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August 6 is Friendship Day in India

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Timon and Pumba…and India's Animation Xpress is celebrating it in an especially animation-furry way.

Confused? The United Nations declared July 30 to be International Day of Friendship; as with May Day, some areas have their own traditions.

Baidu India promotes World Environment Day with 'The Last Conversation'

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World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. It is on Sunday, June 5 in 2016. This year’s theme is: “fight against the illegal trade in wildlife”, with the slogan "Go Wild for Life”, and some search engines are getting on board:

#TheLastConversation, featuring Foxy and DU bear Baidu’s India office will launch a new social campaign named “The Last Conversation” to raise awareness of wildlife depletion. The campaign will feature Baidu’s mascot, the “DU bear”, having a final conversation with different endangered animals through a series of posts on Facebook and Twitter, with the goal of urging people to avoid products that cause harm to wildlife. (Baidu India’s 31 May press release)

Baidu's campaign, which started June 1st on Facebook and Twitter, shows the ultra-cute DU bear interviewing critically-endangered species living in India, such as the Himalayan brown bear, as well as other popular species of lesser concern, such as the Bengal fox.

'Billu Gamer': Unfortunately the tiger and elephant don't sing and dance

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Okay, here’s another stealth movie.

Billu Gamer, a 90 plus minute live-action/animated Hindi comedy-fantasy feature from director/producer/writer Pankaj Sharma at Astute Media Vision, coming in India in May 2016. Sharma says that it’s slightly over half VFX and 3D animation.

Patty is a live-action teenage boy at a school where a lot of Bollywood-style singing and dancing goes on. When he’s depressed from being bullied, the animated Billu from his favorite video game comes to life to be his best friend. Everything seems great, until the video-game villains follow Billu into the real world. Patty and Billu have to team up in the video world to win. The first half of the trailer is live-action; then the animated Billu and some dog-headed humans appear, and there are an animated tiger and an angry elephant. There’s more information at The Hans India.

Tunturu

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tunturu.jpgFor the record, funny animals in Kannada (that’s Kannada the language, not Canada the country) can be found in Tunturu, a children’s magazine published since January 2000, originally bi-monthly but semi-monthly today.

Tunturu has been able to carve for itself an identity of being the most sought-after children’s magazine across the age-groups of 5-14 in Karnataka.

If you don’t know where Karnataka is, you can look it up. Reportedly an English-language edition is coming soon.

It’s ₹8 an issue, but you can subscribe to it in America for $5.99 for three months.

And that's probably more about funny animals in Kannada than you want to know.

'Evolution Man'? 'Animal Kingdom'?

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Whee! We’re bringing you announcements from Cartoon Brew of lots of international animated theatrical features that will probably never come to the U.S. This time it’s a French movie, variously Evolution Man, or, How I Ate My Father or Animal Kingdom: Let’s Go Ape, that is being released theatrically in Britain this month.

Is it anthropomorphic? Surely, if you consider pre-homo sapiens primates to be animals. Otherwise? Hard to say from this trailer (which is one of two), but there are at least lots of animals presented in a manner that furry fans should enjoy.

Yes, Disney's 2016 live-action 'The Jungle Book' is anthropomorphic

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YouTube has the first teaser trailer of the Disney studio’s April 15, 2016 “live-action” (heavily VFX) adaptation of The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, and it’s definitely full of anthropomorphic animals. The voice actors include Bill Murray as Baloo, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita N'yongo as Raksha, and Christopher Walken as King Louie.

As you can see, it will be a mixture of Rudyard Kipling’s 1894-‘95 literary classic and Disney’s own 1967 animated classic. A lot of this was revealed at Disney’s D23 Expo in August, but now you can see it for yourself.

Newly published: Fred Patten's 'Funny Animals and More'

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Funny Animals and More Funny Animals and More: From Anime to Zoomorphics, based on Fred Patten’s weekly columns from Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research animation website, was published March 26 by Theme Park Press. It is available in paperback and digital formats, and on Amazon.com.

The book is about animation and comic books rather than specifically anthropomorphic animals, but cartoon and CGI funny animals are a major theme. Topics include anime cat girls; Pokémon and Monster Rancher; Astro Boy and Atomcat; how a popular 1970s anime TV series led to the import of thousands of baby North American raccoons into Japan as pets, whose descendants are ruining thousand-year-old Buddhist and Shinto shrines today; animated Summer Olympics mascots like Misha the bear cub, Sam the eagle, Hodori the tiger, and Cobi the sheepdog, from 1972 to 2012; Patten’s favorite childhood comic-book funny animals like Amster the Hamster, Doodles Duck and his nephew Lemuel, Nutsy Squirrel, Dunbar Dodo, and SuperKatt, and how he would still like to see them animated; Crusader Rabbit; rats in animation; Reynard the Fox in animation; and Disney’s forthcoming 2016 Zootopia.

