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South Africa

Roaring Out Of South Africa

According to the Wikipedia page, Jungle Beat is a CGI animated TV series out of South Africa, featuring the dialogue-free adventures and antics of various African animals. Later, the series was expanded into the adventures of Munki and Trunk. (No prizes for guessing what species they are…) Well now this year Munki and Trunk are on their way in their own feature film as Sunrise Productions presents Jungle Beat: The Movie. “One morning, the animals of the jungle wake up to discover that they can speak. They’re even more amazed when they learn the reason why: There’s an alien in the jungle! Little Fneep has come to conquer the planet and has brought some crazy tech with him, including a translation device that lets them talk for the first time. Unfortunately for the intergalactic Scaldronian empire, but fortunately for the jungle, Fneep is a terrible conqueror: He’s homesick, he’s crashed his ship, and he’s no match for the antics of Munki, Trunk, and the gang.” Keep your eyes open: The producers are planning a world-wide on-line release party at the end of this month.

image c. 2020 Sunrise Productions

More Furry Cartoons Coming From South Africa

The Hollywood Reporter recently ran an article about Triggerfish — the animation studio which some refer to as the Pixar of South Africa. Following the international success of Zambezia (about a city of birds) and Khumba (about a young zebra missing half of his stripes), Triggerfish have secured funding which will allow them to begin work on two new films out of a planned slate of five. The company’s stated goal is to release one film a year starting in 2016. First out of the gate is Here Be Monsters, about a young human boy who interacts with a scary sea monster. It’s written by Raffaella Delle Donne, who worked on both the studio’s previous films. Soon after that comes Seal Team, described as “an action-comedy that pits a group of seals against the great white sharks of South Africa.” Khumba is currently screening in Africa, with plans to roll it out to the rest of the world going into 2014.

image c. 2013 Triggerfish

This Movie is for the Birds…

Sorry, sorry… sometimes you take the easy way out. This movie is actually for people who like birds! It’s called Zambezia, and according to an article at Cartoon Brew, it’s set to premier later this year in Africa — with a possible appearance in North America sometime in 2013. Zambezia is the first CGI feature film to come out of South Africa, produced by Triggerfish Animation. It tells the story of Kai (voiced by Jeremy Suarez), a young African falcon who sets off in hopes of finding a fabled City of Birds. No big shock, he finds it: But at first he has trouble fitting in, and then the entire city finds itself threatened by egg-hungry reptiles! Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonard Nimoy, and Abigail Breslin are among the voices you’ll hear as well. Check out the trailer on YouTube, or the official Zambezia page from Triggerfish, and keep your ear to the sky in 2013.

image c. 2012 Triggerfish Animation

Animation from South Africa

Triggerfish is the name of a successful animation production house in South Africa near Capetown. Originally founded by Jacquie Trowell and Emma Kaye in 1996 to produce short films and commercials, Triggerfish are celebrating their 15-year anniversary in 2011 by announcing two upcoming CGI animated films. The first out of the starting gate is Zambezia, slated for world-wide release this year. It’s the story of a young falcon named Kai, who seeks freedom from his over-bearing father by escaping to a legendary paradise of birds… where he soon discovers that paradise may be more complicated than he thought. Up next is Khumba, the story of a strange “half-zebra” who journeys across South Africa to “earn his stripes”. Triggerfish have the trailers for both these films on their web site (Triggerfish Animation), as well as show-reels for their many short works.