Next Club Meeting: October 19, 2019, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the fourth Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Genndy Tartakovsky on returning 12 years later...

Samurai Jack's Darker Season 5
[Source: Yahoo!News] Jack is a haunted man. He hides beneath abandoned ruins, cowering from the pelting rain as enemies search to claim his head. An apparition in the guise of his former self taunts, “How long can you keep this up?… There’s no way home, there’s nothing to fight for.” It’s a stark contrast to the flamboyant villain he faces in a previous episode, frolicking around and saying “babe” too many times.

“That’s my sensibility,” Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky tells EW, laughing. “I walk the line, you know, Bug’s Bunny and film noir.”

Jack is indeed back in Samurai Jack season 5, premiering next month — and it’s been a long, torturous wait for fans. More than 12 years ago, the vivid cartoon series about a noble time-displaced samurai warrior and his fight with the shapeshifting demon Aku abruptly capped four seasons with an open-ended finale.

“I didn’t know if I should finish it,” Tartakovsky reflects. “Nobody told me if I should finish it. I didn’t know if we were gonna do more. I was burnt out to a crisp, and the whole crew was. It’s a very grueling show. As much as we all loved it, it was challenging, and on top of everything, we just got Star Wars: The Clone Wars to do. So I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m gonna bust out a giant finale and end Jack’s story however way it’s gonna end, figure all that out, and do Clone Wars on top of that.'”

Tartakovsky served as director and executive producer on the Star Wars animated series, but he hoped to revisit Samurai Jack six months or so after the fact. Pretty soon everything changed as Cartoon Network revamped its programming blocks, and that plan was no longer a reality. 
“Cartoon Network, they loved the show, but maybe it was ahead of its time a little bit?” he says. “They didn’t know what to do with it exactly, and also they were still figuring themselves out as a network back then. They were going through their first big transition and they always moved it around — we never felt like we got the audience that we could’ve had.”

It wasn’t until Samurai Jack left the air for good that the show developed a cult following, especially among artists inspired by its bold, picturesque animation. “It took me a little by surprise, to this day,” Tartakovsky says. “You know, I don’t sense it because we [as animators] are pretty sequestered.”

Over the years, Tartakovsky would go on to direct the Hotel Transylvania films and work on shows like Sym-Bionic Titan, but there was hope for Samurai Jack to return as a film. “Jack will come back,” he promised in 2006. The following year, a film was announced with the launch of the indie film production company Frederator Films. The project didn’t come to fruition by 2012, but Tartakowsky said he would keep “trying so hard every year” to make it happen.

Meanwhile, the adventures of Jack were continuing in comic book form, but Tartakovsky confirms they are not canon. “The comics, I really didn’t want them to go into a territory where they were gonna finish the story their way. I think that was wrong of them to do that,” he remarks. “So, it’s not canon, it’s not part of my Jack universe — and I know some people like them, but the show is the show and that should be, that’s what the truth is.”

Because of all the hangups with the film, the creator got the idea to finish out the story where it all began: on television. As he said in a featurette for season 5, he shot an email to Mike Lazzo, vice president of programming at Cartoon Network, and the project was finally green-lit.

Season 5, which began production at the tail end of 2015, was initially planned for a fall 2016 premiere, but Tartakovsky said a mixture of “bookkeeping” and scheduling issues pushed the date a few months. “I was really nervous because we were going too fast and I didn’t think we were gonna be able to hit those dates,” he recalls. “Initially they talked about showing five [episodes] and then waiting two months and showing another five.”

That brings us up to date, where fans are less than a month away from Samurai Jack‘s return, with the first of 10 new episodes kicking off on Adult Swim March 11 at 11:00 p.m. ET. It’s been 50 years since the season 4 finale, and Jack is still trapped in the future. He can’t age and, as glimpsed in the trailer, he’s plagued with memories of the family he can’t return to.

