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2D

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

Kiff is Spiff

Looking further ahead with Animation World Network. News from Annecy 2021: “Disney Channel has ordered Kiff, a nutty animated buddy-comedy series from South African creators and executive producers Lucy Heavens (Space Chickens in Space) and Nic Smal (Caillou), set to debut in 2023… The series follows Kiff, an optimistic squirrel whose best intentions often lead to complete chaos, and her best friend Barry, a sweet and mellow bunny. Set in the bustling mountains, where animals and magical creatures live together in harmony, the series features the duo, who take the town by storm with their endless adventures and zest for life.” So we’ll see you in a couple years then!

image c. 2021 Disney Channel

Can We Have Some Of What THEY Had…?

We’re learning more about Centaurworld, the very colorful and very very strange new animated series created for Netflix by Megan Nicole DongHow to Train Your Dragon 2). Animation World Network describes it like this: “Centaurworld follows a war horse who is transported from her embattled world to a strange land inhabited by silly, singing centaurs of all species, shapes, and sizes. Desperate to return home, she befriends a group of these magical creatures and embarks on a journey that will test her more than any battle she’s ever faced before.” Trust us, that barely scratches the surface of just how odd this beastie is. Check out the trailer on YouTube, or experience the series itself on July 30th.

image c. 2021 Netflix

Mommy is Always Watching. Thank Goodness.

So here we are in April — Let’s talk about rabbits! Specifically The Runaway Bunny. We got this from Animation World Network: “First published in 1942, The Runaway Bunny is one of the many iconic children’s books by famous Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown; its poetry tells the story of a young bunny anxious to leave home and adventure out into the world beyond his rabbit hole, while also discovering the unending reach of his mother’s protection and love… Amy Schatz, documentary and short film producer and director, has spent the last year working with animator Maciek Albrecht to reimagine the classic 48-page tale into a 25-minute, 2D-animated musical, which premiered yesterday, March 25, on HBO Max.” Read the article to find out more.

image c. 2021 HBO Max

New Animation from California

Gas Money Pictures is a new animation production studio in Southern California. Currently they have several nearly-completed 2D projects, plus several more in development. And wouldn’t you know it, several of the things they’re working on happen to be very anthropomorphic. Check out Mr. Wiggles Saves The World: “An all-ages family show about a friendly alien who finds himself trapped in the family dog while trying to literally save the world.” Straightforward enough. There’s also Little Blue, an animated feature film about a family dog, and something called Punk Rock Possum. Their web site has information about all this and more, plus they have a Vimeo page where you can see their works in progress.

image c. 2109 Gas Money Pictures

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

Aw, the Brits Get Everything!

This came out of nowhere, but we have an excuse: I appears to be a UK exclusive. Here’s what we got from Animation World Network: “Disney UK has announced that Paloma Faith, Miriam Margolyes, Ben Bailey Smith, Tameka Empson and Bethan Wright have signed up for a ‘spot’ on Disney Channel’s brand new animation series, 101 Dalmatian Street, and will be featured in the first season which is set to launch on Disney Channel UK early next year. Ahead of the season premiere, there will be a special episode, airing in December 2018, which will introduce audiences to the unique characters and world of 101 Dalmatian Street. The U.K. guest stars will be joining Josh Brener as Dylan (Silicon Valley, Star Wars Resistance, The Big Bang Theory), Michaela Dietz as Dolly (Steven Universe, Barney & Friends) who voice the eldest Dalmatian siblings… Aimed at girls and boys, the new series has been reimagined for the 21st Century and is set in modern day London in the borough of Camden. The series follows the adventures of eldest siblings Dylan and Dolly, their parents Doug and Delilah, and 97 younger puppies, whose names also begin with ‘D’, in an epic comedy about family life, multiplied one hundred and one.” The article has a whole bunch more about the voice actors and the production team. Who knows? Maybe Disney will let us folks in North America see this sometime.

image c. 2018 Disney Channel UK

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

New Furry TV from Dreamworks

According to an article at Animation Scoop, we (or at least Amazon Prime Video subscribers) have not one but two new TV series from Dreamworks Animation to look forward to. First off are the brand new 2D adventures of none other than Rocky and Bullwinkle, set to premier this May. “The world-famous talking moose and flying squirrel are back in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, a serialized comedy about two goofball best friends who routinely find themselves thrust into harrowing situations but end up saving the day time and again… The series is executive produced by Scott Fellows (The Fairly OddParents, Big Time Rush) and Tiffany Ward, daughter of the original series producer Jay Ward, and features Tara Strong (The Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans Go!) as the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel, Brad Norman (America’s Most Haunted) as Bullwinkle J. Moose, Ben Diskin (Hey Arnold!) as Boris Badenov, Rachel Butera (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Natasha Fatale, Piotr Michael (Impress Me, MADtv) as Fearless Leader, and Daran Norris (The Fairly OddParents) as the Narrator.” Then, there’s a brand new TV series based on the Kung Fu Panda movies. “Later in 2018, Prime Video will premiere Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, an epic adventure series from Emmy Award-winning executive producers Mitch Watson and Elliott Owen (All Hail King Julien), and Lane Lueras (The Adventures of Puss in Boots). When four panda kids stumble upon a mystical cave beneath Panda Village, accidentally absorbing the chi of ancient and powerful kung fu warriors known as the Four Constellations, they must realize a destiny to save the world from an evil force. Meanwhile, Po finds himself faced with his biggest challenge yet — teaching this ragtag band of kids how to wield their newfound powers.” Much to keep your eyes out for! No previews for Paws of Destiny yet, but the article has a preview video of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

image c. 2018 Dreamworks