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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.

'Free Birds', first Reel FX CGI feature, due in theaters November 1

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The Cartoon Brew has photos of the first advertising for Reel FX studio’s first CGI feature, Free Birds, due November 1. The advertising, at CinemaCon at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on April 15-18, included this 3D printed display.

Free Birds, previously announced under the working title of Turkeys, is about Reggie (voice of Owen Wilson) and Jake (Woody Harrelson), two odd-buddy turkeys who time-travel back to Pilgrim days to eliminate the present-day turkey-eating Thanksgiving feast.

Animation: 'Chicken Wings' and 'Flamingo Pride'

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This week I accidentally stumbled across two animated shorts, both from the DailyMotion Talking Animals account. The first, Chicken Wings by Pauline Kortmann, is described like this:

Once upon a time, when the Wild West was still wild, a Cowgirl and a Werewolf travel the hostile land. As a chicken walks their way a fight about the appropriate use of it makes them forget the danger around, till it seems to be too late.


The second, Flamingo Pride, directed by Tomer Eshed, is "The story of the only heterosexual flamingo, in his desperate attempt to find love." It's not entirely safe for work.

Review: 'A Town Called Panic'

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A Town Called PanicAs the Franco-Belgian animated film Ernest & Celestine should soon be released on DVD, I thought this would be a good time to review A Town Called Panic (trailer), a movie produced by some of the same animators in 2009.

Actually, let's go further back to 2002, when Belgian animators Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier created a series of twenty shorts for TV called Panique au village (Panic in the village). Each was about five minutes long, and like Robot Chicken (2005), employed stop-motion animation with plastic figurines, clay and other objects.

Otherwise the two shows are pretty different. Robot Chicken enjoys mangling pop culture and doing random sketches; while Panique au village focuses on the bizarre daily adventures of a small, constant cast of characters. Something they both have in common is a joy of the absurd, and Panique is often more manic in this respect.

Animation: 'Shave It' presents a surrealistic story of environmental revenge.

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The Cartoon Brew presents the 4'11" “Shave It”, from the Buenos Aires CGI 3dar Studios, directed by Fernando Maldonado and Jorge Tereso.

A monkey whose jungle home is destroyed by humans, shaves his fur off, puts on clothes, and passes as human in the big city. He rises to the corporate top, and then takes his environmentalist revenge. The brightly-colored, ultra-stylistic design makes this a humorous cautionary parable rather than a horror story.

Animation: New Hanna-Barbera character art on display

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This is extremely short notice, but this Saturday (6-10PM) the Van Eaton Galleries in the Sherman Oaks suburb of Los Angeles are holding the opening reception for The HB Show, “a group art show tribute to Hanna-Barbera” of paintings by numerous artists including some of HB’s former staff. The paintings are mostly of HB’s human characters such as the Flintstones and Penelope Pitstop, but there are some of Yakky Doodle, Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and H-B's other anthropomorphic animal characters.

More importantly, the whole art show/auction is online. You can still see it all and bid on unsold paintings.

The HB Show will be up at the Van Eaton Galleries, 13613 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91423, (800) 599-3693, until April 20 (Adolf Hitler’s birthday! Is this significant?), so if you can get there, you can still see it all even after the art auction. And, of course, the Van Eaton Galleries have other animation goodies on display.

Animation: Pixar to follow 'Finding Nemo' with 'Finding Dory'

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DoryThe Cartoon Brew reports that Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced Dory, the regal blue tang fish with short-term memory loss in Pixar’s 2003 Finding Nemo, has announced that Pixar has asked her to reprise her role in the forthcoming sequel, Finding Dory. It will also be directed by Andrew Stanton, who directed Finding Nemo. Its tentative release date is November 25, 2015.

Finding Nemo is Pixar’s #2 grosser, behind only Toy Story 3.

Animation: Yes! 'The Croods' is anthropomorphic, after all

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Belt, from 'The Croods'Well, minimally. I saw it yesterday with my sister, and we loved it. More importantly for Flayrah, we saw that, although it is 92% non-anthropomorphic, there is one definite if non-talking anthropomorphic character in it: the little sloth, Belt, who serves as Guy’s belt. His body language makes him a fully intelligent character through pantomime.

The blue-furred, long-armed Punch Monkeys confronted by Grug are also screamingly anthropomorphic in their actions.

The Croods, by DreamWorks Animation, was released on March 22. It is a bit late to introduce a story about it now (we covered an art print released at Comic-Con), but there should be someplace on Flayrah to discuss the movie.

