‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Coming to Digital Aug. 13, Disc Aug. 27 From Universal

The family film The Secret Life of Pets 2 will debut on digital Aug. 13 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Aug. 27 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

From the studio Illumination (Despicable Me, Minions, Sing), the animated sequel features the pets and their growing families in a new chapter that explores the deep bond between them and the humans that love them. Again, the film answers the question: What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home? Terrier Max (voice of Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he has to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.

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Other voice talent includes Eric Stonestreet, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford in his first ever role in an animated film as new farm dog, Rooster.

Bonus features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include two mini-movies — Super Gidget, featuring the film’s Pomeranian Gidget and her best friend Max, and Minion Scouts, starring the Minions. Also included are deleted scenes, making-of featurettes and drawing tutorials. An interactive Captain Snowball motion comic allowing viewers to direct the bunny hero on his next move is exclusive to the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray versions.

‘Molly of Denali’ Streaming on PBS Kids Prime Video Starting July 19

“Molly of Denali,” the first nationally distributed animated series in the U.S. to feature a Native American and Alaska Native lead character, will begin streaming on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel July 19.

The series premieres on PBS Kids July 15th. It follows Molly, her dog Suki and her friends Tooey and Trini on their daily adventures in Alaska.

Also streaming in July are several volumes of “Super Why!,”where kids learn how to read through adventures in Storybrook Village, a three-dimensional world behind shelves in the library, and a new volume of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” where kids join Daniel and his friends in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

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The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

‘Cinderella’ Waltzes Into National Film Registry

In support of the upcoming 70th anniversary of Cinderella and the film’s induction into the National Film Registry, The Walt Disney Studios and the Library of Congress held a screening of the film along with a Cinderella Ball June 20 in Washington, D.C. The film is currently available on digital and Movies Anywhere and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD June 25.

PBS Kids Launches Spanish-Language Shows on Amazon Prime Video Channel

PBS Distribution has launched Spanish-language versions of a variety of PBS Kids programs on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel.

Spanish-language versions of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Scigirls,” “Cyberchase” and “Caillou” debuted on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel May 24.

“We’re excited to expand our PBS KIDS channel offering to include a selection of episodes presented in Spanish,” said Andrea Downing, co-president, PBS Distribution, in a statement. “Our aim is to provide educational and entertaining programming for all kids, and this expansion helps further that mission.”

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The launch includes a total of 30 episodes of PBS Kids programming available in Spanish. Subscribers of the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Channel will not need to pay any extra fee for the newly available programs.

Netflix Makes Deal with Russo Brothers for Animated Series Based on ‘Magic: The Gathering’

Netflix is joining forces with Joe and Anthony Russo, Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro’s Allspark Animation to bring the game franchise “Magic: The Gathering” to the screen for the first time in the franchise’s 25-year history with an animated series of the same name.

The Russos (Avengers: Infinity WarsAvengers: Endgame) will oversee the creation of a new storyline and expand on the stories of the Planeswalkers, the franchise’s magic-wielding heroes and villains. They will also executive produce the series.

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Created in 1993, the “Magic” franchise has connected with more than 38 million fans over the last 25 years and has been published in 11 languages and played in over 70 countries. Fans currently experience the series through the tabletop trading card game, the digital game Magic: The Gathering Arena, a New York Times bestselling novel, a comic book series and professional esports league.

The “Magic: The Gathering” animated series will feature creative talent from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” Firefly, “Agent Carter,” Ultimate Spider-Man and the Lego movies.

“We have been huge fans and players of Magic: The Gathering for as long as it has been around, so being able to help bring these stories to life through animation is a true passion project for us,” said Joe and Anthony Russo in a statement.

“Working with Joe and Anthony, Wizards of the Coast, and Netflix on such a universally cherished brand is a real highlight for our studio,” stated Isaac Krauss, CEO of Octopie, which will oversee production of the series. “Our goal is to not only tell a compelling story leveraging ‘Magic: The Gathering’s’ incredible body of work, but to also push the medium and perception of storytelling through animation. This series will cross the genres of suspenseful thriller, horror, and drama with deeply developed characters the likes of which are not often seen in animation.”

