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TV Series

My LITTLER Pony

As part of their 20th anniversary celebration, IDW Publishing are presenting a special collection of one-shot larger issues called the 20/20 series. And right there among them is My Little Pony: IDW 20/20. “Ponyville’s most courageous and magical ponies celebrate friendship and fun in this adventure set twenty years in the past! Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and the rest of your favorite pony friends are young fillies—surely things can’t get too crazy, right?! One thing’s for sure: no matter what escapades they face, the magic of friendship will see them through!” It’s written by Ted Anderson, with art by Tony Kuusisto and Heather Breckel. IDW has a preview too.

image c. 2019 IDW Publishing

Shaggy (and the) Dog

Here we go again! We got this from Complex.com: “Scooby-Doo will make its return to the big screen with an animated movie set to star Gina Rodriguez, Tracy Morgan, and Will Forte, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film — directed by Tony Cervone, the producer behind the television series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated — is currently untitled. Forte is set to play the titular dane’s best friend Shaggy, Rodriguez will voice Velma, and Morgan will be non-Mystery Gang member Captain Caveman [!]. Frank Welker, who’s worked with the franchise since 1972-73’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies, will play the role of Scooby-Doo. For this case, the gang will reportedly team up with other Hanna-Barbera universe heroes to save the world from the corrupt plans of Dick Dastardly, the main villain of fellow Hanna-Barbera classic, Wacky Races [!!]. The project, which is set to hit theaters May 2020, will be the first time Scooby Doo takes the silver screen since the 2004 live-action film, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.” Sounds like they’re getting much more ambitious with their universe now! We found other talk on-line about this this movie project that gave it the title of S.C.O.O.B. Guess we’ll find out next year!

image c. 2019 Hanna Barbera

Are You Offended?

Look, we’re just going to quote this direct from the folks over at Cartoonbrew — no way we could explain it any better. “Four new animated series based on Marvel characters are in the works at Hulu. The shows will collectively lead up to a special event bringing them all together titled The Offenders. All of these projects will target mature audiences. Jordan Blum (American Dad!) and comedian/actor Patton Oswalt are writing M.O.D.O.K., about an evil mastermind with limited body mass and big plans. Hit Monkey, with Josh Gordon and Will Speck as writers, follows a Japanese snow monkey transformed into a vengeful assassin in Tokyo’s criminal underworld. Set in Los Angeles, Tigra & Dazzler Show follows a pair of ‘woke’ female heroes pushing to stand out in a city full talented people. Comedian Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) have been tasked with writing the project. Lastly, there is Howard the Duck, centered on the publisher’s notorious anthropomorphic bird trapped in the human world. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Dave Willis (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) are writing this dark comedy and will also executive produce. Comic writer Jeph Loeb (also a producer on Smallville and Lost) will act as executive producer on all four projects, as well as the crossover finale. No writers have been announced yet for the crossover finale, in which all of these characters will ‘form a team no one asked for’ to save the world.” Got all that? No word yet on a release date for these shows, but we’ll be watching!

image c. 2019 Hulu

Little Bear in London

And more good news coming to us from Animation World Network: “STUDIOCANAL, Nickelodeon, and award-winning producer David Heyman have announced a global deal and released a first look for a brand-new Paddington (working title) television series for preschoolers. Actor Ben Whishaw (Paddington 1 & 2) will reprise his role as the beloved voice of the title character in the new CG-animated series, which follows the adventures of a younger Paddington. Paddington will air on Nickelodeon’s networks worldwide in 2020… Fully animated in 3D, the new Paddington series sees a younger Paddington writing to Aunt Lucy from Windsor Gardens. Each episode will open and close with Paddington’s letters as he tells Aunt Lucy what he has learned about life through the day’s new exciting adventure.” Check out the article for more. Looking forward to this!

image c. 2019 STUDIOCANAL

The Nuts Are Back

More from Animation World Network: “Feature animation studio ToonBox Entertainment and Canadian production company Pipeline Studios have announced the creation of a new joint venture. Their first project is Nut Jobs, a 2D-animated series for kids ages 6-11 based on The Nut Job, the hit animated feature film franchise that took in $120 million at the international box office. The production companies have been working in development on the series and have tapped Emmy Award-winning industry veteran and Grant Moran to spearhead these efforts. Moran, who will serve as the showrunner for the TV series, previously served as Executive Director in Charge of Production at Nickelodeon.” No word yet on any release date, but stay tooned.

