Well, enough of the doom and gloom, it’s a brand-new, shiny awards season. This month, let’s look at how the race is shaping up at the Oscars. Maybe we’ll even spare a thought for the Annies.
Love it or hate it, you gotta admit that Pocket Monsters, a.k.a. Pokémon, are anthropomorphic. In Japan, “monsters” are any fantasy animals; “pocket monsters”, like Pikachu, are monsters small enough to fit into your pocket – although since they were introduced almost twenty years ago, there have been some giant Pokémon as well.
The annual Pokémon theatrical movies started in Japan 16 years ago and are still being churned out, but in America they have gone direct to TV for the last few years. This year’s, Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (96 minutes), will premiere in English on the Cartoon Network on October 19, at 12:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. It will follow last year’s movie, Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice at 11:00 a.m., if you haven’t seen that yet.
À la française, a very anthropomorphic student film by Julien Hazbroucq, Ren Hsien Hsu, Emmanuelle Leleu, William Lorton, and Morrigane Boyer of the SUPINFOCOM animation school of Arles, France, has won Best in Show at the (40th annual) SIGGRAPH 2013 convention in Anaheim, California, July 23-25, and is considered a sure nominee for the 2013 Best Animated Short Film Award (Oscar) at the 86th Academy Awards, March 2, 2014.
P.S.: Many of SUPINFOCOM's student films are anthropomorphic. Here is a clip from "Home Sweet Home", about anthropomorphic houses, from the international animated film festivals circuit; and another from "My Little Croco", about a crocodile who is married to a sheep.
Turns out that the original Alpha and Omega (from 2010) was successful enough to “spawn” a sequel — at least a 44-minute direct-to-video sequel, Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure. According to Cartoon Brew (never very kind to standard Hollywood fare), the sequel is again directed by Richard Rich. It was animated in India. In this new film, the wolves Humphrey and Kate strive to bring their cubs — Stinky, Claudette, and Runt — a happy season at Christmas time. The preview trailer is up now on YouTube. Look for the DVD from Lionsgate, coming to your local store on October 8th.
We know what the fox says… but why? This animated remix from Twintrash (extended audio) proposes a backstory for the vulpine's curious vocalizations. [tip: Starling]
Animation, music and vocals by Tommy & Markus Vad Flaaten; narration by Aras Afsaji.
Space Dandy is cuming (pun deliberate) in January 2014 – but not to America.
The news is spreading that it was announced at guest Shinichir? Watanabe’s panel at Otakon 2013, August 9-11 in Baltimore, that he is directing Studio Bones’ new TV anime space comedy, Space Dandy, scheduled for broadcast next January in Japan.
This is exciting news because Watanabe is the brilliant director of Cowboy Bebop, and two of the sequences in The Animatrix, among others. Though Dandy may be human, there are plenty of anthropomorphic aliens in it, starting with Meow, his partner.
Watanabe said that this will be "not an anime to be taken seriously." Oh, you think!?
We just caught wind of True-Tail, a new flash animation furry fantasy series in pre-production from the folks at Skynamic Studios. Can’t tell you much about it yet, other than the fact it takes place in Splitpaw, “… a land of magic, adventure, and fantastical creatures… where six unruly mercenaries must learn to work together or succumb to an ancient dark magic”. You can see their first preview video on YouTube, or find out more about them at their Facebook Page. Also, their main True-Tail page has sign-ups for a newsletter to keep up with progress on the production.
Flayrah has published announcements of several art exhibitions at the WWA gallery in Culver City, California. The exhibition “The Happiest Show on Earth” will be on display there from September 7th through October 5th, with an opening reception on Saturday, September 7th from 7–10 p.m.
“The Happiest Show on Earth” consists of 89 paintings by 54 artists, showing their interpretations of famous Walt Disney characters including many anthropomorphic ones – Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, Robin Hood and Little John, Goofy, Bambi, and more. You can guess the general artistic approach by some of the artists’ pseudonyms: Beast Brothers, GORElla, Kill the Giant, and Super Ugly. Would you pay three and four figures for these? Here they all are; you can buy them online at the link above.