History: Funny animals on the radio

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Woody Woodpecker portrait, by Walter LantzAmid Amidi at the Cartoon Brew presents a true rarity: a 1947 unsold half-hour recording for a children’s radio show, “Sally in Hollywoodland”. Recorded on June 3, 1947, the pilot is about a little girl who falls asleep and dreams herself into an adventure with Walter Lantz’s famous Hollywood animal cartoon characters.

This episode stars Woody Woodpecker (voice of Theodore Von Eltz), Andy Panda (Sarah Brenner), Oswald Rabbit (June Foray), Wilbur Wolf (Billy Bletcher, who was the Big Bad Wolf in Disney’s 1933 Silly Symphony), and Wally Walrus (Herb Lytton). Amidi says that the recording was discovered by Randy Riddle, and that notes show that if the pilot had sold, Sally would have continued to have adventures with the Lantz characters, not other studios’.

'Pogo' as animated and voiced by Walt Kelly personally

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The story has long been told of how the production of the 1969 TV special “The Pogo Special Birthday Special”, a collaboration between Pogo creator Walt Kelly and animator Chuck Jones, turned into a “Hollywood ain’t big enough for the both of us!” feud, that ended up with the two not talking to each other. Jones dismissed Kelly as “he thinks that he’s an animator just because he did about 20 seconds of the easiest animation in Dumbo twenty-five years ago.” (Kelly animated the silhouettes of the clowns carousing inside the circus tent.)

Now Amid Amidi reveals that Kelly was so displeased that he decided to create his own animated Pogo half-hour TV special, “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us”. But due to the difficulties of producing a half-hour of animation personally while in declining health, Kelly only completed a rough cut of thirteen minutes before he died in 1973.

Amidi has found that thirteen minutes, and presents it on the Cartoon Brew website. It may be unfinished, but it’s pure Kelly, from the drawings of the cartoon funny animals of the Okefenokee Swamp, to their animation, to Kelly performing all of the voices.

Return of the Street Sharks

One of the admittedly stranger TV series of the 1990′s was DIC’s Street Sharks, which ran from 1994 to 1995. Created by David Siegel and Joe Galliani of Mr. Joe’s Really Big Productions, the series followed the adventures of four teenage brothers who were transformed into human-shark mutants by an evil scientist’s genetic manipulations. Yes, yes, the show was riding on the coat-tails of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — in fact, it directly spoofed Turtles on more than one occasion. Previously, only a handful of Street Sharks episodes have been available on tape or DVD. But now Mill Creek Entertainment have announced that they are releasing all 40 episodes of the original series in a 4-DVD set at a reduced price. The set is available now at Amazon and other dealers.


image c. 2013 Mill Creek Entertainment

Furry Drama Show calls for videos and acts for new season

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The Furry Drama Show (FDS) completed its first season 2012-13, visiting six conventions: Wild Nights, RCFM, Oklacon, Fangcon, F3 and Furry Fiesta. As we start our new season, we continue to look for new performers to join us at these cons. If you cannot, we are also accepting videos of skits and music videos.

Do 'Despicable Me 2' minions count as anthropomorphic?

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Despicable Me 2's yellow minions stretch the definition, but here's its new trailer anyway.

It looks like the new Bad Guys are the Good Guys. Screenrant thinks that the minions can be overdone. How does Gru kiss the girls without stabbing them with his nose?

Animation: 'Dorothy of Oz' becomes 'Legends of Oz'

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Cartoon Brew reports that, “Now that Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful is a box office hit, let the Wizard of Oz remakes commence.” CB goes on to report via Variety that, “Clarius Entertainment will theatrically release the 3-D CGI pic Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return in the first quarter of 2014. We posted the film’s trailer last fall, back when the film was called Dorothy of Oz, and the reaction was tepid.”

Flayrah announced Dorothy of Oz too last September, and it did get 13 comments. The link to the trailer still works. See Tugg the talking tree, Wiser the owl, the marshmellow soldier, and the new anthropomorphic characters in addition to the familiar Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the flying monkeys, and all of the beloved others.

2012 Ursa Major Awards voting now open

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxVoting for the Ursa Major Awards for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of 2012 is now open, and will continue until May 15. The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony at Anthrocon 2013 in Pittsburgh, July 4-7.

Anyone may vote, and you are encouraged to ask your friends to vote also — please help to spread the word!

There are five nominees in each of eleven categories, except where there was a tie for fifth place. To be eligible, a work must have been released during the calendar year 2012; must include a non-human being given human attributes, which can be mental and/or physical; and must receive more than one nomination.

Read on for the nominees...

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