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Movie News

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

Adventures in the Great… Hotel Chain?

Well this is certainly something different… You may be aware that Great Wolf Lodges, the furry-leaning chain of hotel resorts and indoor water parks, have a collection of mascot animal characters that are an integral part of the experience when you stay there. Well now Great Wolf Resorts, the parent company of the Lodges, have commissioned an animation company to create a feature film of those characters — a film they intend to show at the Lodges themselves later this year. From Animation World Network: “Helmed by animation director Chris Bailey, the film debuts on September 3 in all 19 Great Wolf Lodge resort locations across North America. It will also be available on Great Wolf Entertainment’s new YouTube channel for a limited time… The movie tells the story of five unlikely woodland friends who form an unbreakable Pack while venturing out on adventures to help others in need. Starring the resort’s signature characters, Wiley Wolf, Violet Wolf, Oliver Raccoon, Sammy Squirrel, and Brinley Bear, the furry friends have been updated with a new hand-drawn look and angular style for their big screen debut.” Check out the trailer as well.

image c. 2022 Great Wolf Entertainment

Monsters of the Deep… or Not?

For a while we had been hearing about the film The Sea Beast, but we didn’t know much about it other than it has a little girl and a big monster. Turns out that this animated feature is the latest work of writer and director Chris Williams, who previously gave us Moana and Big Hero 6 for Disney. Now with the help of Sony Imageworks he has brought this new film to Netflix, and the results are quite an eyeful! In a world much like our own but different, sailing ships and sailing crews travel the seas to hunt and destroy giant ship-crunching monsters… that is, until one day when an eager young girl stows away on the greatest monster-hunter ship, and things begin to rapidly change. The film is quite notable for the ethnic and sexual diversity of its animated cast. But of course, what furry fans are here to see are the kaiju-like sea monsters, and they do not disappoint. In fact, the young girl (and soon others) quickly learn that the giant monsters humans have been fighting may be far more than they appear to be… Check this one out. It’s currently streaming.

image c. 2022 Netflix

He’s Out To Impress

And once again, thanks to Animation World Network for pointing us at something we might have missed otherwise — Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience. (Top that for a title!) “Get ready because a rock opera like no other is coming, based on Mo Willems’ New York Times best-selling picture book of the same name… The animated musical event is a fun and funny tale about a sensitive, curious, and rockin’ Naked Mole Rat named Wilbur (voiced by Jordan Fisher) who ‘scandalously’ decides to (gasp!) get dressed! See what happens when Wilbur’s newfound love of rocking outfits rocks Naked Mole Rat society to its core.” It’s already up and running on HBO Max. Seriously, you have to see the trailer to believe it! And even then…

image c. 2022 Cartoonito

Duck, Duck… Duck

Now we’re getting word on Illumination’s next animated feature project. We got this from Deadline: Migration is billed as a modern-day comedy following a family of ducks who convince their overprotective father to go on the vacation of a lifetime as they attempt to migrate from New England, through New York City, and ultimately down to the Bahamas. Oscar nominee Benjamin Renner (Ernest et Célestine) is directing the pic from an original screenplay by Mike White (School of Rock, The White Lotus).” They migrate this way in December of 2023.

image c. 2022 Illumination

And He Sings, Too

You may have heard about the upcoming movie adaptation of Bernard Waber‘s bestselling and beloved book Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. Well now Sony Pictures has dropped the first teaser trailer for the film, directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck (both of whom recently worked on Hit Monkey). Turns out that star Javier Bardem does not voice Lyle, the crocodile from New York — that honor goes to singer Shawn Mendes. Bardem instead plays the impresario who is trying to make Lyle into a star — if the big reptile can avoid New York Animal Control, that is. Lyle, Lyle comes to theaters this October.

image c. 2022 Sony Pictures

One Little Ape with a Big Responsibility

Recently at the Annecy animation festival, GCI Film gave a first glimpse of their new feature film Ozi: Voice of the Forest, directed by Tim Harper. “The independently financed feature follows the journey of a teenage orangutan, Ozi, and her friends, who set out on a voyage of discovery across the rainforest in a quest to find her parents in a land that has fallen victim to deforestation. Supported by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions, and Academy Award-winning producer, Mike Medavoy, the feature brings to light critical issues as the world’s rainforests face ever-growing levels of deforestation and its impact on the ecosystems within. The voice cast includes Amandla Stenberg as Ozi, Laura Dern, RuPaul, Donald Sutherland, and Djimon Hounsou. Harper helms the project alongside creators Keith Chapman (Paw Patrol, Bob the Builder) and Rodrigo Blaas (Pixar’s Wall-E, Finding Nemo). Emmy Award-winning Ricky Roxburgh (Tangled, Spy Kids) wrote the original screenplay.” The film is currently in production. Stay tooned.

image c. 2022 GCI Film

More Equal Than The Others?

Over the years there have been many adaptations of satirist George Orwell’s famous work Animal Farm, both on stage and on screen. Most often, each of them have deviated in some way from the author’s original story, an allegory for the Russian Revolution and the subsequent rise of centralized power under Joseph Stalin. Now we’ve been informed by Animation World Network that Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle) and his company The Imaginarium have joined up with Aniventure (Riverdance) to create a new CGI version of the story that Mr. Serkis will direct. It’s currently in production at Cinesite. No word on a release date — yet!

image c. 2022 The Imaginarium