Disney Television Animation Announces New Pilots, “Haunted Mansion” Special, New Dan Povenmire Deal
Phineas and Ferb co-creator Dan Povenmire at a promotional event in New York City in July 2011. Photography by myself
On the 59th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland, Disney Television Animation today announced a new television special based on the beloved theme park attraction Haunted Mansion, alongside three new pilots from such luminaries as Jhonen Vasquez and Aaron Springer.
The Haunted Mansion, which opened in Disneyland in 1969, is one of the most famed of Disney’s theme park attractions. Horror artist Gris Grimly is the co-executive producer and art director, with Scott Peterson as co-executive producer and story editor. Writing duties are by Peterson and Joshua Pruett (both of whom are writers on Phineas and Ferb).
Speaking of Phineas and Ferb, the studio has also extended its long-term development deal with its co-creator Dan Povenmire. Arguably Disney TVA’s most successful series, Ferb recently received its ninth Emmy nomination.
In addition, Disney TVA has picked up the short-form series Future-Worm, created by Ryan Quincy of the short-lived IFC animated show Out There, focusing on a boy who befriends a worm from the future after making a time machine out of a lunch box. Three additional series are in the pilot phase: Billy Dilley’s Super Duper Subterranean Summer by Aaron Springer (SpongeBob SquarePants), about two kids who end up spending summer break trapped in the center of the earth with their eccentric classmate; Very Important House from Jhonen Vazquez (Invader Zim) and Jenny Goldberg (Rick and Morty), in which an 11-year-old girl finds herself the caretaker of the universe; and Douglas Furs by Subpop Records art director Jesse LeDoux and Matt Olsen (voice of Bentley the turtle in the Sly Cooper video games), about an unhandy handyman bear who takes it upon himself to solve all the problems in a village of animals.
A project I started at the age of 12-13 (back then drawing characters on paper and gluing them to photos). These were done over the past few months. All photos are taken either at the parks or the respected Animation Studios by myself. I want to do more of these both with my characters and copyright ones. I will do them whenever I have spare time.
Let’s see if you can guess and see all the characters here (bonus if you guess the name of my OC).
characters are all (c) their respected owners
Some fantastic photo/artwork combinations by the talented Ashley “KicsterAsh” Simpson.
“The first two years was just this fun thing we were doing in our spare time. It was no different to us than making some weird zine at Kinkos or recording a crappy album on a 4-track. But for the first time ever, more than our friends were looking at it. Because it was on the Internet, we could gauge ‘Oh, people are watching this and they seem to like it, so maybe we’ll keep doing it.”
- Homestar Runner creator Matt Chapman on this week’s Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show
We also discuss where the show came from, what happened to it, and why it’s finally coming back. What could be better? Listen on iTunes or JeffRubinJeffRubinShow.com
A very interesting interview with Matt Chapman of Homestar Runner fame that’s very interesting to listen to if you, like me, grew up with the gang from Free Country USA. A lot of interesting stuff is discussed, including, but not limited to:
- Homestar is back! I think this pretty much makes it official: Matt and Mike live in the same town again and are throwing around ideas for things for what they lovingly call their “dumb cartoon animals” to do (then again, they’ve been doing it during the hiatus even non-professionally). This year’s April Fools’ joke was a test of sorts. - Part of the long hiatus is due to the fact that the Chaps were shopping Homestar out as a TV series during that time. Even though its style of humor is PG at best, some of the well-known running gags (such as drinking “cold ones” and Strong Bad saying “crap” repeatedly) were too much even for kids networks. (Before it became a webtoon, Homestar Runner was professionally pitched only once to Cartoon Network in either 1999 or 2000 - after Space Ghost Coast to Coast but before Adult Swim). - As you may know, Matt Chapman’s “professional” career after Homestar included a stint at Disney Television Animation, where he wrote for Gravity Falls (and also got to write a song for it). Matt mentions his go-round there also included pitching gags for the new Mickey Mouse shorts and creating a pilot of his own about “a robot foreign exchange student”. Recently, Mike Chapman and Johnathan Howe (who programmed most of the video games for the Homestar website) did an adventure game for Adult Swim’s website based on Rick and Morty.
The entire LA Film Fest Gravity Falls Live! panel has been uploaded. Be sure to watch it for all the behind the scenes footage and season 2 details you need to know!
The entire thing is worth watching, but by far the best part of this panel is the showing of the storyboard to the unused opening of “Dreamscaperers” - not only because the unused opening is very funny, but because Alex Hirsch does a great job of narrating the storyboard and there is a fantastic discussion afterward where Hirsch asks both the audience and his co-stars as to why they think it might have been scrapped and they end up giving good answers not that far from the actual one (which ends up leading into a discussion of how a character’s first appearance is probably the best way to define their personality to the viewer with a fantastic example given. Even in fiction, the saying is true - you only get one chance to make a first impression).
Other highlights include lots of pretty background paintings from Season 2 which show how the staff’s recon trip to real Pacific Northwest tourist traps helped flesh out the look of Gravity Falls and the amazing revelation that Disney doesn’t care if you pretend to tear your own head off (in a cartoon, that is).
Steve Viksten, the co-creator of Hey Arnold! and writer of more episodes than any other - as well as the voice of the memorable Oskar Kokoshka - has passed away at the age of 54. Farewell, Mr. Kokoshka. Here’s hoping you’re petting the kitty in Heaven.
From 1993, David Letterman and Casey Kasem count down the top ten numbers between one and ten. I’m not sure why this is funny, but it’s probably because it plays on what both men are known for: countdowns. Before lists permeated the internet, they both did it well in their own way - and, as this clip shows, weren’t afraid to make fun of it.
Both in and out of context this quote really makes no sense. Given as Shrek has become both a Tumblr and an Internet meme, this quote - if not the product itself, if it ever gets made - seems custom made for them.
If it exists, Disney can milk it for all it’s worth. (And it’s amazing to think that the children who grew up with The Lion King are now themselves having children. If that isn’t a “you’re getting old” moment for the generation who, like me, saw it in the theater when it originally came out, I don’t know what is.)