“The biggest thing that we were able to take advantage of is more of a mature style of storytelling, [though] Jack never pandered to really tiny kids anyway,” Tartakovsky explains of the “darker tone” of the story. “But at the same time the most exciting things [are] we get to dive into the madness of Jack right now and where he’s at and that he’s really lost hope and he’s just miserable and that kind of psychosis.”

There’s a lot of blood, new villains, a new motorcycle and armor for Jack, and more surprises Tartakovsky doesn’t want to get into before the premiere. But the show’s mastermind teases, “It’s something that I wanted to do in animation and I don’t think it’s ever been done to this level or the level that I’m hoping that we’re doing it.”

More importantly, Jack has a conclusion — 12 years in the making. “This is it. This is the definitive end, and it’s a great end,” Tartakovsky says. “I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve storyboarded it, and I think it’s super satisfying, and it should close the door for me for Samurai Jack.

However, he wouldn’t object if someone wanted to fill in the gaps. “Now, look, there’s 50 years between season 4 and season 5,” says Tartakovsky, “and if somebody wanted to jump in and do some stories in between, but for me this is the end.”

Monday, February 27, 2017

And the Academy Award goes to...

Best Animated Short
Bling Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
WINNER: Piper


Best Animated Feature

Kubo and The Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
WINNER: Zootopia

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bill Paxton dies at age 61

BILL PAXTON
 (May 17, 1955 - February 25, 2017)
[Source: Yahoo!News] Actor Bill Paxton died due to complications from surgery, PEOPLE confirms.

“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” a family representative said in a statement. “A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.”

The Texas native, who was nominated for an Emmy for his work in the TV mini-series Hatfields and McCoys, began acting in the 1970s. His earliest acting credits include minor roles in blockbusters such as Terminator (1984) and Aliens (1986).

Paxton’s fame rose in the 1990s thanks to roles such as Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995), the lead role in the 1996 hit Twister and as treasure hunter Brock Lovett in Titanic (1997).

His television credits include a lead role in HBO’s Big Love, for which he earned three Golden Globe nominations, as well as Hatfields and McCoys.

Paxton’s final big-screen role will be in the thriller The Circle, which is currently in post-production, alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. Paxton said in a 2007 interview with PEOPLE that he and Hanks kept in touch after costarring in Apollo 13 — and Hanks was an executive producer of Big Love.

“We write each other letters,” said Paxton. “I love that I’m working for Tom again. forged an alliance.”

The actor is survived by his two children, James and Lydia Paxton, and his wife of 30 years Louise Newbury.

Paxton’s son was recently tapped to join the actor in his new CBS drama.

“I was thrilled to have my son guest-star on the eighth episode of Training Day,” Paxton told PEOPLE earlier this month. “He plays the son in a father-son robbery team, and my character, whose dad was also a criminal, tells him, ‘We’re both our father’s sons, but that doesn’t have to define us.’ It was surreal saying that to him.”

Paxton was starring with Justin Cornwell in the new cop drama Training Day, which picks up 15 years after the 2001 Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke film of the same name.

Paxton also spoke with PEOPLE about his latest TV obsession.

“I loved watching Stranger Things with my daughter ,” he said. “But I had surgery last spring and binge-watched all of Downton Abbey while I was recuperating. I got so engrossed in it, I was devastated when I got to the end.”

At 8 years old, Paxton witnessed a speech given by President John F. Kennedy the morning of his assassination. During the 2007 AFI Dallas International Film Festival, the actor shared recently discovered photos of himself as a young boy perched on the shoulders of a man who offered him a lift so he could see the president speak n the parking lot of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth.
Celebrity pals such as Rob Lowe, who starred alongside Paxton in the 1995 film Frank and Jesse, took to social media to mourn the loss of the veteran actor.

“Devastated by the sudden loss of my close friend and one of the finest actors in the business, Bill Paxton. Renaissance man, raconteur and uniquely American national treasure,” Lowe wrote in a series of tweets. “His filmography speaks for itself. His friendship was a blessing. My love to Bunny, James and Lydia.”

