Woo! And one more more MIPCOM entry. Bat Pat is a production of Atlantyca Entertainment in Italy. According to Animation Magazine, “The 2D series follows the spooky and comical adventures of a talking bat, Bat Pat, and the [human] Silver siblings… as they unravel mysteries and cross paths with supernatural creatures of the night in the quirky town of Fogville.” According to Atlantyca, “Bat Pat grew up in a dark library in a different town, so he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the various creatures of the night. Bat Pat is like a kid full of wide-eyed wonder, he truly appreciates the little thing daytime offer but nighttime is where Bat Pat really thrives. Despite his initial fears, he’s equally driven to help supernatural creatures in need because Bat Pat shares a common link with them…they’re both creatures of the night and usually misunderstood by ‘normal’ people! Bat Pat is very loyal to the kids and they love him, they consider Bat Pat ‘the flying Silver’.” The show is based on the popular series of young reader books by Roberto Pavanello. Atlantyca has a production web site for the show that includes lots of background notes and a video trailer.
What is there to say about the Ratchet & Clank movie that this Cartoon Brew announcement doesn’t say? So Ratchet is a lombax –that’s news to those of us who haven’t played the video game. It’s nice to see the return of the Rainmaker animation studio in Vancouver.
“[V]iewers over the age of 10 clearly aren’t the target audience for Ratchet & Clank” – maybe, but it still looks like fun to this 74-year-old. I guess we’ll wait until next April 29 to see.
The books featured are all meant primarily for children; in fact, most are meant for very young children just learning to read. But, due to the fact that they're meant primarily as children's storybooks, they feature a lot of artwork. Though interior illustrations have not been released, the covers are worth taking a look at for furries.
The Zootopia Junior Novelization would probably be of the most interest to furry fans actually looking to read something, as it would directly summarize the plot from the screenplay. However, it also features the least interesting cover; just the two leads of the movie, Judy and Nick, as they would appear in the CGI animated movie. The more interesting book covers are below.
Spoiler warning: If you're the kind of person who considers tie-in children's book covers possible spoilers, avoid reading further.
Chinese animation is still getting erratic publicity in America. Despite the recent news about the forthcoming release of the Little Door Gods CGI movie on January 1, 2016, America has just learned of the theatrical release in Beijing on this October 14 of the family (children’s) CGI-animated feature Where’s the Dragon?, with a nationwide (in China) release on October 23.
The only news so far is from Animation World Network; it’s not even on IMDb yet. AWN’s announcement on October 12 says that Where’s the Dragon? is directed by Sing Choong Foo, co-produced by the DeTao Group and Treasure Tree Studios, Inc., plus Hong Kong's Where's the Dragon? Co., Ltd. and Colour Engineering Ltd., and distributed by a Hong Kong company, SMI Movie Distribution Company, Ltd.
Wes Anderson, best known to furries as the director of 2009's Fantastic Mr. Fox, will be returning to animating animals for his next movie. The movie will be about dogs; at this point, it hasn't been confirmed whether or not they are actually anthropomorphic dogs, but it's a safe assumption.
Details are scarce at the moment other than the fact the movie will be stop-motion animated, feature dogs and not be an anthology film (a project Anderson had talked about in earlier interviews, but which is not connected to the dog movie). However, actor Jeff Goldblum has unofficially revealed that he will have a role, as well as Edward Norton, Bob Balaban and Bryan Cranston. If this line-up is confirmed, Cranston would be the only actor to not previously work with Anderson. Wes Anderson has spoken about ideas for a possible future animated movie before, but stated that his ideas were, interestingly, "increasingly violent".
Every month, in addition to the solicits we'll get to in a minute, Preview runs top 100 bestsellers list; it's a few months behind, so it's a bit confusing, especially when you remember this is the October issue which comes out in September with solicits for December, and the top 100 list is for August. So, anyway, furry comics that made the list for August 2015 include:
- Howard the Human #1 at 87,
- Howard the Duck #5 at 82,
- Guardians of Knowhere #3 at 29 and
- Guardians of Knowhere #2 at 24.
I first encountered Renee Carter Hall's "Huntress" in the Fred Patten-edited anthology Five Fortunes. It was my favourite story of the five, and I'm delighted it has been given a chance to shine alongside three new stories set in the same world.
That world is a fantasy Africa populated by anthropomorphic predators and, conveniently, non-anthropomorphic prey species. In the eponymous novella, young lioness Leya escapes the traditional expectations of her people - a husband, cubs - to join an elite caste of female hunters, a destiny she has dreamed of since the first time the karanja came to her village.
