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2D

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

This Lion is Kuku

We have Fred Patten to thank for this: He pointed us in the direction of Kuku and Mey Mey, a new 2D animated comedy series of shorts created by Anish Patel and realized by HopMotion Animation. Here’s how they describe the show: “On the edge of the wildlife sanctuary that is Kuku’s home, is a famous Jungle Inn. This is Kuku’s hunting ground and the comforts of the Jungle Inn are big game. All Kuku wants to do is sneak into the inn and steal the modern day comforts it has to offer. Meanwhile, the territorial Mey Mey will go to any lengths to stop Kuku from trespassing. Her notorious booby traps are set at every corner to do the trick and embarrass the beast out of Kuku. The result is a chaos laden chase comedy that turns the tables on predator and prey.” Now, about distribution: “The first season of the show has 78 episodes of seven minutes each and is available on North America’s OTT platform Toon Goggles and VOD platform Amazon Prime US, under the title Kuku and the Goat.” Got it? The article over at Animation Xpress has more details and a preview video too.

image c. 2018 HopMotion Animation

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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The Horse Didn’t Do It

Recently on Animation Scoop came the announcement of a new feature-length 2-D animation project called Unstable, which is being developed by “the star studded animation team of Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh (Phineas & Ferb), David Freedman (Groove High) and top BBC Comedy Producer, Gareth Edwards (Mitchell & Webb). The three have been looking for the right project to collaborate on since they all worked on the adult animated animated series The Mr. Hell Show (BBC2 and Showtime) back in 2000. ” Unstable tells the story of a police horse who is accused of a crime he did not commit (“un-stable”, get it?), and of the little girl whom he turns to for help. One of the producers describes the film as “Witness meets Oceans 11 bumps into Madagascar“. The film is being brought to the screen by Peafur Productions.

image c. 2014 Peafur Productions

image c. 2014 Peafur Productions