DreamWorks Sells Out With Kung Fu Panda TV Show

kung fu panda sequel

DreamWorks Animation is not only developing a sequel to Kung Fu Panda, due out June 3rd 2011, but they are co-producing a television series for Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon has ordered 26 episodes after the success of The Penguins of Madagascar. The series premiered on the television network on March 28th, and has become the second-most-watched program among kids 6-12 on television, behind only Spongebob.

No details are known about the new show, only that it will be titled Kung Fu Panda: The Series. To me the title sounds like it won’t be a spin-off, but instead follow the future adventures of Po the Panda. I doubt that Jack Black or any of the other A-list talent from the computer animated feature film, will be providing their voice talents for the show.
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WTF: WALL-E Completely Snubbed at Annie Awards?

WALL-E got completely snubbed at the 36th Annual Annie Awards. For those of you who don’t know, the Annie Awards is an all-animation award show presented by the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA-Hollywood since 1972. The awards range form Character Animation in a Feature Presentation to Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, the the more obvious, more prestigious Best Animated Feature award.

DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda beat WALL-E in every single category, including Best Animated Feature, Animated Effects, Character Animation, Directing in an Animated Feature, Production Design, Storyboarding, and Voice Acting categories. WALL-E didn’t even receive nominations in the Writing, Music, and Character Design categories. In Fact, Kung Fu Panda ended up taking home 15 statues in all (including the short film spin-off). Now I understand that Kung Fu Panda completely surprised everyone. It’s an awesome movie, no question about it. But the story is essentially a pared down version of Star Wars, the supporting voice acting is passable at best, and some of the character designs are just sloppy.

I’m sure the commentators will just write my rant of as being a WALL-E/Pixar fanboy (which I’ll freely admit). But I think everyone will agree that an award show for animation (the Annies are basically consider the Oscars of animation) to award Kung Fu Panda a whopping 15 statues, and present WALL-E with not even one, is completely ridiculous. You can read the full list of results after the jump.

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This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. In regards to movies and shows the author hasn’t seen, the DVD release is placed in its respective category based on critic and audience response. Those who find that approach questionable are welcome to leave a comment stating their thoughts, and we’ll be happy to ignore it.

Buy It

HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY
(Available as single-disc and 3-Disc Special Editions)
As much as critics may have loved Hellboy II, I felt strangely alone when proclaiming amongst fellow movie geeks that it was one of my favorite releases of 2008. Nobody was claiming it was a bad movie, but audiences just weren’t all that enthusiastic about it. This is a shame since, much like the first film, this sequel managed to flawlessly combine creative and visually stunning action sequences (with a strong focus on practical effects over CGI), cool characters, and a well-told storyline that wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting in another filmmaker’s hands. The difference, though, is that all these things are handled even better the second time around. Hopefully it’ll build a stronger following on DVD.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The single disc includes an audio commentary (with director Guillermo del Toro), another audio commentary (with cast members Jeffrey Tambor, Selma Blair & Luke Gross), Set Visits, Troll Market Tour with Guillermo del Toro, Zinco Epilogue Animated Comic, and deleted scenes. The 3-disc DVD includes both the single disc extras and Hellboy: In Service of the Demon, Prologue, Production Workshop, Pre-Production Vault, Marketing Campaign, Script, and a digital copy of the film.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99
Amazon – $15.99

*Does not include 3-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (excluding Amazon, where it costs $17.99).

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Exclusive comic.
Where? Target.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free collectible interactive CD game card with purchase of 3-Disc DVD ($22.99).
Where? Circuit City.

Also available is the Collector’s Set ($39.99) of the DVD…

KUNG FU PANDA
(Available as single-disc and 2-Pack with Secrets of the Furious Five)
I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted such a silly-looking movie being as incredibly entertaining and, dare I say it, intelligent as this. Cleverly parodying the kung fu film genre, Kung Fu Panda manages to provide an easy-to-understand storyline for kids that also plays on the clichés older audiences are accustomed to seeing with such a predictable storyline. It’s the rare non-Pixar film that finds the perfect balance for children and adults, complete with surprisingly badass action sequences.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The single disc includes an audio commentary and featurettes (‘Meet The Cast’, ‘The Tech of Kung Fu Panda’, ‘The World of Panda: Conservational International Piece’). The 2-Pack with Secrets of the Furious Five includes both the single disc extras and more featurettes (‘Secrets of the Furious Five’, ‘The Tech of Kung Fu Panda’, ‘Learn To Draw’, ‘Sound Design’, ‘Learn the Panda Dance’, ‘Do You Kung Fu?’, ‘Mr. Ping’s Noodle Factory’, ‘Chopsticks’, ‘Inside the Chinese Zodiac’, ‘Animals of Kung Fu Panda’, ‘What Fighting Styles are you?’, ‘A Day in the Life: Shaolin Monks in Training’, ‘KFP Shuffle’).

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$15.99 $14.99
Amazon – $15.99

*With the exception of Best Buy (where the price remains the same – $15.99), these prices do not include the 2-Pack with Secrets of the Furious Five, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? 3-disc pack ($22.99) includes Secrets of the Furious Five and Activision PC game.
Where? Target.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free Kung Fu Panda figurine.
Where? Best Buy.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Free ultimate sticker book with purchase of double-feature edition (which includes Secrets of the Furious Five) ($22.99).
Where? Circuit City.

Rent It

SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO
I always feel like I should like Takashi Miike’s films more than I actually do. With Sukiyaki Western Django, I found myself struggling through the borderline incomprehensible storyline and unapologetically self-referential attempts to pay homage to the western film genre, while also enjoying the hell out of the beautiful cinematography and supremely epic shoot outs and battle sequences. And yet, even after saying “holy shit that was awesome” to myself for about the fifteenth time, I somehow still found myself occasionally getting bored.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes and a making-of featurette.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $14.99 N/A $14.99
Amazon – $19.99

THIS CHRISTMAS
Obviously I’m not the target audience for this film (read: I’m white), but as a fan of Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo and Idris Elba (who plays Stringer Bell on The Wire), I may just end up checking it out anyway. If you’re in a holiday mood and are looking for a good movie to watch with the family (and don’t mind dealing with the expected genre clichés), this looks like it could make for a heartwarmingly pleasant rental.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Audio Commentary, deleted/extended scenes, and a making-of featurette.

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $17.99 $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

Skip It

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Editions)
I would love to bitch-slap George Lucas. His eagerness to destroy the legacies of the franchises fans hold so dear to their hearts is sickening. This has never been more evident than with The Clone Wars, a CGI precursor to a Cartoon Network TV show that was originally meant to air on television. Now, I haven’t yet seen the film (the horrible reviews haven’t offered a whole lot of incentive), but only a real douchebag would take something that’s clearly suited specifically for TV and force it into theatres, thus fooling unaware audience members into emptying their pockets for what they’re assuming is a legitimate theatrical release.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The single disc includes only an audio commentary, while the two-disc includes that as well as featurettes (‘The Clone Wars: The Untold Stories’, ‘The Voices of The Clone Wars’, ‘ The New Score’, ‘Webdocs’), deleted scenes, concept/production art gallery, a Hologram Memory Challenge, and a digital copy of the film.

BEST PRICE*
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99 $17.99 $15.99
Amazon – $15.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? 2-Disc Deluxe ($22.99) and Blu-ray ($26.99) include exclusive Red Clone packaging and Shipyards of Doom 96-pg. graphic novel.
Where? Target.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Exclusive Steelbook for 2-Disc Edition ($22.99).
Where? Best Buy.

THE PERFECT HOLIDAY
Whereas This Christmas represents a respectable effort geared towards urban audiences, The Perfect Holiday shows us the exact opposite. I caught about fifteen minutes of the film in theaters while waiting for another movie to start, and was appalled by just how bland, unfunny and poorly made it was. Movies like this are the reason films featuring primarily African American casts struggle to get any respect in the film world. Tyler Perry isn’t helping either.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Filmmakers’ commentary, a featurette (‘Wish List: A Perfect Holiday in the Making’), and video diaries (’7 Days on the Set of Perfect Holiday’).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$19.99 $17.99 $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
The Sopranos (The Complete Series)Beer for My HorsesJFK – Director’s Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)Scrubs (Season 7)Little House on the Prairie (The Complete Television Series)The Cosby Show (25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)Sabrina (The Centennial Collection)The Boys in the BandMind of Mencia (Season 4)

Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?

