Netflix to Bow ‘Angry Birds’ Series Worldwide in 2021

The new animated series “Angry Birds: Summer Madness,” based on the world of the “Angry Birds” made famous by the game and movie series, will debut globally on Netflix starting in 2021.

The 40, 11-minute episode series will be “taking its cue from the humor and tone of The Angry Birds Movie franchise while revealing a fresh new look,” according to a Netflix release.

“Angry Birds: Summer Madness” sees much-loved birds Red, Bomb and Chuck, as well as a cast of new feathered friends, as tween birds at summer camp under the questionable guidance of their counselor Mighty Eagle. Explosive antics, improbable pranks and crazy summertime adventures see the birds pushing boundaries and breaking all the rules while fending off the brash and obnoxious pigs on the other side of the lake.

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This is the latest collaboration in a long-term partnership between CAKE and Rovio Entertainment, which includes international distribution rights to Rovio’s expanding library of non-dialogue shorts.

“Angry Birds are about to smash the small screen and we are thrilled to be making the journey with Netflix as our global partner,” Ed Galton, CCO and managing director of CAKE, said in a statement.

“Angry Birds animated content plays a key role in our long-term franchise strategy,” Ville Heijari, CMO of Rovio, said in a statement. “After more than a decade in hit games, blockbuster movies and licensed products, this is the Angry Birds’ first foray into a long-form series. We’re delighted to continue our partnership with CAKE and can’t wait to unveil the world of ‘Angry Birds: Summer Madness’ to viewers on Netflix.”

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“Angry Birds have been a true phenomenon for kids around the world and we’re excited to bring them home to the nest at Netflix where they will be angrier and bird-ier than ever,” Curtis Lelash, Netflix director of original animated series, said in a statement.

MovieSpree TVOD Service Bows Sales on Animated Kids’ Series Including ‘Gigantosaurus’

MovieSpree, Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional VOD service, is offering sales on several animated kids’ series to keep the little ones occupied while they stay at home.

On March 25, MovieSpree launched the complete first season of the animated kids’ series “Gigantosaurus,” on sale for $22.49 — 25% off of the regular price. In the series, young dinosaurs Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu are growing up in the Cretaceous period where life is always an adventure — new volcanoes are popping up all the time, the long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratops roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky, and the big, fierce Gigantosaurus reigns over it all.

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“Liberty’s Kids”

Also on sale are several complete animated series at $2.99, including “Liberty’s Kids” (including all 40 episodes of the edutainment series), “Street Sharks,” “C.O.P.S.,” “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century,” “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” and “Horseland.”

‘Buffaloed,’ ‘Strike’ Due on Disc and Digital This Spring From Magnolia

The comedy Buffaloed and the animated film Strike are coming to disc and digital from Magnolia Home Entertainment this spring.

The comedy Buffaloed, due May 19 on Blu-ray, DVD and digital, follows Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch), a young girl obsessed with making enough cash to get out of her blue-collar existence. She’s betting on her sharp mind — and even sharper mouth — to get her into an Ivy League university. But when an acceptance letter to the school of her dreams arrives, she quickly realizes the impossibility of paying tuition. One scalping scheme, stint in prison and chance phone conversation with a debt collector changes everything. Directed by Tanya Wexler (Finding North, Hysteria) and also starring Judy Greer, Jai Courtney and Jermaine Fowler, the film is as much of an ode to the city of Buffalo, N.Y., as it is to the millions of Americans struggling with a seemingly dead-end economic existence.

Extras include the featurettes “Getting Buffaloed,” “Welcome Home” and “Friends & Relations.”

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Strike, coming April 7 on DVD and digital from Indican Pictures, is an animated coming-of-age story from one of the executive producers of “Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.” It follows Mungo Morrison (voice of Lizzie Waterworth, “Bob the Builder”) as he struggles to save his family and community, while also trying to achieve his dream of representing his country in soccer during the Wild Cup in Russia. Mungo is a young mole who is due to begin work by his proud father’s side in their hometown’s legendary gold mine. While his best friends are excited to be in the mine, Mungo secretly dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. However, desperate not to upset his father and facing the challenge of being a small mole unable to play soccer in bright light, Mungo sadly resigns himself to life as a miner. But, when the mine is forced to shut down after a mysterious accident, an evil and gold-obsessed supervillain, known only as “The Boss” (voice of Ken Stott, “The Hobbit” franchise) attempts to bully the townsfolk into selling him the mine. Against all odds and with a little help from his crazy friends, Mungo begins an epic adventure of thrills, laughs, action and danger as he hurtles towards the Wild Cup finals in Russia and has a final showdown with “The Boss.”

