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Cats

Coming Soon From Italy. We Hope.

And they just keep showing up… More from Animation World Network. Rai Com (from Italy) have acquired several new animation projects for distribution, and of course several of them are furry in nature. Woof Meow is a CGI series directed by Alexey Kotenochkin and produced in Russia by AA Studios. “The series features the funny and entertaining adventures of the two kittens, Binx and Lulu, and their puppy-dog pals Oscar, Snickers, Sparky, and Hopper the Inventor. Together, they play games, make up new inventions and start real or imaginary adventuresome trips to explore the world around them. In each episode, someone gets in trouble and needs the support of the group of friends to solve the situation.” Then there’s Dixiland, a more traditional 2D animated series for preschoolers. “Dixi, the small winged elephant who is the protagonist of the story, joins other creatures as they experience joy, fun and problems.” Both are headed to MIPCOM and looking for international distribution.

image c. 2018 Rai Com

Dogs and Cats, Sailing Together. Mass Hysteria!

Looks like this is the season when folks-in-charge are shopping around for new TV series to sell around the world. Now from Animation Magazine we learn that Jetpack Distribution have picked up the world-wide rights to a 2D series from Britain called Pip Ahoy! It goes like this: “The series is a warm and boisterous show that centers on Pip and his friends as they carry out rescue missions, solve problems and take care of their community. It features the inimitable voice of Sir David Jason, who plays Skipper, an old seadog and Pip’s Uncle… Pip’s fans can also interact with the property offscreen in the UK thanks to recent renewals of both the master toy and apparel licenses and, in association with PJSL, character meet and greets at popular family entertainment parks across the country this summer. CHF Pip! Plc and PJSL are now in talks with two parks for a long-term, on-site Pip Ahoy! live show.” Good news for cartoon fans in the UK all right. Meanwhile for the rest of us, here’s some episodes on YouTube.

image c. 2018 Jetpack Distribution

Does THIS Cat Walk Through Walls?

Our crew visited the Long Beach Comic Con, and as usual the Artist Alley did not disappoint. Among our discoveries were Rachel Walker and David Cone, two artists who paint (and make other goodies) under the name Edge of the World Art. “We are purveyors of things strange, magical, and fashionable.” And, it seems, big fans of cats — especially black cats. Visit their web site and see what we mean. As you can see, if you’re in Southern California you might find them displaying at several locations around the area regularly.

image c. 2018 Edge of the World Art

Cool Stuff From Europe. Finally. Maybe.

Last year we mentioned 44 Cats, an animated TV series from Rainbow Studio in Italy. Well now according to Animation Magazine (in their preview of the upcoming Brand Licensing Europe convention) it may just have found its way into North American markets. “44 Cats, produced in collaboration with Antoniano Bologna and Rai Ragazzi, follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou, and Meatball – four adorable kittens who are part of a music band named The Buffycats. From their home in the Clubhouse (Granny Pina’s garage), they set out on to creative solve problems and help others while highlighting tolerance, diversity and acceptance. The show will debut on Rai Yoyo in November, whilst other broadcasting deals have been signed with Nickelodeon (multi-territorial), Discovery Kids (Latin America) and Super RTL (Germany). Major broadcasting deals in France, Russia, UK and many other countries are also in the pipeline.” Here’s hoping. Oh, the article also features a look at Mofy, a new stop-motion animated series from Sony Creative Products. “The story centers on Mofy, a fluffy, lovable rabbit who each episode learns about the world around her, discovers and understands feelings and emotions, and learns to be kinder and braver.” The show is already a hit with the preschool set in Japan.

image c. 2018 Rainbow Studio

Beware the Cat with an Imagination

Another find from Comic Con, this time over at Humanoids. Nancy Peña is a French writer and cartoonist with several books to her name. Her latest is called Madame Cat, and this particular kitty is quite a character. From the publisher: “Madame means mischief in this series of slice-of-life vignettes that present the private love, laughter and frustrations of a pet who thinks she’s an owner! Whether she’s tearing up clothes, spilling ink on the carpet or filling the air with stinky tuna-breath, Madame is both wonderfully frustrating and endearingly whimsical.” Meanwhile Comics Beat has a preview, which also includes a look at the exclusive Madame plushie that’s available.

image c. 2018 Humanoids

Kitty with some Famous Parents…

There’s an extensive article over at Animation Scoop about the new Amazon Prime animated series Pete the Cat, based on the popular children’s books by James Dean. Check out the voice actor list too! “Pete the Cat is a fun, musically driven series about exploring your world and trying new things, while being smart, accepting, and optimistic. Whether you’re making new friends or facing all of life’s ups and downs, Pete always finds a way to put a groovy spin on things. The series stars Jacob Tremblay (Room) as Pete the Cat, and musicians Diana Krall and Elvis Costello as his Mom and Dad. Pete the Cat features original music from Grammy Award-winners Costello and Krall, which will also be available to stream via Amazon Music. Jessica Biel (The Illusionist), Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) and internationally acclaimed musician KT Tunstall also star in the series… Pete the Cat… is developed by Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (Phineas and Ferb) and Appian Way Production Company.” There’s a preview video too.

image c. 2018 Appian Way

Real Life Needs A Little Magic

Another illustrator we came across at San Diego Comic Con. Ash Evans is an artist and designer who refers to her work as “The Art of Happiness”. Steeped in fantasy, her paintings feature not just animals in general but special creatures like Fortuna the Cat, the Mewnicorns, the Zodicats, and the Kit-teas. (Yes, there’s a feline theme going here!) All of these are available as prints and a variety of other products you can find at her wet site.

image c. 2018 by Ash Evans

A Cat For Our Times

So Animation Magazine lead us to discover Krocchi the Street Cat, a new animated character brought to us by Nurue in Japan. Here’s what they say: “Krocchi is a tough cat who’s seen a lot, a new type of hero for children who teaches them to have a strong heart that never gives up, no matter how bad things get. Through this series children will learn creativity, and how to invent games with natural materials like grass and plants. And by dancing with Krocchi, they can have fun exercising too.” Besides the animated series for preschoolers, Nurue has also created a line of Krocchi artwork and plush toys.  Currently they’re seeking international distribution, and they’ve had some success in Asia.

image c. 2018 Nurue, Inc.

Cat and Kitty

More new and interesting stuff coming out of China. (By the way, did you miss Duck Duck Goose back in April? So did we.) Animation World Network has an article about the latest animated feature from Light Chaser Animation (home of the critically-acclaimed Little Door Gods). The new film is called Cats & Peachtopia, and once again it was written and directed by company founder Gary Wang. It goes like this:  “Cats & Peachtopia tells the story of father and son cats, Blanket and Cape, living a carefree life in a tower block in the southwestern Chinese megacity of Chongqing. Curious about the outside world and longing for his deceased mother, Cape sets off in search of the cat heaven Peachtopia. Blanket goes after his son and adventures ensue.” The article goes into more detail, as well as discussing the financial difficulties faced by an animation company that produces films primarily (though not exclusively) for the Chinese market. No word yet if Cats & Peachtopia will reach North America anytime soon (DVD or otherwise), but the film did show at this year’s Annecy animation festival.

image c. 2018 Light Chaser Animation