Too Dark For Disney? Behind The Deleted and Edited Scenes of Lilo & Stitch

What exactly is “too much” for a young audience? How do we possibly figure out what could be too sensitive to viewers of a movie or television show? I guess there isn’t any particular test to measure just how many people would find a certain piece of media offensive or triggering. As a company, business or even an individual, it is essential to keep in mind whether your content could have aspects that may be too sensitive for some of your viewers. With a conglomerate like Disney, it’s understandable that they have made the decisions to delete certain scenes in their movies. Disney releases movies and television series that everyone of all backgrounds can enjoy. At the end of the day, it’s appropriate to make changes to certain scenes that are not family friendly.

While scrolling endlessly on Twitter, I got to discover a side of Lilo & Stitch that I have never seen before. We all know the 2002 film for being the heartwarming story of a little girl named Lilo finding companionship in an extraterrestrial fugitive, who was originally supposed to cause chaos and destruction. Something that sounds so menacing is actually a classic that was and is still loved by many. The film was so successful that it led to three spin-off films, three television series, video games, merchandise and more. Surprisingly, but at the same time unsurprisingly, Lilo & Stitch has received some negative reviews from unhappy parents who think the movie is too violent for their kids. It really makes you wonder what level of outrage that would’ve ensued if Disney would’ve kept the deleted and edited scenes as is.

Luckily I discovered Twitter user @TristanACooper‘s thread on the scenes that never made it to the movie and the ones edited to appear less violent.

He includes other scenes that had to be edited such as the 747 plane hijacking scene, where the plane ended up crashing into buildings. I was appalled because I had never heard of such scene, and there’s a huge reason why. I decided to dive more into it and came across this haunting video by Vox media. This very moment was cut completely due to the obvious reason that the movie was released months after 9/11 and would appear triggering to anyone affected by the tragedy. The 747 airliner was changed to an alien craft and the city buildings were switched into Hawaiian mountains. The original ending was including on the special edition DVD.

Other than avoiding the outrage behind scenes following tragic events, it seems that Disney also dodged a topic that was probably too real for them. Here’s a deleted scene of Lilo experiencing racism from obnoxious tourists then playing a prank on them.

This scene shows Lilo & Stitch walking as tourists drive by them and ask for directions to the beach in the most obnoxious way possible. “Ay, you speak English? Which way to the beach?” Yes, go ahead and assume that she doesn’t speak English and proceed to ask for directions in the most bigoted way possible. This is a scene that I just do not understand the reason behind it being deleted. If anything it would have educated the viewers and gave them a sense of reality of how racist and obnoxious tourists can be towards natives in their own land.

As I stated above, there have been some angry parents that are leaving negative reviews of how violent Lilo & Stitch was for their kids. If they think the final released product was “violent”, then they would have really raged seeing this next deleted clip. Stitch, otherwise known as experiment 626, main purpose for being created was to turn the world upside down in mass destruction, but at the most part he was the sweet creature who loved and stood by Lilo. That’s what we all love about Stitch right?

Well take a look at this horrifying moment that shows a more evil and sadistic side of the lovable extraterrestrial character. I am just really shocked and lost for words that this was even thought of being included in the film.

Lilo’s introduces Stitch to her other best friend Pudge the fish, but things get dark real fast. Stitch smacks Pudge out of Lilo’s hands and a flock of birds come and attack Lilo and Pudge. Instead of listening to his friends cries of help, Stitch just stands there smiling and watching Pudge die. To show Stitch being this heartless is truly disturbing and I am more than glad that this scene was cut.

If this wasn’t an eye-opening experience then I don’t know what is. Though learning the dark side of one of Disney’s most successful movies is hardly anything new, it’s still so mind blowing. While this hasn’t changed my positive perception of Lilo and Stitch, seeing what didn’t make it into the movie and the reasons behind it is just so fascinating. I find that all the deleted and edited scenes besides the racism one, have a sort of common theme of violence. What can you possibly expect from a movie about an extraterrestrial creature created for the purpose of evil? I am still glad that Disney toned it down a bit. To reprise the question asked before: What exactly is “too much” for a young audience? I guess we have a better understanding now.


