At this time last year, we had just found out that Usagi Yojimbo was going to return to the TMNT franchise. It had been a while since the rabbit ronin had been in the spotlight, but fans were pretty excited to hear about his appearance in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Although that series has come to an end, it looks like we’re going to see Miyamoto Usagi once again in a new cartoon being developed by the Gaumont Film Company. Gaumont’s President of Animation had the following to say about this awesome news:
“Usagi Yojimbo has been much sought after for many years, and we are honored to work with Stan Sakai to translate his multi-generational stories into the first ever TV series. Usagi Yojimbo’s blend of history and mythology, clever balance between action and comedy, and real-world touchpoints combined with the supernatural, together with the passionate fan base that Stan has already amassed, makes this an incredibly exciting property to develop with our partners Atomic Monster and Dark Horse Entertainment.”
Creator Stan Sakai noted that he would be working with Gaumont, Atomic Monster and Dark Horse Entertainment to make this Usagi Yojimbo animated series a reality. Although it’s definitely not normal to see so many different studios attached to one project, there doesn’t appear to be anything worth worrying about. If anything, we can probably expect a much darker animated series than we have ever seen from our heroes in a half shell.
Atomic Monster is noted for producing such films as Annabelle, The Conjuring 2 and Annabelle: Creation. It’s not every day that you see a production company that typically works on horror films committing to an animated series aimed at a younger audience. Dark Horse Entertainment is also noted for their work on some darker content such as Sin City and The Mask. Although you probably won’t immediately recognize Gaumont, they have contributed most recently to television shows such as Hannibal and F For Family.
Needless to say, these production companies and film studios do not typically invest in content aimed at children. That being said, the films and television shows they help to create are often very entertaining. According to Gaumont, we can expect Usagi Yojimbo’s first cartoon to be CGI animated, much like he appeared in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Although they have yet to find a distributor for the project, Gaumont intends to sell this animated series to a global market.
There are currently no plans for the Usagi Yojimbo cartoon to air on Nickelodeon. Although it is entirely possible that they will pick up the distribution rights for this show, it’s just as likely that Netflix (who has worked with Gaumont on F For Family) will distribute the animated series. Unfortunately, since this project was literally just announced, we simply don’t know exactly what the future holds for Miyamoto Usagi. Here’s hoping that Dark Horse Entertainment, Atomic Monster and Gaumont manage to create something amazing!