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Update on a Goose

We mentioned before about an upcoming animated film called Duck Duck Goose, one of several films being financed the Chinese firm Original Force with the intention of releasing in North America. Well now, according to an article at Cartoon Brew, Duck Duck Goose has a release date — April 20th, 2018 — and a teaser trailer up on YouTube. “Chris Jenkins, a veteran Disney effects animator who more recently shifted to the producing side (Dreamworks’ Home, Sony’s Surf’s Up), makes his feature directorial debut on Duck Duck Goose. Jenkins co-wrote the film with Rob Muir… The film follows the adventures of a ‘high-flying bachelor goose’ named Peng (voiced by Jim Gaffigan) who finds himself in charge of two ducklings (voiced by Zendaya and Lance Lim) that he must take along on a long journey south. Other voices are provided by Greg Proops, Natasha Leggero, Reggie Watts, Diedrich Bader, Jennifer Grey, Rick Overton, Craig Ferguson, Stephen Fry, and Carl Reiner.” Distribution is being handled by Open Road Films, the same outfit that released The Nut Job and its recent sequel here in the States.

image c. 2017 Original Force

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Bajo El Mar, Bajo El Mar…

From out of nowhere… actually, from out of Spain. The Think Lab is an animation production house in Madrid, and they recently completed their first CGI feature film, Deep, directed by Julio Soto Gurpide. “In 2100, when humanity has abandoned the earth, a colony of extravagant creatures still thrives in the deepest abyss of the ocean. Deep, an adventurous ‘dumbo’ octopus and the last one of his kind lives there with his two unconditional friends: Evo, a nerdy and clumsy angler fish, and Alice, a neurotic deep-sea shrimp. When an accident destroys their home, the guardian of the abyss, The Kraken, will send Deep and his friends on a perilous journey to find a new home. In their mission, they will be joined by Maura – a voracious moray eel – and together they will travel to amazing places like the submerged city of New York, the Titanic, or the Arctic, facing formidable enemies and hilarious situations.” No talk of a release here, but the IMDB page lists all English-speaking actors, and the trailer is in English too.

image c. 2017 The Think Lab

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Mexico’s Anima Estudio have been mentioned around here before, most recently for their upcoming animated feature based on the 1960’s TV animation oddity Here Comes the Grump. In the meantime, they’ve completed work on another CGI feature called Monster Island, set to be released soon direct to DVD. “When Lucas finds out he is not really a human, but actually a monster, the news changes his whole world! Embarking on a quest to Monster Island to discover his real roots, Lucas undergoes a journey he will never forget. He finds himself face to face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn’t freaky — it means you’re a member of a brand new type of family that you can proudly call your own.” The film is directed by Leopoldo Aguilar, and it features the voices of Fiona Hardingham, Katie Leigh (Gummi Bears), Jenifer Kaplan, Erik Larsen, and Michael Robles. Amazon says to look for it this September.

image c. 2017 Anima Estudio

Look! Up in the Sky!

According to an article at Animation Magazine, the Chinese tech company Tencent has agreed to invest heavily in the development of a new CGI series, Super BOOMi, created by Up Studios (also from China). This furry little super hero has already enjoyed widespread exposure in China, and now his creators are looking to expand his reach to international markets. Up Studios are also working on at least two other animated adaptations: Piggy and Tomo Explores The World.

image c. 2016 Up Studios

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Elf-topia?

Among the big announcements to come out of this year’s D23 Expo (Disney’s bi-annual convention for their biggest and geekiest fans — hey, your ed-otter is one!) is news of an as-yet-untitled new CGI film from Pixar… a “suburban fantasy”. According to a preview at Entertainment Weekly, “During the fan convention’s animation panel on Friday, John Lasseter introduced director Dan Scanlon to unveil details about a new original film on Pixar’s upcoming slate, filling in one of the cryptic untitled slots on the studio’s release schedule. Lasseter described the film as ‘an adventure set in a suburban fantasy world,’ and Scanlon, who helmed Monsters University, debuted concept art showing a large winged creature flying over a small town at sunset. Set in a human-less world of elves, trolls, sprites, and ‘pretty much anything that would be on the side of a van in the ‘70s,’ the movie follows two teenage brothers whose father died when they were young; now, they’re on a quest through this mundane, modern fantasy world to somehow find a way to spend one last magical day with their father.” Oh and by the way, there are unicorns everywhere. and a dragon or two thrown into the mix as well. No word on a release date yet (or a title!), but speculation is leaning toward the summer of 2020 or 2021.

