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Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Mexico’s Anima Estudio have been mentioned around here before, most recently for their upcoming animated feature based on the 1960’s TV animation oddity Here Comes the Grump. In the meantime, they’ve completed work on another CGI feature called Monster Island, set to be released soon direct to DVD. “When Lucas finds out he is not really a human, but actually a monster, the news changes his whole world! Embarking on a quest to Monster Island to discover his real roots, Lucas undergoes a journey he will never forget. He finds himself face to face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn’t freaky — it means you’re a member of a brand new type of family that you can proudly call your own.” The film is directed by Leopoldo Aguilar, and it features the voices of Fiona Hardingham, Katie Leigh (Gummi Bears), Jenifer Kaplan, Erik Larsen, and Michael Robles. Amazon says to look for it this September.

image c. 2017 Anima Estudio

Chickens from Across the Border

From out of nowhere… Well, actually, from Mexico. Un Gallo con Mucho Huevos (A Rooster with Many Eggs) is the first animated feature film produced in Mexico to receive wide distribution in the U.S. This Labor Day weekend in was released in nearly 400 theaters in Spanish with English subtitles, though a version dubbed in English is due to arrive in a couple of weeks. Cartoon Brew has some extensive coverage of it. The story is pretty familiar: A young rooster lives on a farm (with anthropomorphic chickens and anthropomorphic eggs; go figure) which is hurting financially, and he must figure out a way to save it. Admittedly his solution, which smacks of real-life cock-fighting, might make some folks a bit uncomfortable — we’ll see. Distributor Huevocartoon (they have this thing for eggs…) have firmly set their sites on the U.S. animation market.

image c. 2015 Huevocartoon

image c. 2015 Huevocartoon

One Flew Over the Monkey’s Nest

This is direct from an article on Cartoon Brew: “Mexican animation firm Ánima Estudios, producer of the hit 2011 Mexican film Top Cat: The Movie, has released a trailer for its next feature Guardianes de Oz ([Guardians of Oz] retitled Wicked Flying Monkeys for English audiences). The film is set to premiere in Mexico on April 10, 2015. Directed by Alberto Mar (Top Cat: The Movie), the film has an original story by Mexico-born director Jorge Gutierrez, who helmed the recent Reel FX feature The Book of Life. Veteran American television writers Doug Langdale and Evan Gore are credited for the final script along with Gutierrez. Taking place in L. Frank Baum’s Oz universe, the film follows Ozzy, a young flying monkey who rebels against his boss, the wicked witch Evilene, and reaches out to the “Guardians of Oz”—the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man—who have been put under a spell by the witch.” The article also has a link to the trailer itself. It’s easy to see the connection between this and The Book of Life when you look at the character designs!

image c. 2015 Ánima Estudios

image c. 2015 Ánima Estudios

Top Cat on Facebook

More interesting news from Cartoon Brew: If you haven’t heard, Illusion Studios in Mexico is currently working to animate a new hand-drawn 3D cartoon film starring Hanna Barbera’s famous character Top Cat — and his friends, of course.  Don Gato y su Pandilla is set to premier this fall… and now it turns out the film has its own Facebook page.  True, it’s in Spanish, but it might be worth a “Like” to keep track of the film’s progress.


image c. 2011 Illusion Studios