Komixx Media Group have a new 2D animated TV series called Dog Loves Books, based on the best-selling books for young readers by Louise Yates. “Dog runs a bookshop and he loves books. Whenever he or his best friend Pug have a problem or a question, Dog knows the answer will lie in one of his books. When Dog opens the book and begins to read, he and Pug are swept away into a world of adventure and imagination where anything is possible. Dog and Pug often get completely lost in the books they read… but they are always back in time for tea and biscuits.” The show is slowly making its way into international markets.
Another recent article from Animation Magazine, this time discussing some of their favorite new animated projects they’ve seen shown off at MIPCOM this year. And lo and behold, the majority of them are anthropomorphic! So we’ll be discussing the most interesting ones ourselves for the next few days. First up is Caiman, created by Rebecca Warner-Perry and Sue Tong, and produced by Illuminated Films from the UK. “Meet Caiman, a five-year-old crocodile who loves exploring – and who wouldn’t!?…when the village of Trickle End, a buzzing and bubbling community, is right outside his front door! Caiman lives at home with his Mum, Dad and older sister in a little wooden house, situated right on the edge of the exotic mangroves where the river meets the sea. All his friends and neighbours live, work and play nearby. There’s always someone to have fun with or somebody to lend a helping hand in Trickle End.” Animation has a link to IF’s show-reel, which includes more about Caiman and their other projects.
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
According to Beyond The Cartoon, Magic Light Pictures have announced they are adapting another popular children’s book for animation: In this case, The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. “Directed by Jeroen Jaspaert (Stick Man), the half-hour animated special follows the tale of a greedy rat who tyrannizes animals along the highway, as he steals their food at every opportunity: Clover from a rabbit, nuts from a squirrel, a leaf from some ants… he even steals his own horse’s hay. However what he really craves are cakes and all things sugary, and it’s his sweet tooth that finally leads him to a sticky outcome.” Magic Light have become known for adapting books by Dondaldson and Scheffler, including popular favorites The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child. The Highway Rat is being animated by Triggerfish in South Africa, and it’s set to premier in the UK on BBC One for Christmas in 2017.
Earlier this year we made mention of animator Diane Obomsawin and her 2014 graphic novel, On Loving Women, which Drawn & Quarterly had recently re-published. In it (through her drawings of anthropomorphic characters) she talked about her own experience and those of her friends, discovering that they were women who loved women, and who wanted to share their experiences with others who felt the same. Well now Diane has turned several of those very personal stories (and those characters) into an animated short film called I Like Girls. And this last September, I Like Girls was awarded the Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short at this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival, which is one of the largest in North America. Read the article over at Animation World Network to find out more about this and other prize-winning films.
World-famous author James Patterson (Zoo) has returned with a new novel for young readers: Word of Mouse, written with the help of available in hardcover this December.and illustrated by Joe Sutphin. It’s the story of a very special mouse. “What makes Isaiah so unique? First, his fur is as blue as the sky–which until recently was something he’d never seen, but had read all about. That’s right–Isaiah can read, and write. He can also talk to humans…if any of them are willing to listen! After a dramatic escape from a mysterious laboratory, Isaiah is separated from his ‘mischief’ (which is the word for a mouse family), and has to use his special skills to survive in the dangerous outdoors, and hopefully find his missing family. But in a world of cruel cats, hungry owls, and terrified people, it’s hard for a young, lone mouse to make it alone. When he meets an equally unusual and lonely human girl named Hailey, the two soon learn that true friendship can transcend all barriers.” Word of Mouse will be
Boom! Studios have a new full-color comic mini-series called Mega Princess — with an interesting sideways anthro-angle. “During Princess Maxine’s 10th birthday, her fairy godmother grants her the gifts of EVERY fairy tale princess, which…sounds a lot cooler than it actually is, in Max’s opinion. She doesn’t want to sing on key or feel a pea under 20 mattresses-she wants to be a detective! At least the power to talk to animals is cool, but her pony Justine is downright saucy. They don’t get along. When her little brother, Prince Robert VI (better known as Baby Bobs), goes missing, Max and Justine are on the case, and her new Mega Princess powers just might come in handy after all!” It’s written by Kelly Thompson (Jem and the Holograms) and illustrated by Disney artist Brianne Drouhard. The first issue is on the shelves now.
Thanks to Animation News Network we found out about an article over at the Hollywood Reporter. It seems that Mark Osborne (director of Kung Fu Panda and the recent film The Little Prince) has been tapped to finally adapt Jeff Smith’s award-winning comic Bone for the cinema — not just as one animated movie, but an entire trilogy to be produced by Warner Brothers. “The comic told of three Bone cousins — Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone, all small, bald and human-like creatures with big noses — who are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert after being run out of Boneville. One by one they find their way into a deep forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures. The comics were published from 1991 to 2004 and then rediscovered by a new and more mainstream generation when Scholastic began releasing them in graphic novel form.” Adam Kline is writing the script for the first film, along with Mr. Osborne, and Animal Logic (Happy Feet) are involved as well, so expect some top-notch CGI. We’ll let you know when we find out a release date.
Study Group Comics is a very large collective of writers and artists creating a whole slew of mini-comics, zines, and webcomics. Among them is Magical Character Rabbit, an on-line comic story created by Evans Kinoko. “Magical Character Rabbit is the tale of a young Magi who lives in an enchanted city full of wizards, witches, and warlocks. When she’s entrusted with performing the big Winter Solstice Ritual in front of the whole town, she must go on a quest to find the perfect spell as well as the courage to go forward. An engaging, all ages fantasy for fans of Richard Scarry, Hilda, and Steven Universe!” You can check out the on-line comic at the Study Group web site, but recently they’ve also released a one-shot version on paper which you can find at their Shop.