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Movie News

Fabulous Werewolf

We haven’t heard of Flying Bark Productions before, but according to Animation World Network it sounds like we should start paying attention to them! The studio is hard at work on a CGI feature film called 100% Wolf, which they plan to follow with a TV series of the same name immediately after.  The plot? “Lovers of surreal, laugh-out-loud animation should enjoy this comedy series about Freddy Lupin, an 11-year-old boy set to turn into a werewolf, just like everyone else in his family. But things don’t go as planned when Freddy turns into an adorable poodle instead.” Got that? Interesting thing is the feature and series are based on a popular Australian children’s novel by Jayne Lyons. No word yet on distribution, but the film and series are scheduled to be complete in 2019.

image c. 2018 Flying Bark Productions

What’s the Price of Admission?

For a while we’ve been hearing about a new animated film called Wonder Park. Well now Paramount Pictures have released the first teaser trailer, and Animation Scoop has more information. What’s it about? “One magical day, June is running through the woods to find her way home where she discovers an old rollercoaster car and climbs inside. She suddenly finds herself in Wonderland, an amusement park she had created in her mind and put aside. All of her rides and characters are brought to life but are falling into disarray without her. Now, with the help of her fun and lovable park characters, June will have to put the wonder back in Wonderland before it is lost forever.”  Ooo… The voice cast includes Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, and Kenan Thompson. Directed by Dylan Brown, Wonder Park is set to be released in March of 2019.

image c. 2018 Paramount Pictures

Cat and Kitty

More new and interesting stuff coming out of China. (By the way, did you miss Duck Duck Goose back in April? So did we.) Animation World Network has an article about the latest animated feature from Light Chaser Animation (home of the critically-acclaimed Little Door Gods). The new film is called Cats & Peachtopia, and once again it was written and directed by company founder Gary Wang. It goes like this:  “Cats & Peachtopia tells the story of father and son cats, Blanket and Cape, living a carefree life in a tower block in the southwestern Chinese megacity of Chongqing. Curious about the outside world and longing for his deceased mother, Cape sets off in search of the cat heaven Peachtopia. Blanket goes after his son and adventures ensue.” The article goes into more detail, as well as discussing the financial difficulties faced by an animation company that produces films primarily (though not exclusively) for the Chinese market. No word yet if Cats & Peachtopia will reach North America anytime soon (DVD or otherwise), but the film did show at this year’s Annecy animation festival.

image c. 2018 Light Chaser Animation

The Pearl of Animation

There’s a lengthy article over at Animation World Network about a presentation at this year’s Annecy Festival by Pearl Studios from China. Formerly known as Oriental Dreamworks (they helped to finish the animation on Kung Fu Panda 3), the newly-christened Pearl Studios have struck out on their own with several animated feature films in production — and some of them of note to Furry Fans. First up is Abominable (formerly Everest), a co-production with Dreamworks that’s directed by Jill Culton. According to Pearl, “Abominable stars Everest, a 2,000-pound yeti who is curious and playful.” And who communicates without words, it seems. (Yes, it does sound like a more serious version of Warner Bros’ upcoming yeti film Smallfoot.) Also on board is director Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) who is hard at work on an animated feature about the legendary Monkey King — a subject that he’s visited before in live action fantasy films. And further back in the pipeline are films like Tiger Empress (“… the story of a young tigress who grows from the obedient daughter of a Tiger Mom into a transformational leader when a prophecy convinces her that she’s the only one who can save their kingdom”) and Illumikitty (“… an irreverent comedy about the ultimate cat-astrophe: A feline plot for world domination”). You heard it here first.

image c. 2018 by Mochi

And More Dragons in Your Future

Meanwhile we got this from Moviefone.com: Turns out that we now have details about a new Disney animated film, Dragon Empire, scheduled for release in 2020 (they think). “Paul Briggs — head of story on Big Hero 6 and Frozen — will make his directorial debut… alongside Tangled animator Dean Wellins [as co-director]. Cars and Cars 3 writer Kiel Murray is said to be developing the script, with Moana producer Osnat Shurer back to produce.” Not a lot of details on the plot yet, but we know it involves dragons, a plucky female lead named Jan-Nin, and a male character named Bolin who is “said to be comic relief and a 900-year-old mentor to Jan-Nin.” The article also points out that Dreamworks is busy getting ready for the release of How To Train Your Dragon III in 2019, and we’ve already talked about Wish Dragon, Sony Picture’s dragon fantasy which is also slated for 2019. Looks like there are a lot of dragons flying our way!

image c. 2018 Walt Disney Animation

The Dragon Throne?

