InFurNation Rotating Header Image

Funny Animal

Ponies… In… Spaaaaace!

Yes that trope gets used a lot, but anyway… Word has slipped out that Hasbro is hard at work on a sequel to the 2017 animated film My Little Pony: The Movie. According to the Idea Wiki, the plot goes like this: “A giant whirlwind sends Onyx Star, Adonis, the weasels, Nike, Discord and the ostriches to outer space and they need to get back home to Equestria. Along the way, they meet new friends who were also stuck in space years ago, space animals, and evil alien ponies who wanted to capture Onyx and his friends and destroy the Earth with a reliquary-cannon after Groff, Maxil, Zio and their minions sold all of their souls for it.” Got all that? They go on to say: “The film is produced by Allspark Pictures and DHX Media, with animation created once again using Toon Boom Harmony, and is scheduled to be released theatrically on October 2, 2020 in the United States by Lionsgate. It also marks the 10th Anniversary of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” Series favorite Jayson Thiessen is directing again.

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing

The Nuts Are Back

More from Animation World Network: “Feature animation studio ToonBox Entertainment and Canadian production company Pipeline Studios have announced the creation of a new joint venture. Their first project is Nut Jobs, a 2D-animated series for kids ages 6-11 based on The Nut Job, the hit animated feature film franchise that took in $120 million at the international box office. The production companies have been working in development on the series and have tapped Emmy Award-winning industry veteran and Grant Moran to spearhead these efforts. Moran, who will serve as the showrunner for the TV series, previously served as Executive Director in Charge of Production at Nickelodeon.” No word yet on any release date, but stay tooned.

image c. 2019 Toonbox Entertainment

The World in Black and White?

A very… unusual anime feature is heading to our shores this spring. “Los Angeles-based Eleven Arts Anime Studio has set April 12 as the theatrical release date for the sci-fi coming-of-age animated feature, Penguin Highway, which it will be distributing in the U.S. and Canada. Directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, the film won the Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation award at the Fantasia International Film Festival for best animated feature and has also been nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The film will screen with the original Japanese dialogue with subtitles as well as the English dub. In the film, budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he finds the source of the penguins is a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure!” Got that? Read the article at Animation World Network for more, including the trailer.

image c. 2019 Eleven Arts

The Annie Award Winners for 2018

Your humble ed-otter and his mate got a chance to attend the Annie Awards at UCLA’s Royce Hall recently. Presented annually by ASIFA-Hollywood, the Annie Awards are considered by many to be the Oscars for animation, voted on by folks who work in the industry. And once again, there was plenty of anthropomorphic content to be found among the winners. By far, the big winner of the evening was Sony Pictures’ Spider Man: Into The Spiderverse. The surprise hit from last December not only won the coveted Best Animated Feature trophy, but also took home the Feature awards for Directing, Writing, Character Animation, Character Design, Production Design, and Editing — winning all seven categories in which it was nominated. (Go, Spider-Ham!). Ralph Breaks The Internet had to settle for only one award in Feature Effects Animation, while the 2D animated sequence in Mary Poppins Returns got the awards for Animated Special Production and Character Animation In A Live Action Feature. Also taking home one award was Wes Anderson’s Isle Of Dogs, which got the award in Feature Voice Acting for Bryan Cranston’s performance as Chief. Over on the TV/Broadcast side of things, the big winners were Hilda from Netflix (taking home awards for Best TV Series For Children, Writing, and Character Animation) and Disney’s Mickey Mouse (with trophies for Music, Storyboarding — tied with Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — and Directing). In TV Character Design, the Annie went to a very anthropomorphic episode of Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure called “Freebird”. Bojack Horseman did well, winning for TV Voice acting (Will Arnett as Bojack) and Best TV Production overall. Dreamworks’ Tales of Arcadia: Trollhunters won the trophy for Best TV Effects Animation. The award for Best Commercial went to “There’s a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom” (produced for Greenpeace), and the first winner of the brand new Best Virtual Reality award was Crow: The Legend (which we’ve talked about before!). Finally, the Ub Iwerks Award for technical achievement went to the developers of the open source software known as Blender, which of course many furry creators have also used extensively. To see all the winners visit the Annie Awards web site — and remember, nominations for the Ursa Major Awards close on February 16th!

image c. 2019 Sony Pictures

Nikki from Dave!

