First Images of ‘Masters of the Universe: Revelation’ Revealed by Netflix

Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)

By the power of Grayskull!

Netflix has revealed some brand-new images in a press release today for Kevin Smith‘s upcoming ‘Masters of the Universe: Revelation’ animated series.  Powerhouse Animation, the same studio behind Netflix’s Castlevania series is bringing He-Man to life, so needless to say, this show is going to look very slick.

Voicing these characters is an all-star cast that includes Mark Hamill (Skeletor), Lena Headey (Evil-Lyn), Chris Wood (Prince Adam/He-Man), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Teela), Alicia Silverstone (Queen Marlena), Steven Root (Battle Cat), Jason Mewes (Stinkor), Justin Long (Roboto), and Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn Smith (Ilena).  Alan Oppenheimer, who was the original voice of Skeletor, will instead this time be lending his talents to the voice of Moss Man.

You can take a look at the official images for yourself down below.  Skeletor is looking as handsome as ever I must say.

Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)
Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)
Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)
Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)
Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)
Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)
Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)
Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation Skeletor
(Netflix)
Netflix Masters of the Universe Revelation
(Netflix)

Part 1 of the series will premiere on July 23rd, and consist of five episodes.  Here’s the official synopsis:

“The war for Eternia culminates in MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION, an innovative and action-packed animated series that picks up where the iconic characters left off decades ago. After a cataclysmic battle between He-Man and Skeletor, Eternia is fractured and the Guardians of Grayskull are scattered. And after decades of secrets tore them apart, it’s up to Teela to reunite the broken band of heroes, and solve the mystery of the missing Sword of Power in a race against time to restore Eternia and prevent the end of the universe.”

If you don’t remember any of that, you can watch the original Masters of the Universe on YouTube to catch up before the new series starts.

In the press release, showrunner Kevin Smith explained how he didn’t want to try and reboot the beloved series, “Narratively, our show is set up as the next episode in the legacy ‘80s animated series that aired from 1983-1985.  This is a continuation of that story. We’re playing with the original mythology and characters, and revisiting and digging deeper into some of the unresolved storylines. Visually we also made the conscious decision to lean into the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE line of toys for inspiration as well. Mattel owns this entire vast library of that artwork, so right away we wanted the show to open with classic pieces of that artwork. Mattel has been committed to this look since they first started as a toy line in the ’80s, and now we’re leaning into it and honoring it.”

If you have fond memories of the toys, Mattel is also planning on releasing an all-new Masters of the Universe toy collection, which will consist of He-Man, Skeletor, Moss Man, Evil-Lyn, Skelegod, and Battle Cat.  Personally, I’m waiting until they release a new Snake Mountain playset so I can relive my childhood and show my kids just how cool I am.

Masters of the Universe Snake Mountain Toy
(He-Man.org/Mattel)

I mean, they better release a new Snake Mountain.  That thing was the BOMB.

Masters of the Universe: Revelation premieres on Netflix July 23rd, 2021

Are Animated Dads Having a Glow Up? The New York Times Thinks so!

Raya and her hot dad
(NEw York Times)

For years, dads have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to entertainment. Not the entertainment that’s available to us – god knows between Marvel, Star Wars, sports, and action movies, we’ve got plenty of that! – but how entertainment media depicts us. When it comes to movies and TV, dads are often the doofus, the comic relief, the well-meaning but incapable parent, especially when compared to moms.

Things are getting better as media starts to better reflect the world we live in, which is a world in which fathers are more involved and capable than ever. And apparently… we’re getting hotter too!

At least our animated versions are, according to the New York Times.

A recent article by writer Kyle Buchanan uses the dad in Disney’s Raya and The Last Dragon as a jumping-off point to discuss the increasing pulchritude of animated father figures in movies and TV. His article got a lot of attention online.

And he wasn’t the only one who noticed Raya’s father, Benja.

He wrote: Then, as the closing credits rolled, I took to Twitter, where I found plenty of other professionals who were proud to let their freak flag fly. The protagonist’s dad in ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ is smoking hot,” tweeted the Hollywood Reporter film critic David Rooney, who also noted, “Gotta love thirst-trap animation.” The writer Hanna Ines Flint concurred: “The man’s arms, I wanna hang off them,” she tweeted.

He goes on to call out the elf dad in Onward, the mustachioed dad in Inside Out and contrasted them against someone like the elderly father in Aladdin. Then he asks the key question: “Are animated dads truly getting hotter, or are we just getting crazier?”

He speaks to critics and animators and eventually decides that Pixar broke the mold, moving away from Disney’s old, often inessential father characters into a more modern representation. But there’s also an acknowledgment that more screen time, thanks to the pandemic forcing us all inside, might be leading us to fixate on things that would otherwise be incidental, at best.

