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.
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.
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.
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.
A box office surprise just came out of Mexico; Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (that's "The Rooster with Many Eggs" for our mostly-English-speaking audience, though "huevos" has a double meaning in Mexican Spanish slang) took a top-ten spot at the American box office for the Labor Day weekend.
Box Office Mojo is placing the movie with an estimated 7th or 8th place (final tallies will most likely arrive Monday) with an approximate box office of $3.4 million; this is a fantastic run for a movie that is currently only available in Spanish, and which opened in just 395 theaters.
The movie did seem to come out of nowhere to English-speaking American audiences; the announcement it exists was In-Fur-Nation's top story at this piece's press time. Cartoon Brew notes it "had no […] mainstream press coverage", so furries weren't the only group to drop the ball.
Disney Infinity 3.0, the figure-based game featuring characters from most Disney properties, released August 30. The big news for most followers of video games and other such hobbyist pursuits is the addition of multiple characters from the Star Wars franchise, which follows version 2.0's inclusion of Marvel comics characters. For normal nerd and geek types, the thought of Luke Skywalker joining the Avengers is the kind of crossover normally reserved for fan-fiction, so the fact that this is really happening would be exciting, but we're furries. Our biggest hope for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is that an Amaran appears long enough onscreen to gain an action figure.
More exciting for fans of anthropomorphic animals is the pair of, well, anthropomorphic animals Nick and Judy from the upcoming movie Zootopia (you might have heard something about it) as playable characters/collectible figurines. As the movie doesn't come out until March next year, the figures were not available at launch; there isn't actually a release date for them yet. YouTube footage of Judy and Nick has surfaced; note that the channel these videos appear on do not seem to be official Disney channels, so they may not be available for long.
Back in 2011, I wrote my first top ten movies of the year list, where I chose Winnie the Pooh as the seventh best movie I saw that year, but I didn't see it in the theaters. Because it was Winnie the Pooh, and it was a children's movie even more so than the average animated movie featuring talking animals, and it would have been embarrassing for a late twenty-something to be caught going alone to the movie theater to watch it. Explaining that I was only watching it to review it for a furry website wouldn't have really changed that. But I wrote back in that first top ten list:
I decided to skip this movie at the theaters because, you know, it’s Winnie the Pooh. Big mistake. Next time, I’ll man up, and watch the kid’s movie.
I was right back then; it does, sometimes, take a man to review a kid's movie. That was a promise to myself that I wouldn't let embarrassment get the better of me in the future. Shaun the Sheep was the first real test of this self promise. I mean, Free Birds were a slightly different proposition; as "geek culture" becomes more and more prevalent in pop culture, to the point they are nearly synonymous, watching animated movies, even those with slightly awkward studio pedigrees, is much less of a big deal. But I was fairly certain Shaun the Sheep was meant as a pre-school level animation (I was unfair in this assessment; I was thinking of the spin-off Timmy Time, which is meant for pre-schoolers but is not the basis of this movie); but I made that promise to myself not to let pre-school prejudice get in the way.
Good call; this is a pretty good movie.
The release date of Disney’s forthcoming theatrical feature Zootopia (Zootropolis in the U.K., Portugal, Turkey and other countries; Zootropola in Croatia and Zwierzogród in Poland) is March 4, 2016. But on January 19, 2016, the Disney merchandising machine will release a slew of tie-in books, published by Disney print subsidiaries or licensed by it. Most, but not all of them, will be juvenile-oriented. Some of them, such as the Disney Zootopia Ultimate Sticker Book or Judy Hopps and the Missing Jumbo-Pop, will be little more than picture books featuring the leading characters. Others, such as the Zootopia Big Golden Book, will also be picture books but will show a condensation of the movie’s plot. And a few, such as Zootopia: The Official Handbook, Zootopia Junior Novelization and DK’s Disney Zootopia: The Essential Guide, will be of interest to the adult enthusiast. No lavish The Art of Zootopia coffee-table art book has been announced yet, but there will undoubtedly be one by next March – or sooner.
Pop star Shakira revealed via Twitter that she would be playing the character of Gazelle, the world of "Zootopia's biggest pop star." Apparently, Gazelle is a ... gazelle (perhaps Shakira is a chinkara?). The pop star also revealed she would be performing a song, "Try Everything," for the movie.
The announcements were part of Disney's D23 expo, which was held to promote Disney's many upcoming movies. Footage from Zootopia was shown; it is actually the first footage of the movie shown (the previously released teaser trailer featured a unique scene). The footage shown featured duel protagonist fox Nick Wilde's and rabbit Judy Hopps' actual first meeting (involving a young fox in an elephant suit) and a scene at a sloth run DMV. Aquatic mustelid fans will also be pleased to note that the previously revealed "missing mammal" case that is the basis of the plot is actually a missing otter.
Whoa; we didn’t see this one coming -- so soon, anyway. Multiple sources (abc.news.go.com; Animation Scoop; ComingSoon.net; Variety; etc.) announced yesterday that the Disney Channel will present a brand-new Lion King direct-to-TV short movie in November: The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar. The movie will be a prelude to a new The Lion Guard TV series that the Disney Channel will present in early 2016.
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar will be about the adult Simba and Nala’s juvenile son Kion, and his forming a new Lion Guard team – traditionally the pride’s bravest adult lions, to police the African savannah – with his own juvenile friends: Bunga, a honey badger; Ono, an egret; Fuli, a cheetah; and Beshte, a hippo. Their adversaries will include the juvenile sons of the evil hyenas in The Lion King; from the teaser, it’s obvious that the crazy hyena Ed has a son.
Further details are in the articles. More will be presented at Disney’s D23 expo in Anaheim on August 16.
The Anthropomorphics Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2015 Anthropomorphics Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through August 8. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year’s Awards.
All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, short fiction, other literary works, graphic stories, comic strips, magazines, published illustrations, websites, and games) first published during 2015, if they are not already on the list. Send in your recommendations to email@example.com, and read the List to see what other fans have recommended.
Nominations for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards, in the same eleven categories, will open on 14 January 2016 (the first day of Further Confusion 2016) and will be accepted until 28 February. Don’t miss this opportunity to nominate the titles that you felt have been the best anthropomorphic movies, novels, comic strips and books, websites, games, etc. of 2015 for the Awards. And don’t forget to vote when the polls open on 15 March.
The Hollywood Reporter announced on May 13 that Wizart Animation in Moscow (business office) and Voronezh (animation studio) is producing The Snow Queen 3 for release in late 2016. Presumably this is in Russia, and it’ll come to the U.S. in 2017. Also presumably the cast will include Orm the troll and Gerda’s pet ermine Luta, since they were so popular in The Snow Queen and The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King.
The same Hollywood Reporter article announces that Wizart is pre-selling its own Sheep and Wolves featuring anthro wolves and sheep – it’s titled Volkii I Ovtsi (wolves and sheep), in Russian. Here’s the the English language for Sheep and Wolves.
The article continues, "Wizart will also be […] offering pre-sales for Urfin and His Wooden Soldiers (by Melnitsa Animation)."