Nikki M is an illustrator we met at Further Confusion this year. Here’s what she has to say about herself: “My name is Nichole (you can call me Nikki!) and I am an illustrator/general artist based in Los Angeles CA. I graduated in 2015 from The Dave School, with experience in 3D and visual effects. My focus and passion lies in design, illustration and digital painting. Working with colors and seeing a character come to life before my eyes is what brings me pure joy. I currently am working as a freelance artist, and am open to take on any challenge that’s thrown my way!” Check out her Gallery, and keep an eye on her web site — she’ll have a Storenvy store set up soon to sell prints, pins, and other art stuff.

image c. 2019 by Nikki M

HOW It All Started with a Mouse

Seems like we just can’t get enough of Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday celebration — and here’s a whole bunch of it at once! Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: The Complete History is a very thick compendium book from Taschen, edited by David Gerstein, J.B. Kaufman, and Daniel Kothenschulte. “On November 18, 1928, the world’s most famous mouse made his very first public debut. Today, we celebrate 90 years of Mickey in one of the most expansive illustrated publications on the Disney universe. Starting with the first sketches of a character who was almost named Mortimer, we trace the career of Walt Disney’s and Ub Iwerk’s most famous creation, one met with an explosion of worldwide popularity preceded only by the earlier successes of Charlie Chaplin. With unlimited access to Disney’s vast historical collections as well as public and private collections, the authors bring Mickey’s success story to life: concept art, story sketches, background paintings, and animation drawings as well as historical photographs trace the origins and evolution of such timeless favorites as Steamboat Willie, The Band Concert, and Brave Little Tailor. They also follow Mickey as he builds on this legendary library of short cartoons by appearing in two historic feature-length films, Fantasia and Fun and Fancy Free.” All that and much, much more. It’s available now in hardcover.

image c. 2019 Taschen

Kitty and Monster Unite

Tiger vs. Nightmare is a new full-color graphic novel for young readers, created by Emily Tetri and published by First Second. “Tiger is a very lucky kid: She has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it’s time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger—that’s not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone…it’s a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can’t fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away.” The book is available now in hardcover from Macmillan, and they’ve got a preview up as well.

image c. 2019 First Second

Devil-Proof Dog

And speaking of Mike Norton (which we were a couple days ago), he’s back as illustrator and collaborating once again with Rafer Roberts on Grumble, a new full-color comic series from Albatross Funnybooks. “When the forces of good and evil are hunting you down, the only logical thing to do is disguise yourself as a dog and go on the run! Eddie is a low-rent hustler who got magically turned into a pug during a con gone wrong. Tala is the part-demon daughter of one of Eddie’s many ex-girlfriends. When Tala finds herself the target of powerful inter-dimensional forces, she goes to Eddie for help–setting off a chain reaction of chaos and destruction that could threaten the very fabric of existence. Can Eddie and Tala put aside their differences long enough to survive the magical mayhem and madness that they started, or will they kill each other first? (It’s probably the second one!)” CBR has a preview with sample pages too.

image c. 2018 Albatross Funnybooks

Own the Whole Sky

And speaking of compilations… IDW has a big one for fans of Spyro the Dragon and the Skylanders crew in the new Skylanders Omnibus. “A collection of Skylanders adventures tying into some of their most popular games! From the world of Skylanders Trap Team! Discover the history of the Trap Masters and Kaos’ plot for Traptanium that ties right into the video game. Marvel as your favorite characters face grueling tests, outrageous challenges, and the vilest of villains to gain Champion status! Plus, one of Spyro’s most malevolent and powerful enemies makes his Skylanders debut! And nothing Spyro, Hex, Cynder, or the rest of the Skylanders can do will prepare them for the evil that is about the be unleashed—the return of the first purple dragon, Malefor!” At nearly 300 pages, it just hit the shelves too!

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing