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Big Movie News for the Fall

A pair of big announcements from our friends at Cartoon Brew: Warner Brothers has just released the first teaser trailer for Happy Feet 2, set to premiere this November. No word yet on the sequel’s plot, but it has been confirmed that Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, and Magda Szubanski will reprise their roles from the first film, along with new voices Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Hank Azaria, and Pink. Also from Cartoon Brew recently: “Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa are back and better than ever this fall when Disney’s The Lion King roars into theaters and homes in breathtaking 3D. A special two-week theatrical extravaganza kicks off Sept. 16, 2011, showcasing the Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film on the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ for the first time ever, and its highly anticipated home entertainment debut kicks off October 4, celebrating the Diamond Edition release of the epic movie The Lion King in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™.”

New Looney Tunes

In case you haven’t got the word yet: Cartoon Network will be premiering a brand new Looney Tunes Show on Tuesday, May 3rd. They’ve set up a web site with lots of pictures, video clips, and even a fan discussion board. Needless to say there’s already a lot of discussion (to put it mildly) on places like Cartoon Brew about the ups and downs of the new show and the new character designs.

The Stink of Love

It looks as if picnic-stealing bears aren’t the only toons giving you a guide to life lately. Now Insight Editions have brought us The Stink of Love: Pepé Le Pew’s Guide to L’Amour. It’s available in hardcover, written by Pepé Le Pew himself with the help of Sally Deems-Mogyordy. Here’s the description from Amazon.com: “Learn from the master of l’amour! In The Stink of Love, Monsieur Pepé Le Pew tells readers how to charm a belle femme with helpful chapters on Grooming, The Chase, and Couplehood. Let Pepé tell how to put one’s best paw forward on the path to love, how to anticipate a potential mate’s needs and desires, how to woo and romance, and — most importantly — how to hold on to her! As Pepé says, ‘There is very little difference between men and women, but vivre le difference!’ Mais oui, love is a many splendor’d thing! As the world turns to shades of pink and red, cynics can warm their hearts and laugh out loud to Pepé’s cheerful self-delusion. Deems-Mogyordy’s writing is pitch-perfect Pepé Le Pew, completely in character. As Pepé might say, ‘Cherchez la femme!'”

Return of the Love Skunk

And they just keep coming… Now word is out from Hollywood that Warner Brothers will soon be starting work on a live-action-with-CGI Pepe Le Pew feature film. In other words, a world of humans where only the amorous skunk Pepe and his feline love-target, Penelope, would be animated. New York Magazine is reporting that none other than Shrek himself, Mike Myers, will be voicing Pepe le Pew for the movie (rather than Joe Alaskey or Maurice LaMarche, who’ve voiced him in other recent animation projects). The point of all of this, of course, is to re-brand Warner Brothers characters like Pepe before they run out their copyrights, and to get them back in the public’s eye so they will again start moving merchandise. No word yet on a planned release date for the film. The folks over at Cartoon Brew don’t seem very happy about this whole development.

Go, Dog, Go!

Animation historian Jerry Beck gives us the following on Cartoon Brew: “Animation storyman Phil Eastman (1909-1986) worked for Disney, Warner Bros., UPA, even Terrytoons during his career in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. But his biggest claim to fame has to be the series of Beginner Books he wrote and drew beginning in the late 1950s. Sam and The Firefly, Are You My Mother? A Fish Out of Water, and of course Go, Dog, Go! were certainly on my reading list at age 5. They influenced a lot of folks who later went into animation and comic art. I loved those books and still have my original battered copies. Now Sue and Tony Eastman (Phil’s son, and one of the best animators in the business himself) have put together a new website dedicated to his father’s books. Tony writes: Its purpose is to entertain/inform, and at the same time sell books. There really wasn’t a place where you could see all of his books together, plus we thought a short biography (appropriate for children) and a way to get in touch with his family would be useful. ” You can visit the P.D. Eastman website to find out more.

Brand-New Coyote and Roadrunner

If you head to out see Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, you’ll find a surprise in front of it: Coyote Falls, a new 3D CGI Warner Brothers cartoon starring Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. It’s the first of three such new 3-minute cartoons that Warner Brothers is releasing in front of new feature films.  According to CartoonBrew.com, “This is the first Looney Tunes short produced by Sam Register’s new Warner Bros. Animation division. (BTW, the film is simply a Warner Bros. Cartoon with no Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies designation). Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone are supervising producers along with Allison Abbate (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Corpse Bride, Iron Giant). Matthew O’Callaghan (Curious George) directed in respectful homage to Chuck Jones.” Cartoon Brew also has an exclusive clip from the short.

From "Coyote Falls", c. 2010 Warner Brothers