I’ve had the privilege to write about a number of fascinating foreign cartoons this year. These animated programs, from small but talented studios around the world, deserve to be recognized for what they are bringing to the industry. I have been following them for quite some time, and with news on multiple fronts, I felt that the time was right for a quick follow-up. I’ve included links to the original articles for those who may have missed them, as I strongly feel that all of these shows are worth your time.
Glue Studios’ Rimba Racer
Rimba Racer came out of nowhere and knocked me off of my feet, as I didn’t know what to expect from it. It’s a racing cartoon from Malaysia, and while it seemed straight-forward at the start, its story quickly sunk its hooks into me and its season finale is one of the best I’ve seen in recent memory. I’m pleased to write, then, that the second season going to premiere relatively soon and the studio recently uploaded a teaser trailer for it. Please keep in mind that, being a trailer for season two, it contains season one spoilers so you may wish to watch it first if you are interested in doing so. It’s worth it.
Because Rimba Racer primarily airs in India and Malaysia, Glue Studios was kind enough to put season one onto YouTube for everybody else to watch. However, the channel fell victim to one of YouTube’s many algorithms and was automatically terminated. Season one can currently be watched on their dailymotion channel, although they have formed a new YouTube channel and are hoping to re-introduce their episodes accordingly. At the time of this writing, they are planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo, where access to the season two episodes will likely be provided to backers. More information on that can be found on their official website when the time comes.
Motion Pictures’ Pumpkin Reports
Pumpkin Reports caught my eye because its premise is one that I have always enjoyed. It’s such a fun genre – alien invaders disguising themselves as humans and trying to take over the world, only to be stopped by a character or group of characters who are the only ones to know the truth. When I wrote about the show, I had no reason to believe that it would get a second season, and said as much, but it was announced a few short months ago that a second season has been greenlit. I am really looking forward to seeing more of Max and Teresa’s battles and I hope that they reveal more about the Kemii. To catch people up, the studio has been uploading season one episodes onto the official YouTube channel.
Dazzling Star’s Beijing Opera Cats
I had a soft spot for Beijing Opera Cats since I found its first trailer a number of years ago. I followed the series for quite some time, even watching the episodes on Chinese video platforms when they finally premiered, but my understanding of it was severely limited by the language barrier. Fortunately, Splash Entertainment recently picked up the rights to both seasons of the show and are investing in its English dub. Its name has been changed to Jing-Ju Cats and a trailer was shown off at this year’s MIPJUNIOR. While the show still has a long way to go – no networks have been announced – it’s likely the show will find a home in the United States as Splash Entertainment has its own distribution platform in Kabillion. I will be eagerly awaiting the first footage of the English dub.
DreamEast Pictures’ Valt The Wonder Deer
I wrote about Valt The Wonder Deer after watching about half of season one on Propeller TV. It took a while, as the network had a bad habit of skipping episodes, but I can say now that I have seen every one. I really enjoyed Valt because it was a proper adventure cartoon with a lot of continuity, and western animation needs a lot more of those. I’m pleased to say, then, that season two has already been in development for quite some time and will be ready to premiere in Chinese markets before much longer. Jetpack Distribution hasn’t officially picked up the second season of the English version, but I would expect them to pick it up as the English version is terrific and has some excellent production values. I just hope that it finds a home on more networks, as season one has been ready to air for about a year now.
I am glad that these animated programs have positive news surrounding them. However, there are so many more animated programs that are also deserving of attention and I hope to shine a spotlight on them throughout the coming year. The world is a big and wonderful place, but too often fans of animation only care about stuff that is made in Canada, Japan and The United States. I hope that, in time, cartoons like these will have an easier time getting on American networks and streaming platforms.