Wow — it’s been more than a year since we first mentioned Tuca & Bertie, the new adult animated TV created by Bojack Horseman production designer Lisa Hanawalt. Now, finally, we have a release date! Look for it on May 3rd, coming to Netflix. Oh, what’s it about? Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and Ali Wong star as a pair of bird women who are best friends — despite one of them being outgoing and sexually adventurous while the other one is, well, not. Animation World Network has a detailed preview and a YouTube link.
[You know what? Lingering colds really really suck…] Buried in a recent article at Animation Magazine’s web site about some upcoming films (all of them furry, to some extent!) was this little tidbit: “Meanwhile, Paramount has confirmed that The Tiger’s Apprentice, an animated adaptation of Laurence Yep’s young adult fantasy trilogy series, will be released on February 11, 2022. The story centers on a young San Francisco boy who meets a mysterious talking tiger called Mr. Hu and realizes that he’s the appointed guardian who can protect everyone from an evil ancient phoenix. The screenplay has been adapted by David Magee (Life of Pi). The studio hasn’t announced a director or voice cast for the project. Feb. 11, 2022 sounds like a good spot for the animated pic as no other movie has been announced for that time period.” Really now? Hmm, let’s see… 2022 would be six years after the release of Zootopia. The same amount of time it took Disney Animation to make and release Frozen 2. Just saying…
The folks over at Previews magalog let us know about this new book. “From the visionary Shaun Tan, an inspirational story for older picture book readers and beyond. Cicada tells the story of a hardworking little cicada who is completely unappreciated for what he does. But in the end, just when you think he’s given up, he makes a transformation into something ineffably beautiful. A metaphor for growing up? A bit of inspiration for the unappreciated striver in all of us? Yes, yes, and more.” It’s available now from Arthur A. Levine Books.
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.
While everyone is waiting with baited breath for director James Cameron to really begin work on the sequel to Avatar (after he brought Pandora to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, of course), now Dark Horse Comics have a new full-color Avatar comic series hitting the shelves — Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path. “Tsu’tey, proud warrior of the Omatikaya clan, betrothed to Neytiri, has his life turned upside down by the arrival of Jake Sully of the Sky People. Reveals events only hinted at in James Cameron’s Avatar!” It’s written by Sherri L. Smith, and illustrated by Jan Duursema, Dan Parson, and Wes Dzioba. The first issue is available in stores now.
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!
Congratulations are of course in order for the creators of Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, following their Oscar win for Best Animated Feature of 2018. Now comes the word that one of the directors of that film is moving on to a project that’s got even more furry content — and he’s been there before. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-director Bob Persichetti has been signed to direct the sequel for DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots, according to a report by Deadline… Animation veteran Persichetti, who has worked in various roles in the industry in a career spanning more than two decades, served as the Head of Story and voiced a role in the original Puss in Boots. The follow-up to the 2011 hit film that garnered an Oscar nomination and grossed more than $550 million globally, Puss In Boots 2 is currently in development, with a release date yet to be announced… A spinoff of the studio’s blockbuster Shrek franchise, Puss in Boots received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature in 2012. Voiced by Antonio Banderas, the character, which first appeared in Shrek 2, was included in subsequent Shrek sequels and shorts.” We’ll keep our ears pointed.
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!
And more death and darkness from Source Point Press! (Gee, aren’t furries fun??) Well at least this is from a more silly angle: The Dead Duck and Zombie Chick one-shot comic. “Master cartoonist Jay Fosgitt [My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (!) ] returns to his darkly comedic roots with the return of Dead Duck and Zombie Chick! Laugh along with the deadpan humor as Dead Duck does his best to keep up on his day job….delivering the souls of the dead for processing!” And it’s available for your viewing pleasure now.
And more dark stuff from the Long Beach Comic Expo. Remember when we talked about the graphic novel Wretched Things? Well it turns out that the publisher, Source Point Press, has another creepy anthropomorphic title in their crop: Rottentail. “This deranged graphic novel comes straight from the minds and hands of David C. Hayes, Kevin Moyers, Kurt Belcher, and Henrik Horvath. Geeky fertility researcher Peter Cotton is bitten by a mutant rabbit and changes into the half-man/half-bunny Rottentail. What’s a boy to do? Why, take a hippity, hoppity trip home of course! Peter begins a bloody killing spree of revenge that culminates in his childhood hometown of Easter Falls.” Ready for this? Rottentail has even been made into a film!
