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ET On Your TV

We just found out about Earth To Ned, the new science fiction TV series from the Muppet folks at The Jim Henson Company. “The galaxy’s first alien-hosted talk show” will start streaming on Disney + starting September 4th. “Produced by The Jim Henson Company and Marwar Junction Productions, Earth to Ned is a decidedly different take on the late-night talk format. It stars extraterrestrial-creatures Ned and Cornelius as they interview terrestrial stars. Each episode focuses on a topic or theme that is unique to Earthlings and fascinating to Ned, including comedy, sports, social media and fashion. Ned beams in celebrity guests from across the known universe, and the more he learns about our human culture, the more obsessed he becomes.” Take a look at the review on Deadline, and check out the trailer video there or on YouTube.

image c. 2020 The Jim Henson Company

This Is The Night

Chances are we don’t need to explain to you why Lady and the Tramp is considered to be such a classic, not just of Disney Animation but of furry fandom as well. It’s the story of two dogs — one pet, one stray — that is considered by many to be one of the greatest date movies ever made, animated or otherwise. What more do you need? Well now Dark Horse Press have brought us a new printed version with Disney Lady and the Tramp: The Story of the Movie in Comics (whew!). “Rediscover the romantic tale of two dogs from the classic 1955 animated film in this retelling. Lady is a cocker spaniel who is accustomed to a happy home with her owners. Tramp is a mutt, owned by no one, who knows the streets and lives day by day for survival. Through dire circumstances, the two find their way to each other and bridge the divide between their two worlds.” Written by Francois Corteggiani and illustrated by Mario Cortes, it’s available now in hardcover from the publisher.

image c. 2020 Dark Horse Press

Everybody’s Busy! Just A Little Dizzy!

Recently Jake S. Friedman (author, researcher, and professor of art and animation, according to his web site) brought us his new book The Disney Afternoon: The Making of Television Renaissance. “When the Disney Afternoon premiered in 1990, kids tossed their backpacks aside to watch their favorite Disney television characters. Unlike with feature films, these stars had a new adventure every weekday, and their audience journeyed with them on a daily basis. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Disney raised the bar with a lineup of innovative, high-quality television animation. The characters were endearing, the writing was clever, and the art was exceptional. Those who grew up with these characters have continued their love affairs for shows like Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, TaleSpin, and the irrepressibly beloved DuckTales, deep into adulthood. For the first time, learn the history of the Disney Afternoon shows, read interviews from the creative teams, and revel in rare, behind-the-scenes artwork, plus get the full making of story of the modern-day DuckTales series and its legacy connections to the past.” It’s available now in hardcover from Disney Editions. Order it from the author’s store — and check out his other titles.

image c. 2020 Disney Editions

But That Trick NEVER Works…

Where would Furry Fandom be without animation? For that matter, where would the Walt Disney Company be without animation? Strange as it may seem today, that very odd notion was on the table back in the 1980’s… and in his new book Pulling A Rabbit Out Of A Hat: The Making Of Roger Rabbit, author Ross Anderson takes a detailed look at what happened instead. “By the 1980s, animation seemed a dying art. Not even the Walt Disney Company, which had already won over thirty Academy Awards, could stop what appeared to be the end of an animation era. To revitalize popular interest in animation, Disney needed to reach outside its own studio and create the distinctive film that helped usher in a Disney Renaissance. That film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, though expensive and controversial, debuted in theaters to huge success at the box office in 1988. Unique in its conceit of cartoons living in the real world, Who Framed Roger Rabbit magically blended live action and animation, carrying with it a humor that still resonates with audiences. Author Ross Anderson interviewed over 140 artists to tell the story of how they created something truly magical.” The book is available now — and make sure to check out the author’s web site, dedicated to this film and other animation matters.

image c. 2019 University Press of Mississippi

Furry Movies of 2019

Just returned from Midwest FurFest outside Chicago. GOODNESS what an impressive event! Among many other things there, your ever-lovin’ ed-otter presented a lecture called Furry Movies of 2019 — mostly as a way to remind people about some of the anthropomorphic items (very broadly defined!) which are eligible for the 2020 Ursa Major Awards. At the end of it, some folks in the audience asked if there was a version of the list up on line. Well guess what? Now there is! Furry movies (and movies with interesting anthropomorphic characters in them) this year have included:

