According to Animation Scoop, Disney Junior has a new animated series for kids called Puppy Dog Pals premiering April 14th. “The show follows two fun-loving pug brothers, Bingo and Rolly, whose thrill-seeking appetites take them on exhilarating adventures throughout their neighborhood and around the globe. Comedian Harland Williams… serves as consulting producer and writer and voices the role of Bob, the pups’ devoted owner.” There are some other well-known names among the voice cast as well.
From out of nowhere department, largely! Things are still ramping up for this summer’s release of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. According to our friends over at Animation Scoop, “Marvel and Disney XD announced today a 12-episode series of Rocket & Groot animated shorts. The shorts follow Rocket and Groot (from the Guardians Of The Galaxy) as they try to figure out how to get enough credits to buy a new ship after their old one breaks down. A compilation of all the shorts will premiere on Disney XD at 7:00am ET/PT on April 10th. Rocket is voiced by Trevor Devall (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Johnny Test) and Groot is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, The Cleveland Show). Featuring animation by Oscar-nominated Passion Pictures, the shorts are directed by Arnaud Delord and written by Chris ‘Doc’ Wyatt and Kevin Burke.” The Animation Scoop article has a preview.
Another discovery from the recent Long Beach Comic Expo. On his web page, here’s how this artist describes himself: “Walter De Leon is an artist in the entertainment industry working on various video games and animated properties for clients such as Disney and Stan Lee. In his free time he would create and come up with various ideas for books in the hopes to inspire others to get out there with their own ideas.” To that end he started Voolah Voolah Press as a vehicle for his own illustrated stories and sketchbooks. He is also looking for other creative people to join the fold! His own books include titles like Bunny Chop!, Dear Mr. Bear, and drawing portfolios of birds, dragons, and monsters.
Your humble ed-otter journeyed to UCLA for the 44th annual Annie Awards — the Oscars of animation, presented by ASIFA-Hollywood. As expected (or hoped by many furry fans!), Zootopia dominated the evening in the feature categories, taking home Annies for Storyboarding, Character Design, Writing, Directing, and Best Feature. It was not a sweep, however, and Kubo and the Two Strings was not far behind: It won awards in the feature categories for Editing, Character Animation, and Production Design. Voting for the Best Voice Acting in the feature category resulted in a tie, shared by Auli’i Cravalho for Moana and Jason Bateman for Zootopia. A new category, Best Independent Feature, was won by the subtly anthropomorphic film The Red Turtle. Disney’s film The Jungle Book won an Annie for Character Animation In A Live Action Production (though it’s still controversial if the film counts as that). Best Short was won by Pixar’s popular birdie film Piper, while Best Student Film went to a European short about dinosaurs called Citipati. Over in the TV broadcast categories the most popular winner of furry interest seemed to be Dreamworks’ Trollhunters, which won for Storyboarding, Character Design, and Character Animation. The Best Television Production for Preschool Children went to Tumble Leaf, while the Best TV Production for Children went to to Adventure Time. Visit the Annie Awards web site for a complete list of the nominees and winners. Congratulations to all!
And speaking as we were of everyone’s favorite ra… we’re not going there, Marvel is laying the groundwork for this summer’s much-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 with the release of a comic collection with an even longer title: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prelude. “Brace yourself for 2017’s most cosmic movie with an awesome mix of stories new and old, hand-picked to whet the appetite for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2! The comic-book adaptation of the first blockbuster will get you hooked on that Guardians feeling as Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot are thrown together for the first time for a royal rumble with Ronan! Then, new players enter the game in an infinitely entertaining prelude that sets the stage for the ragtag team’s next adventure. Plus: Enjoy a classic pivotal chapter in the life of the enigmatic Mantis -the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next superstar-in-waiting! And more!” This helpful new compilation brings together the Guardians of the Galaxy movie adaptation, Giant-Size Avengers #4, Guardians of the Galaxy (1990) #1, and Guardians Team-Up. Issue # 1 (of 2) is on the shelves now.
He’s the furry little member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, known for his foul language, more foul temper, and love of big guns that go BOOM. And now, your children can read all about him in a new Little Golden Book called Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket to the Rescue. “Star Lord, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and the other Guardians of the Galaxy race through the universe on another rollicking adventure. Boys and girls ages 2 to 5 will love this action-packed Little Golden Book featuring some of their favorite Marvel superheroes and villains.” We’re sure they will. Written by John Sazaklis and illustrated by Michael Atiyeh and Michael Borkowski, it’s available now over at Barnes & Noble.
We could not make this stuff up if we wanted to, folks. Mickey’s Inferno. Yes: The scary portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy as re-told in full-color graphic novel format by Mickey and his friends. And Papercutz got Disney’s okay with this! It’s written by Guido Martina (who is a well-known creator of Disney material in Italy), illustrated by Angelo Bioletta, and available in softcover and hardcover editions — on the shelves right now. Gosh, is Purgatory next?
Our friends over at Cartoon Brew are finishing up the year with an article about 60 (!) animated films scheduled for release in 2017. Some are brand new releases, and some have already made the rounds in other parts of the world but will not be premiering in North America ’till next year. And of course, with a huge set of films like that, more than a fair share of them are definitely going to have some interest for the anthropomorphic fans out there! Taking a quick look ourselves, the upcoming animated films of furry note — some a lot, some a little — include (deep breath…): Animal Crackers, Beast of Burden, Blazing Samurai, Bunyan & Babe, Cars 3, Clara, Despicable Me 3, The Emoji Movie, Ferdinand, Foodiverse, Godzilla (yes, the first animated Godzilla movie!), Here Comes The Grump, Kikoriki — Deja Vu, Kung Food, Lino, Manou the Swift, Mune — Guardian of the Moon, My Cool Dad, My Little Pony — The Movie, The Nut Job 2, Ping Pong Rabbit, Pokemon The Movie — I Choose You, Punyakoti, The Red Turtle, Richard the Stork, Rock Dog, Sahara, Smurfs — The Lost Village, Spark, The Star, Urfin Jus and His Wooden Soldiers, and Underdog. Whew! The article at Cartoon Brew includes several trailers. Of course we’ll be talking a lot more about each of these films as they get closer to release. Happy New Year!
Janice Rostenthal is an illustrator and character designer whom we met at the CTN Animation Expo. She describes herself as a “Disney Imagineer, Ringling College of Art and Design illustration & visual development alumna, dog-person.” As you can see from her web site, that seems to cover all the bases! [And with that, we wish you all Happy Holidays and a Blessed Solstice!]