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Update on a Goose

We mentioned before about an upcoming animated film called Duck Duck Goose, one of several films being financed the Chinese firm Original Force with the intention of releasing in North America. Well now, according to an article at Cartoon Brew, Duck Duck Goose has a release date — April 20th, 2018 — and a teaser trailer up on YouTube. “Chris Jenkins, a veteran Disney effects animator who more recently shifted to the producing side (Dreamworks’ Home, Sony’s Surf’s Up), makes his feature directorial debut on Duck Duck Goose. Jenkins co-wrote the film with Rob Muir… The film follows the adventures of a ‘high-flying bachelor goose’ named Peng (voiced by Jim Gaffigan) who finds himself in charge of two ducklings (voiced by Zendaya and Lance Lim) that he must take along on a long journey south. Other voices are provided by Greg Proops, Natasha Leggero, Reggie Watts, Diedrich Bader, Jennifer Grey, Rick Overton, Craig Ferguson, Stephen Fry, and Carl Reiner.” Distribution is being handled by Open Road Films, the same outfit that released The Nut Job and its recent sequel here in the States.

image c. 2017 Original Force

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Bajo El Mar, Bajo El Mar…

From out of nowhere… actually, from out of Spain. The Think Lab is an animation production house in Madrid, and they recently completed their first CGI feature film, Deep, directed by Julio Soto Gurpide. “In 2100, when humanity has abandoned the earth, a colony of extravagant creatures still thrives in the deepest abyss of the ocean. Deep, an adventurous ‘dumbo’ octopus and the last one of his kind lives there with his two unconditional friends: Evo, a nerdy and clumsy angler fish, and Alice, a neurotic deep-sea shrimp. When an accident destroys their home, the guardian of the abyss, The Kraken, will send Deep and his friends on a perilous journey to find a new home. In their mission, they will be joined by Maura – a voracious moray eel – and together they will travel to amazing places like the submerged city of New York, the Titanic, or the Arctic, facing formidable enemies and hilarious situations.” No talk of a release here, but the IMDB page lists all English-speaking actors, and the trailer is in English too.

image c. 2017 The Think Lab

The Mouse That Legislated

Qvisten bill themselves as the largest animation studio in Scandinavia. Among their recent productions is a feature film called HuckyBucky (aka Dyrene i Hakkebakkeskogen), directed by Rasmus A. Sivertsen and based on a book by Thorbjørn Egner. The description on IMDB reads like this: “In the woods there lives a mouse and his friends, and they are always scared of getting eaten by the fox or other predators who can’t get food in a fair way. They have to make some laws so they all can live together in peace.” No word yet on a possible release in North America, but there is a subtitled trailer up on YouTube.

image c. 2017 Qvisten

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Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Mexico’s Anima Estudio have been mentioned around here before, most recently for their upcoming animated feature based on the 1960’s TV animation oddity Here Comes the Grump. In the meantime, they’ve completed work on another CGI feature called Monster Island, set to be released soon direct to DVD. “When Lucas finds out he is not really a human, but actually a monster, the news changes his whole world! Embarking on a quest to Monster Island to discover his real roots, Lucas undergoes a journey he will never forget. He finds himself face to face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn’t freaky — it means you’re a member of a brand new type of family that you can proudly call your own.” The film is directed by Leopoldo Aguilar, and it features the voices of Fiona Hardingham, Katie Leigh (Gummi Bears), Jenifer Kaplan, Erik Larsen, and Michael Robles. Amazon says to look for it this September.

image c. 2017 Anima Estudio

Elf-topia?

Among the big announcements to come out of this year’s D23 Expo (Disney’s bi-annual convention for their biggest and geekiest fans — hey, your ed-otter is one!) is news of an as-yet-untitled new CGI film from Pixar… a “suburban fantasy”. According to a preview at Entertainment Weekly, “During the fan convention’s animation panel on Friday, John Lasseter introduced director Dan Scanlon to unveil details about a new original film on Pixar’s upcoming slate, filling in one of the cryptic untitled slots on the studio’s release schedule. Lasseter described the film as ‘an adventure set in a suburban fantasy world,’ and Scanlon, who helmed Monsters University, debuted concept art showing a large winged creature flying over a small town at sunset. Set in a human-less world of elves, trolls, sprites, and ‘pretty much anything that would be on the side of a van in the ‘70s,’ the movie follows two teenage brothers whose father died when they were young; now, they’re on a quest through this mundane, modern fantasy world to somehow find a way to spend one last magical day with their father.” Oh and by the way, there are unicorns everywhere. and a dragon or two thrown into the mix as well. No word on a release date yet (or a title!), but speculation is leaning toward the summer of 2020 or 2021.

image c. 2017 The Disney Company

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And You Think YOU’RE A Fanboy…

Something else that slipped below the radar, even though it appeared at the Sundance Film Festival. Brigsby Bear is a new surreal live-action comedy produced by the Lonely Island folks from Saturday Night Live. According to Wikipedia, the story goes like this: “James Pope was kidnapped from a hospital as a baby and since childhood all the way to adulthood has known nothing about the world except Brigsby Bear, a children’s show character fabricated by his kidnapper parents. One day, James is rescued and brought out into the real world where he learns that Brigsby Bear is not a real children’s show. Confused and baffled by these turn of events, James sets out to make a Brigsby Bear movie to show the world what he has learned.” Starring Kyle Mooney (Saturday Night Live) as James, the film is directed by Dave McCary. Other notable names in the cast include Greg Kinnear and Mark Hamill. Sony Pictures picked up Brigsby Bear and will release it to theaters at the end of July.

image c. 2017 Sony Pictures

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Listen to the Masked One!

More tie-in stuff coming our way as we get closer to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2. Now Marvel Press give us a new hardcover illustrated book called Rocket’s Rules. “Ever wonder how to navigate a quantum asteroid field? Escape a deep-space maximum-security prison? Insult a powerful adversary without anyone catching on? You’re in luck! In this ultimate intergalactic survival guide, Rocket covers everything you need to know – including what it takes to be a good member of a team. So pay attention and read up!” It hits the shelves (like a missile!) right before the movie comes out, but you can pre-order it now over at Simon & Schuster. [Tip #1: Don’t call him a raccoon!]

image c. 2017 Marvel Press

A Whole Lotta Bull

Thanks to Furry. Today, we got our first look at the newly-released trailer for Ferdinand, an upcoming animated movie from Blue Sky. And thanks to an article over at Cartoon Brew, we have a whole lot more information about it too!  According to the studio, “Ferdinand tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover.” It’s directed by Carlos Saldanha, who of course gave us not only Ice Age: The Meltdown but also Rio. Wrestling superstar John Cena (fresh off his turn as a voice actor in the Surf’s Up sequel) stars as the voice of Ferdinand the bull, but the Cartoon Brew article also features a huge spread of character designs and voice actors from the film. Look for it this winter.

image c. 2017 Blue Sky Studios

The Wolves of Ireland

Cartoon Brew has a first look at Tomm Moore’s latest animated feature called Wolfwalkers. Mr. Moore, you may recall, is the Irish animation director responsible for The Book of Kells and Song of the Sea, both of which won praises from furry fans and animation lovers the world over. This new feature sounds even more anthropomorphic: “Wolfwalkers tells the story of 11-year-old Robyn Goodfellow, a young apprentice hunter who comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack of wolves. Her life changes though after she saves a native girl, Mebh, which leads to her discovery of the Wolfwalkers and transforms her into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.” The article includes a teaser trailer the creators just recently released.

image c. 2017 Cartoon Saloon