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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

She Knows Her Cute

Katie Cook is best known among Furry Fans for her work as a writer and artist on both My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comics and for her own creation, Gronk. Being something of an expert on drawing adorable things, now she’s written and illustrated an instructional book called Drawing Cute (from Impact Books). “Master of cute Katie Cook teaches you how to draw everything adorable in her first tutorial book with quick and easy-to-follow step-by-step lessons. All you need is a pencil and paper…or a napkin or a wall, depending on how confident you are in your drawing ability. Learn how to turn curvy blobs, shapes and squiggles into more than 200 different things, including fuzzy animals, cute food and inanimate objects like yarns balls, luggage and a toaster. Add nubbins, swishy bits, and little smiley faces to anything and everything to transform it into something really, really cute.” It’s available now from Amazon.

image c. 2018 Impact Books


But the Cat Came Back

Screen Daily has an article about 10 Lives, a new CGI feature film created by some familiar names. “The film is the second to be produced as part of a joint venture between Chinese animation outfit Original Force and GFM Animation. The first, Duck Duck Goose, will be distributed in China by Wanda Pictures and in the UK by Entertainment Film Distributors… 10 Lives is produced by Penney Finkelman Cox (Shrek) and Adam Zhang, senior vice president of Original Force. The story follows a once scrawny shelter kitten that now leads a pampered life after being adopted. Everything changes when he loses his ninth life. In the afterlife, he escapes and cheats his way into another cycle of nine lives, but he doesn’t realise that each of the nine lives will see him return as a different animal.” As you can see from the article, the film has already set up distribution throughout much of the world — but no word yet about North America. You can just bet, though, that a US or Canada deal is going to hinge on how well Duck Duck Goose does at the box office later this year.

image c. 2018 GFM Animation

Teenage Girls and Their Friends

Over at Cartoon Brew there’s an article about two new animated TV series coming to The Disney Channel in 2019. They have some interesting things in common: Both feature teenage human females transported to an unearthly other realm, and both have been created by storyboard artists who worked on the wildly-popular series Gravity Falls. One is a bit anthro, and one is very anthro! The former would be Owl House, created by Dana Terrace. “The show follows Luz, a self-assured teenager who accidentally enters a portal to the Demon Realm where she befriends a rebellious witch, Eda, and a tiny warrrior, King. Though she lacks any magical abilities, Luz pursues her dream of becoming a witch by apprenticing with Eda, and ultimately finds a new family in an unlikely setting.” On the other paw (flipper?) there’s Amphibia, from Matt Braly. “The show tells the story of Anne Boonchuy, a self-centered teenager who is magically transported to the world of Amphibia, a rural marshland populated by frog-people. There she meets a young frog named Sprig, who will become Anne’s first true friend and help transform her into a hero.” Keep your ear-holes open for some more precise debut dates when we get them.

image c. 2018 Disney TV Animation

Two Birdies on the Town

We actually heard about this from several sources: Tuca & Bertie is a new 2D animated series coming soon to Netflix. It stars comedian Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) as Tuca, “a cocky, care-free toucan who’s friends with a 30-something and anxious songbird (the titular Bertie)”. Ms. Haddish is also executive producer on the show, which was created by BoJack Horseman producer and designer Lisa Hanawalt. AV Club has more information about it, but no premier date yet.

image c. 2018 Netflix

Light the Lights, Baby

Disney Channel is bringing back a childhood memory for many, and perhaps creating new memories for a new generation. This March they will premier a new Muppet Babies TV series as part of their Disney Junior line-up. (If you didn’t know, back in the 1990’s the original Muppet Babies 2D animated series was so successful that it spawned a flood of imitators, including Disney Babies and Warner Brother Babies, no less.) Interestingly, this will be the first Muppet TV series animated in CGI. (Also interesting: Jenny Slate (Dawn Bellwether from Zootopia) is one of the voice actors.) According to Animation Scoop: “Based on the original Emmy Award-winning series, the all-new CG-animated Muppet Babies chronicles the hilarious playroom antics of the young Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and brand-new Muppet Baby, Summer Penguin. The series will feature guest appearances by fan-favorite Muppets including: Statler and Waldorf, Bunsen and Beaker, Rowlf the Dog, Rizzo, and Dr. Teeth. Set in the vibrant playroom of an urban brownstone with an expansive backyard, the Muppet Babies have everything they need at their fingertips to lead them on their fantastical adventures.” The article has a lot more information, and a preview clip as well. Look for the new series to debut March 23rd.

image c. 2018 Disney Channel

Pin Da Bear on your Shirt

Another discovery from Long Beach Comic Expo was Pindabear, home for “super fresh enamel pins”. Featuring designs from anime, American cartoons, Pokemon, and other fannish pursuits. Over at their web site they have all their current designs, and they’re taking orders now for new pins as well as sold-out designs from the past they plan to re-stock real soon.

image c. 2018

Black Ink and Big Creatures

A recent discovery from the Long Beach Comic Expo. Seung Woo Cha currently works as a director at Dreamworks TV… but he is also a fine artist, known for his imaginative depictions of wild life from around the world — especially gorillas and other apes. Often working in black ink, he paints in broad artistic strokes that nonetheless capture the essence and power of his subjects. Recently he collected several of his works together into a hardcover portfolio book, appropriately enough entitled The Art of Wild Life. You can purchase the book over at his web site, and see examples of his work as well.

image c. 2018 Draw 4 Life Studios

Korean Strangeness Comes To America

You may recall that a few years ago Fred Patten wrote an article for about a very, very strange Korean animated film called Satellite Girl and Milk Cow. Here, we’ll let Fred summarize the plot: It’s about “… a pianist (male), transformed into a cow (female) by Merlin the Magician in the form of an anthropomorphic roll of toilet paper, and pursued by a villainous incinerator that wants to incinerate him/her; while a communication satellite falls from space, becomes an Astro Boy-like robot girl, and saves the cow from the incinerator and its secret agents.” Got all that? No? It’s okay, we don’t either. So why bring this up now? Well thanks to Animation World Network we’ve learned that GKIDS has finally picked up the rights for the film, and they will be releasing a subtitled version to theaters and DVD later this summer.

image c. 2018 GKIDS