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HBO Max and Cartoon Network Bring A Jam-Packed Kid & Family Lineup For This Year’s San Diego Comic-Con

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Celebrating the momentous return to an in-person event after two years, HBO Max and Cartoon Network announced a jam-packed kid & family lineup of panels for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The four panels will include special guests, signings, interactive fun for all ages, sneak peeks, and first looks at fan-favorite and upcoming series.

On Friday, July 22, check-in with the Looney Tunes Looni-verse for an all-star panel and enjoy sneak peeks of the new series Bugs Bunny Builders, Tiny Toons Looniversity, and a new season of Looney Tunes Cartoons. Then, meet the creatives and voice talent behind the highly anticipated animated series, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.

The following day, dive deep into Cartoon Network originals with a can’t-miss game show panel on Saturday, July 23. Join the cast and crew of fan-favorites Craig of the Creek, Teen Titans Go!, and We Baby Bears as they go head-to-head during a winner takes all round of trivia to cement their status as the biggest Cartoon Network fan of all. Find out as each team tests their knowledge during an interactive quiz format where the audience helps unlock answers, reveal surprise guests, and super sneak peeks.

Also on Saturday, roll by DC’s Comics Are Fun for Everyone panel to catch an exclusive sneak peek at DC’s first-ever preschool series, Batwheels, premiering this fall on Cartoonito on HBO Max and Cartoon Network..

Plus, don’t miss an action-packed Sesame Street Mecha Builders panel on Sunday, July 24, to learn how Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Abby Cadabby were re-imagined to expand the Sesameverse as robo superheroes-in-training.

Outside the convention center, snap a pic outside the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego with a Bat-tastic inflatable display. Plus, attendees can enjoy photo opportunities with Cookie Monster at a supersized Sesame Street Mecha Builders inflatable located near the Omni San Diego Hotel from Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24.

Finally, don’t forget to stop by the Sails Pavilion at the San Diego Convention Center for autographs from all kids and family panelists on series posters exclusive to Comic-Con. Plus, look out for exclusive news and special messages with HBO Max air drops available at various locations throughout the weekend.

See below for the full HBO Max and Cartoon Network kids & family schedule:

FRIDAY, JULY 22

That’s NOT All, Folks! Looney Tunes for Everyone!
10:00 a.m., Indigo Ballroom
Don’t forget that left turn at Albuquerque on your way to the Looniest panel at San Diego Comic-Con! Take a look at all the latest from the Looney Tunes Loon-iverse, including the new season of Looney Tunes Cartoons, the new series Bugs Bunny Builders, the new Tiny Toons Looniversity , and bonus surprises!  Join Eric Bauza (voice of Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Daffy Duck, and more) as he moderates an all-star panel with Alex Kirwan (Supervising Producer – Looney Tunes Cartoons), Abe Audish (Supervising Producer – Bugs Bunny Builders), Nate Cash and Erin Gibson (Co-Executive Producers of Tiny Toons Looniversity) and more surprise guests! Stick around for sneak peeks, giveaways, and looney games!

Autograph Signing:
That’s NOT All, Folks! Looney Tunes for Everyone! 
Friday, July 22 1:00pm – 2:00pm

The Origin Story You’ve Been Waiting For…Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai
11:00 a.m., Indigo Ballroom
Magic, mystery, mayhem, and Mogwai! Join the talented cast and crew of Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai as they answer your burning questions about the upcoming HBO Max animated prequel series. Executive producers Tze Chun and Brendan Hay join Tara Rueping (Art Director), Izaac Wang (voice of Sam), AJ LoCascio (voice of Gizmo), Gabrielle Neveah Green (voice of Elle), and more surprise guests to unveil the first clues to unlocking the secrets of the Mogwai that will leave you hungry for adventure (just don’t eat after midnight!). Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is produced by Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Animation.

Autograph Signing:
The Origin Story You’ve Been Waiting For…Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai
Friday, July 22 2:00pm – 3:00pm

SATURDAY, JULY 23

Cartoon Network: Winner Takes All 
10:00 a.m., Indigo Ballroom
Cartoon Network fans come on down! Be the first in line to test your knowledge of all things Cartoon Network! This multi-show panel will determine which panelists (and audience members!) are the most discerning fans as they are quizzed on their favorite series for a chance to unlock first looks, sneak peeks, and more inside scoop! Play along with the casts and crew of Craig of the Creek (Philip Solomon, voice of Craig; Najja Porter, supervising director; Dashawn Mahone, supervising director), Teen Titans Go! (Pete Michail, executive producer; Tara Strong, voice of Raven; Khary Payton, voice of Cyborg), and We Baby Bears (Calvin Wong, showrunner; Connor Andrade, voice of Grizz; Amari McCoy, voice of Panda; Max Mitchell, voice of Ice Bear). Why settle for second? Come get your first look at everything Cartoon Network! Craig of the Creek and We Baby Bears are produced by Cartoon Network Studios. Teen Titans Go! is produced by Warner Bros. Animation.

