Animation: The 'Boonie Bears' are coming from China
Amid Amidi reports on the Cartoon Brew website that China’s first CGI feature, the 70-minute Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey, is coming to the U.S. on January 6.
Didn’t China already produce a CGI feature, 2011’s Kung Fu Panda ripoff Legend of a Rabbit? Apparently nobody wants to talk about that. (Totalitarian nations are very good at rewriting their history.)
If three days sounds like very short notice, it’s because Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey will not be a theatrical release. It’s coming direct-to-DVD. What’s more, this was not even a theatrical release in China. It was a Chinese TV special last Spring.
Boonie Bears is a popular Chinese TV program, with over 200 episodes. The Amazon.com synopsis is,
Briar Bear and Bramble Bear and their animal pals are enjoying life in the woods when Logger Vick begins chopping down all the trees to get money to go home for the holidays. Briar and Bramble rally the forest animals to defend against the tree chopping frenzy and they use every zany trick in the book to save their beloved forest. They soon realize that Logger Vick is homesick so the animals hatch a plan to get Vick home in time to spend the holidays with his family. But the wintery weather and a undependable truck may just keep them from completing their mission.
How does it look? Horrible. The Cartoon Brew announcement includes a link to its American trailer. Both the CGI visuals and the voices are atrocious. Amidi says, “The English-language trailer for the special is memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.” Animation fans will probably argue for years whether Legend of a Rabbit or Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey is worse.