He continued, “In his memory, on this Oscar Sunday, watch ‘One False Move’ or ‘A Simple Plan’ to see this lovely leading man, at his finest.”

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Every Best Animated Feature Winner Ever.


The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was first handed out in 2001. Here is a look back at all the winners so far, and this year’s nominees.

Friday, February 24, 2017

ZOOTOPIA parodies the Other Oscar Nominees

OSCAR NOMINEE PARODIES
[Source: nerdist] Academy Awards hype is real with the buzz reaching all the way to… Zootopia? Even the animal kingdom can’t wait to see the latest film nominees. Everyone from elephants to emu are packing the theaters to see hits like Fantastic Cheetahs and Where to Find them, Hogsaw Ridge, you know, the big ones.

Disney’s Zootopia fans like me couldn’t wait to get their hands on the movie so that they could pause the film at the exact moment when Duke Weaselton was hawking hot DVDs on the street corner. It meant that we could get a closer look at parody bootleg movies like Wreck-It Rhino and Pig Hero 6.

Luckily, the creators are just as fanatical about Disney parodies and just released 7 posters parodying the Oscars. Who wouldn’t want to see La La Lamb? A musical set amongst the wilds of Zootopia where Ryan Foxling and Emu Stone fall in love? I wonder if there’s a part for John Lemming in this movie?
The Hollywood Reporter debuted these with directors Rich Moore and Byron Howard, and screenwriter Jared Bush, who created the awesome homages for Oh My Disney. The team continually enjoys creating a world for the Zootopia characters even a year after the movie’s initial release. Fans feel the same way, with Zootopia cosplay and fanart being stronger than ever.

It’s the attention to detail that made Zootopia great and these posters are no exception. They’ve not only included funny tongue-in-cheek taglines for each poster but also thought up creative animalized versions of the actors’ names. I think Meryl Squeek and Shrew Grant would agree thatall of these parodies are movies we’d actually want to see.

Check out the rest of the Zootopia parody posters in the gallery below.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

'Young Han Solo' Cast Photo

HAN SOLO PREQUEL
[Source: SyfyWire] Work is officially underway on Disney's new Han Solo prequel, and we have a shot of the cast hanging out in the Millennium Falcon to prove it.

The spinoff project will focus on the early days of Han and Chewbacca in the years before Star Wars: A New Hope, and will also feature their early meetings with Han's pal Lando Calrissian.

Little is known about the plot, though Woody Harrelson will apparently be playing Han's mentor, while Emilia Clarke will be the female lead (possibly a love interest) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge might be playing a female droid. Story-wise, they've kept it all under wraps for now.

The first pic from the set shows clockwise from bottom left: co-director Christopher Miller, stars Woody Harrelson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, co-director Phil Lord and Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian).
Glover and Ehrenreich are talented guys, but they also have some big shoes to fill. It'll be interesting to see how this comes together.

The Han Solo film is currently scheduled for May 25, 2018.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Belle sings from Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast'


Beauty and the Beast
Meet Belle in this new clip form Disney's Beauty and the Beast, in theatres in 3D March 17!

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)


TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS CONTRACT
Christina Ricci, Miguel Ferrer, Taissa Farmiga, and Jake T. Austin voice this upcoming DC animated film. Led by Starfire, the Teen Titans – Beast Boy, Raven, Blue Beetle, Robin and the just-returned Nightwing – have built a cohesive team in their never-ending battle against evil but their newest teammate, the mysterious, and powerful, Terra, may be altering that dynamic. Meanwhile, an ancient evil – Brother Blood – has awakened, and familiar foe Deathstroke is lurking in the shadows, both waiting to pounce. Ultimately, the Teen Titans will need to battle their enemies and their own internal doubts to come together and overcome the malicious forces around them in this twisting tale of intrigue, adventure and deception.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"The Present" Short Animation by Jacob Frey


