Friday, November 29, 2013

Marvel's Expanding Animated Universe

The Disney subsidiary moves into long-form animation:

... Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United [is] Marvel Entertainment's first foray into long-form animated storytelling after fostering a popular Disney XD cartoon block. ...

Marvel's Avengers Assemble voice actor Adrian Pasdar plays inventor Tony Stark and his armored alter ego, and his co-star Fred Tatasciore is the Hulk (and puny human Bruce Banner). ...

DC Entertainment has been focusing on getting Batman, Superman and its heroes in direct-to-home-video animated features in recent years. Marvel, too, wanted to get into the space by expanding the work it's been doing in its animation group, says Loeb, executive producer of Heroes United and head of Marvel Television.

To find the right characters for a feature-length project, they looked to a key demographic: children.

Youngsters like Iron Man because Tony is able to solve problems with his brains and his armor, Loeb says, and to counterbalance that elegance, kids dig Hulk because he takes care of things through smashing. "You have a guy who is all tech-based and a guy who is completely not tech-based — he's just wearing a pair of pants. But that's what they really wanted to see."

The voice actors from the current cartoons were enlisted to maintain consistency, but also because they're just really good, Loeb says.

He doesn't think anybody has played the Hulk more in the animated medium than Tatasciore, who also stars as the character in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. The actor brings versatility to a big green guy who's much chattier than the one in The Avengers movie. ...

And Pasdar is fearless in having to live in the shadow of Robert Downey Jr., "who has so defined who Tony is in the live-action movies," Loeb adds. "He's brought to his version of Iron Man the snark that we love, brilliance that we love and arrogance we chuckle at, and at the same time, he's a hero." ...

Diz Co., more than Time-Warner in recent years, gets the synergy thing.

The conglomerate seeks to maximize all the intellectual properties it purchased in the Marvel deal by having the assets deployed in theatrical live-action features, animated television series, and now animated direct-to-video features.

Smart thinking.

I guess the next frontier is creating Hulk and Iron Man webisodes for smart phones.


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