Animaniacs.

“This species of cartoon has been extinct since 1998,” Dr. Sattler says, cleverly reintroducing the show to fans. “These haven’t been seen on TV since the Golden Era of animation.”

Check it out:

Denver Broncos Fills Stands With Cardboard Cutouts of the Entire Town of South Park

Denver Broncos fill stadium with South Park characters

Oh my god, they built Kenny!

You know, out of cardboard. In fact, the Denver Broncos made the entire town of South Park out of cardboard and filled their stadium seats in the coolest possible way. The Denver Broncos are far from the first team to get creative with their empty stadiums, trying to fill the void left by formerly packed arenas and energetic crowds. They aren’t even the first to jump on the cardboard cutout train, but they took a different (*ahem* cooler) route than many other teams.

No matter where you live, South Park is iconic. Going into season 24, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have created one of the most consistently funny animated shows in the history of TV. What really sets South Park apart is that it somehow manages to weave complex social issues in with poop jokes, and it works.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone grew up in Colorado, even meeting and coming up with the idea for South Park while attending the University of Colorado. Both are big fans of their home team, throwing Denver Bronco references into their hit show on a fairly regular basis.

Now, it’s the Denver Broncos’s turn to make a South Park reference – and they freaking nailed it.

“Gang’s all here,” the Broncos tweeted with an incredible video panning the stands. They even created the South Park backdrop for full effect.

South Park tweeted out a message of support for their favorite team, taking a clip from season 3 episode “Spontaneous Combustion,” where a priest leads his congregation in a prayer for the Broncos. This time, they wove in clips of the cardboard South Park characters as if they were all praying for the Broncos to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

The only small detail amiss is that Randy is fully clothed and not trying to start a fight – though maybe that’s only a little league baseball thing.

South Park Is Tackling COVID in New Hourlong Special Episode

South Park Special COVID-19
(Comedy Central)

After 23-years, South Park has finally found a topic worthy of if its first hour-long episode: COVID-19. The iconic Comedy Central show is airing an hour-long pandemic special on September 30th and the coronavirus and life in 2020 will be skewered in a way only Trey Parker and Matt Stone can.

South Park has ably tackled apocalyptic and depressing stories before, injecting them with a cathartic amount of laughter. Their brand isn’t for everyone, and some people seem utterly intent on never laughing again, but for adults who like jokes, this is going to be a very funny special. We’ve seen COVID humor in 30 Rock and Parks and Rec pandemic specials, but those were limited by the format. This…will be something much greater.

Here’s the full episode description: “Randy comes to terms with his role in the COVID-19 outbreak as the on-going pandemic presents continued challenges to the citizens of South Park. The kids happily head back to school but nothing resembles the normal that they once knew; not their teachers, not their homeroom, not even Eric Cartman.”

The preview shows Randy trying to take advantage of the pandemic, Cartman afraid he might be forced back to school, and Kyle doing his best to practice social distancing. It also shows a classroom with masked kids in plexiglass dividers with a detective as their new teacher.

There’s no official word on the premiere for the show’s 24th season, but the pandemic special promises to be one for the pantheon. The “Pandemic Special” airs September 30th at 8:00 p.m. on Comedy Central and will be available to HBO Max viewers the next day.

Hulu Shares Behind-the-Scenes Footage of November’s Animaniacs Return

Animaniacs Behind the Scenes

Of all the reboots and remakes and reimaginings and sequels and prequels and legacyquels that have bubbled up over the past few years, few are as universally approved of as the forthcoming Animaniacs relaunch.

Ever since it was announced, the internet has been nothing sort of delighted at the news that the irreverent, pop-culture saturated cartoon from the 90s was coming back. And animation is the one type of Hollywood production that was able to soldier on despite the pandemic and the quarantine and 2020 in general.

As we’ve previously shared, the new episodes feature the entire original cast, including Rob Paulsen, the voice behind Yakko and Pinky, of the beloved Pinky and the Brain.

The new series debuts in November, but yesterday, to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the original show, Hulu released some teaser footage, complete with a behind-the-scenes look at the current production.

The footage was tweeted out with the caption: “Happy Birthday Animaniacs. To celebrate the 27th anniversary of the original series premiere, we’re giving you a special behind-the-scenes look of your favorite voice cast at work. Stream brand new Animaniacs on November 20th, only on Hulu.”
Check out the footage below and get ready for November 20th!

3D Animator Recreates ThunderCats Intro With CGI, Snarf, Snarf!

Thundercats CGI
(YouTube/Mike Booth)

When I was a kid, I used to pretend my watch gave me Lion-O’s “sight beyond sight” when I angled it to generate a reflection of whatever was behind me. I was pretty lonely.

