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Animation

Delivered On Time — Or Else!

Just got back from Biggest Little Fur Con, and of course we’ve got lots to talk about. But first… Udon Entertainment have released the Samurai Pizza Cats Official Fan Book in North America. What’s that you ask? Well according to Wikipedia, “Kyatto Ninden Teyandee is an anime series produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Sotsu Agency. The series originally aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from February 1, 1990 to February 12, 1991… Saban picked up the North American rights to the series in 1991, and produced an English version called Samurai Pizza Cats.” Honestly, that explanation barely cat-scratches the surface of just how weird and wonderful this series was. Fan interest has not waned over the years, and now there’s a book all about it! “The Samurai Pizza Cats: Official Fan Book is packed with the best toppings: Pinup artwork, character designs and profiles, episode summaries, rough concepts, and exclusive in-depth interviews with the show’s creators and original cast.” Check out the preview over at Comicon.com.

image c. 2019 Udon Entertainment

New Take on an Old… Well Actually, Young Iguana

We got this direct from Animation World Network: “Hoho Entertainment has announced they have joined forces with JLI to co-develop and co-produce a brand-new animated preschool series based on the Latin heritage brand Juana la Iguana. In the new series, Juana becomes mentor and guide to youngsters Amazonas and Miguel. She leads them on exciting adventures as they discover the magic and wonder of Estrella Island. Juana shows the kids that kindness and compassion are the problem-solving tools needed to overcome any difficulty.  Heritage brand Juana la Iguana has been a favorite in Latin America for over 20 years. The original Spanish-language character show was created by Tania Gilinski, along with partners Amanda Quijano and Anita Katz – the three Latin American mothers wanted to create a program for children that incorporated both culture and values. The Juana the Iguana series began as three home videos, one of which was second only to The Lion King in sales in Venezuela. It was then picked up by national TV and became a smash hit in home and neighboring Latin America territories.” No word yet on North American distribution for this new series, but we assume the producers would love that.

image c. 2019 Hoho Entertainment

Flavorz of the Week

At WonderCon we came across an artist known as Jo2, who creates art under the name Artistic Flavorz. As you can see from their web site, they specialize in especially cute, chibi versions of characters from many places — but with a particular affinity for Disney and Harry Potter. Visit them to see what they offer in greeting cards, stickers, and especially enamel pins.

image c. 2019 by Artistic Flavorz

Make ‘Em Laugh

Everyone has been talking about Disney+, the Mouse House’s new attempt to enter the streaming content market in a big way — looking to take on Netflix, Hulu, and all the rest. Well now Animation World Network has let us know about about a new animated series for Disney+ with a very familiar furry angle. “Billy Crystal and John Goodman will reprise their beloved roles as Mike and Sulley in Monsters At Work, a new animated series for families set to premiere on Disney+ in 2020. Produced by Disney Television Animation and inspired by the world of Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award-winning Monsters, Inc., the series picks up six months after the original movie’s story, with the Monsters, Inc. power plant now harvesting the laughter of children to fuel the city of Monstropolis, thanks to Mike and Sulley’s discovery that laughter generates ten times more energy than screams. Monsters At Work follows Tylor Tuskmon (voiced by Ben Feldman), an eager and talented young mechanic on the Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team (MIFT) who dreams of working his way up to the factory Laugh Floor to become a Jokester alongside his idols Mike and Sulley.”  As the article points out, the voice cast includes a lot more familiar and talented names too.

image c. 2019 Pixar

Too Chicken To Fly?

Animation World Network let us know about a new European animated firm called Ploey. Unlike the usual animated film we whine about, this one seems to have already found US distribution! “When a young flightless plover chick named Ploey gets separated from his family, he must undertake a dangerous journey to a legendary valley in order to save his loved ones from falling prey to an evil falcon… A co-production between the animation division of Iceland’s GunHil‘s and Belgium-based studio Cyborn, Ploey is written by Friðrik Erlingsson and directed by Árni Ásgeirsson. The CG animated feature is set to take wing in the U.S. in April both on DirecTV and in theaters.” The article includes more artwork and clips. Seems like it’ll be flying in soon!

image c. 2019 Cyborn

The Dragon is Ohana

Another artist we ran into at WonderCon: Denae Frazier. She does fine art and pin-ups on many subjects both fannish and “mundane”, but what really caught our eye right off the bat was her affinity for both Disney’s Stitch (of Lilo & Stitch) and Dreamworks’ Toothless (of How to Train Your Dragon)… individually, and together! (Has she met Chris Sanders? Probably!) In fact she’s complete so many pictures of those two together that she created a calendar for 2020 featuring those prints. Check out her web site to see those and more.

image c. 2019 by Denae Frazier

The Man With Patience

You may recall about three years ago when we introduced you to Charles Thurston and his hand-made books for young kids, introducing them to various nerdy topics and story settings. Well we ran into Mr. Thurston at WonderCon and discovered his latest project: Detailed artwork created entirely with hand-cut pieces of paper. A very, very time-consuming way to create — and he does it well. Fortunately for us, many of his works are also available in less-fragile print versions. Visit his web site to see what we mean.

image c. 2019 by Charles Thurston

The Girl, the Monster, and pickles

Another new project we found out about thanks to Animation World Network: “Jessy and Nessy is a 40 x 11’ mixed-media preschool series about Jessy, an innately curious little girl and her best friend, Nessy, a five-and-a-half-thousand year old sea monster, with a penchant for pickles… At the heart of the show is Jessy; an inquisitive, fun loving, spectacle wearing six-year-old, who happens to see the world a little differently through her magical glasses, or as Jessy calls them — her ‘Inspectacles’. They allow Jessy to see and talk to all types of animated characters, including Nessy, who lives in a fountain in Cara Park opposite Jessy’s apartment building. Together this unlikely duo explore life’s curiosities like why birds fly south, why things don’t fall up instead of down and even why some people snore? Jessy and Nessy reveal how all these seemingly everyday curiosities have fantastical answers — leading the home viewer to explore their own curiosities and to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.” Look for the new show later this year on Amazon Prime Video.

image c. 2019 JAM Media

Overture. Hit the Lights.

So Animation World Network recently brought us a big announcement from the folks at Warner Brothers.  Here’s the highlights: “Bugs Bunny! Daffy Duck! The Looney Tunes are back! The classic Warner Bros. Animation characters return in Looney Tunes Cartoons, a series of new shortform cartoons debuting at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which runs this year June 10-15. The next chapter of the iconic Looney Tunes story, featuring a cartoonist-driven approach to storytelling, will have its world debut on Monday, June 10, as part of the Opening Ceremony festivities, with Looney Tunes Cartoons shorts playing in front of the previously announced opening film, Playmobil: The MovieLooney Tunes Cartoons is a series of new short form cartoons starring the iconic and beloved Looney Tunes characters. With a crew of some of the premiere artists working in animation today, each ‘season’ will produce 1,000 minutes of all-new Looney Tunes animation that will be distributed across multiple platforms — including digital, mobile and broadcast.” We’ll see how things work out this time. We know from several recent attempts at “new” Looney Tunes that the old Warner Brothers magic is hard to recreate — especially the timing. Stay tooned.

image c. 2019 Warner Brothers