The Specials
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.


Exclusive: Free $5 Target GiftCard with purchase of any 2 of the following…
$14.99 – Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Speed Racer, Sex and the City: The Movie, Baby Mama, Journey to the Center of the Earth, What Happens in Vegas, and more…

Exclusive: Free $5 Target GiftCard with purchase of any 2 of the following…
$12.99 – The Polar Express 3-D, Elf, A Christmas Story, Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, and more…
$19.99 – The Nightmare Before Christmas (2-Disc Collector’s Edition)

$17.99 – Dexter (Seasons 1 – 2)
$19.99 – Pushing Daisies (Season 1)
$22.99 – South Park (Seasons 10 – 11)


$9.99 – The Bank Job (2-Disc Special Edition), The Mist (2-Disc Collector’s Edition), Mr. & Mrs. Smith – Unrated (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition), I Robot (All-Access Collector’s Edition), Walk the Line (Extended Cut), Napoleon Dynamite (Like, The Best Special Edition Ever!), Ice Age (Super-Cool Edition), and more…


$6.99 – Children of Men, Smoking Aces, Miami Vice, Jaws (Collector’s Edition), King Kong, Serenity, Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Jurassic Park III, The Fast and the Furious (Tricked-Out Edition), Doom, and more…

Madagascar 3 and Kung Fu Panda 2

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says that the computer animation studio is in talks for a Kung Fu Panda sequel, and  plans to have at least one more Madagascar film, if not more. Katzenberg told reporters on Wednesday that they are currently having conversations about a possible Kung Fu Panda 2, and to expect an announcement in the next 30 to 60 days.

Panda was one of the last DreamWorks Animated films that will be released in 2D, but the studio did some 3D tests with sequences from the film in preparation of the company’s three dimensional future. Katzenberg told /Film a couple weeks back that directors John Stevenson and Mark Osbourne were so impressed with the tests, that they had very early discussions about the possibility of re-releasing the film in 3D. But who knows if that would still be a possibility with the release of a 3D sequel.

Katzenberg also said that Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will probably spawn a sequel: “There is at least one more chapter. We ultimately want to see the characters make it back to New York.” But does anyone really care about a third Madagascar film? While I certainly understand the New York return story being a neat third act of the series, I’d much rather see a spin-off following the adventures of the penguins.

source: THR

Chinese Artist Sues Kung Fu Panda Creators

According to Shanghai Daily, as well as dozens of other sites, conceptual artist Zhao Bandi has filed a lawsuit against Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures for the offensive grotesqueries depicted in Kung Fu Panda, asking not for monetary compenstation but merely an apology from the film’s producers. Even more shockingly, the Beijing Chaoyang District People’s Court is allowing the case to proceed.

So what are Zhao’s complaints towards the film? Let’s begin with the misdemeanors:
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Kung Fu Panda Sequel

Kung Fu Panda was the first non-Pixar computer animated film that I really enjoyed. When I saw the film a few months back, I said to one of my friends “This is gonna be huge, lets hope they don’t f**k it up by making a sequel.” Well guess what… A story crew has already begun early work on a Sequel, according to a posting on the TAG Blog. The original film has garnered great reviews across the board and made over $229.7 million worldwide in its first 19 days of release.

/Filmcast Episode 3 – Kung Fu Panda

/FilmCast

Kung Fu PandaIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David, Devindra, and Adam debate how good the Religulous trailer really is, remember the good old days when Eddie Murphy used to say “Fuck,” try to ignore the hype/hate behind the Valkyrie trailer, and geek out about Kung Fu Panda. Special guest bloggers Mike Sonders joins us from Great White Snark and Myles McNutt joins us from Cultural Learnings. Have any questions/comments/suggestions? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com.

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Tropic Thunder Viral Video by MTV Movie Awards

The Pitch: I know we don’t give the MTV Movie Awards much credit, but each year they usually have a couple pre-taped segments which are pretty funny. This year the segment everyone is talking about involved Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr planning a vial video for Tropic Thunder. I’m not going to give too much away, but any video which has Iron Man hitting the Kung Fu Panda in the balls with a hammer is worth your time.

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