Definitely a darker sort of anthropomorphic story — that’s The Rats of Heaven, a new novel by J.J. Elliot. “The Rats of Heaven tells the story of the fallen angel Rahab, as he seeks revenge on the angels that exiled him to live out his existence on Earth as a rat. When the fallen angel meets a dying serial killer in the sewers they strike a deal that will terrorize a city. Only a 12 year-old boy knows what their secret and how to stop them. The Rats of Heaven will take the reader from the sewers of a modern city to the gardens of Heaven.” What a ride. Check it out over at Amazon.
Also at Long Beach Comic Expo we met Samantha Sawyer. “Sincerely Sam” is an artist whose fantasy and furry works have graced the covers of various comics and convention books. She’s also been a guest at several comic book conventions. Visit her web site to see her gallery of works and more.
Recently we visited the Long Beach Comic Expo, and came across things like Devil’s Henchmen, “A comic about animals that misbehave”. And how! From the web site: “Welcome to The Devil’s Henchmen official site, a comic about a motley crew of dysfunctional bandits and their many misadventures. This comic is drawn and written by John Will Balsley” Sounds straightforward enough, but things get a lot weirder when you start to read it! The site includes not only the on-line comic itself but tons of background material and art.
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!
While we wait to see if Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse can turn its Golden Globe and Annie Awards into an Oscar triumph, word has come out that the film will be available digitally at the end of this month and on DVD March 19th. The official press release includes this interesting tidbit: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse arrives filled with engaging bonus materials that are fun for the whole family and give fans even more of the unique comic book style action that they loved in theaters with more than 90 minutes of bonus content. In his very own original short, Spider-Ham: Caught In a Ham, fan favorite Spider-Ham defeats his greatest foe, delivers sidesplitting puns, and get sucked into another dimension! It actually can get weirder!” Animation World Network has the full release and a link to the preview video for the new 2D short also.
Honestly, we never knew this was back there — and now here it is right in front of us! Turns out that Aspen Comics have been running a series for young readers called Aspen Mascots as back-up stories in other comics for some time now. Finally, they have gathered them all together and put them out in Aspen Mascots: The Complete Collection. “Aspen Comics’ most popular mascots, critters and creatures star in this all in one jam-packed comic, coloring and activity book! Join Wormier, a fearless millipede, along with his lovable sidekick Griff, as they plot to go back in time in order to reverse the destruction of his worm village! Along the way, the pair will discover different eras, allies-and enemies! Plus, with over 5 incredible bonus stories, readers and fans alike will be able to color in the fun with added puzzles, exciting activities and a whole lot more!” Take a look over at Comixology.
Yes that trope gets used a lot, but anyway… Word has slipped out that Hasbro is hard at work on a sequel to the 2017 animated film My Little Pony: The Movie. According to the Idea Wiki, the plot goes like this: “A giant whirlwind sends Onyx Star, Adonis, the weasels, Nike, Discord and the ostriches to outer space and they need to get back home to Equestria. Along the way, they meet new friends who were also stuck in space years ago, space animals, and evil alien ponies who wanted to capture Onyx and his friends and destroy the Earth with a reliquary-cannon after Groff, Maxil, Zio and their minions sold all of their souls for it.” Got all that? They go on to say: “The film is produced by Allspark Pictures and DHX Media, with animation created once again using Toon Boom Harmony, and is scheduled to be released theatrically on October 2, 2020 in the United States by Lionsgate. It also marks the 10th Anniversary of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” Series favorite Jayson Thiessen is directing again.
Evidently this has been a thing for a while, but somehow we missed it. Now, thanks to Oni Press, it’s all together in one place. “Brahm Revel’s critically-acclaimed series is collected for the first time in one volume in the Guerillas: Omnibus Edition! Private John Francis Clayton is on his first tour of duty in Vietnam, facing death at every turn in the middle of a war he doesn’t understand. Clayton is just trying to stay alive when he encounters an elite platoon of…. simian soldiers?!? This squad of chain-smoking chimps is the most dangerous fighting force in the jungle… but whose side are they on?” Find out when this hits the shelves in late March.
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.
A very… unusual anime feature is heading to our shores this spring. “Los Angeles-based Eleven Arts Anime Studio has set April 12 as the theatrical release date for the sci-fi coming-of-age animated feature, Penguin Highway, which it will be distributing in the U.S. and Canada. Directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, the film won the Axis: The Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation award at the Fantasia International Film Festival for best animated feature and has also been nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The film will screen with the original Japanese dialogue with subtitles as well as the English dub. In the film, budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he finds the source of the penguins is a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure!” Got that? Read the article at Animation World Network for more, including the trailer.