Though Shane Acker hasn’t made a movie since the 2009 adaptation of his own short film, 9, the filmmaker has been steadily lining up new animation projects that have yet to come to fruition just yet. He’s on deck to direct that Thomas the Tank Engine feature and another film called Deep (a submarine adventure, of course), and now he’s added yet another project to his growing slate, one that sounds just adorable.

Reel FX has announced today (via ComingSoon) that Acker will direct their untitled CG-animated feature that’s based on the popular Dark Horse Comics series, Beasts of Burden (hey, now there’s an idea for the title, huh, Reel FX?). The film’s script is being penned by Darren Lemke (Turbo, Shrek Forever After).

Beasts of Burden centers on “the baffling behavior (tail chasing, barking at ‘nothing’ at all) of our favorite four-legged friends. In the charming town of Burden Hill, there might be more to these animal antics than meets the eye. The town is inhabited by the supernatural, and when its paranormal activity becomes even more abnormal than usual, it’s up to a group of fearless canines called the Watch Dogs to protect its citizens – and humanity – from the mysterious things that go ‘bump’ in the night.” You read that right, it’s a comic series that centers on paranormal-hunting dogs that protect their town. See? Adorable. Oh, and there are even cats, too, because of course you need cats.

It’s unclear which of the many Beasts tales that Lemke and Acker will draw from – the characters have appeared throughout a number of Dark Horse anthologies, have their own mini-series, two volumes of collected comics, and even once did a one-shot book alongside Hellboy (crossover potential!) – but we’re surely in for the world’s most cuddly and scary origin story with this one.

The Beasts series is written by Evan Dorkin (Milk and Cheese) and illustrated by Jill Thompson (The Sandman).

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