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Movie News

Y’old Lizard, You

Cartoon Brew recently pointed us at a new upcoming animated film called Leo, being created for Netflix by Adam Sandler and his production company. “Netflix describes the film as ‘a coming-of-age animated musical comedy about the last year of elementary school – as seen through the eyes of a class pet. Jaded 74-year-old lizard Leo has been stuck in the same Florida classroom for decades with his terrarium-mate turtle. When he learns he only has one year left to live, he plans to escape to experience life on the outside, but instead gets caught up in the problems of his anxious students – including an impossibly mean substitute teacher. It ends up being the strangest but most rewarding bucket list ever…’ Leo’s animation is being produced by Netflix Animation and Animal Logic (The Lego Movie, DC League of Super-Pets)”. Look for it streaming on November 22nd.

image c. 2023 Netflix

The Annie Award Nominations for 2022

Recently ASIFA-Hollywood announced the nominations for the Annie Awards, celebrating the best in animation for the year 2022. The Annies are recognized world-wide as “the Oscars of animation”, chosen by folks in the animation industry from a host of disciplines. This year Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio leads the pack in nominations: Seven, including Best Animated Feature, Best Character Animation, Best Directing, Best Music, Best Production Design, and Best Editing. That’s followed close behind by Pixar’s Turning Red, Dreamworks’ Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, and The Sea Beast on Netflix, with six nominations each in various categories — including Best Animated Feature. Furry-fan-favorite The Bad Guys is up for four awards… but interestingly, not for Best Animated Feature. Marcel, The Shell With Shoes On and My Father’s Dragon are both nominated for Best Independent Feature and Best Directing, with Marcel also up for Best Writing and Best Voice Acting. (The little shell that could, sheesh!) The House (which is 2/3 furry…) and The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse are both nominated for Special Production, for projects longer than a short but shorter than a feature. And that’s just a sampling! We don’t even have room to talk about all the nominations for TV series, games, commercials, and more. Check out the Annie Awards web page for a complete list of nominees. The awards will be handed out on February 25th. (And hey, while you’re at it: Don’t forget that nominations have opened for the 2023 Ursa Major Awards too!)

image c. 2023 Netflix

It’s A Lost Art

There’s no stopping the Transformers movie series, it seems, but now something new has definitely been added — Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, due next year, is based on none other than the 90’s animated series Transformers: Beast Wars, where the whole series went severely furry for a time. Nerdist has the teaser trailer. Good old Optimus Primal is prominently featured (voiced this time by Ron Perlman), but look swiftly and you’ll see Cheetor, Rinox, Dinobot, and Airazor. No sign of Rat Trap yet, but who knows? The film is due in theaters in June of 2023.

image c. 2022 Paramount Pictures

Four Souls of a Trickster

Well this is interesting: Four Souls of Coyote is a new animated feature film currently in production at Cinemon Entertainment in Hungary. Animation World Network showed us the teaser trailer. “Inspired by Native American folklore, the film retells the story of the universe’s creation. Billed as a call to live in harmony with the environment and save the earth, the film features adventures with animals, magic, hunger, greed, and the sacred circle of all creations… The film comes to Hungarian cinemas in 2023.” No word yet on a North American release, but the film is being produced with an English-speaking voice cast.

image c. 2022 Cinemon Entertainment

Does THIS Cat Dance Maybe?

Turns out there’s there’s another feature film in the works for everyone’s favorite lasagna-loving feline, Garfield. The big orange fellow has appeared in two previous live action/CGI films, both times voiced by Bill Murray. Now Alcon Entertainment is working on the famous feline’s first fully-animated feature film, where this time he’ll be voiced by Chris Pratt. (Is there anything that guy isn’t involved in?) Like many animated films of the past few years, this one features an impressive voice cast of well-known actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Hannah Waddingham, Cecily Strong, and Ving Rhames. Interestingly, this new film is directed by Mark Dindal (of Cats Don’t Dance and Emperor’s New Groove fame), whom we have not heard from in a long long time. According to Animation World Network, Garfield should be out in mid-2024.

image c. 2022 Alcon Entertainment

What UP, Dog?

Animation news out of France, courtesy of Animation World Network: “Kittened is described as revolving around famous rapper Tough Dog, ‘who is challenged to a rap battle by the Kalixte, a rising star with millions of followers. A week before the battle, Tough Dog wakes up in the body of a kitten, with the kitten’s spirit in Tough Dog’s body. To reverse the situation back to normal, he has to ask Kim, a shy young girl, for help. In exchange, Tough Dog will teach her to become popular.'”. Currently the film is scheduled for release in 2025. We have a fairly good record of getting animated films from France released here in North America (Ernest & Celestine, anyone?), so hopefully this will get a chance as well.

image c. 2022 SND

THIS Cat Returns

Your ever-loving edotter got a chance to see a preview screening of Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, the upcoming animated feature from Dreamworks Animation, directed by Joel Crawford and Januel Mercado. Here’s the basic plot summary: The unstoppable adventurer Puss in Boots discovers that he has burned up eight of his nine lives through a series of mishaps. He goes on a desperate quest to find a fallen star with magic wishing powers, hoping to restore his invulnerability. Trouble is, the cat has lots of competition for the star — and a malevolent force following right behind him. So here are some Spoiler-Free thoughts about the film: See It, as soon as you can.  Not only is this a cracking good adventure film, darker than you expect it to be in places, but it’s also quite easily the furriest film ever in the Shrek universe. In fact, there’s a wolf in this film who could easily give the head Bad Guy a run for his money. This new film is coming to theaters on December 21st.

image c. 2022 Dreamworks Animation

Where The Scaled Things Are

Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon has done a fine job in the past of providing us with many fine and furry animated movies. (Wolfwalkers, anyone?) Now they’re back with a brand new project that’s coming soon to Netflix. And the first trailer just dropped: “Netflix has shared a trailer and key art for its highly anticipated upcoming 2D animated feature, My Father’s Dragon, inspired by Ruth Stiles Gannett’s Newbery-honored children’s book of the same name, and directed by Academy Award-nominated director Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner)… In the film a young boy, Elmer, struggling to cope after a move to the city with his mother, runs away in search of Wild Island and a young dragon who waits to be rescued. Elmer’s adventures introduce him to ferocious beasts, a mysterious island, and the friendship of a lifetime.” Coming to Netflix on November 11.

image c. 2022 Cartoon Saloon

The Fox of the Case

More recent news from Animation World Network: “King Features Syndicate announced development of a new animated film inspired by interactive children’s comic strip, Slylock Fox… The film will follow the Sherlock-Holmes-esque detective Slylock Fox and his devoted sidekick, Max Mouse, as they match wits against a cast of eccentric villains. Evan Daugherty, writer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, and Snow White and the Huntsman, has signed on to write and produce the film, with art direction provided by Chromosphere design and animation studio… The popular interactive comic strip Slylock Fox teaches young readers about interesting topics, encouraging them to use facts, logic, attention to visual detail, lateral thinking, and other cognitive thinking skills to solve fun, puzzling mysteries.” You may recall that King Features recently gave us The Cuphead Show!, which has been streaming on Netflix.

image c. 2022 King Features Syndicate