It’s a fun discussion, and an entertaining diversion, but the more important question may be whether animated dads are taking their inspiration from real life or if these characters should be aspirational. I would say the latter. God knows I look nothing like Benja, but I’d like to!

Not that it’s easy to aspire to be a cartoon, no matter how many eggs you eat, you’re not gonna suddenly look like Gaston. Sorry.

The Simpsons and Star Wars Mashup Lands Today on Disney+

Star Wars Simpson Mashup
(Disney)

May the Fourth be with you!

I actually sort of hate that, but I have a 10yo Star Wars fanatic in my house, so it’s unavoidable. Star Wars is also unavoidable, even when you’re trying to avoid it. My son has loved it since he was in preschool, as the originals are just soft enough to be okay (don’t @ me). Now that we’re moving onto slightly more sophisticated content, I’ve begun showing him The Simpsons.

And now The Simpsons and Star Wars have mashed up.

They’re both owned by Disney, which means The Simpsons no longer have to do throwaway gags; now they can go all out in referencing and (lovingly) mocking the franchise. Which they are doing, with a brand-new short on Disney+! It’s called: “Maggie Simpson in The Force Awakens From Its Nap,” which features Maggie Simpson, despite the fact that she can’t talk.

The synopsis reads:

In a daycare far, far away… but still in Springfield, Maggie is on an epic quest for her stolen pacifier. Her adventure brings her face-to-face with young Padawans, Sith Lords, familiar droids, Rebel scum, and an ultimate battle against the dark side, in this original short celebrating the Star Wars galaxy.

It’s sure to feature cameos from Star Wars and Simpsons favorites alike, and hopefully, someone will get their hand cut off (my money is on Moleman!).

It landed on Disney+ overnight, because it’s Star Wars day for people who love puns. Also out today is The Bad Batch, the long-awaited animated series, which I’ll also be forced to watch tonight.

Here’s the poster for the short:

The Force Awakens From Its Nap
(Disney)

The Flintstones Enter the Bronze Age in Sequel Series Aimed at Adults

Bedrock Flintstones
(Warner Bros)

Ages before we had the Simpsons, there was the Flintstones. The first animated show to run in primetime, the Flintstones were a classic that long outlived its six-year run in the 1960s. Here we are, decades into the future, and yet we’re still going back to Bedrock.

It was officially announced that the Flintstones is getting a sequel series, as Elizabeth Banks is producing and starring in “Bedrock”, an animated show aimed at adults being developed by FOX.

We don’t know much about the series, other than it’s focusing on Pebbles, now a 20-something, and her dad, the iconic Fred Flintstone. The sequel picks up a couple of decades after the original timeline as Fred nears retirement and Pebbles is ready to start her own career.

The bigger picture is the Stone Age giving way to the shiny new Bronze Age, and how the residents of Bedrock handle the evolution. The pilot is being written by Lindsay Kerns, who also wrote: “Jurassic Park: Camp Cretaceous” (which was really good!).

Could Bedrock be the next big hit at FOX? The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob’s Burgers have that Sunday period locked down, but who knows, maybe a return to the “modern family of the Stone Age” could be the ticket to join their ranks. Nostalgia can be a tricky line to walk with comedy, but it’s not impossible, as the “Saved by the Bell” reboot handled this brilliantly (truly one of the funniest shows of 2020).

There’s a lot of potential there, so it will be interesting to see if they manage to pull this off and bring some new life to an iconic TV family that’s being dragged back to the mainstream.

Mark Hamill Cheers up Children’s Hospital Patients With His Voices

Hamill Cheers Up Kids with Voice Talents
(YouTube/Children's Hospital Los Angeles)

Luke Skywalker was a hero, but the man who played him, Mark Hamill, is every bit a legend himself. The 69-year-old actor went above and beyond to cheer up some patients at a Children’s Hospital by reading to them virtually and delighted them by doing his Joker voice and impressions of Darth Vader and Yoda.

Hamill flexed his prodigious voice talents (the guy did do a killer cartoon Joker for years) by reading to patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as part of the Make March Matter campaign, where actors and organizations come together to support the hospital. He told People the kids knew more about Star Wars than he did.

“Virtually visiting young patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was a remarkable and touching experience. My favorite part was reading a special book with them, Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown,” Hamill said.

One patient asked a brilliant question, pondering what Hamill’s Joker would say to Luke Skywalker. Hamill responded PERFECTLY.

He said he was happy to do the Joker impression on a private Zoom with a patient, but that it’s awkward to do when people ask in public.

