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Review: 'Kairos. T.1/3', by Ulysse Malassagne

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KairosKairos, volume 1 of 3, has just been published in France. It was announced here last month with an animated trailer from Studio La Cachette in Paris that had me salivating for the album! (Ankama’s catalogue lists a volume title that does not appear on the volume; “His Kingdom”.)

Now the book is here. Is it worth the hype?
(My thanks again to Lex Nakashima for making this review possible.)

Oh, yeah. This first album is both disappointing and tantalizing, only beginning to show the world in the trailer; its first scene, where the dragons emerge at night to kidnap Anaëlle, does not come before page 23 in the album.

Tome 1 ends with Nills, Koyot (the short, brown, beaky character), and Kuma (the big, green dragon? with short chin whiskers) walking towards the castle. Much is to be revealed in t.2.

Roubaix, France, Ankama Éditions, April 2013, hardcover €11.90 (64 pages; on Amazon.fr).

Furry Movie Award Watch: April 2013

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Sorry for the delay, folks; I know all five of my regular readers were on pins and needles (hi, mom!). See, GreenReaper emailed to tell me that Fred had linked back to my Cinderella review on the new Cartoon Research site, and just like the time he emailed me about some video game site which quoted my Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 review, my computer died. Obviously, there's some connection here. Anyway, it's all their fault. Shame on you guys.

GoH interview: Chris Savino and Ursula Vernon [FC 2013]

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Further Confusion 2013 saw guests of honor Chris Savino and Ursula Vernon on the stage to answer questions from staff and attendees. Here are their responses:

Q: Could you give us a brief introduction?

Chris: [...rattles off storyboarding, animation, writing and directing credits for shows noted in his Wikipedia article, including Rocko's Modern Life, Ren & Stimpy, Dexter's Lab and The Powerpuff Girls...], written a few episodes of My Little Pony, which is probably what some of you care about - it's so cool to see people who appreciate what you've done; we're so sheltered by TV, we never get to see you, so for all of you, the full house.

Digger, by Ursula VernonUrsula: Ursula Vernon, artist and author; did finally finish the webcomic Digger, which won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Series . . . I do a series for children called Dragonbreath, 8-12ish, I also do a lot of art, I do furry art, I go to furry conventions, I love you people man . . . *applause* . . . and that's sot of what I do.

Sprout: So Chris, you've done a lot of awesome TV shows, so what exactly have you done for each of those throughout your career?

'Wonderfilled Anthem' prescribes Oreos for wolves, vampires

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Even if it was not anthropomorphic, how could we ignore an animated TV commercial for Oreos from Studio Animal (Barcelona), to a lively tune by Owl City?

Fortunately, the 1’30” Wonderfilled Anthem, directed by Martin Allais, is very anthropomorphic, with the Big Bad (Blue) Wolf, the three pigs, vampires, sharks, baby seals, squids, and more. Cartoon Brew’s Michael Ruocco has the story.

Retrospective: 'The Bear That Wasn't', by Frank Tashlin

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

The Bear That WasntJerry Beck at Cartoon Scoop has posted on Frank Tashlin’s 1946 children's book The Bear That Wasn’t. In case you are unfamiliar with the famous story, a bear in a forest goes into a cave to hibernate for the winter. He emerges next spring to find that a human factory has been built around him. When a foreman orders him to get to work, and he protests that he is a bear, not a man, everyone tells him, “Don’t be silly! Bears are in the zoo, not in a factory! You are just a silly man in a fur coat who needs a shave!” So he becomes a factory worker, until the next winter when he has to hibernate again.

The moral was not new. It was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s favorite jokes.

“If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?”
“Four, because calling a tail a leg don’t make it one.”

'Rio 2' first trailer revealed

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Animation Scoop has the first trailer for Blue Sky StudiosRio 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!

2012 Ursa Major Awards voting now closed

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxThe voting for the 2012 Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic literature and art of the calendar year 2012, is now closed. Voting took place from March 15 to May 15. 1,696 registrations were received, but only 1,113 people actually voted.