T H E   P R E S E N T
CBS Sunday Morning presented this exceptional short animation film on 5/8/16. Its approximately 3:30 and so well worth watch. I don't want to give anything away but get your Kleen-X ready at the end. Jacob Frey is a German film maker who recently received a job with Disney. If this animation short is an indication of his talent, he'd better dust off his mantle for his first Oscar award.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Read First Few Pages of the Korra Comic

KORRA RETURNS!
[Source: ToonZone] Korrasami begins here: Dark Horse has released a three-page preview of their upcoming Legend of Korra comic book. The pages were published by Entertainment Weekly.

This is perhaps the most anticipated Avatar-verse comic yet, as it reveals exactly what happened after the final scene in the series, when Korra and Asami entered the Spirit World. They looked into each other’s eyes as the camera pulled away, and it was implied that they were falling for one another, which was later confirmed by the series creators. Many fanfics and fan comics have been created since then with their own theories on what that romantic trip must have been like. Now, in this #1 issue written by Michael Dante DiMartino himself, we’ll see the real thing.
“Korra has to figure out how to find a new balance in the city with all this stuff that’s gone on,” DiMartino said to the magazine. “It’s gonna take place right after the finale, so it’s focusing on Korra and Asami’s relationship as a new threat emerges. It’s kind of like the aftermath dealing with the new portal in the city, and all the evacuees coming back to find their homes wiped out because of the portal.”

Friday, February 17, 2017

CGI 3D Animated Short Film: "Blood Ties"


B L O O D   T I E S
"In a family headed by a tyrannical father, the younger daughter will regain her freedom on her birthday ..."

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Anime Viewing Schedule for February 18, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Wood Dale Public Library
'Cause I'm Batman!
Main Meeting Room, 10:15 am to 5:00 pm

10:15 - 11:05    Macross Delta 17-18
11:05 - 11:55    Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World 12-13
11:55 - 12:45    91 Days 5-6
12:45 - 1:35      Izetta: The Last Witch 9-10
1:35 - 2:05        Club Meeting / Announcements
2:05 - 2:55        Little Witch Academia (2017 TV series) eps 4-5

All anime presented are fan-subtitled unless otherwise noted.
 
Start watching the exciting new anime series: Izetta: The Last Witch and Little Witch Academia!
ANIME DESCRIPTIONS ARE BELOW

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Anime Los Angeles 2017 Cosplay


ANIME LOS ANGELES 2017 | COSPLAY
Anime Los Angeles 2017 takes place in Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, California USA

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Violent Valentine's Day


R I D I N G   S H O T GU N
WARNING: MATURE SITUATIONS & VIOLENCE
Riding Shotgun is a short film about semi-professional assassins Doyle and Abby who embark on a brand new "hit" adventure. What should be a quick job turns into a fight for their lives when Doyle's ill-timed bathroom break flushes their plans for easy money straight down the toilet.

Written and Directed by Michael Davis (Shoot 'Em Up), this film is bursting at the seams with bullets, T&A, and nonstop, double barrel action.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Next Club Meeting is Saturday, February 18, 2017

 A N I M A T R I X   N E T W O R K
Missing something? You might find it at the next club meeting.

Wood Dale Public Library
520 N. Wood Dale Road
Wood Dale, IL  60191
Main Meeting Room
Saturday, February 18, 2017
10:15 AM - 5:00 PM
 

Our next club meeting will be at the Wood Dale Public Library
Main Meeting Room (on your far right as you enter the front doors), 
from 10:15 AM to 5:00 PM 
(until the library closes).

There is public transportation available. 
A Metra train-stop is located within walking distance. 

Please note: If you are driving, please park your car 
on the south side of the building (not the front) in order to 
make room for other library patrons.
 
A Viewing Schedule will be posted soon.
 
Hope to see you all there!