Autograph Signing:
Cartoon Network: Winner Takes All
Saturday, July 23 11:30am – 12:30pm

Comics Are Fun for Everyone
12:30 p.m., Room 6DE
No matter if you are a casual fan, a YA fan, completely new to comics or a weekly warrior, comics are meant to be fun and for everyone! We’ll be highlighting comics and graphic novels from across the DC Multiverse, as well as animation and more in this fun-filled panel. DC Senior Editor Katie Kubert will be joined by Daniel Warren Johnson & Juan Gedeon (Jurassic League), Kami Garcia (Constantine: Distorted Illusions), Becky Cloonan & Michael Conrad (Batgirls) and more!

SUNDAY, JULY 24

Sesame Street Mecha Builders
1:45 p.m., Room 5AB
From feathered and furry friends to robo superheroes-in-training, find out how the iconic Sesame Street Muppets got supersized into CGI animated characters for the newest series Sesame Street Mecha Builders. Join Olexa HewrykFrank FalconeDavid RudmanRyan Dillon, and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph as they discuss how Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Abby Cadabby were re-imagined to expand the Sesameverse. The panel will be moderated by Alan Muraoka from Sesame Street.

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Scrubs Reunion: The Band Gets Back Together

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Fans of the beloved medical comedy series Scrubs were recently treated to a thrilling surprise when John C. McGinley, who portrayed the iconic Dr. Perry Cox, dropped a photo on Twitter hinting at a potential reunion project. The image, showing McGinley alongside his former co-stars, sparked a wave of excitement and speculation among fans who have been longing for more adventures with the beloved Sacred Heart Hospital staff.

While details about the reunion project are still scarce, the mere possibility of seeing the gang back together again has sent waves of nostalgia through fans who fondly remember the show’s original run from 2001 to 2010. Scrubs was not just a sitcom; it was a heartfelt exploration of friendship, love, and the chaotic world of medicine, all wrapped up in a quirky and often hilarious package.

At the heart of the show was the bromance between JD (played by Zach Braff) and Turk (played by Donald Faison), whose antics and deep bond served as the emotional anchor for the series. Their dynamic, along with the sage wisdom (and relentless sarcasm) of Dr. Cox, provided viewers with memorable moments that have stood the test of time.

As we eagerly await more news about the Scrubs reunion project, one thing is for sure: it’s time to dust off those old DVDs, rewatch our favorite episodes, and get ready to welcome back our favorite gang of doctors, nurses, and janitors for what promises to be a memorable reunion.

But Scrubs was more than just its main characters. The supporting cast, including the eccentric Janitor (played by Neil Flynn), the neurotic Elliot (played by Sarah Chalke), and the wise-cracking nurse Carla (played by Judy Reyes), each brought their own unique flavor to the show, creating a rich tapestry of characters that fans grew to love.

While the photo shared by McGinley has fueled speculation about what the reunion project might entail, whether it’s a one-off special, a new season, or something else entirely, one thing is certain: fans are eagerly awaiting any opportunity to dive back into the world of Sacred Heart Hospital.

In an age where reboots and revivals are commonplace, Scrubs stands out as a series that has the potential to recapture the magic that made it a fan favorite in the first place. With its blend of humor, heart, and unforgettable characters, a reunion project has the opportunity to not only satisfy longtime fans but also introduce a new generation to the joys of life at Sacred Heart.

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WonderCon 2024:Day One

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Dune Part Two: The Lisan Al Gaib comes for you!

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Welcome back to our struggle for control of the known universe already in progress, the continuation of the journey of Paul Atreides from exile to Emperor, Dune Part Two

So when we last left our intrepid if dubious heroes, House Atreides had been betrayed and virtually destroyed, by a combination of House Harkonnens surprise attacks and the added treachery of Emperor Shaddam and his Sardaukar. Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), the last surviving heir (so far) of House Atreides and his mother Jessica, have taken refuge on the desert planet of Arrakis amongst the indigenous Fremen, and as far as most are aware, the other remnants of House Atreides are dead as well. And here is where we catch up with everyone, as the struggle for Atreides emergence and dominance begins in earnest! 

