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August, 2012:

Ha! It Kills Us!

Word is out around Hollywood that 80’s favorite ALF will be coming to the big screen finally. In case you need a refresher: “ALF stands for Alien Life Form, and the ’80s sitcom centered on a friendly furry alien creature (a puppet) who crash landed on Earth and took up with the Tanners, a suburban family. ALF, whose name was later revealed as Gordon Shumway, is sarcastic and has an appetite for cats. He courts trouble with government forces that are on his tail.” According to the article in Hollywood Reporter (and elsewhere), Jordan Kerner — who produced last year’s hit movie The Smurfs — was pegged by Sony Pictures to produce the new picture. Again, it will be a live-action feature film with ALF himself as a CGI character. Tom Patchett and Paul Fusco, creators of the original TV series,  will be involved as co-producers. Paul Fusco was also ALF’s main puppeteer and voice actor, and he’s expected to be the character voice for the new film as well. So far there’s no word as to a main script writer, a director, or a planned release date… but watch your cats just in case.

image c. 2012 Alien Productions

Chevalier Returns

We received this note from Darryl Hughes and Monique MacNaughton:The furry fantasy adventure Chevalier: The Queen’s Mouseketeer, which ran from 2010 to 2011 before abruptly disappearing after the loss of it’s publishing deal, is returning in the fall. Character design sketches of the new look cast for the reboot have been posted here.” Following the link you find Coydog’s Den, which is a hosting site for several on-line comic adventures — anthropomorphic and otherwise.

image c. 2012 by Darryl Hughes and Monique MacNaughton


A Different Kind of Monster Battle

If you haven’t seen it so far, Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters is the latest “re-imagining” of a classic product line to premier on The Hub network — in this case back in June. Kaijudo is a new version of the Duel Masters series by Wizards of the Coast (which, like The Hub, is a division of Hasbro Toys). This time around, the creators of this new show (specifically Andrew Robinson and Henry Gilroy from The Hub) wanted to have a different take on the “young kids and their fighting pet monsters” genre. The creatures of Kaijudo come to Earth from another dimension, and they can’t just be called up or sent back by the flip of a card. What’s more, our hero — a young boy named Ray, voiced by Scott Wolf) — has a special power of empathy with the monsters, and so he is very connected when they are hurt or made to suffer.  According to the creators, they wanted a show where the heroes, the villains, and even the companion monsters show much more personality than shows like these have seen in the past.  Have they succeeded? Find out for yourself. New episodes of Kaijudo currently air on The Hub on Saturdays at 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific. Check out the official Kaijudo web page from The Hub as well.

image c. 2012 by The Hub

This Year’s Winning Frog

The July issue of Animation Magazine featured the 2012 Pitch Party, which has become an annual event.  The idea is simple: Entrants purchase a 1/16th-page ad in the magazine, and submit a one-panel “pitch” for a new animated TV series or feature. A panel of animation industry experts, the staff of Animation Magazine, and on-line readers each get a chance to pick their favorites.  Those industry folk this year included names from Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, PBS, and the Hub among others. And the top pick from both those bigwigs and the Animation staff was Jimmy Legs: The Down and Out Frog, created by Daniel Contois — the story of a cartoon frog living in America following a nuclear apocalypse. Oh what fun! And you can see the development of it at Dan’s web site.  But there were plenty of other entries of possible interest to furry fans, including Detective Cats (web site), Little Monsters (web site), Road Kill Heroes (web site), Swamp Stalkers (web site), Mad Cow (web site), Samurai Chinchilla (web site), and Bad Penguin (web site). And of course check out Animation’s web site to find out more about this year’s Pitch Party, and next year’s too.

image c. 2012 by Daniel Contois


Oh, Hiya!

OHiya, the Art of Making Friends is the name for a concept created by illustrator Jason Tharp and a group of fellow artists who live in Ohio (get it?). The idea is to use funny animals and other strange creatures to encourage people to greet one another — be they friends or strangers — and learn more about one another and how to make friends. The creatures of Ohiya each have their own unique personality quirks, and how they learn to get along together with so many differences provides the lessons in friendship that Ohiya is all about. To start things off Mr. Tharp and his associates have created a set of t-shirts, buttons, and posters featuring characters like Mythaken the sasquatch, Zoomi-Pop the panda, and Katinja the… well, cat ninja! More is on the way, and you can see it all at the Ohiya Friends web site.

image c. 2012 by Jason Tharp

Plushies vs. Creepy Dolls

Breaking out of the pages of Womanthology (a successful all-female-created comic anthology from last year) comes A Stuffed Bunny in Doll Land: The Furry War Begins, written by Anya Martin and illustrated in full color by Mado Pena. Here’s the basic description from their web site: “In Womanthology: Heroic, Munny, a lone stuffed bunny, showed her inner hero and entered the frightening world of dolls to save her best friend, Elephant, with only a butter knife and a sugar bowl lid. But the dolls are not pleased to lose their new pet and ready to launch an expedition of their own to take him back. Now Munny has to return to Doll-Land and venture deep, deep into their dark world of strange beauty and unexpected horror, accompanied only by a valiant band of fellow stuffed animals.” New updates for this on-line comic are coming soon.

image c. 2012 by Mado Pena

Dragons on TV

After a few years and much talk, Dreamworks Animation are ready to premier their new TV series Dragons: Riders of Berk.  Re-named from the more simple Dragons, this new series brings us further adventures of the young viking Hiccup, his dragon friend Toothless, and other characters from the Ursa Major Award-winning feature film How to Train Your Dragon. Jay Baruchel (as Hiccup), America Ferrera (as Astrid), and several other voice actors from the feature film reprise their roles for this new TV series. Unlike previous Dreamworks series like The Penguins of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, this new Dragons series will be shown on Cartoon Network instead of Nickelodeon. A special preview episode will air on Cartoon Network starting Tuesday, August 7th. Check out their Wikipedia entry too.

image c. 2012 Dreamworks Animation