However, I don’t feel much like celebrating; this wasn’t exactly a banner year for the column. Let’s see; I was late November, February, April and May. [This time, it was the editor's fault.] Oh, and there was the part where I only got one out of three awards I was supposed to guess right. And the movie that beat me was terrible; not even a fun terrible, like Avatar or Prometheus, but a boring terrible. I can’t even find myself really mad at the choice; I mean, it was a nice, safe pick, after all. Nothing interesting at all going on here.
I don’t quite believe this… Amid Amidi reports on the Cartoon Brew website that in just two days, The Last Flight of the Champion, a CGI theatrical feature that nobody (including him) ever heard of, will be released – in fifteen theaters across America.
Produced by Omnipulse Entertainment (who?), the 2’15” theatrical trailer makes this look like an embarrassingly bad ripoff of Star Wars: A New Hope, with funny animals replacing the Rebel Alliance and an anthro cricket in the Luke Skywalker role, against Darth Vader – sorry, General Disdain – and his Storm, er, Shock Troopers.
Like they say, I couldn’t make up anything like this. This trailer deserves a special place among the ranks of awesomely bad animated movies. Will the feature be any good? (Don't answer that…)
Are ice cream trucks migrating south for the winter anthropomorphic? This is bird (or monarch butterfly) behavior, not human. Nevertheless, this seems like the sort of thing that Flayrah should want to know about.
A 3’33” film directed by Alasdair Brotherston and Jock Mooney for Britain’s Channel 4, reported by C. Edwards on the Cartoon Brew website.
I have no interest in video games. But I could not help hearing about Angry Birds, created in 2009 by Rovio Entertainment in Espoo, Finland. They seemed to be everywhere in the last couple of years; on billboards, in Coca-Cola and Cheetos advertising, in political cartoons, in news articles that UK Prime Minister David Cameron and famous author Salman Rushdie are fans, and that Angry Birds theme parks have opened or are under construction in places as far afield as Finland and Malaysia. Finally, animated Angry Birds episodes have appeared on TV and YouTube (I watched those), and theatrical features in both stop-motion and CGI animation are in development.
Insight Editions is one of the publishers specializing in lavish full-color coffee-table books about CGI features. It has published books (which I have reviewed for Animation World Network) on the art of Rango, Madagascar 3, Puss in Boots, and Rise of the Guardians, among others. It has done a similar de luxe presentation here; not only on the video games and the merchandising and so on, but on the individual characters – the Angry Birds (Red, Chuck, Terence, Matilda, Bomb, Bubbles, Jim, Jake, and Jay, Stella, etc.); their adversaries, the Bad Piggies (King Pig, Chief Pig, and their many minions); and the other supporting birds (Mighty Eagle, Freddie Bird, Hal the toucan, and others.
It has been announced that a new television series of Alvin and the Chipmunks will debut in 2015. The series, originally called The Chipmunks and Chipettes and now titled ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks, has been in development since 2010.
The new series is being created by Ross Bagdasarian Jr. (son of original Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.) and his wife, Janice Karman. Produced by Bagdasarian Productions and French production studio Genao Productions, the series will consist of fifty-two eleven-minute episodes, and will feature the Chipmunks as CGI characters. This revival will be the first time the Chipmunks have been in a television program since Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1990.
More from the MIPTV convention, as reported by Animation Magazine: “Global entertainment company DQ Entertainment and Foothill Europe Limited have announced an agreement to develop, co-produce and distribute CG-animated buddy comedy Raz & Benny… The stereoscopic-3D CGI show is created by U.K.-based director Simon Hodgkiss of Rockkiss DME and follows two mice whose ambitions are bigger than their brains, but whose good luck is as endless as their friendship. With their eccentric pal Lilly, dare-devil Raz and cautious Benny are always off on one adventure or another–whether posing as international spies, scuba-diving submarine rescuers or jungle explorers.” Vimeo has a preview video that includes an animatic of Foothill’s development work.