And more from AWN. (They’ve had lots of good stuff lately!) “Game of Thrones author and producer George R.R. Martin is bringing his fantasy game to animation, with Warner Animation Group set to adapt his 1980 children’s book The Ice Dragon into a feature. Though dealing with dragons, the book and the feature have no connection to either the A Song of Fire and Ice novels or the Game of Thrones TV series. According to Deadline, which reported the news first, the book tells the tale of a young girl who befriends a rare ice dragon, whose help proves decisive when an army of dragons invades her city.” No word yet on who’s directing or when it might be released.

image c. 2018 Tor Books

Wish for a Dragon

We found this article over at Variety: “Production is now under way on Wish Dragon, a major animated feature being made in China for Sony’s Columbia Pictures Film Production. The film is a first feature for Base Animation, the new animation studio that is part of Beijing-based VFX firm BaseFX, and for Chinese super star Jackie Chan. Chan’s Sparkle Roll Media is a producer and co-investor, and Chan will voice characters in both the Chinese- and English-language versions of the finished picture. The family-oriented film is being directed by Chris Appelhans (illustrator on Coraline) from his own original screenplay. The modern-day fairy tale picks up the moral challenges that emerge from the encounter between a boy and a dragon who is able to make wishes come true… The U.S. voice cast includes Fresh off the Boat star Constance Wu, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jimmy Wong, and Bobby Lee, alongside Chan.” Base Animation is hoping to have the film ready for release in 2019.

image c. 2018 Base Animation

Paramount Has A New Monster

Over at The Wrap they’re talking about three new animated features that Paramount Pictures have announced for their upcoming film line-up. One in particular should be of note to furry fans — especially since we’ve talked about the source material before. Monster on the Hill is a film adaptation of the graphic novel by Rob Harrell. Paramount’s description goes like this: “In a world where monsters are tame and monster wrestling is a popular sport, teenage Winnie seeks to follow in her father’s footsteps as a manager by turning an inexperienced monster into a contender.” That’s a little bit different than the original storyline, so we’ll see how it goes. This we got from Cartoon Brew: “Monster on the Hill will be helmed by Bradley Raymond, a veteran director of direct-to-video Disney fare (The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, The Lion King 1-1/2, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue) from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman (upcoming The Addams Family, Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief) and Etan Cohen (Men in Black 3, Tropic Thunder, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa). Monster on the Hill will be produced by ReelFX (Free Birds), which first announced it was developing the project back in 2015, and Walden Media.” Look for it in 2020.

image c. 2018 Top Shelf Productions

Stop That Snake

Here’s a new animated feature in the works we found out about through Animation World Network. “Timeless Films will begin selling worldwide rights to Rodrigo Pérez Castro’s upcoming animated feature Koati, created and produced by Anabella Sosa Dovarganes from Upstairs Productions and Los Hijos de Jack Productions, at the upcoming Cannes International Film Festival. Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy award-nominee Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), is attached to star and will executive produce… Koati is an animated comedy film starring three unlikely heroes: A free-spirited coati, a fearless monarch butterfly, and a hyperactive glass frog who embark on a glorious adventure to stop a wicked coral snake (Vergara) from destroying their homeland and friends. ‘Koati is an invitation to celebrate, for the first time in an animated film, the magical realism of the Latin American jungles, of the Amazonian rainforest, and the fun, exotic creatures that call it home,’ says Vergara, whose voice is heard in The Smurfs and Happy Feet 2. ‘It’s a coming-of-age comedy starring a cool and real family of animals the world needs to meet.'” The article tells us to look for it in 2019.

image c. 2018 Timeless Films