Friday, November 4, 2011

Night of the Lizard Story Boards

While talking with Jim Harvey on Facebook, I realized how much I miss blogging about superhero cartoons. I have been so busy lately that I haven't been able to keep up to date on ANY of the new shows or movies that have come out in the past year and a half. I hope to resume at least semi-regular posts in the new year, but we'll if that actually happens. Anyway, I found something that I would like to share with all of you. Facebook has become a tremendous tool for connecting with industry professionals and sharing news. Companies are sure to create new pages anytime a new show starts up to help the buzz. Many nostalgia groups and pages have been created to connect with other like-minded fans. One such group, Spider-Man: The Animated Series is Awesome, has caught the attention of series creator John Semper, Jr. who has become a regular contributor. He engages fans, answers questions, and posts behind the scenes photos of the cast and crew! Of the most interest to me, and perhaps you too, is the photo album he created that contains the complete story boards for the first act of the show's premiere episode, Night of the Lizard. It is this sort of stuff that I love to see! Here are the first ten pages. You can check out the other 152 pages here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thor: Tales of Asgard is Finally Coming!

Thor: Tales of Asgard, the final film in Marvel's collaboration with Lionsgate, has been fully completed for over a year, but upon the announcement of the Thor feature film, it was decided that the direct-to-DVD feature would be temporarily shelved and later released to coincide with the theatrical film.

With Thor hitting theatres on May 6, the announcement has finally been made that Tales of Asgard will see the light of day on May 17. Pre-orders for the single disc DVD and the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack are now up on Amazon.

The story will go back to Thor's earlier years, before he ever lifted his mighty hammer. It follows the upstart god's quest for the legendary Lost Sword of Surtur. To help in the search, Thor teams up with his loyal brother Loki, a budding sorcerer with a knack for conjuring up trouble, and the fabled Warriors Three, a band of boastful travelers. But what starts out as a harmless treasure hunt quickly turns deadly, and Thor must now prove himself worthy of his destiny by saving Asgard itself.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All-Star Superman Comes to DVD

All-Star Superman hits stores today. Early reviews are quite good, so you'll want to make sure you don't miss out! The film is based on the All-Star Superman Comic Book by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, sees Superman in his last days after being riddled with radiation while rescuing a mission to the sun.

You can buy this movie as a Single-Disc or Two-Disc DVD or, for a much better investment, Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack.

There is a small army of celebrity voices involved in this movie, including James Denton (Desperate Housewives) as Superman, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) as Lois Lane, Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) as Lex Luthor, Ed Asner (Up) as Perry White, Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) as Ma Kent, Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) as Jimmy Olsen, and Linda Cardellini (ER) as Nasty. Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy), Catherine Cavadini (The Powerpuff Girls), Finola Hughes (General Hospital), Alexis Denisof (Angel), Obba Babatunde (That Thing You Do!), Michael Gough (Batman) and John DiMaggio (Futurama) also lend their voices to the project.


Here is an interesting article that takes a look at the voice actors that have taken on the role of the Man of Steel over the years. By the end of the article they determine who was the best Superman. Who takes top spot? You'll have to read the article!

Incidentally, the article fails to mention Beau Weaver who played Superman in the 1988 Ruby/Spears animated series.

Friday, February 11, 2011

First Image for Emerald Knights

Here is the first photo released by Warner Bros. of the upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Emerald Knights which is due out in stores June 7.

Just like one of their earlier films, Gotham Knights, this direct-to-DVD movie is actually a series of short vignettes about the Green Lantern Corps and its verious members.

Firefly's Nathan Fillion plays Hal Jordan and Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss plays Arisia, a new recruit that will be mentored by Jordan. Other voices attached to this project include Harry Potter's Jason Isaacs, Hawaii Five-O's Kelly Hu, actor/spoken-word artist Henry Rollins and ex-wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superman Classic by Robb Pratt

Someone give this guy a series! Veteran Disney animator Robb Pratt has directed and animated this one-minute fan film starring the Man of Steel! I love the style and designs. There is a short behind-the-scenes featurette at the end of the video.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Return of the Joker Coming to Blu-ray

The first Batman: the Animated Series feature film to come to Blu-ray is the one that deserves it the most. Arguably the best of the four features based on the Timm-verse, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker tells the story of when Bruce Wayne's deadliest adversary comes back to haunt him. And how will the new Batman, Terry McGuiness, deal with the Clown Prince of Crime? The Blu-ray will be released on April 5.

When this direct-to-DVD movie was first released in 2000 there were two versions. The PG, 76-minute, full screen version, and the "original, uncut" PG-13, 77-minute, widescreen version.

The most noticeable difference in uncut version is the flashback scene in which the Joker and Batman engage in a much more violent and brutal fight. The edited version censors the blood and rewrites the Joker's death scene to something less dramatic. I'm sure all you fans will agree that the uncut version is much better.

However, the film was originally animated in full frame, 1.33:1 as it appears in the edited release. But the uncut version has been letterboxed to make a faux widescreen format. See the side-by-side comparison below to see how much picture you loose in the edited version:

So which version will be on the Blu-ray? Well, it is rated PG-13, so maybe it is the edited version. But the runtime, according to the back of the box, 76 minutes and a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, just like the censored version. So which version is it? I don't know.

I'm not sure why both versions can't be on the disc. After all, it is Blu-ray we're talking about. There is plenty of room for both plus all the bonus features (which are all carried over from the DVD releases).