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TV Series

One Handy Wise Panda

Animation World Network recently had an article about some new animated series coming to Apple TV+ later this year — and at least one of them is something that furry fans might notice. “Based on the Scholastic book series Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth, Stillwater centers on siblings Karl, Addy, and Michael, who are typical kids with typical kid challenges – meaning that sometimes even the smallest things can feel insurmountable. Fortunately for these three, they have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, stories and gentle humor, Stillwater gives the children a deeper understanding of their feelings as well as tools that help them face their own day-to-day challenges. Stillwater also brings newfound fun and adventure for the three, opening their eyes to the quiet wonders of the world around them, and guiding them to their place within it.” Stillwater is set to premiere on December 4th.

image c. 2020 Gaumont and Scholastic

Wild Animals… in a Mall

So we found out about Wild Life, a new animated TV series coming to SYFY’s TZGZ lineup on September 26th. Animation Scoop put it like this: “It’s an adult, post-apocalyptic, talking animal, animated comedy… or as it’s been called by the creative team, “It’s like if The Walking Dead smoked a bunch of Adventure Time and binge-watched Friends.”” Wow, that’s a lot to take in. AS has an interview with series creator Adam Davies and his mates.

image c. 2020 SYFY

Cold Reception

Arctic Dogs (2019) didn’t exactly blow up the box office or impress the critics much. (Ye EdOtter is still trying to figure out how the planned action-adventure film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad morphed into this silly comedy…) Apparently though, Arctic Dogs has been very popular on Netflix — enough so that a spin-off series of animated shorts called Arctic Friends has been created. According to Animation Magazine: “Arctic Friends follows the exciting adventures of Swifty, the arctic fox who has finally achieved his dream job: Be the best delivery dog at Arctic Blast Delivery Service. With the help of his best friend PB the polar bear, Jade the red fox, and the ABDS team, this crew is ready to deliver at any cost! Constantly thwarted by the nefarious mastermind Otto Van Walrus and his mischievous puffins, Swifty must outsmart these villains to ensure that all packages are delivered to their rightful recipients.” The series recently premiered on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.

image c. 2020 Iervolino Entertainment

Birds and Bubbles Go Boom

They’re still a thing, and they just keep getting stranger. This we got from Animation World Network: “Rovio Entertainment has released the first season of Angry Birds Bubble Trouble, a bite-sized 3D-animated series where the young Angry Birds flock – Red, Bomb, Chuck, Stella and Silver – let their imaginations ‘go wild’ in their bubble garden. They play games and solve problems together, while getting into all kinds of trouble.” The first season of 1-minute animated shorts is up now on Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. The AWN article includes an introductory video, which shows just how odd this series can be!

image c. 2020 Rovio Entertainment

Traveling, Without Moving

PBS has a new science and learning animated series set to premier soon. “This Labor Day, PBS Kids will debut their newest series, Elinor Wonders Why, giving families a chance to ‘travel’ coast-to-coast in Animal Town. The animated show encourages children’s curiosity, promoting science inquiry skills while kids learn about the natural world around them. The multiplatform series, created by cartoonist and robotics engineer, Jorge Cham, and physicist and educator, Daniel Whiteson, will debut nationwide on PBS stations, the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms, Monday, September 7, with a special one-hour premiere that kicks off a week of new episodes. In the premiere, Elinor, the most curious and observant bunny rabbit in Animal Town, plays hide-and-go-seek with her friends and learns how animals hide in nature; she investigates a strange nighttime sound made by an owl and discovers what fascinating creatures do at night; she makes “Backyard Soup” with vegetables from her family’s garden; and sells lots of cupcakes by learning how flowers attract bees, through color and smell, and applying those concepts to baking.” Learn more and read about the creators over at Animation World Network.

image c. 2020 PBS Kids

The Zoo Crew When They Were New

More out-of-nowhere projects we’ve learned about — in this case from Dreamworks. It’s Madagascar: A Little Wild, a new animated series coming to Hulu and Peacock on September 7th. Everyone’s favorite zoo animal quartet return for new adventures… as youngsters. Animation Scoop had this to say: “Filled with original music and dance worthy songs, the lovable foursome Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo steal the show in Madagascar: A Little Wild. Capturing the iconic personalities of the four dynamos, Madagascar: A Little Wild showcases the team as kids residing in their rescue habitat at the Central Park Zoo. They might be small, but like everybody who lands in New York City, these little guys have big dreams.” There’s more information and a trailer at Animation Scoop too.

image c. 2020 Dreamworks Animation

ET On Your TV

We just found out about Earth To Ned, the new science fiction TV series from the Muppet folks at The Jim Henson Company. “The galaxy’s first alien-hosted talk show” will start streaming on Disney + starting September 4th. “Produced by The Jim Henson Company and Marwar Junction Productions, Earth to Ned is a decidedly different take on the late-night talk format. It stars extraterrestrial-creatures Ned and Cornelius as they interview terrestrial stars. Each episode focuses on a topic or theme that is unique to Earthlings and fascinating to Ned, including comedy, sports, social media and fashion. Ned beams in celebrity guests from across the known universe, and the more he learns about our human culture, the more obsessed he becomes.” Take a look at the review on Deadline, and check out the trailer video there or on YouTube.

image c. 2020 The Jim Henson Company

Once More to the Max

And again with the reboot stuff! We’re finding out more about the long-awaited reboot of Animaniacs, this time thanks to Dave Lee’s Cartoon News on YouTube. Turns out the new series is scheduled to premier on November 20th on Hulu — at least in North America. Here’s what the producers have to say: “This new version of the family friendly cartoon will see Warner siblings, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot, have a great time wreaking havoc and mayhem in the lives of everyone they meet. Joining the trio will be fan-favorites Pinky and the Brain, who will also return to continue their quest for world domination.” No word yet on any of the other characters from the old series (sorry Minerva!), but the new cast has all the original voice talent, including Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, and Frank Welker.

image c. 2020 Hulu

Return of the Protoplasm

You know your animation is getting attention when no less than CNN has to mention it. And this is for a reboot! “Happy, happy, joy, joy, we are getting a new version of The Ren & Stimpy Show. Comedy Central announced on Wednesday that it is reimagining the 1990s cult animated series. ‘We are excited to reinvent this iconic franchise with a new creative team and our partners at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio,’ Chris McCarthy, president of Viacom CBS Entertainment & Youth Group, said in a statement.’Ren & Stimpy joins our rapidly expanding roster of adult animation including South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head, and Clone High as we continue to reimagine our treasure chest of beloved IP for new generations.’ No date has been announced for the new show’s debut.” Also no word if the current production crew will include original creator John Kricfalusi.

image c. 2020 Comedy Central