End of the Line for Cartoon Shows from Marvel Animation?

To the most casual fan of Marvel, all that exists would probably be the MCU film series. More dedicated followers would know about the comic books, and the “completion” sort would be aware of the books and TV shows. Speaking of which, there’s some important development regarding Marvel animated series.

Disney XD has been the primary network wherein animated shows based on Marvel Comics characters, especially as patterned after their depictions in the Marvel Studios films, are shown. Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH count among those produced by Marvel Animation alongside collaborating cartoon studios.

Well, word is out that Marvel Animation is abruptly pulling the plug on their currently-running animated series. This was released by an animation industry insider blog, Tomb of the Cartoon Monkey Skeleton, which elaborates that Marvel animators were told that their work is finished after completing their current episode projects.

At least three Marvel Animation series currently airing on Disney XD have been noted to be specifically ending: Avengers Assemble (4 seasons), Guardians of the Galaxy (3 seasons plus shorts) and the present Spider-Man series (1 season). Other series are being placed on indefinite hiatus after their last-ordered episode runs.

The Tomb of the Cartoon Monkey Skeleton’s article writer Steve Hulett goes on to say that already animation staff layoffs have started and that things regarding animated Marvel in general is now “up in the air.” No further information has been discovered on why the animation studio is “closing up.”

While the current crop of animated Marvel shown on Disney XD is well-watched enough, some critics decry that the storylines and character designs for these shows are a pale shadow of past Marvel Animation cartoons. Noted examples of this “golden era” include The Spectacular Spider-Man and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

While two of the scheduled to end shows, Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy, have had a few seasons under its belt, the latest Spider-Man series only has one. That’s just as well to detractors who think these shows are but glorified commercials for toys and MCU film installments.

Upcoming Episode Titles of “Star Wars Rebels” S4 Hint at Possible Main Cast Casualty

For those who haven’t gotten the memo yet, the Disney XD 3D animated series Star Wars Rebels is set to resume its fourth season by next month, February. And from there, it’s all the way to the season finale and series finale, ending the show after 4 seasons of broadcast.

With the story of Rebels set to terminate, bets have started among viewers on what’ll be the fates of the characters by the last scene of the finale. Already the Rebel team leader Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall) seems safe, but the rest of her crew, it’s up in the air.

While web series Forces of Destiny (which also has a comic series on IDW) would have it that Hera would be at the after-party on Endor post-Return of the Jedi, no peep has been heard about what her crew got to until at least before the first Star Wars film.

Some episode titles and blurbs for the latter half of Rebels season 4 appear to spoil the fate of at least one member of the Ghost crew. Episode 10: “Jedi Night” involves the heroes pulling a rescue mission to save a captive teammate: Hera, caught in the 2017 midseason finale.

Episode 11: “Dume” however, notes the the Ghost team are reeling from a “devastating loss,” insinuating that one of their number doesn’t survive “Jedi Night.” The most likely character to get killed in fan theory is the blind Jedi Padawan Kanan, who’s also in a relationship of sorts with Hera.

In case nobody got the reference, the birth name of Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is Caleb Dume, the Episode 11 title. It’ll indeed be a heavy loss, but signs point to Kanan’s potential sendoff being most likely one of the most epic and talked-about series episodes before the ending.

Star Wars Rebels season 4 resumes February 24, with “Jedi Night” airing 9 PM / 8 Central on Disney XD.

“Star Wars Rebels” Executive Producer Posts Photo of Work on Season 4 and Series Finale

When Lucasfilm Animation began the CG-animated series Star Wars Rebels in 2014, there was a hint of risk in the venture with portraying events leading up to the original film trilogy. Fortunately, audience reception was exceptionally good, and Rebels went on to get more seasons over the next four years.

Last 2017 it was announced that season 4 of Star Wars Rebels, which began in October of that year, will be the last for the series. Nine episodes were aired before the show took a winter hiatus, but the remaining episodes up to the series finale will resume this 2018.

