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Television

Kitty with some Famous Parents…

There’s an extensive article over at Animation Scoop about the new Amazon Prime animated series Pete the Cat, based on the popular children’s books by James Dean. Check out the voice actor list too! “Pete the Cat is a fun, musically driven series about exploring your world and trying new things, while being smart, accepting, and optimistic. Whether you’re making new friends or facing all of life’s ups and downs, Pete always finds a way to put a groovy spin on things. The series stars Jacob Tremblay (Room) as Pete the Cat, and musicians Diana Krall and Elvis Costello as his Mom and Dad. Pete the Cat features original music from Grammy Award-winners Costello and Krall, which will also be available to stream via Amazon Music. Jessica Biel (The Illusionist), Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) and internationally acclaimed musician KT Tunstall also star in the series… Pete the Cat… is developed by Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (Phineas and Ferb) and Appian Way Production Company.” There’s a preview video too.

image c. 2018 Appian Way

A Cat For Our Times

So Animation Magazine lead us to discover Krocchi the Street Cat, a new animated character brought to us by Nurue in Japan. Here’s what they say: “Krocchi is a tough cat who’s seen a lot, a new type of hero for children who teaches them to have a strong heart that never gives up, no matter how bad things get. Through this series children will learn creativity, and how to invent games with natural materials like grass and plants. And by dancing with Krocchi, they can have fun exercising too.” Besides the animated series for preschoolers, Nurue has also created a line of Krocchi artwork and plush toys.  Currently they’re seeking international distribution, and they’ve had some success in Asia.

image c. 2018 Nurue, Inc.

Big Dino, Little Dinos

Here’s a new TV series we found out about through Animation magazine: Gigantosaurus, produced by Cyber Group Studios. “Growing up in the Cretaceous is no mean feat for kids! New volcanoes popping up all the time, long-necked brachiosauruses, meteor showers, enormous triceratopses and… the big bad Gigantosaurus, as the kids would say. Gigantosaurus isn’t actually very well-known but the mere mention of his name is enough to conjure up a range of (conflicting) emotions in our four young (dinosaur) friends: Fear (Bill), fascination (Rocky), laughter (Tiny), and scientific interest (Mazu). In short, Gigantosaurus represents four different ways of finding out more about the world when you’re between 4 and 6 years old.” According to their web site it’s all “based on a book written by the multi-awarded children novelist Jonny Duddle”. Gigantosaurus has already been sold to Disney Junior for worldwide distribution, and it’s in production now. And as you can see from their site, Cyber Group Studios have several other shows of furry fan interest in production as well.

image c. 2018 Cyber Group Studios

The Little Creatures Don’t Know They’re Ugly

Looks like the popularity of the Uglydolls plush toy line continues to grow. After a graphic novel series several years ago, now there’s a new TV series in production for the Hulu network. According to an article at Deadline, STX will be producing the TV series and also has exclusive rights to the feature film which is also in production (and has been for some time). “Created as a plush toy line by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, the Uglydoll brand quickly gained a cult following around the world and was named Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association in 2006. Uglydoll characters are distinct for their endearing ‘ugliness’, in a wonderful ‘uglyverse’ where differences are celebrated and embraced.” Look for both the feature and the series in 2019.

image c. 2018 STX

Delivering Fun to Kids

And yet more from Animation World Network. (Sheesh, there’s a lot coming down the pipe!) Guru Studios (home of the popular PAW Patrol) have a new animated series in production called Pikwik, aimed at the preschool set. “In the town of Pikwik, every day is a new surprise as thoughtful Suki the Hedgehog leads her team, Trevor the Racoon, Hazel the cat, and Tibor the hippo to help deliver surprise-filled parcels to the colorful residents. The 11-minute stories are packed with silly hijinks, big adventure, and heartfelt charm that will entertain preschoolers while underscoring the value of team work, responsibility, and critical thinking.” For once, there are actually plans to release this new series in the US — on Disney Junior, in fact, starting in 2019.

image c. 2018 Guru Studios

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind

We know, we know… Another item of interest at Animation World Network: It seems that Animal Planet will soon premier a new series with the rather straightforward title of Celebrity Animal Encounters. The premise is simple: Various celebrities sit down and talk about various encounters with various non-human animals, domesticated and otherwise… and their stories are then illustrated in a variety of mad animation styles. “Celebrity Animal Encounters began as a short-form digital series on Facebook Watch that drew in nearly four million views over the course of its four-episode run. It is being produced by Asylum Entertainment with the animation provided by Octopie Studios.” The new series starts up later this month, but you can check out the preview video now.

image c. 2018 Asylum Entertainment

Fabulous Werewolf

We haven’t heard of Flying Bark Productions before, but according to Animation World Network it sounds like we should start paying attention to them! The studio is hard at work on a CGI feature film called 100% Wolf, which they plan to follow with a TV series of the same name immediately after.  The plot? “Lovers of surreal, laugh-out-loud animation should enjoy this comedy series about Freddy Lupin, an 11-year-old boy set to turn into a werewolf, just like everyone else in his family. But things don’t go as planned when Freddy turns into an adorable poodle instead.” Got that? Interesting thing is the feature and series are based on a popular Australian children’s novel by Jayne Lyons. No word yet on distribution, but the film and series are scheduled to be complete in 2019.

image c. 2018 Flying Bark Productions

Keeping The Fog At Bay

Animation World Network recently published an article of interest to fans of traditional 2D animation — and funny animals. Tonko House has released a full episode of its new series Pig: The Dam Keeper Poems on-line for a limited time. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, here’s this: “Previously only available in Japan via production partner Hulu, The Dam Keeper Poems is based on the studio’s 2014 Oscar-nominated short film The Dam Keeper. Directed by former Pixar artists Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, The Dam Keeper tells the story of Pig, an introverted youth who lives in a windmill and keeps a dark fog from engulfing his town. Although socially rejected by his peers, he is befriended by the artistic Fox. The Dam Keeper Poems is a 10-episode series written and directed by Tonko House’s Erick Oh, who also served as Animation Supervisor of the original short film. Seen through Pig’s youthful perspective, with abstract and surreal visuals, the dialog-free series is centered around the friendship between Pig and Fox as Pig remembers how he became the Dam Keeper.” There’s a link in the article, but remember this is only available for a short while.

image c. 2018 Tonko House

Birds of a Feather, Hiding Together

We learned about this through Cartoon Brew, though it’s been turning up in multiple places. It seems that the Disney Company has produced a new animated TV series based on the 1944 Donald Duck feature The Three Caballeros.  But here’s the strange thing: The new series, Legends of the Three Caballeros, is only available through the Disneylife app — and only in the Philippines to boot. From the CB article: “Frank Angones, a co-producer on the new Ducktales, further commented on his Tumblr that the show has been finished for a while, even before the new Ducktales reboot was produced. He added, ‘It feels sort of like an alternate universe rooted more in the old Donald shorts than anything Barks-related – there’s no sign of Scrooge, the nephews, Gyro, Duckburg, lots of humans everywhere, etc., with April, May, and June standing in for the kid protagonists.'” 2019 is the 75th anniversary of the original film, so folks are hoping Disney will be inspired to release this new series in other parts of the world. Would you look at that: For once, we’re not the only ones whining about cool animation we can’t see in this country!

image c. 2018 Disney Interactive