Up next at the Festival of Books was the Dogfish series of illustrated books, written by Rita Reed and with art by Craig Cartwright. Starting off with Dogfish Saves The Ocean: “Dogfish is enjoying a beautiful day in the ocean when suddenly he sees his friend Turtle with a straw stuck in his snout! After he calls his friends to help, they all discover that ocean pollution is a BIG problem! Join Dogfish and his friends as they learn more about pollution and what they can do to help.” All the books are available now from Fine Eye Media, including Dogfish Stands Up To Bullying and Dogfish: Just Be You!
We just learned about a new graphic novel series for young readers, from Henry Holt and Company. The Surviving The Wild series is based on actual events with real animals “in the wondrous but hazardous wilds”. First up is Surviving The Wild: Sunny The Shark, by Remy Lai. “Sunny the Shark is a fearsome predator. As the oceanic whitetip shark searches for her next meal, a chatty school of pilot fish trails behind, cleaning her in exchange for food crumbs. But when Sunny mistakes a plastic ring for prey and it gets caught around her fin, she soon struggles to hunt. Will she be able to break free and find food before winter sets in?” It’s available now in hardcover from MacMillan.
Season 6 of the popular "Battle Royale" shooter Fortnite is launching September 25, this Thursday, and for the second season in a row, the first teaser image released by Epic Games features a new character wearing an animal mask, in this case, a Deadmau5-esque DJ wearing a llama mask, after the Season 5 teaser featured a kabuki-inspired fox mask teaser.
The next Season 6 teaser image featured a cowgirl (the "Wild West" type of cowgirl, not the furry type, unfortunately), but it wasn't until the third and final teaser image, that things got really furry with an apparent werewolf character featured, seen above.
Update: The llama DJ is named DJ Yonder and is the tier 1 reward for the Season 6 Battle Pass; the werewolf is named Dire and is the tier 100 reward, and features further unlockable styles (he is unlocked as a human but most players will already have enough experience points reaching tier 100 to unlock his werewolf form when he is unlocked). Season 6 is also introducing Pets that players can carry on their back to the game; a dog, chameleon and baby dragon will all be unlockable in the pass.
The Shape of Water (trailer) is a 2017 fantasy-drama film from director Guillermo del Toro, based on an idea he'd had since childhood. Essentially he wanted to make a happier version of the 1954 horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon, with the humanoid fish monster and the female lead falling in love.
And that's exactly what happens in The Shape of Water! It takes place in 1962, starring a mute woman named Elisa who's part of the cleaning staff at an American government research facility. In one of the labs, she learns of "the asset", an intelligent humanoid amphibian creature who's being tortured. Falling in love with him, she wants to set him free with the help of a small group of collaborators.
Padak, a 2012 South Korean CGI feature, is coming to America – but not to theaters. EigoMANGA, a San Francisco-based media publisher, has announced that it has been acquired from Lionsgate to be distributed beginning on June 6 on Linux, Mac, SteamOS, Windows, and all other online Steam-supported platforms.
The 78-minute feature, directed and written by Lee Dae-Hee and produced by the E-DEHI studio, will be released with the original Korean voice actors including Kim Hyeon-ji, Si-Yeong-joon, Ahn Yeong-mi-l, Hyeon Kyeong-soo, and Ho-san Lee, and subtitled in English. It was first shown at the Jeonju International Film Festival on July 25, 2012, and has also been shown at international film festivals in Warsaw, Dallas, Melbourne, Vladivostok, Seoul, and other cities, winning awards at many of them.
The Chinese aren’t finished with releasing animated anthropomorphic features almost on top of us – in China, anyway. Big Fish and Begonia (Da Hai), 100 minutes, directed by Liang Xuan and Zhang Chun, produced at Studio Mir (maker of The Legend of Korra) in Seoul, South Korea in traditional cartoon animation, and distributed by Enlight Media, is scheduled to be released in China on July 8.
The story is from a traditional Taoist legend, taken from Zhuangzi. The gods – or celestial beings, anyway – control time, tides, and the changing of the seasons of the Middle Kingdom (a.k.a. our Earth). When the young Chun is 16 years old, she is turned into a dolphin to experience our world at first hand. She is engulfed by a storm and gets caught in a fishing net, from which she is rescued by a human boy at the cost of his life. Chun is moved by his sacrifice and determines to restore him to life. To do this she must give his soul rebirth as a tiny fish, and protect him as he grows. Over time Chun grows to love the fish, but when he is grown, she must release him to become human once more.
