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The Horse of a New Generation

So, My Little Pony fandom (and the Internet in general!) have been exploding now that Netflix has released the first full trailer for the upcoming My Little Pony: A New Generation. This is Generation 5, if you’re keeping count, and unlike previous generation shifts, this one actually connects to the previous one — as the storyline of Generation 4 (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) takes place in this story’s past history. This is also the first generation of official pony that will be completely animated in CGI. Here’s what we learned from Wikipedia: “My Little Pony: A New Generation is an upcoming computer-animated fantasy comedy film directed by Robert Cullen and Jose Ucha… The film will center on Sunny Starscout, an outcast and young earth pony who sees hope in Equestria where friendship and harmony have been replaced with paranoia and mistrust, and where all three species of ponies live segregated from one another. However, when she meets a lost unicorn named Izzy, the two embark on an adventure involving musical numbers, a jewel heist, conspiracy theories, and ‘the world’s cutest flying Pomeranian’ as they travel to new lands while facing their fears and turning enemies into friends.” There’s a series planned to follow the feature film, but we don’t know much about it yet. What we DO know is that A New Generation is scheduled to drop on Netflix on September 24th.

image c. 2021 Netflix

Her Friends Come Out At Night

More interesting news from Animation World Network: “Netflix has announced their newest preschool series, Ridley Jones, created and executive produced by Peabody, Emmy, and Humanitas Prize-winning children’s television screenwriter and producer Chris Nee, known for creating the popular kids’ series Doc McStuffins and Vamperina. Nee is heralding in a new era of preschool TV that is steeped in representation, diversity, and inclusivity, continuing her mission to change the way we look at media for kids. Her newest series features a strong female lead character and re-occurring LGBTQIA+ characters like Fred the non-binary bison (the first reoccurring non-binary character in a preschool series). The CG animated series follows six-year-old Ridley who, alongside her mother and grandmother, is a protector of the museum she calls home. Keeping the exhibits safe takes a real hero, especially when the lights go out and the exhibits — from Egyptian mummies to stampeding elephants — come to life! Throughout her many adventures, Ridley finds that being a good protector, and leader, is about finding common ground and respecting others, no matter what our differences might be.” Like all of Chris Nee’s series, this new one abounds with anthropomorphic buddy characters, including a dinosaur, a chimp astronaut, a dodo, and the aforementioned bison. The series premieres on Netflix on July 13, but there are preview episodes are up on YouTube already.

image c. 2021 Netflix

Luck Be A Dragon Tonight

We’re also learning more about Luck, the new CGI animated feature that’s coming from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Animation. It was previously announced that Jane Fonda would be in the cast, and now it turns out Whoopi Goldberg is lending her voice too. According to Animation World Network: “Goldberg will provide the voice for ‘The Captain’, the tough-as-nails Head of Security for the Land of Good Luck,” while Fonda “…will voice ‘The Dragon’, the exuberant CEO of Good Luck and undisputed luckiest ancient being in all the land.” They go on to say this: “Directed by Peggy Holmes (Secret of the WingsThe Pirate Fairy) and written by Kiel Murray (CarsCars 3), Luck centers around the unluckiest girl in the world, who after stumbling upon the never-before-seen world of good and bad luck, must join together with magical creatures to uncover a force more powerful than even luck itself.” The article goes on to detail several other animated projects that Skydance have in the works.  Luck is scheduled for release by Apple TV+ in February of 2022.

image c. 2021 Skydance Animation

A League Of Their Own

My but it seems like Dwayne Johnson is busy with a lot of animation projects lately! Now the latest we’ve heard about is the DC League of Super-Pets feature film. DC just released a new teaser trailer, and there’s an article up on Collider: “The cast of animated family film DC League of Super-Pets just got a serious injection of star power with the announcement that Kevin Hart, Keanu Reeves, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Kate McKinnon, Natasha Lyonne, and Diego Luna have all boarded the ensemble via a fun teaser video starring Krypto the Super Dog in all his animated glory.” The latter voiced by Mr. Johnson, of course. The film will be un-leashed in 2022 — by Warner Brothers, naturally!

