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Today is the longest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere.
Today, me and my family are celebrating this special day for my dad, my uncles and my grandfather.
Yesterday, I went to go see DreamWorks Animation's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, based on the Scholastic books (which ran from 1997-2015) by Dav Pilkey.

Let me tell you all, I LOVE the Captain Underpants series. When I was a young lad back in the early 2000s, I was obsessed with these books. I remember back in elementary school getting them at our annual book fair. A number of my friends also liked them too (not just fellow boys, but girls too). They had some good creativity and likeable characters. Sure, the series used a bit of bowel and toilet humor, but it also had some clever jokes too.

The series revolves around two young fourth grader boys, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, living in Piqua, Ohio and go to Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. They love pulling pranks on others and make homemade comic books about an undergarment-wearing superhero aptly named Captain Underpants. This superhero creation of theirs then becomes real when George and Harold hypnotize their ill-tempered principal, Mr. Krupp, with a special ring they got from a cereal box. Soon after, Mr. Krupp, as Captain Underpants, gains superpowers by drinking alien juices and has to fight actual villains with George and Harold making sure he's safe.

Here are the main books in precise order:
* The Adventures of Captain Underpants
* Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets
* Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies From Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds)
* Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants
* Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman
* Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets
* Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers
* Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People
* Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tickletrousers
* Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers
* Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000
* Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot

Interstingly, studios had pursued Dav Pilkey for a while for possible film rights, but Dav always thought that they could never do the books any justice. But, when he saw how DreamWorks did How to Train Your Dragon (another book series-based animated film), he finally agreed to it.

As for the movie itself, it was surprisingly good, close to the source material, not too gross, and had a good story and pacing to it. They also have a pretty good cast with Kevin Hart as George, Thomas Middleditch as Harold, Ed Helms as Mr. Krupp/Captain Underpants, Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants, and more.

If you're interested (mainly for the nostalgic feel you may have), go see it. I will find the copies of books I originally bought, read them again, and also go buy the recent books I missed out on after book 8.
Today, I shall be talking about a new Cartoon Network-produced traditionally-animated show that has so far only been officially presented in Latin America. This Mexican cartoon is known as Villainos (Villainous in English). Created by Alan Ituriel, it started as a 2012 webseries and was picked up by Cartoon Network Mexico as a miniseries of ten one-minute episodes for mobile devices. The miniseries is co-produced by CN and A.I. Animation Studios. Talks for a possible full series are underway, but for now, the miniseries is being promoted on the mobile devices, CN's YouTube channel (with both Spanish and English dubs), and eventually television.

It is about an evil mastermind humanoid named Black Hat (voiced by Alan Ituriel himself) who runs Black Hat, Inc., and his team of three less-villainous aides. Black Hat is desperate to achieve his evil desires, but things usually end up going wrong for him. It follows a similar concept to such other cartoons as Evil Con Carne, League of Super Evil, and Invader Zim.

His small team consists of Dr. Flug, a nervous human scientist who always wears a paper bag over his head; Dementia, a crazy human girl who always fangirls over Black Hat, wears a reptile-like hoodie and loves mischief and destruction (she kind of looks like a deranged version of Frankie Foster from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and with a similar personality of Harley Quinn); and 5.0.5., a big, friendly, helpful, blue, bearlike creature who is a failed experiment of Black Hat's originally meant to be a deadly creature (voiced by famed gaming YouTuber Mark Fischbach, AKA Markiplier).

I myself think it's a pretty entertaining show and is definitely worth being greenlit. It's strange, but it's new and original (and not tiresomely recycled like so many other things in the media these day). I recommend checking the minisodes out.

A time for mothers. My family is holding a part for my mom, my aunt and my grandmother.
I already promoted on how Don Bluth and Gary Goldman and their team are working on the fully traditionally-animated movie adaptation of their 1983 arcade game Dragon's Lair for the Western big screen* (project hosted on Indiegogo: www.indiegogo.com/projects/dra…), now allow me to tell you all about OTHER projects in the works to revive hand-drawn animation that are also getting good funding and production right now.

One is being hosted by another former Disney animator, James Lopez (who's also helping Don and Gary with Dragon's Lair). It is a steampunk-themed adventure called Hullabaloo, about a young woman named Veronica Daring on a mission to find out what happened to her missing father. More information here: www.hullabaloo-movie.com/

I've also heard that Laika Entertainment (the same studio who's done the recent stop-motion animated films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings) is also making plans to make a fully hand-drawn animated film as well.

