Welcome to Fine Toon a column where I discuss the latest developments in the animated medium. This will range from western cartoons to eastern anime providing a wide range of topics to be discussed each week. While the majority of LRM discusses focuses on live-action material animated shows are often not covered. Seeing the need to fill this hole I will act as your guide to get you, the reader, all caught up to enter each week ready for new episodes.
Disney Set for A Big March
DuckTales has been ramping up the mystery of the absence of the triplets’ mother Della though the first season. With the final episode of Season 1, the audience was informed of that Della is stranded on the Moon however the status is not known to characters within the show. In the last episode, “Last Christmas!,” Dewey has an emotional reconnection with a younger version of his mother and was forced by time-traveling code not to tell her he is her future son. A trailer cut from Della moments shows flashbacks and some new moments intercutting between the past and present day. This seems to point to a return of the character sometime within the second season or at least a successful transmission between her and her sons. With “What Ever Happened to Della Duck?!” airing on March 9, the audience will soon get more answers to that question.
Star vs. the Forces of Evil is entering the fourth and final season with the series being changed dramatically after the events of season three. After nearly a year hiatus we have been recently informed via Twitter the name of all episodes in the final season and the release date of March 10. Though just knowing the name of the episodes won’t reveal all the secrets in the season some are very telling of what will happen in the episode. The finale “Curse of the Blood Moon” is the perfect name for the ending of this series as the Blood Moon Ball is a major event in the series that impacts the fate of both Star and Marco. The trailer reveals even more hints in what to expect from the season as Disney is promoting the return of alternate dimension Marco, Ludo, and the Blood Moon. The main villain is still to be seen but Ludo is likely not the main villain as in recent seasons he has become more a neutral third party rather than an antagonist. It could be that Disney is hiding this character (Toffee?) for a large reveal as they get closer to the release date. With only about a week left until the premiere fans can hardly stand the wait.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Swings into The Oscars
Though being the obvious choice for the Academy Award’s Best Animated Feature Oscar due to the weak opposition, except possibly Isle of Dogs, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is truly deserving of the award. The film was truly akin to the original comics having each scene a living page of a comic book. Incorporating different comic book techniques such as Ben-Day dots which were prevalent in the 1950s and 60s. With every frame of the film having a CGI base with a hand-drawn overlay, the comic book presence could be truly felt. When a company sets to patent brand new technology after a successful movie you know awards are soon to follow.
Awards Season Is For Anime Too
At the 2019 Crunchyroll Anime Awards anime received many accolades for categories such as Anime of the Year, Best Fight Scene, Best Continuing Series, and many more. Some notable award winners were Devilman Crybaby for Anime of the Year, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes for Best Film, and Dragon Ball Super for Best Continuing Series. Devilman Crybaby (Netflix) was in a tough category with Megalo Box and Violet Evergarden though it is not that surprising given the shows widespread appeal with western audiences. I would have preferred if Megalo Box would have won though I am not too disappointed as I am a fan of the award recipient too. My Hero Academia: Two Heroes was the only real choice for the Best Film award as it expanded on the popular series showing how people with no quirks fit into a society where quirks are abundant. Dragon Ball Super being the best returning series was understandable due to the epic fanfare the series gave fans. With talented actors and directors working behind new anime series the 2020 Crunchyroll Anime Awards should have as many well-received anime series as this year.
All Good Things Come to An End
In the last few weeks, we saw the end to How to Train Your Dragon franchise with Hidden World. This film is an early contender for the next Academy Awards Best Feature Animated Film. Hidden World was a good ending to the trilogy however it had the same problems the first films had with the script having some dragging plot points and a relatively weak villain whose motives were one dimensional. The animation, however, was fantastic with the vibrant colors, beautiful characters skins, crisp animation, and the introduction of new dragons. I won’t go much more into this film as LRM already has a review you can check out. Dreamworks Animation is going through new leadership with Kristin Lowe, Universal Pictures, taking the spot of Chief Creative Officer, making the next few months an interesting set of events to keep an eye on.
Not Quite Aloha to Alola
Most would expect that the anime for Pokemon Sun and Moon would soon be coming to an end given the recent announcement of Gen 8 and the Galar region. Pokemon Ultra Legends is likely to be overlooked due to the fact that many are ready to move on to the next region which is based on Great Britain and see the many new creatures. I expect this to explore Ultra Space and Ultra Megalopolis which would lead to Ash meeting up again with Poipole who left through a wormhole.
Let us know your thoughts. What are you looking forward in the animation field?