The production crew has been hard at work to make sure the lead-up to the end, Season 4 episode 16, will be among the best episode runs of Star Wars Rebels ever. To prove that, executive producer Dave Filoni posted a behind-the-scenes look in the making of those last episodes.

Filoni’s post on Twitter shows the music unit of Rebels recording the background music for that last episode. The shot of what looks like a chamber orchestra performing really sells the epic nature of the finale. Music composer and conductor Kevin Kiner was also thanked by Filoni on his tweet.

Star Wars Rebels fans looking for hints towards the series’ ending will not be disappointed with one of Filoni’s hash-tags, referring to an alien creature, the white Loth-cat, that’s been observing the final struggles of Ezra Bridger and his fellow Rebels for most of the first half of season 4.

There’s been discussion on who amongst the Rebel band will survive to the end. Comic-book tie-ins imply that at least Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall) will survive to the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. There’s no word yet on when Rebels season 4 will resume on Disney XD.

IDW “Forces of Destiny” Comic First Issue Reveals Principal “Star Wars Rebels” Character in Planet Hoth Before Events of “Episode V”

Viewers of the 3-D CGI animated series Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD are most likely fans of Hera Syndulla, captain of the spaceship Ghost and anti-Imperial rebel cell leader. Such has been her popularity that she has migrated to other Star Wars media. In 2016’s Rogue One, Hera is mentioned as a General in the Rebel Alliance, and her ship was present in the climactic battle of the film.

Last July saw the release of the 2-D web series Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, featuring vignettes focusing on the prominent female characters of the franchise’s Disney-compliant official timeline as of 2014. These mini-episodes showcased segments of untold Star Wars history as lived in by Padme Amidala, to Princess Leia, to Rey of Jakku. Characters from Rebels were also featured, including Hera, voiced by Vanessa Marshall.

Starting January next year, IDW Comics in collaboration with Disney will be releasing a 5-issue miniseries tying into the Forces of Destiny web animation. The first issue, with Princess Leia as the main character, has pleasantly surprised fans of both the film franchise and the Rebels TV series by having Hera Syndulla appearing in a key location of the original trilogy Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, but before the events of that film.

A preview of IDW’s Forces of Destiny #1 depicts General Syndulla as having spent time on the ice planet Hoth, helping the Rebel unit led by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia in setting up a new base following the abandonment of Yavin IV. Several panels show Leia, Han and Hera investigating a spaceship wreck on tauntauns.

Storyline-wise, the only other depicted interaction between Rebels‘ Hera and the Original Trilogy characters was in the Forces of Destiny web series. An episode, set after the end of Return of the Jedi, has Han being sent by Leia to Hera to request ration packs to give the Ewoks who had helped them in the Battle of Endor.

Marvel Animation Announces New “Marvel Rising” Franchise with Shorts and Animated Film

The Marvel experience of today has always been multimedia and multiplatform in nature, especially now that they are under the larger Disney umbrella. Other than the comics, the MCU films, the series on TV and on Netflix, and even books, there are also the various animated series over the years.

While the current crop of Marvel Animation programs – Avengers Assemble, Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man to name a few – continue airing on Disney XD, Marvel itself has decided to open a new front in superhero cartoons by announcing the launch of Marvel Rising, an initiative focusing on newer and younger hero characters in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel Rising is a shining example of the contemporary multiplatform approach that Marvel has with its properties. It would be based around a feature-length animated film, Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, for 2018. Said movie will be preceded by six digital 4-minute animated shorts.

Each short will introduce the main characters of Marvel Rising, young heroes like Gwen Stacy whose Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman identity in the comics is being changed to a new moniker, Ghost Spider. Other characters include Kamala Khan/Miss Marvel, America Chavez, Rayshaun Lucas/Patriot, Daisy Johnson/Quake, Dante Pertuz/Inferno, and Doreen Green/Squirrel Girl.

