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Monsters are Odd Roommates

A Guy, a Girl, and Their Monster is a new puppet-based on-line video short series created by Jenn Daugherty. Here’s the description: “Henry is a monster, of the under-the-bed variety. Down on his luck he searches out the little girl he belonged to in the ’80s. He finds her in Los Angeles living with her fiancé. They take him in and the trio learns to live together in the big city.” The project is put together by students from the University of Southern California (USC) Graduate Film Program. The first episode is up on YouTube, and there’s also a Facebook page for the series.

image c. 2013 Jenn Daugherty

Here Come the Muppets Again

Walt Disney Pictures have announced several upcoming feature films, and among them is the sequel to the successful 2011 re-launch of The Muppets. Currently titled The Muppets… Again, the new film is scheduled for release in March of 2014. According to The Muppet Wiki, “The film is planned to be a ‘comedy caper’ set in Europe.  Ricky Gervais will star as ‘a male lead whose intentions are always in question’ along with Ty Burrell as an Interpol inspector, Tina Fey as a ‘Russian femme fatale,’ and a ‘slew of cameos'”. [Oh like they ever have that in a Muppet movie!] The sequel will be again directed by James Bobin, and scripted by Nick Stoller, who co-wrote the 2011 film with star Jason Segel.

image c. 2013 Walt Disney Pictures

Surprise Furry Extras

Folks running out to pick up the new DVD/Blue Ray of Spike Jonze’s live-action Where the Wild Things Are will find an interesting extra included: A brand-new short (24 minute) film based on Higglety Pigglety Pop, another book by Maurice Sendak. Using a combination of live action, puppetry, stop-motion animation and more, the film tells the story of Jennie, a fluffy white terrier dog (voiced by Meryl Streep).  When she finds that she is bored and thinks “There must be more to life”, Jennie sets out to become leading lady of the World Mother Goose Theater. Unfortunately, she’s informed that the leading lady has to have experience. And Jennie has no idea what “experience” even is, let alone where to find it! Setting out on a quest for it, Jennie winds up as a nurse-maid for a very strange baby who refuses to eat. And nurse-maids who fail to convince the baby to eat are fed to the ravenous lion living in the basement! Only Maurice Sendak comes up with plots like this, folks… The production company for Higglety Pigglety Pop also created the Oscar-Nominated short film Madame Tutli-Putli. Clips from the former and the latter are up on YouTube.

Zipper Heads?

And now for something completely different… from China no less. The Zip-A-Gang is a new puppet TV series (and merchandizing line), produced in Hong Kong, that is looking for markets in Europe and North America. From their publicity material:  “Meet the Zip-A-Gang, a zany bunch of mischievous rascals who live beyond the Milky Way, on the planet of Zip, in the bustling Zip-A-Ville hamlet of Zip-A-Town. The Zip-A-Gang live, eat, and breathe in a fantasy world of zippers! Doors, roads, and even their teeth zip and un-zip!” Hmm, for a group from a planet “beyond the Milky Way”, an awful lot of the characters sure do resemble Earth animals. And yes, all of them have zippers for teeth — even though several of them are birds! If you want to make sense out of any of this, try heading over to the Zip-A-Gang web site. Or else, just keep  your eyes on the TV… and your local department store shelves.