“You can’t do him quietly and it’s disturbing for those who assume I’m just some random kook.”

During the book readings, he also voiced Vader, a stormtrooper, and Yoda. Hamill does a lot of charity work, but you always gotta give it up when someone can bring Luke Skywalker and The Joker to life to help put a smile on the face of a sick child.

We Are Getting Yet Another Transformers Movie

New Transformers Movie
(Paramount)

If we’re talking about toy-inspired movies, no franchise has had quite the longevity, justified or not, as Transformers. And Paramount is feeding the beast once more, as they head back to the well for a new Transformers movie. But this one will get a Marvel twist.

If you’re a little lost in the Transformers saga, that’s on you. There’s not *that* much to really get track of, outside of car-robots fighting each other while a human reacts and, like, tries to make friends with them.

We had the Michael Bay movies, for what they were worth (they could be fun if you didn’t think about them a lot), although the series started to lose some steam at the end. We got a Bumblebee movie, with a sequel supposedly coming in the next few years (which will serve as Transformers 7, for those of you concerned with canon).

We also have a pair of animated Transformer animated series moving forward, for those of you who prefer less CGI-human interaction. We’re even getting a Beast Wars movie (reportedly). And now, there’s another new Transformers movie coming down the pipeline.

Marco Ramirez, who created “The Defenders” for Netflix and wrote for “Daredevil” is writing a brand new, standalone Transformers movie. “Charm City Kings” director Angel Manuel Soto is directing. The Hollywood Reporter just broke the news this month.

The new project isn’t part of the normal chain, so you don’t need to know everything about the Autobots and Decepticons and Megan Fox to jump into this one. While little is known about the timeline or plot for the movie, there is a lot of potential for something cool since it isn’t necessarily locked into everything else that’s happened so far in the “Transformers”-verse.

And with a touch of Marvel magic, maybe this could be a project that puts a brand new spin on a franchise that was starting to wear down.

Peppa Pig Is Getting a Muddy Puddle Filled Theme Park

Peppa Park
(Merlin Entertainments)

When it comes to dream vacations (with kids), Florida is almost synonymous with Disney. Harry Potter World got into the mix with a strong opening, but there’s another kid’s entity that is jumping into the Florida fray- Peppa Pig. The world’s favorite piglet is getting her own theme park.

The news was announced recently as Peppa Pig’s theme park, the first of its kind in the world, will be at the Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven. The park aims to open in 2022, and yes, there WILL be muddy puddles.

If Peppa Pig seems like an odd choice for an entire theme park, it shouldn’t be, as it’s one of the most popular children’s shows in the world. That last part is key because they’ll obviously be aiming for international tourists as well.

Peppa Pig’s theme park will have more than just muddy puddles, as there will be rides, interactive attractions, play areas and live shows, according to a statement from Merlin Entertainments. The standalone park will be the only one in the world where your kids can have a Peppa Pig meet and greet.

Theme parks have been big business for entertainment companies (before that thing last year) and Peppa Pig is one of the hottest kid’s shows, as it was the top-streamed kids show in the world last year (thanks to 4-year-olds everywhere) and is translated into dozens of languages in countries around the globe. It’s also the No. 1 licensed franchise for Hasbro, proving parents will spend that Pig $ on their kids.

There’s no word yet on what the park will be named, but there’ll be another spot in Florida your kids (well, your littlest ones) will be begging you to go to.

Watch the Pixar Short Written by a Dad for His Son and Kids “Deemed Different”

Dad behind Pixar's Float
(YouTube/Pixar)

Oftentimes, what makes a story truly beautiful is the truth behind it. Stories that are based on real-life events come packed with human emotion, and even if we can’t personally relate to the story itself, we can empathize with those who do. Pixar is the grand champion of evocative storytelling, leaving us feeling things we never thought possible after just a few short minutes. Pixar’s short “Float” is one such story, following the challenges of parenting a child who is ‘different,’ and learning to embrace the things that set them apart.

Like many of Pixar’s films, Float is first and foremost an entertaining cartoon. The weight is pulled from life’s heaviest issues, and we’re left to process pain and fear in the comfort of an alternate reality. The short opens with a dad and his young son, but we’re soon let in on a secret that changes everything. The young baby is not like his waddling peers – sure he can crawl, but more importantly, he can float.

While we all may dream of being lifted high above the ground, for the young boy’s dad, it becomes a source of constant fear after seeing how society reacted. What will neighbors think? How will other kids react? How will this sweet, perfect little boy fare in life with a gift that both figuratively and literally separates him from the rest of the world?