Leya's decision, and her adventures as a novice hunter, are only the beginning. As she settles into her new life, she begins to realise that the things she dismissed as being for other girls, not for her, might be important after all, and to feel that she has perhaps swapped one set of rules for another.
Here is another anthropomorphic animated movie trailer! Little Door Gods may not seem anthro at first glance, but look at the frogs in the background. Then take a closer look at the main characters, especially Shen Tu (the fat guy).
These aren’t humans, they’re Chinese door gods (ménschén); the little anti-evil charms that the Chinese have traditionally posted at their front doors. Modern Chinese no longer believe in them and have stopped using them. Light Chaser Animation in Beijing has used this as its plot for this movie: what happens to the door gods in the spirit world when humans no longer believe in them? Brother door gods Yu Lei and Shen Tu are worried about being thrown out of work. The comic-relief Shen Tu is fatalistic about it, but Yu Lei determines to journey into the human world and cause enough commotion to prove to mortals that they still need the door gods.
About two comic lists back, there was some confusion about the top 100 bestsellers list Previews also runs, which are also covered in these lists, so from now on we'll try and explain that before just starting up a random list of titles from a month that isn't the actual month being previewed. That would begin this month, but there weren't enough furry titles to make the list to make it worthwhile.
The trailers for anthropomorphic animated movies are coming thick and fast. Here is the teaser trailer for The Angry Birds Movie, due out (unless the date is changed) May 20, 2016. The concept is by Finnish video game company Rovio Entertainment, of course, but the CGI movie is by Sony Pictures Imageworks’ new animation studio in Vancouver (where Sony Pictures Animation moved it from Hollywood for British Columbia’s tax breaks). It’s what Sony Imageworks will be working on now that Hotel Transylvania 2 is finished.
The feature is directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, from a screenplay by Jon Vitti. Voices include Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad as Chuck, Maya Rudolph as Matilda, Danny McBride as Bomb and Peter Dinklage as Mighty Eagle, with Bill Hader as Leonard, a Minion Pig.
Oklacon, held since 2003 (originally as "Festival of the Feral") at Oklahoma's Roman Nose State Park and billed as "the world's largest outdoor furry convention," has been cancelled for 2015, and probably permanently. The convention's website now contains an announcement of the cancellation:
So, it is with a sad and heavy heart that we inform you that Oklacon is cancelled this year and indefinitely.
We understand the extreme disappointment and trouble this will cause those who had planned to attend this year’s iteration of the world’s largest outdoor furry convention. We understand some may have arranged travel, time-off, or forfeited other plans to attend Oklacon - and to those who have been adversely impacted by the State of Oklahoma’s decision - we are extremely disappointed too.
The first international trailer of Pixar’s/Disney’s The Good Dinosaur, with the dinosaurs talking, has just been released. The captioning is in Spanish, but the voices are in English, as the movie will be released in U.S. theaters on Thanksgiving.
Followers of Howard's Twitter account shouldn't be surprised to run into announcements about the movie, but there are other reasons to at least visit once in a while.
Here is a “stealth” anthropomorphic animated feature that has just appeared. Psiconautas (Psychonauts), directed by Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero, and produced by ZircoZine in Santiago de Compostela & Basque Films in Bilbao, has just premiered at the 63rd (2015) San Sebastián Film Festival (September 18 to 26) on the 24th. No word yet on when or where it will be generally released.
Psiconautas is based upon the graphic novel by Alberto Vázquez. The synopsis is “Teenagers Birdboy and Dinky have decided to escape from an island devastated by ecological catastrophe: Birdboy by shutting himself off from the world, Dinky by setting out on a dangerous voyage in the hope that Birdboy will accompany her.” This may be an animated cartoon, but it is clearly not a “cute” film for children.
NSFW warning: The trailer does contain some violent imagery.
In Norse mythology, the squirrel Ratatoskr (whose name is usually translated as "bore-tooth", and who is sometimes depicted with a unicorn like horn) is the messenger between the serpent at the base of the world tree Yggdrasil, and the eagle living at the top. Neither eagle nor serpent much like each other; Ratatoskr does not help matters, as it is known as a gossip who keeps the two rivals angry with each other. That's pretty much Ratatoskr's role in Norse mythology. The squirrel is a very, very minor character.
Despite its small stature (both literally and figuratively), Ratatoskr has managed to gain an important role in a Marvel comic and become a playable character in a popular video game. And the squirrel's two entrances happened one day apart.