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Television

Two Cups Make… A Pint?

Word has been going around that the Ursa Major Award-nominated video game Cuphead (developed by Studio MDHR) is now being turned into an animated TV series. We got this from Animation World Network: “Netflix has joined forces with King Features on The Cuphead Show!, a new kids series based on the Studio MDHR video game. The show will expand upon the characters and world of Cuphead, with an animation style inspired by the classic Fleischer cartoons from the 1930s… The character-driven comedy follows the unique misadventures of the impulsive Cuphead and his cautious but easily swayed brother Mugman. Through their many misadventures across their surreal home of the Inkwell Isles, they’ve always got one another’s backs. The series will be produced by Netflix Animation and is executive produced by Emmy and Annie Award-winning producer, Dave Wasson (Mickey Mouse Shorts), with Cosmo Segurson (Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling) serving as co-executive producer.” That’s some good talent behind the project! No word on a planned release date yet.

image c. 2019 Studio MDHR

New Take on an Old… Well Actually, Young Iguana

We got this direct from Animation World Network: “Hoho Entertainment has announced they have joined forces with JLI to co-develop and co-produce a brand-new animated preschool series based on the Latin heritage brand Juana la Iguana. In the new series, Juana becomes mentor and guide to youngsters Amazonas and Miguel. She leads them on exciting adventures as they discover the magic and wonder of Estrella Island. Juana shows the kids that kindness and compassion are the problem-solving tools needed to overcome any difficulty.  Heritage brand Juana la Iguana has been a favorite in Latin America for over 20 years. The original Spanish-language character show was created by Tania Gilinski, along with partners Amanda Quijano and Anita Katz – the three Latin American mothers wanted to create a program for children that incorporated both culture and values. The Juana the Iguana series began as three home videos, one of which was second only to The Lion King in sales in Venezuela. It was then picked up by national TV and became a smash hit in home and neighboring Latin America territories.” No word yet on North American distribution for this new series, but we assume the producers would love that.

image c. 2019 Hoho Entertainment

Make ‘Em Laugh

Everyone has been talking about Disney+, the Mouse House’s new attempt to enter the streaming content market in a big way — looking to take on Netflix, Hulu, and all the rest. Well now Animation World Network has let us know about about a new animated series for Disney+ with a very familiar furry angle. “Billy Crystal and John Goodman will reprise their beloved roles as Mike and Sulley in Monsters At Work, a new animated series for families set to premiere on Disney+ in 2020. Produced by Disney Television Animation and inspired by the world of Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award-winning Monsters, Inc., the series picks up six months after the original movie’s story, with the Monsters, Inc. power plant now harvesting the laughter of children to fuel the city of Monstropolis, thanks to Mike and Sulley’s discovery that laughter generates ten times more energy than screams. Monsters At Work follows Tylor Tuskmon (voiced by Ben Feldman), an eager and talented young mechanic on the Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team (MIFT) who dreams of working his way up to the factory Laugh Floor to become a Jokester alongside his idols Mike and Sulley.”  As the article points out, the voice cast includes a lot more familiar and talented names too.

image c. 2019 Pixar

The Girl, the Monster, and pickles

Another new project we found out about thanks to Animation World Network: “Jessy and Nessy is a 40 x 11’ mixed-media preschool series about Jessy, an innately curious little girl and her best friend, Nessy, a five-and-a-half-thousand year old sea monster, with a penchant for pickles… At the heart of the show is Jessy; an inquisitive, fun loving, spectacle wearing six-year-old, who happens to see the world a little differently through her magical glasses, or as Jessy calls them — her ‘Inspectacles’. They allow Jessy to see and talk to all types of animated characters, including Nessy, who lives in a fountain in Cara Park opposite Jessy’s apartment building. Together this unlikely duo explore life’s curiosities like why birds fly south, why things don’t fall up instead of down and even why some people snore? Jessy and Nessy reveal how all these seemingly everyday curiosities have fantastical answers — leading the home viewer to explore their own curiosities and to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.” Look for the new show later this year on Amazon Prime Video.

image c. 2019 JAM Media

Overture. Hit the Lights.

