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Comedy

Aw, the Brits Get Everything!

This came out of nowhere, but we have an excuse: I appears to be a UK exclusive. Here’s what we got from Animation World Network: “Disney UK has announced that Paloma Faith, Miriam Margolyes, Ben Bailey Smith, Tameka Empson and Bethan Wright have signed up for a ‘spot’ on Disney Channel’s brand new animation series, 101 Dalmatian Street, and will be featured in the first season which is set to launch on Disney Channel UK early next year. Ahead of the season premiere, there will be a special episode, airing in December 2018, which will introduce audiences to the unique characters and world of 101 Dalmatian Street. The U.K. guest stars will be joining Josh Brener as Dylan (Silicon Valley, Star Wars Resistance, The Big Bang Theory), Michaela Dietz as Dolly (Steven Universe, Barney & Friends) who voice the eldest Dalmatian siblings… Aimed at girls and boys, the new series has been reimagined for the 21st Century and is set in modern day London in the borough of Camden. The series follows the adventures of eldest siblings Dylan and Dolly, their parents Doug and Delilah, and 97 younger puppies, whose names also begin with ‘D’, in an epic comedy about family life, multiplied one hundred and one.” The article has a whole bunch more about the voice actors and the production team. Who knows? Maybe Disney will let us folks in North America see this sometime.

image c. 2018 Disney Channel UK

2019 Could Get Ugly

UPDATE: As we mentioned last summer, both a feature film and a new TV series based on the UglyDolls line of plush toys have been in development for some time. Well now thanks to Animation Scoop and the Hulu Network we have the first trailer for the UglyDolls animated feature. And as it turns out, the film includes quite a roster of singers and well-known actors giving voices to the characters, including Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Pitbull, Wanda Sykes, and Gabriel Iglesias. The film is directed by Kelly Asbury (of Shrek 2 and Gnomeo & Juliet).

image c. 2018 STX

Under D Sea

And yet more animation heading to MIPCOM, looking for distribution. From Animation World Network: “Ken Faier’s independent production company, Epic Story Media (ESM), has signed major co-production agreements for two new animated series, Dolph-N-Fince and Haley & The Hero Heart, which both make their international debut at MIPCOM.” So let’s talk about the furrier, or rather, finnier of the two… “Dolph-N-Fince is a co-production with Canadian independent Neptoon Studios, headed by award-winning Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton (Looped, Grojband, Sidekick) and Paris-based Samka Animation (Jamie’s Got Tentacles, The Marsupilami, The Sisters). Aimed at children aged 5-12, Dolph-N-Fince is a ‘fish out of water’ comedy about dolphin brothers who leave the ocean forever to live on land as guardians of Ocean King’s rebellious teenage daughter. The boys’ over-the-top personalities lead to crazy misadventures that always put Coral in the danger zone. If they blow this, their freedom and dolphin souls are on the line.” Shouldn’t that be cetacean out of water…?

image c. 2018 Epic Story Media

Meet Him Next Tuesday

With a name like Taco, this rodent is gonna be different… maybe even difficult. “This is a squirrel . . . ‘Hey, I may be a squirrel, but my name is Taco! And I don’t eat nuts and tree bark — blech — I prefer tacos!’ The natural predator of squirrels is . . . ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who is writing this book? I do not like where this is going.’ This hilarious send-up of a children’s nature primer teaches kids that the most important story is the one you write yourself.” This Is A Taco was written by Andrew Cangelose and illustrated by Josh Shipley. It’s available now from the Cubhouse imprint of Lion Forge. Check it out at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2018 Cubhouse

The Grump is Finally Here

You may recall that a couple years ago (!) we talked about a new animated feature based on the 1960’s Depatie-Freleng TV series called Here Comes The Grump. Well it seems that Anima Estudios just recently completed the film and released it in Mexico. What’s more, according to Cartoon Brew it’s apparently coming to the U.S. for a brief theatrical run, under the title A Wizard’s Tale. “The film is directed by Andres Couturier, who also helmed Anima’s 2015 feature Top Cat Begins. Some key American talent was involved in the development of the film, including writer Jim Hecht (Ice Age: The Meltdown) and character designer Craig Kellman (Madagascar, Samurai Jack, Hotel Transylvania). English voice cast includes Lily Collins, Toby Kebbell, and Ian McShane.” Cartoon Brew has a trailer for the film as well. Look for it!

image c. 2018 Anima Estudios

The Audition of a Lifetime

Is it time to start thinking about the Holidays already? Evidently — Look what showed up in our in-box from Animation World Network: “U.S. distribution rights to Josh Hutcherson’s animated family feature Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer have been acquired by Screen Media, according to a Variety report, with a holiday season release set for November 30… In the film, written and directed by Jennifer Westcott, Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21, which gives Elliot, a miniature horse, only three days to travel to the North Pole, compete for the open spot and fulfill his lifelong dream of pulling Santa’s sleigh. Voice casting includes Hutcherson as Elliot and Samantha Bee as Hazel the goat, as well as John Cleese, Martin Short, Jeff Dunham, and Morena Baccarin.” Not sure if it’s a “release” to theaters or DVD, but we’ll find out!

image c. 2018 Awesometown Entertainment

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

Volcanoes, Hurricanes… and now Pineapples

Found out about this at San Diego Comic Con: The same animation team that brought us Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom (we talked about that!) returns with a new feature called Hallowaiian. “In the vein of The Goonies, E.T., and Jurassic Park, Hallowaiian follows three kids who must put their differences aside to save the island from a monster thought only to live in legends. Kai, Leilani, Eddie and the Menehune, Hawaii’s mischievous creatures, must band together to stop the monster they have mistakenly awoken. Facing great dangers along the way, the kids realize the true meaning of courage, friendship and tradition. The voice cast stars Hawaii Five-0 alumni Teilor Grubbs and Mark Dacascos with Tia Carerre (Wayne’s World) and Kiefer O’Reilly (Howard Lovecraft).” Once again it’s directed by Sean Patrick O’Reilly from Arcana Studios. Looks like it should be available this October — of course.

image c. 2018 Arcana Studios

It’s Good To Have A Friend

And more, this time from both Animation Magazine and Variety: “Russia’s animation powerhouse Riki Group has teamed up with New York’s 3 Beep to work on the upcoming CG-animated feature My Friend Finnick. The comedy, which was presented at Cartoon Movie this year, follows the adventures of a ten-year-old American girl who moves with her family to Scotland and befriends a Finn, a magical and mischievous spirit who lives in her new house. When the young girl goes missing. the Finn sets out to rescue her, but in doing so he puts himself in danger. The movie, which is budgeted at $7 million, is in development, and is due to be released in 2020. It is being directed by Riki’s Denis Chernov (Kikoriki movies) and written by Chernov, Tatyana Belova and 3 Beep’s Tim Werenko (Pokemon, The Winx Club, Snow Queen 3).” Fortunately for us, Riki Group has been getting better at securing distribution in North America.

image c. 2018 Riki Group