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Fantasy

Big Birthday for the Little Blue Blur

We got this announcement directly from IDW Publishing: It’s a big birthday celebration for Sonic the Hedgehog! “Timed to the speedster’s 30th trip around the sun this June, IDW will release the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special, a super-sized 80-page comic book featuring three tales of colorful heroes and dastardly villains, sure to tug at the heartstrings of fans of all ages! For this spectacular tribute comic, IDW has tapped Gale Galligan, known for her illustration work on The Babysitters Club, along with Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy, podcasters recognizable from The Adventure Zone and the wildly popular My Brother, My Brother, and Me. This group of newcomers will be contributing their first-ever Sonic adventures alongside fan-favorite and longtime scribe Ian Flynn and artists Mauro Fonseca, Reggie Graham, Aaron Hammerstrom, and Thomas Rothlisberger.” Find out more at the web site — and look for the special trade paperback in stores this summer. Shop safely!

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Snugglers of Many Species

One of the more celebrated (if difficult to find) anime series in recent years as been Interspecies Reviewers — a high fantasy intended for a decidedly adult audience! Well now we’ve discovered that Yen Press has released an artistic tribute manga for the series, Interspecies Reviewers Comic Anthology: Darkness. “Haven’t had enough succu-girls? In this collection of art and short comics, talented Japanese artists such as Okayado (Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls), Ganmarei (Monster Wrestling: Interspecies Combat Girls), and coolkyousinnja (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid) come together for a loving tribute to the monster brothel adventurers of Interspecies Reviewers! Whether it’s new species or old favorites, this anthology has enough hot and steamy action to satisfy any fan!” Well there you go. If you’re old enough to order it you can find all this and more over at Amazon.

image c. 2021 Yen Press

Teddy is Back to Save You

Okay here’s something different: A new movie, heading to Netflix, based on a single illustration. Slashfilm explains: “Back in 2013, word arrived that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was going to make a movie based on a single drawing that appeared on DeviantArt. That’s right: Not an adaptation of a story, but a drawing… a piece called ‘Sweet Halloween Dreams’ by artist Alex Panagopoulos. The project seemed to vanish as quickly as it was announced, but now it’s back – and headed to Netflix. Johnson will produce the film, now titled Teddy and the Guardians of the Night, with Dany Garcia under their Seven Bucks Productions banner.” No word yet on a planned release date, or even any more details on the plot, but many people are making guesses based on the illustration below. We’ll let you know more when we do. Pleasant dreams!

image c. 2021 by Alex Panagopoulos

The Annie Awards for 2020

First the Ursa Major Awards announce their nominees for 2020, and now the Annie Awards — considered to be the Oscars of animation — have done the same. 2020 must have been a good year for furry animation, because many of the Ursa Major and Annie nominations line up! Onward and Soul are up for Best Feature Annies, while Wolfwalkers is up for Best Indie Feature — along with Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon. And all of those are up for multiple individual achievement Annies too — like Best Character Animation, Best Character Design, Best Direction, and so forth. Best Special Production nominees include The Snail and The Whale and Shooom’s Odyssey, while the Best TV/Media for Preschoolers includes Muppet Babies, Stillwater, and The Adventures of Paddington. Also up for a variety of awards are TV and streaming favorites like Hilda, Bojack Horseman, Amphibia, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Brand New Animal, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and Mao Mao — Heroes of Pure Heart. And more! Visit the Annie Awards web site to see all the nominees, and watch for an announcement about this year’s virtual awards ceremony.

image c. 2021 Cartoon Saloon

Aesop It Ain’t

Stone Arch Books have a new line of graphic novels for young readers called Far Out Fables. And like all the best fables, they involve animal characters! With names like Chicken Little Saves The Moon Base (by Benjamin Harper and Omar Lozano), Punk Rock Mouse and Country Mouse (Brandon Terrell and Alex Lopez), and The Wolf in Unicorn’s Clothing (Katie Schenkel and Jimena Sanchez), you can kind of see how this is going. Visit their web site to see all their new titles. They’re published by Capstone.

