Animation Scoop has the first trailer for Blue Sky Studios’ Rio 2, out next April. It’s anthro birds, birds, birds!
I just got through reviewing the coffee-table The Art of 'Epic' for Animation World Network. (My review should be posted in the next day or two.) In it, director Chris Wedge says that a major reason for Blue Sky to have made Epic is to evolve the studio away from hard-edged, bright computer graphics like in the Ice Age movies, Robots, and Rio. and develop a softer, more dense look, such as that needed for the realistic forest in Epic. It sure hasn’t taken them long to get back to the brightly-colored Rio!
The Cartoon Brew has photos of the first advertising for Reel FX studio’s first CGI feature, Free Birds, due November 1. The advertising, at CinemaCon at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on April 15-18, included this 3D printed display.
Free Birds, previously announced under the working title of Turkeys, is about Reggie (voice of Owen Wilson) and Jake (Woody Harrelson), two odd-buddy turkeys who time-travel back to Pilgrim days to eliminate the present-day turkey-eating Thanksgiving feast.
Once upon a time, when the Wild West was still wild, a Cowgirl and a Werewolf travel the hostile land. As a chicken walks their way a fight about the appropriate use of it makes them forget the danger around, till it seems to be too late.
Hank the Cowdog and the Case of the Dinosaur Birds is number 54 in John R. Erickson’s long running series of short novels for children featuring the misadventures of Hank the Cowdog, Head of Ranch Security.
The books are published by Erickson’s own Maverick Books, based out of his hometown of Perryton, Texas. The books are not unknown outside the area; but in the surrounding region, very few children grow up without encountering Hank and his humorous stories. The realistic depiction of life on a Texas cattle ranch as seen through the eyes of a vainglorious but not particularly bright ranch dog has also garnered many adult fans in the region.
The books feature illustrations by Gerald R. Holmes. However, this review is based on the audiobook version of the story, featuring Erickson’s reading. Erickson is a talented voice actor; the story is presented more like a radio play than a straight recitation, with Erickson playing all parts: human and animal, male and female, each distinctive and memorable. Quite a few fans, and this reviewer, feel that you haven’t experienced Hank the Cowdog until you have heard one of the audiobooks.
“Hank the Cowdog and the Case of the Dinosaur Birds”, by John R. Erickson. Illustrated by Gerald R. Holmes. Maverick Books Inc., 2009, paperback $4.99, CD audio book $17.99, paperback/CD combo pack $19.99, online audio $9.95.
Can a district manager capture inspiration sparked by a train ride – with assistance from a four-figure piece of consumer hardware? [Coyoty]
See more: Background on the creation of the Rabbit, Toad and Bird
Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, everyone! A belated Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
First off, a quick note: Voting for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards — celebrating the best in Anthropomorphic Everything from 2012 — has just opened, and will remain open until May 15th. Visit the Ursa Major web site to see the nominees and sign up to vote. Then come check out the winners at a special ceremony at this year’s Anthrocon!
Hmmm. I am not sure that I understand the 2’51” Müstiline Raba. Storks usually eat frogs, not the other way around. The Cartoon Brew says that this is “a delightful taste of that droll humor we’ve come to expect from Estonian animators.” Whatever. The fact that the stork wears a wristwatch and a frog plays a mandolin makes this anthropomorphic.
I have said previously that I do not understand Estonian animation. I still don’t.
We really can’t do better than the publisher’s notes at describing Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger. So here they are: “Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven. So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child—an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her.” According to Amazon, this hardcover illustrated novel will be coming to bookshelves and the Internet from Abrams ComicArts this May.
Another discovery from Further Confusion — and we wonder how we missed this before. Black Beak the Parrot Pirate is a creation of Jennifer Sopranzi, Catherine Van Riper, and Tony Sopranzi, featuring CGI tricked-up photos of real animals as illustrations for their rousing sea adventure stories for young readers. “In the crystal blue waters of the Southern Seas lies the home of the fierce pirate parrot Captain Black Beak. Welcome to Conure Cove, the beautiful Island home of the brave and gentle beasts and birds who live in this mystic land. These are the first seven tales of Captain Black Beak, the greatest pirate parrot to sail the seas. Long may his tales be told in stories, songs and poems.” Now the first seven short books in the series (all of them available on Amazon) have been collected into a single volume, Black Beak: Pirate Saga, which also includes some new material. You can find out more about all of this at the home page of Black Beak Press.
We think it best to let the publisher, Shambhala, explain this one themselves: “The Demon’s Sermon on the Martial Arts is a classic collection of martial arts parables, written by Issai Chozanshi, an 18th-century samurai. The stories, which feature demons, insects, birds, cats, and numerous other creatures, may seem whimsical, but they contain essential teachings that offer insight into the fundamental principles of the martial arts. This manga version, based on Chozanshi’s text, brings these tales alive in a captivating and immediately accessible way.” It’s translated by Sean Michael Wilson, illustrated in full color by Michiru Morikawa, and coming this March in paperback from Shambhala. Amazon has more information.
The modern era of talking animals in literature is generally believed to start with Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (July 1865). That is the oldest novel still commonly published today, and the earliest that people (both children and adults) read voluntarily for pleasure. Yet there were quite a few stories in the late 18th century with talking animals.
Fabulous Histories. Designed for the Instruction of Children, Respecting Their Treatment of Animals, by Mrs. [Sarah] Trimmer. London, T. Longman, G. C. J. and J. Robinson, and J. Johnson, 1786, xi + 227 pages, 1/-.
The sparrow was amongst more than 200 designs submitted by the public over the Internet. Mikhail Butov, the general secretary of the Russian athletics federation, explained why the sparrow was chosen:
The bird shares a lot of qualities with the athletes: It's quick, light and nimble.
They put it best, so we’re lifting this directly from Cartoon Brew: “Relativity Media and Reel FX have announced that they will jointly produce and finance the upcoming animated feature Turkeys. The film is being directed by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears A Who!) and stars the voice talent of Owen Wilson (Cars) and Woody Harrelson (A Scanner Darkly). Relativity usually releases their films through a major U.S. distributor like Universal or Warner Bros. Expect one of them to pick it up.” What’s it about? This is from the Relativity Media press release: “Turkeys is an irreverent, hilarious, adventurous buddy comedy where two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the menu for good.” Hmmm, is it at all significant that both of the lead actors are vegetarians in real life? Watch for this in 2014.
The Cartoon Brew website has posted the trailer for the forthcoming French animated feature, The Day of the Crows/Le Jour des Corneilles, directed by Jean-Christophe Dessaint, to be released on 24 October.
The synopsis says nothing about it being an anthropomorphic feature, but the end of the 1:56 minute trailer (at 1:31) shows brief glimpses of animal-headed people in the forest – a tiger-man, a lynx-man, a horse-man, a frog-man, a deer-woman - “the ghosts haunting the forest”? The film reportedly received a standing ovation at the 2012 Annecy Festival.
Going by the trailer in French, this animated cartoon feature does not have enough anthropomorphic scenes to be called an anthropomorphic feature, except by very diehard fans – but, as I always say, watch the trailer and decide for yourself. Nothing is said about a forthcoming English-language release.
The Brew's readers make a lot of comparisons to FernGully. Opens May 2013.