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Anime Legend Isao Takahata Dies

Producer co-founded Studio Ghibli

(Newser) - Isao Takahata, co-founder of the prestigious Japanese animator Studio Ghibli, which stuck to a hand-drawn "manga" look in the face of digital filmmaking, has died. He was 82. Takahata, who directed Grave of the Fireflies, a tragic tale about wartime childhood, died Thursday of lung cancer at a Tokyo... More »

Ren & Stimpy Creator Accused of Grooming Teens

He 'ruined a good bit of my childhood,' woman says

(Newser) - Ren & Stimpy creator Jon Kricfalusi is seen as something of an elder statesman of animation—but to two former employees, he seems more like a dirty old man. Robyn Byrd and Katie Rice say they were in their early teens and Kricfalusi was nearly 40 when he contacted and... More »

One of the World's Most Beloved Animators Is Unretiring

Hayao Miyazaki working on another full-length feature

(Newser) - Turns out, one of the world's most acclaimed animators isn't done making movies yet. In what is big news in certain camps, Japan's Hayao Miyazaki , 75, is working on a full-length feature despite announcing his retirement from such ventures in 2013, reports Anime News Network . Back then,... More »

Comcast Just Bought DreamWorks for $3.8B

That's right—Shrek is marrying the Minions in possible bid to rival Disney

(Newser) - In animating news for DreamWorks, Comcast's NBCUniversal will scoop up the studio, behind such films as Kung Fu Panda and Shrek, in a deal worth $3.8 billion, the AP reports. The acquisition, which the Los Angeles Times says came together with "breathtaking speed," will result in... More »

'Holy Grail' Disney Cartoon Rediscovered 87 Years Later

Oswald short has not been viewed since 1928

(Newser) - Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the original famous Disney character before Mickey Mouse came along, appears in a long-lost six-minute cartoon recently found in the British Film Institute's archives, the Telegraph reports. "Sleigh Bells" was broadcast in 1928, but all copies were thought to have been lost and it... More »

The Wind Rises Is a Beautiful, Difficult Finale for Miyazaki

Film is typically lyrical, atypically realistic, and a little controversial

(Newser) - What might be Hayao Miyazaki's last film makes its US debut this weekend, and naturally critics are in love with it. The beloved filmmaker announced his retirement after The Wind Rises debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year. Since then the movie—a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, who... More »

Family Guy Pulls Off a Resurrection

Seth MacFarlane was offering fans a 'lesson'

(Newser) - After a few weeks in the afterlife , Brian the dog is back on Family Guy. ABC News explains the resurrection: With help from a Christmas wish to save his best friend, baby Stewie travels back in time and pushes Brian out of the way of an oncoming car. Briefly, the... More »

Critics Warm to Disney's Frozen

Disney's latest fairy tale is Broadway-ready

(Newser) - Disney looks poised for another fairy-tale success with Frozen, a tale of two sisters based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen." In the first Disney animated feature co-directed by a woman, Jennifer Lee, filmmakers appear to have their sights set on Broadway, reviewers note.
  • The movie'
... More »

Tragedy Strikes on Family Guy

See below for surprising spoiler

(Newser) - Major spoiler alert: A member of the Family Guy family died in last night's episode, and apparently it wasn't a joke. Brian the dog was hit by a car during a street hockey game with baby Stewie, the Huffington Post reports. His last, not-so-funny words: "You’ve... More »

Transylvania Scares Up Record Debut

'Looper' takes second while 'Won't Back Down' tanks

(Newser) - Hotel Transylvania scared off the competition this weekend with the strongest debut since The Dark Knight Rises and the best September bow ever, says the Hollywood Reporter. The animation film's $43 million opening ousted Sweet Home Alabama, which banked $35.6 million on its first weekend, albeit without premium... More »

Russia Restricts South Park Over Kenny's Deaths

'Simpsons' takes hit over 'Itchy & Scratchy'

(Newser) - Excessive violence—read: Kenny's deaths and the Itchy & Scratchy Show—have South Park and the Simpsons facing censorship in Russia. Because of Kenny's recurring demise, South Park will have to air after 11pm on a national channel aimed at young adults, AFP reports via Raw Story . The... More »

Stone-Age Artists: The 1st Animators

Chauvet cave paintings tell stories, simulate movement

(Newser) - A Stone-Age Walt Disney? That's what two French researchers see in 30,000-year-old paintings that adorn caves like Chauvet and La Baume Latrone, Science News reports. Long cave paintings depict full stories, they say, and rotating bone disks found at the sites can be twirled to animate images of... More »

Lost Disney Rabbit Back After 80 Years

Oswald to appear in Epic Mickey video game

(Newser) - For eight decades, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit hasn't been so lucky: The early Disney character has long been relegated to cartoon history. Now, he's finally making a return appearance, starring alongside his world-famous big-eared buddy Mickey in a video game, reports Wired . Disney Epic Mickey: The Power of ... More »

Cartoon Coming to Beck Network

GBTV signs deal for animated series

(Newser) - Glenn Beck's Internet-only network GBTV, which already boasts a children's show , is getting an animated series. The network has signed a deal with production company Icebox to create a family-friendly cartoon series, according to the Hollywood Reporter . Icebox was founded in 1999 by a group of writers who... More »

Al-Qaeda Cartoon In the Works

AQAP animation no biggie, experts say

(Newser) - Islamic extremists are working on an animated movie to attract junior jihadis to the cause, monitors of militant websites say. The al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula cartoon will depict raids, armed engagements and assassinations, and offer "an alternative to the poison that is broadcast by other TV channels to... More »

Lucasfilm Settles Wage-Fixing Case

DOJ targeted studio's hiring deal with Pixar

(Newser) - The force was with some of America's best animators. Lucasfilm, as part of a settlement with the Justice Department, has agreed to cancel a secret agreement with Pixar aimed at preventing a bidding war for top digital animators, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The firms had agreed to notify each... More »

Taiwan Animates Favre Penis-Texting Scandal

And theorizes that his ogling could practically set a gal on fire

(Newser) - “Brett Favre’s Pecker the talk of the town.” That’s how Taiwan's Next Media Animation sums up the Brett Favre lewd-texting scandal, and the above video explains how it happened—as only NMA can. The company has previously animated the Wall Street Journal-New York Times turf war... More »

MTV to Resurrect Beavis & Butt-head

Maybe now MTV will actually play some music videos

(Newser) - Sensing that there were not enough fart jokes in your life, MTV has decided to resurrect Beavis and Butt-head, network sources confirm for the New York Post . It’s been 13 years since the last new episode of the cartoon aired, but it sounds like children of the ‘90s... More »

Hail Pixar: Toy Story 3 Is Film of the Year

Incredible studio turns out another incredible movie

(Newser) - It's only June, but Toy Story 3 already has one call for best movie of the year. In fact, Dan Kois of the Awl goes so far as to declare that “the people of Pixar are currently America's most important filmmakers.” This movie is “totally bonkers,”... More »

Psychedelic Cat Food Commercial a Real Trip

The making of the Friskies 'Adventureland' spots, with turkey choreography

(Newser) - The insane "Adventureland" commercials for Friskies—which seem to suggest that your cat is dropping acid right there in the kitchen—took 6 months to produce and involved a cast of three cats and numerous humans, including a turkey-dance choreographer. The behind-the-scenes video about the making of the inescapable... More »

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