Before leaving home, the boy’s dad places a rock in his backpack to keep him from soaring into the sky – the weight of a world that doesn’t accept him keeping him grounded. The short hits an emotional high during a scene at a local playground, the boy stripping off his backpack and floating happily around the concerned park-goers.

The boy’s dad hits his breaking point, pulling his son kicking and screaming from the playground as parents and kids alike stop what they’re doing to stare. The culmination of years of stress emerge with the film’s only spoken words: “Why can’t you just be normal?”

The animated short ends on a positive note, but to avoid spoilers, I urge you to spend six minutes and watch it yourself. As the story comes to a close and the dad learns to embrace his son, differences and all, we see a very special dedication from Float’s writer, director, and producer. It reads, “For Alex. Thank you for making me a better dad. Dedicated with love and understanding to all families with children deemed different.”

Bobby Rubio, who has worked as a storyboard artist on films like Inside Out and The Incredibles 2, created the touching short to tell his own story about his son Alex, who has autism. “When my son was first diagnosed, I didn’t handle it well,” Rubio said in a documentary about the film. “My wife said, you’re a storyteller, maybe you should tell a story through a comic.”

“In the beginning, the father loves his son wholeheartedly without restriction,” Rubio said. “And then, when he looks at society, that seeps in and kind of taints it. The father has to decide: Does he agree with them? Or does he say, ‘I don’t care what you guys say.’”

Watch the full video below, and prepare to feel a whole lot of things in a very short amount of time.

Pixar Short Follows Unlikely Friendship Between Stray Kitten and Abused Pit Bull

Pixar Short Kitbull follows kitten and abused pit bull
(YouTube/Pixar)

Pixar has a unique ability to lure us in with quality animation, and before we realize what’s happening, we’re more emotionally invested in a cartoon than we are in some aspects of our own lives (just me? Ok). Pixar’s SparkShort program allows the company’s employees to see their own visions through, giving them six months and a small budget to create their own cartoons. The SparkShorts were originally released on YouTube, but several can be found on Disney+.

“The SparkShorts program is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows,” Jim Morris, President of Pixar explained. “These films are unlike anything we’ve ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare.”

Kitbull is just one of the many touching shorts that emerged from this unique program, and it checks all of the Pixar boxes. Cute animals? Yep. A concise storyline? You bet. Unexpectedly bawling because you didn’t realize just how invested you were until it was too late? Of course.

The 8-minute-long cartoon packs an enormous emotional punch in a very short amount of time, taking viewers along for the journey of two underdogs (well, one underdog and an undercat). The story starts out with a stray kitten – a small, spunky ball of fur who ends up taking shelter in a cardboard box. Before long, the kitten realizes she’s not alone. The yard in which she’s taken shelter is also home to one large pit bull, but as the story continues, it becomes evident that they have a whole lot in common.

Without too many spoilers, the pup’s home is less than ideal – he’s injured by his owners and locked outside repeatedly, and the kitten’s fear soon turns to compassion. Dog and kitten, forgotten by the world, forge an unlikely friendship. After one particularly heartbreaking scene, the duo decides to make a break for it, risking it all for the chance at a better life.

Watch the full SparkShort below, and grab some tissues. Yes, for the record, I also went into this claiming I “wasn’t a cryer.” Don’t underestimate the power of Pixar, and maybe enjoy this one at home with the door closed.

Serious Negotiations Currently Taking Place for “King of the Hill” Revival

King of the HIll Reboot On Track
(Fox)

When it comes to TV dads, Hank Hill was one of the best. His dad essence helped carry the hit sitcom from Mike Judge and Greg Daniels and though it’s been off the air for more than a decade, it still has a cult following. After it was announced that Beavis and Butthead are coming back (as dads!) – fans started demanding a King of the Hill revival. And it turns out the wheels are turning a lot faster than we thought.

Writer Brent Forrester was doing an AMA on Reddit when he disclosed the creators are in “hot negotiations” to bring the show back. He said the revival would involve aging all the characters by 15 years, which actually sounds like a fun take on the old classic.

“I am sure Greg Daniels and Mike Judge will murder me for sharing this but… HELL YES,” he wrote in response to a question about a possible revival. “They are in hot negotiations to bring back King of the Hill… The characters have all aged 15 years. The project is sooooo good. Okay I’ve said too much :)”.

King of the Hill wasn’t one of those brilliant shows that was cut down in its prime, only to find its footing later thanks to streaming. It had a full run for 13 seasons and had a strong following in its prime. So that’s why a revival would need a new hook, and aging everyone by 15 years would open up a lot of comedic possibilities.