image c. 2021 Capstone

A Trio for Snowy Days

We just found out about three upcoming animated specials — all of which have some definite Furry interest in them. “Entertainment company TeamTO has acquired the TV, film, and licensing rights to three popular children’s books: Snowman (Snowy and the Snowman), by Jacques Duquennoy; Fox’s Garden (The Winter I Met the Fox), by Camille Garoche; and Something’s Fishy  (Penguin’s Ice Time) by Jean Gouronas. The three winter-themed stories will be produced as individual specials for the 2022/2023 holiday season… In The Winter I Met The Fox, directed by Emma Carré, a fox finds refuge from a cold and snowy evening in a greenhouse. Shy little Sacha overcomes his fears and comes to the rescue with Chickpea, a pet chicken. He is amazed to find that the Fox had babies and learns that friendship is about reaching out. Directed by Lois Espuche, Penguin’s Ice Time follows Penguin as he is ice fishing, but the fish aren’t biting. But why? A comedic cast of polar characters gather, chatter, wager guess and generally, aggravate Penguin until…they hear something below the ice! Snowy and The Snowman, directed by Sif Perlt Savery, stars Snowy, a young snowgirl living in Snowland with her elf parents. On her first day of hockey practice Snowy’s dream of flying like a superhero Snowman comes true as she rescues a little rabbit from a mighty Yeti.” Once again we have Animation World Network to thank for the news. Keep an ear open for release dates next year.

image c. 2021 TeamTO

Ponies Coming Right Into Your Home

Well, some information is better than none, it seems. Animation World Network has an update (at least a little) on this “mysterious” My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic second feature film we’ve been hearing about. “My Little Pony fans will be able to keep their cutie marks parked at home for the Mane Six’s next, as-yet untitled animated feature frolic. Previously slated for theatrical release September 24 through Paramount Pictures, the eOne/Boulder Media project has been hitched up by Netflix for global distribution — excluding China, which is covered by Hasbro’s eOne. A release date has not been revealed. Little has been announced about the new MLP movie, which will once again be based on the smash hit Friendship Is Magic reboot created by Lauren Faust. The film is being directed by Emmy-nominated comedy writer Robb Cullen — co-creator/director/writer of the Spike adult toon Gary the Rat, starring Kelsey Grammer — and kids’ TV animation writer-director José Luis Ucha (Invizimals, Angus & Cheryl, Bernard), with Mark Fattibene (CG supervisor, Monsters vs. Aliens, Kung Fu Panda). Trust us, you’ll know more as soon as we do!

image c. 2021 Boulder Media

Dog Gone… Over the Rainbow

We got this straight from Animation World Network: “Animal Logic has announced that the next project produced in their Vancouver studio will be Toto, the animated musical adaptation of Michael Morpurgo and Emma Chichester Clark’s 2017 book, Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz. A family film told from the perspective of Dorothy’s beloved companion, the screenplay was written by John August, with two-time Tony nominee Alex Timbers attached to direct… The Vancouver studio is currently in production on an animated film based on the DC Super Pets franchise, directed by Jared Stern and set for release in 2022.” Check out the original Toto book from Harper Collins.

image c. 2021 Harper Collins

Down Down, Down in the Water

Bound Tales is an imprint of the ever-reliable Thurston Howl Publications. One of their recurring titles is the anthology called SPECIES… and the latest release is about none “otter” than everyone’s favorite water-weasels. “SPECIES: Otters showcases drama, action, and adventure. Otters construct planet-circling water slides, uncover covert knowledge sunk to the bottom of a river, and confront what it means to be an otter. With stories by Frances Pauli, Mary E. Lowd, and Madison Keller, this anthology invites you to dive into masterfully crafted anthropomorphic fiction!” Edited by Significant Otter — of course. You can find out more over at the Storenvy page.

image c. 2021 Thurston Howl Publications