Lilo & Stitch (Two-Disc Big Wave Edition)

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The Magic 7: Major Updates on the Unreleased Animated Film

A major breakthrough has been made with our research on the unreleased animated film The Magic 7.

the magic 7 concept artOriginal concept art by Ken Cope, 1991

Lost or unreleased media is such a captivating topic. Imagine a TV show, commercial or movie that you have seen before but suddenly as years go by that media has vanished without any trace of it. When it comes to lost media, we often do have bits and pieces of the lost content such as stills or clips. Previously, I explored lost media and came across the most fascinating lost film that I have ever come across. Mainly because I felt like the film had a good cause attached to it and that it was unfortunate that it never made it to the screens.

Here’s an excerpt from my first article on The Magic 7 to help those of you who really want to understand what we’re dealing with here.

The Magic 7 is an animated film written and directed by Roger Holzberg. Supposedly, the plot surrounded two children and a five-toed dragon that teamed up to battle the arch-enemies of planet Earth. The movie was clearly made for Earth Day and it was originally supposed to be released on April 22, 1997, but it was postponed several times. Google & IMDB are claiming that The Magic 7 was released on December 19, 2008, in France and 2009 in the United States, but this is unlikely. There’s no information or promotional media, such as trailers or posters, that exists where this film was released in France nor the United States. In fact, there is no media coverage at all about this film.

The production for this film began in 1990. That means that it has been a 28-year-long journey with this project. For it to not be released by now, let alone it’s original release date in 1997, is so unfortunate. With the outrageously small amount of information of this film that is available on the internet, I thought that this case was going to be a lost cause. There are some instances where the creator of something considered to be lost media purposely keeps their work from ever seeing the light of the internet due to numerous reasons. I thought this was going to be the case when I contacted the writer and director of The Magic 7, Roger Holzberg. Fortunately, this was not the case when I chatted with Holzberg via email. But more unfortunately, I learned the circumstances surrounding the film that Holzberg himself considers a “sad story” along with some new information regarding why the film has been unfinished. Here’s a little timeline of sorts:

  • Developed by Roger Holzberg (writer/director) and David Joseph (producer) in collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Protection Agency (UNEP).
  • M7 is purchased by a film company called Earth Saver’s CLub (ESC) who green lights and funds production.  The live action is filmed and edited, the voice artists are recorded (except 1).  The live action is edited, animation begins, the track is edited and conformed to the storyboards.  The animation company goes bankrupt after the executive at ESCadvances the entire budget to them.   ESC then files Chapter 11.
  • Several years later Roger Holzberg, John Kilkenny, and the original ESC investor, buy the rights and assets back from bankruptcy court in LA and legally acquire M7.
  • Pulse Entertainment options the project, acquires the assets, begins production and sales.  After several years Pulse never completes M7 and the rights and assets once again revert back to Holzberg/Kilkenny.
  • Holzberg/Kilkenny commission Technicolor to digitize and store all of the assets so they will remain stable and secure.
  • HOPE – M7 is an animated film, significantly complete, hoping for an entertainment or media company to partner with the team and finally complete it.

So it’s confirmed that The Magic 7 has not been finished nor released despite that being stated on IMDB and Google, but Roger Holzberg still has the HOPE that one day it will be completed and released in the future. This is what makes lost/unreleased media so delightful: this information you find a long the way and learning about the story behind it. With environmental issues seemingly getting worse as time goes on, I think this movie would still be relevant and something that the younger generation needs to see if released today. Holzberg also shared the original synopsis and cast of the film and even uploaded a video that contains sample video and audio tracks!

THE MAGIC 7 is a live action / animated, adventure about a boy and girl who get taken to the world of the Dreaded Deadlies.  Led by a dragon named 5-Toe, they must transform the Deadlies and solve the secret of THE MAGIC 7 in order to get home. 

CASTING:

LIVE ACTION  —

SEAN (Corey Danziger) – A twelve year old boy like any other twelve year old boy.  He lives for baseball, rock n’ roll … and his family.

SEAN’S DAD (Ted Danson) – Strong, supportive and very much into his antique convertible Corvette.

SEAN’S MOM (Dee Wallace) – A wise cracker who takes care of her guys as best she can.

ERICA (Jennifer Love Hewitt) – A twelve year old, very shy girl who has just moved in next door. Beautiful, caring … and a touch too sensitive for her own good.

ANIMATION  —

SEAN / ERICA – Stylized versions of the actors.

