We came across this announcement from Screen Daily: “Kaleidoscope Film Distribution (KFD) is handling world sales on animated feature Danny Diamondback, which Aardman Animation alumni Darren Walsh (Shaun The Sheep TV series) will direct. It’s the story of a young rattlesnake with a musical talent in his tail. The film is based on the children’s novella of the same name, first published by Harper Collins and written by illustrator and production designer Barry Jackson (How The Grinch Stole Christmas). Jackson has written the script and will be heading up production design on the project. Siege Train Studios’ Curtis Augspurger (Valiant), Matthew Hampton, and Cora Palfrey will produce the film alongside Jackson. Bibo Bergeron (Shark Tale) will serve as executive producer.” That’s one heck of a lotta veteran anthropomorphic talent on one project. No word yet on if the film is to be CGI or claymation. Guess we’ll find out after they give us a projected release date!
This June, Boom! Studios will release Cheat Code, the latest Original Graphic Novel based on the popular animated series The Amazing World of Gumball from Cartoon Network. “Cheaters never prosper. But Gumball and Darwin don’t know that! While the Watterson boys are grounded, their classmates advance ahead of them in the new, super-popular video game Monster Fight Friends. A mysterious and forbidden cheat code is just what they need. Too bad it unleashes a gigantic, tech-crazy kaiju onto the streets of Elmore! Written by Megan Brennan (Pencil Pup) and illustrated by Katy Farina, The Amazing World of Gumball: Cheat Code takes adventure in Elmore to a whole new level.” Find out more about this new trade paperback over at Simon & Schuster.
If you haven’t caught the word, this May DC Comics and Hanna Barbera plan to take Scooby Doo and the gang in a very… different direction, with the premier of the new full-color comic book series Scooby Apocalypse. “Those meddling kids — Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and their dog, Scooby-Doo — get more ghost-debunking than they bargained for when faced with a fundamental change in their world. The apocalypse has happened. Old rules about logic no longer apply. The creatures of the night are among us, and the crew of the Magical Mystery Machine has to fight to survive—because in the apocalyptic badlands of the near-future, the horrors are real! This new monthly series takes Scooby and the gang to a whole new level and features character designs by comics superstar Jim Lee!” Plus writing by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, with regular art by Howard Porter. Read an interview with Mr. Giffen over at Newsarama.
Watch out! We’re about to get flooded by announcements for new sampler comics coming out for Free Comic Book Day — in just a couple of weeks on May 7th. Bleeding Cool has several lists of the titles being released. As usual, there are several titles of furry interest in there if you look, including Awake, Sonic, Grumpy Cat, Sanjay & Craig, The Stuff of Legend, and more. Here’s one that caught our eye: The Pink Panther, released by American Mythology. “He’s been the coolest cat in all of cartoondom for over 50 years! The Pink Panther is back in brand new adventures to tickle your funny bone and test the sanity of The Little Man! Join all of Pink’s pals from the DePatie-Freleng stable including The Inspector and The Ant and The Aardvark, as we welcome The Pink Panther to 21st Century comic books in style! This special FCBD issue is chock-full of fun with new and classic Pink Panther adventures, including the hilarious antics of The Mighty Pan-Thor!” We’ll see, in a couple of weeks!
Looks like the mutual orbiting of Titan Comics and Dreamworks Animation continues…! Now they bring us Puss in Boots, a new full-color series hitting the shelves later this month. From the preview over at Flickering Myth: “Short of money and with a long milk tab to pay, Puss answers an advert that takes him out to sea with a cranky old owl on a pea-green boat. But if you think you know how this fairytale ends… think again! Flying fur balls and derring-do abound! See you on the poop deck! The Adventures of Puss in Boots is written by Max Davidson (Home, Simpsons Comics) and Chris Cooper (Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Excalibur) with art from Egle Bartolini (Penguins) and Dave Alvarez (Looney Tunes, Animaniacs).” Read it, if you dare!
Over at Animation Scoop they have word about a new TV series adapted from Dreamworks Animation’s successful (some might say keester-saving) movie Home. “Developed by Ryan Crego (Sanjay and Craig, Shrek Forever After) and Thurop Van Orman (The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack), and executive produced by Ryan Crego, DreamWorks Animation’s Home: Adventures With Tip & Oh, an all-new Netflix Original Series, answers the question: What happens after a misfit alien conquers Earth, befriends an adventurous teen girl named Tip and together they save the day? Picking up where the hit 2015 animated film left off and building upon their enduring friendship, this animated buddy comedy follows fearless Tip and overenthusiastic alien Oh, as they navigate the combined human and alien culture they live in, finding adventure everywhere they go… The first season will be available exclusively to Netflix members in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the Nordics, Benelux, and France beginning July 29.” Heard it here did you.
Looks like we have not seen the end of anthropomorphic movies for 2016. Now another one has been added to the growing herd: The Wild Life, an English-language version of the Belgian CGI film Robinson Crusoe. From Cartoon Brew: “In this loose adaptation of Daniel Defoe’s tale of a castaway marooned on an island, Crusoe must team up with a bunch of animals to defeat a couple of savage cats who are trying to take over his tropical home. Ben Stassen and Vincent Kesteloot directed at nWave Pictures (The House of Magic, Fly Me to The Moon), which produced the pic with Studiocanal. It opened last month in Germany, and has grossed a respectable $4.6 million to date in that country.” Both Cartoon Brew and Animation Scoop have the first English trailer. Lionsgate (Norm of the North) is set to release The Wild Life this coming September.
Voting is now open for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards — the furry community’s highest honor. In late May at What The Fur in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, awards will be presented to the best anthropomorphic media from 2015 in eleven categories: Best Motion Picture, Best Short Work or Series, Best Novel, Best Short Story, Best Other Literary Works (compilations and non-fiction), Best Graphic Story, Best Comic Strip, Best Magazine (print or on-line), Best Published Illustration, Best Game, and Best Web Site. Voting will remain open until April 30th, so visit www.ursamajorawards.org to get the full list of nominees, then register to vote. 2015 was a good year for furry stuff in many categories — and of course, 2016 is looking even better!
Papercutz (home, once again, of Geronimo Stilton and family) have a new series of three Disney Graphic Novels coming to bookshelves later this month. Volume 1 is based on the world of Disney’s Planes (which is based on the world of Pixar’s Cars, of course). Volume 3 is called Minnie and Daisy: Best Friends Forever, which probably speaks for itself. Most unusual perhaps is Volume 2, entitled X-Mickey. “It’s a supernatural Disney adventure as Mickey Mouse meets Pipwolf, a werewolf who bears more than a passing resemblance to Goofy! X-Mickey is a fun Disney series that introduces everyone’s favorite mouse to another dimension full of spooks, ghosts, goblins and more. Accompanied by Pipwolf and an albino mouse named Manny, Mickey must do everything he can to keep Mouseton safe and keep these creatures locked up where they belong.”