More from that article at Cartoon Brew. This time it’s a new “hybrid” (live action / CGI) feature called Woody Woodpecker Goes To Camp. “Netflix hasn’t released many details about the film yet, but the streamer did say that accomplished kids and family TV director Johnathan Rosenbaum (Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour) is helming from a screenplay by Cory Edwards, Jim Martin, and Stephen Mazu… A brief logline reads: ‘After getting kicked out of the forest, Woody thinks he’s found a forever home at Camp Woo Hoo — until an inspector threatens to shut down the camp’. The only casting details shared so far indicate that Eric Bauza is involved, presumably as Woody’s voice.” We can all find out more when the film arrives on April 12th.
We stumbled across this announcement in Variety recently: “Germany’s Studio 100 Media and Spain’s 3Doubles Producciones have teamed to develop animated adventure comedy Flamingo Flamenco. The script has been written by Rob Sprackling, whose credits include Shaun the Sheep Movie, Gnomeo & Juliet, and The Queen’s Corgi. Flamingo Flamenco follows the journey of Rosie, a young and exuberant flamingo, as she navigates personal loss and seeks to rediscover the joy of dance. The action is set against the backdrop of the beautiful Fuente de Piedra lagoon in Andalucía, Spain… The family-friendly entertainment feature ‘promises an enchanting and passionate blend of adventure, comedy and heartwarming moments’, according to a statement from Studio 100 Film, adding that the film ‘…emphasizes the importance of perseverance, self-discovery and the power of determination’. ” No word yet about any possible distribution in North America, but the film’s not scheduled to be completed until the fall of 2026. In the meantime, check out that poster! (Girl!)
The Boy and the Heron was released earlier in the year in Japan by Studio Ghibli, with no trailer and minimal advertising, the point being made that it is a movie by Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli. Like, if you know, you know, and if you don't, keep mum because the people who know will judge you. In America, GKIDS is the distributor, and they mostly kept to this same strategy, though as it had already been out in Japan over half the year and had it's Western debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, so they did eventually release a trailer. The film is available in Japanese with English subtitles, or English dubbing; both versions were available at my local cinema, so unless you're situated in a very rural area, it shouldn't be that hard to find your preference. This review is based on the English dubbed version; Ghibli films have traditionally had good English dubbing, and this film is no exception.
We just learned about Shangri-La Frontier, a black & white manga written by Katarina and illustrated by Ryosuke Fuji. “Second-year high school student Rakuro Hizutome loves nothing more than finding so-called ‘trash games’ and beating the crap out of them. When he decides to change things up by playing a new, ‘god-tier’ VR game known as Shangri-La Frontier (a.k.a. SLF), he does what he does best: Min-maxes, skips the prologue, and jumps straight into action! Clad in nothing but shorts and a bird mask, Rakuro (player name: Sunraku) launches into the world of SLF. Things are going well at first as he takes down a goblin, a bunny, and even a python. But then Sunraku comes up against a huge, hard-hitting wolf known as Lycagon the Nightslayer. Will Sunraku’s years of ‘trash game’ experience be enough, or is he about to suffer a rude awakening just a few hours into his SLF adventure?” The series is available now from Kodansha International. What’s more, there’s already an anime adaptation series available on Crunchyroll — and YouTube has a preview.
In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Netflix recently premiered an interesting new animated TV series for young viewers. “Spirit Rangers explores the beauty of nature through the eyes and adventures of half-Chumash, half-Cowlitz siblings Kodi, Summer, and Eddy Skycedar, who all share a secret: They are ‘Spirit Rangers’ who help protect the land and spirits of the national park they call home in California. Taking on new perspectives as a grizzly bear cub, red-tailed hawk, and spunky turtle, the Skycedar kids face every challenge — from helping a lost thunderbird to waking a sleepy sun — with courage and compassion.” The series is created by Karissa Valencia, herself a member of the Samala Chumash tribe. Animation World Network has an extensive article.
Young beginning readers can check out the Ollie and Bea series of graphic novels, written and illustrated by Renee Tremi. The set up is as simple as can be: “Ollie is an owl who wears glasses. And Bea is a bunny with very big feet. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to be best friends. Can they help each other to find their otter-ly awesome inner superhero?” It’s Owl Good and other books in the series are available now from Allen & Unwin Book Publishers.
Our new Vulturally F'd host Rattles has a unique appetite. He eats terrible movies, looking for that juicy, so-bad-it's-good fermentation of cheesy old cinema. The lair he calls home is the Bone Zone, a hollowed-out corpse of a once mighty beast, nesting in an old video rental store.
