Here’s what publisher First Second have to say about their new prequel book Animal Crackers — Circus Mayhem: “The wacky, high-action graphic novel companion to Animal Crackers, Scott Christian Sava’s highly-anticipated animated feature film. Buffalo Bob’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Animal Circus is famous for its jump-roping giraffe, tangoing lion, and knife-throwing elephant. But they have to be fakes, right? Owen is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. When he visits the circus he discovers that his uncle and, coincidentally, all of the animals, are missing. It can only be the work of Buffalo Bob’s sideshow rival: Contorto. Owen stumbles upon the one thing that can save the day: Buffalo Bob’s box of animal crackers. But these aren’t any ordinary cookies: One bite and you’re transformed into a circus animal!” Look for it in hardcover later this month, or you can read all about it over on Goodreads.
With all the endless chatter about what a “furry year at the movies” we’re having in 2016, we’ve somewhat been missing the opportunity to talk about furry-friendly films coming up next year. Now here’s one we just learned about: It’s called Animal Crackers, and no, it does not have anything to do with the Marx Brothers. It’s a new CGI animated film being produced by Blue Dream Studios (whom we have not heard of before, we admit). According to the Wikipedia article, “Animal Crackers follows the Huntington family whose life is turned upside down when they inherit a rundown circus and a mysterious box of Animal Crackers, which magically change the person who eats them into the animal they have eaten — including monkeys, giraffes, lions, elephants, tigers, rhinos and bears. They must save the circus from being taken over by their evil uncle Horatio P. Huntington (Sir Ian McKellen).” Other notable voices include John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito, Sylvester Stallone, Wallace Shawn, Raven-Symoné, Patrick Warburton, Gilbert Gottfried, Harvey Fierstein, and Tara Strong. The film is being directed by Tony Bancroft (The Lion King, Mulan), Scott Christian Sava (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers), and Jaime Maestro. Interestingly, some other well-known names on the production team include Will Finn (famous Disney animator) and Mike Kunkel (creator of Herobear and the Kid). It’s coming to theaters next April.
The trailers have begun to arrive for Madagascar 3, Europe’s Most Wanted, coming next June in 3D from Dreamworks Animation (of course). It’s directed by Eric Darnell (who co-directed the first two Madagascar films) and Conrad Vernon (Monsters vs. Aliens). Here’s the plot as described by the Wikipedia entry for the film: “Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippopotamus (Jada Pinkett Smith) set out to return to New York after escaping to Africa. Dependent on the mechanical know-how of the notorious monkeys and penguins, their plan inevitably goes awry and they find themselves stranded in Monte Carlo, where they try to escape Europe from animal control by joining up with a traveling circus by chance. Led by the venerable tiger Vitali, the animal-centered circus has seen better days. During the course of a tour through a series of European cities that ends in a fabulous big top in the heart of London, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria help Vitaly, Gia the jaguar, and Stefano the sea lion, rediscover their passion for show business and reinvent circus performance.” In other words, they show them how to move it, move it…