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The Ursa Major Awards are Open!

Voting has opened for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards — celebrating all your favorite anthropomorphic movies, comics, TV series, novels, games, and more that were released in 2014. These are the annual furry fandom awards, chosen by YOU, the furry fans from around the world. The awards are presented every year in no less than 11 categories: Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short or Series, Best Anthropomorphic Novel, Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction, Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work, Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story, Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip, Best Anthropomorphic Magazine, Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration, Best Anthropomorphic Game, and Best Anthropomorphic Website. Got all that?  Here, take a look at what’s up for the awards in just the first two! For Best Anthropomorphic TV Series or Short:

  • The Beach Bears
  • Bojack Horseman
  • Furry Force
  • Littlest Pet Shop, and
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Then in the category of Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, there’s:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The Lego Movie, and
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman

And that’s just the first two categories — there are nine more to go! Visit www.ursamajorawards.org to find out how to get registered to vote. Remember,  you don’t have to vote in every category — just choose the things you love in the categories you know! Hurry, because voting closes on April 15th — in time to compile the votes before the big Ursa Major Awards Presentation at MorphiCon 2015 (April 30 – May 3 in Columbus, Ohio).

image c. 2015 by Foxenawolf

image c. 2015 by Foxenawolf

And Then MORE Monkeys in Space

Toonbox Entertainment (the folks who last year brought us The Nut Job) are starting to look as if they have a particular interest in furry characters. They’re hard at work on The Nut Job 2, but in the interim comes the announcement of Spark, a space adventure film currently in production and scheduled for release in 2016. Here’s what we got from ComingSoon.net: “Spark follows a teenage monkey Spark, voiced by Jace Norman (Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger), and his friends Vix, a battle-ready fox voiced by Jessica Biel, and Chunk, a tech-savvy warthog, as they embark on a mission to take back the besieged planet Bana from the power-mad General Zhong. Spark’s dangerous odyssey leads him to the farthest reaches of the universe, and to the secret of his true identity, with characters like the comically forgetful nanny robot Bananny, voiced by Susan Sarandon, and the noble, self-sacrificing Queen, voiced by Hilary Swank by his side.” Spark is being directed by Aaron Woodley. The film already has an official web site and also its own Facebook page.

image c. 2015 Toonbox Entertainment

image c. 2015 Toonbox Entertainment

More Bear, More Marmalade

The film adaptation of Paddington has become, world-wide, one of the biggest box office successes of all time for a “family film”. Now come the word (thanks to Cartoon Brew again) that Studio Canal (the French film creators who brought Paddington to CGI life) are fast-tracking a sequel to the 2014 film — once again to be produced by David Heyman from the UK. In the meantime, the studio is busy distributing another oh-so-English property: Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep Movie, which premiered in Britain last week. No word yet on a release date for Paddington 2, but you can bet it will be sooner rather than later.

image c. 2015 Studio Canal

image c. 2015 Studio Canal

Freddy’s Back! (The OTHER One!)

After what can only be called a very successful year in 2014, Five Nights at Freddy’s creator Scott Cawthon has announced that Part 3 is in development and will be released very soon for computers and a variety of mobile devices. According to an article at Cinema Blend, this new chapter takes place 30 years after the horrific events of Five Nights at Freddy’s 1 and 2 have resulted in Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza being shut down and demolished. But now, someone has come up with the bright idea of building a brand new theme park attraction based on Freddy Fazbear’s! Even better, they decide to use some of the old parts from the original animatronic characters for this new dark ride. As you can imagine, things don’t go as planned… No word yet on a precise release date, but the article does feature a very creepy teaser trailer for the new game.

