Cartoon Sets Original Films

New York -- Cartoon Network will jump into the original-movies game this summer with a 12-picture slate that includes the service’s first-ever combined live-action/animated production.

Scheduled to bow this fall, Re-Animated is a two-hour movie in which 12-year-old Jimmy Roberts is in need of an emergency brain transplant and ends up with the mind of a famous cartoonist. Jimmy is never the same again: He sees cartoon characters wherever he goes.

Cartoon officials, speaking at un upfront press briefing here Wednesday morning, also noted that original movies based on original series are also in the hopper, starting with Codename: Kids Next Door,OPERATION: Z.E.R.O. in August. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Teen Titans will also spawn telefilm spinoffs in late fall, according to network officials.

On the series beat, Cartoon emphasized Squirrel Boy, the classic tale of a squirrel and his boy, which is scheduled to bow in July, and Class of 3000, co-created by Andre Benjamin (of hip-hop duo Outkast) and Tom Lynch (Romeo!). This series -- focusing on a group of racially diverse and musically gifted kids in the prestigious Westley School of the Performing Arts in Atlanta -- will premiere in November.

The service launched original skein My Gym Partner’s a Monkey Feb. 24.

Elsewhere, Cartoon will add new seasons of Ben 10 (the action hit was renewed for a third campaign), Foster’s, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Camp Lazlo, Ed, Edd n Eddy and Codename, plus fresh installments of series such as Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, Justice League Unlimited and Bobo-Bo-Bobobobo.

All told, Cartoon will premiere more than 100 episodes of returning series, according to executive vice president and general manager Jim Samples.