The animation front of Marvel Rising is overseen by executive producers Cort Lane and Sana Amanat. Some prominent talent from both Disney and Marvel TV are also set to provide voices. Agents of SHIELD cast members involved are Chloe Bennett reprising the role of Daisy/Quake, and Ming-Na Wen (Agent May) as the main antagonist. Dove Cameron (Mal from Disney’s Descendants) will voice Gwen/Ghost Spider. Incidentally, she will also join the Agents of SHIELD cast on ABC for season 5.

Amanat, who is also Marvel’s Director of Content and Character Development, describes Marvel Rising as unlike any animation that Marvel has done, with a new distinct style and full of powerful messages. This assures that the project is separate from the MCU and other Marvel Animation shows.

SOMETHING TO WATCH OUT FOR: ‘BIG HERO 6 ‘ ANIMATED SERIES TO DEBUT ON DISNEY XD IN 2017

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Production of the Marvel comics-based and Academy Award winning movie Big Hero 6 has now begun production of its animated television series to debut on Disney XD sometime next year. The series was announced today by Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide according to Stitch Kingdom. At the helm of the production series are producers Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley responsible for the global hit Disney series, Kim Possible.  Disney D23 also tweeted the same. Check it out.

 

 

The series is expected to pick-up immediately where the movie left off, and continues the adventures (and probable high-tech battles) of 14-year old tech prodigy Hiro and his lovable robotic companion Baymax. We’ll also see the rest of the movie’s original superhero themed characters, including: obsessive-compulsive Wasabi, the colorful chemical scientist Honey Lemon, millionaire fan-boy Fred (perhaps will be seeing a new costume), and stoic but reliable Go Go – collectively called as Big Hero 6. As the new prodigy and hero of San Fransokyo, Hiro now faces greater challenges of coping in the academia and hurdling social road bumps along the way. To top that, he must deal with even greater challenges of protecting the city from technologically improved super villains.

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‘Our colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios have created a brilliant new world, inspired by Marvel, with vivid, unique characters. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to further develop these characters into a world class animated series — full of fun, action and the kind of endearing storytelling that only Mark, Bob — and Baymax — can deliver,’ Marsh said.

WATCH: LEGO STAR WARS THE FREEMAKER ADVENTURES OFFICIAL TV TRAILER

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Now that Disney XD and LEGO’s latest collaboration, “LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures” is all set to launch on June, the animated TV series now has a trailer to whet our appetites for more of Star Wars lore.

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Set during the timeline between Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi, ‘The Freemaker Adventures’ follows the journey of a family of space scavengers who collects damaged ships and salvage reusable parts scattered across the galaxies brought about by the endless skirmishes between the forces of the Empire and Rebel Allegiance. The Freemakers family pragmatically strived not to get involved in the struggle. But as it seemed, their fates are tied to the Force when the youngest of the siblings, Rohan, discovers that he has a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artefact called the Kyber Saber. Now Rohan, together with the rest of his family, their clunky droid Roger, and the fierce Jedi-warrior Naare, must race across galaxies to find the fragments of this powerful weapon before it ends up in the evil clutches of Emperor Palpatine and his disciples. It is a must-see epic battle between good and evil told in a comical, playful way that only LEGO can deliver.

Watch the official TV trailer below:

On a similar note, the recently concluded New York Toy Fair saw the unveiling of LEGO’s latest offerings that will surely compliment the intergalactic adventures of the Freemaker family: the siblings’ Star Scavenger (75147) and the Naare’s Eclipse Fighter (75145). BrickshowTV has an excellent coverage on these new Star Wars themed set from LEGO. Check out their videos below:


LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is being developed for television by Bill Motz and Bob Roth (who both worked on Penguins of Madagascar), alongside Torsten Jacobson (who worked on LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales). The project is being executive produced by Jill Wilbert (The LEGO Movie) and produced by Carrie Beck (Star Wars Rebels), Jason Cosler (LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled!), Jake Blais and John McCormack. 

 LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures will debut on Disney XD this summer