And no, we’re not talking about Kong of Skull Island either. Cartoon Brew has an article about a new animated film in development called Kensuke’s Kingdom. “Based on the bestselling novel by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and adapted for the screen by screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce (Hilary and Jackie, Welcome to Sarajevo, The Railway Man), Kensuke’s Kingdom follows the story of a young boy who washes up on a tropical island overseen by a mysterious Japanese soldier named Kensuke, who lives there with a family of orangutans as his companions.” Directed by animation veterans Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry, the film combines a variety of 2D techniques for a rather unique overall look. No word yet on any plans for international distribution, but the Cartoon Brew article includes a proof-of-concept short film the directors have been showing around lately. It gives you a good idea what the film might look like.
The premier of MULP: Sceptre of the Sun passed us by, but we managed to catch it in time for issue # 2 (of 5). “MULP is an anthropomorphic comic book, a Pulp adventure set in a world of mice, [written] by Matt Gibbs and [illustrated by] Sara Dunkerton. The Sceptre of the Sun follows the exploits of Jack Redpath and Vicky Jones as they attempt to unravel a mystery surrounding an ancient stone tablet unearthed during an archaeological excavation in Egypt. This tablet is the first marker on an adventure that sees them racing around the world in search of a legendary treasure. Joined by their friends Cornelius Field, Prof. Walter Harvest-Scott, and Elisabeth Harvest-Scott, together they must prevent a powerful artifact falling into unscrupulous paws.” Published by Improper Books in full color, you can see a preview over at Matt Gibbs’ web site.
Squarely in the “It’s about time!” department: Warner Brothers Home Video has announced the release of Road Rovers: The Complete Series on DVD later this month. “Meet ‘Cano-sapien’ the next, heroic step in the evolution of man’s best friend! After the evil General Parvo unleashes Professor Shepherd’s inventions upon the world, mutating dogs into monsters, Professor Shepherd recruits an international team of canines and transdogmafies’ them into super-heroic, humanoid crime-fighters.” That description barely scratches the surface of just how completely odd this popular anthropomorphic cartoon series from the 90’s could get. So head on over to the Warner Brothers web site and check it out. And remember: Don’t be weird boy!
“He goes by ‘Panda’, but NO ONE, not even me, knows his true name. I am just one of the many CIA agents that follow him along on his adventures. He’s either saving the world.. or destroying it!” So goes the introduction to Panda & Me, an original art “adventure series” created by artist Sandra Fremgen. After working for years in the gift industry as an illustrator and designer, Sandra decided to create something for herself. And you can see the results (and also buy them as prints) at the official Panda & Me web site. Sign up for her newsletter and she’ll even send you an original sketch.
If you haven’t already, now’s a good time to get caught up with Knightingail, a full-color fantasy comic book series created and written by Wayne Gardiner. Illustrated by several fantasy artists (currently, Mell Joy San Juan), it tells the story of a fae princess named Knightingail who discovers she not only has the power to heal by magick… but she is also destined to battle a great evil creeping in upon her forest. Along the way she’ll meet and interact with heroes and villains of many species — many of them decidedly anthropomorphic. Having finished the first series (The Legend Begins), Mr. Gardiner and his crew have now launched into the second 6-issue story arch, Shadow Divisions. The first issue is out this month from Big Dog Ink. To see more of what we’re talking about, check out the preview trailer that’s up on YouTube.
Butch Hartman is a busy busy man. The creator of the hit Nickelodeon shows The Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom has yet another 2D animation show called T.U.F.F. Puppy, premiering this September on Saturday mornings. According to Animation Magazine, the show “…follows the adventures of the enthusiastic Dudley Puppy who is recruited to work for the mysterious Turbo Underground Fighting Force (T.U.F.F.) along with the sophisticated Kitty Katswell (think a feline version of Emma Peel!).” Our heroes find themselves in a constant battle with the master super-villain known as Verminious Snaptrap.