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TV Series

They’ll Be Bok

Back when we first talked about  The Chicken Squad book series, we made a silly crack about how one day they might be made into a “chick flick”.  Well… maybe a TV series is a good halfway point? “The Chicken Squad, Disney Junior’s new cg animated comedy adventure hits the airways on Disney Junior and DisneyNOW on Friday May 14. The series, which was inspired by the popular kids’ book series of the same name by Doreen Cronin, follows a trio of young chicken siblings—Coop, Sweetie and Little Boo—and their retired search and rescue dog mentor, Captain Tully. Together, they team up on problem-solving adventures in their backyard to help their animal friends, while modeling what it means to be good community helpers and finding the joy in assisting others.” Animation World Network has more information, and a preview trailer too.

image c. 2021 Disney Junior

Let’s-a Go Sailing!

Look what they’re getting over in Italy! It’s a new 2D animated series designed to teach kids about ocean conservation (while they’re busy being entertained). “Based on an original concept by exec producer Federico Fiecconi (Founder & CEO, Graffiti Creative), AquaTeam-Sea Adventure follows world-famous marine biologist Marysun as she sets out with her friends Otty the Octopus (a whole rap group on eight legs) and teenage diving enthusiast Desy to explore the beautiful Mediterranean sea. As well as befriending dolphins, turtles and other sea creatures, the adventurers discover a deposit of plastic garbage which threatens a pod of sperm whales.” Animation magazine has all the details.

image c. 2021 Graffiti Creative

The Horse. The Girl. The Story Continues.

Like many studios, Dreamworks is itching to get back into the theatrical game, according to Animation World Network: “Isabela Merced, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marsai Martin, Mckenna Grace, Andre Braugher, Walton Goggins, and Eiza González have joined the cast of DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, the next chapter in the studio franchise that began with the 2002 Oscar-nominated film Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron and includes an Emmy-winning TV series. Universal is releasing the film in theatres on June 4, 2021. Spirit Untamed tells the story of a headstrong girl longing for a place to belong who discovers a kindred spirit when her life intersects with a wild horse. The film is directed by Elaine Bogan (Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia) and produced by Karen Foster (How to Train Your Dragon).” See you this summer, pardner.

image c. 2021 Dreamworks Animation

It’s A Lost Art

For those who remember the early days of CGI animated TV series… IDW brings us a brand new Transformers: Beast Wars comic series. “Celebrating 25 years of Beast Wars! In the future, the planet Cybertron belongs to the scientific-minded Maximals and the action-oriented Predacons! When a crew of Predacons, led by the successor to the Megatron name, steal a golden disk and a ship capable of traveling through time, it’s up to Optimus Primal and his Maximal crew—Rattrap, Rhinox, Cheetor, and new character Nyx—to catch them! A brand-new Beast era begins in an oversized first issue by Erik Burnham (Ghostbusters) and Josh Burcham (Transformers Galaxies).” Issues are available now.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Big Birthday for the Little Blue Blur

We got this announcement directly from IDW Publishing: It’s a big birthday celebration for Sonic the Hedgehog! “Timed to the speedster’s 30th trip around the sun this June, IDW will release the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Special, a super-sized 80-page comic book featuring three tales of colorful heroes and dastardly villains, sure to tug at the heartstrings of fans of all ages! For this spectacular tribute comic, IDW has tapped Gale Galligan, known for her illustration work on The Babysitters Club, along with Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy, podcasters recognizable from The Adventure Zone and the wildly popular My Brother, My Brother, and Me. This group of newcomers will be contributing their first-ever Sonic adventures alongside fan-favorite and longtime scribe Ian Flynn and artists Mauro Fonseca, Reggie Graham, Aaron Hammerstrom, and Thomas Rothlisberger.” Find out more at the web site — and look for the special trade paperback in stores this summer. Shop safely!

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Snugglers of Many Species

One of the more celebrated (if difficult to find) anime series in recent years as been Interspecies Reviewers — a high fantasy intended for a decidedly adult audience! Well now we’ve discovered that Yen Press has released an artistic tribute manga for the series, Interspecies Reviewers Comic Anthology: Darkness. “Haven’t had enough succu-girls? In this collection of art and short comics, talented Japanese artists such as Okayado (Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls), Ganmarei (Monster Wrestling: Interspecies Combat Girls), and coolkyousinnja (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid) come together for a loving tribute to the monster brothel adventurers of Interspecies Reviewers! Whether it’s new species or old favorites, this anthology has enough hot and steamy action to satisfy any fan!” Well there you go. If you’re old enough to order it you can find all this and more over at Amazon.

image c. 2021 Yen Press

The Turtles are Back — to the Past

Nostalgia comes out of its shell again… Recently Dotemu and Tribute Games brought us Shredder’s Revenge — a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game notable for its look, based heavily on the oh-so-popular 1980’s animated TV series. “Get ready to take control of your favourite pizza eating and butt-kicking turtles, as Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael gear up to take down Shredder and the Foot Clan in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge!Check out the trailer on YouTube, and check out the game over on Steam. Cool!

image c. 2021 Tribute Games

House Flies. Science is amazed.

Recently Aardman Animations tweeted about their new CGI TV series: “Lloyd of the Flies follows the adventures of Lloyd B Fly, a housefly and the middle child of 453. Lloyd lives with his parents, his little sister PB and their 225 maggot siblings inside a compost bin they call home. In the series, Lloyd and PB are often accompanied by Lloyd’s best friend, Abacus Woodlouse, and eccentric tag-along, Cornea Butterfly. Together they explore the strange world beyond the compost bin, where there is no shortage of lessons for Lloyd to very nearly learn.” Visit the Aardman web site for a whole lot more information. Bzzz!

image c. 2021 Aardman Animations

The Annie Awards for 2020

First the Ursa Major Awards announce their nominees for 2020, and now the Annie Awards — considered to be the Oscars of animation — have done the same. 2020 must have been a good year for furry animation, because many of the Ursa Major and Annie nominations line up! Onward and Soul are up for Best Feature Annies, while Wolfwalkers is up for Best Indie Feature — along with Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon. And all of those are up for multiple individual achievement Annies too — like Best Character Animation, Best Character Design, Best Direction, and so forth. Best Special Production nominees include The Snail and The Whale and Shooom’s Odyssey, while the Best TV/Media for Preschoolers includes Muppet Babies, Stillwater, and The Adventures of Paddington. Also up for a variety of awards are TV and streaming favorites like Hilda, Bojack Horseman, Amphibia, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Brand New Animal, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and Mao Mao — Heroes of Pure Heart. And more! Visit the Annie Awards web site to see all the nominees, and watch for an announcement about this year’s virtual awards ceremony.

image c. 2021 Cartoon Saloon