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Television

Dragons Return — Tomorrow

Exciting news from the world of streaming. “DreamWorks Animation has shared a teaser trailer for the all-new CG animated series Dragons: The Nine Realms. Inspired by the hugely popular How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise, the show premieres on Hulu and Peacock December 23. Set 1,300 years after the events of How to Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth’s surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon a group of misfit kids, brought to the site by their parents, uncover the truth about dragons and where they’ve been hiding — a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they’ve discovered.” Find out more and see the teaser trailer over at AWN.

image c. 2021 Dreamworks

TV for the Young and Young At Heart

Cartoon Brew just announced that Neflix has given the green-light to four new animated TV series for young viewers… and the cool thing is, three of them are quite furry! Check out The Creature Cases, created by Gabe Pulliam. “An animated action-comedy series which follows the adventures of Sam Snow and Kit Casey, agents of CLADE: the Covert League of Animal Detective Experts. In a world populated exclusively by animals, these brilliant sleuths travel the globe solving mind-boggling mysteries that mix real zoological facts with wild detective action!” Then there’s Big Tree City: “Hot-sauce volcanoes, biscuit dinosaur mysteries, and exploding soda pop factories; join the wild rescues of Major Prickles and his overzealous team, as they try to save the animal citizens of Big Tree City.” And finally there’s Deepa and Anoop, “An all-new animated preschool series from Mattel Television that follows the adventures of fun-loving seven-year-old Deepa and her best friend Anoop, a color-changing elephant, at Deepa’s family’s bed and breakfast Mango Manor.” All heading our way in 2022.

image c. 2021 Team To

Rodent on the Range

And here we go again… Yet another interesting-sounding anthropomorphic animated project that sounds like it’s being distributed all over the world — but not here in North America. At very least not yet. From Animation World Network: “French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo has secured several deals for Billy the Cowboy Hamster, a preschool 2D animated series commissioned by France Televisions… Directed by the Swiss illustrator Antoine Rota (Kaeeloo) and Caz Murrell, Billy the Cowboy Hamster targets 4- to 7-year-olds. The series, based on the popular book series by Dutch author and illustrator Catharina Valckx, has sold over one million books in France and is popular in many other countries. The show follows three friends, Billy, Jean-Claude the worm, and Suzie the stone marten as they embark on thrill-seeking adventures… In the series, Billy wants to become a cowboy, but he is only a little boy… well a little hamster really! Growing up in the Wild West and raised on the exciting stories told by his father, he has a burning desire to hit the trail! Donning his cowboy outfit, Billy sees every day as a chance to go on an adventure worthy of the greatest cowboys.” The series is in production now. Here’s hoping we get so see it out our way sometime!

image c. 2021 Dandeloo

 

Worry’s For Another Day

Fans of Muppets and Really Good TV: Rejoice! There’s a new book out called Fraggle Rock: The Ultimate Visual History, edited by Noel Murray and Jody Revenson. “It’s been over thirty-five years since the irrepressible Fraggles first hit the screen in the beloved children’s television hit Fraggle Rock. Created by the legendary Jim Henson, along with Michael K. Frith, Jerry Juhl, Duncan Kenworthy, and Jocelyn Stevenson, Fraggle Rock remains a favorite of fans to this day. This delightful volume tells the incredible story of the bighearted show that helped instill open-minded values in a whole generation of viewers. Fraggle Rock: The Ultimate Visual History follows the show’s creation, from early concepts to the incredible puppetry that brought the unforgettable characters, such as Gobo, Red, and Mokey, to life. Exclusive interviews with Stevenson, Frith, Kenworthy, and several other major contributors reveal fascinating, exclusive insights that take the reader further into Jim Henson’s world than ever before.” It’s available later this month, in hardcover from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2021 Simon & Schuster

Go to the Rats. Again.