FoxyPimples break out in India

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FoxyMoron logo The January 23 issue of India’s Animation Xpress reports that the makers of anti-pimple cream Garnier Pure Active have hired the FoxyMoron digital advertising agency in Mumbai and Gurgaon to create a Hindi Facebook and YouTube advertising campaign for it. FoxyMoron has used “layered animation” to create “illustrated comic strips of iconic Bollywood characters” disfigured by pimples. It’s not anthro, but it is truly you-have-to-see-it weird. [Video 1 - 2]

There is nothing anthropomorphic about this except the name of the creative studio. Are we insulted by the name “FoxyMoron”? Have they ever done anything with cartoon foxes in it? (It probably started out as a play on "oxymoron", but still ...)

Animation: 'Chhota Bheem' comes to the U.S.

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'Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali' poster On January 18, the 130-minute Indian animated feature Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali came to five Big Cinemas theaters in the U.S.:

  • Peachtree Theatre, 6135 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, Georgia 30092 (Atlanta)
  • Golf Glen Stadium, 9180 West Niles Road, Niles, Illinois 60714 (Chicago)
  • Dos Lagos Stadium, 2710 Lakeshore Drive, Corona, California 92883 (Los Angeles-San Diego)
  • Movie City 8, 1655 Oak Tree Road, Edison, New Jersey 08820 (NYC)
  • Big Cinemas Fremont 7, 39160 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, California 94538 (San Francisco)

The notice does not say how long it is playing at each, but probably for one week, so you should have time to see it if you hurry. The news also does not say whether it is dubbed or subtitled in English; it was dubbed in Hindi for its Indian theatrical release last year.

NYC has anthro animation festivals, too

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Despite the implication on Flayrah, Los Angeles is not the only city to have festivals of animation with anthropomorphic stars. On February 28th through March 24th, the 16th Annual New York International Children’s Film Festival will play at seven different locations in NYC. The Festival will screen 100 different films (some live-action), and is expected to draw an attendance of 25,000+. It will present many of the films in the U.S. for the first time, to qualify them for 2013 Oscars.

Among the films are several that have been covered on Flayrah, including the Belgian Ernest & Celestine, about a mouse and a bear who become friends (French with English subtitles; Feb. 28 at Tribeca Cinemas); The Wolf Children (Ame & Yuki, the Wolf Children), about a college student who marries a werewolf who dies, and must raise their two werewolf toddlers alone (Japanese with English subtitles; March 3 at the Asia Society and 16 at SVA); The Day of the Crows, mostly about a feral child raised in the forest, but with some fantasy scenes of anthropomorphic animal-headed forest spirits (French with English subtitles; March 10 at FIAF); Welcome to the Space Show “with an intergalactic cast of thousands” (premiere of the English dub; March 9 at SVA), and Meet the Small Potatoes, for pre-schoolers about a musical group of animated potatoes who rise from small-town beginnings to international rock stardom (March 16 at the IFC Center and March 24 at the DGA Theater).

Animation: 'Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali'

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Animation Xpress #415, January 7, 2013, has the first trailer for Indian studio Green Gold Pictures’ second Chhota Bheem animated CGI children's feature, Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali, following the smash success (in India, in Hindi) of last year’s Chhota Bheem and the Curse of Damyaan. As before, the movie is not really anthropomorphic, but it does have Bheem’s talking monkey friend Jaggu (“Jaggu is surprisingly kickass”), and the trailer shows lots of evil Rangda’s anthropomorphized monsters. Out May 3, 2013 in India, in Hindi.

New from India

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.


image c. 2012 Krayon Pictures

'Kamlu ...Happy Happy', another Indian animated feature

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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.

'Koochie Koochie Hota Hai' postponed again to July 2013

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Koochie Koochie Hota HaiOneIndia Entertainment, “India’s #1 Language Portal”, reports that the long-delayed Hindi-language Koochie Koochie Hota Hai feature, supposedly completed in 2009 or 2010 but release-delayed (because of poor box-offices in India for Indian-made animated features) until December 10, 2012, has been postponed again until July 2013.

The feature, a CGI-animated funny-animal remake of the hugely popular 1998 Hindi live-action Bollywood feature Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, is an anthropomorphic sci-fi (time travel) romantic comedy-drama with lots of singing & dancing. See Flayrah's April story for more details, or watch the English-language trailer.

'Delhi Safari' to get an "American-style" release across India on October 18

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Animation Xpress, vol. 10 #371 for October 4 reports that Delhi Safari, the CGI animated feature about an angry monkey, a laid-back bear, a scheming parrot, a mother leopard, and her cute cub trekking across India to the human city of Delhi to protest the strip-mining of their forest, will release on around 300 screens across India on October 18. The Hindi-language feature has a strong Bollywood voice cast.

Animation Xpress has a long interview with Krayon Pictures’ Nishith Takia that shows its poster and new promotional art. “Our film has got screened at Annecy International Film Festival and has also won the best Animated Feature Film at FICCI FRAMES in India, has boosted our confidence in the way the film has come out.” The film has a positive School Contact program at over 3,000 schools across India because of its strong pro-ecology message.

Delhi Safari has been dubbed into English with an all-star cast (Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd, etc.) for an American release sometime during 2013. Its English-language trailer was shown on Flayrah last May.