  • A Dog’s Way Home (imdb)
  • The Underdog, from Korea (imdb)
  • Sheep & Wolves: Pig Deal, from Russia (imdb)
  • Boonie Bears: Blast into the Past, from China (imdb)
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (imdb)
  • How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World (imdb)
  • Manou the Swift, from Germany (imdb)
  • Dumbo (imdb)
  • Missing Link (imdb)
  • Avengers: Endgame (imdb)
  • Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (imdb)
  • Ugly Dolls (imdb)
  • Wonder Park (imdb)
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (imdb)
  • Secret Life of Pets 2 (imdb)
  • Toy Story 4 (imdb)
  • The Lion King (imdb)
  • The Banana Splits Movie (imdb)
  • The Angry Birds Movie 2 (imdb)
  • Abominable (imdb)
  • The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily, from France & Italy (imdb)
  • Arctic Dogs (imdb)
  • Lady and the Tramp (imdb)
  • Frozen 2 (imdb)
  • Togo, coming on December 13th (imdb)
  • Cats, coming on December 20th (imdb)
  • Spies in Disguise, coming on December 25th (imdb)
  • Hayop Ka! aka You Son of a Bitch!, from Korea — coming soon (YouTube)

And also coming soon: Look for a run-down of anthropomorphic movies to look forward to in 2020!

image c. 2019 Disney

Here Come The Annie Awards!

Presented annually by the Hollywood Chapter of ASIFA (the International Animated Film Society), the Annie Awards are considered by many to the the Oscars of animation — and often enough, a vital clue as to who is likely in the running for Academy Awards from this year. Recently, the nominees for the Annie Awards of 2019 were announced. Surprising no one, Disney dominated in several categories, most especially in Best Feature Film. Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4 were both on that list, along with Missing Link, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and Klaus. Missing Link did surprise many, matching Frozen 2 at 8 overall nominations each. Over in the TV categories, notable furry nominees included Bojack Horseman, Disney Mickey Mouse, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a pleasant surprise: Tuca & Bertie in several categories. Visit the official Annie Awards web site to find out more. The Awards will be presented at a ceremony live from UCLA on January 25th, 2020.

image c. 2019 Netflix

Ev’rybody’s Busy, Just A Little Dizzy

Got this right from Animation Scoop: “This month marks Disney Television Animation’s 35th Anniversary, the studio that created pop culture phenomena beloved by multiple generations, including, among others: DuckTales, TaleSpin, Recess, Kim Possible, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Phineas and Ferb, and Gravity Falls.” Your ever-lovin’ ed-otter feels the need to make mention of Gargoyles, too! Take a look at the video celebrating the milestone and interviewing several creative folk about what it’s like to work for The Mouse on the small screen.

image c. 2019 Disney Television Animation

What A Versatile Little Alien

Recently at Los Angeles Comic Con we came across the work of Jonathan Hallett. He’s a career storyboard artist for a living, but in the original art he creates on the side he has a very special affinity for the alien half of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch — so much so that he draws the little blue one (and the pink one, Angel) as just about every other character from every other story you can possibly think of. (With an occasional visit from Toothless of How To Train Your Dragon, as well.) Visit his Etsy store, Stitchtoons, and see what he has to offer.

image c. 2019 by Jonathan Hallett

Monsters by Disney

The most interesting and unusual things seem to keep coming out of Disney’s Italian wing… now just in time for Halloween we find out about two new full-color graphic novels from Dark Horse Publishing, Disney Dracula Starring Mickey Mouse and Disney Frankenstein Starring Donald Duck. Both are adapted by Bruno Enna with art by Fabio Celoni. According to the write-ups (here and here) both try to stick pretty close to the original Gothic works upon which they’re based. Go on and judge for yourself, if you dare!

image c. 2019 Dark Horse Publishing