On April 27th, Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe (in London, UK) released six animated pilots for possible new cartoon series. The pilots were actually started back in 2009, under the creative direction 0f Timothy Bjorklund (who had previously directed American shows like Teacher’s Pet and Brandy & Mr. Whiskers). The first original cartoon to come out of the studio since is called The Amazing World of Gumball. Cartoon Brew has a preview of all six pilots up on line, though the reviewer had decidedly mixed feelings about them. Still, furry fans might want to check out things like Elliot’s Zoo by David Needham, The Furry Pals by Rikke Asbjorn, and Verne on Vacation by Sylvain Marc. Make your own decisions.
Recently (as in March), Dreamworks Animation announced they have begun work upon a new film called Rumblewick. ” Director Tim Johnson (Over The Hedge, Antz) and writer Jim Herzfeld (Meet the Fockers, Meet the Parents) are collaborating on the feature project, which is inspired by the children’s book, My Unwilling Witch (The Rumblewick Letters) by Hiawyn Oram and Sarah Warburton. DreamWorks Animation development executives Chris Kuser and Gregg Taylor are overseeing the project at the studio. Rumblewick will follow the adventures of a magician’s rabbit for whom the invitation to learn real magic and train as a witch’s familiar seems like a dream come true! But the dream becomes a nightmare when he discovers he’s really a pawn in a game between rival witches. Having learned the hard way that when something seems too good to be true it probably is, he must outsmart them both to save his fuzzy little hide.” No word yet on a planned release date, but stay tooned!
The next project for Anthony Bell (director of last year’s Alpha and Omega) is an animated film called Norm of the North. It stars Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo) as the voice of Norm, a polar bear who (along with his lemming friends) ends up in New York City, “where Norm becomes the mascot of a corporation he soon learns is tied to the fate of his homeland”. The writers, Daniel and Steven Altiere, have previously written several furry-themed direct-to-video sequels, including Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins and Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts. Now in post-production, Norm of the North is set for release by Lionsgate Films in 2012.
Voting has closed for the 2011 Ursa Major Awards, celebrating all your favorite furry stuff from 2010. Can’t tell you who won yet — that’ll be announced at a special awards ceremony at Morphicon, taking place May 12th through 15th in Columbus, Ohio. Definitely looks as if there will be some surprises though! We can tell you that this year over 1,300 fur fans from around the world took part in voting for their favorite furry-themed movies, TV series, comic strips, games, and more. That’s a growth of more than 200 voters from last year! As usual, visit the Ursa Major Awards web site to find out more about the award winners and nominees, past and present.
Four would-be super-pets battle for supremacy in Sidekicks, a new full-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Southern California artist Dan Santat. From Amazon.com: “Captain Amazing, superhero and savior of Metro City, is getting old. He’s out all hours battling arch-villains, catching thieves, and helping little old ladies cross the street. He doesn’t even have time for his house full of pets. He needs – a sidekick! Captain Amazing’s four pets agree. But each one of them thinks he should get the sidekick spot – and a chance for one-on-one time with the Captain. Get ready for sibling rivalry royale as pets with superpowers duke it out for the one thing they all want: A super family.” Sidekicks is coming your way in early July, from Graphix and Arthur A. Levine Books.
Life is hard for the teenage werewolf. Scott was an ordinary high-school kid until that one night in the woods… Now, he finds himself with amazing new abilities, coupled with horrific new urges and hungers. Not to mention the inconvenience of transforming into a growling werewolf every time he gets angry — or excited, like when his would-be girlfriend is in sight. To make life more complicated, the werewolf who bit him in the first place wants to be friends in human form, and the leader of a posse out to rid the countryside of werewolves is also the father of the girl our hero has his eyes on! Having almost nothing to do with the Michael J. Fox Teen Wolf film (obviously), the new Teen Wolf TV series stars Tyler Posey as Scott. It’s coming to MTV (formerly Music Television) on June 5th. MTV has a trailer and some more information up on their web site.
As we noted recently, 20th Century Fox is once again taking us to the Planet of the Apes — this time, in what is essentially a re-make of the 1972 film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Once again, it tells the story of Caesar, a chimpanzee who comes to lead a rebellion of apes against humans in a battle for supremacy. In the new Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however, he is not the child of apes from the future, but the result of a brain-enhancing drug experiment “gone wrong”. The new film is directed by Rupert Wyatt. It stars Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) as Caesar (via motion-capture technology), and James Franco (127 Hours) as the scientist who brings about Caesar’s advance. Fox Studios seem to have a little bit of trouble settling on a release date though: IMDB.com still lists it as August 5th, but other sites have mentioned release dates as late as Thanksgiving. Meanwhile as you figure that out you can look for the official trailer, currently making the rounds on YouTube.
The latest from the endlessly creative mind (and pen, and pencil) of Richard Moore: Gobs. “Gobs are the worst. Just the worst. Don’t think goblins’ll ever move into your neighborhood? Don’t be too sure. After getting kicked out of their favorite pub, this typically vile group builds their own pub…in the hollowed-out body of a dead giant. Lovely, eh? So beware…Gobs are coming.” And they’re coming your way, bi-monthly and in black & white — starting this June, from Antarctic Press.
There’s no way on earth we can top the publisher’s description of the second story arc of Screamland. So here it is: “‘Death Of The Party,’ Part One — In a world where movie monsters are real, most of them are just looking for work in an industry dominated by 3D, CGI and other scary acronyms. Forced to hustle their past glory on the convention circuit, Wolfman Carl London and Space Path star Travis Walters put their scheduled appearances aside to stop the screening of a legendary monster porn film that threatens to ruin the careers of feature creatures everywhere.” Got that? This new full-color comic book series is written by Harold Sipe and Christopher Sebela, and illustrated by Lee Leslie and Hector Casanova. It’s coming this June from Image Comics.