5 TOE (James Earl Jones) – A 5th order dragon who eats high sulfur coal and pays the price with severe indigestion. A wise teacher, a deeply caring guide with an earth rumbling voice; if his wings were only big enough to properly support him when he flies…

SMOKESTACK SAM (John Candy) – POLLUTION – Half car, half man… all Texan.  He lives for one thing only – cruising down an open stretch of highway, red-lined to the max.

MARCEL MAGGOT (Michael J. Fox) – NOT-RECYCLING – He is a 500 pound French Moroccan maggot.  He sees himself as a very romantic fellow.

U-Z-ONESA (Demi Moore) – NOT RE-USING – Marlena Deitrich with a Barbie Doll body made of plastic forks, a microwave oven, blue plastic hair and an aerosol can skirt.  She can’t sing a note … but doesn’t know it.

SCRATCH (Ice T.) – NOT RENEWING THE EARTH – A skeleton with fiery feet, leaving scorched earth wherever he steps.  Not much of a talker, he Raps like the ‘bad-ass mother earth destroyer’ he is.  He digs U-Z.

WASTRA (Madeline Kahn) – NOT CONSERVING – A small thermo-nuclear reactor, always running at a frantic, operatic tremble. She is a vampire of electrical power.

THRAXX (TBD) – NOT RESPECTING LIVING THINGS – A Tyrannosaurs Rex in an Armani suit, Gordon Gecko with claws. 

There you have it! I want to thank Roger Holzberg for responding and providing so much more insight on his film. I also want to wish him and the rest of the team behind The Magic 7 good luck for the future plans behind the film, whether they want to release it or not. This lost media journey has turned out to be a really fascinating one.

I would also like to dedicate this article to Madeline Kahn, voice of Wastra, who died in 1999 & John Candy, voice of Smokestack Sam, who died in 1994. The two also starred in many other great films. Rest in peace.

The Incredibles 2 Trailer Is Here: Elastigirl Is Front and Center

June 15th is so close yet so far away. Since The Incredibles 2 was first announced, the superhero family has became the center of the conversation in animation, and there’s no doubt that it will be the biggest animated feature of the year.

Luckily fans got to indulge in the big trailer that Disney/PixarPixar has just dropped during the 2018 Winter Olympics! Fourteen years after the prequel that made us fall in love with the suburban yet heroic family, Bob “Mr, Incredible”, Helen “Elastigirl, Violet, Dash & Jack-Jack are back with more adventures on their hands. While “Elastigirl” is out fighting crime and campaigning for the return of supers, Mr. Incredible may be facing the biggest challenge back at home, watching the kids and discovering baby Jack-Jack’s secret powers.

In July 2017, director Brad Bird announced that Elastigirl will be the focus of the sequel. Back in 2015 he explained to CinemaBlend about why the film will not “comment on modern superhero movies”.

“I don’t think that kind of idea stays interesting for very long. You can kind of get a cheap laugh for the moment. I think you want to go longer range than that.”

Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 will be in theaters on June 15, 2018, one year earlier than its original release date.

Annie Awards 2018: See the Full List of Winners

AnnieAwards

It’s a big night in animation because the 45th annual Annie Awards is honoring and celebrating some of most notable television shows and features in animation. The ceremony took place at the University of California, Los Angeles Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Presenters included Glen Keane, Russi Taylor, Jerry Beck, EG Daily, Debi Derryberry, Tom Kenny and many more big names in animation. James Baxter, Stephen Hillenburg,  Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby were honored with the Winsor McCay awards. Disney Historian Didier Ghez was honored with the June Foray award this year. Disney Pixar’s Coco dominated this year by winning every award it was nominated for. Congrats to all of the winners tonight!

1. Best Animated Feature

COCO | PIXAR ANIMATIONS STUDIOS

2. Best Animated Feature-Independent

THE BREADWINNER | CARTOON SALOON, AIRCRAFT PICTURES, MELUSINE PRODUCTIONS

3. Best Animated Special Production

REVOLTING RHYMES | MAGIC LIGHT PICTURES

4. Best Animated Short Subject

DEAR BASKETBALL | GLEN KEANE PRODUCTIONS, KOBE STUDIOS, BELIEVE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

5. Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial

JUNE | BROAD REACH PICTURES, CHROMOSPHERE, LYFT

6. Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children

OCTONAUTS | VAMPIRE SQUID PRODUCTIONS LIMITED, A SILVERGATE MEDIA COMPANY, IN ASSOCIATION WITH BROWN BAG FILMS

7. Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Children

WE BARE BEARS | CARTOON NETWORK ANIMATION STUDIOS

8. Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production

RICK AND MORTY | WILLIAMS STREET PRODUCTIONS 

9. Best Student Film

POLES APART | PALOMA BAEZA

10. Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Production

COCO | PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS, SHAUN GALINAK, DAVE HALE, JASON JOHNSTON, CARL KAPHAN, KEITH DANIEL KLOHN

11. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

TROLLHUNTERS | BRUNO CHIOU, YI-FAN CHO, KEVIN JONG, CHUN-JUNG CHU

12. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production

COCO | JON CHUN CHIU LEE

13. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES | DANIEL BARRETT, SIDNEY KOMBO-KINTOMBO, EMILE GHORAYEB, LUISMA LAVIN PEREDO, ALESSANDRO BONORA

14. Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Video Game

CUPHEAD | HANNA ABI-HANNA

15. Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

SAMURAI JACK | CRAIG KELLMAN 

16. Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

COCO | DANIEL ARRIAGA, DANIELA STRIJLEVA, GREG DYKSTRA, ALONSO MARTINEZ, ZARUHI GALSTYAN

17. Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE | DAVE WASSON, EDDIE TRIGUEROS, ALONSO RAMIREZ-RAMOS

18. Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production

COCO | LEE UNKRICH, ADRIAN MOLINA 

19. Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE | CHRISTOPHER WILLIS 

20. Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production

COCO | MICHAEL GIACCHINO, KRISTIN ANDERSON-LOPEZ, ROBERT LOPEZ, GERMAINE FRANCO, ADRIAN MOLINA

21. Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

SAMURAI JACK | SCOTT WILLS

22. Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

COCO | HARLEY JESSUP, DANIELLE FEINBERG, BRYN IMAGIRE, NATHANIEL MCLAUGHLIN, ERNESTO NEMESIO

23. Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE | STORYBOARD ARTIST: EDDIE TRIGUEROS

24. Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

COCO | STORYBOARD ARTIST: DEAN KELLY

25. Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS | TOM KENNY

26. Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

COCO | ANTHONY GONZALEZ 

27. Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

RICK AND MORTY | RYAN RIDLEY, DAN GUTERMAN

28. Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production

COCO | ADRIAN MOLINA, MATTHEW ALDRICH

29. Outstanding Achievement for Editorial in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

SAMURAI JACK | PAUL DOUGLAS 

30. Outstanding Achievement for Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

“COCO” | STEVE BLOOM, LEE UNKRICH, GREG SNYDER, TIM FOX

 

‘Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie’ DVD Set for February 13 Release + GIVEAWAY

unnamed
You can see Arnold and the gang’s long-awaited journey to find out the secrets that lie in San Lorenzo once again, because Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie is finally coming to DVD on February 13, 2018. Hey Arnold premiere on Nickelodeon in the 1990’s and became a fan-favorite and a memorable show overall. The series concluded in 2004, but the adventures and the story didn’t stop there.
After 10+ years of being off the air and hearing the demands from fans, creator Craig Bartlett and the Hey Arnold team came together and decided that it was time to make The Jungle Movie happen. In The Jungle Movie, many secrets were revealed including the biggest one of all – the fate of Arnold parents, who had disappeared when he was just a baby. We got to see memorable characters such as Helga, Gerald, Phoebe & more get some pretty modern makeovers. On the night of November 24, 2017, Hey Arnold fans came together once again and saw the revival of the classic Nickelodeon series.

Wanna win a copy of Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie? Well here’s your chance!

Just fill out and submit the form below! Disclaimer: If you are chosen to win, you will be contacted by email and requested your mailing address. Make sure you submit a valid email. Giveaway ends February 13, 2018. US & Canada only.

