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Wolves

Animals of the World — but not North America

You know, it’s getting to be an old saw that the rest of the world gets to see some very cool animation — and much of it furry! — that we never get distributed over here. Oh well, here’s hoping that opportunities arise! Next on the list? The Tales of Tatonka, an animated series for kids that was created by Cyber Group Studios. According to Animation World Network, “The Tales of Tatonka tells the adventurous stories of four wolf cubs who grow together as a family living with nature. Their friend Tatonka, the bison, helps the young wolves explore their wilderness home along with friends Cinksi the lynx, Poum the bear, Wahi the squirrel and Wambli the eagle. Written by Pierre Sissmann and directed by Olivier Lelardoux, The Tales of Tatonka has received multiple awards across the world including a Golden Panda nomination in China and Karusel TV’s Best Kids’ Series in Russia. The series combines an 11-minute animated adventure with a live action segment titled ‘The World of Tatonka,’ depicting animal life in the wild.” So if you’re in China or Russia, look it up!

image c. 2018 Cyber Group Studios

Wolves of Ice and Dragons of Fire

There’s a new fantasy series for young readers (and fans of shape-shifters) from author Amie Kaufman called Elementals. The first story, Ice Wolves, is headed to book shelves this March. It goes like this: “Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives. So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away. In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shape-shifting force of all.” Find out more over at Goodreads.

image c. 2018 Harper Collins

The Wolves of Ireland

Cartoon Brew has a first look at Tomm Moore’s latest animated feature called Wolfwalkers. Mr. Moore, you may recall, is the Irish animation director responsible for The Book of Kells and Song of the Sea, both of which won praises from furry fans and animation lovers the world over. This new feature sounds even more anthropomorphic: “Wolfwalkers tells the story of 11-year-old Robyn Goodfellow, a young apprentice hunter who comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack of wolves. Her life changes though after she saves a native girl, Mebh, which leads to her discovery of the Wolfwalkers and transforms her into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.” The article includes a teaser trailer the creators just recently released.

image c. 2017 Cartoon Saloon

Guardians of the Spirit Realm

From Humanoids, Inc comes Izuna, a new full-color hardcover graphic novel Bruno Letizia, Saverio Tenuta, and Carita Lupatelli. “Since the dawn of time, the Izuna Wolves have been the protectors of the Sacred Tree. They fiercely oppose the Noggo demons, maintaining an invisible boundary between the human world and the spirit. However, the mysterious birth of a wolf cub in the shape of a young girl threatens to upset this delicate balance. Letzia’s lyrical script expands Tenuta’s rich universe of The Legends of the Scarlet Blades, while Lupattelli’s delicately painted art is the work of a star in the ascendant.” No prizes for guessing: Similar legends inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s well-known work Princess Mononoke. You can find out more over at the Humanoids, Inc. web site.

image c. 2016 Humanoids, Inc.

image c. 2016 Humanoids, Inc.

Wolves in Mongolia

More interesting news from Cartoon Brew: Rob Minkoff (The Lion King,  Stuart Little, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, etc etc…!) has signed a two picture deal with Le Vision USA, the American wing of China’s Le Vision Pictures. The first is for a live-action comedy called Silkworms (which we know nothing about, so far). The second, of more interest here, is for an animated adaptation of Chinese author Lu Jiamin’s semi-autobiographical novel Wolf Totem.  Earlier this year the book was adapted into a Chinese-language live-action film, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud from France. The story tells of “…a Chinese student who is sent to Inner Mongolia to teach shepherds and instead learns about the local wolf population, which is under threat by a government apparatchik”. (Shades of Never Cry Wolf, anyone?) At this point we do not know if Mr. Minkoff will simply be producing the animated version, or if he will direct. Nor have we gotten any word as to a projected release date. Guess we’ll find out!

image c. 2015 Forbidden City

image c. 2015 Forbidden City

The Boy Who Fell to Earth

In 2012 John Claude Bemis (author of the Americana-Fantasy series The Clockwork Dark) brought us a new post-apocalypse novel for young readers called The Prince Who Fell From The Sky. “In Casseomae’s world, the wolves rule the Forest, and the Forest is everywhere. The animals tell stories of the Skinless Ones, whose cities and roads once covered the earth, but the Skinless disappeared long ago. Casseomae is content to live alone, apart from the other bears in her tribe, until one of the ancients’ sky vehicles crashes to the ground, and from it emerges a Skinless One, a child. Rather than turn him over to the wolves, Casseomae chooses to protect this human cub, to find someplace safe for him to live. But where among the animals will a human child be safe? And is Casseomae threatening the safety of the Forest and all its tribes by protecting him?” Published by Random House, check this out over at the author’s web site.

[And with that, of course, we wish you a Merry Christmas, a Blessed Solstice, and a Happy Holiday Season!]

image c. 2014 Random House

image c. 2014 Random House

Pups and Petrol

Author Tonton Jim appeared on the scene recently with a new series of books called Hound’s Glenn. The titular neighborhood is a place where families of dogs and wolves live and work — evidently, families of other species live in other neighborhoods — and the stories feature the daily adventures of a group of young canines growing up. Aimed at young readers and adults alike, each book features watercolor illustrations by the artist E. Felix Lyon.  The first book, Max and the Lowrider Car, introduces us to Max. He’s a fifth-grader wolf cub with a simple-sounding assignment from school: Find something amazing in town to write about. He finds it in the local auto customizing shop, and soon Max and his friends (and family) are off on an adventure seeking old boring cars to bring back to shiny new life. The book is available on Amazon now, published by Dayton. The second book in the series, Harold and the Hot Rod, is coming soon. Hmm, are we sensing a theme here?

image c. 2014 Dayton Publishing

image c. 2014 Dayton Publishing

Don’t Mess With The Barbarian Wolf

Amigo Comics is a publisher and distributor of creator-owned comic book series. One of their recent titles is Ghost Wolf, a new full-color barbarian adventure series written by El Torres and illustrated by Siku. “The full saga of the Ghost Wolf, the spirit of vengeance of the northern wastes. When the sons of Corr lost their courage, they were swept by the wild tribes. But there was one man decided to fight – and paid with his life. He will become the vessel for the long, forsaken spirit of vengeance. The Ghost Wolf!” Take a look over at the Previews web site before the comic hits the shelves this March.

image c. 2014 Amigo Comics

image c. 2014 Amigo Comics

A Wolf, His Mate, and Their Cubs

Turns out that the original Alpha and Omega (from 2010) was successful enough to “spawn” a sequel — at least a 44-minute direct-to-video sequel, Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure. According to Cartoon Brew (never very kind to standard Hollywood fare), the sequel is again directed by Richard Rich. It was animated in India. In this new film, the wolves Humphrey and Kate strive to bring their cubs — Stinky, Claudette, and Runt — a happy season at Christmas time. The preview trailer is up now on YouTube. Look for the DVD from Lionsgate, coming to your local store on October 8th.

Image c. 2013 Lionsgate Pictures