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Movie News

Teddy is Back to Save You

Okay here’s something different: A new movie, heading to Netflix, based on a single illustration. Slashfilm explains: “Back in 2013, word arrived that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was going to make a movie based on a single drawing that appeared on DeviantArt. That’s right: Not an adaptation of a story, but a drawing… a piece called ‘Sweet Halloween Dreams’ by artist Alex Panagopoulos. The project seemed to vanish as quickly as it was announced, but now it’s back – and headed to Netflix. Johnson will produce the film, now titled Teddy and the Guardians of the Night, with Dany Garcia under their Seven Bucks Productions banner.” No word yet on a planned release date, or even any more details on the plot, but many people are making guesses based on the illustration below. We’ll let you know more when we do. Pleasant dreams!

image c. 2021 by Alex Panagopoulos

The Annie Awards for 2020

First the Ursa Major Awards announce their nominees for 2020, and now the Annie Awards — considered to be the Oscars of animation — have done the same. 2020 must have been a good year for furry animation, because many of the Ursa Major and Annie nominations line up! Onward and Soul are up for Best Feature Annies, while Wolfwalkers is up for Best Indie Feature — along with Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon. And all of those are up for multiple individual achievement Annies too — like Best Character Animation, Best Character Design, Best Direction, and so forth. Best Special Production nominees include The Snail and The Whale and Shooom’s Odyssey, while the Best TV/Media for Preschoolers includes Muppet Babies, Stillwater, and The Adventures of Paddington. Also up for a variety of awards are TV and streaming favorites like Hilda, Bojack Horseman, Amphibia, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Brand New Animal, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and Mao Mao — Heroes of Pure Heart. And more! Visit the Annie Awards web site to see all the nominees, and watch for an announcement about this year’s virtual awards ceremony.

image c. 2021 Cartoon Saloon

Ponies Coming Right Into Your Home

Well, some information is better than none, it seems. Animation World Network has an update (at least a little) on this “mysterious” My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic second feature film we’ve been hearing about. “My Little Pony fans will be able to keep their cutie marks parked at home for the Mane Six’s next, as-yet untitled animated feature frolic. Previously slated for theatrical release September 24 through Paramount Pictures, the eOne/Boulder Media project has been hitched up by Netflix for global distribution — excluding China, which is covered by Hasbro’s eOne. A release date has not been revealed. Little has been announced about the new MLP movie, which will once again be based on the smash hit Friendship Is Magic reboot created by Lauren Faust. The film is being directed by Emmy-nominated comedy writer Robb Cullen — co-creator/director/writer of the Spike adult toon Gary the Rat, starring Kelsey Grammer — and kids’ TV animation writer-director José Luis Ucha (Invizimals, Angus & Cheryl, Bernard), with Mark Fattibene (CG supervisor, Monsters vs. Aliens, Kung Fu Panda). Trust us, you’ll know more as soon as we do!

image c. 2021 Boulder Media

Dog Gone… Over the Rainbow

We got this straight from Animation World Network: “Animal Logic has announced that the next project produced in their Vancouver studio will be Toto, the animated musical adaptation of Michael Morpurgo and Emma Chichester Clark’s 2017 book, Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz. A family film told from the perspective of Dorothy’s beloved companion, the screenplay was written by John August, with two-time Tony nominee Alex Timbers attached to direct… The Vancouver studio is currently in production on an animated film based on the DC Super Pets franchise, directed by Jared Stern and set for release in 2022.” Check out the original Toto book from Harper Collins.

image c. 2021 Harper Collins

Sing 2 Me

As we celebrate the 4-year anniversary of the original film’s release, thanks to Animation World Network we’re learning more about the plot of Sing 2, coming to us next December from Illumination. “In Sing 2, can-do koala Buster Moon and his all-star cast of animal performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage extravaganza yet… in the glittering entertainment capital of the world. There’s just one hitch: They first must to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star — played by legendary music icon Bono, making his animated film debut — to join them. Buster and his cast have turned the New Moon Theater into a local hit, but Buster has his eyes on a bigger prize: Debuting a new show at the Crystal Tower Theater in glamorous Redshore City.” Check out the article for more details. [And of course, have a Safe and Merry Christmas, everyone!]

image c. 2020 Illumination

Calm DOWN, Girl!

More interesting stuff from the recent Walt Disney Company investors’ presentation. Turning Red is an upcoming Pixar animated feature being directed by Domee Shi, creator of the Oscar-winning animated short Bao. Here’s how Pixar describes the story: “Meet Mei. She experiences the awkwardness of being a teenager, with an added twist: When she gets too excited, she transforms into a giant red panda.” Oh! Turning Red is set to be released in the spring of 2022.

image c. 2020 Disney/Pixar

Missing Tiger?

We were looking for something else, and we came across this completely by accident! Hidden Dragon is a new animated feature film that’s due this year, according to the IMDB page. We don’t know much about it, but the production crew names are mostly Chinese while the voice actor names are mostly western, so it’s an international production. “In a magical undersea world where dragons rule and humans are feared, a naive young dragon forms an uneasy alliance with the sea’s greatest enemy – a human girl.” We don’t know if they’ll successfully get it out this year, but it should be coming soon.

image c. 2020 Magic Hill Animation

Move Along, Mate

We stumbled across this announcement from Deadline: Back To The Outback, a new animated feature due from Netflix in 2021. “In the movie, tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they’re monsters, a ragtag group of Australia’s deadliest creatures plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback, a place where they’ll fit in without being judged for their scales and fangs. Leading the group is Maddie (Isla Fisher), a poisonous snake with a heart of gold, who bands together with a self-assured Thorny Devil lizard Zoe (Miranda Tapsell), a lovelorn hairy spider Frank (Guy Pearce), and a sensitive scorpion Nigel (Angus Imrie). But when their nemesis — Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), a cute but obnoxious koala — unexpectedly joins their escape, Maddie and the gang have no choice but to take him with them.” Hmm… sounds a bit like an Australian version of Disney’s The Wild — remember that one? Anyway, we’ll know more when Reel FX brings us the film next fall. (Can’t help wondering if some of this is about making up to Tim Minchin for his aborted film Larrikins.)

image c. 2020 Netflix

Return of the Big Red Dog

How could something that large sneak up on us? Well, here we go: Clifford the Big Red Dog is coming back soon in a new live action/CGI movie from Paramount Pictures and Walden Media. “As Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) struggles to fit in at home and at school, she discovers a small red puppy who is destined to become her best friend. When Clifford magically undergoes one heck of a growth spurt, becomes a gigantic dog, and attracts the attention of a genetics company, Emily and her Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) have to fight the forces of greed as they go on the run across New York City.” Before all that though, Scholastic is bringing us Clifford The Big Red Dog: The Movie as a graphic novel, written by Georgia Ball and illustrated by Chi Ngo. According to Wikipedia, the project has actually been in development since 2016, but now both graphic novel and movie are scheduled for release in the later part of 2021.

image c. 2020 Scholastic