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August 28, 2015

live action

Ironically-named Cartoon Network picks up live action shows

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Nov 9th 2009 11:02AM
Unnatural History is one of the new live action shows picked up my Cartoon Network.Cartoon Network is getting deeper into the live action series game.

Yes, I know that's like Fox Sports getting into the daytime soap opera business, but you can't get too upset about the network inappropriate name game. Remember when Bravo was the fine arts network? I rest my case.

As for Cartoon Network's new non-animated shows, a release from the network says Tower Prep and Unnatural History are headed our way in January, 2010.

According to the network, Tower Prep is "an action thriller telling the story of rebellious teen, Ian (Drew Van Acker), who wakes up one morning to find himself trapped at a mysterious prep school." In other words, it's a teenage remake of The Prisoner -- the original 1960s version -- or "Jim Henson's The Prisoner Babies."

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Misplaced steps reveal doorway to Star Wars live action series

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Sep 30th 2009 3:01PM
That distant glass door leads to LucasFilm television and its new live action Star Wars show.While I'll admit that the photo at right is not the most detailed, and Ansel Adams is unlikely to claim it as one of his own due to its lighting and composition, it should prove an important image for Star Wars fans.

The sign artfully painted on the glass door in this tasteful, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired hallway within the Skywalker Ranch compound in Marin County, Calif. reads "LucasFilm Television." You'll have to trust me on that. This is as close as I could get with a camera.

You might wonder what the big deal is about that sign -- considering that LucasFilm has a show on the air already with Cartoon Network's Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But, those 22 episodes originate across the building in LucasFilm Animation -- a separate division.

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Live action Star Wars begins shooting this year

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 19th 2009 2:02PM
Boba Fett will play a major role in the new Star Wars live action show.The long-rumored Star Wars live action series is reportedly coming together quickly and will begin shooting before 2009 ends.

You can pick any one of many collected reports, but they all say the show is well past the planning stages and is only waiting on completed scripts before George Lucas begins casting the essential roles.

While news of Star Wars on TV might have generated a bored groan from viewers after the prequel movies came and went, the critical and ratings success of Cartoon Network's The Clone Wars shows that a galaxy far, far away can work on TV if the writers, directors and cast remember that this is all supposed to be fun -- not high drama of a deeply spiritual nature.

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Last Last One Forever and Ever (season finale)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 1st 2009 12:25PM

Jon Benjamin as Master Shake and T-Pain as Frylock in the live-action season finale of ATHF.
(S06E10) "What?!? I'm re-hydrating!" - Shake

I remember when I first heard about the live-action episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, I wasn't all that excited about it. Most of the ATHF DVD sets have had some sort of live-action Easter egg, usually of some fools dressed up in homemade Frylock and Master Shake costumes. They've never been funny and I just figured this episode would be like one of them. Then came news that it wouldn't be anything like that - T-Pain would be playing Frylock. That alone was worth the wait, but after all the hype... it just didn't do it for me.

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Voltron movie gets closer

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 10th 2007 11:01AM

voltron toyDon't you wish someone would make a live-action movie based on a popular cartoon from the '80s about giant robots?

No, not that one, I'm talking about Voltron. Variety reports that Voltron: Defender of the Universe is finally on the cusp of getting made. Of course, the success of Transformers has helped quite a bit as far as stirring up interest. New Regency and the Mark Gordon Company are close to finalizing a deal to start production on the movie. New Regency's other live-action adaptation is Alvin and the Chipmunks. Eek.

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Who will be the new He-Man?

by Adam Finley, posted May 11th 2007 8:03AM

he-manVia Digg comes news that Legendary Pictures has its eyes on both Brad Pitt and Gerard Butler (300) for the role of He-Man in yet another movie version of the popular '80s half-hour toy commercial animated series.

The original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe aired from 1983 to 1985, but He-Man first appeared in DC Comics and as a line of action figures. In 1987, a live-action film was made with Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella as Skeletor. Updated versions of the original He-Man cartoon aired in 1990 and 2002.

