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Top Cat on Facebook

More interesting news from Cartoon Brew: If you haven’t heard, Illusion Studios in Mexico is currently working to animate a new hand-drawn 3D cartoon film starring Hanna Barbera’s famous character Top Cat — and his friends, of course.  Don Gato y su Pandilla is set to premier this fall… and now it turns out the film has its own Facebook page.  True, it’s in Spanish, but it might be worth a “Like” to keep track of the film’s progress.


image c. 2011 Illusion Studios

Big Movie News for the Fall

A pair of big announcements from our friends at Cartoon Brew: Warner Brothers has just released the first teaser trailer for Happy Feet 2, set to premiere this November. No word yet on the sequel’s plot, but it has been confirmed that Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, and Magda Szubanski will reprise their roles from the first film, along with new voices Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Hank Azaria, and Pink. Also from Cartoon Brew recently: “Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa are back and better than ever this fall when Disney’s The Lion King roars into theaters and homes in breathtaking 3D. A special two-week theatrical extravaganza kicks off Sept. 16, 2011, showcasing the Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film on the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ for the first time ever, and its highly anticipated home entertainment debut kicks off October 4, celebrating the Diamond Edition release of the epic movie The Lion King in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™.”

Brand-New Coyote and Roadrunner

If you head to out see Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, you’ll find a surprise in front of it: Coyote Falls, a new 3D CGI Warner Brothers cartoon starring Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. It’s the first of three such new 3-minute cartoons that Warner Brothers is releasing in front of new feature films.  According to, “This is the first Looney Tunes short produced by Sam Register’s new Warner Bros. Animation division. (BTW, the film is simply a Warner Bros. Cartoon with no Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies designation). Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone are supervising producers along with Allison Abbate (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Corpse Bride, Iron Giant). Matthew O’Callaghan (Curious George) directed in respectful homage to Chuck Jones.” Cartoon Brew also has an exclusive clip from the short.

From "Coyote Falls", c. 2010 Warner Brothers

Yogi Bear. In 3D.

In the “Where the heck did this come from?” department… Warner Brothers is releasing a new live-action-with-CGI Yogi Bear movie this coming December 17th. Starring as the voice of the animated Yogi is none other than Dan Aykroyd, with Justin Timberlake (!) as the voice of Yogi’s little bear-friend Boo-Boo. And yes, it’s all about grabbing pic-a-nic baskets and running away from Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh). The new Real-3D film is directed by Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth). You can check out the brand new trailer on YouTube and see what you think.

New Hollywood Hopefuls…

Last week, Jim Hill’s daily blog presented his review of the recent Licensing International Expo, held at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. This is the annual show where t-shirt, candy, toy and a zillion other manufacturers look for “the next big thing” to put on their products before they get sold to the rest of us. And of course Hollywood studios are there in force, promoting their new upcoming movies and TV series to all the makers of tie-in merchandise. Among the interesting new items being presented: Dreamworks Animation was there advertising their new 3D Shrek spin-off movie that tells the origin of Puss in Boots; as well as Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, the new sequel which features (along with the original voice cast) newcomer Gary Oldman as “a peacock who is far more than he seems”.  20th Century Fox was there advertising the 4th film in the Ice Age series, Continental Drift; as well as the upcoming “three-quel” for Alvin and the Chipmunks called Chip-Wrecked.  Before that new Ice Age film though comes Rio, Blue Sky’s next 3D project coming out next April. (If you haven’t heard of it, the film is about a nerdy macaw who can’t fly — but who gets a chance to escape when he visits his species’ native Brazil. It stars the voices of Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jamie Foxx, and Will-I-Am. Check out the trailer on YouTube.) Illumination Entertainment (the same house that animated this year’s film Despicable Me for Universal) is hard at work on an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ environmental fable The Lorax, scheduled for release in March of 2012 (also from Universal). And of course (as we’ve reported before) this December Fox will be releasing Walden Media’s long-awaited third entry in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. And then, there’s the live-action Smurfs movie coming from Sony in 2011… but let’s not go there, shall we?

