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Fantasy

Goodbye to Ponies… and Hello Ponies

Things have been changing rapidly in the world of My Little Pony since Friendship Is Magic ended its TV run in 2019. Now comes the news from IDW Publishing that the comic book tie-in to MLP-FIM is coming to a close very soon… while at the same time, they announced what’s coming next. “Since its very inception in 2012, the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic monthly comic book series from IDW has captured the hearts and minds of filly fans everywhere. Now, after almost a decade of publication, we bid a fond farewell to Friendship is Magic with September’s issue #102, the oversized conclusion of the official ‘Season 10’ storyline that picked up where the beloved animated series left off… But friends, never fear! Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity will return in a new series beginning in October: My Little Pony: Generations! Written by Casey Gilly and illustrated by Michela Cacciatore, the new five-issue miniseries will see the Ponies of two separate generations collide, as the familiar faces from Friendship is Magic must call upon the original G1 Ponies of the 1980s for help against a new witch threat erupting from the Volcano of Doom!” So, will this go beyond five issues? We’ll find out soon.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Can We Have Some Of What THEY Had…?

We’re learning more about Centaurworld, the very colorful and very very strange new animated series created for Netflix by Megan Nicole DongHow to Train Your Dragon 2). Animation World Network describes it like this: “Centaurworld follows a war horse who is transported from her embattled world to a strange land inhabited by silly, singing centaurs of all species, shapes, and sizes. Desperate to return home, she befriends a group of these magical creatures and embarks on a journey that will test her more than any battle she’s ever faced before.” Trust us, that barely scratches the surface of just how odd this beastie is. Check out the trailer on YouTube, or experience the series itself on July 30th.

image c. 2021 Netflix

Her Friends Come Out At Night

More interesting news from Animation World Network: “Netflix has announced their newest preschool series, Ridley Jones, created and executive produced by Peabody, Emmy, and Humanitas Prize-winning children’s television screenwriter and producer Chris Nee, known for creating the popular kids’ series Doc McStuffins and Vamperina. Nee is heralding in a new era of preschool TV that is steeped in representation, diversity, and inclusivity, continuing her mission to change the way we look at media for kids. Her newest series features a strong female lead character and re-occurring LGBTQIA+ characters like Fred the non-binary bison (the first reoccurring non-binary character in a preschool series). The CG animated series follows six-year-old Ridley who, alongside her mother and grandmother, is a protector of the museum she calls home. Keeping the exhibits safe takes a real hero, especially when the lights go out and the exhibits — from Egyptian mummies to stampeding elephants — come to life! Throughout her many adventures, Ridley finds that being a good protector, and leader, is about finding common ground and respecting others, no matter what our differences might be.” Like all of Chris Nee’s series, this new one abounds with anthropomorphic buddy characters, including a dinosaur, a chimp astronaut, a dodo, and the aforementioned bison. The series premieres on Netflix on July 13, but there are preview episodes are up on YouTube already.

image c. 2021 Netflix

Luck Be A Dragon Tonight

We’re also learning more about Luck, the new CGI animated feature that’s coming from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Animation. It was previously announced that Jane Fonda would be in the cast, and now it turns out Whoopi Goldberg is lending her voice too. According to Animation World Network: “Goldberg will provide the voice for ‘The Captain’, the tough-as-nails Head of Security for the Land of Good Luck,” while Fonda “…will voice ‘The Dragon’, the exuberant CEO of Good Luck and undisputed luckiest ancient being in all the land.” They go on to say this: “Directed by Peggy Holmes (Secret of the WingsThe Pirate Fairy) and written by Kiel Murray (CarsCars 3), Luck centers around the unluckiest girl in the world, who after stumbling upon the never-before-seen world of good and bad luck, must join together with magical creatures to uncover a force more powerful than even luck itself.” The article goes on to detail several other animated projects that Skydance have in the works.  Luck is scheduled for release by Apple TV+ in February of 2022.

image c. 2021 Skydance Animation

So Deadly and So Cute

Don’t look now, but Stan Sakai’s world has gone pear-shaped — almost literally! It’s time for Chibi-Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis, a new full-color graphic novel premiering this month from IDW. “Stan Sakai’s beloved rabbit samurai has won countless fans over his 35 year history, thanks to a clever blend of thrilling action, heartwarming characters, and realistic portrayal of Japanese culture. Chibi-Usagi brings these fun and thoughtful stories to middle-grade readers as a original graphic novel packed with adorable art and captivating energy. While fishing for freshwater eels, Chibi-Usagi, Tomoe, and Gen rescue a Dogu, a clay creature from Japan’s prehistory. The Dogu’s village has been enslaved by the Salamander King and his Heebie-Chibi minions and are forced to work in their mines. Chibi-Usagi and his friends must rescue the Dogu people and eliminate the threat of the Salamander King forever in this feature-length story of adventure, humor, and slippery eels.” It’s written by creator Stan Sakai, of course, with art and more writing by Julie Fujii Sakai. In trade paperback.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Dogs of the West

No North is a brand new web comic that’s just getting started. It’s written and illustrated by the animator Raquel Simoso, also known as Skailla. There’s a preview video over on YouTube, along with several of Skailla’s other projects. No North is Old West adventure, mystery, and magic — with dogs! “Inspired by classic animal fables, traditionally animated movies, and every old west adventure you can imagine, this story came to life with the support of fans from around the world.” Take a look over at the official web site.

image c. 2021 by Raquel Simoso

For the Deerfox Fan in your Life

We’re quoting this one direct from the source — because they say it so well. “Deep in the library is a book that tells of giants and elves, woffs and deer foxes, and all manner of creatures from the Wilderness to the center of Trolberg. Those who wish to learn will glean all the knowledge they need from Hilda’s own copy of this fascinating compendium of beasts and spirits… For fans of Netflix’s hit animated Hilda series, this gorgeous guide to creatures from tiny to giant will keep young adventurers spellbound, with a behind-the-scenes bestiary that teaches Hilda fans everything they’ll want to know about the fauna of Trolberg, featuring trivia and brand new art!” Written by Emily Hibbs and illustrated by Jason Chan, Hilda’s Book of Beasts and Spirits is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2021 Flying Eye Books

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

Winging to Your TV

Ava DuVernay, director of Selma and A Wrinkle In Time, has a new series in the works — with dragons. Wings of Fire was a novel series, then a graphic novel — and now, a new animated series on its way to Netflix. “Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner Ava DuVernay has landed her animated family series, Wings of Fire, at Netflix. Based on Tui T. Sutherland’s #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling book series, the epic fantasy saga will be produced by Warner Bros. Animation… Published by Scholastic, with 14 million copies in print, the Wings of Fire book series tells the story of a bitter war that has raged for generations between the dragon tribes who inhabit the epic world of Pyrrhia. According to prophecy, five young dragons will rise to end the bloodshed and bring peace back to the land. Raised and trained in secret from the time they were hatched, the Dragonets of destiny – Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Starflight, and Sunny – embark on an evolving quest that will bring them face to face with their true selves and the overwhelming scope of this savage war they are destined to bring to an end.” Stay tooned for more news about a planned release date!

image c. 2021 Scholastic, Inc.