A round-up of animated series that have been announced for development, production, or distribution.

WTG Enterprises: The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

WTG Enterprises has commissioned an animated adaptation of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers (pictured top). Created by Gilbert Shelton in 1968, the underground comic follows three stoned-out hippies and their cat through dark and trippy adventures. It initially ran in underground papers, before finding a wider audience through comic books. One critic dubbed the characters “the Marx Brothers of marijuana”; WTG Enterprises says the show will be faithful to the comic’s irreverent adult humor.

Having purchased the property last year, the branding and licensing company is assembling a starry team to create the show:

  • Alan Cohen and Alan Freedland (King of the Hill, American Dad) are showrunners
  • John Althschuler and Dave Krinsky (Silicon Valley) will write and produce
  • Adam Devine and Blake Anderson (Workaholics) will voice characters, executive produce, and help develop the series
  • Daniel and Jeremy Lehrer (Highly Gifted) will write and produce
  • Creator Gilbert Shelton will be an executive producer
  • Animation will be handled by Starburns Industries (Rick and Morty) and Pure Imagination Studios (Angry Birds 4-D Experience, The Lego Movie: 4D – A New Adventure).

A series of eight 22-minute episodes targeted at adults has been greelit, and is set to debut in early 2020. Some years back, it was reported that the U.K. studio Celluloid Dreams was adapting the comic as a stop-motion feature. Footage of the film even made it online, but the project seems to have been shelved.

The talent behind this project will discuss the project at Comic-Con International: San Diego on Friday, July 19, at 7pm (room 6 BCF).

Warner Bros. Animation and Brownstone Productions: The Flintstones

Six decades after it premiered on ABC, the iconic show is being revived — again. The characters, which were popular for many decades, have been mostly dormant in recent time, though they occasionally re-appear in projects like the direct-to-video production The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown! and a 2016 DC Comics limited series. Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) tried to reboot the series in 2011, but his version never made it to production.

Little is known about this new project, other than what Variety reports: it “is in early development, [and] described as a primetime animated adult comedy series based on an original idea featuring characters from The Flintstones.”

There’s no sign yet of a network or release date. Warner Bros is producing in collaboration with Brownstone, with which it signed a production deal in 2015. Brownstone is run by Hollywood power couple Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman. Banks directed, wrote, co-produced, and stars in the upcoming Charlie’s Angels.

IMDB: You’re Not a Monster

IMDB, the foremost online film database, is consolidating its move into original programming with its first scripted — and its first animated — series, You’re Not a Monster. The elevator pitch is something like “Frasier with monsters”: Kelsey Grammer voices a psychiatrist-turned-vampire who mentors his great-great grandson Max, also a therapist. Each episode revolves around Max’s session with an unhappy creature; the likes of Frankenstein, Medusa, and the Invisible Man will make appearances.

You’re Not a Monster is created and written by Frank Lesser, a multi-Emmy-winning writer for The Colbert Report. Lesser previously penned a book called Sad Monsters, which his website describes as “humorous stories about the undead… and the unloved.” It isn’t clear to what extent the show is an adaptation of the book. It’s being produced for IMDB by Bold Soul Studios, Grammnet, and Ranker. Lily Stuart Streiff serves as animation director. Aside from Grammer, the cast includes Eric Stonestreet, Aparna Nancherla, Ellie Kemper, and Patton Oswalt.

The first season, which premieres in fall, will consist of ten episodes, each between four to five minutes. This reflects growing enthusiasm for very short-form series that are designed to be watched on the go. The most high-profile venture in this kind of “snackable content” is Quibi, the streaming platform developed by Hollywood mega-producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, which is slated to launch next spring.

IMDB will launch the trailer for the series next week on the IMDBoat at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

Animation news you can use
Support independent publishing

Your membership will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you. Support Cartoon Brew for as little as $1 a week — the process is fast and easy.

Become A Member   

Latest News from Cartoon Brew