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Disney

Kiff is Spiff

Looking further ahead with Animation World Network. News from Annecy 2021: “Disney Channel has ordered Kiff, a nutty animated buddy-comedy series from South African creators and executive producers Lucy Heavens (Space Chickens in Space) and Nic Smal (Caillou), set to debut in 2023… The series follows Kiff, an optimistic squirrel whose best intentions often lead to complete chaos, and her best friend Barry, a sweet and mellow bunny. Set in the bustling mountains, where animals and magical creatures live together in harmony, the series features the duo, who take the town by storm with their endless adventures and zest for life.” So we’ll see you in a couple years then!

image c. 2021 Disney Channel

Pretty Far From Hawaii…

Okay, here’s something that snuck up on on us: Stitch and the Samurai, a new Disney spinoff manga written and illustrated by Hiroto Wada. “While fleeing the Galactic Federation, Stitch’s spaceship malfunctions and he makes an emergency landing… not in Hawaii, but in sengoku-era Japan! Discovered by the brutal warlord Lord Yamato and his clan, Stitch’s incomparable cuteness is no match for the battle-weary samurai, who decides to bring the ‘blue tanuki’ home with him. Will Stitch’s love of chaos turn into a formidable advantage for the samurai’s influence? Or will his cute and fluffy form disarm the noble lord’s stern façade?” In other words, is the noble lord a stupid-head? Find out now at TokyoPop.

image c. 2021 TokyoPop

Danger, Mickey Mouse! Danger!

IDW Publishing continues to present some unusual Disney-themed comic book entertainment. Listen, you’re going to notice someone who creates a story called The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, right? Well now writer Tom Angleberger brings us Disney’s Doorways To Danger, a new full-color graphic novel. “Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Uncle Scrooge, and all their friends are contestants on a reality TV game show called Doorways to Danger! As they scramble to be the first to collect the magical keys that lead them to their prizes, their grinning game show host might have plans of his own! And what are Pete and Trudy up to?!” As you can see from the cover by artist Jeff Harvey below, Mr. Angleberger isn’t the only one with a… unique take on well-known Disney characters! Doorways To Danger is available this June in hardcover.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

An Inspirational Fore-bearer

For those who thought that Furry Art got its start in the 1980’s…  meet T.S. Sullivant, who was doing this when Walt Disney was still in school. Now Fantagraphics Books have compiled many of his well-known black & white cartoons — along with words of appreciation — into a new book called A Cockeyed Menagerie. “Welcome to the cockeyed menagerie of Thomas Starling Sullivant. From the 1880s to the Roaring Twenties, Sullivant conjured up a whimsical world in pen and ink — riotous gag cartoons featuring anthropomorphic animals of all stripes; perennial American ‘types’ like hobos, hayseeds, and urban hucksters; and familiar characters from ancient myths and biblical tales. Imbued with infectious joy, his drawings have inspired generations of artists and countless Disney films.” It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2021 Fantagraphics Books

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

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

The Wizard of Dis-e-ney Place?

So let’s end the year with… more of The Mouse. They keep bringing it! Wizards of Mickey: Origins, Volume 1 is a new full-color graphic novel that just came out. “When a sorcerer steals a powerful magic crystal from the ancient wizard Nereus, apprentice Mickey Mouse travels to the capital of Grandhaven to reclaim it before Nereus realizes it’s gone. His search leads him to the Grand Sorcerers Tournament, which he enters with two young wizards he meets along the way – Goofy and Donald Duck. Little does he know, a far more sinister plot is unfolding in the shadows of the competition…” Look for it in paperback from Yen Press. [And with that, we wish you all a happier and healthier 2021. Be There With Fur On!]

image c. 2020 Yen Press

Everyone’s After Mickey

Once again, it’s probably better if we just let the publishers describe what Mickey’s All-Stars is all about… “Star artists from around the globe each draw a chapter of Mickey’s wildest adventure — from Giorgio Cavazzano (Disney Masters) to Mike Peraza (Mickey’s Christmas Carol) to Marco Rota, plus dozens more! While celebrating his birthday at a carnival, Mickey crosses the threshold of a fortune-teller’s mystic portal and finds himself flung headlong into an amazing journey. He encounters one phantasmagorical dimension after another — a fractured fairy tale kingdom, a cubist realm, and outer space — with plenty of dragons, mummies, and giant mouse-eating plants along the way. (Not to mention alternate versions of Goofy, Peg Leg Pete, and the Phantom Blot!) Can Mickey get back? How deep does this rabbit hole — er, mouse hole — go?” The answer is available now in hardcover from Fantagraphics.

image c. 2020 Fantagraphics Books

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