With nothing but an old TV to keep him company, he shares his favourite meals with you, and warns you to steer clear of certain buffet items strewn about the floor of his cave. In proper Culturally F'd fashion, all the films Rattles will be reviewing feature anthropomorphic characters at their core. (Show trailer)
In the spirit of “How did this sneak up on us?”, it turns out that Condorito now has his own movie — called, appropriately enough, Condorito: The Movie. What, never heard of Condorito? The bird-with-a-beret was created in 1949 by Chilean doctor and political cartoonist René Ríos Boettiger. Since then, the bird has gone on to become practically the Mickey Mouse of Latin America… which is funny, given that he was created to make fun of Walt Disney’s over-sanitized version of Chile in the film Saludos Amigos. The Condorito gag strip (always ending with a lame joke or pun, and lots of characters fainting over backwards with a loud PLOP!) has become so well-known that someone was bound to make an animated movie out of it. And now Pajarraco Films (from Peru!) have brought Condorito to the screen in CGI. (It’s only been released in Spanish with subtitles, so far.) The plot? Condorito would desperately love to date his va-va-voom human girlfriend Yayita, but doing so means he has to get past her disapproving parents. Things get a bit more complicated when invading aliens capture and run off with Yayita’s mama — and who else but Condorito to try and rescue her? Admittedly the critics have not been kind to the film, some complaining that it smooths off the rough edges and adult content of the original strip.
There's nothing unique about being a Disney fan. It's very easy to say you like something that was obviously meant to have mass appeal. So in my everlasting attempt to stand out, I decided that rather than become the billionth sale for Disney's big furry flick of the year, I'd try and vouch for the underdogs – those dark-horse films such as Rock Dog, Sly Cooper, and what we're discussing here: Angry Birds.
It's a lot harder to make a case for a movie when no-one has any expectations for it. It was like fighting a losing battle, but I was happy to at least give these some attention.
And now, the first of these films which I championed has been released! I was fortunate enough to see it on release weekend and I can say that the theater was definitely packed. Was this film the embodiment of perfection or did it leave something to be desired? Let's see.
Back in August, Nintendo announced that Star Fox Zero would be coming to its Wii U console Friday after next. Then the game got delayed, so don't line up at your nearest game store next Thursday; you'll have to wait until April 22 of next year. In the meantime, enjoy this new trailer.
The announcement didn't note why the game had been delayed, though it has long been a Nintendo policy that "a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."
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.
No matter what it is, you can always take it to a new, higher, weirder level folks. Super Angry Birds is a new full-color on-line comic series from IDW and Rovio Studios, giving us a whole new take on (what else?) the Angry Birds universe. “It’s everyone’s favorite furious fowl as you’ve never seen them before! New Yolk City is your typical bustling metropolis and like every big city it has a dark side. Through lies, deceit and corruption, King Pig and his henchmen have taken over the town and have made life miserable for its citizens. This makes one group of birds angry…Super Angry! This new group of would-be heroes, with powers beyond mortal birds, fight a covert war against King Pig and his minions. They are the Super Angry Birds!” Told you. Two issues are out so far, so check it out over at Comixology.
From Variety: “Wrekin Hill Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to Christian De Vita’s 3D animated feature Yellowbird from TeamTO and Haut & Court. The film… is written by Antoine Barraud and Guilhem Lesaffre with Cory Edwards and based on artwork by Benjamin Renner (Ernest and Celestine).” Seth Green (Greg the Bunny, Robot Chicken) stars as the voice of Yellowbird, “…a teenage bird so scared to venture out into the world that he nearly misses the fun of discovering who he really is.” Other voices include Dakota Fanning (Charlotte’s Web), Danny Glover, Elliott Gould, Jim Rash, and Christine Baranski. The distributors have been slowly trickling the film out to North American theaters, so take a look around for it — or else visit the Yellowbird Facebook page. Meanwhile, the English trailer is up on YouTube.
An unusual new all-ages miniseries is coming soon from Archaia. Written and illustrated (in full color) by Jorge Corona, Feathers tells the story of a young boy named Poe who is, yes, feathered. But that’s hardly the strangest thing about his world. “A reclusive boy born covered in feathers must help his first-ever friend, a young girl named Bianca, as she tries to return to her home beyond the slums of the Maze. They must dodge street gangs and child-snatchers along the way, and perhaps together will learn the secrets to his mysterious past.” Check out the review over at Bleeding Cool, and look for the first of six issues to arrive in stores this January.