image c. 2021 DC Comics

This Room Might Be Bugged

Cartoon Brew pointed us at something we had not heard of. Thanks! “Inspector Sun and the Curse of the Black Widow, a family-oriented animated thriller from Spain, has entered production… Set in a world where humans and insects co-exist, the story unfolds on a seaplane journey from Shanghai to San Francisco in the 1930s. It centers on the spider detective Inspector Sun and his nemesis the Red Locust, paying homage to the detective stories of Agatha Christie and the fictional Charlie Chan. The script, by Rocco Pucillo, won the prestigious students-only Samuel Goldwyn Award in 2013. The film is a co-production from The Thinklab Media and Gordon Box. It is directed by Julio Soto Gúrpide, who helmed the Goya-nominated 2017 feature Deep.” Currently Inspector Sun is set for release in the summer of 2022. We’ll certainly find out.

image c. 2021 Thinklab Media

With a Song in His Heart

We’re learning more about Vivo, Sony Pictures Animation’s first musical. For one thing, they’ve released a teaser trailer — and a plot. “An animated musical adventure that follows Vivo, a one-of-kind kinkajou (voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda), who must find his way from Havana to Miami in order to deliver a song on behalf of his beloved owner and mentor Andres (Juan de Marcos Gonzáles).” Mr. Miranda wrote the original story, and lots of songs for the film as well. It’s directed by Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps, The Croods) and Brandon Jeffords (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2). One of the producers is none other than Rich Moore (Zootopia). Well-known voices include Gloria Estefan, Michael Rooker, and Zoe Saldana. Vivo is coming soon to Netflix.

image c. 2021 Sony Pictures Animation

They’ll Be Bok

Back when we first talked about  The Chicken Squad book series, we made a silly crack about how one day they might be made into a “chick flick”.  Well… maybe a TV series is a good halfway point? “The Chicken Squad, Disney Junior’s new cg animated comedy adventure hits the airways on Disney Junior and DisneyNOW on Friday May 14. The series, which was inspired by the popular kids’ book series of the same name by Doreen Cronin, follows a trio of young chicken siblings—Coop, Sweetie and Little Boo—and their retired search and rescue dog mentor, Captain Tully. Together, they team up on problem-solving adventures in their backyard to help their animal friends, while modeling what it means to be good community helpers and finding the joy in assisting others.” Animation World Network has more information, and a preview trailer too.

image c. 2021 Disney Junior

Ho! Kay…

Interesting story out of Variety (by way of Animation World Network): “Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard is attached to helm a computer-animated adaptation of the beloved 1980s Rankin Bass animated series Thundercats for Warner Bros., from a script Wingard will write with frequent collaborator Simon Barrett (You’re Next, The Guest)… The original series, which aired from 1985 to 1989, was revived for a single season Cartoon Network in 2011, and then again in 2020 under the title Thundercats Roar. But as a feature film, Thundercats has been a tricky project to crack for the studio, which has hired a small parade of screenwriters and producers since at least 2007 to bring a movie to life. The underlying story is at once relatively simple — a team of humanoid cat-people (or cat-like humans) like Lion-O, Panthro, and Cheetara fight the evil wizard Mumm-Ra on the planet of Third Earth — and surprisingly complicated, with a mix of technological space sci-fi and swords-and-sorcery fantasy.” Read the article at Variety for much more on this latest take on our friends from Thundera.

image c. 2021 Cartoon Network

A Glorious Return

How did we not even know this was being made — let alone that it’s about to come out?? Well, here it is — The sequel to 2016’s Rock Dog, which furry fandom adored… even if the box office wasn’t so kind. Rock Dog 2 is scheduled for release in April, directed by Mark Baldo. “One year after the original Rock Dog: Bodi and his band, True Blue, have become locally famous in the village of Snow Mountain — they even have devoted fans! But when a music mogul named Lang gives them the opportunity to tour with pop sensation, Lil’ Foxy— Bodi and his friends learn that fame comes at a price, and ultimately discover that only by staying true to yourself can you unleash the power of Rock n’ Roll!” ReDefine is one of  the companies that worked on the film, and they have a lot of good info.

image c. Splash Entertainment