“More fans are enjoying ‘Magic’ now than at any time in its 25-year history thanks to the enduring popularity of the tabletop game and our latest release War of the Spark, as well as the incredible success of our new digital game, Magic: The Gathering Arena.” said Chris Cocks, president of Wizards of the Coast, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with Joe and Anthony Russo to bring ‘Magic: The Gathering’s’ rich and diverse cast of characters and worlds to Netflix in a way that will delight our many fans and those new to the franchise.”

“’Magic’ is a beloved global franchise with a massively engaged fan base that has only continued to grow over the last 25 years,” said John Derderian, head of anime programming for Netflix, in a statement. “There’s no one better suited to bring this story to audiences around the world than Joe and Anthony Russo, whose talent for genre storytelling is unmatched, as demonstrated by their central role in creating some of the biggest box office hits of all time.”

Hulu to Premiere New Kids’ Animated Series ‘The Bravest Knight’ June 21

Hulu June 21 will premiere the first five episodes of a 13-episode order of the new Hulu Original animated kids’ series “The Bravest Knight.”

Based on children’s book by Daniel Errico, The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived, the story chronicles a young pumpkin farmer’s adventure as he attempts to become the bravest knight who ever lived. The new series features a household with two dads (Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew), making it one of the first children’s television series with an openly gay main character, according to a Hulu press release.

Hulu “continues to be a supporter of LGBTQ content and creators,” according to the release.

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Sir Cedric, now grown and married to the prince of his dreams, shares the story with his adopted 10-year-old daughter Nia of how he transformed from farmer to knight. Nia, who is training to become a knight herself, learns important values such as honor, justice and compassion.

The cast includes T.R. Knight as Sir Cedric, Bobby Moynihan as young Cedric’s troll sidekick Grunt and Storm Reid as Nia. The show also features the voice talents of RuPaul, Christine Baranski, Wanda Sykes, Wilson Cruz, Teri Polo, Steven Weber, Donna Murphy, AJ McLean, Dot-Marie Jones, Maz Jobrani, Chance Hurstfield and others.

Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Waltzes to Digital June 18, Disc June 25 for Its 70th

For its upcoming 70th anniversary, Cinderella will waltz into the Walt Disney Signature Collection on digital HD (including Movies Anywhere) June 18 and Blu-ray and DVD June 25.

Recently added to the National Film Registry, the animated classic centers on kind and hardworking Cinderella, who is ordered around by her cruel stepmother and her awful stepsisters. When an invitation to the royal ball arrives, Cinderella is left at home. Just when Cinderella believes all is lost, her Fairy Godmother appears and with a wave of her wand transforms her night.

Cinderella is the ninth title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, which includes Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Bambi, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid.

The anniversary edition of Cinderella offers two new extras: Cinderella trivia and fun facts, hosted by Ruth Righi and Ava Kolker from Disney Channel’s “Sydney to the Max,” and “In Walt’s Words: Enhanced Edition,” a special edition of Cinderella featuring production details, original storyboards, archival photos, thumbnail sketches and transcripts throughout the feature film.

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Hours of previously released bonus materials celebrate the animation, music and impact of Cinderella, showcasing Walt Disney’s core group of animators, the art of Disney legend Mary Blair, the original demo recording of the film’s title song and Cinderella’s iconic glass slipper. They include:

  • Diane Disney Miller Cinderella film intro, in which Miller describes how Cinderella helped launch a studio renaissance;
  • “The Real Fairy Godmother,” about the real-life inspiration for the Fairy Godmother, Mary Alice O’Connor, wife of Disney layout artist Ken O’Connor;
  • “Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fairyland,” showing how Imagineers created a Fantasyland at Walt Disney World featuring each of the Disney princesses; and
  • “The Magic of the Glass Slipper,” in which world-famous shoe designer Christian Louboutin creates a very exclusive “Glass Slipper” in honor of the Disney classic.

‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Flies to Top of FandangoNow Chart

The animated How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was the top film purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended May 5.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

The Universal film, the third in the series about a boy and his dragon, made $160 million at the box office. The “How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy” came in at No. 9, showing there was strong interest in the franchise for the week.

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Landing at No. 2 was the Warner romantic comedy sendup Isn’t It Romantic, starring Rebel Wilson. Wilson and Anne Hathaway star in the current theatrical release The Hustle, which perhaps boosted interest in the Wilson title.

Universal’s Glass, from filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, came in third on the FandangoNow chart, while Universal’s Fighting With My Family, a wrestling story starring Dwayne Johnson, landed at No. 4.

In the No. 5 spot was Lionsgate’s Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson as a grieving snowplow driver who seeks revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son. The film earned $32 million at the box office.

The top 10 films purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended May 5 were:

  1. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World *
  2. Isn’t It Romantic *
  3. Glass *
  4. Fighting With My Family
  5. Cold Pursuit *
  6. Aquaman *
  7. Serenity
  8. The Mule *
  9. How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy *
  10. Arctic *

 

*Available in 4K

Netflix Acquires Kids Property StoryBots

Netflix has acquired the StoryBots property, the Emmy, Annie, and Parents’ Choice award-winning children’s media brand created by Gregg and Evan Spiridellis.

The brothers have entered into an overall deal with Netflix to significantly expand the universe of the StoryBots. Netflix and the Spiridellis brothers will produce more StoryBots original programming, such as series and short form specials, while also expanding the brand into new areas, according to a Netflix press release.

“The acquisition is a sign of Netflix’s commitment to bring educational content to its growing member base of kids and families around the world,” according to the release.

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The audience for the Netflix original animated series “Ask the StoryBots” has “grown significantly year over year since it first started streaming in 2016,” according to the release.

The series makes use of multiple formats, including 3D, 2D, claymation, stop motion and live action and features guest stars such as Snoop Dogg, Edward Norton, Whoopi Goldberg and Wanda Sykes. It takes kids on a journey to seek answers to questions such as, “Why is the sky blue?” and “How does night happen?”

“’Ask The StoryBots’ has a proven track record of synthesizing complex subjects into bite-sized lessons that are funny and entertaining for young kids and satisfying for parents,” said Netflix VP of original animation Melissa Cobb in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome Gregg and Evan into the Netflix family and look forward to building out the wonderful and whimsical StoryBots world, finding new ways to delight our growing member base of families around the world.”

“Together with Netflix, our goal is to make StoryBots the leading educational entertainment brand for connected kids and families globally,” said StoryBots co-founders Evan and Gregg Spiridellis in a statement. “We want kids from Argentina to Zambia growing up laughing and learning with StoryBots that feel native to their culture. We see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring something epically good into the world.”

Season three of “Ask the StoryBots” launches on Netflix this Fall.

Animated ‘Wonder Park’ Rides to Digital June 4, Disc June 18 From Paramount

The animated adventure Wonder Park will be released on digital June 4 and Blu-ray combo pack and DVD June 18 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

It’s the story of a young girl named June who makes an incredible discovery — the amusement park of her dreams has come to life filled with wild rides operated by fun-loving animals. When trouble hits, June and her misfit team of furry friends begin an unforgettable journey to save the park. Wonder Park features the voices of Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Kenan Thompson and Ken Jeong, among others.

The film made $45.2 million at the box office.

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The Blu-ray combo pack includes access to a digital copy as well as bonus content, including the deleted scene “Gus Yodeling”; “The Wonder Chimp Channel”; “The Pi Song Sing-Along”; “Making Noises (It’s Actually a Job?!!)”; “June’s Guide to Wonderland”; “June’s Welcoming Crew”; “Boardwalk Caricatures”; “Drawing Boomer”; “Drawing the Wonder Chimp Pirate”; and “Drawing the Wonder Chimp Princess.”