The Emperor’s daughter Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh) is known for her many skills, but her copious note-taking and writings on the large events shaping her world come to the forefront as she takes counsel with her father amidst games of chance on their homeworld. Her life is one of luxury and privilege but alas, Irulan is a trained Bene Gesserit and is well aware that in all likelihood, she will be used as a pawn in the marriage games empires have to go through. Bet she never imagined it could be to a House everyone swore had been utterly destroyed. 

Meanwhile, on Arrakis, Paul is trying to integrate himself into the Fremen way of life, which is admittedly far different from the life he led back on the Atreides homeworld of Caladan. (If nothing else, Caladan has vast oceans.) The Fremen are fiercely independent, gloriously strong fighters, survivors who dare to ride and revere the giant sandworms that inhabit their planet that they call Shai-Hulud, and rightfully distrustful of outsiders. After all, the previous stewardship of Arrakis belonged to House Harkonnen, known for their cruelty and glee at hunting Fremen and torturing their victims, sometimes for weeks at a time. But Paul won his and Jessicas way into the Fremen by fair combat against Jamis, and if nothing else, the Fremen are firm in their beliefs of the old ways. 

Or rather, the elder Fremen are, most particularly the famed Fedaykin fighter and Naib (leader) of Sietch Tabr Stilgar (Javier Bardem) is adamant in his unshakable belief that Paul is the foretold Lisan Al Gaib, the Voice from the Outer World, that will lead the Fremen to peace and paradise. Stilgar’s steadfast belief in Paul’s potential only grows, and he manages with just that to convince a great many of the other Fremen elders. The younger generation of Fremen however, of which Paul’s beloved Chani (Zendaya) is a part, generally scoff at the legends of otherworldly prophets and Arrakis as a fabled green, wet heaven. In the beginning, Paul himself swears he doesn’t want to be the Messiah, only a Fremen fighter amongst the rest of them, hundreds of years of the Missionaria Protectiva, the Bene Gesserit practice of spreading useful religious propaganda as seeds on various planets, is working double-time against him. It doesn’t help that Paul’s mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) is expounding on that myth as much as she possibly can. 

And why would she do that? Survival yes, but also, Jessica is a thoroughly trained Bene Gesserit and knows of plans within plans within plans. Jessica also has many secrets of her own, and one very important one happens to be that she’s pregnant with Paul’s sister. The Bene Gesserit bodily control may be something out of legend, but even Jessica, possibly Reverend Mother Mohiam’s best and most fractious student, will have trouble with the trial the Fremen are insisting she go through to become truly one of them. The Reverend Mother equivalent of Sietch Tabr, known as their Sayyadina, is old and dying, and the Fremen have to have a Reverend Mother. Jessica tells Paul this much and explains that each culture is different in their trial to become a Reverend Mother, so she honestly doesn’t know what to expect. The reality happens to be worse than she could’ve imagined – Jessica must drink the Water of Life, a deadly poison that comes from Shai-Hulud (sort of), and come out the other side of it. And Jessica manages to do it, barely, with almost all of the consequences going to the poor fetus in her womb, the girl that will grow to become Alia Atreides, an insane legend in her own right. But for now, the unnamed fetus is awake and aware and full of the memories of generations of Bene Gesserit women that came before her – before she was even born

Paul participates in razzia raids amongst the Fremen as they work to take out the spice mining operations of the Harkonnens, immerses himself in the vastly different desert culture of his chosen people, and perhaps most importantly, his romance with his beloved Chani only grows stronger. After declaring his desire to join the fierce fighter elites amongst the Fremen known as Fedaykin, Paul is told by Stilgar that he must summon and ride one of the giant sandworms, the embodiment of Shai-Hulud where the Fremen get their terrible tooth Crysknives from. And after much sendup, in a glorious scene of blinding sand and huge monstrous killer worm-riding, Paul is triumphant and riding atop the sacred creature, his Maker hooks set properly to control the great beast, waving at great distance to his fellow Fremen as Chani looks on in bemusement. 

But that’s all external, and inside Paul is beginning to become divided on what he wants to do. As Jessica pushes the Protectiva hard amongst the women and priestesses of the Fremen, she is also pushing her son to become much larger than he ever wanted to be, if nothing else a conqueror can take revenge for the destruction of House Atreides and the death of her beloved Duke Leto. Paul may have earned his place amongst the Fremen and been given new names – Usul, meaning the strength of the base of the pillar, as his private name within the Sietch; and Muad’Dib, from the small mouse survivor of the desert, well versed in desert ways, called ‘Instructor-of-Boys’ in Fremen legend, as his open-use name – but now everyone wants Paul to be something greater, and potentially more destructive, than what he currently is. It only gets worse when Paul begins to suffer prophetic dreams, and visions when he’s awake, prodding him further to his destiny as an epic conqueror of worlds. Nothing can be done for it, Paul convinces himself that he must take the Water of Life himself, to awaken the sleeping prophet inside himself, and allow him to hopefully See a path through the future. 

