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Elephant

Coming Soon From Italy. We Hope.

And they just keep showing up… More from Animation World Network. Rai Com (from Italy) have acquired several new animation projects for distribution, and of course several of them are furry in nature. Woof Meow is a CGI series directed by Alexey Kotenochkin and produced in Russia by AA Studios. “The series features the funny and entertaining adventures of the two kittens, Binx and Lulu, and their puppy-dog pals Oscar, Snickers, Sparky, and Hopper the Inventor. Together, they play games, make up new inventions and start real or imaginary adventuresome trips to explore the world around them. In each episode, someone gets in trouble and needs the support of the group of friends to solve the situation.” Then there’s Dixiland, a more traditional 2D animated series for preschoolers. “Dixi, the small winged elephant who is the protagonist of the story, joins other creatures as they experience joy, fun and problems.” Both are headed to MIPCOM and looking for international distribution.

image c. 2018 Rai Com

They Get It Over There…

We stumbled across an interesting article about a new series of animated shorts coming to TV in South Africa. “NickToons in association with local animation studio, Sunrise Productions have proudly developed it’s first South African animation for the channel. Munki and Trunk is a dialogue-free 3D animated TV series for kids aged 4 to 7. Munki is a vine-swinging force of nature, hungry for bananas and adventure. Trunk is a big-hearted elephant who loves to nurture and play. These unlikely best friends explore their world together, facing fears and helping friends along the way. It’s the most fun you can have in the jungle.” The show is produced by Tim Keller, and it premiers this month. No word at all if anyone plans to distribute it to other parts of the world, unfortunately.

image c. 2018 Sunrise Productions

When the Pridelands Betray You…

The writers’ group known collectively as Erin Hunter (Warriors) have returned with Broken Pride, the first book in their new series Bravelands. “A lion cast out from his pride. An elephant who can read the bones of the dead. A baboon rebelling against his destiny. For generations, the animals of the African plains have followed a single rule: Only kill to survive. But when an unthinkable act of betrayal shatters the peace, the fragile balance between predators and prey will rest in the paws of three unlikely heroes. Set in an epic new world and told from three different animals’ points of view, Bravelands will thrill readers who love Spirit Animals and Wings of Fire, as well as the legion of dedicated fans who’ve made Erin Hunter a bestselling phenomenon.” It’s coming later this month from Harper Collins. Check out their web site for more.

image c. 2017 Harper Collins

Yeah, So He’s Imaginary

How did we ever miss these? Katherine Applegate is a writer of books for young readers, who has some interesting anthropomorphic credentials. The One and Only Ivan is a Newberry Award-winning novel from 2013 about a very special gorilla. “Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.” Take a look over at Amazon.  Then more recently, and even more anthropomorphic perhaps, there’s Crenshaw from 2015. “Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again… Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?” Guess we’ll find out soon enough. It’s also available at Amazon.

image c. 2016 Feiwel & Friends

image c. 2016 Feiwel & Friends

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A 10-Year Old Classic Returns

Here’s one we definitely missed the first time around, but now it’s back thanks to the folks at IDW: “Finally, Spiral-Bound is coming back in print! With an ensemble cast straight from a box of Animal Crackers, this delightful tale of ambition, morality, and self-discovery is an all-ages classic. Drawn in a decidedly beautiful fashion, reminiscent of Richard Scary and Lewis Trondheim, Aaron Renier gives us a fully-realized and compellingly adventurous narrative, at once both achingly naive and profoundly worldly. This tightly crafted graphic novel is the real deal, and will charm your socks off.” Here’s a little bit more about the plot, courtesy of Booklist: “In this [black & white] graphic novel about the young animal characters who live in the Town, Turnip the elephant is using the summer to find his artistic voice through sculpture, his friend Stucky the dog is building a submarine, and Ana the rabbit is working on the town’s underground newspaper. Their stories all wind around the town’s deep, dark secret about the monster that lives in the pond.” Got all that?

image c. 2016 IDW Publishing

image c. 2016 IDW Publishing

The Elephant Just Goes “Toot”

By far one of the oddest things we came across at Long Beach Comic Con was the world of Cy the Elephart. (Look, people, we don’t make this stuff up — We’d be a whole lot richer if we could!) Created by a trio of “phartists” (their term), Denise Saffren, Paul Schoepflin, and Becky Mann have brought us a friendly and fun-loving elephant who loves nothing more than to break wind. And, apparently, to do so in some very prettily-painted environments. We’re not saying it’ll make more sense, but you’ll see just how busy these folks have been with this project when you visit the official Cy web site. And yes, they have a book project in the works and lots of Cy goodies for sale.

image c. 2016 CyTheElephart.com

image c. 2016 CyTheElephart.com

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How Does An Elephant Sneak?

Out-of-nowhere department… and more of a curiosity than a recommendation. There’s a new DVD out this week: A direct-to-video animated film called Elephant Kingdom. Here’s the tag: “When brave elephant Rock (Cary Elwes) sees his wife, Melody (Alexa PenaVega), kidnapped by the powerful human king (Patrick Warburton), the mighty warrior will need some jumbo-sized help from his friends in order to rescue her. Coming to his aid is a quirky, courageous troop of young elephants, including Rally (Carlos PenaVega), and Pugsley (Mikey Bolts), plus the ever-trusty and wacky Wingman (Garrett Clayton) and the kindhearted human queen (Ambyr Childers)”. Interestingly, other than “Grindstone Entertainment” and Lionsgate (who released it) we know next to nothing about who made this. The IMDB entry does not list any director, writers, or other crew; only the English-language voice actors.  It’s available and on the shelves now, but check out the trailer first.

image c. 2016 Lionsgate

image c. 2016 Lionsgate

Humans are a Distant Memory…

Published at the tail-end (ha ha ha) of 2015 we have Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, the first book in a new series by Lawrence M. Schoen. Here’s the official description from the publishers, Tom Doherty Associates: “In a distant future, no remnants of human beings remain, but their successors thrive throughout the galaxy. These are the offspring of humanity’s genius: Animals uplifted into walking, talking, sentient beings. The Fant are one such species, anthropomorphic elephants ostracized by other races, and long ago exiled to the rainy ghetto world of Barsk. There, they develop medicines upon which all species now depend. The most coveted of these drugs is koph, which allows a small number of users to interact with the recently deceased and learn their secrets. Surrounded by danger, a Fant historian is ensnared by the past, and a physically challenged child sees the future. Between them are truths that will shake worlds.” It’s available now in hardcover at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2016 Tom Doherty Associates

image c. 2016 Tom Doherty Associates

Animals of a Different Color: Lots of Them!

MIPCON is taking place in Europe, and that means there are several new animated TV series looking for distribution in, among many other places, North America. And of course many of them are more than a little bit anthropomorphic. One of the ones that is generating a lot of buzz is called Zafari, from Ink Global. This is from Animation World Network: “Zafari is the brainchild of David Dozoretz – an animation visionary who worked alongside George Lucas on the Star Wars prequels and also contributed to major movies such as Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, Moulin Rouge, X-Men 3, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. With a multi-million euro budget in place, this sumptuous animation tells the story of a group of animal friends who live together in Zafari – a land that’s home to a collection of unique inhabitants who have all been magically born with the skin of other animals. The series follows the adventures of Zoomba – a little elephant with zebra stripes – as he explores and makes sense of the world. Zafari concentrates on the themes of inclusivity and friendship, inspiring kids that everybody is unique in some way and that our differences should be celebrated.” Currently there isn’t a lot on the Zafari home page, but still if you go there you can see the proposed opening credits.

image c. 2014 Ink Global

image c. 2014 Ink Global