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!]
There’s a new full-color trade paperback on its way from IDW publishing, one that brings together comics from several celebrated Disney comic artists — all of them presenting stories set at the Disney Parks! Here’s what they say: “Sixty years of Disney Parks—who knew? Now IDW is celebrating with decades of Disney’s classic Park-themed adventure comics! Carl Barks‘ Scrooge McDuck and Donald travel from the Mark Twain Riverboat to the top of the Matterhorn… then Mickey investigates the strange disappearance of the Country Bear Jamboree. And is that the real Pegleg Pete standing in for the Cast Member who plays him?” Featuring stories and art from Carl Barks, Giorgio Cavazzano, Massimo Fecchi, and Victor “Vicar” Arriagada Rios, Donald and Mickey: The Magic Kingdom Collection comes to comic book stores this January.
Limon and Oli is a CGI animated TV series for young children, created by Salih Memecan. It’s based on a long-running newspaper strip in Turkey, Sizinkiler (“Your Kind of Family”). The cartoon show follows that adventures of two young birds who are best friends — both of them teaming with curiosity about the world. Since 2015 the show has been airing on Disney Junior in Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Now thanks to a deal with Netflix the two little birds are set to make their premier in North America and beyond.
Speaking of Gaumont Animation, we couldn’t very well pass up on an animated show called Furry Wheels, now could we? “André is a hyperactive young sloth with oodles of drive. He’s the first of his kind to even leave his tree. And he’s not stopping there; he wants to shake the dust of this town off his feet and see the world, but before everything he must pass his driving test. First stop, Racers School to get his diploma, because any herbivore who wants to survive out there needs to learn to drive, fast! Or else you’ll quickly end up as a leopard’s luncheon meat.” Created by Frédéric Martin, Furry Wheels is distributed in Europe by Disney XD — with an eye on international markets of course. TBI Vision has an interview with Pierre Belaïsch of Gaumont about the show.
image c. 2016 Gaumont Animation