Animated ‘Strawberry Shortcake’s Spring Spectacular’ Due on DVD and Digitally April 30 From Distribution Solutions and NCircle

The animated Strawberry Shortcake’s Spring Spectacular will be released on DVD and via digital retailers April 30 from Distribution Solutions and NCircle Entertainment.

In the program, Strawberry thinks more popularity will help her baking dreams come true and decides to compete to win best float at the flower festival.

The voice cast includes Ana Sani, Diana Kaarina, Margarita Valderrama, Bahia Watson, Andrea Libman, Shannon Chan-Kent, Tabitha St. Germain, Ingrid Nilson, Ian Hanlin and Chirag Naik.

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Animated ‘The Tiger’s Apprentice’ Due Digitally May 14, on DVD May 28

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the animated film The Tiger’s Apprentice digitally May 14, and on DVD May 28.

Based on the popular children’s book series by Laurence Yep, the film is a coming-of-age tale with mystical characters and a voice cast including Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Bowen Yang, Greta Lee and Brandon Soo Hoo.

The Tiger’s Apprentice follows Chinese-American teenager Tom Lee (Brandon Soo Hoo), whose life changes forever when he discovers he is part of a long lineage of magical protectors known as the Guardians.  With guidance from a mythical tiger named Hu (Henry Golding) and the other Zodiac animal warriors, Tom trains to take on an evil force (Michelle Yeoh) that threatens humanity.

Those who purchase the film on digital or DVD will have access to four behind-the-scenes featurettes with cast and crew.

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Season Two of Adult Animated Series ‘Velma’ to Debut on Max April 25

The 10-episode second season of the Max original adult animated series “Velma” debuts April 25.
In season two, when an even spookier mystery grips Crystal Cove, Velma (Mindy Kaling) must find a way to balance her detective work with the demands of her newfound popularity before it’s too late. Meanwhile, her faithful friends Daphne (Constance Wu), Norville (Sam Richardson), and Fred (Glenn Howerton) are powerless to help thanks to their own personal battles and worse — detention. 

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Season two of the series also features the voices of Russell Peters, Melissa Fumero, Sarayu Blue, Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes, Cherry Jones, Frank Welker, Nicole Byer, Gary Cole, Andia Winslow and Sara Ramirez.   

‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Headed for Premium Digital Release April 9

DreamWorks’ animated Kung Fu Panda 4 — the No. 2 box office film so far this year — will be released for premium digital purchase and rental April 9 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film has earned more than $410.4 million at the global box office. The franchise has grossed more than $2 billion globally.

Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee Jack Black returns as the voice of Po, the world’s most unlikely kung fu master, in the fourth film in the franchise. After learning he must find a new hero to take over as Dragon Warrior so that he may fulfill his destiny as the next spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace, Po decides to take one last adventurous mission. He teams up with a quick-witted thief named Zhen, voiced by Awkwafina, a corsac fox, to discover the truth about recent sightings of villains he’s defeated in the past. In a journey that puts both to the test, it will take a wicked, powerful sorceress, The Chameleon, voiced by Oscar winner Viola Davis, to bring them together and remind Po that heroes can be found in the most unexpected places.

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The never-before-seen animated short “Dueling Dumplings” will be available with purchase from participating retailers nationwide including Apple, Fandango at Home (formerly Vudu), Comcast Xfinity, Cox and Verizon.


‘ARK: The Animated Series’ Streaming Now on Paramount+

Paramount+ March 21 announced that the first six episodes of “ARK: The Animated Series,” a new original series based on the adventure video game ARK: Survival Evolved, are available to stream now exclusively on Paramount+ in the United States and Canada. The series will debut in all other Paramount+ international markets starting April 19. Part two of the season will debut with seven new episodes at a later date.

The animated series voice cast includes Oscar winners Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) and Russell Crowe (“The Loudest Voice”), Gerard Butler (Plane), David Tennant (“Doctor Who”), Oscar nominees Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction) and Elliot Page (“The Umbrella Academy”), Madeleine Madden (“The Wheel of Time”) and Vin Diesel (“Fast & Furious” franchise). 

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The series is a sweeping saga spanning eons of human history. When 21st century paleontologist Helena Walker (Madden) finds herself resurrected on a mysterious primeval island populated by prehistoric beasts, she must learn to survive with new allies from throughout time, while trying to uncover the true nature of their strange new world.


Netflix Extends Rights to Studio Ghibli Titles Outside U.S. and Japan

Netflix, Goodfellas and GKIDS have extended worldwide catalog streaming rights (outside of the United States and Japan) for titles from the Oscar-winning Japanese studio Studio Ghibli.

Netflix will be the future home of the Oscar-winning and Golden Globe-winning film The Boy and the Heron, with an announcement of the Netflix streaming premiere date to be made later this year. Hayao Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years, the fantasy adventure is a hand-drawn, original story written and directed by the Oscar-winning director. 

An additional 22 films — including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Arrietty, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, among others — will continue to stream on Netflix around the world.

Studio Ghibli fans in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America will continue to be able to view these films subtitled in 28 languages and dubbed in up to 20 languages.

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Animated ‘The Barkers: Mind the Cats’ Available Digitally April 30

Based on the popular educational animated series “The Barkers,” the feature The Barkers: Mind the Cats will be released on digital and via on demand April 30 from Lionsgate.

The animated adventure finds the lovable canine family on the road for a vacation adventure meeting all new characters including a rambunctious family of cats. 

