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Sony Pictures

The Lamb. No Lion.

More news from Cartoon Brew: The first major-studio release of a faith-based animated feature film. “Academy Award-nominated director Tim Reckart (Head Over Heels) will make his feature directorial debut with faith-based feature The Lamb, Sony Pictures Animation revealed today in a late-Easter Weekend announcement. First announced in September 2014, The Lamb will be a fully CG-animated pic based on the Christian nativity story, telling the ‘inspirational story of a young lamb who will change the world’ with an all-animal cast.” Lest you forget, the last time there was a faith-based anthropomorphic animated film (independently released) it was Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie. Stay tuned for more information on a release date for The Lamb.

image c. 2015

image c. 2015

More Raccoons at the Movies

Bringing yet another well-known video game to the big screen, Sony Pictures have announced that Sly Cooper — The Movie is filming and set for release in 2016. Erik Kain at has the complete story, as well as a link to the teaser trailer. The film is being directed by Kevin Munroe (one of the writers on the TMNT film from 2007) and animated by Rainmaker Entertainment and Blockade Entertainment (both of whom are currently working on the Ratchet & Clank movie, also for Sony). According to the press release, “Sly Cooper is a kinetic and comedic heist film that tells the story of Sly Cooper, an orphaned raccoon thief, along with his childhood friends and partners in crime, Bentley Turtle and Murray Hippo. In the film, Sly learns of his birth family’s secret legacy; that he comes from a long line of talented and international thieves. Endowed with this knowledge, Sly and his friends are catapulted into a global adventure as they race to reassemble pieces of an ancient book holding The Cooper Clan’s family secrets before it can fall into the hands of Clockwerk — an evil Russian metallic owl bent on ending the Cooper family line. ” With the movie not coming out until 2016, we can probably assume that the teaser trailer does not reflect the look or feel of the final film — but it does get the word out and hopefully gets people interested.

image c. 2014 Sony Pictures

An Elephant… Forgotten

Word has come out of Florida a few days ago that Digital Domain are closing down their new animation studio, Tradition, effective immediately, and will instead focus their California and Vancouver, Canada studios on movie special effects. Tradition was an attempt by Digital Domain (a well-known special effects house created by Stan Winston, Scott Ross, and director James Cameron) to follow in the steps of another FX house, Sony Pictureworks, into the realm of animated features (as Sony did successfully with Open Season, Surf’s Up, and other films). Now, 300 people have been let go in Florida, and — from a furry fan perspective, perhaps another sad thing — work has stopped on The Legend of Tembo, Tradition’s first film, which would have followed the adventures of a young elephant. Cartoon Brew have been following this story closely, so check it out — but be prepared for some harsh words.

image c. 2012 Digital Domain

Magical Animals to the Rescue

Things do move quickly these days. The Familiars, a hardcover fantasy novel by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, was published by HarperCollins last September. Now, it’s already in development as an animated feature film for Sony Pictures. Here’s the story synopsis from and Booklist: “Aldwyn, a scruffy, quick-witted alley cat on the lam, poses as a magical animal when he ducks into a shop to avoid capture and ends up purchased as a boy wizard’s familiar. Despite needing to keep his mundane nature hidden, Aldwyn settles easily into his new role, bonding with his human loyal, Jack, and befriending two other children’s familiars: Gilbert, a tree frog, and Skylar, a blue jay. When an evil witch kidnaps the children and kills their mentor, only their familiars can save them.” The second book in the series, The Familiars: Secrets of the Crown, is heading for bookshelves this coming September. Meanwhile, here’s news about the movie from and Variety: “Doug Sweetland, a Pixar veteran of 16 years, has signed on to helm The Familiars for Sony Pictures Animation. Based on the novel by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, The Familiars is the story of the animals chosen to be familiars for young wizards in training. Sam Raimi and Josh Donen will exec produce.While at Pixar, Sweetland worked on animated features including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo.” You can also find out more by visiting The Familiars web site.


image c. HarperCollins

Kevin James is The Zookeeper

Okay, so, recently the trailer for Kevin James’ 2011 live action/CGI film The Zookeeper has been making the rounds at movie theaters. The animation and cartoon blogs have been going “wild”, calling it friendly things like “Madagascar in live action with a fat guy” and such. We’ll let you make your own decision when the film comes out on July 8th. Here’s the official description from Sony Pictures: “In Zookeeper, the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get a girl in his life is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job. The animals, in a panic, decide to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: They can talk! To keep Griffin from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship.” Really now. The film is directed by Frank Coraci, who’s directed several successful comedies starring Adam Sandler — including The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, and Click. In The Zookeeper, Sandler plays a monkey. According to Cinema Blend, the film was originally scheduled to be released this fall, but Sony later decided to save it until next summer and put it up against films like Transformers 3 and the final Harry Potter film. Really.