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Animation

SEE the Jungles of South America — Now

You may recall that we’ve been following development of the animated film Koati for some time now. Well recently Animation World Network was kind enough to let us know that now it’s been released in theaters! “Releasing in theaters today, Koati follows the heroic adventure of three unlikely heroes:  Nachi (Sebastián Villalobos), a free-spirited coati; Xochi (Evaluna Montaner), a fearless monarch butterfly; and Pako (Eduardo Franco), a hyperactive glass frog – who embark on an exciting journey to prevent a wicked coral snake named Zaina (Sofía Vergara) from destroying their homeland of Xo. This is the first animated feature film produced by Upstairs, along with Los Hijos de Jack and Latin We. With animation by long-time Disney collaborator Toon City Animation, the film not only features actor Vergara as the film’s main antagonist, but the Modern Family star also serves as executive producer.” IMDB has the film’s official trailer. [ye ed-otter is off for a few days. See you all after BLFC!]

image c. 2021 Upstairs

Dragons Return — Tomorrow

Exciting news from the world of streaming. “DreamWorks Animation has shared a teaser trailer for the all-new CG animated series Dragons: The Nine Realms. Inspired by the hugely popular How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise, the show premieres on Hulu and Peacock December 23. Set 1,300 years after the events of How to Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth’s surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon a group of misfit kids, brought to the site by their parents, uncover the truth about dragons and where they’ve been hiding — a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they’ve discovered.” Find out more and see the teaser trailer over at AWN.

image c. 2021 Dreamworks

TV for the Young and Young At Heart

Cartoon Brew just announced that Neflix has given the green-light to four new animated TV series for young viewers… and the cool thing is, three of them are quite furry! Check out The Creature Cases, created by Gabe Pulliam. “An animated action-comedy series which follows the adventures of Sam Snow and Kit Casey, agents of CLADE: the Covert League of Animal Detective Experts. In a world populated exclusively by animals, these brilliant sleuths travel the globe solving mind-boggling mysteries that mix real zoological facts with wild detective action!” Then there’s Big Tree City: “Hot-sauce volcanoes, biscuit dinosaur mysteries, and exploding soda pop factories; join the wild rescues of Major Prickles and his overzealous team, as they try to save the animal citizens of Big Tree City.” And finally there’s Deepa and Anoop, “An all-new animated preschool series from Mattel Television that follows the adventures of fun-loving seven-year-old Deepa and her best friend Anoop, a color-changing elephant, at Deepa’s family’s bed and breakfast Mango Manor.” All heading our way in 2022.

image c. 2021 Team To

Off With Her Haida!

And now for something quite a bit different… A popular and award-winning anime series takes on a classic of European fantasy with Aggretsuko: Down The Rabbit Hole. “When Retsuko attempts to go on vacation with Gori and Washimi, she’s pulled into a terrible world where she’s forced to work for her freedom. Featuring all of the fan favorite characters from the office in twisted versions of themselves, Aggretsuko must navigate the twists and turns of a world gone mad!” Written and illustrated by Patabot, this new hardcover graphic novel from the folks at Oni Press hits the shelves this October.

image c. 2021 Oni Press

Rodent on the Range

And here we go again… Yet another interesting-sounding anthropomorphic animated project that sounds like it’s being distributed all over the world — but not here in North America. At very least not yet. From Animation World Network: “French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo has secured several deals for Billy the Cowboy Hamster, a preschool 2D animated series commissioned by France Televisions… Directed by the Swiss illustrator Antoine Rota (Kaeeloo) and Caz Murrell, Billy the Cowboy Hamster targets 4- to 7-year-olds. The series, based on the popular book series by Dutch author and illustrator Catharina Valckx, has sold over one million books in France and is popular in many other countries. The show follows three friends, Billy, Jean-Claude the worm, and Suzie the stone marten as they embark on thrill-seeking adventures… In the series, Billy wants to become a cowboy, but he is only a little boy… well a little hamster really! Growing up in the Wild West and raised on the exciting stories told by his father, he has a burning desire to hit the trail! Donning his cowboy outfit, Billy sees every day as a chance to go on an adventure worthy of the greatest cowboys.” The series is in production now. Here’s hoping we get so see it out our way sometime!

image c. 2021 Dandeloo

 

Go to the Rats. Again.

This one we found thanks to Facebook of all things. Gizmodo has an article about efforts at Fox to bring Robert C. O’Brien’s world of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to television — almost 40 years after Don Bluth and company gave us The Secret of NIMH as an animated film. Here’s what they say about the new project: “NIMH, which seems to be its working title, will be based on Robert O’Brien’s 1971 book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and possibly its two sequels Rasco and the Rats of NIMH and R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH, written by O’Brien’s daughter Jane Leslie Conly after his death. According to Deadline, Fox — already home to animated series Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and more — has already issued a script commitment for the series, but has yet to hire a writer.” They go on to note, “In 2019, the Russo brothers of MCU fame were reportedly going to executive-produce a live-action remake of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH for MGM, which the studio had announced back in 2015. There’s no word on how this new adaptation may affect the former, but there’s also no guarantee Fox’s version will ever get made, either.” We hadn’t heard about that! It’s interesting that Gizmodo remembers Secret of NIMH as “terrifying” for children, whereas most cartoon fans from the time remember it fondly as a giant leap forward for animation, from a time when the industry was not looking all that great in America.

image c. 2021 MGM Studios

Mom is a Monkey. Kind of.

Thanks to ASIFA Hollywood we found out about Ape Star, a new Scandinavian animated film directed by Linda Hambäck. Based on a popular children’s book by Frida Nilsson, the set-up is pretty simple: “Joanna is a feisty young orphan who wants to be adopted more than anything else. When her potential new mom drives up to the orphanage, she gets a big shock as the door opens and a talking gorilla steps out.” An English dub is making its way into streaming services now. Take a look at the trailer on YouTube.

image c. 2021 Lee Film

Princess Kitty in Motion

We just got this in from the creator himself, Charles Brubaker: He recently released Katrina The Fuzzy Princess, an 18-minute animated short based on his web comic The Fuzzy Princess. It’s available to see up on YouTube now. “The short focuses on Katrina, a feline princess of St. Paws, who goes on a diplomatic mission to gain alliance with the humans, only to get into misadventures along the way.” Vocal talent includes Emi Koch, Aimee Smith, Ty Konzak, Nyla C., Brittany Ann Phillips, and Michael Malconian.

image c. 2021 by Charles Brubaker

The Front-side of Furry History

If you have not heard of the APA-zine Rowrbrazzle — well, every self-respecting furry fan should. After the famous APA-zine Vootie closed in the late 1970’s, Rowrbrazzle took up the torch of the “new wave” of funny animal art and comics, and in so doing laid the groundwork for much of Furry Fandom to come. It was also a springboard for many creators who went on to much bigger things — artists like Steve Gallacci and Stan Sakai, and big names in animation fandom like Jerry Beck, John Cawley, and Fred Patten. One of the big draws of every Rowrbrazzle issue was the covers — the front cover and covers for each section. And now, MU Press have gathered together a big set of black & white and full-color covers in a new compilation, Covering Rowrbrazzle Volume One, “covering” the first 50 iconic issues. It’s available for sale over at Second Ed.

image c. 2021 by Bill Fitts