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Animation

The Baker and the Painter

By now (hopefully!) you’ve heard of Brush: A Fox Tale, the award-winning CGI short film. It tells the story of an artistic fox who is too shy to tell the pretty vixen next door he has a crush on her — but, his paintings have ideas of their own. Well now, meet the creators: Willi Anton and Faustina Arriola, both graduates from the California College of the Arts. Brush was their joint graduation thesis. Over at Willi’s web page you’ll find his demo reel, showing bits from his work on Brush and other projects. Meanwhile at Faustina’s page you’ll find not only her demo reel of 3D and 2D work, but also examples of her illustrations, and even samples of her work as a voice-over artist.

image c. 2018 by Anton / Arriola

Not Moose. Dog. And Squirrel.

Chances are you’ve seen (or at least heard about) Dog and Squirrel, part of Nickelodeon’s Animated Shorts Program. But have you met the creator, Andrea Gerstmann? Over at her web site you can see examples of her other works in character design, background painting, layout, and fine-art painting. Lots of animal stuff to see, plus a few humans thrown in for good measure.

image c. 2018 by Andrea Gerstmann

Bird and Dog

David Wentworth is an artist, illustrator, and storyteller (his words) that we me at CTN Animation Expo. According to his web site, “David has worked for clients like Dreamworks, Sony, and Amazon animation, and is advancing his career as a concept/character artist and comic artist. He creates in a wide range of mediums, both traditional and digital. In addition to animals he enjoys science fiction, writing, history, theatre, biology and languages in his art.” In addition to his illustration, he’s created an on-line comic called Blue & Jay which should be of considerable interest to Furry Fans. He even creates puppets!

image c. 2018 by David Wentworth

Furries from Central America

Here’s something interesting and unusual we came across at the the CTN Animation Expo this year. Fox and Chicken is an original animated film created by Space Rabbit Studios — in El Salvador. “Created by a talented team of local artist, with national and international awards, Fox & Chicken is aiming to be the first silent animated short movie done in El Salvador. The project has already seen some success through many events at a national level.” According to the web site, here’s who it’s about: “Fox & Chicken is the story of two inseparable friends and their many adventures in their quest for magic. Fox is a young wizard apprentice who has a dream of learning all the magic in the world and to discover the secrets of nature to become a master wizard. Chicken is an unconventional character for their species. She’s brave, curious and adventurous, she never doubts on accompanying Fox in his quest. Now we can see their adventures while we learn about nature and discover the hidden magic in all things.” The web site has a lot more about this and their other projects.

image c. 2018 Space Rabbit Studios

Dino-Volve Again

Back in the 1980’s we had Dinosaucers, an animated TV series about warring tribes of anthro-dinosaurs who bring their battle to Planet Earth. (Not fooling anyone: The series is known these days mostly for its rather… rich dialogue writing…) Well now the original creator of Dinosaucers, Michael Uslan, has returned with a new Dinosaucers 5-issue comic book mini-series — illustrated by Andrew Pepoy and published by Lion Forge. “Reptilon has just found its sister planet-Earth-complete with water, fauna, and a billion pieces of meat. The Voyager has been peacefully traveling through space for years when, unexpectedly, it’s attacked by an alien, laser-shooting space shuttle. The attackers? Fully evolved, advanced humanoid dinosaurs who’ve destroyed their home planet and are now on the hunt to commandeer a new one to expand their empire.” Several issues are on the shelves already.

image c. 2018 Lion Forge

Garfield Meets An Old Friend

You might well remember the name of Mark Dindal: He directed the films Cats Don’t Dance, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Chicken Little.  All films with more than a passing Furry Fandom interest, yes? Well Mr. Dindal largely disappeared after that trio of films… that is, until now. Check out this news from Animation Scoop: “Alcon Entertainment’s new Garfield animated feature has selected its director. The all-CG cartoon feature will be directed by Mark Dindal, it was announced today by Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Writing team Paul Kaplan (George Lopez) and Mark Torgove (Raising Hope) penned the script. Pre-production it set to begin next month in Los Angeles.” So there you have it. More about a release date when we know!

image c. 2018 Alcon Entertainment

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

Why the Crow is Black

Almost exactly a year ago we told you about a VR film in production called Rainbow Crow, based a Native American legend. Well now it seems that project has changed name and changed format. According to Animation Magazine, Crow: The Legend will premiere as a free-to-view animated feature on Facebook and YouTube later this month. “Written and directed by Eric Darnell [Antz, Madagascar] with input from Native American cultural experts and community leaders, the folklore-inspired tale arrives timed to Native American Heritage Month. The film features an all-star voice cast including John Legend as Crow, Oprah Winfrey as The One Who Creates Everything by Thinking, Sarah Eagle Heart (Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO) as Luna; 83-year-old tribal elder and lifelong Native rights crusader Randy Edmonds as the Narrator; Liza Koshy (Hulu’s Freakish) as Owl; Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Moth; Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One) as Turtle; and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians, Fresh Off the Boat) as Skunk… Inspired by the classic Native American legend about the origins of the bird, Crow: The Legend respectfully illustrates the sacrifices the bird must make. As the most beautiful animal of the forest, Crow must risk everything to save those around him. With themes of diversity and self-sacrifice for the greater community, Crow demonstrates how one single act of sacrifice can have a profound impact to our world.” You can also check out the official trailer at Animation’s link.

image c. 2018 Baobab Studios

2019 Could Get Ugly

UPDATE: As we mentioned last summer, both a feature film and a new TV series based on the UglyDolls line of plush toys have been in development for some time. Well now thanks to Animation Scoop and the Hulu Network we have the first trailer for the UglyDolls animated feature. And as it turns out, the film includes quite a roster of singers and well-known actors giving voices to the characters, including Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Pitbull, Wanda Sykes, and Gabriel Iglesias. The film is directed by Kelly Asbury (of Shrek 2 and Gnomeo & Juliet).

image c. 2018 STX