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Culinary Adventures for Kids

In the midst of a global pandemic, animation keeps on marching ahead. (Why? Because it can!) Try this out: “Tasty Tales of the Food Truckers is about three crazy friends who travel the world in their souped-up, sentient food truck seeking out rare ingredients to turn into exotic dishes. Led by Sonny, the fearless bear/cook who aspires to be a chef, together with Andi the genius problem-solving red panda and Tong the social media savvy monkey influencer, the trio visits countless food destinations in their friendly green food truck, Julia, to take on culinary challenges.” Animation World Network has more details. Currently Tasty Tales is headed to Asian markets later this month, but we can all hope they decide to give it a try in North America!

image c. 2021 T&B Media Global

Buck to the Future

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss even more new anthropomorphic TV series for kids coming out. Like Deer Squad, coming soon to Nickelodeon. “The adventure-rescue show follows four, lovable, enthusiastic, and heroic deer friends — Kai, Lola, Bobbi and Rammy — who protect the animals of Central Forest and the humans who inhabit Platinum City, a futuristic metropolis surrounding their woodland home. When there’s trouble, the Deer summon their special Planet Powers of Water (Kai), Wood (Lola), Earth (Bobbi) and Sun (Rammy) to solve problems.” The show has already had a successful run overseas, and now it’s set to premier in North America later this month. Animation World Network has a trailer.

image c. 2021 iQIYI

Cats… Saviors of the Universe

Another animated series for the young fans — and where-have-WE-been, it’s already getting into its second season! This from Animation World Network: “Nelvana and Discovery have greenlit a second season of redknot’s inaugural series, Agent Binky: Pets of The Universe… Based on the bestselling Kids Can Press graphic novels (written and illustrated by Ashley Spires), P.U.R.S.T. agents Binky, Gracie, Gordon, Loo, and Nola are back on the case and ready to protect their human families from even more aliens, robots, and interstellar threats. Certified and ready for action, the team is determined to go where no pet has gone before! Equipped with even more gadgets, the agents set off on exciting adventures, exploring new locations, and meeting new friends.” It’s scheduled for later this year in Canada, but no word on a date for the USA.

image c. 2021 Nelvana

Raptors on the Range

And more new TV series for the younger folk. This time it’s Dino Ranch, coming later this month to Disney Junior. “The animated series, produced by Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker Studios, follows the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical, ‘pre-westoric’ setting where dinosaurs roam. As the young explorers learn the ropes, they discover the thrill of ranch life while navigating the great outdoors through unpredictable challenges.” Seriously, sometimes all you need to do is take a look at one picture and it’ll tell you all you want to know about a series! For the rest, visit Animation World Network.

image c. 2020 Boat Rocker Studios

Sing 2 Me

As we celebrate the 4-year anniversary of the original film’s release, thanks to Animation World Network we’re learning more about the plot of Sing 2, coming to us next December from Illumination. “In Sing 2, can-do koala Buster Moon and his all-star cast of animal performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage extravaganza yet… in the glittering entertainment capital of the world. There’s just one hitch: They first must to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star — played by legendary music icon Bono, making his animated film debut — to join them. Buster and his cast have turned the New Moon Theater into a local hit, but Buster has his eyes on a bigger prize: Debuting a new show at the Crystal Tower Theater in glamorous Redshore City.” Check out the article for more details. [And of course, have a Safe and Merry Christmas, everyone!]

image c. 2020 Illumination

Calm DOWN, Girl!

More interesting stuff from the recent Walt Disney Company investors’ presentation. Turning Red is an upcoming Pixar animated feature being directed by Domee Shi, creator of the Oscar-winning animated short Bao. Here’s how Pixar describes the story: “Meet Mei. She experiences the awkwardness of being a teenager, with an added twist: When she gets too excited, she transforms into a giant red panda.” Oh! Turning Red is set to be released in the spring of 2022.

image c. 2020 Disney/Pixar

Missing Tiger?

We were looking for something else, and we came across this completely by accident! Hidden Dragon is a new animated feature film that’s due this year, according to the IMDB page. We don’t know much about it, but the production crew names are mostly Chinese while the voice actor names are mostly western, so it’s an international production. “In a magical undersea world where dragons rule and humans are feared, a naive young dragon forms an uneasy alliance with the sea’s greatest enemy – a human girl.” We don’t know if they’ll successfully get it out this year, but it should be coming soon.

image c. 2020 Magic Hill Animation

Move Along, Mate

We stumbled across this announcement from Deadline: Back To The Outback, a new animated feature due from Netflix in 2021. “In the movie, tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they’re monsters, a ragtag group of Australia’s deadliest creatures plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback, a place where they’ll fit in without being judged for their scales and fangs. Leading the group is Maddie (Isla Fisher), a poisonous snake with a heart of gold, who bands together with a self-assured Thorny Devil lizard Zoe (Miranda Tapsell), a lovelorn hairy spider Frank (Guy Pearce), and a sensitive scorpion Nigel (Angus Imrie). But when their nemesis — Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), a cute but obnoxious koala — unexpectedly joins their escape, Maddie and the gang have no choice but to take him with them.” Hmm… sounds a bit like an Australian version of Disney’s The Wild — remember that one? Anyway, we’ll know more when Reel FX brings us the film next fall. (Can’t help wondering if some of this is about making up to Tim Minchin for his aborted film Larrikins.)

image c. 2020 Netflix

First a Sparrow, Now…

More news from Animation World Network, this time featuring a well-known celebrity. “Iervolino Entertainment has debuted the first images from its new animated series Puffins, revealing the character ‘Johnny Puff,’ who is being voiced by star Johnny Depp. The mobile-first, short-form project was announced in June and is now in production… Puffins follows the adventures of a group of cute little birds, who work for the wily walrus Otto. The main characters of the series are five puffins: Johnny Puff, Tic and Tac, Didi and Pie. They live with a tribe of puffins in the vast and technological realm of Tana. The stories in the series will range from the bold missions of Otto, to multiple situations related to the small, fun problems of everyday life, addressing the issues of social impact in a childish way.” Now let’s see if this one winds up available in North America. [Thanks for reading — and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, from ye humble ed-otter.]

image c. 2020 Iervolino Entertainment