The Barkers are a family of talking, dancing, trouble-making dogs. When the five Barker pups stay with Grandpa for the summer, poor Kid can’t find anyone to play with: his sisters are starstruck and lovestruck, and inventor Alex is making a jet pack so Max can become a social-media star. When two naughty cats decide to steal the jet pack, they play nice with lonely Kid and the other Barkers as they plot their caper. 

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Max Extends Deal With GKIDS for Studio Ghibli Streaming Rights

Max March 12 announced a multiyear agreement with GKIDS to extend its exclusive U.S. film streaming rights for titles from Studio Ghibli, Japan’s Oscar-winning animation house.

The streamer has been the U.S. home to the Studio Ghibli catalog since 2020, marking the first time the films were available to stream.

As part of the deal, Max will be the future home of the Oscar-winning and Golden Globe-winning film The Boy and the Heron, with an announcement of the Max streaming premiere date to be made later this year. The hand-drawn, original story is Hayao Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years, written and directed by the Academy Award-winning director. Produced by Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, the film features a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi.

“Our subscribers are always looking for unique stories, and we are happy to continue to offer these award-winning, critically acclaimed films and to add The Boy and the Heron to our deep and rich Max content offering,” Elizabeth Bannan Atcheson, VP of content acquisitions for Warner Bros. Discovery, said in a statement.

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The Studio Ghibli catalog includes classics such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Ponyo and films that have won many international awards, including Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature for 2001’s Spirited Away and 2023’s The Boy and the Heron. The studio has racked up additional Oscar nominations for Howl’s Moving Castle, The Wind Rises, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There.

Films available to stream as part of the new deal include:

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Castle in the Sky (1986)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Only Yesterday (1991)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Ocean Waves (1993)
Pom Poko (1994)
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
Spirited Away (2001)
The Cat Returns (2002)
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Ponyo (2008)
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
The Wind Rises (2013)
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)
When Marnie Was There (2014)
Earwig and the Witch (2020)
The Boy and the Heron (2023) — coming soon

Paramount+ Bows Trailer for Preschool Series ‘Dora,’ Due April 12

Paramount+ has released the official trailer and key art for the upcoming original preschool series “Dora,” featuring the Latina heroine Dora the Explorer.

Produced by Nickelodeon Animation and featuring 26 CG-animated 11-minute episodes, “Dora” will premiere on April 12, exclusively on Paramount+ in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Twenty episodes will be available to stream in all Paramount+ international markets outside of France and Japan on April 12. The series will also air on Nick Jr. internationally.

With new CG animation, the upcoming “Dora” series follows the bilingual explorer Dora (Diana Zermeño), and her best monkey friend Boots (Asher Colton Spence) as they embark on epic adventures in a fantastical rainforest. Guided by trustworthy Map (Anairis Quiñones), Dora and her friends must work together to overcome many obstacles while being challenged by the sneakiest fox, Swiper (Marc Weiner). Kathleen Herles, the original voice of Dora the Explorer, returns to the new series as Mami, and Mike Smith Rivera joins the cast as Papi.

In addition to Zermeño as Dora, previously announced cast members joining “Dora” include Maria Canals-Barrera as Abuela; Danny Burstein as Grumpy Old Troll and The Fiesta Trio’s Frog and Marmoset; Katarina Sky as Backpack; Donovan Monzon-Sanders as Tico; Tandi Fomukong as Isa; Quintún Muñoz as Benny; Chris Gifford as Big Red Chicken; and Quiñones as The Fiesta Trio’s Armadillo. Featured guest stars this season are Taboo as Quickatoo and Kate del Castillo as Ale the Alebrije.

Also launching this spring is “Dora’s Recipe for Adventure,” Nickelodeon’s brand-new podcast for preschoolers and families, which centers on Dora and celebrates culture, food, family and the importance of embracing oneself. Featuring all-new music, the 10-episode audio series follows Dora and Boots on their expeditions through the rainforest as they search for the missing ingredients for some of her family’s favorite dishes, such as caldo de piedra (stone soup), arroz con huevos (rice with eggs) and maduros (fried sweet plantains). “Dora’s Recipe for Adventure” will be available wherever listeners get their podcasts.

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The original “Dora the Explorer” launched on Nickelodeon on Aug. 14, 2000. The series currently is seen in more than 150 countries and territories and translated in 32 languages through Nickelodeon channels, Paramount+ around the globe and syndication. Over its eight-season run, which is currently available to stream in full on Paramount+, “Dora the Explorer” received countless accolades, including Emmy, Peabody, NAACP, Alma, Imagen, Latino Spirit, Gracie Allen, Parents’ Choice, Common Sense Media and Television Critics Association awards.


Animated Comedy ‘Migration’ Flies to Disc Feb. 27

Illumination’s animated comedy Migration will be released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and standard-priced digital Feb. 27 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film has earned $256.2 million at the global box office and has been available for premium digital rental and sale since Jan. 23.

The story follows the Mallard family as they embark on a journey south for the winter to Jamaica via New York City, only for their well-laid plans to go awry, leading to new friends and unknown horizons.

The voice cast includes Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Stuber), Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect, The Hunger Games), Keegan-Michael Key (The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Keanu), Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8, The Little Mermaid), and Danny DeVito (Batman Returns, “Taxi”).

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Special features include the mini-movies “Fly Hard,” in which Chump sheds her tough-as-nails attitude, risking her life to fly through a blizzard and the harrowing streets of New York to return a prized possession to a kind woman from the park; “Mooned,” in which following the events of Despicable Me, Vector and a lost Minion are stranded on the moon, and struggle to get back to Earth; and “Midnight Mission,” in which the Minions try to help Agnes overcome her fear of the dark, even if it involves going into outer space. Also included are behind-the-scenes, making-of and kid-friendly craft project featurettes.