If you haven’t caught it yet, word is spreading fast that Disney TV Animation plans to bring back 90’s cartoon favorite Duck Tales in a whole new series on Disney XD, starting in 2017. We first heard about it over at Oh My Disney: “When Marc Buhaj—Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD—made the announcement, he said, ‘DuckTales has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history, it drew its inspiration from Disney Legend Carl Barks’ comic books and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.’ The new series will star the same beloved characters as the old: Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Launchpad McQuack, Donald Duck, Duckworth, Gyro Gearloose, Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell, Poe, Ma Beagle, the Beagle Boys, Mrs. Beakley, and Webbigail Vanderquack.” Nothing more precise from Disney regarding a premier date yet, but Disney XD is starting to sound more and more interesting for animation.
If you hadn’t heard, one of Sweden’s most popular funny animals came to European movie screens in 2014. “Sweden’s most popular comic book character – the bear Bamse – now gets his first feature film. In Bamse Och Tjuvstaden (Bamse and the City of Thieves) the strongest bear in the world and his two friends Little Hopp and Shellman show that the best weapon against evil is -friendship (and a few drops of Grandma’s Thunder Honey of course).” After a popular animated TV series and several TV movies you can check out the feature film’s trailer over on YouTube. As usual, of course, there’s little chance we’ll be able to see this stuff anytime soon in North America — at least not translated!
We simply can’t describe Amity Blamity any better than the publishers do: “Meet Gretchen & Chester. Gretchen is a shy 4 year old and Chester is a potbellied pig. They live with Gretchen’s Grandma and listless Uncle Downey in rural America. Mistaking their afternoon activity of playing office for entrepreneurial gusto, Downey recruits the duo to assist in his deluded aspirations of running moonshine (echoing his boyhood heroes Bo & Luke Duke). Unbeknownst to the outlandish family and their activities, strange forest critters begin to lurk in the woods nearby, disrupting their quirky daily life and sending them on an adventure to save their degenerate Uncle from a strange genetic mutation!” Got that? Now Slave Labor Graphics have published Mike White’s black & white on-line comic strip story (so far) as a single soft-cover trade paperback. Check it out (including a YouTube trailer) at SLG’s web site, and see the comic itself (including more full-color “Sundays”) at the official Blogspot.
The film adaptation of Paddington has become, world-wide, one of the biggest box office successes of all time for a “family film”. Now come the word (thanks to Cartoon Brew again) that Studio Canal (the French film creators who brought Paddington to CGI life) are fast-tracking a sequel to the 2014 film — once again to be produced by David Heyman from the UK. In the meantime, the studio is busy distributing another oh-so-English property: Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep Movie, which premiered in Britain last week. No word yet on a release date for Paddington 2, but you can bet it will be sooner rather than later.
Kade and Nicole are a pair of canine siblings — he likes to play video games, she likes to read. They both find plenty of opportunity to do both in a stately home known as Savestate… and, they also find a rather malevolent (if not very powerful) ghost rabbit. (Nicole names him Harvey, of course.) How are they to explain the undead presence to their reptilian friend Rick? That’s the start of things in Savestate, a new full-color on-line comic strip written and illustrated by Tim Weeks. Catch up with it over on his web site, or check out the Comic Chameleon app to download the comic to your mobile device.
IDW Publishing (busy, busy people!) have announced that after publishing the new edition of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don Rosa (coming this March) they plan to carry one with a whole new series of Disney character comics — each one beginning with “#1″ from IDW, but actually they are continuations of the classic comics published by Gold Key and others. Only now featuring a slew of new artists and creators from around the world: People like Romano Scarpa, Daan Jippes, Casty, Giorgio Cavazzano, and Al Taliaferro. From the IDW web page: “April sees the debut of Uncle Scrooge #1, which will feature the best tales from creators around the world starring the iconic tycoon adventurer. Donald Duck #1 launches in May, Mickey Mouse #1 in June, and in July, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories will maintain the original numbering and launch with #721 as the first IDW issue.” Each issue will be available in one of two covers: A regular edition, and a special edition illustrated with a Disney Parks theme (Adventureland for Uncle Scrooge #1, EPCOT Center for Donald Duck #4, and so on through the rest of the year).
“… of the animals who didn’t get on the Ark.” That’s the official tag line of Oops! Noah is Gone, a new CGI feature film coming out later this year. Produced in Germany and animated all over Europe, it follows the story of David and his young son Finny, the last of the Nestrians, and what happens when one of them misses the boat — literally. The official English trailer explains it all better… sort of. No word yet on if it’s to be released to North American theaters or only on DVD. Thanks to Cartoon Brew for the heads-up.
[Don’t forget, nominations for the Ursa Major Awards are open now! And with that, we’ll see you all after Further Confusion!]
First off: Happy New Year! Welcome to 2015. We’re happy to be here with you.
Something cool slipped by us in 2014. Doraemon: New Nobita’s Great Demon—Peko and the Exploration Party of Five (whew what a title!) is the latest anime feature starring Doraemon — a robotic cat from the 22nd century who travels back in time to assist a young boy named Nobita Nobi. Since he premiered in 1969, Doraemon has become one of the most popular anime and manga stars in Japanese history — so much so that the Japanese government tagged him as Japan’s “animation ambassador”. In this latest feature, “While out playing, Nobita meets a dog prince who has become separated from his people. Thankfully Doraemon and his magical powers are close at hand so the gang set out on an adventure to return the prince to a mysterious land known as the Bow-Wow Dog Kingdom.” Evidently this new film is a remake of the 1982 feature Doraemon: Nobita and the Haunts of Evil. Really now. Here’s hoping that someone in the vast anime import industry might see fit to distribute this new film in North America. For now, check out the trailer over on YouTube.
This February comic book legend Stan Sakai and Dark Horse Press present a special Usagi Yojimbo one-shot for people looking to get a fresh start on this famous series. And the price is right: 1 issue for $1.00. “Miyamoto Usagi’s most popular adventure kicks off in this value-priced issue! A sweeping tale assembling nearly the series’ entire cast, Grasscutter finds the rabbit ronin drawn into a violent struggle over the legendary sword of the gods—the Grass Cutting Sword—as the fate of the nation hangs in the balance!” In black & white of course. Check it out at Dark Horse.