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The British Bunnies are Back

Just today the trailers for the upcoming sequel to Peter Rabbit have hit the Internet. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is coming to theaters next April, once again directed by Will Gluck. According to Wikipedia, “The film stars the voice of James Corden as the title character, with Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Daisy Ridley, and David Oyelowo also starring.” Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter says, “The sequel to 2018’s Peter Rabbit catches up with Thomas, Bea and the rabbits that have become a makeshift family. Despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous tendencies. When adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated. Conflict ensues when his family risks everything to come looking for him, which forces Peter to figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.” Check out the trailer for yourself.

image c. 2019 Sony Pictures

Talk to the Dragons

And now a rather different take on Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon universe, this time in a new Netflix TV series for young viewers. Animation World Network gave us the scoop: “DreamWorks Animation has just unveiled the high-flying trailer and cast of its new animated preschool series, Dragons Rescue Riders. This all-new chapter in the Oscar-nominated How to Train Your Dragon franchise follows the adventures of twins, Dak and Leyla, raised by dragons, who share a unique ability to communicate with them. The brother and sister lead a team of five young dragons, Aggro, Winger, Summer, Cutter, and Burple, with whom they spend their days rescuing other dragons and helping people in their adopted town of Huttsgalor. All 14 episodes of the new series debut September 27 exclusively on Netflix.” Check out the preview trailer as well.

image c. 2019 Dreamworks Animation

There’s Something Strange Going On ‘Round Here…

Recently we discovered Crossroads, an urban fantasy comic series brought to you by Crossroads Comix — a collection of creative folks from San Jose State University in California. To hear them tell it, “This multimedia series takes place in the sleepy Pacific Northwest beach town of Crossroads. A washed-up college graduate named Como is at an impasse in his life, but his life is turned upside down as a series of unusual events start to follow him and his friends everywhere they go. Como and his friend Nina set out to find out what is really going on in Crossroads.” Multimedia means there’s an on-line comic, as well as upcoming animation and music videos. There’s even a trade paperback called The Art of Crossroads available. Visit their Tumblr site to find out more.

image c. 2019 Crossroads Comix

He’s Big, He’s White, He’s Lost

Just today we got the first full trailer for Abominable, the new animated feature from Dreamworks and Pearl, their production partners in China. Animation Scoop has the video. “When teenage Yi (Chloe Bennet, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai, she and her mischievous friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him ‘Everest’ and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. But the trio of friends will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest get home… Abominable is written and directed by Jill Culton (Open Season, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 2) and co-directed by Todd Wilderman (Trolls, The Croods).” Look for it in theaters September 27th.

image c. 2019 Entertainment Weekly

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

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 Tiger and the Tale

[You know what? Lingering colds really really suck…] Buried in a recent article at Animation Magazine’s web site about some upcoming films (all of them furry, to some extent!) was this little tidbit: “Meanwhile, Paramount has confirmed that The Tiger’s Apprentice, an animated adaptation of Laurence Yep’s young adult fantasy trilogy series, will be released on February 11, 2022. The story centers on a young San Francisco boy who meets a mysterious talking tiger called Mr. Hu and realizes that he’s the appointed guardian who can protect everyone from an evil ancient phoenix. The screenplay has been adapted by David Magee (Life of Pi). The studio hasn’t announced a director or voice cast for the project. Feb. 11, 2022 sounds like a good spot for the animated pic as no other movie has been announced for that time period.” Really now? Hmm, let’s see… 2022 would be six years after the release of Zootopia. The same amount of time it took Disney Animation to make and release Frozen 2. Just saying…

image c. 2019 HarperCollins

Shaggy (and the) Dog

Here we go again! We got this from Complex.com: “Scooby-Doo will make its return to the big screen with an animated movie set to star Gina Rodriguez, Tracy Morgan, and Will Forte, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film — directed by Tony Cervone, the producer behind the television series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated — is currently untitled. Forte is set to play the titular dane’s best friend Shaggy, Rodriguez will voice Velma, and Morgan will be non-Mystery Gang member Captain Caveman [!]. Frank Welker, who’s worked with the franchise since 1972-73’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies, will play the role of Scooby-Doo. For this case, the gang will reportedly team up with other Hanna-Barbera universe heroes to save the world from the corrupt plans of Dick Dastardly, the main villain of fellow Hanna-Barbera classic, Wacky Races [!!]. The project, which is set to hit theaters May 2020, will be the first time Scooby Doo takes the silver screen since the 2004 live-action film, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.” Sounds like they’re getting much more ambitious with their universe now! We found other talk on-line about this this movie project that gave it the title of S.C.O.O.B. Guess we’ll find out next year!

image c. 2019 Hanna Barbera