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.
The animals of the Stratford Zoo return with another secret production in The Stratford Zoo Midnight Review Presents: Romeo & Juliet. “The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo . . . until the gates shut at night. That’s when the animals come out of their cages to stage elaborate performances of Shakespeare’s greatest works. They might not be the most accomplished thespians, but they’ve got what counts: Heart. Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails. Ian Lendler’s hilarious tale of after-hours animal stagecraft is perfectly paired with the adorable, accessible artwork of Zack Giallongo (Broxo, Ewoks) in this side-splitting companion to their graphic novel The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.” Which we also reviewed, of course. Check out the extensive preview over at publisher MacMillan’s page. Later this month it’s available in hardcover and softcover editions.
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.
Just in time for the upcoming Peanuts CGI feature, Boom! Studios (and their Kaboom! imprint) bring us a brand-new full-color original graphic novel, Peanuts: Where Beagles Dare! “Snoopy, the World War I Flying Ace, is on holiday in France but his leave is cut short when he’s recruited for a top-secret mission. Snoopy must dodge his way through no-man’s land, go deep behind enemy territory, and battle the Red Baron in the blackened skies above. Will Snoopy ever return home to quaff a few Root Beers with Woodstock and have dinner with Charlie Brown? Find out in this original graphic novel featuring Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts characters and starring Snoopy!” Written by Jason Cooper and illustrated by Vicki Scott, Where Beagles Dare! is available later this month. Find out more at Kaboom’s web site.
Dog Town is a new black & white science fiction/western comic written and illustrated by Brent Otey. “Our story starts when the town rabbit gets kidnapped in the middle of a cat raid. Then an overly positive pig gets involved, not to mention a big, bad wolf. Before long there is a whole heap of trouble for the sheriff of this dog town to sort out. But then again, no one ever said it would be easy to keep the law in a world devastated by a cataclysm that has left the earth charred, mankind dead, and a group of tree-worshiping woodland creatures in charge.” Got all that? Published by K.O. Comix, Dog Town is available at Lulu.com. You can check out their update blog too.