image c. 2017 The Disney Company

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The Thief Returns — We Hope

Looks like you just can’t keep a good raccoon down. After word came down that the Sly Cooper animated feature was not to be (many presume due to the less-than-stellar box office performance of Ratchet & Clank last year), now Animation World Network has informed us that an animated Sly Cooper series is in the works. “Paris-based Technicolor Animation Productions and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) have joined forces to produce a computer generated, animated Sly Cooper series to audiences around the world… The series is based on the best-selling PlayStation video game series introduced to the market in 2002, which has sold millions of copies globally and spanned four editions across generations of PlayStation. Sly Cooper follows the adventures of the irresistibly charismatic raccoon, a modern-day Robin Hood who restores justice to his city one theft at a time. Sly is aided by his two best friends, a muscular hippo named Murray and a brainy turtle named Bentley. Hot on Sly’s trail is Inspector Carmelita Fox, a morally upright cop with an unfortunate crush on the charming bandit, as well as a band of villains, each one more strange and colorful than the last. The series will mix humor, action, and a remarkable cast of characters.” No word yet on when the series is set to premier or what parts of the world will get to see it first, but we’ll let you know when we do!

image c. 2017 Technicolor Animation

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Dog. James Dog.

Recently Animation World Network helped guide us to Secret Agent 00K9, a new independent CGI animation project. “Join Secret Agent 00K9 and be whisked away to a world of fun animal characters and ‘who dun it’ mysteries.  Using state-of-the-art spy gadgets and his own cunning instincts for adventure, 00K9 plies skills of detection across the city of Furrywood, a wild and wooly metropolis filled with animals of all shapes, sizes…and schemes! Creator Brian Hoff is a long-time artist, producer and teacher in the animation community. He’s building a grassroots following for 00K9 to honor his original inspiration – his dog!” Mr. Hoff has created a Patreon page to help finance the project. The AWN article includes an interview with Mr. Hoff as well as a preview video.

image c. 2017 by Brian Hoff

 

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The Horse Returns

Took ’em a while, but Dreamworks have finally brought us more adventures with Spirit, star of the 2002 2D animated feature Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Animation Scoop has a recent article introducing us to Spirit Riding Free, a new DreamworksTV animated series coming to NetFlix on May 5th. The story and characters are considerably different from the animated feature this time around: “When city-turned-country girl Lucky meets a wild mustang named Spirit, she feels an instant connection to the untamable horse. A courageous and natural-born leader, Lucky navigates this new world with her two new best friends, Pru and Abigail by her side. The trio embark on thrilling adventures, find genuine friendship, and discover what it means to be free!” No sign of Matt Damon to be found. Anyway, visit the article to see a trailer for the series.

image c. 2017 DreamworksTV

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Knocking The Stuffings Out Of You

Slipped by at first, but we found this over at Cartoon Brew: “Conrad Vernon is reuniting with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna, producer of last year’s hit Sausage Party, for another adult-oriented animation project, Amberville. The project is an adaptation of Tim Davys’Mollisan Town’ novel series set in a gritty world of stuffed animals. Amberville is being developed as a cgi series for Amazon Studios by Vernon and Chris McCoy, who wrote and directed last year’s Good Kids. McCoy wrote the pilot and Vernon will direct it. If the project makes it to series, it would be available on Amazon Prime Video. Amberville’s story revolves around a reformed Teddy Bear who is pulled back in to the criminal underworld when his former boss enlists him for an impossible new job.” Conrad Vernon, of course, is well-known as co-director of Shrek 2, Madagascar 3, and Monsters vs. Aliens.

image c. 2017 Harper Collins Publishing

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