Also, the studio Golden Street Animation, is still keeping traditional animation alive and well. I say they deserve to have a new theatrical 2d movie. www.goldenstreetanimation.com/

You know, because of what's happening lately with these campaigns, I myself might try and take a go at creating traditionally-animated features, both for theaters and television. I've literally been practicing some of it on paper lately and I've a got a couple of ideas of animated movies/miniseries based on particular books (e.g. Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, and Robert T. Bakker's Raptor Red.), not to mention totally new IPs for animated films and TV shows and books (including The Chronicles of Gadooa). Think I should one day assemble a team for the job?

* The reason I add in "Western" is because theatrical hand-drawn animated films still survive in certain smaller countries like Japan, Luxemburg, and Ireland.
Today is a day to really think about how much energy you use.
I'm pretty sure a lot of you animation fans out there, including myself, have heard about Don Bluth's animated movie adaptation of his classic game Dragon's Lair. He and Gary Goldman have earned more money in the budget than they originally asked for.

I say this is a good chance to bring back American fully 2d theatrical animated films.

The project is being hosted on Indiegogo. www.indiegogo.com/projects/dra…

Let's support it all, and prove to those like Disney and Jeffrey Katzenberg that this style of animation for the big screen isn't dead!
Today, I'll be reviewing something you'd probably expect and didn't expect me to review at the same time. I'm reviewing the Emmy-winning American computer-animated Netflix series Dinotrux, from DreamWorks Animation.

First debuting August 14th 2015, Dinotrux is a Netflix-exclusive series that has been successful enough to get tons of merchandise here in USA (toys, books, and even being on yogurt labels.) It is based on a recent series of illustrated children's books of the same name from 2012 by Chris Gall. Turns out this DreamWorks show has been successful enough to have three seasons and even a fourth season that just came out.

In my own experience, I noticed all the merchandise for it in both my local bookstores and even grocery stores, almost everywhere. I got a little curious at first, but I assumed it would just be an underdone show that is "for kids". So, with my television set that gets both cable TV and Netflix at the same time, I began to watch it and judge it for myself, starting at the very first episode. And it turns out, despite appearances, this show is surprisingly not that bad. I actually got addicted to it for its creativity, its likeable characters, good storylines, morals, and (of course) prehistoric animal inspirations.

It is set in a fictional prehistoric world in a time called the Mechazoic era inhabited by part-animal/part-machine creatures, most notably the part dinosaur/part construction vehicles called Dinotrux and the part lizard/part tools called Reptools. It follows the adventures of Ty Rux (voiced by Andrew Francis) the optimistic Tyrannosaurus Trux (part Tyrannosaurus, part excavator), Revvit (voiced by Richard Ian Cox) the intelligent Rotilian Reptool (part chameleon-like lizard, part rotary drill) and their friends as they learn to live peacefully and cooperatively with different species and work to defend their crater-based community from a foul-tempered, heartless-acting Tyrannosaurus Trux named D-Structs (voiced by Paul Dobson), and his equally evil allies - including Skrap-It (voiced by Trevor Devall) the insane Scraptool (part lizard, part Leatherman), a close taxonomic relative of Reptools. The other friends of Ty and Revvit include Skya (voiced by Ashleigh Ball) the helpful Craneosaur (part Brachiosaurus, part crane), Dozer (voiced by Brian Drummond) the stubborn Dozeratops (part Triceratops, part bulldozer), Ton-Ton (voiced by Matt Hill) the radical "dude" Ankylodump (part Ankylosaurus, part dump truck), and three other Reptools: Click-Clack the cowardly Rotilian Reptool (voiced by Fred Ewanuick), Ace (voiced by Cree Summer) the daring Crescent Wrenchtool (part lizard, part crescent wrench), and Waldo (voiced by Doron Bell) the strict-acting Pipe Wrenchtool (part lizard, part pipe wrench). There are other characters on this show, but I won't spoil the rest for you.

Like I said, it's actually a pretty good show. And as I said before, don't judge things by appearances here. It may seem childish and underdone on the advertisements and merchandise, but when you actually see it, it's surprisingly one of DreamWorks' best animated shows. And maybe its not strictly for little kids, maybe older kids too because there is a wee bit of violence in it.

