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Dreamworks

Bird and Dog

David Wentworth is an artist, illustrator, and storyteller (his words) that we me at CTN Animation Expo. According to his web site, “David has worked for clients like Dreamworks, Sony, and Amazon animation, and is advancing his career as a concept/character artist and comic artist. He creates in a wide range of mediums, both traditional and digital. In addition to animals he enjoys science fiction, writing, history, theatre, biology and languages in his art.” In addition to his illustration, he’s created an on-line comic called Blue & Jay which should be of considerable interest to Furry Fans. He even creates puppets!

image c. 2018 by David Wentworth

Mice, Mystics, Movies!

So here’s what we just found over at Slash Film: “Variety reports that [Dreamworks Animation] is in final negotiations for the movie rights to Jerry Hawthorne’s board game Mice and Mystics. The role-playing game, which was our No. 1 pick for games that should be adapted to film, follows mice heroes who must race through a vast castle to break the curse of the evil Vanestra, fighting rats, cockroaches, spiders, and the castle cat, Brodie. Its complex, deeply involved story seemed perfect for a big-screen adaptation, and it seems that DreamWorks thinks so too. If talks go through, The Hills Have Eyes and Horns director Alexandre Aja is set to direct a script by Aquaman scribe David Leslie Johnson. Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee and Jon Berg are producing.” Sounds like there is some serious talent behind this project, yes?

image c. 2018 by John Ariosa

Looking Ahead to 2019

Cartoon Brew has a new article up giving a chronological and detailed look at animated features from major studios that are scheduled to hit theaters in 2019. Interestingly, almost all of them have furry content — some more than others of course, but just about all of them have a least a little! Those titles include The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, How To Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World, Wonder Park, Missing Link, Uglydolls, Farmageddon (aka Shaun the Sheep 2), The Secret Life of Pets 2, Toy Story 4, The Lion King (the realistic CGI “live action” remake), Wish Dragon, Angry Birds 2, Abominable, and Frozen 2. (Hey, the first one nabbed itself an Ursa Major Award, don’t forget!)

image c. 2018 LAIKA

Three To Dream

Thanks to our friends at Animation Scoop, we found out about three new animated TV series that Dreamworks Animation is producing for Netflix. And guess what?  All three of them are anthropomorphic! First up is Archibald’s Next Big Thing, coming in 2019. “Inspired by the critically acclaimed children’s book from Tony Hale, Tony Biaggne, and Victor Huckabee, Archibald’s Next Big Thing follows the adventures of Archibald Strutter, a chicken who ‘yes-ands’ his way thru life. Though living in the moment often leads him astray, Archibald always finds his way back home.” Then in 2020 look for this: “Welcome to Gabby’s Dollhouse, the preschool show with a surprise inside! Created and executive produced by Traci Paige Johnson (Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and Jennifer Twomey (Blue’s Clues, Team Umizoomi), Gabby’s Dollhouse is a mixed media series that unboxes a surprise before jumping into a fantastical animated world full of adorable cat characters that live inside Gabby’s dollhouse.” And finally in 2020: “All aboard to DreamWorks Rhyme Time Town, where Daisy the Puppy and Cole the Kitten are ready to guide young children through a colorful and adventurous world filled with nursery rhymes and imaginative play.” Stay tooned!

image c. 2018 Dreamworks Animation

And More Dragons in Your Future

Meanwhile we got this from Moviefone.com: Turns out that we now have details about a new Disney animated film, Dragon Empire, scheduled for release in 2020 (they think). “Paul Briggs — head of story on Big Hero 6 and Frozen — will make his directorial debut… alongside Tangled animator Dean Wellins [as co-director]. Cars and Cars 3 writer Kiel Murray is said to be developing the script, with Moana producer Osnat Shurer back to produce.” Not a lot of details on the plot yet, but we know it involves dragons, a plucky female lead named Jan-Nin, and a male character named Bolin who is “said to be comic relief and a 900-year-old mentor to Jan-Nin.” The article also points out that Dreamworks is busy getting ready for the release of How To Train Your Dragon III in 2019, and we’ve already talked about Wish Dragon, Sony Picture’s dragon fantasy which is also slated for 2019. Looks like there are a lot of dragons flying our way!

image c. 2018 Walt Disney Animation

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