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TV Series

Two Cups Make… A Pint?

Word has been going around that the Ursa Major Award-nominated video game Cuphead (developed by Studio MDHR) is now being turned into an animated TV series. We got this from Animation World Network: “Netflix has joined forces with King Features on The Cuphead Show!, a new kids series based on the Studio MDHR video game. The show will expand upon the characters and world of Cuphead, with an animation style inspired by the classic Fleischer cartoons from the 1930s… The character-driven comedy follows the unique misadventures of the impulsive Cuphead and his cautious but easily swayed brother Mugman. Through their many misadventures across their surreal home of the Inkwell Isles, they’ve always got one another’s backs. The series will be produced by Netflix Animation and is executive produced by Emmy and Annie Award-winning producer, Dave Wasson (Mickey Mouse Shorts), with Cosmo Segurson (Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling) serving as co-executive producer.” That’s some good talent behind the project! No word on a planned release date yet.

image c. 2019 Studio MDHR

Can’t Stop The Rock

Archaia has a special edition reprint you should know about — with a long title! See what’s happening down at Fraggle Rock… “It’s the annual ‘Splish-Splash Friend Bash’ at Fraggle Pond and all of Fraggle Rock is invited! But when a few bullies decide to crash the party, Gobo, Boober, and the other Fraggles will have to look out for one another and come up with a plan to help everyone get along. Written and illustrated  by Jay Fosgitt (Bodie Troll), Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock: The Rough Side of the Rock celebrates Jim Henson’s timeless television series with an inspiring story of acceptance and friendship for fans of all ages.” It’s issue #2 of Archaia’s Fraggle Rock comic, but now it’s in a premium hardcover picture book format. Check out the preview over at Graphic Policy. (Happy 4th!)

image c. 2019 Archaia

The Ponies Carry On

Whoa there! This flew beneath our radar… so it’s time to catch up! As of course you’ve heard (herd?), My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic will be leaving us after this season. (Sniff…) But do not lose hope! It looks like Equestria shall live on… in the pages of IDW comics anyhow.  And they’ve been doing a good job of it so far! Now they’ve decided to celebrate the 75th issue of their flagship series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with a special double-sized issue — celebrating the return of original MLP comic writer Katie Cook to the family. “My Little Pony celebrates 75 issues of friendship and fun with this double-sized adventure! When a chance purchase leads to a legendary quest for a missing constellation, the ponies reach for the stars and find themselves in the path of their most galactic villain yet… the chaotic Cosmos!” Illustrated by fan favorites Andy Price and Heather Breckel, it’s on the shelves now. And hey, while you’re at it, make sure to look for My Little Pony: To Where and Back Again, written by Justin Eisinger and illustrated by various artists. It’s part of a new series of trade paperback graphic novels from IDW, illustrating favorite episodes of the TV series — in this case, the popular finale of Season Six.

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing

Telling Stories and Drawing Concepts

Recently made a trip to the Ground Zero Animation Expo in Orange County, CA (which we highly recommend if you’re an artist in Southern California, by the way!). There we met Beth Hughes, a character designer and freelance illustrator. “I love telling stories and using my art to get those stories out. My work credits include children’s books, mural designs, and concept art and character design work for various animation companies.” Those companies include places like Nick Jr., Gamesys, and McGraw-Hill Education. Visit her web site to see her resume and lots of her previous illustrations too. And keep an eye out for her new on-line store, coming soon!

image c. 2019 by Beth Hughes

Your Childhood Is Not Safe…

Seriously, are we the last ones to know about this…? If so we’re embarrassed. Following the latest… trend (?), Hollywood is making a big budget, live action adaptation of Hanna-Barbera’s 60’s and 70’s icons The Banana Splits… as a horror movie. No, we are not joking or insane. Check out this from MovieWeb.com: “The upcoming horror thriller centers on a boy named Harley who attends a taping of The Banana Splits TV show with his brother Austin, mother Beth, and father, Mitch. It was supposed to be business as usual for the producer of the series, Rebecca, and a fun-filled birthday for young Harley. But things take an unexpected turn… and fittingly the body count quickly rises. Will Harley and company survive? And if so, what will be left of them?” It seems that a review copy of the film is already making the rounds — and the MPAA have given it an R rating for “horror violence and gore”. Honestly, what can we even say…? (Does it surprise anyone that the Syfy Channel has a hand in this?)

