With the success of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the inclusion of Howard the Duck in Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems that anthropomorphic ass-kicking animals are coming back in style. During the 1980’s, there were a rash of comic books and graphic novels telling very human stories, however the characters were often played by talking animals. One breakout comic of it’s time was Usagi Yojimbo.
Usagi Yojimbo, created by Stan Sakai, told the adventures of a ronin rabbit, who acted as a bodyguard-for-hire and went on epic adventures. The tone and spirit of the comic is heavily influenced by Japanese film, in particular legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai). In fact the title of the comic got it’s title from Kurosawa’s film, Yojimbo.
Lintika Films has recently made a proof of concept short film that they are shopping around Hollywood. It is a combination of 2D animation and 3D stop-motion animation and it is pretty entertaining, while capturing a lot of the spirit and tradition of the source material. Check it out: