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Birds Rising in the East

Look, we can’t make this stuff up. (We’d make more money if we could!) Disney Manga: Donald Duck Visits Japan! by Meru Okano. Here’s the description from Tokyo Pop: “Donald Duck works for the American furniture business, ‘Duck Furnishings’. It’s been two months since he and his employees, José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles, were reassigned to the Asian Culture and Distribution Department, and the phone hasn’t rung even once. Just as they’re starting to wonder why they were transferred in the first place, the CEO suddenly orders them to travel to Japan! The three Caballeros must learn all they can about Japanese customs, entertainment, culture, food, and clothing before they return to New York City. Assuming they don’t get into too much trouble first!”

image c. 2022 Tokyo Pop

Oop! Ack!

Well, bad on us for having no idea this was even on the table! But here it is, right from Animation World Network: “Emmy Award winner Tim Long (The Simpsons) has been signed to write, executive produce, and showrun Fox’s Bloom County, an animated series based on the acclaimed comic strip of the same name, created and written by Berkeley Breathed, who will also executive produce.” In case you need a reminder: “The comic Bloom County evolved from Breathed’s first published comic strip, The Academia Waltz, which originally appeared in The Daily Texan, the student newspaper at the University of Texas. This work led The Washington Post to recruit Breathed for a nationally syndicated strip; Bloom County debuted in 1980, appearing in more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide until its end in 1989.” No word yet on a release date.

image c. 2022 Bento Box

From App to Apple

More news for young cartoon fans, courtesy of Animation World Network: “Apple TV+ has shared the trailer for Sago Mini Friends, a colorful new 2D series produced by Daytime Emmy Award nominated Spin Master Entertainment and animated by 9 Story Media Group’s Emmy Award-winning studio Brown Bag Films – Toronto. Based on the characters and artful designs in the award-winning Sago Mini World app developed by Sago Mini, the show premieres on the streamer September 16. The series is an adorable nod to gratitude, featuring Harvey, the floppy-eared dog, and his best friends: Jinja the cat, Jack the rabbit, and Robin the bird, with a cast of colorful residents. In each episode, Harvey and his friends express their true thankfulness for all things, big and small, through optimism, kindness, preschool-friendly humor, and original songs!” Turns out that several people who worked on Paw Patrol are associated with this new series, so it’s a good bet they know what they’re doing.

image c. 2022 Spin Master Entertainment

She’s For The Birds… Literally

Wingbearer is a new full-color graphic novel written by Marjorie Liu, with illustration by Teny Issakhanian. “Zuli is extraordinary — she just doesn’t realize it yet. Raised by mystical bird spirits in the branches of the Great Tree, she’s never ventured beyond this safe haven. She’s never had to. Until now… When a sinister force threatens the life-giving magic of the tree, Zuli, along with her guardian owl, Frowly, must get to the root of it. So begins an adventure bigger than anything Zuli could’ve ever imagined — one that will bring her, along with some newfound friends, face-to-face with an ancient dragon, the so-called Witch-Queen, and most surprisingly of all: Her true identity.”

image c. 2022 Quill Tree Books

Bunny and Bird. Of Course! Why Not?

Young beginning readers can check out the Ollie and Bea series of graphic novels, written and illustrated by Renee Tremi. The set up is as simple as can be: “Ollie is an owl who wears glasses. And Bea is a bunny with very big feet. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to be best friends. Can they help each other to find their otter-ly awesome inner superhero?” It’s Owl Good and other books in the series are available now from Allen & Unwin Book Publishers.

image c. 2022 Allen & Unwin

Duck, Duck… Duck

Now we’re getting word on Illumination’s next animated feature project. We got this from Deadline: Migration is billed as a modern-day comedy following a family of ducks who convince their overprotective father to go on the vacation of a lifetime as they attempt to migrate from New England, through New York City, and ultimately down to the Bahamas. Oscar nominee Benjamin Renner (Ernest et Célestine) is directing the pic from an original screenplay by Mike White (School of Rock, The White Lotus).” They migrate this way in December of 2023.

image c. 2022 Illumination

Hump-Day Reading

Once Upon A Camel is the fairy-tale sounding title of a new illustrated novel by Kathi Appelt. “Zada is a camel with a treasure trove of stories to tell. She’s won camel races for the royal Pasha of Smyrna, crossed treacherous oceans to new land, led army missions with her best camel friend by her side, and outsmarted a far too pompous mountain lion. But those stories were from before. Now, Zada wanders the desert as the last camel in Texas. She’s not, however, alone. Two tiny kestrel chicks are nestled in the fluff of fur between her ears — kee-killy-keeing for their missing parents — and a dust storm the size of a mountain is taking Zada on one more grand adventure. And it could lead to this achy old camel’s most brilliant story yet.” That story is illustrated by Eric Rohmann and available now in hardcover from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2022 Simon & Schuster

High-Flying Adventure

The Sheep, The Rooster, and The Duck is the oh-so-innocent sounding title of a very unusual novel for young readers written and illustrated by Matt Phelan. “The very first passengers to ride in a hot-air balloon were a sheep, a rooster, and a duck in 1783. And while hot-air balloons are indeed wondrous, ten-year-old Emile is too busy being the fastidious caretaker of ambassador Benjamin Franklin’s château in Paris to think much about them. But soon, young Emile finds himself right in the middle of a sinister plot. And right in the middle of the secret headquarters for France’s undercover guardians — the very same sheep, rooster, and duck that piloted the first hot-air balloon. If Emile can muster his courage and be bold, he may be the key to helping the heroes save both Benjamin Franklin and the world.” Find out more in hardcover from Harper Collins.

image c. 2022 Harper Collins

Owl’s Well That Ends Well

We haven’t discussed it much, but since its creation in 2019 the “2.5D” animated series Odo has racked up more than one nomination for the Annie Awards. Here’s what Animation World Network said about it recently: “Odo, in which a diminutive, but determined, young owl demonstrates that there’s nothing you can’t do if you set your mind to it. Intended for kids aged three to five, Odo is a Polish-Northern Irish co-production that was designed and animated in the Letko studio in Warsaw. The series, which had its US premiere in December 2021 on HBO Max’s Cartoonito, has already won the hearts of young viewers in 151 countries… In the leafy playground of Forest Camp for Young Birds – whose diverse population of feathered creatures includes silly chickens, cheeky toucans, harmonious canaries, and a vain peacock, all under the loving and watchful supervision of Camp Leader, a supremely capable and good-natured eagle – Odo, with the help of his best friend Doodle (a thoughtful little bird of unknown species) positively tackles every challenge, no matter how big.”

image c. Cartoonito