InFurNation Rotating Header Image

Movie News

Dragonkeeper

Now we find out a bit more about Dragonkeeper, a new CGI film in development which we talked about recently. Animation Magazine just gave us an update: “London-based sales company SC Films International has snapped up international rights to Dragonkeeper, an upcoming animated family feature from Spain & China, based on the first novel of Carole Wilkinson’s series. The author is adapting her own text with director Ignacio Ferreras (Wrinkles), Rosanna Cecchini, Pablo Castrillo, and Xiamping Wang. Jianping Li is co-directing with Ferreras. [The] synopsis: In ancient China, dragons were once friends of men, but men’s greed and lust for power ended their alliance, and these wise and magical creatures were hunted down by the Empire. Years later, in a remote fortress, a young slave girl named Ping strikes up an unlikely friendship with Long Danzi, the last of the imperial dragons. Learning the power of Qi, Ping helps the dragon escape from captivity and together they journey across the Empire in order to save his lineage, chased by the Emperor’s men and pursued by even darker powers… Ilion Animation Studios, the Spanish shop behind Planet 51 and Paramount’s forthcoming Wonder Park, will handle production alongside China Film Animation and Dragoia Media.” Still no word on a planned release date, but at least we know it’s coming along. Stay tuned.

image c. 2018 Dragoia Media

The Grump is Finally Here

You may recall that a couple years ago (!) we talked about a new animated feature based on the 1960’s Depatie-Freleng TV series called Here Comes The Grump. Well it seems that Anima Estudios just recently completed the film and released it in Mexico. What’s more, according to Cartoon Brew it’s apparently coming to the U.S. for a brief theatrical run, under the title A Wizard’s Tale. “The film is directed by Andres Couturier, who also helmed Anima’s 2015 feature Top Cat Begins. Some key American talent was involved in the development of the film, including writer Jim Hecht (Ice Age: The Meltdown) and character designer Craig Kellman (Madagascar, Samurai Jack, Hotel Transylvania). English voice cast includes Lily Collins, Toby Kebbell, and Ian McShane.” Cartoon Brew has a trailer for the film as well. Look for it!

image c. 2018 Anima Estudios

The Audition of a Lifetime

Is it time to start thinking about the Holidays already? Evidently — Look what showed up in our in-box from Animation World Network: “U.S. distribution rights to Josh Hutcherson’s animated family feature Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer have been acquired by Screen Media, according to a Variety report, with a holiday season release set for November 30… In the film, written and directed by Jennifer Westcott, Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21, which gives Elliot, a miniature horse, only three days to travel to the North Pole, compete for the open spot and fulfill his lifelong dream of pulling Santa’s sleigh. Voice casting includes Hutcherson as Elliot and Samantha Bee as Hazel the goat, as well as John Cleese, Martin Short, Jeff Dunham, and Morena Baccarin.” Not sure if it’s a “release” to theaters or DVD, but we’ll find out!

image c. 2018 Awesometown Entertainment

Volcanoes, Hurricanes… and now Pineapples

Found out about this at San Diego Comic Con: The same animation team that brought us Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom (we talked about that!) returns with a new feature called Hallowaiian. “In the vein of The Goonies, E.T., and Jurassic Park, Hallowaiian follows three kids who must put their differences aside to save the island from a monster thought only to live in legends. Kai, Leilani, Eddie and the Menehune, Hawaii’s mischievous creatures, must band together to stop the monster they have mistakenly awoken. Facing great dangers along the way, the kids realize the true meaning of courage, friendship and tradition. The voice cast stars Hawaii Five-0 alumni Teilor Grubbs and Mark Dacascos with Tia Carerre (Wayne’s World) and Kiefer O’Reilly (Howard Lovecraft).” Once again it’s directed by Sean Patrick O’Reilly from Arcana Studios. Looks like it should be available this October — of course.

image c. 2018 Arcana Studios

It’s Good To Have A Friend

And more, this time from both Animation Magazine and Variety: “Russia’s animation powerhouse Riki Group has teamed up with New York’s 3 Beep to work on the upcoming CG-animated feature My Friend Finnick. The comedy, which was presented at Cartoon Movie this year, follows the adventures of a ten-year-old American girl who moves with her family to Scotland and befriends a Finn, a magical and mischievous spirit who lives in her new house. When the young girl goes missing. the Finn sets out to rescue her, but in doing so he puts himself in danger. The movie, which is budgeted at $7 million, is in development, and is due to be released in 2020. It is being directed by Riki’s Denis Chernov (Kikoriki movies) and written by Chernov, Tatyana Belova and 3 Beep’s Tim Werenko (Pokemon, The Winx Club, Snow Queen 3).” Fortunately for us, Riki Group has been getting better at securing distribution in North America.