But I loved Thundercats, and so did you!

The classic 1980s show, with the badass heavy metal intro, about a collection of humanoid cat people with different special abilities who crash-landed on a strange planet and battled with Mumm-Ra and his minions have long been a favorite of cartoon fans and 80s kids. Since ThunderCats went off the air there’s been an unimpressive reboot and a recent bizarre show for pre-schoolers. Many of us would love to see an updated version with new animation and a modern approach. Alas, it has yet to happen, but one fan of the cartoon decided to use the show to practice his 3D animation skills.

YouTuber Mike Booth used the cartoon’s opening credits as a template and remade them with CGI technology, and Lion-O, Cheetarah, Panthro, Tygra, and Snarf (SNARF!) are looking better than ever. Booth described his process in the video’s description on YouTube.

“Earlier this year, I thought I’d have a go at learning how to use 3D animation software, really just so I could do some simple effects in my films… but I got a little bit carried away. The ThunderCats have been a love of mine since I can remember and the intro is something I thought would be a fun challenge to recreate and keep my interest while I was learning the software. I’ve got no plans to make anything else like this… for a few years, at least. I will at some point make a ThunderCats short film, but I’ll wait until the software reaches a point where I can film a performance on my camera and just drag and drop it onto my 3D characters.”

He did a great job, and his video should stir up some fun nostalgia for fans of the original show.

Check it, check it, check it out, BELOOOOOOOOW!

Japan’s Top Studios are Joining Forces to Stream Free Anime on YouTube Channel

Anime Animelog
(Tezuka Productions)

More often than not remakes are worse than the original. Especially remakes of properties that originated overseas. It’s usually better to deal with subtitles than to watch a watered-down Hollywood version of something, whether it’s a movie, a tv show, or a cartoon.

Anime is a form of animation that started overseas and is often repurposed and sometimes remade for American audiences, but you don’t have to settle for lesser versions of these great shows. Not with the new AnimeLog channel on YouTube.

According to a story in Variety, the AnimeLog channel features content from a collection of Japanese animation studios, including Toei Animation, Kodansha, and more, with the goal of having 30 companies producing over 3,000 different shows by 2022.

That’s a lot of content!

Right now, it’s only available to viewers in Japan, but AnalyzeLog, the company behind the channel, plans to add sub-titled content in English and Chinese for overseas fans. So far, the available content available in Japan includes the “Black Jack” series, based on a famous Osama Tezuka manga, “Future Boy Conan,” a 1978 anime co-directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and produced by Nippon Animation.

Part of AnalyzeLog’s goal is to thwart those who pirate this content or acquire bootleg DVDs to view it in North America. “There exists a problem of illegal video distribution service these days, but AnimeLog will distribute only officially-licensed animations and operate as a safe channel that families can enjoy together,” the company told Variety.

Anime is a booming business, with a survey by the Association of Japanese Animations revealing that it generated $20 billion in revenue in 2019, marking the sixth consecutive year of record growth, with anime streaming also growing by 10%.

There’s no official word on when it will be widely available but American audiences will soon get in on the fun, legally!

A SpongeBob Prequel Series Is Heading to CBS All Access

kamp koral spongebob prequel

Have you ever wondered what SpongeBob’s life was like as a child? Of course you have, and now you will get a little bit of an answer as the SpongeBob prequel series “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” has a new home.

ViacomCBS announced Kamp Koral will premier on CBS All Access, its streaming offering which is relaunching itself in 2021. This is terrific news for parents who desperately needed yet another streaming service to add to the rotation. But, it is cool news if you have kids who swear by SpongeBob since this is the first spin-off series in franchise history (which includes 10+ seasons of the original show and a few movies).

“Kamp Koral” will focus on 10-year-old SpongeBob Squarepants and friends at a summer camp doing underwatery summer camp things (fishing/swimming/etc.). CBS All Access will have some other quality programming, including Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” the regular SpongeBob show, and a pair of legendary Comedy Central shows, “Reno 911!” and “Chappelle’s Show” in addition to other titles.

So, come for the SpongeBob, stay for the classic sketch comedy shows, perfectly digestible for the streaming era.

The show was originally slated to premiere in July on Nickelodeon but was shifted to CBS All Access as part of a Viacom move to beef up the streaming option (which just got about 3,500 episodes of Comedy Central/Nickelodeon/MTV/BET shows added to its library).

When the show was first greenlit, a Nickelodeon spokesperson said there was “an incredible universe to expand upon” and the show’ was a “testament to the strength and longevity of these characters known and loved by generations of fans around the world.”

The show doesn’t yet have a specific premiere date on the streaming service.