In New York City yesterday, Disney’s three kids’ TV channels presented their 2012-2013 schedule for advertisers, and there’s a lot there for geeks (and especially geek parents) to love. Not only does the schedule include a terrific-sounding Phineas and Ferb two-part episode and the new Ultimate Spider-Man series — which has been widely known about for some time — but they’ve officially announced the coming (finally) of Tron: Uprising. And there are some other new series that have a lot of geeky promise.
The first, from the awesome, Emmy-winning mind of Craig McCracken, is called Wander Over Yonder. McCracken, who created The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, has an interesting concept in the works. The series centers on a character named “Wander,” who, according to the press release, “is an overly-optimistic intergalactic traveler who, along with his loyal but bullish steed, Sylvia, goes from planet to planet helping people to live free and have fun, all against the evil reign of Lord Hater and his army of Watchdogs.” The voice talent for the series includes Jack McBrayer (Kenneth on 30 Rock and the voice of Irving on Phineas and Ferb), and Tom Kenny of Spongebob Squarepants fame. A premiere date has not yet been announced.
Another new show, which I’ve seen a short preview of and which looks like a lot of fun, is called Gravity Falls. It’s a quirky series about twins Dipper (a boy) and Mabel (a girl, as you’d guess) who are shipped off by their parents “to spend the summer with their Great Uncle Stan in the very strange town of Gravity Falls, Oregon.” The town includes the world’s most bizarre museum, within the tourist trap known as The Mystery Shack, which Stan runs. The show will star Jason Ritter as Dipper and the very funny Kristen Schaal as Mabel, and will premiere on the Disney Channel in June.
There’s also a good-looking car-themed show called Motorcity, which premieres on April 30 on Disney XD, about a futuristic Detroit in which personal freedoms are being heavily restricted by the corporate rulers. (Isn’t that always the way?!) But for my money, the best-sounding series is the aforementioned Tron: Uprising The press release describes the series, planned for fall on Disney XD, thusly:
An impressive group of artists, animators, writers, directors and producers have delivered an exciting new series that combines 3D and 2D animation for a revolutionary visual aesthetic. The exciting storyline takes place between the two “TRON” feature films and introduces Beck, who has been chosen to lead the mission to free his home, a computer world known as The Grid, from the reign of the villainous Clu and his henchman General Tesler. Beck will be trained by the greatest warrior The Grid has ever known, Tron. The executive producer/director is Charlie Bean (“Robotboy,” “Samurai Jack” and “Powerpuff Girls”) and the consulting producers are Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz (both screenwriters of “TRON: Legacy” / executive producers of ABC’s “Lost” and “Once Upon a Time”) and Justin Springer (co-producer of “TRON: Legacy”). The music is composed by Joseph Trapanese (“TRON: Legacy”). The voice cast is: Elijah Wood, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Mandy Moore, Nate Corddry, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reubens, Reginald VelJohnson and Bruce Boxleitner. The series is a production of Disney Television Animation.
That’s a heck of a voice cast and a great production team. Based on that and on the preview trailer from last year (see above), this has the most promise of any geeky animated series in years.
Speaking of geeky animated series, check back here on Thursday for some details on upcoming Phineas and Ferb episodes. I’ll just say this for now: If you think the time-shift episodes changed things up in a big way, you haven’t seen anything yet.