image c. 2018 Riki Group

Talking to Animals Empowers

Here’s an interesting story. Animation Magazine guided us to Miss Camel, a new animated feature. Deadline reported it like this: “Wadjda writer-director Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s trailblazing first female filmmaker, is setting up female empowerment animation Miss Camel at LA-based animation hub ShadowMachine, producer of Netflix’s Bojack Horseman and Cartoon Network’s Robot ChickenMiss Camel, the story of a Saudi teen named Hayla who will do anything to escape her arranged marriage and fulfil her goal of attending art school outside of Saudi Arabia, won the IWC Filmmaker Award, worth $100,000, at the Dubai International Film Festival in December… According to the film’s synopsis, while scheming to make her way to the in-person interviews for the art college in a neighboring Gulf state, Hayla makes a startling discovery at her cousin’s wedding: She can talk to animals.” No more news yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do when the film is set to be released!

image c. 2018 GoodFreePhotos.com

And They Can Talk To Him… and Her

Another obscure animated feature we found through Animation Magazine — this one from Latvia, of all places. Jacob, Mimmi, and the Talking Dogs is a new feature film from Atomart Studios, directed by Edmunds Jansons. It’s based on the book Dog Town by Luīze Pastore, and animated in an interesting combination of cut-out style and 2D CGI. “When Dad brings Jacob to spend summer in one of the city’s suburbs, the boy not only discovers an environment never seen before, becomes acquainted with his cousin, the smarty-boots Mimmi, and his uncle, the former seaman Eagle, but also makes friends with Boss, the leader of a horde of talking homeless dogs. Will Jacob and Mimmi succeed to make friends and together with the talking dogs rescue the place from the rich Lord Pie who has plans to convert the romantic wooden house neighbourhood into an impersonal glass skyscraper area?” The official web site has clips in the original Latvian, but there’s an English language trailer up on Vimeo too.

image c. 2018 Atomart Studios

Not One But Two Dragon Films

We missed the announcements of these animated films last year, but now we’ve found them thanks to Animation Magazine. Both are adaptations of popular children’s literature, and both of them are international co-productions. Dragonkeeper (based on a series of books by Carole Wilkinson) comes to us from China Film Group and Spain’s Dragoia Media.  According to Variety, “Set during the Han Dynasty in a magic, epic and classic China… the first Dragonkeeper installment turns on the adventures of Ping, a slave girl so humble that she thinks she doesn’t deserve a name. Yet she finds the courage to become a true Dragonkeeper, helping the ancient last imperial dragon, Long Danzi, in its quest to transport a dragon egg across China to the coast, the only place it can hatch.” Then there’s Dragon Rider, based on the book by Cornelia Funke (Inkheart) and produced in cooperation between Germany and the UK. (It’s being adapted by Johnny Smith, writer for the original Gnomeo & Juliet.) Again, from Variety: “High-end by European standards, the 3D children’s fantasy adventure turns on Firedrake, a young silver dragon, Sorrel, a mountain brownie, and Ben, a human orphan who search among the highest Himalayas for the Rim of Heaven, which can offer sanctuary for Firedrake’s kin, whose valley is made uninhabitable by a dam.” No word yet on a planned release date for either film.

image c. 2018 Dragoia Media

Little Dino Lost

The June/July issue of Animation Magazine features a huge list of upcoming animated films in production all over the world. Including one from Poland: “Human Ark, one of Poland’s leading animation studios, has launched a new animation test for its new animated feature comedy Diplodocus. The movie is a family comedy inspired by classic 1980s comic books by the cult Polish author Tadeusz Baranowski, which have sold over 2.5 million copies. It tells the epic adventure of a little dinosaur, who has to find his missing parents and discovers that he actually lives inside of a comic book. The project is the second feature-length animated film by Wojtek Wawszczyk (George the Hedgehog), who also wrote the script in collaboration with Mark Palmer (The Penguins of Madagascar, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Kim Possible). Set for completion in 2020, the movie is the biggest 3D CGI production for children ever produced in Poland.” The article in Animation features several illustrations from the film, and Human Ark has also produced a promo clip on Vimeo.

image c. 2018 Human Ark