New CGI Wolves

Can you tell who’s been under the weather for a few days?  Well now…

Stumbled across a new CGI film to be hitting our shores this September. A 3D feature from India no less, created by Crest Animation Studios. Alpha and Omega is in English though, produced by Richard Rich (The Swan Princess), directed by Anthony Bell (The Boondocks) and Ben Gluck (Brother Bear 2), and released by Lionsgate. The story revolves around a pair of wolves living in the wild in Canada. Kate (voiced by Hayden Panettiere) is a responsible pack leader, while Humphrey (voiced by Justin Long) lives just for fun, frolic, and friends — alpha and omega, get it? Kate’s father has arranged for her to be mated to the alpha male of another pack in order to prevent an inter-pack war. That plan is put in jeopardy, though, when both Kate and Humphrey are captured by humans and transferred to Idaho as part of a wolf re-introduction program. Can they make it back to their pack in time to prevent war? The trailer for this new film is up on YouTube.

The Power of the Viewing Public…

We can’t put this any better, so we’re lifting this verbatim from Box Office Guru:

“The big story this weekend came in third place [behind Date Night and Clash of the Titans — ye ed-otter] where the 3D animated film How To Train Your Dragon witnessed a remarkably low 13% decline in its third round for an estimated $25.4M gross boosting the 17-day total to a terrific $133.9M. Short-sighted film industry watchers and impatient Wall Street investors prematurely dismissed Dragon and DreamWorks Animation after its less-than-stellar opening weekend two weeks ago. The company’s stock dropped 8% on the first trading day after the debut with analysts lowering their estimates for the final domestic take to just $152M. Dragon will now crush that mark next weekend and looks on course to break the $200M barrier too becoming the second biggest 3D toon of all-time behind just the $293M of Up. Beating Pixar’s Oscar winner may not be possible, but outgrossing other competitors like Monsters vs. Aliens, Ice Age 3, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs makes Dragon a powerful performer. The PG-rated film was indeed slow out of the gate, but amazing word-of-mouth coupled with school holidays for spring have made Dragon the must-see film for kids and parents. Competition for families and 3D screens remains extremely light for the next five weeks so the Viking pic’s strong run should continue. Reaching $250M cannot be ruled out at this point given the road ahead since Dragon will be able to earn at least five times its opening figure, if not more.”

In other words, keep spreading that amazing word-of-mouth, people!

Training Dragons

Anticipations are running high for Dreamworks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon, which hits movie screens this Friday, March 26th. As of this writing the film has a 100% “fresh” / 0% “rotten” rating at Rotten — likely to go down as more reviews come in, of course, but still one heck of a high to be starting from. Many critics have noted the flying sequences in this 3D CGI film to be especially exciting. If you’ve not heard, the story follows the adventures of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), a young viking in a land constantly at war with various species of fire-breathing dragon. When Hiccup’s new invention — a sort of bolo-catapult — injures a young dragon, the human is surprised to find himself befriending the beast (he names it “Toothless”).  In the process, Hiccup finds out far more about dragons and his own people than he ever expected. Of course, getting humans together with unusual non-human friends is nothing new for directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders: They’re the team that gave us Disney’s Lilo and Stitch.


Furry fans all know that the real break-out star of Disney-Pixar’s summer smash film, Up, was Dug the dog. For heaven’s sake, he’s got his own Facebook page! Now Dug and his pack of servant dogs, all fitted with their high-tech talking collars, find themselves starring in Dug’s Special Mission, a new CGI short film that will accompany Up on the new DVD and Blue-Ray release. Directed by Ronnie Del Carmen (who worked in the story department on Up), this new short tells the story of what happened right before Dug met Carl Fredricksen and intrepid explorer Russell… when Dug, on his birthday, is wishing for a new master who would be less cruel and maniacal than the one he had before.  Dug himself, of course, is voiced again by Up co-director Bob Peterson. The new DVD/Blue-Ray will be available November 10th.

Dug, dog.  He just met you, and already he loves you.

Dug, dog. He just met you, and already he loves you.