July 17, 2014 6:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Disney Prepping 'Haunted Mansion' TV Special (Exclusive)
Disney Television Animation is celebrating the 45th anniversary of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion attraction in a big way.
The studio is developing a Disney Channel and Disney XD animated special inspired by the ghoulishly fun popular theme park attraction, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Additionally, the animation unit has extended its overall deal with Emmy-winning Phineas and Ferb co-creator and executive producer Dan Povenmire to develop new projects and ordered three animated pilots.
The Haunted Mansion special will be animated by legendary horror genre artist and children's book illustrator Gris Grimly (Gris Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhymes), who also will exec produce and art direct. Scott Peterson (Phineas and Ferb) will serve as writer, EP and story editor. Joshua Pruett (Phineas and Ferb) is on board as a consulting producer and writer.
"Over the past few years we have focused our strategy on making Disney Television Animation the home for the strongest talent in the business," Disney TV Animation senior vp original series at Disney Television Animation Eric Coleman said. "We have steadily built our roster with both animation veterans and fresh voices, and have fostered an environment where artists support and inspire one another. This group will help us continue to deliver the great storytelling and beloved characters that the Disney animation legacy is known for."
PHOTOS Summer TV Preview
Here's a look at the three Disney XD pilots, which are now in production.
Billy Dilley's Super Duper Subterranean Summer
From creator/director Aaron Springer (Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, SpongeBob SquarePants), it centers on Zak and Marsha, who end up stuck in uncharted land and at the center of the Earth with eccentric classmate Billy Dilley.
Very Important House
Hails from Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim) and character designer Jenny Goldberg (Rick and Morty) and centers on 11-year-old Frolie, who moves into the Very Important House and suddenly finds herself in the role of caretaker of the universe.
Crated by illustrator and former Sub Pop Records art director Jesse LeDoux and actor/writer Matt Olsen (Sly Cooper), the entry explores the thriving animal community of Douglas, where Barry the bear, the world's least handy handyman, takes it upon himself to fix all the town's problems.
The new shortform series, also currently in production, is called Future-Worm! and was created by South Park's and Out There's Ryan Quincy. It centers on a boy who creates a time machine lunch box and befriends a fearless worm from the future.
The projects join a Disney Television Animation roster that includes Phineas and Ferb, Wander Over Yonder, Gravity Falls and Mickey Mouse.