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From China to the World

Talk about International! Cloth Cat Animation in Wales and 9 Story Distribution in Canada have teamed up with Magic Mall Entertainment in China to bring Magic Mall’s new animated TV series Luo Bao Bei to the wider world. This is from Cloth Cat’s web site: “The series centres on spirited, fun-loving 7 year old Luo Bao Bei as she explores everyday life with her friends, family and animal companions, having adventures and learning that even though we seem different on the outside, the emotions we all feel make us fundamentally the same. Starting life as a popular cartoon spokesperson and community icon in Beijing, this show is created by Grace Tian.” The head writer for the new series is David Ingham, who is well-known for his work on Shaun the Sheep and The Octonauts.

image c. 2017 Cloth Cat Animation

The Tale of the Irish Rooster

Speaking of MIPCOM, as usual the hey-buy-our-TV-series trade show has given us lots of anthropomorphic animation to hope might make its way to our shores. Among them is Brewster the Rooster, created by Salty Dog Pictures and distributed internationally by Monster Entertainment. According to C21 media, “The show… follows the adventures of six-year-old Maggie and her best friend Brewster as they find out the answers to questions only children could think to ask.” Animation magazine has an article from a year ago about this and other interesting projects that Monster has picked up for distribution.

image c. 2017 Monster Entertainment

Kitties From Italy

Another one we learned about from Animation magazine: Italy’s Rainbow Studio (home of Winx Club) has teamed up with Canada’s Bardel Entertainment to bring us 44 Cats, a new animated TV series. (The title is based on a very very popular song in Italy.) Here’s what the creators say: “The series centers on a group of cats who act normally when thy are around people, but act just like humans when they are on their own. Just like children, the little cats see the world of adult humans as confusing and full of strange rules. Highlighting themes of friendship and altruism, 44 Cats is driven by the main characters’ love of helping others.” Currently the show is at MIPCON, searching for distribution in the wider world.

image c. 2017 Rainbow

If You Give A Mouse A TV Show

Looks like Amazon has brought us a classic children’s illustrated book series as a new animated TV series for their Amazon Prime service. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie (famously written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond in 1985) was adapted for animation by Mercury Filmworks in Canada. Show-Runner Joe Scarborough has quite the animation resume’, having worked on shows like Arthur, Doug, Curious George, Pocoyo, and Martha Speaks. This new series follows a young boy named Oliver and his best friend, an adventurous mouse. Their friends are various other kids whose companion animals include a cat, a pig, and even a moose. Check out the preview video over at YouTube.

image c. 2017 Amazon Prime

Step into the World of Crow

Recently, we learned about a new 3D virtual reality film in the works called Rainbow Crow from Baobab Studios. The idea is to make a short film where the viewer can step into a different world and interact with animal characters as they tell you a story. In this case, it’s a Native American legend about how the crow saved his fellow animals from a harsh winter frost — and in so doing, gained his famously black feathers. Directed by Eric Darnell from Dreamworks (Antz, Madagascar), Rainbow Crow stars the voices of singer John Legend, Diego Luna, Constance Wu, and Randy Edmonds. A short preview film (about 4 minutes of the final 40) made the rounds recently at Tribeca and other film festivals. Road To VR has an article about the production of the film.

image c. 2017 Baobab Studios

When Animation Got Cool Again

Quick bit of history: Things were looking kind of bleak for American animation in the late 1970’s. It took a while to shake off the blues and get things going in the 1980’s, but when they finally did, animation came back with a bang. And now there’s a new book about it — with an appropriate title. “Totally Awesome: The Greatest Cartoons of the Eighties is the ultimate guide to ’80s cartoon nostalgia, featuring the art, toys, and inside story behind icons like He-Man, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, and the Thundercats. For an entire generation of kids weaned on the intoxicating excitement of eighties cartoons, the decade can be summed up with two words: Totally Awesome! With a thriving Saturday morning network schedule, a full complement of weekday syndicated programming, and the removal of guidelines that prevented cartoons from being based on toys, the 1980s enjoyed an unprecedented TV animation boom that made household names of a host of colorful characters. From He-Man and the Masters of the Universe to The Transformers, G.I. Joe, and The Muppet Babies, eighties cartoons would have such a huge impact on an entire generation that decades later they have become pop culture touchstones, revered by fans whose young minds were blown by their vivid visuals and snappy storytelling. In this deluxe book, Andrew Farago, a respected cartoon historian and child of the eighties, provides an inside look at the history of the most popular cartoons of the decade, as told by the writers, animators, voice actors, and other creative talents who brought life to some of the era’s most enduring animated shows.” Hey, a decade that brought us Gummi Bears and The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse? We’re there! Totally Awesome is coming in hardcover from Insight Editions at the end of November.

image c. 2017 Insight Editions

Animals to Cuddle

As we’ve noted, if you’re talking about Furry Fandom the word “cute” is never far away. And if you’re talking about cute, plush animals are probably going to come up too. Well at the L.A. Comic Con we came across an artist called Bellzi, who specializes in cute plush animals. In literally dozens of designs in fact. “Anything and Everything Cute” their web site says, and they live up to that ideal!

image c. 2017 by Bellzi

Awww. Weird, but Awww.

Every year we visit several comic book conventions, and every time we run across artists who specialize in cute. One of the latest is Rizzo Michelle. If you visit the official web site you’ll see artwork of little bunnies, little kittens, and sad little sharks (believe us, it works…), often in rather odd but fun settings. The art is available not only as prints but magnets, tote bags, and even plush toys.

image c. 2017 by Rizzo Michelle

These Animals ROCK… If You Want Them To

[Just back from PAW-Con in Northern California, and STILL getting caught up on stuff from Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con!] Here’s a useful item with a Furry Fandom twist: My Audio Pet is “…a powerful Bluetooth speaker that enables you to listen to your favorite music, podcasts, or shows wherever you are. All My Audio Pets feature: Easy wireless connection to most smartphones, tablets, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, a built-in mic for convenient hands-free option, and a rechargeable battery allows for portable tunes wherever you go.” Not to mention, they come in several cute animal designs — all with equally cute names like “Owl-capella”. Visit their web site to see all their current designs.

image c. 2017 myaudiopet.com