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Monkey

Are You Offended?

Look, we’re just going to quote this direct from the folks over at Cartoonbrew — no way we could explain it any better. “Four new animated series based on Marvel characters are in the works at Hulu. The shows will collectively lead up to a special event bringing them all together titled The Offenders. All of these projects will target mature audiences. Jordan Blum (American Dad!) and comedian/actor Patton Oswalt are writing M.O.D.O.K., about an evil mastermind with limited body mass and big plans. Hit Monkey, with Josh Gordon and Will Speck as writers, follows a Japanese snow monkey transformed into a vengeful assassin in Tokyo’s criminal underworld. Set in Los Angeles, Tigra & Dazzler Show follows a pair of ‘woke’ female heroes pushing to stand out in a city full talented people. Comedian Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) have been tasked with writing the project. Lastly, there is Howard the Duck, centered on the publisher’s notorious anthropomorphic bird trapped in the human world. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Dave Willis (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) are writing this dark comedy and will also executive produce. Comic writer Jeph Loeb (also a producer on Smallville and Lost) will act as executive producer on all four projects, as well as the crossover finale. No writers have been announced yet for the crossover finale, in which all of these characters will ‘form a team no one asked for’ to save the world.” Got all that? No word yet on a release date for these shows, but we’ll be watching!

image c. 2019 Hulu

What’s the Price of Admission?

For a while we’ve been hearing about a new animated film called Wonder Park. Well now Paramount Pictures have released the first teaser trailer, and Animation Scoop has more information. What’s it about? “One magical day, June is running through the woods to find her way home where she discovers an old rollercoaster car and climbs inside. She suddenly finds herself in Wonderland, an amusement park she had created in her mind and put aside. All of her rides and characters are brought to life but are falling into disarray without her. Now, with the help of her fun and lovable park characters, June will have to put the wonder back in Wonderland before it is lost forever.”  Ooo… The voice cast includes Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, and Kenan Thompson. Directed by Dylan Brown, Wonder Park is set to be released in March of 2019.

image c. 2018 Paramount Pictures

The Pearl of Animation

There’s a lengthy article over at Animation World Network about a presentation at this year’s Annecy Festival by Pearl Studios from China. Formerly known as Oriental Dreamworks (they helped to finish the animation on Kung Fu Panda 3), the newly-christened Pearl Studios have struck out on their own with several animated feature films in production — and some of them of note to Furry Fans. First up is Abominable (formerly Everest), a co-production with Dreamworks that’s directed by Jill Culton. According to Pearl, “Abominable stars Everest, a 2,000-pound yeti who is curious and playful.” And who communicates without words, it seems. (Yes, it does sound like a more serious version of Warner Bros’ upcoming yeti film Smallfoot.) Also on board is director Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) who is hard at work on an animated feature about the legendary Monkey King — a subject that he’s visited before in live action fantasy films. And further back in the pipeline are films like Tiger Empress (“… the story of a young tigress who grows from the obedient daughter of a Tiger Mom into a transformational leader when a prophecy convinces her that she’s the only one who can save their kingdom”) and Illumikitty (“… an irreverent comedy about the ultimate cat-astrophe: A feline plot for world domination”). You heard it here first.

image c. 2018 by Mochi

They Get It Over There…

We stumbled across an interesting article about a new series of animated shorts coming to TV in South Africa. “NickToons in association with local animation studio, Sunrise Productions have proudly developed it’s first South African animation for the channel. Munki and Trunk is a dialogue-free 3D animated TV series for kids aged 4 to 7. Munki is a vine-swinging force of nature, hungry for bananas and adventure. Trunk is a big-hearted elephant who loves to nurture and play. These unlikely best friends explore their world together, facing fears and helping friends along the way. It’s the most fun you can have in the jungle.” The show is produced by Tim Keller, and it premiers this month. No word at all if anyone plans to distribute it to other parts of the world, unfortunately.

image c. 2018 Sunrise Productions

Before He Stormed Heaven

Grace Kum is a visual development artist and illustrator whom we met at the CTN Animation Expo. Recently she’s worked on Disney TV’s Big Hero 6 series, and various series for Dreamworks TV too. We’re spotlighting her because in her free time she’s been working with Dahyeu Celine Kim on a project called Higher Than The Sky, which they describe as “a prequel to Journey To The West” — which is, of course, the most famous story of the legendary Monkey King. According to Grace’s web site, this project is ready to get up and running again.

image c. 2017 by Grace Kum

Fruit of the Looney Tunes

Um, we’ll let the folks at Kechal Comics explain it: “Placed in men’s tightie whitie underwear on a whim by the scientist who captures him, Baxter the monkey does the only logical thing possible – he instantly develops consciousness and the ability to speak. Because… SCIENCE!!! Excited by his discovery, the scientist decides to see if other animals react as well as Baxter. Gaining intelligence, rational thought and an innate understanding of justice and fairnesss. Let’s just say further experiments do not go as well. Join Baxter as he navigates a world he’s just starting to understand, a world full of fearful humans, zany animals, and one seriously deranged bunny rabbit.” See? We told you they’d say it better! Underwars #1 was written by Kevin Joseph and illustrated in black & white by C.M. Brennan, based on a series of paintings he did.

image c. 2017 Kechal Comics

That Spaceship Looks Like A Banana!

Here’s another one that somehow flew over the moon yet under our radar for some time. Rocket Monkeys was a 2D animated series from Canada (they get SO many interesting shows up there!) created by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson. According to Wikipedia, “Brothers Gus and Wally are monkey astronauts. They’re not the brightest or coolest astronauts, but since they’re the only ones around, they are called upon to go into space and carry out different kinds of important missions—including battling rogue black holes and vengeful aliens. Other members of the brothers’ crew include bossy astrophysicist Dr. Chimpsky, who gives the monkeys their assignments; YAY-OK, a devoted robot that is slightly outdated and is the brothers’ only hope to help keep them on course; and Inky, a space octopus and artist who communicates through his ink drawings.” Looks as if the show ended it’s run in the US back in 2016. Fortunately, lots of episodes are still up and about on YouTube.

image c. 2017 Atomic Cartoons

Gimmee My Apple!

A new full-color one-shot comic from Antartic Press: “A chill dude washes up on a totally radical island: Majestic waterfalls, rainbow apples, and crazily great swimming holes. But when a hilarious monkey steals this mellow (but starving) dudes’s rainbow apple, a chase through a jungle results in an radder discovery. Welcome to Rad Island!” What more do you need to know? Well, maybe that it’s written and illustrated by Javier Fox. And it’s available now.

image c. 2017 Antarctic Press

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Don’t Mess with the Monkey, Fluffbutt!

Whoops! How did we miss this one? A year ago Graphix brought us Bunny vs. Monkey, a full-color all-ages graphic novel by Jamie Smart. What’s it about? Look at the title! Well now, it’s time for Bunny vs. Monkey: Book 2, just hitting the shelves. “Welcome to the Woods! A peaceful home, until…ZAP! ZAAPPP! ZAAAPPPPP!!! It’s Monkey in a hovercraft that fires lasers! Science and nature fight again! With robotic worms! Trojan mooses! And lemony doomsday devices! It’s the continuing battle between good and evil…It’s Bunny vs Monkey: Book Two!” You heard it here. Now check it out over at Goodreads.

image c. 2017 Graphix

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