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Coming Soon From Italy. We Hope.

And they just keep showing up… More from Animation World Network. Rai Com (from Italy) have acquired several new animation projects for distribution, and of course several of them are furry in nature. Woof Meow is a CGI series directed by Alexey Kotenochkin and produced in Russia by AA Studios. “The series features the funny and entertaining adventures of the two kittens, Binx and Lulu, and their puppy-dog pals Oscar, Snickers, Sparky, and Hopper the Inventor. Together, they play games, make up new inventions and start real or imaginary adventuresome trips to explore the world around them. In each episode, someone gets in trouble and needs the support of the group of friends to solve the situation.” Then there’s Dixiland, a more traditional 2D animated series for preschoolers. “Dixi, the small winged elephant who is the protagonist of the story, joins other creatures as they experience joy, fun and problems.” Both are headed to MIPCOM and looking for international distribution.

image c. 2018 Rai Com

Dogs and Cats, Sailing Together. Mass Hysteria!

Looks like this is the season when folks-in-charge are shopping around for new TV series to sell around the world. Now from Animation Magazine we learn that Jetpack Distribution have picked up the world-wide rights to a 2D series from Britain called Pip Ahoy! It goes like this: “The series is a warm and boisterous show that centers on Pip and his friends as they carry out rescue missions, solve problems and take care of their community. It features the inimitable voice of Sir David Jason, who plays Skipper, an old seadog and Pip’s Uncle… Pip’s fans can also interact with the property offscreen in the UK thanks to recent renewals of both the master toy and apparel licenses and, in association with PJSL, character meet and greets at popular family entertainment parks across the country this summer. CHF Pip! Plc and PJSL are now in talks with two parks for a long-term, on-site Pip Ahoy! live show.” Good news for cartoon fans in the UK all right. Meanwhile for the rest of us, here’s some episodes on YouTube.

image c. 2018 Jetpack Distribution

Birds Sing. A-Ding-A-Ding.

Even more recent news from Animation World Network: Now we hear about a new musical animated TV series for preschoolers called Do, Re & Mi, currently starting production. “Created by Jackie Tohn (Glow, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, American Idol) and Michael Scharf (Moon and The Son: An Imagined Conversation), every episode of Do, Re & Mi starts with an adventure and ends in a song, featuring original tracks performed by Kristen Bell (Princess Anna in Disney’s Frozen), Tohn, and other surprise guests… Do, Re & Mi is about three birdy best friends named Do, Re & Mi who live in a world filled with rhythm, beats and melodies. Along with their day-to-day adventures, the characters model ways for parents and young kids to talk about music and connect these ideas to their social-emotional development.” [ Fun fact: Ms. Bell actually had one line in Zootopia, as Priscilla the sloth. ] No word yet on a planned release date.

image c. 2018 Gaumont

Once Again, We Have A Clue!

There’s more big news from Animation World Network. Looks as if a kids’ TV favorite from the 90’s has a new “leash” on life! (Sorry, sorry…) “Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues has found a new pal for Blue in TV newcomer and Broadway actor Joshua Dela Cruz, and a brand-new title: Blue’s Clues & You. Dela Cruz will have a new generation of preschoolers searching for clues with the beloved energetic girl puppy Blue.  Production on 20 new episodes of Blue’s Clues & You will commence this month in Toronto… In Blue’s Clues & You, beloved puppy Blue invites viewers to join her and the live-action host on a clue-led adventure and solve a daily puzzle. With each signature paw print, Blue identifies clues in her animated world that propel the story and inspires viewers to interact with the action.” Original series host Steve Burns is in on this new revival too, which is a good thing.

image c. 2018 Nickelodeon

Hemp Collars Are In This Year…

So we were talking about new games. Also at Long Beach Comic Con we came across the creators of Dogtag, “the attention-grabbing card game for dog-people”.  Here’s how they describe it on their web site: “The inspiration for Dogtag came from Los Angeles, where finding people who have tens of thousands of followers on Instagram is a casual occurrence. Anywhere you go you’ll see people posing in front of walls, taking pictures of food, and sneaking selfies. Showing off the highlights of our lives is a trend we all can relate to, and it only makes sense that we decided to create a card game following these themes. DUH. A splash of pop culture here, and a bucket-load of dog puns there, and this is what we get: A fun satire on social media packaged into a heckin’ cute card game.” Which is available now. The web site has video previews too.

image c. 2018 Dogtag Media

The Bears Who Stare — Now Everywhere

Thanks to Animation World Network we’ve learned that the ever-popular Care Bears are back again — this time exploring more of their world and its inhabitants. “Premium subscription streaming service Boomerang is set to unlock the imagination of the next generation of Care Bears fans as the official domestic home and world premiere destination for Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, a brand new 2D animated series from Cloudco Entertainment… A current take on The Care Bears that also plays homage to iconic brand elements like “The Care Bear Stare,” Care Bears: Unlock the Magic sends the Care Bears on the road for the first time, exploring wonderful, never-before-seen areas surrounding Care-a-lot called The Silver Lining. And as a result, the bears will get to meet new creatures and employ their powers and wits like never before.” Only thing we don’t know yet is a launch date. We’ll find out!

Image c. 2018 Boomerang

No It Won’t Put You To Sleep

And then, there were those two guys wandering around Long Beach Comic Con in sheep costumes… Turns out they were busy plugging a new card game called Sheeple, which was developed by Aaron Smith. According to the web site, Aaron ” … needed a way to tweak his game, and found inspiration from the book he was reading at the time, Animal Farm, by George Orwell.  While Animal Farm is a sad, dystopian book about an animal-led Communist revolution gone wrong, the idea of animals walking on two feet inspired him.  ‘Sheeple’ is normally a non-favorable term for people who act like sheep; who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced, and do not think for themselves.  However, spun the other way, ‘Sheeple’ could also mean sheep who are trying to become more civilized and people-like, a positive.  It would be a great way to theme a game about thinking like others.  Some sheep puns could even be thrown in there for good measure.” Having finished a successful Kickstarter campaign, chances are this will all make more sense when the game comes out in mid-September. Baa!

image c. 2018 Smith Games

Does THIS Cat Walk Through Walls?

Our crew visited the Long Beach Comic Con, and as usual the Artist Alley did not disappoint. Among our discoveries were Rachel Walker and David Cone, two artists who paint (and make other goodies) under the name Edge of the World Art. “We are purveyors of things strange, magical, and fashionable.” And, it seems, big fans of cats — especially black cats. Visit their web site and see what we mean. As you can see, if you’re in Southern California you might find them displaying at several locations around the area regularly.

image c. 2018 Edge of the World Art

A Slow Friendship

Now there’s a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, written and illustrated by Graham Annable (director of The Box Trolls). Peter & Ernesto: A Tale Of Two Sloths — pretty straightforward, yes? “Peter and Ernesto are sloths. Peter and Ernesto are friends. But Peter and Ernesto are nothing alike. Peter loves their tree and never wants to leave, while Ernesto loves the sky and wants to see it from every place on Earth. When Ernesto leaves to have a grand adventure, Peter stays behind and frets. The two friends grow even closer in separation, as Peter the homebody expands his horizons and Ernesto the wanderer learns the value of home.” It’s available now from First Second.

image c. 2018 First Second