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Underdog movie debuts August 3

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 27th 2007 8:01PM

underdogIt's been awhile since I've heard anything about the new live-action movie based on Underdog, the rhyming, crime-fighting cartoon canine, but some more news has surfaced.

The movie, written and directed by Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City), will hit theaters on August 3. According to a report on MTV.com, Underdog will be portrayed by a real dog and a mix of animatronic and CGI effects. Rifkin claims he was a huge fan of Underdog as a kid, and told the studio they needed to make it a live-action flick. I don't quite follow Rifkin's logic, since I'm also a huge Underdog fan and would have either A) made it an animated movie, or B) not made the movie at all so at least one thing from my childhood wasn't tainted with an egregious modern adaptation.

Nevertheless, the movie is being made. Jason Lee will voice the super hero dog, along with Amy Adams as Sweet Polly Purebred and Peter Dinklage as Simon Bar Sinister. I'm going to not buy tickets right now so I be one of the first not to see it.

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Philbert, the show that never was - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 11th 2007 9:01AM

philbertIn 1963, shortly before the Warner Bros. Animation Studio closed down, Friz Freleng created a pilot for ABC called Philbert. The series, a mix of animation and live-action, featured actor William Schallert (The Patty Duke Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Gunsmoke, Get Smart) as a newspaper cartoonist who lives with Philbert, the character from his comic. ABC never picked up the pilot, so it was repackaged as a theatrical short instead. If you own the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3, then you own the theatrical version of Philbert, which is included with the set.

Animation historian Jerry Beck provided audio commentary for the short, and has posted a rough clip of the original television pilot on Cartoon Brew. The pilot was directed by Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies). Freleng directed the animation. I've also placed it here for your enjoyment. It definitely has a very "'60s sitcom" feel to it, and it's neat to see the cartoon character holding and interacting with objects in the real world.

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Clips from Tim and Eric's new show

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 9th 2006 7:01PM

tim and ericTim and Eric care deeply about me so they sent me an e-mail to tell me about some new promos for their upcoming live-action Adult Swim series, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! which debuts in February. Actually, I just happen to be on their mailing list, but I like to imagine their e-mails are just for me. I print them out, decorate them with heart stickers and glitter and think happy thoughts about what Tim and Eric are doing in Los Angeles. Then I start to worry that maybe they've forgotten about me and are seeing other people. I start to worry more and more until I've convinced myself they're cheating on me and then I go to the bar and take home some lonely middle-aged divorcee for a drunken night of sad love making and spend the next week wondering how to deal with the guilt. It's just so hard being away from Tim and Eric, you know?

Anyway, funny clips here and here and here. Some of you may not think they're all that funny, but the important thing is that I find them funny.

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Cartoon Network preparing first live-action movie

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 6th 2006 11:59AM
cartoon networkProduction is currently underway for Re-Animated, the first live-action movie from Cartoon Network. Actually, the made-for-TV movie will include both live-action and animated elements, telling the story of a young boy named Jimmy Roberts who has his brain replaced with the brain of a famous dead cartoonist named Milt Appleday after an accident at the Gollyworld amusement park. The transplant causes Jimmy to see cartoon characters everywhere he goes. Paul Reubens, Brian Posehn, Ellen Greene and Tom Kenny provide the voices of the characters. The movie was created and scripted by Adam Pava and Tim McKeon, who also worked on The Life and Times of Juniper Lee and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Given the talent assembled for this project, it sounds like it could be entertaining, at least for the younger crowd it's obviously geared towards. No word yet on when it will air.

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Jason Lee is Underdog

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 26th 2006 6:06PM
jason leeAs I mentioned before, a live-action movie based on the beloved children's cartoon Underdog is currently in development. At the time they didn't have a voice for Underdog, who will be played on screen by an actually dog. Dane Cook was apparently being considered, but it looks like it will actually be Jason Lee of My Name is Earl providing vocals for the crime-fighting, rhyming canine. Besides being live-action, the movie will also differ from the original series in other ways. Instead of Underdog existing as a self-sustaining hero, he'll be adopted by a young boy. As much as I loved the original Underdog, nothing I've heard about this movie so far is making me want to rush out and see it. I'll reserve judgment until it comes out, but I'm pretty sure I won't be proved wrong.