So Animation World Network recently brought us a big announcement from the folks at Warner Brothers.  Here’s the highlights: “Bugs Bunny! Daffy Duck! The Looney Tunes are back! The classic Warner Bros. Animation characters return in Looney Tunes Cartoons, a series of new shortform cartoons debuting at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which runs this year June 10-15. The next chapter of the iconic Looney Tunes story, featuring a cartoonist-driven approach to storytelling, will have its world debut on Monday, June 10, as part of the Opening Ceremony festivities, with Looney Tunes Cartoons shorts playing in front of the previously announced opening film, Playmobil: The MovieLooney Tunes Cartoons is a series of new short form cartoons starring the iconic and beloved Looney Tunes characters. With a crew of some of the premiere artists working in animation today, each ‘season’ will produce 1,000 minutes of all-new Looney Tunes animation that will be distributed across multiple platforms — including digital, mobile and broadcast.” We’ll see how things work out this time. We know from several recent attempts at “new” Looney Tunes that the old Warner Brothers magic is hard to recreate — especially the timing. Stay tooned.

image c. 2019 Warner Brothers

Two Birdies Are Back (and there’s gonna be trouble!)

Wow — it’s been more than a year since we first mentioned Tuca & Bertie, the new adult animated TV created by Bojack Horseman production designer Lisa Hanawalt. Now, finally, we have a release date! Look for it on May 3rd, coming to Netflix. Oh, what’s it about? Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and Ali Wong star as a pair of bird women who are best friends — despite one of them being outgoing and sexually adventurous while the other one is, well, not. Animation World Network has a detailed preview and a YouTube link.

image c. 2019 Netflix

Shaggy (and the) Dog

Here we go again! We got this from Complex.com: “Scooby-Doo will make its return to the big screen with an animated movie set to star Gina Rodriguez, Tracy Morgan, and Will Forte, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film — directed by Tony Cervone, the producer behind the television series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated — is currently untitled. Forte is set to play the titular dane’s best friend Shaggy, Rodriguez will voice Velma, and Morgan will be non-Mystery Gang member Captain Caveman [!]. Frank Welker, who’s worked with the franchise since 1972-73’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies, will play the role of Scooby-Doo. For this case, the gang will reportedly team up with other Hanna-Barbera universe heroes to save the world from the corrupt plans of Dick Dastardly, the main villain of fellow Hanna-Barbera classic, Wacky Races [!!]. The project, which is set to hit theaters May 2020, will be the first time Scooby Doo takes the silver screen since the 2004 live-action film, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.” Sounds like they’re getting much more ambitious with their universe now! We found other talk on-line about this this movie project that gave it the title of S.C.O.O.B. Guess we’ll find out next year!

image c. 2019 Hanna Barbera

Are You Offended?

Look, we’re just going to quote this direct from the folks over at Cartoonbrew — no way we could explain it any better. “Four new animated series based on Marvel characters are in the works at Hulu. The shows will collectively lead up to a special event bringing them all together titled The Offenders. All of these projects will target mature audiences. Jordan Blum (American Dad!) and comedian/actor Patton Oswalt are writing M.O.D.O.K., about an evil mastermind with limited body mass and big plans. Hit Monkey, with Josh Gordon and Will Speck as writers, follows a Japanese snow monkey transformed into a vengeful assassin in Tokyo’s criminal underworld. Set in Los Angeles, Tigra & Dazzler Show follows a pair of ‘woke’ female heroes pushing to stand out in a city full talented people. Comedian Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) have been tasked with writing the project. Lastly, there is Howard the Duck, centered on the publisher’s notorious anthropomorphic bird trapped in the human world. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Dave Willis (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) are writing this dark comedy and will also executive produce. Comic writer Jeph Loeb (also a producer on Smallville and Lost) will act as executive producer on all four projects, as well as the crossover finale. No writers have been announced yet for the crossover finale, in which all of these characters will ‘form a team no one asked for’ to save the world.” Got all that? No word yet on a release date for these shows, but we’ll be watching!

image c. 2019 Hulu

Little Bear in London

And more good news coming to us from Animation World Network: “STUDIOCANAL, Nickelodeon, and award-winning producer David Heyman have announced a global deal and released a first look for a brand-new Paddington (working title) television series for preschoolers. Actor Ben Whishaw (Paddington 1 & 2) will reprise his role as the beloved voice of the title character in the new CG-animated series, which follows the adventures of a younger Paddington. Paddington will air on Nickelodeon’s networks worldwide in 2020… Fully animated in 3D, the new Paddington series sees a younger Paddington writing to Aunt Lucy from Windsor Gardens. Each episode will open and close with Paddington’s letters as he tells Aunt Lucy what he has learned about life through the day’s new exciting adventure.” Check out the article for more. Looking forward to this!

image c. 2019 STUDIOCANAL