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Teddy is Back to Save You

Okay here’s something different: A new movie, heading to Netflix, based on a single illustration. Slashfilm explains: “Back in 2013, word arrived that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was going to make a movie based on a single drawing that appeared on DeviantArt. That’s right: Not an adaptation of a story, but a drawing… a piece called ‘Sweet Halloween Dreams’ by artist Alex Panagopoulos. The project seemed to vanish as quickly as it was announced, but now it’s back – and headed to Netflix. Johnson will produce the film, now titled Teddy and the Guardians of the Night, with Dany Garcia under their Seven Bucks Productions banner.” No word yet on a planned release date, or even any more details on the plot, but many people are making guesses based on the illustration below. We’ll let you know more when we do. Pleasant dreams!

image c. 2021 by Alex Panagopoulos

The Annie Awards for 2020

First the Ursa Major Awards announce their nominees for 2020, and now the Annie Awards — considered to be the Oscars of animation — have done the same. 2020 must have been a good year for furry animation, because many of the Ursa Major and Annie nominations line up! Onward and Soul are up for Best Feature Annies, while Wolfwalkers is up for Best Indie Feature — along with Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon. And all of those are up for multiple individual achievement Annies too — like Best Character Animation, Best Character Design, Best Direction, and so forth. Best Special Production nominees include The Snail and The Whale and Shooom’s Odyssey, while the Best TV/Media for Preschoolers includes Muppet Babies, Stillwater, and The Adventures of Paddington. Also up for a variety of awards are TV and streaming favorites like Hilda, Bojack Horseman, Amphibia, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Brand New Animal, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and Mao Mao — Heroes of Pure Heart. And more! Visit the Annie Awards web site to see all the nominees, and watch for an announcement about this year’s virtual awards ceremony.

image c. 2021 Cartoon Saloon

The Best Laid Plans — In Space

[Sorry we’ve been dormant a few days folks — Had some technical arguments with WordPress to work out. That done, here were are again! — ye ed-otter] Ursa Major Award favorite Rick Griffin has a new science fiction book out. It’s available in paperback, and digitally at Smashwords: “The Captain’s Oath is the second installment of The Final Days of the White Flower II Trilogy by multi-award-winning artist and writer, Rick Griffin. Featuring nine illustrations by the author himself, this science fiction epic continues the exciting story of struggle against oppression that began in Traitors, Thieves, and Liars… The best-laid plans of geroo and ringel often go awry. Nobody knows that as well as the crew of the White Flower II, the geroo ship whose captain still bears the literal scars of his last failure. Despite their best efforts, his ship and its crew still languish in slavery to the cruel krakun. But when a new opportunity for freedom presents itself, will the geroo be able to pull off an even more daring escape plan — right under the nose of a krakun overseer?” We missed plugging the first book, so we’d better get off our fuzzy butts and help to plug the second!

image c. 2021 by Rick Griffin

What’s Up, Boys and Goils?

And more from Animation World Network: “WarnerMedia Kids & Family released plans today to launch Cartoonito, a new preschool programming block built to support each child’s unique potential, set to debut on Cartoon Network and HBO Max this fall. In addition to today’s greenlight of Bugs Bunny Builders (WT), it was announced today that titles including Mush-Mush & the Mushables and Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go are among 20 new series that will be available at launch. WarnerMedia has pledged to grow this offering to nearly 50 new shows within its first two years.”  They have this to say about Bugs Bunny Builders: “Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and built on the solid comedic foundation of the iconic Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny Builders brings the wackiness, humor and slapstick we’ve grown to love to a new preschool audience. At ACME Construction Company Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny manage a crew of builders that, quite frankly, should not be anywhere near a construction site. However, by working together as a team, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety and others use their tools and wild vehicles to pull off some of the looniest construction jobs ever.” Check out the article for more titles with some notable furry interest. Hey, they’ve even got Lucas the Spider!

