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TV Series

Return to the Rock

Whoops! This passed us by last summer… but here it is, thanks to Boom! Studios. “In honor of the 35th Anniversary of Fraggle Rock, the Fraggles are back in all-new stand-alone adventures, each by distinct creative voices and presented in an 8″ x 8″  format perfect for longtime fans to share with the next generation. It all begins with a story written and illustrated in beautiful watercolor by Jared Cullum (Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 2017 Special), as Mokey Fraggle is losing her love for creating her art and needs her friends’ help to rediscover her inspiration. Fraggle Rock #1 features a cover by Jared Cullum, along with a connecting subscription cover by Jake Myler (Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring). Each issue of Fraggle Rock will have a connecting subscription cover featuring a different Fraggle.” This 4-issue limited series is in stores now.

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

Junior Sleuths of Equestria

Whoa Nelly! We missed a new My Little Pony tie-in? Yes we did — Naughty us! Well here it is: IDW have a new comic miniseries. My Little Pony: Ponyville Mysteries is written by Christina Rice, with art from Agnes Garbowska and Heather Breckel (all of them MLP veterans). “Welcome to a new series of mystery and intrigue! The Cutie Mark Crusaders discover their inner detectives and solve crimes nopony else can! Will they be able to discover who is stealing supplies from Ponyville hospital and get their schoolwork done at the same time?” Turns out this all fits in with the Ponyville Mysteries series of books as well.

image c. 2018 IDW Publishing

Coming Soon From Italy. We Hope.

And they just keep showing up… More from Animation World Network. Rai Com (from Italy) have acquired several new animation projects for distribution, and of course several of them are furry in nature. Woof Meow is a CGI series directed by Alexey Kotenochkin and produced in Russia by AA Studios. “The series features the funny and entertaining adventures of the two kittens, Binx and Lulu, and their puppy-dog pals Oscar, Snickers, Sparky, and Hopper the Inventor. Together, they play games, make up new inventions and start real or imaginary adventuresome trips to explore the world around them. In each episode, someone gets in trouble and needs the support of the group of friends to solve the situation.” Then there’s Dixiland, a more traditional 2D animated series for preschoolers. “Dixi, the small winged elephant who is the protagonist of the story, joins other creatures as they experience joy, fun and problems.” Both are headed to MIPCOM and looking for international distribution.

image c. 2018 Rai Com

Dogs and Cats, Sailing Together. Mass Hysteria!

Looks like this is the season when folks-in-charge are shopping around for new TV series to sell around the world. Now from Animation Magazine we learn that Jetpack Distribution have picked up the world-wide rights to a 2D series from Britain called Pip Ahoy! It goes like this: “The series is a warm and boisterous show that centers on Pip and his friends as they carry out rescue missions, solve problems and take care of their community. It features the inimitable voice of Sir David Jason, who plays Skipper, an old seadog and Pip’s Uncle… Pip’s fans can also interact with the property offscreen in the UK thanks to recent renewals of both the master toy and apparel licenses and, in association with PJSL, character meet and greets at popular family entertainment parks across the country this summer. CHF Pip! Plc and PJSL are now in talks with two parks for a long-term, on-site Pip Ahoy! live show.” Good news for cartoon fans in the UK all right. Meanwhile for the rest of us, here’s some episodes on YouTube.

image c. 2018 Jetpack Distribution

Birds Sing. A-Ding-A-Ding.

Even more recent news from Animation World Network: Now we hear about a new musical animated TV series for preschoolers called Do, Re & Mi, currently starting production. “Created by Jackie Tohn (Glow, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, American Idol) and Michael Scharf (Moon and The Son: An Imagined Conversation), every episode of Do, Re & Mi starts with an adventure and ends in a song, featuring original tracks performed by Kristen Bell (Princess Anna in Disney’s Frozen), Tohn, and other surprise guests… Do, Re & Mi is about three birdy best friends named Do, Re & Mi who live in a world filled with rhythm, beats and melodies. Along with their day-to-day adventures, the characters model ways for parents and young kids to talk about music and connect these ideas to their social-emotional development.” [ Fun fact: Ms. Bell actually had one line in Zootopia, as Priscilla the sloth. ] No word yet on a planned release date.

image c. 2018 Gaumont

Once Again, We Have A Clue!

