Friday, March 27, 2009

Cartoon Network Upfront 2009: Animated

It's been two months since I've made a post on this blog. In that time I've been working on raising my grades in high school before the end of the term, convincing my parents to pay money for animation classes in Fall, and (most importantly) keeping a close eye on Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network held it's annual upfront on Wednesday, showcasing all the new stuff coming up in the next year...animation and live-action. Sure, there is a lot of animated goodness that has announced, but there is also as many live-action projects. Today, I will be reviewing and looking over the animated treats of the upfront.

*All images used in this blog post are completely and utterly owned by both Cartoon Network and Toon Zone
Upcoming Animated Series (Four Originals and Three Acquisitions)
  • Adventure Time with Finn and Jake - Finn, the human boy with the awesome hat, and Jake, the wise dog, are close friends and partners in strange adventures in the land of Ooo. Adventure Time started out as a short at Nickelodeon, and later on picked up by Cartoon Network. If you've seen the short on Youtube, you'd know that it has some wacky & random humor, rubbery animation, and pleasing colors. Having seen a complete storyboard for one of the episodes, I'm highly anticipating the premiere of this little gem.

  • Stoked - Six teenaged groms (young surfers) come together for 12 weeks over summer to work and surf at the world renowned Surfer’s Paradise Resort on the legendary Sunset Island, home of the most epic surf break in the country. From the creators of Total Drama Island and 6teen, Stoked is basically what I would call "6teen on a beach". The characters and animation seem very similar. However, this show could surprise me. Only time will tell whether or not I'll become a fan.

  • Total Drama Island - Showcasing all the elements of favorite reality TV shows—romances and friendships; scheming and sabotage; death-defying stunts and stomach curdling challenges within larger-than-life elimination competition—Total Drama Action succeeds Total Drama Island. Fourteen contestants face thrilling challenges on an abandoned film studio back-lot, all inspired by the movies. After reviewing Total Drama Island, I became a fan of the series. So of course I'm hoping Total Drama Action will be as good, if not better than the first season. Though hindered by Flash animation, the show had good writing and fabulous characters. And it successfully mocks reality television...

  • Ben 10: Evolutions - An all-new animated series follows 16-year-old Ben Tennyson as his secret identity has been revealed to the world and he’s now an international mega-star super hero, loved by kids the world over but distrusted by many adults. Armed with a mysterious new Omnitrix, Ben will see action in places he’s never been. Before any confusion sets in, I'd like to say that this series takes place after the upcoming third season of Alien Force. I'd also like to say that I actually enjoy the Ben 10 franchise, and I'll happily accept another series.

  • Sym-Bionic Titan - From creator Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack) comes an exciting hybrid of high school drama and giant robot battles. Sym-Bionic Titan follows the adventures of three beings from the planet Galaluna who crash-land on Earth while attempting to escape their war-torn world. This series had me at Genndy Tartakovsky...wonder how he'll juggle this and the Samurai Jack movie though.

  • Generator Rex - Infected by microscopic molecular-altering nanites, 15-year-old Rex has the ability to grow incredible machines out of his body. Recruited by an organization called Providence, Rex travels the world investigating a host of biological mutations that were created by the same nanites that give Rex his powers. Created by Man of Action, the same group that gave us Ben 10, Generator Rex seems like an interesting concept. I'll be sure to check it out, if only for that badass-looking monkey with the cigar.

  • Scooby-Doo: Mystery Inc. - A sleepy little village, Crystal Cove, boasts a long history of ghost sightings, poltergeists, demon possession, phantoms and other paranormal occurrences. The renowned sleuthing team of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo arrive to prove all of this simply isn’t real—but they don’t realize the locals don’t welcome their help. If you ask me, the plot for this series sounds more like a 26-episode story arc (or a DTV film) than an actually series. Nevertheless, I'm glad that we're getting more Scooby-Doo. Aren't you?
Animated Films
  • Firebreather - Cartoon Network’s first original all-CG animation adventure presents Duncan Rosenblatt, a rather typical, awkward high school kid, except that his dad is a fire-breathing dragon and he is destined to protect the earth. Based upon a comic book series, Firebreather seems like an awesome concept. The main character doesn't hide his true self: he shows it to the world at all times. This already puts it near the top of my must-watch list.
Strangly enough, that was the only animated film mentioned at the upfront, despite having several more behind closed doors.

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