There’s a new animation production partnership starting up in Canada between Corus Entertainment (home of Nelvana Animation) and Bento Box Entertainment (home of Bob’s Burgers and more). From the press release, thanks to Animation World Network: “Canadian-based media and entertainment company Corus Entertainment and Los Angeles animation studio Bento Box Entertainment have announced the creation of Bento Box Canada, an animation production company based in Toronto. The venture follows last year’s announcement of the multi-year, co-development deal between the two companies. As part of the agreement, Bento Box Entertainment and Corus will work side-by-side to develop and produce a slate of original, primetime animated series for Corus networks, to be distributed internationally by Bento Box Entertainment. This fall, production will begin on the first Bento Box Canada series, The Pandas. From creators Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler, The Pandas is an irreverent, animated family comedy full of hard jokes, whimsical wonder, biting satire and just the right amount of heart.” We’ll certainly see when it premiers.
This comes to us straight from ComingSoon.net: “Academy Award and Grammy Award winner Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) has signed on to voice the lead character “Biggz” in the new CGI animated family film Groove Tails. He will also produce the movie with Michael Becker of Imprint Entertainment and AMBI principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi (Septembers of Shiraz, In Dubious Battle). The script was written by Johnny Mack (Real Husbands of Hollywood), who will also serve as an executive producer. Groove Tails will be directed by Cameron Hood, who began his career at Warner Bros. studying under animation legend Chuck Jones. Hood soon moved to DreamWorks Animation where he has worked on films like The Prince of Egypt, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Megamind. Hood then segued to Illumination Entertainment, where he added his talents to Despicable Me 2 and the recent worldwide box office hit Minions. Groove Tails is set in the world of competitive street dance competitions… for mice that is. This is a place where cheese is currency and dance is king. The story follows Biggz, as he tries to regain his confidence for dance, pay off his debt to a club, clean up the streets from the alley cats and win the love of a girl. Life is not easy when you are at the bottom of the food chain.” There’s no word yet on a target release date, but we promise you’ll know as soon as we do!
You might recall that last year Dreamworks Animation’s CGI take on Mr. Peabody & Sherman was rather a disappointment at the box office according to some analysts. Evidently though that didn’t dampen Dreamworks’ interest in the characters as now they bring us The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show. It’s coming to Netflix this Friday, this time in a more traditional 2D animated version. According to the article at Cartoon Brew, “In the new series, Mr. Peabody (voiced by Chris Parnell) and his boy Sherman (Max Charles) host a talk show from their New York City penthouse, in which they interview historical figures like George Washington and Edgar Allen Poe. They also embark on time travel adventures in their WABAC machine visiting the likes of Cleopatra, Mozart, and Marco Polo.” There are also musical numbers to be had, and Cartoon Brew has a preview of one of them — as well as the show’s opening.
Sanjay and Craig is a popular animated TV series on Nickelodeon, following the adventures of (you guessed it) Sanjay (a human boy) and his pet snake, Craig (who talks — but only Sanjay is supposed to know that). Well now Paperkutz (home of Geronimo Stilton and family) have released the first Sanjay and Craig tie-in graphic novel, Sanjay and Craig: Fight the Future with Flavor! “Does your neighbor have butt implants and a blueberry obsession? Can your best friend do ANYTHING without barfing? Welcome to Lundgren, where Sanjay Patel and Craig Slithers have the most rad-awesome adventures imaginable. From their collection of fart jars to their shared love of chicken wings, Sanjay and Craig are more than a boy and his pet snake… they’re family! Ready for the ride? Buckle up your fart baby and grab some napkins because Sanjay and Craig are about to douse you in awesome-sauce. NOICE! See you at the Frycade!” Did any of that make sense to you? Then you might want to have a look at the Paperkutz preview page. Fight the Future with Flavor! is out now in hardcover and trade paperback.
Once upon a time there was an on-line game in development called Fighting is Magic, attempting to create a “Ready! FIGHT!” style inter-player game based on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Unfortunately, the Powers That Be at Hasbro decided that the game was a little bit too close to the TV show for comfort, and the project was shut down. Fast forward a couple of years: Now none other than Lauren Faust, the original show runner for Friendship is Magic, is on board to help with the development of a whole new game — in a whole new world. This is from the Indiegogo campaign: “Help a cast of cute animals beat each other up by making Them’s Fightin’ Herds become a reality! Them’s Fightin’ Herds is a 2D PC (Windows, with Linux/Mac as stretch goals) fighting game with adorable animals in an original universe designed by Lauren Faust (producer and developer for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic; creator, director and developer for Super Best Friends Forever). It is the spiritual successor to Fighting is Magic, with improved gameplay mechanics and graphics, an entirely new (and awesome!) dynamic music system, a graphic lobby, and a whole bunch of new features.” The Indiegogo page features several preview videos as well as numerous preliminary sketches by Ms. Faust herself.
Once again Cartoon Brew provides: This time they have the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Angry Birds Movie, set to hit theaters in May 2016. Based of course on Rovio’s mega-hit downloadable game, the film boasts an impressive voice cast: Among them Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and Peter Dinklage. “Industry veterans Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, both first-time directors, are helming the project, and Jon Vitti (The Simpsons, The Office, The Larry Sanders Show) wrote the screenplay.” With animation by Sony Imageworks, of course.
Cartoon Brew recently uploaded the current trailer for Psychonauts, a new 2D animated feature from director Alberto Vazquez. “Based on a comic of the same name by Vazquez, Psychonauts follows two teenagers — Birdboy and Dinki — who decide to escape an island that has been devastated by ecological catastrophe. The hand-drawn film, made in Flash and Photoshop, is co-directed by Pedro Rivero, with whom Vazquez made a related short film five years ago called Birdboy. The new feature was produced by Zircozine and Basque Films, and co-produced by Abrakam Studio and La Competencia. No American distribution has been set yet, but more details about the film can be found at PsiconautasMovie.com.” Birdboy is dead… and possessed by demons…
From out of nowhere… Well, actually, from Mexico. Un Gallo con Mucho Huevos (A Rooster with Many Eggs) is the first animated feature film produced in Mexico to receive wide distribution in the U.S. This Labor Day weekend in was released in nearly 400 theaters in Spanish with English subtitles, though a version dubbed in English is due to arrive in a couple of weeks. Cartoon Brew has some extensive coverage of it. The story is pretty familiar: A young rooster lives on a farm (with anthropomorphic chickens and anthropomorphic eggs; go figure) which is hurting financially, and he must figure out a way to save it. Admittedly his solution, which smacks of real-life cock-fighting, might make some folks a bit uncomfortable — we’ll see. Distributor Huevocartoon (they have this thing for eggs…) have firmly set their sites on the U.S. animation market.
One of the mostly instantly-viral furry phenomena this summer has been the “opening credits” for an anthropomorphic “80’s cartoon TV series” called Super Turbo Atomic Mega Rabbit. The “leaked video footage” certainly looked the part of an 80’s cartoon show, and speculation ran wild — especially with posts popping up all over the Internet on various forums, asking pointedly “Does anyone remember this series?” Well, more recently, the truth has come out: STAMR is the creation of a UK team of animators and animation fans. The “opening credits” were directed by Wesley Louis and his team. Now, having come out of hiding on the Internet, the STAMR crew are actually trying to create a real episode of the imaginary show they’ve made so popular. To that end they are selling copies of a book called Groundworks, featuring production art and character designs from the creation of the STAMR short. Furry.Today has a link to the site, as well as the short (which now features proper credits!).