The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony at Anthrocon 2013, held July 4–7, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The placing of the voting will be released at this time.

Registrations were received from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Grenada, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the U.S.A., Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam. This includes the large number of registrants who did not in fact vote.

Announcement: 'Foodfight!' is a direct-to-DVD release

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Animation Scoop’s Greg Ehrbar reports that Foodfight!, the coming-soon CGI theatrical feature announced ever since 2004, has finally come out – as a direct-to-DVD release, on May 7.

This is definitely one for Crossaffliction’s proposed MST3K for bad anthropomorphic movies. Ehrbar reviews Foodfight! as, “It is truly one of the worst animated films ever made.” That is evident from the 1’44” trailer alone, which is included in the AS review.

Two new anthropomorphic animation projects seek funding

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Animation Scoop’s Jerry Beck announces two new crowdfunded animation projects, both anthropomorphic.
Ghost of a Tale
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.
Dogonauts
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.

One week left to vote for the 2012 Ursa Major Awards; 2013 Recommended Anthropomorphic List now open

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Voting for the 2012 Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic literature and art of the calendar year 2012 in eleven categories, closes on May 15. If you have not voted yet, you have a week left to do so on the Ursa Major Awards website.

In addition, the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association has closed the 2012 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List. Recommendations for the 2013 Reading List are now being accepted.

All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, short fiction, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, other literary works, magazines, graphic stories, comic strips, published illustrations, games, and websites) first published during 2013, plus miscellaneous items. This List is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.

The Ursa Major Award finalists for 2012 are . . .

Indie Animation Looking for Help

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.

Animation: 'The Painting' is coming

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Animation Scoop has the new American trailer and poster for the 2011 French animated feature Le Tableau (The Painting), due for May 24 release.

Review: 'A Monster in Paris'

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

A Monster in ParisRecently released on DVD in North America, A Monster in Paris (trailer) is a CGI-animated kids' film that originally came out in France in October 2011 as Un monstre à Paris.

Taking place during the Parisian flood of 1910, the two main characters are Emile, a shy film projectionist and amateur cinematographer, and his friend Raoul, a tinkerer who likes to invent gadgets and operates a delivery service out of the back of his truck. During a late-night delivery to an absent scientist's laboratory, Raoul plays with chemicals, unaware that his tampering accidentally creates a giant flea with a beautiful singing voice.

The "monster" is quickly targeted by Maynot, the Commissioner of police, who becomes obsessed with capturing and killing it as part of his campaign to become mayor. He's also taken an interest in a cabaret singer named Lucille, who disguises and hides the flea after recognizing its musical talents.

Raoul is an old friend/enemy of Lucille's, and soon he and Emile are in on her secret, trying to find a way to protect the flea from the Commissioner.

Announcement: 'Kairos' is coming

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When I announced that Lex Nakashima and I were going to bring you news of new French anthropomorphic bandes desinées, I wasn’t expecting to mix that with animation. But Kairos has its own animated trailer, by Studio La Cachette in Paris:

So the main character is human! There are still lots of anthropomorphic characters in the world that he goes to. Lex & I will have a review of tome 1 of Kairos, published April 25 by Ankama, as soon as we can. [Until then, check out this preview.]

Shaun the Sheep to get big-screen movie

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Shaun the SheepShaun the Sheep, the ovine character created by Aardman Animations, is set to get his own movie.

Shaun first appeared as a supporting character in Aardman's 1995 A Close Shave, and later got his own children's television series. Now, Aardman is to join with film-TV group Studiocanal to make Shaun's full-length claymation film.

Aardman will produce the film, written and directed by Richard Starzak and Mark Burton. The plot concerns Shaun's mischief inadvertently causing his Farmer to leave Mossybottom Farm. Shaun, Blitzer the sheepdog, and the rest of the flock must go to the big city to rescue him.