image c. 2015 Scott Cawthon

image c. 2015 Scott Cawthon

One Flew Over the Monkey’s Nest

This is direct from an article on Cartoon Brew: “Mexican animation firm Ánima Estudios, producer of the hit 2011 Mexican film Top Cat: The Movie, has released a trailer for its next feature Guardianes de Oz ([Guardians of Oz] retitled Wicked Flying Monkeys for English audiences). The film is set to premiere in Mexico on April 10, 2015. Directed by Alberto Mar (Top Cat: The Movie), the film has an original story by Mexico-born director Jorge Gutierrez, who helmed the recent Reel FX feature The Book of Life. Veteran American television writers Doug Langdale and Evan Gore are credited for the final script along with Gutierrez. Taking place in L. Frank Baum’s Oz universe, the film follows Ozzy, a young flying monkey who rebels against his boss, the wicked witch Evilene, and reaches out to the “Guardians of Oz”—the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man—who have been put under a spell by the witch.” The article also has a link to the trailer itself. It’s easy to see the connection between this and The Book of Life when you look at the character designs!

image c. 2015 Ánima Estudios

image c. 2015 Ánima Estudios

The Untold Story

“… of the animals who didn’t get on the Ark.” That’s the official tag line of Oops! Noah is Gone, a new CGI feature film coming out later this year. Produced in Germany and animated all over Europe, it follows the story of David and his young son Finny, the last of the Nestrians, and what happens when one of them misses the boat — literally. The official English trailer explains it all better… sort of. No word yet on if it’s to be released to North American theaters or only on DVD. Thanks to Cartoon Brew for the heads-up.

[Don’t forget, nominations for the Ursa Major Awards are open now! And with that, we’ll see you all after Further Confusion!]

image c. 2015 Global Screen

image c. 2015 Global Screen

Woof and Whirrrrr…

There’s an article over at ComingSoon.net about about a new feature animation project starting up. “RoboDog is said to be a classic, heart-warming adventure story about an unlikely duo who couldn’t be more different. KC (‘Kinetic Canine’) is a bright, energetic but overzealous robotic dog, while Marshall is an old, curmudgeonly ‘real’ dog, set in his ways and has little patience for anything new. This canine odd couple embarks on the adventure of a lifetime where each will learn the true nature of friendship, and not to judge a book by its cover.” The film stars the voices of Chris Colfer (Glee) as KC and Ron Perlman (Beauty & The Beast, Hellboy) as Marshall. The CGI project is being directed by Henry F. Anderson III (Gnomeo & Juliet, Stuart Little) for Marza Animation Planet, a new production house. No word yet on a planned release date.

image c. 2015 Marza Animation Planet

image c. 2015 Marza Animation Planet

Watch Him, If You Dare

Quick on the bouncing furry heels of All Hail King Julien, Dreamworks Animation presents the premier of The Adventures of Puss in Boots — coming to Netflix later this month. “The Adventures of Puss in Boots finds the world’s most famous feline fortune-hunter in the hidden city of San Lorenzo, a mythical land that is invisible to the outside world thanks to a magical spell that protects its quirky inhabitants — not to mention its wondrous treasure. When Puss in Boots accidentally breaks the spell, he must do more than fight off an endless legion of invaders and marauders — he must become a legend.” According to an article over at Animation World Network, five episodes will premier on the 16th with more to follow. Soon, the tide of original Dreamworks programming for Netflix will include new episodes of Dreamworks Dragons and the new series Dinotrux.

image c. 2015 Dreamworks Animation

image c. 2015 Dreamworks Animation

Ursa Major Award Nominations Open Soon!

[ From Fred Patten: ] Fans of anthropomorphic/furry fiction can begin nominating for the 2014 Ursa Major Awards on January 15. The instructions are here. Wondering what to nominate? The 2014 Recommended Anthropomorphics Reading List contains all of the works first published or released during the past calendar year that have been recommended by furry fans. The list is divided into eleven categories:  Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Works or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Story, Comic Strip, Magazine, Website, Published Illustration, and Game. Nominations close at the end of February.  Voting on the finalists will take place from March 15 through April 15. Voting and nominations are open to all. The presentations of the 2014 Ursa Major Awards will be made at Morphicon 2015 in Columbus, Ohio on April 30-May 3, 2015.

image c. 2015 by Foxenawolf

image c. 2015 by Foxenawolf