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New Furry TV from Dreamworks

According to an article at Animation Scoop, we (or at least Amazon Prime Video subscribers) have not one but two new TV series from Dreamworks Animation to look forward to. First off are the brand new 2D adventures of none other than Rocky and Bullwinkle, set to premier this May. “The world-famous talking moose and flying squirrel are back in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, a serialized comedy about two goofball best friends who routinely find themselves thrust into harrowing situations but end up saving the day time and again… The series is executive produced by Scott Fellows (The Fairly OddParents, Big Time Rush) and Tiffany Ward, daughter of the original series producer Jay Ward, and features Tara Strong (The Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans Go!) as the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel, Brad Norman (America’s Most Haunted) as Bullwinkle J. Moose, Ben Diskin (Hey Arnold!) as Boris Badenov, Rachel Butera (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Natasha Fatale, Piotr Michael (Impress Me, MADtv) as Fearless Leader, and Daran Norris (The Fairly OddParents) as the Narrator.” Then, there’s a brand new TV series based on the Kung Fu Panda movies. “Later in 2018, Prime Video will premiere Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, an epic adventure series from Emmy Award-winning executive producers Mitch Watson and Elliott Owen (All Hail King Julien), and Lane Lueras (The Adventures of Puss in Boots). When four panda kids stumble upon a mystical cave beneath Panda Village, accidentally absorbing the chi of ancient and powerful kung fu warriors known as the Four Constellations, they must realize a destiny to save the world from an evil force. Meanwhile, Po finds himself faced with his biggest challenge yet — teaching this ragtag band of kids how to wield their newfound powers.” Much to keep your eyes out for! No previews for Paws of Destiny yet, but the article has a preview video of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

image c. 2018 Dreamworks

Black Ink and Big Creatures

A recent discovery from the Long Beach Comic Expo. Seung Woo Cha currently works as a director at Dreamworks TV… but he is also a fine artist, known for his imaginative depictions of wild life from around the world — especially gorillas and other apes. Often working in black ink, he paints in broad artistic strokes that nonetheless capture the essence and power of his subjects. Recently he collected several of his works together into a hardcover portfolio book, appropriately enough entitled The Art of Wild Life. You can purchase the book over at his web site, and see examples of his work as well.

image c. 2018 Draw 4 Life Studios

Monster Fight Monsters Too

[Heading out of 2017, and wishing you all a happy and safe New Year in 2018. Stay Furry!]

In case you haven’t caught word of it yet: Trollhunters, created by none other than Guillermo Del Toro for Dreamworks TV and Netflix, is coming off a very successful and award-winning year. Now Dark Horse Comics have announced a new full-color tie-in graphic novel. Trollhunters: The Secret History of Trollkind is written by Richard Hamilton and Marc Guggenheim with art by Timothy Green II and Wes Dzioba.Trollhunters: The Secret History of Trollkind explores Jim’s journey as the first human Trollhunter — defender of good trolls. The secrets of the great troll warriors of the past are crucial tools for the new Trollhunter, and the time has come for Jim to appreciate the battles of Kanjigar the Courageous, who through his own struggles, triumphs, and failures lead the trolls after the Battle of Killahead Bridge through unknown territory, across oceans and continents, and past fearsome foes! With his friends by his side, Jim continues the fight against the Gumm-Gumms and their allies!” SyFy Wire has a detailed article about it. Look for it this February.

image c. 2017 Dark Horse

Before He Stormed Heaven

Grace Kum is a visual development artist and illustrator whom we met at the CTN Animation Expo. Recently she’s worked on Disney TV’s Big Hero 6 series, and various series for Dreamworks TV too. We’re spotlighting her because in her free time she’s been working with Dahyeu Celine Kim on a project called Higher Than The Sky, which they describe as “a prequel to Journey To The West” — which is, of course, the most famous story of the legendary Monkey King. According to Grace’s web site, this project is ready to get up and running again.

image c. 2017 by Grace Kum

How to Battle With Your Dragon

[Back in town again, your ed-otter is happy to get caught up with new furry stuff!] Looking ahead to the delayed-but-still-coming film How to Train Your Dragon 3, Dreamworks Animation have a new full-color graphic novel coming early next year from Dark Horse. “This second standalone graphic novel based on the film series is a new adventure that takes place shortly after the events in How to Train Your Dragon 2, during the period in which Hiccup is desperately trying to fill his father’s role as the chief of Berk. Created with the help of the film’s writer, director, and producer, Dean DeBlois; it bridges the gap between the second and third films. Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the dragon riders encounter two deadly yet mysteriously linked threats: One is an island consumed by Dragonvine, an uncontrollable force of nature that’s poisonous to humans and deadly to dragons. The other is an all-new, all-terrifying dragon species – the web-spitting Silkspanners!” As they noted in the press release, How to Train Your Dragon: Dragonvine is written by Dean Deblois and Richard Hamilton, with illustrations by Francisco de la Fuente and Doug Wheatley.

image c. 2017 Dark Horse

They’re Back to Move It Move It

Our zoo friends from New York… er, Africa… er, Monte Carlo… WHATEVER are back in a new full-color comic collection. Madagascar: Escape Plans brings together issues #1 through #4 of the comic book series from Joe Books in one trade paperback. “Join Marty, Alex, Melman and the whole Madagascar crew on hilarious adventures… Featuring a buddy-cop adventure starring Alex and his arch nemesis Nana, a zany escape plan from Madagascar, a struggle between King Julien and the usurper who’s stolen his throne, and more!” Written by Patrick Storck and illustrated by Rik Hoskin, it’s coming on October 10th.

image c. 2017 Joe Books

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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The Annie Awards for 2016

Your humble ed-otter journeyed to UCLA for the 44th annual Annie Awards — the Oscars of animation, presented by ASIFA-Hollywood. As expected (or hoped by many furry fans!), Zootopia dominated the evening in the feature categories, taking home Annies for Storyboarding, Character Design, Writing, Directing, and Best Feature. It was not a sweep, however, and Kubo and the Two Strings was not far behind: It won awards in the feature categories for Editing, Character Animation, and Production Design. Voting for the Best Voice Acting in the feature category resulted in a tie, shared by Auli’i Cravalho for Moana and Jason Bateman for Zootopia. A new category, Best Independent Feature, was won by the subtly anthropomorphic film The Red Turtle. Disney’s film The Jungle Book won an Annie for Character Animation In A Live Action Production (though it’s still controversial if the film counts as that). Best Short was won by Pixar’s popular birdie film Piper, while Best Student Film went to a European short about dinosaurs called Citipati. Over in the TV broadcast categories the most popular winner of furry interest seemed to be Dreamworks’ Trollhunters, which won for Storyboarding, Character Design, and Character Animation. The Best Television Production for Preschool Children went to Tumble Leaf, while the Best TV Production for Children went to to Adventure Time. Visit the Annie Awards web site for a complete list of the nominees and winners. Congratulations to all!

image c. 2017 Walt Disney Animation

Monsters and Mayhem

Paul Schoeni is an artist, illustrator, and animation designer who has spent much of his career working for Dreamworks Animation. According to his web site, the films he’s worked on have included Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs Aliens, Megamind, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Shrek Forever After, The Croods, Turbo, Trolls, and The Boss Baby. He works in 2D and 3D on computers, but he also has a passion for working with good-old pencil and paper. Not to mention that he has a very distinctive art style! At his Shop you’ll find his sketch book called Monsters and Mayhem for sale, plus many examples of his other works.

image c. 2016 by Paul Schoeni

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