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Funny Animal

This Pig Gets His… Animal

A recent article at Animation World Network let us know about Hit Pig, a new animated feature based on the book Pete and Pickles by Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed. The film version stars the voices of Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Lilly Singh (A Little Late With Lilly Singh). “Set in a futuristic cyberpunk world, the film stars Hitpig (Dinklage) as a grizzled porcine bounty hunter who accepts his next hit: Pickles (Singh), a naive, ebullient elephant who has escaped the clutches of an evil trillionaire. Though Hitpig initially sets out to capture the perky pachyderm, the unlikely pair find themselves on an unexpected adventure criss-crossing the globe that brings out the best in both of them.” And hey, if all goes well it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more interesting anthro features coming out of the production company, Aniventure. “The London-based animation production studio is in production on Riverdance: The Animated Adventure based on the stage show phenomenon of the same name, and Blazing Samurai, based on Mel Brooks’ classic Blazing Saddles and directed by Mark Koetsier (The Grinch) and overseen and produced by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King). Riverdance: The Animated Adventure, Blazing Samurai and Hitpig will be delivered in 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.” Here’s hoping.

image c. 2020 Aniventure

Ravenous Rodents and Sugary Substances

Good grief, there’s been a lot of anthropomorphic content for young folks coming out of Penguin Random House lately! Now there’s Norma and Belly, Volume 1: Donut Feed The Squirrels (whew, another long title too) written and illustrated by animator Mika Song. From the publisher: “Norma and Belly plan to start the day with some pancakes, but when Norma accidentally burns them, these two best friends set out to find a new treat. Chestnuts might be nice . . . but what is that delicious smell in the distance? A new food truck has parked near their tree, and these two squirrels are going to figure out how to get their hands on these ‘donuts’ that it seems to be selling.” There are other graphic novels available in the Norma and Belly series as well.

image c. 2020 Penguin Random House

Furry Forest Adventures

Thanks to Twitter we found out about Wild Lands, a new fantasy role-playing game created by Steve Wood — an animation and game arts professor and fantasy illustrator, to quote him. “Wild Lands is a High Fantasy Critter TTRPG inspired by the stories I loved as a kid like Redwall, The Wind in the Willows, The Rats of Nymph, and Once Upon a Forest to name a few.” Over at the official web site it says “Scurry into adventure with Wild Lands, a cooperative storytelling RPG where players control squirrel knights, mouse mages,  badger barbarians, and more!” Free trial downloads are available now.

image c. 2020 by Steve Wood

Teeth and Tech

…and more graphic novels for young readers, coming to us from Penguin Random House. Possibly the strangest yet for the current crop: Shark and Bot, written and illustrated by Brian Yanish. “Shark loves water. Bot short circuits if he goes near water! Shark recites poetry. Bot recites facts. Can these two really be friends? They’re both a little awkward… They both love comics… And just wait til you see their dance moves when they confront a playground bully.” It’s available now in hardcover. Fun fact: Mr. Yanish works for the Jim Henson Company.

image c. 2020 Penguin Random House

Snack Pets

We’ve talked before about the works of Paige Braddock, both as a writer and an illustrator. Now they’re back with a new full-color graphic novel, Peanut, Butter, and Crackers Volume 1: Puppy Problems. (Woof, what a title!) “Crackers is a rescue dog who’s a bit on the nervous side, but pretty comfy at home with Butter, a very plump cat who–like all cats–is all about himself. The two pets have a good life: big backyard, nice couch, good eats, and an owner who goes to work every day so they can pretty much do what they want. Enter Peanut, a brand-new puppy with big floppy ears, unabashed energy, and no appreciation for the quiet life. The little dog is a chowhound who dips into everybody’s food bowl. He drools, he chews up stuff, he doesn’t get how stairs work, and he’s afraid of the dark. Yowl! Not to mention he’s hogging their owner’s lap. Even the squirrels in the yard are laughing at this goofy little canine. Butter and Crackers have had it! This puppy has to go! But when the backyard gate is left open (the cat’s idea, of course!) and Peanut wanders out and gets lost, the older animals remember what it was like to be alone–and lonely. Butter and Crackers to the rescue!” It’s available now in hardcover from Penguin Random House.

image c. 2020 Penguin Random House

Party with Particles

So we’ve been learning about Party Animals, a new multi-species game available on Steam. “A physics-based party game” — their words. Visit their official web site and it’ll make more sense… at least a little. The important thing is, there’s a free version available for download through October 13th, so hurry! They’re also looking to bring in new members for their development team.

image c. 2020 Recreate Games

Wild Animals… in a Mall

So we found out about Wild Life, a new animated TV series coming to SYFY’s TZGZ lineup on September 26th. Animation Scoop put it like this: “It’s an adult, post-apocalyptic, talking animal, animated comedy… or as it’s been called by the creative team, “It’s like if The Walking Dead smoked a bunch of Adventure Time and binge-watched Friends.”” Wow, that’s a lot to take in. AS has an interview with series creator Adam Davies and his mates.

image c. 2020 SYFY

Off to Sea with Pi-Rats

Thanks to Furry.Today we found out about Curse of the Sea Rats — a new multi-player animated game currently in development. This “ratoidvania” (their word for it) adventure is interesting because the animation is actually hand drawn. Here’s what the web site says: “Curse of the Sea Rats is an epic hand-drawn ratoidvania starring a group of heroes transformed into rats by a pirate witch. Help Douglas, Buffalo, Akane, and Bussa to rescue the Admiral’s son, capture the evil pirate Flora Burn and break the magic spell. Curse of the Sea Rats packs all of the best features from the Metroidvania genre featuring beautiful 2D hand-drawn animation and 3D environments, combined with unique real-time combat mechanics, and of course, lots of rats!” The web site features a press kit, plus more information on the current Kickstarter campaign.

image c. 2020 Petoons Studio SL

Cold Reception

Arctic Dogs (2019) didn’t exactly blow up the box office or impress the critics much. (Ye EdOtter is still trying to figure out how the planned action-adventure film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad morphed into this silly comedy…) Apparently though, Arctic Dogs has been very popular on Netflix — enough so that a spin-off series of animated shorts called Arctic Friends has been created. According to Animation Magazine: “Arctic Friends follows the exciting adventures of Swifty, the arctic fox who has finally achieved his dream job: Be the best delivery dog at Arctic Blast Delivery Service. With the help of his best friend PB the polar bear, Jade the red fox, and the ABDS team, this crew is ready to deliver at any cost! Constantly thwarted by the nefarious mastermind Otto Van Walrus and his mischievous puffins, Swifty must outsmart these villains to ensure that all packages are delivered to their rightful recipients.” The series recently premiered on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.

image c. 2020 Iervolino Entertainment