Thanks to the folks over at Cartoon Brew, we now know about Chicken Core: The Rise of Kings — one of the first animated short films ever completely produced in the country of Nigeria. Here’s the description from YouTube: “Chicken Core is a Nigerian animated feature which follows the adventures of a group of chicken warriors in their quest to rid the land of Amaji from the clutches of the tyrannous Boar King and his minions.” Got that? It’s directed by Oricha Aliyu and produced by Sporedust Media. Animation in Nigeria is really starting from the ground up, as all the people who work for Sporedust are self-taught. Check out what they’ve created — and be on the lookout for what they do next.
In July the Cartoon Brew website brought us The Legend of Poisonberry Pete, a 5’:41” CGI student film Western featuring anthropomorphic pies, muffins, quiches, and other baked goods. Here now is Paddy Pan, a 2D student film about an anthro cupcake wannabe who doesn’t want to be baked.
3’50” by Andrew Bowler at Quantm College in Melbourne, made with Flash, Maya, and After Effects animation.
The Cartoon Brew website posted this 6’07” phony trailer for a Pac-Man movie back in April, made by Tulsa studio Steelehouse Productions. Live-action humans; anthropomorphic video-game characters. (See also: "Behind the scenes" footage)
Hey, Crossaffliction, is Steelehouse in your neighborhood?
Does Sean Connery have a death wish?
That is the only reason that I can think of for his investing money, executive-producing, and voice-acting in the forthcoming first Scottish CGI animated feature, Sir Billi.
The Cartoon Brew website has the latest trailer, which is unbelievable. The humans and talking animals are the ugliest that I have ever seen. (Well, except for Hoodwinked, but that at least had a clever plot.)
Sir Billi is about, to quote CB’s Amid Amidi, a retired skateboarding bald senior-citizen veterinarian (Connery) with Gordon, his anthropomorphic homosexual pet goat with bladder problems, who wears a Bruce Lee-style yellow jumpsuit and thinks that he is a dog. Together they set out to rescue Bessie Boo, Scotland’s last beaver, and Wee Dave, a cute rabbit who helped raise her.
If Avatar could win the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture in 2009, then Furry fandom should LOVE Escape from Planet Earth. More blue aliens! Furry aliens! A plot that will remind you of Planet 51! Lots of 7-11! Originally scheduled for a 2010 release but now due out from the Weinstein Company and Rainmaker Entertainment in Vancouver on February 14, 2013.
This is a close year, ladies and gentleman. This year we are going to have to wait until November to know which movie will take the crown for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, as compared to the last five years, where it was Pixar/Pixar/Pixar/Pixar/the movie that came out in the spring. You could call it by February each of those years and not look completely stupid. Not so, this year.
How the mighty have fallen! In November 1999, when the first Pokémon theatrical feature, Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back, was released theatrically in the U.S., it was distributed by Warner Bros., played on 3,043 screens, and was the #1 grosser earning $85,744,662. Its final box office was over $163 million.
This year the 15th annual Pokémon movie, Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice, which opened as the #3 grosser in Japan on July 14, will be shown only on the Cartoon Network on December 8. Ho-hum.
The Snow Queen, written in 1845 by Hans Christian Andersen, did not have any anthropomorphic characters in it. Hollywood; excuse me, Moscow; has corrected this omission. Not in the 1957 Soyuzmultfilm feature, which was a faithful enough adaptation of Andersen’s tale but with a talking raven, but in the new Wizart Animation 80-minute CGI feature, directed by Maxim Sveshnikov and Vlad Barbe, coming in Russia in December.
The story has been modernized and expanded for today's audiences, with a non-human troll added as a major character (for comedy relief); and Gerda has been given a pet ermine, who is not very anthropomorphic but is smarter than the average ermine. [Animation Magazine]
An entirely new way to experience dynamic and engrossing stories for free. [...] Unique layouts, animations, and visual effects, in regularly-updated episodes.
Essentially, they're creating original animated comic books and graphic novels.
Subject #9 follows a straightforward plot:
The adventure begins when eight young and vastly different prisoners unite to escape from a mysterious secret laboratory. Each one of them has unique abilities that they are yet to master. But first they have to learn team-work, understand the nature and goal of the laboratory experiments and find out who is behind all of it. The answers to these questions lead our heroes towards the grim truth...
Subject #9 combines sci-fi, adventure, and traditional superhero elements with colorful characters and an engrossing plot full of secrets and mysteries. We hope you'll enjoy reading Subject #9 as much as the team enjoyed creating it.
