Animation Scoop’s Jerry Beck announces two new crowdfunded animation projects, both anthropomorphic.
One is Ghost of a Tale – a video game featuring a mouse warrior-bard in a medieval world, by Lionel “Seith” Gallat, a former supervising animator or animation director at DreamWorks and Illumination. Gallat’s Indiegogo site shows he has raised €28,407 toward a €45,000 goal, with 12 days to go.
The other is Dogonauts – Enemy Line by Justin Rasch, a stop-motion animator on ParaNorman and lots more, mainly video games. Rasch has been working on Dogonauts for four years and has finished the production, but needs money for the post-production: score, mixing, 3D post and color correction. He has a 2’21” trailer (which frankly looks like another variation on Fredric Brown’s 1944 s-f novelette Arena) with his pitch, and has raised $12,383 toward a $14,000 goal with 21 days to go.
Jerry Beck’s Animation Scoop has an interesting article about a pair of independent animation projects in the works — both of which just happen to be very furry. First up is Ghost of a Tale, a new video game designed by Lionel “Seith” Gallat. Lionel has worked as a supervising animator at Dreamworks on movies like The Prince Of Egypt, The Road to Eldorado, Spirit, Sinbad, SharkTale, and others. More recently he’s been a director for Illumination on films like Despicable Me and The Lorax. Ghost of a Tale follows the adventures of a medieval mouse battling rat zombies on a mysterious island. In a very different vein is Dogonauts by Shel and Justin Rasch. “Mortal enemies, a Dogonaut Pilot and a Space Flea, shoot each other down only to awake, marooned side by side on an alien desert planet.” Justin is a stop-motion animator known for films like Paranorman. He and his wife Shel completed Dogonauts in their garage, all the while both of them working full-time jobs. Both of these projects are seeking crowdfunding help to move from their current levels of production up to the next, and hopefully get them out into the world. The Scoop article features trailers as well as the official pitches for each of these projects. Check ‘em out.
Jacques' series, spanning 22 books, was populated by a variety of anthropomorphic animals, including "noble" mice, moles, and badgers, and "vermin" rats, foxes, and weasels.
Soma's game, entitled Redwall: The Warrior Reborn, will be in 3D, allowing players to walk the cloisters of Redwall Abbey. On April 26, Soma Games started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. As of May 1, the campaign has raised almost $8,000 in pledges from nearly 200 backers, of a $11,000 goal. Pledge rewards include the game itself, MP3 and PDF files of game content, and party and mailing list invitations, signed books, and sculptures.
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
One of the most famous furry comics out there at the moment is Mouse Guard by David Petersen. This sword-and-sorcery tale (tail?) has already spawned collections, role-playing games, and a devoted following. Now and then, Mr. Petersen allows some of his friends to try their paw at the Mouse Guard characters and situations — and some of the best in the business came calling. After the first go-round’s success, Archaia Entertainment have announced that Volume 2 of Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard will be released as a full-color 4-issue miniseries, starting this May. “Contributors to issue #1 include Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Ben Caldwell (The Dare Detectives!), and the team of writer Nick Tapalansky and illustrator Alex Eckman-Lawn (Awakening). Subsequent issues will include contributions from Christian Slade (Korgi), Rick Geary (The Adventures of Blanche), Jemma Salume (Unicorn Life Cycle), Jackson Sze (concept art on films like The Avengers and Iron Man 3), Cory Godbey (Fraggle Rock, the upcoming Jim Henson’s Labyrinth), Eric Canete (Fear Itself: Spider-Man), C.P.
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, the daily comic strip, was initially written by Walt Disney himself and illustrated by Ub Iwerks when the strip began in 1930. When those two men found themselves too busy with animation to handle the strip, Floyd Gottfredson took over as both writer and artist — from late 1930 until 1975! Now Fantagraphics Books have brought together a special collection of full-color Sunday strips created by Mr. Gottfredson and put them in a paperback book, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Color Sundays, Volume 1: Call of the Wild (*whew!*). Here’s the description from Westfield Comics: “Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse series makes the jump from black and white to vibrant color. Many of these classic Sunday strips from 1932-1935 have never before been reprinted and have been restored from Disney’s archives and enhanced with a meticulous recreation of the strips’ original color. Call of the Wild also brings you more than 30 pages of supplementary features such as rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and fascinating commentary by a prismatic pack of Disney scholars. This is a collection that fans have been seeking for a lifetime!” Edited by David Gerstein and Gary Groth, this softcover collection hits the stores in May.
Disney Interactive’s Epic Mickey video game was pretty popular — it even won an Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Game. Admittedly, some folk complained about the fact it was only available for the Nintendo Wii system, but it sold well enough to be considered a moderate success in the gaming world. The follow up, Epic Mickey 2? Not so much, in spite of the fact that 2 was made available for many game platforms. Now comes the word (according to various articles) that sales of Epic Mickey 2 since its November 2012 launch were poor enough that Disney has decided to shutter Junction Point, the Texas-based game design firm that Disney purchased in 2007 to develop both the Epic Mickey games. From this point forward, Disney Interactive will instead focus their attention on Disney Infinity, the new figurine-based multi-character game (similar in some ways to Skylanders) which will premier in June.