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Special features include “Behind-the-Scenes of Strike.”

Korean Animated Adventure ‘A Dog’s Courage’ Due on Digital April 14, Disc May 5 From Well Go

The South Korean animated family film A Dog’s Courage will debut on digital  April 14 and Blu-ray and DVD May 5 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The film follows Jacob, a feisty and playful dog abandoned by his owners. He joins a pack of strays that embarks on a journey filled with adventures and life lessons in their pursuit to find a new and loving home, finding the perfect place of safety and peace, the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

The film is available in both the original Korean and an all-new English dub.

Directed by Chun-Baek Lee and Oh Sung-Yoon (Leafie, a Hen Into the Wild), A Dog’s Courage was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2019 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. 

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Animated Family Film ‘Swift’ Flying to Disc April 7 From Shout!

The animated Swift flies to Blu-ray and DVD April 7 from Shout! Kids.

Featuring the voice talent of Kate Winslet (Titanic) as Blanche, Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse, Finding Dory) as Yves, and Josh Keaton (Voltron: Legendary Defender) as Manou, the film follows Manou, a sweet bird who grows up believing he is a seagull like his parents. He strives to swim, fish and fly like them, but feels that he is not very gifted. To his great shock, Manou discovers that he was adopted, and is actually the offspring of the much-hated swifts. After a tragedy, Manou has to navigate the differences between swifts and seagulls, and ultimately try to find his own identity — and save his friends and family along the way.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD include an interview with Dafoe, a look at the making of the film and the theatrical trailer.

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Season 11 of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Swimming to DVD March 31

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Eleventh Season will arrive on DVD March 31 from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment.

In the season, viewers enter DoodleBob’s alternate dimension, take a trip to Bubble Buddy’s hometown, take a trip to the moon, solve the curious case of the missing clarinet and hear Gary speak for the very first time. Also, they see SpongeBob keep Fred’s leg out of harm’s way, move Bubble Bass out of his mom’s basement, and stop SpongeGar from wreaking havoc all over town. The season includes new characters, such as an imaginary hamster, a sea bunny, the Krusty Krab’s peculiar night crew and Sandy’s nutty nieces.

The 3-DVD set features every episode from Season 11, plus Plankton’s Color Nullifier.

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Disney+ Revives ‘The Proud Family’ Animated Series

SVOD service Disney+ has ordered the revival of the animated series “The Proud Family” which premiered 18 years ago on the Disney Channel.

The series “is still beloved for its characters, stories and multilayered humor and for its messages about inclusion and cultural diversity in a smart, modern way,” according to a Disney press release.

The new animated family sitcom “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” is currently in production at Disney Television Animation with creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith and executive producer Ralph Farquhar, who led the original series, at the helm, reuniting them with Calvin Brown Jr. who is co-executive producer and story editor.

All previous seasons of “The Proud Family” are currently available on Disney+.

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“In our minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell,” Smith and Farquhar said in a joint statement. “It’s the perfect time to bring back this show, and we can’t wait to take fans, old and new alike, on this journey with us.”

Picking up the story of its central character Penny Proud, the new series will also include her family: parents Oscar and Trudy, twin siblings BeBe and CeCe, and her grandmother Suga Mama (and Puff!). Also returning are Penny’s crew Dijonay Jones, LaCienega Boulevardez and Zoey Howzer, among others.

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Reprising their voice roles are Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud, Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud, Jo Marie Payton as Suga Mama, Karen Malina White as Dijonay Jones, Soleil Moon Frye as Zoey Howzer and Alisa Reyes as LaCienega Boulevardez. Cedric the Entertainer will also return as Uncle Bobby Proud.

“The show’s humor and relatable stories are as relevant with audiences today as ever,” Agnes Chu, SVP of content at Disney+, said in a statement. “Our audiences have loved rediscovering their favorite episodes of ‘The Proud Family,’ and we’re excited Bruce, Ralph, Calvin, and the returning cast are creating new stories for their new home on Disney+.”

“The genius of the original ‘Proud Family’ series was that, under the guise of a family comedy, it provided a brilliant social commentary on our life and times,” Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, said in a statement. “With this new series, Bruce and Ralph will once again challenge everyone to think differently about the world we share.”

 

HBO Max Inks Deal With Children’s Author Mo Willems

HBO Max has inked an exclusive, multiyear deal with children’s author Mo Willems, an Emmy-Award winning writer, New York Times bestselling author and illustrator.