 

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

(FULL PRESS RELEASE VIA NICK)

NEW YORK – January 9, 2018 – Nickelodeon’s fan-favorite animated series Hey Arnold!, which burst back onto screens (and back into hearts) this fall with the long-awaited Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie, is coming to DVD on February 13, 2018. Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie features a storyline that picks up where the original TV series ended in 2004, following the kids on the field trip of a lifetime, where Arnold and his friends embark on a quest to achieve his dream of finding his missing parents.
Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie resolves unanswered questions and plotlines–including Arnold finally getting answers about the whereabouts of his missing parents and provides all of the humor, and friendship that made the original series such a long-standing fan-favorite.
Produced by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie will be available on DVD February 13, 2018, for the suggested retail price of $13.99.
Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie fast facts:
Street Date: February 13, 2018
Catalog: 59194391000 (US); 59194390000 (CAN)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish and French Stereo
S.R.P.: $13.99

‘Coco’, ‘The Boss Baby’ & More Animated Features Nominated for Oscars 2018

The Oscars 2018 nominations are in – and we’re excited to see which animated films made it. The year of 2017 had a number of animated feature films that left impressions among the masses, and it’s their time to shine at the 90th annual Academy Awards. No matter the winner, we are thrilled to announce that these films have been nominated for Best Animated Feature Film:


The Breadwinner

The Breadwinnersource: Cartoon Saloon

Directed by Nora Twomey, is the story of 11-year Parvana who’s living in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with her family. She must dress as a boy in order to support her mother and sister, after her father was unjustly arrested. The film is based on Deborah Ellis’ best-selling novel. It’s world premiere was at Toronto’s International Film Festival in September 2017.

Coco

coco-film-oscars-2018source: Walt Disney Pictures

Though music is banned in this family, that doesn’t stop 12-year-old Miguel Rivera from achieving his dreams to become a musician. Coco became the highest-grossing film of all-time in Mexico the following week of its premiere. As of January 21, 2018, the film has  grossed $656.7 million worldwide and received much praise for its representation of Mexican culture.

Ferdinand

ferdinandsource: 20th Century Fox Animation

Ferdinand is the story of a young bull who just wants to live a peaceful existence. But after he ditched his bull training camp in Spain, his peace comes crashing down when his captors come after him. Directed by Carlos Saldanha and released on December 15, 2017, Ferdinand has grossed a worldwide total of $234.8 million in box office sales.

The Boss Baby

the boss babysource: Dream Works Animation

Tim Templeton tells his story of how his 7-year-old self dealt a unordinary life of having a baby brother with the voice of an adult man and the salary of one too. The Boss Baby stars Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel and more. The film grossed at $498.9 million worlwide despite mixed reviews.

Loving Vincent

Loving-Vincent-1200x600-c-defaultsource: BreakThru Productions Trademark Films

Loving Vincent is the world’s first painted featured film, and the story surrounds the mystery behind Vincent van Gogh’s death in 1890. Interesting enough, the film was done by 125 painters and they used the same technique as Van Gogh. The film was directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, and premiered at the 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Congrats to all of the nominees!

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Will Make its TV Debut on ABC

OLF'S FROZEN ADVENTUREcourtesy of Disney

After making a controversial exit out of the theaters, you’ll be able to see Olaf and the rest of the Frozen characters go on their Christmas adventures once again. ABC is set to air Olaf’s Frozen Adventure on Thursday, December 14, as a part of their “25 Days of Christmas” tradition.

See the full press release below:

“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” makes its broadcast television debut as part of Disney|ABC Television Group’s “25 Days of Christmas” celebration on THURSDAY, DEC. 14 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. The airing, first announced during production in early 2016, follows “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”’s recently completed a limited theatrical run in front of Disney•Pixar’s hit feature “Coco.” The featurette includes four new original songs and welcomes back the beloved characters (and cast) who won over audiences worldwide in the 2013 Oscar®-winning feature, “Frozen,” the top-grossing animated film of all time. Disney Animation’s Emmy Award-winning holiday special “Prep & Landing” airs 8:30-9:00 p.m. EST.

In “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,” Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) teams up with Sven on a merry mission. It’s the first holiday season since the gates reopened and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realize they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save Anna and Elsa’s “first Christmas in forever.”

Academy Award®-winning producer Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”) says: “We are thrilled to be part of ABC’s ‘25 Days of Christmas’ festivities.  While making the film, our crew was so inspired by all of the great television holiday specials of the past.  It’s a dream come true for all of us.”

“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” features the original cast of Arendelle characters, including Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad (“Marshall,” “Book of Mormon”); Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell (“Frozen,” “Bad Moms”); Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel (Broadway’s “Wicked,” “Rent” and “If/Then”; Fox’s “Glee”); and Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff (Broadway’s “Hamilton,” Netflix’s “Mindhunter”).