This game is a nostalgia trip. Much like the original Epic Mickey, it highlights a diverse cast of classic Disney characters that don’t always get the spotlight; sure, there’s a matchmaking questline that unites Donald and Daisy Duck as romantic partners, but there’s also one featuring Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar. When was the last time you saw those two characters featured?
Well, probably the last Epic Mickey game; you also get that nostalgic kick just listening to the opening screen music if you’ve already played the first game. The world of the Epic Mickey, Wasteland, is a bizarre world of forgotten and buried cartoons; at one point, I found myself looking at a bizarre new form of sedimentary rock formed of discarded Disney paraphernalia. It’s a nice place to visit; I’m not sure if I want to live there, though. It’s strangely creepy.
And the camera still stinks, too.
SPOILER ALERT: I have tried to hide late game plot revelations as best I can, and believe I did an alright job. However, I totally spoil the ending of the first Saw movie after the break.
Update (Jan 29): Disney shutters Epic Mickey creator Junction Point Studios
This is the fourth book in Margery Sharp's fantasy series "for all ages". As always, the central characters are the two mice, Miss Bianca and Bernard, and various other members of the Mouse Prisoners' Aid Society; and, as usual, the plot revolves about Miss Bianca's kindhearted determination to rescue some poor human from undeserved durance vile in an absolutely escape-proof prison -- this time, it's a little boy, Teddy-Age-Eight, enslaved in the salt mines. As before, Miss Bianca is sophisticated and charming, and Bernard is devoted and persevering; the plot and dialog skip wittily along, and a happy ending is soon reached for all.
It's not that I didn't enjoy the book, but I was disappointed to discover that it didn't say anything new. Miss Sharp has written the same book for the fourth time now, and the novelty of the basic plot has worn off. The series has not deteriorated, exactly, but it is noticeably beginning to stagnate.
The Cartoon Brew has a preview list of animated features due out in 2013; at least those announced so far – some with trailers.
Jeff Smith, the multiple-award-winning creator of Bone, has returned with a new full-color softcover children’s book from Toon Books. In Little Mouse Gets Ready, “There’s lots to do before Little Mouse is ready to go visit the barn. Will he master all the intricacies of getting dressed, from snaps and buttons to Velcro and tail holes?” According to Amazon, this book has already been given the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award. So how the heck did we miss this one? It came out in 2009!
It looks as if we’re finally getting some motion on the long-in-development film Ernest & Celestine. This 2D animated feature from France tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a middle-aged bear and a young mouse, and how they learn to realize their dreams and overcome bigotry by working together. Based on a series of books by Daniel Pennac, the film version is directed by Benjamin Renner (A Mouse’s Tale), Stephane Aubier, and Vincent Patar (A Town Called Panic), and produced by Studio Canal. There’s a trailer up on YouTube, and according to Animation Magazine, it’s likely to come to North American shores in the fall of 2013.
Just in time for the 100th anniversary of George Herriman’s world-famous Krazy Kat comic strip, Sunday Press Books is re-releasing Krazy Kat: A Celebration of Sundays in hardcover. “A Centennial Celebration! Finally, Krazy Kat as it was meant to be seen. From the publishers of the celebrated and much-awarded Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays! deluxe oversized reprint edition, come 135 full-size Sunday pages from 1916-1944 — plus dozens more early comics from George Herriman. It’s the eternal triangle of the comics — Kat, Mouse, and Pupp, along with the catalytic brick. Here are their glorious, poignant, and hilarious stories from the genius of George Herriman, reprinted for the first time in their original size and colors. Included in the 14 x 17-inch collection is a sampling of all Herriman’s creations for the Sunday newspaper comics from 1901-1906: Professor Otto, The Two Jackies, Major Ozone, and more, many of which have never been reprinted before. Now, 100 years after Ignatz tossed his first brick, step back in time to delight in the timeless tales of America’s great comic strip artist and his greatest creation, Krazy Kat.” Check it out on Amazon.
The Cartoon Brew website has been covering the partnering of Barneys New York, a luxury haute couture shop, with the Disney organization to feature some classic Disney characters wearing exclusive Paris fashion styles, as part of Barneys’ Electric Holiday campaign, debuting at Barneys’ Madison Avenue store on November 14.
Women’s Wear Daily reported on August 29,
When unveiled to the public on Nov. 14, Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship will feature a three-dimensional electric light show; a moving art short film in the window displays that will turn Disney’s most favorite heroes into runway supermodels and fashion regulars into Disney types, and an original score by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino. […] The theme is a riff on Disney’s famous electrical parade, as well as the special lighting installations so central to the New York holiday season and the flashbulbs of fashion runways. […] The short film centers around Minnie Mouse’s fantasy to be at the Paris shows. There she comes across key Disney characters — Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Daisy Duck, Cruella de Vil, Princess Tiana and Snow White — all decked out in unique designer clothes as they make their way down the runway.
But the Cartoon Brew has the exclusive on the controversy that this is causing. The online Change.org is soliciting signatures for a petition to “leave Minnie Mouse alone”.
We received this note from Darryl Hughes and Monique MacNaughton: “The furry fantasy adventure Chevalier: The Queen’s Mouseketeer, which ran from 2010 to 2011 before abruptly disappearing after the loss of it’s publishing deal, is returning in the fall. Character design sketches of the new look cast for the reboot have been posted here.” Following the link you find Coydog’s Den, which is a hosting site for several on-line comic adventures — anthropomorphic and otherwise.