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More live-action programs on Cartoon Network?

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 22nd 2006 1:05PM

saved by the bellEver since Adult Swim decided to air reruns of Saved by the Bell, albeit only for a couple weeks, it's been a battle between fans who loathe the idea and a network that continues to taunt them. A couple days ago the network announced on the site that it  had managed to do for Saved by the Bell what it had done for Family Guy, and that the series was going back into production with the original cast. This dubious announcement was just one example of the network having fun with what turned out to be an unpopular decision.

But there may be more to it than that. The guys over at Cartoon Brew, who have worked in the animation industry and know people on the inside, have been following what could possibly be a major change in the way Cartoon Network approaches its programming. First, there was this piece in Variety earlier this month which stated the network was opening its doors to ideas for live-action series, and even had one series close to a development deal. Then, a couple days ago Amid at Cartoon Brew posted some e-mails he had received from people close to Cartoon Network. The first e-mail, from a former employee of the network who claims to still be in touch with artists and executives, stated that the decision may be a financial one: "When everyone seems to be completely flummoxed at these changes at the network, I feel compelled to impart what I am quite sure is the real inspiration behind this programming boondoggle: Cartoon Network is simply not bringing in any real money at their channel. There is no merchandise on the market for their shows, there are no fast food toy promos, and there is not any national advertising."

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Live-action Underdog coming to theaters

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 2nd 2006 3:28PM

underdogMan, I loved watching reruns of Underdog when I was a kid. The fights! The rhyming! Those Native American gopher dudes! Anyway, when I found out they were making a movie based on the beloved cartoon series, I was thrilled. Then I found out it would be done with live actors and not animated. Now I'm not so thrilled anymore. There is one glimmer of hope I have, and that's actor Peter Dinklage (he played Arthur Ramsey on Threshold), who will play the evil villain Simon Bar Sinister. If any actor is deserving of more exposure, I think it's him. His portrayal of a gay wedding planner in The Baxter was brilliant.

As far as Underdog himself, he'll be portrayed by a real dog with a CGI mouth. According to reports, bland flavor-of-the-month Dane Cook may voice the character. Well, if the guy can affect a decent Underdog voice, that's fine, but I'd rather see it go to someone like Billy West who's actually known and respected for his voice work. Sadly, they forgot to cryogenically freeze Wally Cox after his death, so we can't revive him to do this movie. Curse you, modern science.

The film, which is being produced by Disney, begins shooting this month.

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Simpsons live-action video a marketing campaign

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 13th 2006 9:03AM
live action simpsons skyThis way cool live-action version of the opening sequence of The Simpsons might be a little less cool now that we know what it's about. It turns out, the video is part of a viral marketing campaign by UK broadcasting network, Sky. The network and its ad agency created the dead-on, live-action video as part of an on-air promotion for The Simpsons. They even had the blessings of Simpsons producers and creator Matt Groening. The ad gurus thought it was so cool that they decided to launch it on the internet and just let word-of-mouth go to work for them. Obviously, they were successful. The video is huge right now. And, unlike NBC, Sky has no plans to pull it from the 'net.

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Simpsons opening sequence done with live actors

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 4th 2006 4:02PM
simpsons live actionEliot over at Hackaday found this super cool clip on YouTube. It's the opening sequence of The Simpsons, but done entirely in live action. Before I clicked over to it I wondered, 'how in the world are they going to pull that off?' Actually, they pull it off quite well, using some awesome editing techniques to maintain the frantic pace of the animated sequence. Also, notice the keen attention to detail, such as the real-life versions of the twins Sherri and Terri in the bandroom sequence.

(Embedded player after the jump)

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