Daniels said in 2020 that Fox had passed on a version of a reboot, but did say they had a “pretty funny” plan for one and that they were interested in making it someday. So, the duo hasn’t given up on the project, old seasons have been streaming on Hulu, so could that streamer be a possible home for a reboot?

Only time will tell, but according to one writer, we’ll be getting a return to Hank and the Hills soon enough.

Robert Irwin Lends His Voice to a New Animal, on Smash Animated Hit “Bluey”

Robert Irwin on Bluey
(Disney+)

Robert Irwin has followed in his dad’s footsteps acting as a voice for animals and now he is literally a voice for an animal, as the Australian conservationist made his animated TV debut by voicing a character on the smash hit “Bluey.”

If you’ve been sleeping on Bluey, you’re doing it wrong – get familiar with it ASAP! The show is literally the most-watched ABC show ever in Australia and has become a huge hit for Disney in the U.S. (and beyond) for its realistic depictions of a fun and normal family (well, they are animals, but you get it).

In the episode “A Quiet Game” that aired in late February, Irwin voices a clerk at a toy store helping Bluey, Bingo and Bandit find a birthday gift for a friend. But, thanks to dad, the kids have committed to playing the silent game and Alfie has to guess the toy through a round of charades.

Irwin told the Associated Press this would be a new animal adventure for him.

“I’ve had so many hilarious and awesome and scary and fun and exciting adventures with animals. But I’ve never gotten to actually be an animal before or be the voice of an animal,” he said.

Irwin said it was fun to step into the mind of a dog and that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to lend his voice to a new audience and help his legacy, the one his dad started and his kids carry on.

“It feels like the most amazing honor every day to make sure that the incredible work that my mum and dad started continues, especially after we lost dad,” he said. “I know that for us, our biggest priority was to make sure that everything that he lived and died for continues.”

You can watch the episode (and all of them, they really are terrific) on Disney+.

Two New Animated Transformers Series Are Coming

New Transformers Shows Coming
(Hasbro)

Sometimes, even with countless cable channels and streaming platforms and different ways to watch stuff, it boggles the mind that they keep making new shows. Especially when those new shows are just new versions of old shows!

We’re getting new He-Man shows, new Avatar shows, and now we’re getting a new Transformers show. Two of them, in fact!

On Thursday, Hasbro announced a brand new Transformers animated series that will live on Nickelodeon, and it will focus on the interaction between a brand new species of Transformers and the humans they befriend. As well as some well-known characters from the past.

“As soon as I read the creative concept, which at its core is about family, I knew we absolutely had to tell this story with our good friends at eOne and Hasbro,” said Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation. “The series will tell a reimagined story featuring both original characters and fan-favorites for a whole new generation of kids and families.”

Meanwhile, Netflix announced a new animated comedy series called Transformers: BotBots, which focuses on mischievous little robots who disguise themselves as ordinary objects and wreak hilarious havoc.

“We are delighted to partner with Netflix to bring an all-new Transformers story to life and explore a whole new universe with BotBots,” said Olivier Dumont, Hasbro eOne’s President of Family Brands. “Transformers storytelling has expanded into so many new avenues and we can’t wait to surprise both existing fans and new fans coming to the franchise for the first time with these fun bots who are definitely more than meets the eye!”

The toys, and their accompanying shows and movies, have been around since 1984, and it doesn’t sound like they’ll be going away anytime soon.

Unlike my Optimus Prime toy that the evil Ms. Giovine confiscated when I wouldn’t put it away during third-grade math.

New Episodes of Rugrats In CG Coming To Paramount Plus

Rugrats Reboot Trailer
(YouTube/Paramount Plus)

Another day, another new streaming service.

The latest platform to debut is Paramount Plus, which lands March 4th and is actually just CBS All Access rebranded and will be home to a bucket-load of movies and TV shows from Paramount Pictures and a variety of networks, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.

There have already been a handful of movies announced that will eventually land on the platform, including A Quiet Place 2, Mission: Impossible 7, and No Time to Die, and yesterday news broke about an exciting new revival that 90s kids are sure to be excited about.

Rugrats!

That’s right, the beloved animated series featuring Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Susie, Phil, and Lil is coming to Paramount Plus as soon as this spring, and it will feature the entire original cast! This time in CG instead of 2D because it’s 30 years since its 1991 debut and times have changed.

“Rugrats is one of the most iconic cartoons recognized by fans around the globe, and this original version is one we are taking great care and pride in creating for a brand-new audience,” said Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation. “Having the voice cast behind these special characters come together is one of the essential pieces to making the show recognizable and we can’t wait to watch this talented group bring them to life again.”

Neither can we!

Check out a clip from the new series: