Animated Movies

Lauren Montgomery To Direct “Wonder Woman” Animated Feature

Montgomery is no stranger to the animated comic world. Not only has she directed episodes of Legion of Super Heroes, Montgomery was also one of the three directors for the direct-to-video Superman Doomsday animated feature, directing the second act of the film. She also did storyboard work for Superman Doomsday, as well.

The direct-to-video Wonder Woman animated feature is slated for a Fall 2008 release.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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Kevin Conroy Confirmed To Voice Batman In “Batman: Gotham Knight”

Press Release:

Fan Favorite Kevin Conroy returns to benchmark title role for the July 8, 2008 Release

Prime-Time stars join cast of third DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movie

Two-Disc Special Edition & Blu-ray Disc filled with Special Features, Price Point enchanced for Single Disc release

Kevin Conroy, the benchmark by which fans compare all Batman voices, returns to the title role in Batman: Gotham Knight, the third release in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie series from DC Comics, Warner Premiere, Warner Home Video and Warner Bros. Animation, it was announced today. The all-new, original movie will street July 8, 2008 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, as well as OnDemand and Pay-per-View. The film will be available for download on the same date.

Batman: Gotham Knight is a fresh and exciting new entry into the Batman mythos, spinning out of a 40-year history in animation including the Emmy(R)-winning Batman: The Animated Series, widely considered a pivotal moment in American animation. A cross section of distinguished creators, award-winning producers, and acclaimed writers weave six interlocking stories that reveal Bruce Wayne’s journey to The Dark Knight, each with stylish art from some of the world’s most revered animation visionaries.

Conroy set the standard for modern day Batman voices with his performance in Batman: The Animated Series, The New Adventures of Batman and Robin and The New Batman Superman Adventures. He reprised the role as an aging Bruce Wayne playing mentor to a new Caped Crusader in Batman Beyond. Animation legend and Batman: Gotham Knight producer Bruce Timm said Conroy was the obvious choice for both widespread fan approval and to provide an overriding sense of continuity within a film in which Batman appears in so many new, visual variations.

“Anytime we initiate an animated Batman project, ‘Will Kevin Conroy voice Batman?’ is the first question we hear from fans,” said Bruce Timm, Executive Producer. “To meet Kevin is to know that he’s not anything like Batman, and yet he manages to perfectly nail that indefinable element that is Batman. He’s got the voice, he’s got the acting chops, and he’s absolutely the best man for the job.”

Conroy provided a central, rallying point for a cast that perfectly meshes stars of some of today’s highest rated primetime television series with many of the most popular voiceover actors in the business. Gary Dourdan (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty) are heard in multiple segments of the six-story film as police detectives Crispus Allen and Anna Ramirez, key members of a special unit who learn to trust the Dark Knight’s motives. Parminder Nagra (ER, Bend It Like Beckham) supplies the voice of Cassandra, a mystical Indian woman who teaches Bruce Wayne to endure and manage his pain. David McCallum (Navy NCIS, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Great Escape) takes on the role of loyal servant Alfred. George Newbern (Father of the Bride) and Alanna Ubach (Legally Blonde) also join the cast.

The cast also features popular voice over artists Corey Burton, Rob Paulsen, Kevin Michael Richardson, Will Friedle, Jason Marsden, Jim Meskimen, Pat Musick, Scott Menville, Hynden Walch, Corey Padnos and Crystal Scales.

Batman: Gotham Knight will be available on DVD for $19.98 SRP. There will also be a 2-disc Special Edition DVD available for $29.98 SRP which contains over 100 minutes of bonus features plus 4 bonus episodes. All the content from the 2-disc Special Edition DVD will be available on Blu-ray Disc for $34.99 SRP. Batman: Gotham Knight 2-disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray Disc will feature incredible extras including:

“Batman and Me a Devotion of Destiny: The Bob Kane Story” – The comprehensive chronology of the remarkable life of the creator of Batman.
“A Mirror for the Bat: The Evil Denizens of Gotham City” – A stimulating documentary covering Gotham City’s most nefarious of characters, combined with a look into the symbiotic relationship Batman shares with his enemies.
“Batman: The Animated Series” Bonus Episodes – Bruce Timm selects his favorite episodes from Batman: The Animated Series.
“Sneak Peek: Wonder Woman” – DC Universe animated original movie
Audio Commentary – Featuring the filmmakers of Batman: Gotham Knight.
Widescreen (1.78:1)
5.1 Dolby Digital

Batman:Gotham Knight was headed by an impressive list of directors who have brought their distinctly different anime styles to the classic Batman character. The production was divided among three renowned studios Studio 4C, Production I.G and Madhouse and included the truly inimitable visions of directors Shojiro Nishimi, Futoshi Higashide, Hiroshi Morioka, Yasuhiro Aoki and Toshiyuki Kubooka. With stories written by several of the most talented writers of film, comic books, and animation, including Academy Award(R)-nominated screenwriter Josh Olson (A History of Violence), David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), Emmy(R)-winner Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated
), Jordan Goldberg (Associate Producer, The Dark Knight), and award-winning comics writers Greg Rucka and Brian Azzarello, Batman: Gotham Knight presents thrilling new adventures of Batman that spotlight several of Gotham City’s most dangerous villains, including the fearsome Scarecrow, the freakish Killer Croc and the unnerving marksman known as Deadshot. Batman: Gotham Knight is produced by Emma Thomas (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), Michael Uslan & Benjamin
Melniker (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) and Toshi Hiruma.

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Note: Regular updates will return after the holiday weekend.

“Justice League: The New Frontier” DVD Holds Strong In Second Week

According to various home media retailing outlets, Justice League: The New Frontier held strong in the second week, despite falling nearly 66% in sales. The title sold an estimated 57,000 copies on DVD in its second week, bringing the cumulative total to nearly 225,000.

Warner Home Video has claimed that, in total, Justice League: The New Frontier has shipped over 400,000 copies to date.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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Press Release for “Justice League: The New Frontier” Soundtrack


Renowned Television And Game Composer Kevin Manthei Scores Justice League: The New Frontier

La-La Land Records will release the soundtrack for Justice League: The New Frontier on March 18. The animated feature will be released on Blu-Ray, Hi Def DVD, and on Demand on February 26 and on HD DVD on March 18th. Kevin Manthei (Batman: Gotham Knight, Xiaolin Showdown, Invader Zim) composed the original music.

Kevin Manthei has been working in the film, television and game arena for over 15 years. He has worked as the series composer on five animated TV shows representing over 130 half hour episodes, composed over 50 game soundtracks, has made a mark composing music for animated features, independent films, as well as contributing additional music on many well-known feature films.

Manthei began his game writing career working on some of the biggest titles of the time: Panzer General 2, Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption, Sacrifice, Twisted Metal: Black and other classic games. Jhonen Vasquez, the creator of Nickelodeons cult hit Invader Zim, was a huge fan of games and game music, hiring Manthei to score what was to become 26 television episodes of Invader Zim. This garnered Manthei his first Annie Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music for an animated series. Invader Zim also led to Xiaolin Showdown for Warner Brothers Animation as well as Brandy and Mr. Whiskers for Disney. He continued to score both of these shows along with Warner Brothers’ Johnny Test, for which he wrote the emo punk inspired main title and score to the first season.

While continuing his work on games and film, working on such game titles as Ultimate Spider-Man, City of Villains, The Sims 2, Starcraft: Ghost, Shrek 2, and recently Marvel Universe Online & Kung Fu Panda, Manthei has also been active working on several film scores including Batman: Gotham Knight and The 24th Day starring James Marsden and Scott Speedman. Batman: Gotham Knight, which Manthei co-composed, is an anime inspired straight-to-DVD release whose storyline bridges the gap between the live action films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Based on the graphic novel by Darwyn Cook and produced by Michael Goguen and executive produced by animation legend, Bruce Timm, Justice League: The New Frontier is the epic tale of the founding of the Justice League. DC Comics legends Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are all featured in the film as are Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and The Flash as they band together to form the legendary super team.

Strangers at first, these very different heroes must overcome fear and suspicion to forge an alliance against a monster so formidable, even the mighty Superman cannot stop it alone. If they fail the entire planet will be cleansed of humanity.

The setting of the film allowed Manthei to draw on inspirations from the past. I felt very fortunate, because of the fresh take Darwyn Cooke took in his graphic novel, Manthei described. The setting, in the late 50s and early 60s, set up a nice backdrop and tone for the score. Gone was the current standard of a hybrid score consisting of electronics and orchestra. Rather, a new approach was suggested, which was to compliment the time period with a score that was rooted in that time. He was inspired by the works of Bernard Herrmann and Aaron Copeland, along with elements of film noir.

The biggest challenge of the score, said Manthei, was keeping a cohesive feel while still addressing all the different characters and thematic elements. I chose to write major themes for the Centre, Flash, Hal, Green Lantern & Jonn Jonzz while letting the other super hero characters be supported by scene specific underscore.

Michael Goguen described, The surprising touch of a soft, soulful, film noir-ish saxophone as Jonn Jonnz, the Martian Manhunter, first stands up into the light to reveal himself to the audience in the films first act; the thrilling, propulsive strings and soaring horns of the Flashs first action sequence as he runs to and around Las Vegas; the dream-come-true excitement of the secret Mars space flight, followed by the draining suspense of the tragic crisis-in-space sequence; and the wonderful moment when a choir of angels welcomes Superman as he arrives to save Hal Jordan from certain death; these are all inspired moments of pure musical bliss for me, those things that can only come from a place of true depth of feeling and sensitivity. This score is full of such things, and I invite you to listen for them and savor them.

Warner Bros. Video presents Justice League: The New Frontier, out on Blu-Ray, Hi Def DVD, and On Demand on February 26, 2008 and on HD DVD on March 18th. The Justice League: The New Frontier – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be available in stores or from on March 18, 2008.

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Please note that Superman Doomsday – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is still available for purchase.

“Justice League: The New Frontier” DVD Cracks Top Ten In First Week

According to various home media retailing outlets, Justice League: The New Frontier had to battle off a host of new and Oscar-fueled releases this week, but it still made a respectable showing at the #10 slot in DVD sales for the week. The title sold an estimated 136,000 copies on DVD in its first week. Keep in mind the number does not take into account rental numbers, hi-def DVD numbers, OnDemand numbers, or legal download numbers, just sales of the single-disc and two-disc standard DVD releases.

Justice League: The New Frontier also premiered in the #5 slot in Hi-Def DVD sales, thanks to a strong showing from the movie’s Blu-Ray release.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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