(Click below for maps

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Walking Dead returns this Sunday, February 12

THE WALKING DEAD
[Source: SyfyWire] Ahead of The Walking Dead's eagerly anticipated return this coming weekend, AMC has released a new midseason promo and a couple of featurettes.

First things first. The latest (and rather intense) promo boasts some cool new footage from Season 7B, including a look at one of the freakiest zombies I've ever seen on the show — one that looks like it stepped right out of Clive Barker's Hellraiser (see Exhibit A below). Also: Daryl (Norman Reedus) finally has his crossbow back. All's right with the world.
In the first featurette, showrunner Scott M. Gimple takes us through the new communities that populate the TV show's zombie-filled world. So far, viewers have come across the Hilltop, the Kingdom, Ocean Side, the Sanctuary and, of course, Alexandria.

As for the second one, it picks up right where we left off with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the gang. I don't know about you, but I'm glad to see badass Rick re-emerge from under Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) shadow barbed-wired bat, Lucille.

The Walking Dead returns on Feb. 12 on AMC. Check out the videos below and let us know what you think.



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Halo Wars 2 Launch Trailer

HALO WARS 2
Brace yourself for this battle-crazed preview of Microsoft's new Halo Wars 2, a return to the type of epic storytelling and killer combat sequences that the billion-dollar Halo franchise is best known for.

This captivating new trailer features some sizable space battles, close-quarter melees, laser swords, inspiring speeches, furious firestorms and a new Thanos-sized villain named Atriox, who leads a monstrous cadre of alien commandos.

Here's the official synopsis:
Halo Wars 2, the sequel to the bestselling console real-time strategy game of all time, is an action-packed RTS on the biggest Halo battlefield ever. Get ready to lead armies of Spartans and other Halo fighting forces like Warthogs, Scorpions and exciting new units in a brutal war against a terrifying new enemy, The Banished.
In this long-awaited sequel to the acclaimed Halo Wars, a new enemy threatens the Halo universe and the only thing standing between Armageddon and humanity is the brave crew on board the Spirit of Fire. Halo Wars 2 returns fans worldwide to the role of commander throughout an incredible campaign featuring the biggest battles in Halo history. In addition to the epic campaign, Halo Wars 2 comes packed with competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes built specifically for a wide range of new and veteran gamers.
Hurl yourself into this epic new confrontation with the Covenant and tell us if this game is centered in your crosshairs. Halo Wars 2 blasts off for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on Feb. 21.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Super Bowl spot


GUARDIANS of the GALAXY
Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their new-found family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

‘Battlestar Galactica’ Star Richard Hatch Dead at 71

RICHARD HATCH
(May 21, 1945 - February 7, 2017)
[Source: SyfyWire] Richard Hatch, who played Captain Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica television show (1978-1979) and Tom Zarek on the Syfy reboot (2003-2009), has died. He was 71 years old.

Hatch had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, according to TMZ.

As fans know, Hatch had championed a remake of the short-lived but impactful science fiction show (please, oh please, let’s not think about Galactica 1980), which mixed ancient Earth cultures with a space-faring future. Back in 1999, he tried to convince Universal, who owns the rights to Battlestar Galactica, to give him a sequel series; he co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in a half-hour pilot, Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming, along with former cast members John Colicos and Terry Carter. It involved a Cylon civil war.
Instead, Universal handed the reigns of a reboot, not a continuation, to Ron Moore. Moore then cast Hatch as the pot-stirring terrorist-turned-politician, Zarek.

Ron Moore had this to say about the late actor:
Edward James Olmos, who played Commander Adama in the reboot, spoke eloquently about his late friend:
Other work includes the Star Trek fan film Axanar, a small but entertaining role on The Guild, plus multiple television appearances.

We have the trailer for The Second Coming for you below. To get more Richard Hatch, it looks as if we're going to need a Battlestar Galactica re-watch. Both of them.

Rest In Peace, Captain Apollo.