This one we found thanks to Facebook of all things. Gizmodo has an article about efforts at Fox to bring Robert C. O’Brien’s world of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to television — almost 40 years after Don Bluth and company gave us The Secret of NIMH as an animated film. Here’s what they say about the new project: “NIMH, which seems to be its working title, will be based on Robert O’Brien’s 1971 book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and possibly its two sequels Rasco and the Rats of NIMH and R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH, written by O’Brien’s daughter Jane Leslie Conly after his death. According to Deadline, Fox — already home to animated series Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and more — has already issued a script commitment for the series, but has yet to hire a writer.” They go on to note, “In 2019, the Russo brothers of MCU fame were reportedly going to executive-produce a live-action remake of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH for MGM, which the studio had announced back in 2015. There’s no word on how this new adaptation may affect the former, but there’s also no guarantee Fox’s version will ever get made, either.” We hadn’t heard about that! It’s interesting that Gizmodo remembers Secret of NIMH as “terrifying” for children, whereas most cartoon fans from the time remember it fondly as a giant leap forward for animation, from a time when the industry was not looking all that great in America.

image c. 2021 MGM Studios

The Horse of a New Generation

So, My Little Pony fandom (and the Internet in general!) have been exploding now that Netflix has released the first full trailer for the upcoming My Little Pony: A New Generation. This is Generation 5, if you’re keeping count, and unlike previous generation shifts, this one actually connects to the previous one — as the storyline of Generation 4 (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) takes place in this story’s past history. This is also the first generation of official pony that will be completely animated in CGI. Here’s what we learned from Wikipedia: “My Little Pony: A New Generation is an upcoming computer-animated fantasy comedy film directed by Robert Cullen and Jose Ucha… The film will center on Sunny Starscout, an outcast and young earth pony who sees hope in Equestria where friendship and harmony have been replaced with paranoia and mistrust, and where all three species of ponies live segregated from one another. However, when she meets a lost unicorn named Izzy, the two embark on an adventure involving musical numbers, a jewel heist, conspiracy theories, and ‘the world’s cutest flying Pomeranian’ as they travel to new lands while facing their fears and turning enemies into friends.” There’s a series planned to follow the feature film, but we don’t know much about it yet. What we DO know is that A New Generation is scheduled to drop on Netflix on September 24th.

image c. 2021 Netflix

Cats That You Can’t See — At Least Yet

For those of us of previous generations, this might be a bit hard to follow. But we’ll let Animation World Network explain it: “What’s the kitty been smoking? Fan favorite actress Mila Kunis (That 70’s Show, Family Guy, Bad Moms) has released the new animated series Stoner Cats, by far the highlight of this past month. Kunis teamed with Chris Cartagena (The Grinch), Sarah Cole (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), and Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2) under the Orchard Farm Productions banner to create the show, which features (surprise, surprise) a bunch of weed smokin’ felines.” Here’s the fur-rub though: “Interestingly, the first episode of the series was released as 10,420 NFTs on July 28th, which sold out within 30 minutes. Each episode was sold for .35 ETH, or approximately $8 million in cold hard American dollars. While NFTs are still new, strange, and misunderstood by many, there is a huge market for those wanting to own a piece of entertainment history.” Got all that? Here’s hoping they eventually release the series through other avenues as well.

image c. 2021 Orchard Farm Productions

Sneak Pika

The Internet has been going crazy now that the news has been released that a new Pokemon live action TV series is in early development at Netflix. Here’s what Variety had to say: “As the project is still in its early days, no details are available about the plot. However, sources say that Joe Henderson is attached to write and executive produce. Henderson currently serves as co-showrunner and executive producer on the popular Netflix series Lucifer… Sources also say that the project would be a live-action series akin to the Detective Pikachu film starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith that was released in 2019… The move to develop an original Netflix Pokemon series comes as the streamer has made itself the home to multiple existing Pokemon shows, including Pokemon: Indigo League and Pokemon Journeys among others… Netflix has been moving into more live-action adaptations of anime titles as well, including the upcoming Cowboy Bebop and One Piece live-action shows.” Hope we find out more soon!

image c. 2021 Warner Brothers

Dogs… In… Yeah, you know…

Netflix continues to present us with animation that is at very least worth checking out. The latest is called Dogs in Space. “In this animated comedy adventure, in the not-so-distant future genetically enhanced dogs are sent across the universe in search of a new home for the human race. It’s a giant cosmic game of fetch, as the canines seek a planet that will save humanity and — more importantly — let them return to their beloved owners… The series is created by Jeremiah Cortez, who is also executive producer alongside Adam Henry. The voice cast includes Haley Joel Osment (Kominsky Method), Sarah Chalke, Kimiko Glenn (Into the Spider-Verse), Chris Parnell (Archer), David Lopez, Debra Wilson (MADtv), and William Jackson Harper.According to Animation World Network, Dogs in Space is due on Netflix this fall.

image c. 2021 Netflix