image c. 2019 Toonbox Entertainment

The Annie Award Winners for 2018

Your humble ed-otter and his mate got a chance to attend the Annie Awards at UCLA’s Royce Hall recently. Presented annually by ASIFA-Hollywood, the Annie Awards are considered by many to be the Oscars for animation, voted on by folks who work in the industry. And once again, there was plenty of anthropomorphic content to be found among the winners. By far, the big winner of the evening was Sony Pictures’ Spider Man: Into The Spiderverse. The surprise hit from last December not only won the coveted Best Animated Feature trophy, but also took home the Feature awards for Directing, Writing, Character Animation, Character Design, Production Design, and Editing — winning all seven categories in which it was nominated. (Go, Spider-Ham!). Ralph Breaks The Internet had to settle for only one award in Feature Effects Animation, while the 2D animated sequence in Mary Poppins Returns got the awards for Animated Special Production and Character Animation In A Live Action Feature. Also taking home one award was Wes Anderson’s Isle Of Dogs, which got the award in Feature Voice Acting for Bryan Cranston’s performance as Chief. Over on the TV/Broadcast side of things, the big winners were Hilda from Netflix (taking home awards for Best TV Series For Children, Writing, and Character Animation) and Disney’s Mickey Mouse (with trophies for Music, Storyboarding — tied with Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — and Directing). In TV Character Design, the Annie went to a very anthropomorphic episode of Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure called “Freebird”. Bojack Horseman did well, winning for TV Voice acting (Will Arnett as Bojack) and Best TV Production overall. Dreamworks’ Tales of Arcadia: Trollhunters won the trophy for Best TV Effects Animation. The award for Best Commercial went to “There’s a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom” (produced for Greenpeace), and the first winner of the brand new Best Virtual Reality award was Crow: The Legend (which we’ve talked about before!). Finally, the Ub Iwerks Award for technical achievement went to the developers of the open source software known as Blender, which of course many furry creators have also used extensively. To see all the winners visit the Annie Awards web site — and remember, nominations for the Ursa Major Awards close on February 16th!

image c. 2019 Sony Pictures

Oh My Darlin’ Space Patrol

Whoa, don’t give up on 2018 just yet!  Take a look at some things we missed… Back around Halloween (!) DC Comics continued their mightily-odd hook up with classic Hanna-Barbera characters in new comic book settings. How so? How about the Green Lantern / Huckleberry Hound Special? Yes. “Returning from recent duty in Vietnam, veteran Marine John Stewart — now a member of the Green Lantern Corps — contemplates what, if anything, he should do about the issues tearing his country apart. Meanwhile, Huckleberry’s comments against the Vietnam war have left him a celebrity outcast, and a visit back home to Mississippi puts him face to face with the Civil Rights Movement. What can one man — and one hound — do? Plus, part two of a Secret Squirrel backup story written by J.M. DeMatteis.” Got all that? Check out the web site if you don’t believe us. The main story is by Mark Russell and Rick Leonardi. Not weird enough for you? How about the Deathstroke / Yogi Bear Special, the Nightwing / Magilla Gorilla Special, or the Superman / Top Cat Special? We kid you not.

image c. 2019 DC Comics

What Are YOU Doing This Weekend?

If you grew up between the 1960’s and the 1990’s, we know where you were on Saturday mornings: Seated right in front of the television, catching up with your favorite animated and fantasy TV series. Now four whole decades of weekend TV pleasures are chronicled in It’s Saturday Morning! A Look Back at Four Decades of Animation, Pop Culture, and Tradition (whew!). It’s a new hardcover book written by Joe Garner and Michael Ashley. “With concept art, archival images, all-new interviews, and a foreword by Bobby’s World creator and funnyman Howie Mandel, It’s Saturday Morning! celebrates the shows, characters, songs, and commercials that made Saturday mornings a pop culture event—decade by decade… Broadcasting into family living rooms from the 1960’s to the 1990’s, this wildly creative art form wrought a beloved rite of passage. From the hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., parents could sleep in while their children plopped on the couch to consume cartoons galore. From The Bugs Bunny Show, The Jetsons, and Jonny Quest to The Smurfs, He-Man, and Animaniacs, this window of time promised pure entertainment and an experience that united generations… This entertaining walk down memory lane is made complete by a review of some of the iconic products advertised between these favorite cartoons. ‘After These Messages…’ segments provide fascinating facts about the merchandise that appeared in Saturday morning commercials, such as the Slinky, Lite-Brite, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Golden Crisp cereal.” Yum! Needless to say there are lots of furry-themed shows discussed in these pages. It’s Saturday Morning! is available now from Becker & Meyer.

image c. 2018 Becker & Meyer

Bad Guys Do Good

And yet more from IDW — this time back in the world of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. “Powerless and threatened by a great evil, Princess Luna discovers she can’t count on her sister or any of the usual heroes of Equestria. Running out of time and with nowhere to turn, Luna assembles a team specially suited to save the day… a team of former villains!” Wow, we’re there! Nightmare Knights comes to us from the team of writer Jeremy Whitley and frequent Pony artists Tony Fleecs and Heather Breckel.

image c. 2018 IDW Publishing