image c. 2021 Warner Brothers

Aesop It Ain’t

Stone Arch Books have a new line of graphic novels for young readers called Far Out Fables. And like all the best fables, they involve animal characters! With names like Chicken Little Saves The Moon Base (by Benjamin Harper and Omar Lozano), Punk Rock Mouse and Country Mouse (Brandon Terrell and Alex Lopez), and The Wolf in Unicorn’s Clothing (Katie Schenkel and Jimena Sanchez), you can kind of see how this is going. Visit their web site to see all their new titles. They’re published by Capstone.

image c. 2021 Capstone

A Trio for Snowy Days

We just found out about three upcoming animated specials — all of which have some definite Furry interest in them. “Entertainment company TeamTO has acquired the TV, film, and licensing rights to three popular children’s books: Snowman (Snowy and the Snowman), by Jacques Duquennoy; Fox’s Garden (The Winter I Met the Fox), by Camille Garoche; and Something’s Fishy  (Penguin’s Ice Time) by Jean Gouronas. The three winter-themed stories will be produced as individual specials for the 2022/2023 holiday season… In The Winter I Met The Fox, directed by Emma Carré, a fox finds refuge from a cold and snowy evening in a greenhouse. Shy little Sacha overcomes his fears and comes to the rescue with Chickpea, a pet chicken. He is amazed to find that the Fox had babies and learns that friendship is about reaching out. Directed by Lois Espuche, Penguin’s Ice Time follows Penguin as he is ice fishing, but the fish aren’t biting. But why? A comedic cast of polar characters gather, chatter, wager guess and generally, aggravate Penguin until…they hear something below the ice! Snowy and The Snowman, directed by Sif Perlt Savery, stars Snowy, a young snowgirl living in Snowland with her elf parents. On her first day of hockey practice Snowy’s dream of flying like a superhero Snowman comes true as she rescues a little rabbit from a mighty Yeti.” Once again we have Animation World Network to thank for the news. Keep an ear open for release dates next year.

image c. 2021 TeamTO

Ponies Coming Right Into Your Home

Well, some information is better than none, it seems. Animation World Network has an update (at least a little) on this “mysterious” My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic second feature film we’ve been hearing about. “My Little Pony fans will be able to keep their cutie marks parked at home for the Mane Six’s next, as-yet untitled animated feature frolic. Previously slated for theatrical release September 24 through Paramount Pictures, the eOne/Boulder Media project has been hitched up by Netflix for global distribution — excluding China, which is covered by Hasbro’s eOne. A release date has not been revealed. Little has been announced about the new MLP movie, which will once again be based on the smash hit Friendship Is Magic reboot created by Lauren Faust. The film is being directed by Emmy-nominated comedy writer Robb Cullen — co-creator/director/writer of the Spike adult toon Gary the Rat, starring Kelsey Grammer — and kids’ TV animation writer-director José Luis Ucha (Invizimals, Angus & Cheryl, Bernard), with Mark Fattibene (CG supervisor, Monsters vs. Aliens, Kung Fu Panda). Trust us, you’ll know more as soon as we do!

image c. 2021 Boulder Media

Cartoons For Grown-Ups

… or at very least, for adult persons. Over at Animation World Network there’s a new article about a slate of upcoming adult-themed animated TV series in development for HBO Max. Sandwiched right in the middle of the set is word about one particular show of furry interest: “From creator and musician Sean Solomon, Hello Paul features a neurotic millennial cat whose intense job and freeloading mouse roommate stress him out.” That’s what we know so far. “In development” is often a fancy way of saying there’s no planned release date yet, but you’ll find out more as soon as we know it.

image c. 2021 HBO Max

Dog Gone… Over the Rainbow

We got this straight from Animation World Network: “Animal Logic has announced that the next project produced in their Vancouver studio will be Toto, the animated musical adaptation of Michael Morpurgo and Emma Chichester Clark’s 2017 book, Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz. A family film told from the perspective of Dorothy’s beloved companion, the screenplay was written by John August, with two-time Tony nominee Alex Timbers attached to direct… The Vancouver studio is currently in production on an animated film based on the DC Super Pets franchise, directed by Jared Stern and set for release in 2022.” Check out the original Toto book from Harper Collins.

image c. 2021 Harper Collins