“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” is directed by Emmy-winning filmmakers Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (“Prep & Landing”) and is produced by Oscar-winner Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”).

The Evergrowing Franchise of SpongeBob Squarepants

spongebob-squarepantssource: Nickelodeon

SpongeBob Squarepants turned 18 years old this year and there has been a lot of discussion and controversy around its longevity status. It’s one of the longest running cartoons on all of television and THE longest running series on Nickelodeon. SpongeBob premiered on May 1, 1999, and from then on was the start of a new empire. At the time shows like Rugrats and Hey Arnold ruled the network, but SpongeBob’s popularity surpassed them in what seemed like a millisecond. Since then the series grew to be a billion-dollar franchise and a household name. If you were to ask your parents or grandparents if they know who or what SpongeBob Squarepants is, 99% of the time they do. This show is huge and has been for 18 years. Despite reports of cancellation and some individuals who are dying for this show to end, Nickelodeon is making it clear that SpongeBob Squarepants isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

As the show’s popularity grew over the years, so did the empire. SpongeBob Squarepants has one of the wealthiest cartoon franchises that has generated around $12 billion, but what can possibly be the source for this evergrowing franchise?

spongebob-squarepants-franchise-billion-dollars-wealthysource: Nickelodeon

For starters, behind every successful show is its merchandise & products, and SpongeBob’s variety may be a little insane. Clothing, shoes, furniture, hair gel, body wash, alarm clocks, walkie-talkies, toys, cameras, mugs, beds, school supplies, body spray, electronics, and the list just never stops from there. Basically, if you think of any item or product that exists, there’s probably a SpongeBob version of it out there.

spongebob-toys-r-us                                              source: Toys R Us

SpongeBob has not only dominated its merchandise but they’re killing it in the food industry as well. Various food products in Fruit Snacks, Popsicles, Mac and Cheese, Taco Kits, Candy, Cheese Nips, and Cereal have been branded with the yellow sponge. Fast Food chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Sonic have also marketed the show to the young ones with their kid’s meals toys in the past and present.

The franchise has made a killing with their big screen movies. The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie made over $140 million and Sponge Out of Water made even more of a splash with $325.1 million. There have been a number of video games released based off of the show, including The Legend of the Lost Spatula (2001), Battle for Bikini Bottom (2003), and SpongeBob Moves In (2013).

spongebob out of water

Music from the series resulted in several soundtrack albums that have been sold and streamed by millions. SpongeBob’s Greatest Hits was the compilation album that celebrated the show’s ten-year anniversary.

SpongeBob seemed to have led to many products and branding deals, but I guess nothing screams success like screaming on a rollercoaster. Yes, they even have SpongeBob Squarepants theme park rides at Six Flags, Flamingo Land Resort, Shedd Aquarium, and at the Mall of America.

IMG_1695 source: Theme Park Review

SpongeBob Squarepants has been renewed for a season 12 and the 3rd movie, SpongeBob Squarepants 3, will be out in 2019. This billion-dollar monster franchise will continue to grow as the show is. Whether you like the show or not, you’ve got to admit that the success story has a beautiful side to it.

Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie Answers All of Your Burning Questions

It’s here. The highly anticipated revival film of Hey Arnold, Nickelodeon’s classic series. Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie aired tonight on Nickelodeon and it answered the ultimate question: What happened to Arnold’s parents?

hey-arnold-the-jungle-movie-cartoon-buzz-review

What a brilliant way to spend Thanksgiving weekend than to watch the conclusion to a show that ended 10+ years ago. Arnold and the gang headed off to San Lorenzo to unfold the mysteries of his parent’s whereabouts. First off, bravo to creators and writers behind Hey Arnold. It was exciting, hilarious, mindblowing, and emotional to a lot of us who grew up watching Hey Arnold as kids. As someone in their twenties, this movie definitely brought my childhood self back out of me. It was a breath of fresh air to finally receive some kind of closure and conclude the cliffhanger once and for all. There was so much that happened in this movie that words can barely express it. Beware, this article contains spoilers. If you haven’t watched The Jungle Movie yet, it will be playing on Nickelodeon & TeenNick’s NickSplat block all weekend and possibly into next week. Also, prepare to have your mind blown.

1) Turns out Arnold’s last name was a revelation to a lot of people.

hey-arnold-last-name

The name’s Shortman, Arnold Shortman. This piece of information has been on the internet for some time now but I guess some weren’t convinced. Who knew Grandpa Phil was calling him by his last name all along?

2) We finally figure out Mr. Simmons’ plus one?

We’re rooting for Mr. Simmons and Peter.

3) SHORTAKI LIVES.

hey-arnold-the-jungle-movie-arnold-and-helga-kiss

We’ve waited over a decade for this. HELGA FINALLY GOT HER MAN.

4) Love is in the air for Gerald & Phoebe as well!

hey-arnold-gerald-phoebe

Gerald and Phoebe are an item! We’ve always known this was going to happen. Our nostalgic hearts can’t take it.

It’s the moment of truth. Are you ready for this one?

5) YES, Arnold found his parents!

hey-arnold-stella-miles-shortman

Miles and Stella Shortman were found, and they were reunited with Arnold and the rest of the boarding house family. The sight of Arnold’s pupils growing as he realizes that he no longer has to dream about finding his parents because they are right in front of him was almost too emotional to handle.

6) Brainy is the hero of the entire movie

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Brainy’s obsession with Helga finally paid off. He managed to be the reason that Arnold and Helga are a thing, and that Arnold found his parents. Plus, he got a kiss from Helga. Brainy has officially won the game of life.

Thank you to Craig Bartlett, the Hey Arnold team, and Nickelodeon. You’ve let many relive their childhood tonight. Now, about a season 6…

 

The Animated Film That We May Never See: The Magic 7

Lost media can almost always lead to an interesting journey of discovery. Whether it’s a lost TV show, film, or commercial bumper, it’s fascinating to know when it was finally found and how that certain person found it. So, how does one find an animated film that’s been lost, unreleased, or possibly unfinished for 20 years? It sounds insane and impossible, but if you’ve never heard of the movie The Magic 7 then that would explain why.

The Magic 7 is an animated film written and directed by Roger Holzberg. Supposedly, the plot surrounded two children and a five-toed dragon that teamed up to battle the arch-enemies of planet Earth. The movie was clearly made for Earth Day and it was originally supposed to be released on April 22, 1997, but it was postponed several times. Google & IMDB are claiming that The Magic 7 was released on December 19, 2008, in France and 2009 in the United States, but this is unlikely. There’s no information or promotional media, such as trailers or posters, that exists where this film was released in France nor the United States. In fact, there is no media coverage at all about this film. All that has been discovered right now is the concept art of the characters and Michael J. Fox’s character “Marcel Maggot”, all created by Ken Cope in 1991:

the magic 7 concept art

the-magic-7-michael-j-fox-character-cartoon-buz (source: The Michael J. Fox Database)

It’s reported that production for this film started in 1990, but unfortunately two voice actors have died since then. John Candy, who was supposed to play a character named “Smokestack Sam” died in 1994, and Madeline Kahn also passed away in 1999, who had the role of “Wastra”. What is also unfortunate is that Candy & Kahn’s voices were taken out of the film completely. It is unknown at the moment why they were taken out, whether their characters were scrapped, or if they were replaced by other voice actors. Apparently, a company that goes by the name of Pulse Entertainment and Distribution bought the rights to the film, so it is possible that the characters were replaced by new voices. As well as John Candy and Madeline Kahn, this film had a star-studded cast:

Jason Aaron Baca as Zack
Kevin Bacon as Himself
John Candy as Smokestack Sam
Judy Collins as Herself
Cory Danziger as Sean
Michael J. Fox as Marcel Maggot
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Erica
Ice-T as Dr. Scratch
Jeremy Irons as Thraxx
James Earls Jones as 5-Toe
Madeline Kahn as Wastra
Bette Midler as Herself
Demi Moore as U-Z-Onesa
Olivia Newton-John as Herself
Meryl Streep as Herself
Dee Wallace Stone as Sean’s Mom
Henry Winkler as Himself

There is a lot to discover about this film. Be on the lookout for another article about The Magic 7 in the near future, because the hunt is not over yet. My bet is that if this film was finished, it’s just been shelved somewhere. There is definitely some fact-checking that needs to be done, due to the fact that nothing is confirmed or has a reliable source. Would the distribution company be willing to release this film at all in the future? Why has there been a false release date posted? Stay tuned!