If you haven't seen it, go see it for yourself. I really do recommend it.
The spring equinox (first day of spring) in the Northern Hemisphere has arrived just this morning.
Today's the feast day in honor of St. Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.

I can definitely relate here because I'm a Christian and I've got a lot Irish in my family tree.

Today, I have St. Patrick's Day cards to send to friends and family and possibly go to a party.
Today is Holi, a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal, also known as the "festival of colours" or the "festival of love". It's a holiday I'm not familiar with, most likely because I'm an English-speaking white man from the Western world.

Anyway, the festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter (which is a massive monsoon in the Indian Subcontinent), and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forgive and forget, and repair broken relationships.
Today, I shall be reviewing a very interesting science fiction novel from 1995 called Raptor Red.

Written by American paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, the book is a third-person account of animals (dinosaurs in particular) during the Early epoch of the Cretaceous period in the Mesozoic era, taking place during approximately 120 million BC, in what will one day be the American Southwest, told from the point of view of Raptor Red, a female Utahraptor. Raptor Red features many of Bakker's theories regarding dinosaurs' social habits, intelligence, and the world in which they lived.

The book follows a year in Red's life as she loses her first mate, finds her family, and struggles to survive in a hostile environment (I won't spoil anything for those new to the book). As you can imagine, it can be quite intriguing to see a story told from a non-sapient animal's perspective. Bakker based his portrayals of dinosaurs and other prehistoric wildlife on fossil evidence, as well as studies of modern animals.

When released, Raptor Red was generally praised: Bakker's anthropomorphism was seen as a unique and positive aspect of the book, and his writing was described as folksy and heartfelt.

I, myself, have to say that it is very neat. It's sort of like the 2002 DreamWorks animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. My point being that the nonhuman creatures don't speak like humans. And honestly, that makes it all the more enthralling. Another project to have this would be BBC's Walking with... series.

According to Bakker, the novel's success led to interest in a movie deal from Hollywood. According to Daily Variety a year after the book's publication, in 1996, producer Robert Halmi Sr. made deals with Jim Henson's Creature Shop for film adaptations of novels such as Raptor Red. However, no official project has been announced.

You know... I might actually agree to make a sort of adaptation of the book. Maybe not in feature-length film, but instead as a TV miniseries. Perhaps it could be traditional hand-drawn (cel) animation - an almost Disney-like style - with minor bits of CGI. Perhaps it won't be presented on neither the major educational networks nor Hallmark, but instead maybe on a family network like Cartoon Network (that'd be something awesome!). We might even have a well-known voice actor to narrate the whole thing... maybe the talented Grey Delisle?
Yet, if I'd choose something like CN, they'd probably insist CONSTANTLY for me to give it a bunch of pseudo-pop songs and make the whole thing loud, fast-paced, and bouncy - because they are afraid they'll supposedly lose the kids' attention. Fortunately, I'd say no over and over again. It's art, not a cash-grab. It'll be like another one of Cartoon Network's best works, Samurai Jack - which is coming back for a final season on Toonami on Adult Swim, by the way. I'll also insist on no voiceover dialogue from the characters (with the exception of the narrator). It would also have to be updated with new paleontological facts like feathers on specific dinosaur species.

But anyway, this is definitely an amazing book to check out sometime.

Today is a special USA holiday in honor of our first leader, George Washington.
A day of friendship and love.
Sorry once again for the delay.

It's a USA and Canadian holiday celebrated where if it is cloudy when a groundhog (a marmot ground squirrel) emerges from its burrow on said day, then the spring season will arrive early, some time before the vernal equinox; if it is sunny, the rodent will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.
Sorry for a day's delay. But here it is.
Two days ago, Princess Leia herself Carrie Fisher suddenly passed away at the age of 60, four days after going into cardiac arrest near the end of an airplane flight from London to Los Angeles. And coincidently, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died the following day at the age of 84 of a suspected stroke.

Carrie will always be remembered. She has now transformed into part of the Force...
What's this? There's snow falling in my home area everywhere and it's at subzero temperatures. What's this? There's people singing songs. What's this?

Why of course, it's Christmas Day! Ho, ho, ho!

And this year it just so happens to be on Sunday.
Tis a calm night, people in my areas are singing and sometimes making last-minute shopping trips.