Willems is HBO Max’s very first artist in residence, according to the SVOD service, launching at $14.99 a month in May.

As part of the two-year deal, HBO Max has acquired streaming rights to Willems’ first live-action special Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! from Greg Silverman’s media company StampedeVentures, which will produce all additional content under the deal. HBO Max has committed to additional live-action “Storytime” specials, as well as multiple animated specials based on Willems’ children’s books. The first animated special will be based on the New York Times bestseller Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.

“Mo is a special talent with a profound ability to connect with children and families alike,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS and truTV, said in a statement. “We are so happy Mo and Stampede Ventures chose to partner with us at HBO Max.”

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“We are so lucky to be able to work with the multi-talented Mo Willems, whose work is authentic, inspiring and truly impactful,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original non-fiction and kids programming at HBO Max, said in a statement.

“HBO Max is the perfect home for me to work on fun and experimental ways to bring my book characters and theater work to the screen because we share the goal of creating exciting shows and series that bring families together,” Willems said in a statement. “My focus is making stuff that amuses, entertains and sparks creative play after the screen is powered down. Having the creative teams of HBO Max and Stampede Ventures with me means that we’ll get to create meaningful work and have fun doing it. We’re so excited we even created a new logo for the occasion. Banana!”

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Previously announced and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime!, shot over the summer at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., is a live-action family comedy special featuring Willems and the “Story Time All-Stars,” a group of celebrities, comedians and actors, performing live readings and sketch comedy inspired by Willems’ work, as well as musical guests. Celebrity guests include Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”), Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community’) and Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”).

 

Disney Celebrates Disc Release of ‘Frozen II’ With FIDM Window at L.A. Disney Store

To celebrate the Feb. 25 disc release of Frozen II, Disney is collaborating with Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising alumni to create a window at the Westfield Century City Disney Store featuring five streetwear looks and design elements inspired by the film.

FIDM alums Paul Hernandez and Tomy Huang will create two female and two male garments incorporating the elemental spirits of nature featured in the film — air, fire, water and earth — while Nick Verreos (FIDM co-chair fashion design and spokesperson and TV host/personality)  and his design partner and fellow FIDM co-chair David Paul will create an Elsa-inspired gown.

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Each day the display is featured Feb. 25-March 2, ten randomly selected purchasers of the Frozen II Blu-ray will go home with a copy of the film signed by voices cast stars Kristen Bell (voice of Anna) or Josh Gad (voice of Olaf).

 

1970s Animated Title ‘The Point’ Narrated by Ringo Starr Due on Blu-ray Feb. 18 From MVD

The animated title The Point (1971) is coming to Blu-ray for the first time from the MVD Rewind Collection Feb. 18.

Directed and animated by Academy Award winner Fred Wolf (Free To Be… You & Me, “The Flintstones”) with story and songs written by Grammy Award winner Harry Nilsson and narration by Ringo Starr, The Point is a family friendly fable about difference.

In The Land of the Point, everything has one — the barns, the houses, the cars, the people — everyone, that is, except Oblio (Mike Lookinland, “The Brady Bunch”), who was born round-headed. Since he has no point, Oblio — along with his trusty dog, Arrow — is banished to the Pointless Forest.

Nilsson released his album The Point in 1970, and the animated film version of The Point first aired Feb. 2, 1971, as an ABC Movie of the Week. Songs include “Me and My Arrow,” “Everything’s Got ‘Em,” “Poli High,” “Think About Your Troubles,” “Life Line,” “P.O.V. Waltz” and “Are You Sleeping.”

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The re-release was overseen by Lee Blackman for the Nilsson Estate and MVD’s Eric D. Wilkinson.

“We searched everywhere but came up empty-handed in regard to locating the original negative elements,” said Wilkinson in a statement. “Thanks to the generosity of collector Kier-La Janisse, who provided a rare 16mm print, we oversaw a 2K HD scan, which included shot-by-shot color-grading to reduce fade and improve consistency. Considering the condition of the elements we had — while a complete restoration proved to be unfeasible — the end result is the best the film has ever looked and we are proud to give fans and collectors the best edition on disc and digital that has ever been created for this classic animated film.”

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The disc features a new 2K High Definition transfer presented in its original aspect ratio and several special features, including a new interview with Lookinland; a new conversation with screenwriter Norm Lenzer; a new featurette “Everybody’s Got a Point: Kiefo Nilsson and Bobby Halvorson on Adapting the Point”; a new featurette “Nilsson on Screen,” with biographer Alyn Shipton and friends on Nilsson’s film projects and appearances; the four-part featurette “The Making of The Point” ; and a mini-poster.