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One Person’s Meat is Another Person’s… Neighbor?

Voracious is a recent full-color comic book series written by Markisan Naso and illustrated by Jason Muhr and Andrei Tabacaru. The first story arc (Diners, Dinosaurs, & Dives) was the simple (?) story of a young chef who inherits a time travel suit — and uses it to collect dinosaurs he can slaughter and butcher to make new meat for his ailing restaurant. (Not your vegan ed-otter’s cup of tea, but what the hey…) In the second story arc however (Voracious: Feeding Time), things take on a decidedly more anthropomorphic turn: “Hunting dinosaurs and secretly serving them at his restaurant, Fork & Fossil, has helped Chef Nate Willner become a big success. But just when he’s starting to make something of his life, he discovers that his hunting trips with Captain Jim are actually taking place in an alternate reality – an Earth where dinosaurs evolve into Saurians, a technologically advanced race that rules the far future! Some of these Saurians have mysteriously started vanishing from Cretaceous City and the local authorities are hell-bent on finding who’s responsible. Nate’s world is about to collide with something much, much bigger than any dinosaur he’s ever roasted.” Nothing worse than discovering you’re accidentally a serial killer… Feeding Time is available now in a collected edition from Action Lab.

image c. 2017 Action Lab

Fruit of the Looney Tunes

Um, we’ll let the folks at Kechal Comics explain it: “Placed in men’s tightie whitie underwear on a whim by the scientist who captures him, Baxter the monkey does the only logical thing possible – he instantly develops consciousness and the ability to speak. Because… SCIENCE!!! Excited by his discovery, the scientist decides to see if other animals react as well as Baxter. Gaining intelligence, rational thought and an innate understanding of justice and fairnesss. Let’s just say further experiments do not go as well. Join Baxter as he navigates a world he’s just starting to understand, a world full of fearful humans, zany animals, and one seriously deranged bunny rabbit.” See? We told you they’d say it better! Underwars #1 was written by Kevin Joseph and illustrated in black & white by C.M. Brennan, based on a series of paintings he did.

image c. 2017 Kechal Comics

Loving Like Cats and Dogs

Here’s the Plan is a new 2D animated short film from Chile, written and directed by Fernanda Frick. “A married cat-dog couple of cupcake bakers dream of opening their own bakery. One day their oven breaks and they have to postpone their dream in order to earn money and replace it. Somewhere down the line, they drift apart from their dream and from themselves.” It had its world premier at the Nashville International Film Festival last April, and it’s been making the rounds at animation festivals since then. The official web site has a lot more info.

image c. 2017 herestheplanfilm.com

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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

She Followed Them Home One Night

We got this one from Animation magazine too: “BES Animation (Monster Beach) has made a deal with Jetpack Distribution to distribute its new [2D] animated series, Kitty Is Not a Cat, internationally… Kitty Is Not a Cat centers on a co-op of stray cats living together in a dilapidated mansion, left to them by an eccentric baroness. The cats’ life of constant partying is abruptly interrupted when they answer a knock at the door to find ‘Kitty’ — a cute little girl in an orange catsuit who followed one of them home. Determined to behave like a feline and not help the cats find her proper human home, Kitty becomes a part of the ‘family’ with hilarious results.” There’s a preview clip up on YouTube. Par for the course: No word yet on any distribution in North America.

image c. 2017 BES Animation

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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That Spaceship Looks Like A Banana!

Here’s another one that somehow flew over the moon yet under our radar for some time. Rocket Monkeys was a 2D animated series from Canada (they get SO many interesting shows up there!) created by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson. According to Wikipedia, “Brothers Gus and Wally are monkey astronauts. They’re not the brightest or coolest astronauts, but since they’re the only ones around, they are called upon to go into space and carry out different kinds of important missions—including battling rogue black holes and vengeful aliens. Other members of the brothers’ crew include bossy astrophysicist Dr. Chimpsky, who gives the monkeys their assignments; YAY-OK, a devoted robot that is slightly outdated and is the brothers’ only hope to help keep them on course; and Inky, a space octopus and artist who communicates through his ink drawings.” Looks as if the show ended it’s run in the US back in 2016. Fortunately, lots of episodes are still up and about on YouTube.

image c. 2017 Atomic Cartoons

Put A Pug In Your Life

And another studio making the rounds again. This time from France. We learned about TeamTO in 2014 thanks to their feature film Yellowbird. Now they’re back with a television and on-line project that’s getting a lot of press, called Take It Easy Mike. “Described by TeamTO as ‘Tom & Jerry meets silly pet videos’, it turns on Mike, a refined pug with boundless energy and sophisticated tastes who’s dead-set on seducing the neighbor’s lovely dog Cindy. But his best laid plans go awry – thanks to the inopportune appearances of a bunch of trouble-makers: Freddy and Mercury, raccoons; Fluffy the cutest kitten; and a turtle trio – all causing unforeseen twists and turns.” But that’s not the reason this no-dialogue project is turning heads. “…One of the show’s stars – and what really sets it apart and has certainly got TV networks and TeamTO excited – is its photo-realism, fruit of TeamTO’s decade-long push to improve the quality, costs and speed of its physical animation.” Could not find any footage on line though, so it seems as if we’ll have to wait ’till 2018 to see what it’s like.

Image c. 2017 TeamTO

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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