The Ollie & Moon Show is a new 2D animated TV series, based on a popular children’s book series by Diane Kredensor, “…an Emmy Award-winning artist, director and producer whose credits include Pinky and the Brain and Clifford the Big Red Dog, among others.” [So says Variety]. “In the series, two animated cats travel around the world. teaching viewers about the joy of unlikely friendships and global citizenship… The series will use art that blends live-action with 2D designs.” Ollie is a young cat who likes to plan and schedule his far-flung trips around the world. Moon… likes to bounce off the walls. Somehow these two get along well enough to travel together and learn as they do. The series has been picked up by NBC’s Sprout Network for broadcast starting in 2017.
Another MIPCON discovery: Nature Cat, a new 2D animated TV series produced by Spiffy Pictures. “Nature Cat follows Fred, a house cat who dreams of exploring the great outdoors. In each episode, once his family leaves for the day, Fred transforms into Nature Cat, ‘backyard explorer extraordinaire.’ Nature Cat can’t wait to get outside for a day of backyard nature excursions and bravery, but there’s one problem: He’s still a house cat with no instincts for nature. Like many of today’s kids, Nature Cat is eager and enthusiastic about outside activities, but is at times intimidated by them. With the help of his animal friends, Nature Cat embarks on action-packed adventures that include exciting missions full of nature investigation, aha discovery moments and humor, all while inspiring children to go outside and ‘play the show.’ Through Nature Cat co-creators and brothers David Rudman (Sesame Street, The Muppets) and Adam Rudman (Tom & Jerry, Sesame Street, Cyberchase) have teamed up to inspire viewers to get outdoors and develop connections with the natural world.” Good news, everyone! Nature Cat has been picked up for distribution by PBS Kids. They have an interactive web site for the show.
Another discovery from MIPCOM, thanks to Animation World Network. Created by BRB Internacional, Minchi’s Adventures combines puppetry, live action footage, and animation in each 3-minute episode. “The series follows a pet lizard belonging to a 7-year-old boy that, connected to the outside world via Internet, explains nature in a simple and very fun-filled way while encouraging ecological values.” You can learn more about it at BRB’s official Minchi page.
DHX Media (the production home of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Littlest Pet Shop, and many many more) have recently signed an international distribution deal for a new CGI TV series called Endangered Species. Unfortunately, so far none of those distribution deals include the USA! “The series follows Pickle, Merl and Gull, a bunny, a squirrel and a seagull who might not seem high on the protected species list, but who are constantly on the verge of catastrophic extinction through comical misadventure.” Check out the article over at Animation World Network to find out more.
Animation World Network has a recent article about two more new animated shows that were presented at MIPCON this year — both of them produced by m4e in Germany. Wissper is “… a CGI animated TV-series aimed at young girls ages 4 to 7. Wissper is a perfectly normal little girl, but she has a very special talent: She is the only girl in the world who can talk to animals! Creatures of all shapes and sizes seem to instinctively know that when they have a problem, Wissper will find the solution. This makes Wissper’s house the first port of call for animals in distress.” The first set of episodes are supposed to premier world-wide before the end of December. And then, there’s Atchoo! Another animated series, this time targeted at slightly older boys and girls. You see, there’s this young boy named Teo, with an unusual attribute: When he gets excited or upset, he sneezes… and instantly turns into an animal. Different each time. “The series offers loads of comedy, gags and funny dialogues, but all the fun is aimed at communicating an important message, that difficulties, fears and diversity are not necessarily all bad, but can engender endurance and originality.” That’s what they said folks! Atchoo! is scheduled to hit the world in 2017.
Recently (October) it was once again time for MIPCOM in France, where dozens of TV production companies seek out international distribution for their new shows. Including lots of animated TV series — including several of furry interest. Among them is Deer Little Forest, which is actually part of a large international marketing campaign aimed at very young kids. (Check out their web site to see what we mean.) Among the many places you’ll find Deer Little Forest is an animated TV series created by King Rollo Films. “Deer Little Forest is a preschool brand created by Henries’ Award-nominated illustrator Jo Rose, currently being developed for licensing, publishing and television. The world of Deer Little Forest stars the irrepressibly enthusiastic Flo and her band of charming, silly, helpful and wise woodland buddies: Bodhi Bear (never shy to lend a helping paw), Rowan the Philosophical Fox (yogi and Japanese gardener), Barley-Crumb Badger (usually unearthing an interesting factoid under a rock), Lockhart Deer (relentlessly toot-tooting his horn and crashing about in glee), and local boy best friend Toby (the city slicker charmer).” You can see a preview of the TV series over on Vimeo. Turns out there’s also a Deer Little Forest app available.
Back in 2011 Kizoic Comics created a tie-in comic book line for Kung Fu Panda, anticipating the release of the Kung Fu Panda 2 animated film that year. Well now in anticipation of next January’s upcoming release of Kung Fu Panda 3, Titan Comics are having a go with their own full-color Kung Fu Panda comic, written by Simon Furman and illustrated by Lee Robinson. “Po has been a busy Kung-Fu Panda! He’s had 2 hit movies, a successful TV show, and there’s another exciting movie on the way! And now he’s set to get even busier in his own brand new comic! Join Po, The Furious Five and Shifu – and all their enemies – for their own comic strip adventures! This issue kicks off a special two-part story: Wake Me Up Before You Po-Po!” Seriously. It’s on the shelves now!
And the embarrassment of riches for anthropomorphic animal movies that is 2016… continues! Once again Cartoon Brew brings us big news: Illumination (home of the Minions and the upcoming Secret Life of Pets) have announced a new CGI film called Sing, coming to theaters in December of 2016. “Of all the animal kingdom films, Sing might be the quirkiest of the bunch. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri explained during an Annecy keynote earlier this year that conceptually ‘The starting point for the movie was, for me at least, looking at what the role of a producer is’. The producer in Sing will be a koala named Buster Moon, voiced by Matthew McConaughey, who runs a vaudeville-style theater. ‘He creates wonderful entertainment out of nothing’ Meledandri said at Annecy. If a paean to producers sounds like an unusual topic for an animated film, so does the fact that the movie will have over 85 songs in it. Here’s the set-up which allows that to happen: Buster’s theater has fallen on hard times, and he comes up with an idea to save it by staging a singing competition. Eventually, five lead contestants emerge: A mouse (Seth MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant (Tori Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Reese Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. John C. Reilly will also lend a voice as Buster’s black sheep pal Eddie.” Got all that? Whew! We’ll keep you informed as we learn more.
Furrybones is a skeleton. A playful little skeleton, who likes to dress up in animal costumes. A wide variety of animal costumes, in fact! That’s the story behind Furrybones, a 3D art collection created by the artist Misaki Sawada. In the way of all things, Furrybones have become quite a collectible — and of course there are a few limited edition items in the collection. Recently the artist has also branched out into plush stuffies, jewelry, and a host of other Furrybones merchandise. It’s all at her official web site for you to haunt.