The Saga of Rex is a surrealistic whimsical science fiction tale that is really just an excuse for Gagné’s incredible imaginative graphics. The plot, if you want to call it that, is that the Guardian-Shepherd of the planet Edernia (a godlike being) summons a fleet of Gathering Ships to fly throughout the galaxy and harvest (kidnap) “specimens” to transport into Dream Globes (alternate worlds) where they will serve as hero-champions for Edernia’s metamorphic sentient Blossoms. (Readers who want to find meaning in this are told, “Those secrets have been lost in the catacombs of time.”) Rex, “the adorable little fox” from Earth, becomes the specimen of Aven, a Blossom who comes to love Rex and transforms herself into a sometimes-winged blue foxlike mate for him. I think.
As I said, just forget about plot and lose yourself in Gagné’s scintillating artwork. Rex’s Dream Globe is a wondrous, mysterious world that encompasses whole galaxies. It is full of strange, flowing, usually amorphous life forms, both benign and hostile. Rex rescues and is rescued by alien beings; he passes through trials of water and fire; he dies and is transmogrified into a savior. Basically, The Saga of Rex is 200 pages of mind-blowingly gorgeous semi-abstract s-f artistry. It is not to be missed.
Now, Gagné has launched a Kickstarter project to raise $15,000 to start an animation studio and turn his book into a classically animated film. He has already gotten $12,152 in pledges, with 26 days to go. See his four-minute video explaining the project.
Delhi Safari is a new full-length CGI animated feature from India, directed by Nikhil Advani and animated by Krayon Pictures. It tells the story of a group of rainforest animals in India, who find their forest is being destroyed and paved over by human encroachment and construction. They take it upon themselves to travel to Delhi, with the intention of using a “bilingual” parrot (he speaks both human and non-human languages) to voice their complaints about the destruction of their home. The film has been picked up for international distribution by Fantastic Films, and it recently opened for a limited engagement in North America. Filmed in Hindi, the English version of the film features the voices of Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd, Jane Lynch, Vanessa Williams, and Brad Garrett. Watch the international trailer on YouTube, or visit the Delhi Safari Facebook page.
The first time our buddies the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came to animation was in their first TV series, created in 1987 by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson. More comedic in tone than many Turtle variations, this version ran for no less than 10 seasons on TV, intersecting with several of the movie adaptations. Now Lionsgate will soon release all 10 seasons in a 23-disc DVD box set — contained in a bright and shiny turtle-van! “From their origins on the comic book page to the depths of Dimension X and beyond, the pizza-loving, shell-busting Leonardo™, Donatello™, Raphael™ and Michelangelo™, with the guidance of their Sensei, have been delighting fans for decades with their turtle power. Whether it’s facing fierce enemies Krang™, Shredder™ and Lord Dregg™, saving humanity from near extinction, or battling against life-altering mutations, the half-shell heroes are always ready for heart-stopping, time-bending, straight outta the sewer action!” Look for it in November, or order it from Amazon today.
So the camel can talk. Can he fly?
Have you ever heard of Kamlu ...Happy Happy, a 3D CGI Hollywood-Bollywood co-production directed by Govind Nihalani that will be released on November 2? In India, anyway, in Hindi. Produced by Krayon Pictures, the same studio that made Delhi Safari, in fact.
This English-language trailer shows it to be a children’s fantasy about a young talking camel who wants to fly, who gets mixed up with a human princess, an enigmatic magician, lots of villains, and so on. Will it play in America? I’m sure the Bollywood producers hope so.
In case anyone needs a refresher: The Care Bears were created in 1981 by American Greetings (originally for greeting cards, of course), and eventually starred in their own TV series and animated movies (produced by Nelvana) before they went on to conquer the world of tie-in marketing entirely. Well now the entirety of that original animated series is available in a -DVD box set (!) called Care Bears: The Original Series Collection. “The lovable bears of Care-a-lot, Cheer, Share, Harmony, and all their bear buddies with unique belly badges and a caring mission have been delighting fans for 30 years! Whether it1s learning the value of friendship, helping someone in need, or using their special powers to brighten up the day, the adorable Care Bears are always ready for caring, sharing, and giving goodness!” The set is available now from Miramax/Lionsgate.
The Cartoon Brew has posted the 3-minute “Typesetter Blues”, written by Pazit Cahlon and directed by character designer Hector Herrera of Toronto studio Together: Words + Pictures for Art and Culture.
Anthropomorphic THINGS, or just really surrealistic character design? You decide.