The synopsis does not say where the story is set, but the boy is noticeably blond, implying that the feature is intended for international audiences.
The Cartoon Brew website has just announced two new animated features with anthropomorphic animals coming later this year.
Last year’s Japanese cartoon animation The Boy and the Beast (Bakemono no Ko), directed by Mamoru Hosoda, will be released on March 4 “in selected theatres” by Funimation, in both subtitled and dubbed versions. It’s about a Japanese homeless boy, Kyuta, who goes into “the beast world” and becomes the apprentice of Kumatetsu (“Iron Bear”), a martial arts warrior. Tickets will go on sale on the Funimation site on February 5. The Cartoon Brew announcement includes the new American theatrical poster.
At the recent Comic Con Experience in Brazil, Pixar president Jim Morris chatted up the crowd about Finding Dory, Pixar’s upcoming CGI film scheduled for release in June of 2016. Besides showing them lots of preliminary artwork and other goodies, he also gave the world the first inklings of the new film’s plot. Following the adventures of Finding Nemo (of course), this new film follows Dori (the royal blue tang who suffers from short term memory loss) as she journeys across the ocean in search of the marine research facility where she was born — and where her parents still live. Once again Dori will be voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, and her friend Marlin the clownfish (Nemo’s father) will again be voiced by Albert Brooks. No word yet if popular characters like Bruce the vegetarian-wannabe shark or Crash the oh-so-radical sea turtle dude will also make an appearance. But check out the article at Animation Xpress to find out what we do know now.
[Thanks to Fred Patten for the heads up on this article]
The 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.
Hmmm. I am not sure that I understand the 2’51” Müstiline Raba. Storks usually eat frogs, not the other way around. The Cartoon Brew says that this is “a delightful taste of that droll humor we’ve come to expect from Estonian animators.” Whatever. The fact that the stork wears a wristwatch and a frog plays a mandolin makes this anthropomorphic.
I have said previously that I do not understand Estonian animation. I still don’t.
We've had a Treeless Squirrel; now we have a Waterless Trout.
Environmental groups in Colorado, USA, are trying to stop the diversion of large amounts of water out of the Fraser River, one of the tributaries of the Colorado River. 60% of the river's flow is already diverted to supply the Front Range urban development, and the environmental groups are concerned about plans to increase this by a further 15%.
To raise public awareness, the environmentalists have released a short video featuring a man(?) in an anthropomorphic fish costume. In the video, the fish (a trout) abandons his dried-up riverbed home, and hitch-hikes to downtown Denver, where he is reduced to begging for bottled water on a street corner.
This December Oni Press will present a new hardcover graphic novel, Mermin, Volume 1: Out of Water. This full-color all-ages comic was written and illustrated by Joey Weiser. “Mermin, the Merman from Mer!? That’s the question Pete and his friends ask after finding the fish-boy washed up on the beach! Mermin just escaped the undersea kingdome of Mer, and is ready to have some fun on dry land! But why would this aquatic kid be afraid to swim? Perhaps it has something to do with the fishy pursuers who have followed him from the depths below!” Joey discusses some of the creation process behind this new comic on his blog at Tragic Planet.
A fish in a refrigerator sings Caruso. The stop-motion short-short – a trailer for his Annecy International Animation Film Festival award-winning Una Furtiva Lagrima – is less funny than animator Carlo Vogele (Pixar’s Brave, etc.) as he explains how he animated the dead fish.
After purchase of the bass at the fishmarket, I’d stick it in the freezer until I was ready for a full night of animating (stop-motion 101: if you want consistent lighting, daylight is not your friend ;-D). […] So I’d animate as fast as I could, until the fish thawed completely and its jaw went slack…
From where else but the Cartoon Brew.
A: Basket sponge
B: Dolphin wearing sponge
C: Debris on the sea bed
D: Hidden fish
Researchers in Shark Bay, Australia have identified tool use and cultural transmission of the tool use in dolphins.
The scientists observed some dolphins occasionally pulling basket sponges from the sea bed and using them to cover their snouts as they foraged for food on the sea bed. The sponges presumably provided them protection from the rocks and shells on the sea bed. However, it wasn't known why the dolphins bothered to forage there.
The research team now report that dolphins perform this activity to catch fish living under the sand's surface.
Well, it appears that they are releasing new fish genetically engineered to glow throughout the night. These fish are known as GloFish and should be sold in stores for $5 a piece, but only something like this could come from the great state of Texas, because no one else would try to make a fish to detect environmental toxins in streams where nothing could live.