image c. 2019 Hanna-Barbera

New Take on an Old… Well Actually, Young Iguana

We got this direct from Animation World Network: “Hoho Entertainment has announced they have joined forces with JLI to co-develop and co-produce a brand-new animated preschool series based on the Latin heritage brand Juana la Iguana. In the new series, Juana becomes mentor and guide to youngsters Amazonas and Miguel. She leads them on exciting adventures as they discover the magic and wonder of Estrella Island. Juana shows the kids that kindness and compassion are the problem-solving tools needed to overcome any difficulty.  Heritage brand Juana la Iguana has been a favorite in Latin America for over 20 years. The original Spanish-language character show was created by Tania Gilinski, along with partners Amanda Quijano and Anita Katz – the three Latin American mothers wanted to create a program for children that incorporated both culture and values. The Juana the Iguana series began as three home videos, one of which was second only to The Lion King in sales in Venezuela. It was then picked up by national TV and became a smash hit in home and neighboring Latin America territories.” No word yet on North American distribution for this new series, but we assume the producers would love that.

image c. 2019 Hoho Entertainment

Make ‘Em Laugh

Everyone has been talking about Disney+, the Mouse House’s new attempt to enter the streaming content market in a big way — looking to take on Netflix, Hulu, and all the rest. Well now Animation World Network has let us know about about a new animated series for Disney+ with a very familiar furry angle. “Billy Crystal and John Goodman will reprise their beloved roles as Mike and Sulley in Monsters At Work, a new animated series for families set to premiere on Disney+ in 2020. Produced by Disney Television Animation and inspired by the world of Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award-winning Monsters, Inc., the series picks up six months after the original movie’s story, with the Monsters, Inc. power plant now harvesting the laughter of children to fuel the city of Monstropolis, thanks to Mike and Sulley’s discovery that laughter generates ten times more energy than screams. Monsters At Work follows Tylor Tuskmon (voiced by Ben Feldman), an eager and talented young mechanic on the Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team (MIFT) who dreams of working his way up to the factory Laugh Floor to become a Jokester alongside his idols Mike and Sulley.”  As the article points out, the voice cast includes a lot more familiar and talented names too.

image c. 2019 Pixar

The Girl, the Monster, and pickles

Another new project we found out about thanks to Animation World Network: “Jessy and Nessy is a 40 x 11’ mixed-media preschool series about Jessy, an innately curious little girl and her best friend, Nessy, a five-and-a-half-thousand year old sea monster, with a penchant for pickles… At the heart of the show is Jessy; an inquisitive, fun loving, spectacle wearing six-year-old, who happens to see the world a little differently through her magical glasses, or as Jessy calls them — her ‘Inspectacles’. They allow Jessy to see and talk to all types of animated characters, including Nessy, who lives in a fountain in Cara Park opposite Jessy’s apartment building. Together this unlikely duo explore life’s curiosities like why birds fly south, why things don’t fall up instead of down and even why some people snore? Jessy and Nessy reveal how all these seemingly everyday curiosities have fantastical answers — leading the home viewer to explore their own curiosities and to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.” Look for the new show later this year on Amazon Prime Video.

image c. 2019 JAM Media

Two Birdies Are Back (and there’s gonna be trouble!)

Wow — it’s been more than a year since we first mentioned Tuca & Bertie, the new adult animated TV created by Bojack Horseman production designer Lisa Hanawalt. Now, finally, we have a release date! Look for it on May 3rd, coming to Netflix. Oh, what’s it about? Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and Ali Wong star as a pair of bird women who are best friends — despite one of them being outgoing and sexually adventurous while the other one is, well, not. Animation World Network has a detailed preview and a YouTube link.

image c. 2019 Netflix