In an interview with me last month, animation voice actor John DiMaggio warned fans that the Cartoon Network series Chowder, "might be coming to a conclusion, but I hope the guys at Cartoon Network change their mind because it really is a great show. We’ll see what happens” (
If a recent blog post by Chowder’s creator CH Greenblatt is any indication, what’s happening doesn’t look good.
“Welcome to the new CN [Cartoon Network]!” Greenblatt begins in his July 1, 2009 posting. “As I sit here on an empty floor of an empty building looking at all the empty animation offices, I can at least put this on endless loop for some comfort.”
The "loop" Greenblatt is referring to is on his site, but it’s also on CN and YouTube. It shows Brit rocker Andrew WK discordantly promoting the new CN Real programming, stating Cartoon Network isn’t just animation anymore. The plug pushes new shows like The Othersiders, Destroy! Build! Destroy! and further live action programming foisted by the CN Real brand.
Among the hardcore animation fans, this move has caused a bit of an uproar. Noted animation historians Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew are totally up in arms over this, calling this maneuver the “death” of Cartoon Network.
When the subject was brought up to the network, they initially promised a response, but haven’t delivered on deadline. An informed source inside CN did state that Chowder itself has not been officially canceled. The fate of the series will apparently be decided next week.
For those glass-half-full folks about there, CN just released its schedule for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Among the Thursday panels is one on the network’s original comedy block. Among the panelists will be Greenblatt as well as Chowder voice artists Tara Strong and Dana Snyder. It could be postulated that CN wouldn’t be bringing these people to the con if their future was truly in doubt. To be fair, Greenblatt’s blog does state there are enough new episodes of his show to go through the end of 2009.
At the same time, Cartoon Brew points out an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stating CN, as part of a major deal with parent Turner Broadcasting, is part of a deal involving the Professional Golf Association.
Does this truly mean that CN, as Cartoon Brew is speculating, is dumping a number of its animation programs for shows that basically come off as even more moronic than Jackass? Apparently, fans and foes alike will know soon enough. The Brew crew are anticipating the worst possible scenario.
Then again, as Greenblatt put on his blog a few months back, “CN doesn’t cancel shows. They just don’t renew them. This summer could change things if ratings are really good…If we do well, it'll be thanks to the dedicated fans, not the network.”
This situation, by the way, is not unprecedented. In a personal instance, in an interview with creator Dwayne McDuffie about the CN series Ben 10, McDuffie mentioned to me that he didn’t know if there was going to be a second season. The interview was published, word got out, and CN called this reporter a tad ticked off, but Ben 10 got a green light for a new season, which was all fine with me because I like Ben 10. I hope for a similar fate for Chowder.
SMALL GOES LIVE
While we’re on the subject of CN, the network reports that animation madman Brandon Small will be doing a live stand-up performance in New York as part of Adult Swim’s Santos series.
Best known as the creator of the series Home Movies and Metalocalypse (not to forget being the voice of Nathan Explosion), Small will perform on June 9 with Paul Green’s School of Rock. Up-to-date information on the can be found at www.adultswimpresents.com.
NYICFF TO DO US DEBUT OF BOOK OF KELLS
The New York International Children’s Film Festival adds to its reputation as one of the nation’s premiere showcases of new animation with the July 18 & 19 U.S. Premiere screenings of The Secret of Kells, the highly anticipated new animated masterpiece from Les Armeteurs, the producers of Kirikou and the Sorceress and Triplets of Belleville. The film has been hailed by international critics as one of the year’s most beautiful movies and has just won the Annecy Award.
“We are absolutely delighted and thrilled to present The Secret of Kells,” said NYICFF co-director Erik Beckman. “The film is completely unique, combining imagery from Celtic mythology and illuminated manuscripts, but also from print design and graphic novels, for a gloriously brilliant, explosion of color and form that is like nothing else you have seen.”
Tickets are now on at www.gkids.tv and 212-349-0330.
BANDAI IMPORTING EUREKA 7 MOVIE
NCM Fathom, the alternative entertainment division of National CineMedia, announced an agreement with Bandai Entertainment to present the English-dubbed version of Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers exclusively in select movie theaters nationwide on September 24th.
Through this agreement, the movie will be shown in a one-night event featuring an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the animation production and the making of the English version. It will be offered across NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network (DBN) – North America’s largest cinema broadcast network that reaches nearly 500 movie theaters and performing arts centers throughout the country. Tickets will be available beginning Friday, August 21st.
Visit www.FathomEvents.com to learn more. Bandai Entertainment and Fathom presented Sword of the Stranger in more than 360 movie theaters earlier this year. That movie was released on DVD last June.