The problem with that plan, is that Bene Gesserit are almost exclusively all women, and only they are supposed to know how to transmute poisons internally, along with all sorts of other “witchcraft”. But Jessica has been training Paul in forbidden Bene Gesserit ways all his life, and as much as Paul might rail and even quail against it, there is no denying his incoming destiny, crushing any resistance he may have with all the force of a giant sandworm hunting a spice blow. And even when Paul has finally given in and taken the cursed substance almost mockingly called the Water of Life, it falls to another strong and prophetic in her right female in his life, his beloved Chani, to save him from himself. But even Chani can’t stop Paul’s destructive destiny as the conqueror of the known worlds, guilty of slaying millions upon millions of people in his quest for vengeance, thinly disguised as peace. 

Over on the Harkonnen homeworld of Geidi Prime, “Beast” Rabban (Dave Bautista) is disgusted and enraged at the continuing Fremen raids against the Harkonnens on Arrakis, and terrified of what his uncle the notoriously cruel Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), will do to him in response. The Baron’s nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler), heir apparent or na-Baron to House Harkonnen, demonstrates his blood-inborn savagery in a slaughter of the remnants of House Atreides gladiator-style, as his birthday celebration. Pleased with the spectacle, the Baron commands Feyd-Rautha to take control of the fight against this Fremen rebel known as Muad’dib, as Rabban is proving himself more and more useless. And any tool or toy that the Baron finds broken or unusable, is destroyed before being discarded. 

As the legend of Muad’dib grows off Arrakis and circulates among the Imperial worlds, the Emperor grinds his teeth in frustration and the Bene Gesserit, led by Reverend Mother Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) as the Emperor’s Truthsayer, begin pushing forward their plots and machinations. Lady Margot Fenring (Lea Seydoux), a criminally underused character in this respect, demonstrates her willingness to be a pawn in Bene Gesserit machinations, but never forget, strong Bene Gesserit women have been breaking their own rules for generations. Just look at what Jessica did. 

As the raids and rebellion on Arrakis continue, both the Emperor and the Baron become more and more desperate, sending in mercenaries and smugglers in the hopes they might have more luck. And aboard one of those smuggler’s vessels happens to be an old hand at being a smuggler himself, the warrior troubadour with the scarred face given him by “Beast” Rabban himself, Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin). Reunited with his beloved Duke’s only son, Gurney finds himself swept up in the legend of Muad’dib in the making along with everyone else, though at least from Gurney’s point of view, Paul is using the messianic angle to take revenge for House Atreides. 

Finally, in an act of what could be considered the ultimate in arrogance, Emperor Shaddam Corrino himself comes to Arrakis, along with Princess Irulan and many others of his Court, the Baron, and Feyd-Rautha in tow as well, to crush this upstart Muad’dib and his Fremen warriors. Sadly for all that the powerhouse actor Christopher Walken plays him, Emperor Shaddam Corrino is shown as a doddering old man, cowed in the face of Muad’dib’s overwhelming vitality and growing-ever-stronger legend. And there is where we will end the review, for the final confrontation between all key players in the Known Universe is full of spoilers and derivations from the original opus of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune

For those of you who stuck around long enough to get to the end, after all, Dune Part Two is almost three hours long itself, if you are fans of the original novel and the zany Lynchian masterpiece that was the first Dune film, you may be disappointed or even angered at the changes made to the story for the climactic end scenes. Director Villenuve has an eye for making grand epic scenes like Paul’s sandworm ride but can be a bit scattered when it comes to piecing the story together with all the key players needing to be involved in a way that can be understood by any layman. Dune in any form is a rich, vast universe of storytelling, and even an almost three-hour-long sequel simply can’t cover every last bit that’s in the novels. But if nothing else, the film is an overwhelming feast for the eyes and should bring a whole new legion of fans to the many worlds contained within Dune

If you want to dive further into the Dune-iverse, do yourself a favor and read the Dune prequel books written by Herbert Jr. and Kevin J. Anderson. Until then, dive into the sands of Arrakis along with Shai-Hulud and scream vengeance to the skies with Paul Muad’dib Atreides in Dune Part Two, in theaters now! 

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