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Horses

My LITTLER Pony

As part of their 20th anniversary celebration, IDW Publishing are presenting a special collection of one-shot larger issues called the 20/20 series. And right there among them is My Little Pony: IDW 20/20. “Ponyville’s most courageous and magical ponies celebrate friendship and fun in this adventure set twenty years in the past! Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and the rest of your favorite pony friends are young fillies—surely things can’t get too crazy, right?! One thing’s for sure: no matter what escapades they face, the magic of friendship will see them through!” It’s written by Ted Anderson, with art by Tony Kuusisto and Heather Breckel. IDW has a preview too.

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing

The Horse Returns

Took ’em a while, but Dreamworks have finally brought us more adventures with Spirit, star of the 2002 2D animated feature Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Animation Scoop has a recent article introducing us to Spirit Riding Free, a new DreamworksTV animated series coming to NetFlix on May 5th. The story and characters are considerably different from the animated feature this time around: “When city-turned-country girl Lucky meets a wild mustang named Spirit, she feels an instant connection to the untamable horse. A courageous and natural-born leader, Lucky navigates this new world with her two new best friends, Pru and Abigail by her side. The trio embark on thrilling adventures, find genuine friendship, and discover what it means to be free!” No sign of Matt Damon to be found. Anyway, visit the article to see a trailer for the series.

image c. 2017 DreamworksTV

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Some Horses Would Rather Dance

Magnetic Press (who seem to be very busy this year!) have a new hardcover illustrated book out called Centurion & Emperador. “At the Gamble Ranch, all of the animals have a special talent.  All of them except for Centurion and Emperador, two baby horses delivered by a couple of confused storks lost in a storm.  When the ranch owners decide they’ll grow up to be race horses, Centurion and Emperador do their best to be the best.  But what they prove to be best at is quite different from racing… An adorable story about finding your passion,  based on the real-life dancing horses of Gamble Ranch.” It’s written by none other than actor & comedian Rob Schneider (Norm of the North) and his wife, actress & writer Patricia Schneider. The full-color illustration is by Disney and Marvel artist Francisco Herrera (Deadpool). Magnetic Press has a preview.

image c. 2016 Magnetic Press

image c. 2016 Magnetic Press

More Furry Netflix Cartoons

In addition to the aforementioned Llama Llama, we’ve learned from Cartoon Brew that Netflix have announced five more animated series coming to their streaming service over the next couple of years. At at least two of them are especially of note for furry fans: “Animated action-comedy Skylanders Academy follows the heroic adventures of the Skylanders team, a ragtag group of heroes with unique elemental skills who travel the vast Skylands universe, protecting it from evil-doers. They achieve victory by setting aside their egos, learning to trust one another and fighting as one to maintain harmony and balance in the land.” And yes, Spyro is among them. The series is set to premier on Netflix this coming fall. Then, there’s this: “Inspired by the Oscar-nominated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron [from Dreamworks Animation — ye ed-otter], Spirit Riding Free follows the heartfelt journey of a wild mustang who could not be tamed. A whole new generation will experience all the daring adventures when Spirit meets a girl named Lucky whose courage matches his own. Together they push limits, harness the power of friendship and discover what it means to be free.” Look for Spirit Riding Free to premier sometime in 2017.

image c. 2016 Activision

image c. 2016 Activision

A Furry Renaissance

More pet art, of a different creative sort. Jennifer Miller specializes in portraits of various canine, feline, and equine species illustrated in the black & white style of Leonardo Da Vinci — and other early European painters. Each of her creations (on posters, plaques, pillows, and other printed objects) features interesting facts about the illustrated breed in appropriate hand-written script. She has a lot of designs already and she’s constantly putting up more, so go take a look at her web site, Leonardo’s Dogs.

image c. 2015 Jennifer Miller

image c. 2015 by Jennifer Miller

Friendship is Magic

The was a lot of talk late last year among animation fans about The Hub, a new cable channel created as a joint venture between Discovery Channel and the Hasbro toy company. The Hub was started as direct competition for the likes of The Family Channel. As such, they show original animated TV series during the day — almost entirely based on various Hasbro toy lines — an sit-com re-runs at night. One of the current flagships of the former is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a flash animation series. It was developed for television by Lauren Faust, who is well-known in animation circles for her work on Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends with her husband, Craig McCracken. Here’s the series description from Wikipedia: “The series stars a unicorn pony named Twilight Sparkle, who has been known to be a pupil of the world’s ruler Princess Celestia. Seeing the young pony buried in books, the princess gives her the task of making friends, sending her, and a young dragon named Spike, to Ponyville. There, they meet some interesting ponies, including tomboyish Rainbow Dash, glamorous Rarity, hard-working Applejack, timid Fluttershy, and hyperactive Pinkie Pie. Together, they explore the ins and outs of the town, solve various problems, and make even more friends. Every day is a lesson for Twilight, but none as important as the magic of friendship. At the end of each episode, Twilight relays a report to her mentor Celestia, telling her what friendship has taught her.” The series is animated by Studio B Productions in Vancouver, Canada.