There’s more big news from Animation World Network. Looks as if a kids’ TV favorite from the 90’s has a new “leash” on life! (Sorry, sorry…) “Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues has found a new pal for Blue in TV newcomer and Broadway actor Joshua Dela Cruz, and a brand-new title: Blue’s Clues & You. Dela Cruz will have a new generation of preschoolers searching for clues with the beloved energetic girl puppy Blue.  Production on 20 new episodes of Blue’s Clues & You will commence this month in Toronto… In Blue’s Clues & You, beloved puppy Blue invites viewers to join her and the live-action host on a clue-led adventure and solve a daily puzzle. With each signature paw print, Blue identifies clues in her animated world that propel the story and inspires viewers to interact with the action.” Original series host Steve Burns is in on this new revival too, which is a good thing.

image c. 2018 Nickelodeon

The Bears Who Stare — Now Everywhere

Thanks to Animation World Network we’ve learned that the ever-popular Care Bears are back again — this time exploring more of their world and its inhabitants. “Premium subscription streaming service Boomerang is set to unlock the imagination of the next generation of Care Bears fans as the official domestic home and world premiere destination for Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, a brand new 2D animated series from Cloudco Entertainment… A current take on The Care Bears that also plays homage to iconic brand elements like “The Care Bear Stare,” Care Bears: Unlock the Magic sends the Care Bears on the road for the first time, exploring wonderful, never-before-seen areas surrounding Care-a-lot called The Silver Lining. And as a result, the bears will get to meet new creatures and employ their powers and wits like never before.” Only thing we don’t know yet is a launch date. We’ll find out!

Image c. 2018 Boomerang

Cool Stuff From Europe. Finally. Maybe.

Last year we mentioned 44 Cats, an animated TV series from Rainbow Studio in Italy. Well now according to Animation Magazine (in their preview of the upcoming Brand Licensing Europe convention) it may just have found its way into North American markets. “44 Cats, produced in collaboration with Antoniano Bologna and Rai Ragazzi, follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou, and Meatball – four adorable kittens who are part of a music band named The Buffycats. From their home in the Clubhouse (Granny Pina’s garage), they set out on to creative solve problems and help others while highlighting tolerance, diversity and acceptance. The show will debut on Rai Yoyo in November, whilst other broadcasting deals have been signed with Nickelodeon (multi-territorial), Discovery Kids (Latin America) and Super RTL (Germany). Major broadcasting deals in France, Russia, UK and many other countries are also in the pipeline.” Here’s hoping. Oh, the article also features a look at Mofy, a new stop-motion animated series from Sony Creative Products. “The story centers on Mofy, a fluffy, lovable rabbit who each episode learns about the world around her, discovers and understands feelings and emotions, and learns to be kinder and braver.” The show is already a hit with the preschool set in Japan.

image c. 2018 Rainbow Studio

Kitty with some Famous Parents…

There’s an extensive article over at Animation Scoop about the new Amazon Prime animated series Pete the Cat, based on the popular children’s books by James Dean. Check out the voice actor list too! “Pete the Cat is a fun, musically driven series about exploring your world and trying new things, while being smart, accepting, and optimistic. Whether you’re making new friends or facing all of life’s ups and downs, Pete always finds a way to put a groovy spin on things. The series stars Jacob Tremblay (Room) as Pete the Cat, and musicians Diana Krall and Elvis Costello as his Mom and Dad. Pete the Cat features original music from Grammy Award-winners Costello and Krall, which will also be available to stream via Amazon Music. Jessica Biel (The Illusionist), Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) and internationally acclaimed musician KT Tunstall also star in the series… Pete the Cat… is developed by Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (Phineas and Ferb) and Appian Way Production Company.” There’s a preview video too.

image c. 2018 Appian Way