Movie review: 'Wish Dragon' (2021)

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'Wish Dragon' poster Wish Dragon (trailer) is a computer-animated film from the Sony Pictures Animation International Initiative, a fancy way of saying "international co-production", in this case between Sony and several studios in China. Concept art made the rounds in 2018, and they hoped to finish it in 2019. For whatever reason, it didn't get released until January 15, 2021 - in China - so this review is of the Chinese dub with English subtitles.

A little backstory. When Kung Fu Panda came out in 2008, it had so much artistic attention to cultural detail that China kicked their animation industry into high gear. In the twelve years since then, they've become a powerhouse of animation. Recently, there's been a slow-growing effort to make their films more exportable. Some efforts have fallen flat, like the sadly-overlooked Rock Dog; but with Mosley and Wish Dragon I'm optimistic that there'll be more co-productions to come!

New translation of 'Star Fox' designer's interview sheds light on the series' furry characters

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Takaya Imawmura and Krystal shmuplations.com is, in its own words, "a repository of Japanese game developer translations, covering primarily (but not exclusively) older arcade and console games". Recently, they featured an interview that originally ran in the November 21, 2002 issue of Nintendo Dream with Takaya Imamura; video game character designer for the Star Fox series. The interview was designed to highlight Rare's then-recently-released Star Fox Adventures, but also covers Imamura's early work with the franchise.

For furry fans, this information is interesting, as he discusses the creation of some iconic furry characters, including Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare and Krystal (also, Slippy Toad). Imamura also reveals how Shigeru Miyamoto not only introduced the furry aspects to the series, but also always intended the series to be a bit more "mature" than the average Nintendo game.

Movie review: '100% Wolf' (2020)

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

100% Wolf (clip) is a computer-animated comedy film from Australia, released in mid-2020. Based on a 2009 book by Jayne Lyons, the adaptation was directed by Alexs Stadermann, produced by Flying Bark Productions, and it earned $4.6 million. IMDB gives it a score of 5.7 out of 10, and Rotten Tomatoes is similar. It's definitely for kids. Watching it as an adult furry fan, I have mixed feelings about it.

It takes about a quarter of the film's 96-minute running time to set up the story, so minor spoiler warning. There's a pack of werewolves living in modern-day society. Despite keeping it secret to avoid human persecution, on nights of the full moon they parkour around the city like superheroes to help rescue people. The youngest member of the pack's core family, Freddy Lupin, can't wait until he's old enough to become a werewolf too, and has a good relationship with his father, Flasheart, the pack leader.

Until things go wrong. Freddy loses both his father and the pack's sacred moonstone ring. Everyone is devastated. Fast-forward six years. I guess Freddy is being home-schooled? No sign of any friends, and his mother passed away when he was younger. Anyway, the pack still lacks a leader, or "High Howler", although Flasheart's brother, Hotspur, clearly thinks he deserves the position. For now, it's time for Freddy's coming-of-age ceremony, except instead of becoming a wolf, he turns into a poodle. Believing they've offended the Moon spirits, the family tasks Freddy with recovering the ring.

Newsbytes archive for March 2021

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, and Rakuen Growlithe.

Opinion: The top ten movies of 2020

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Top Ten Movies of 2020

So, 2020.

Well, that's over, here are ten movies that managed to come out in 2020, an accomplishment in and of itself; so full marks for that!

Oh, by the way, I've been doing this for a decade now.

Movie review: 'The Donkey King' (2018)

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

'The Donkey King' movie poster The Donkey King (trailer) is a computer-animated comedy film, and the fifth animated feature from Pakistan. Originally released in 2018 in the Urdu language, an English dub was released in 2020. It was written and directed by Aziz Jindani, and produced by Talisman Studios.

It broke box office records in Pakistan, though I'm mystified as to how, because to me it's not a good film. Maybe its target audience had different expectations, or there were cultural reasons, which, if any, have been lost in the English dub. Don't watch this movie.

The premise starts with King Khan, a lion who rules over a city of anthropomorphic animals. He wants to retire, but his son, Prince Shazad, wouldn't be a good replacement. Miss Fitna, his treacherous fox advisor, proposes that a new king should be chosen democratically in an election …which is not how monarchies work. Her plan involves deposing the king so she can manipulate someone in his place, specifically the film's protagonist, a donkey named Mangu.

Digging up Positivity - Furry Charity and good news - March 2021

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

Welcome to another edition of Digging up Positivity. This month was a busy one! A lot of wholesome and virtual events were held and the charities did not stay far behind! From creative art-streams to virtual events and games, fun was had, and charities from all over the world had a little boost from our fandom! Our special guest is a very well known Kangaroo, and he has been with us before! As he voiced me last year during the BLM special!

Movie review: 'Raya and the Last Dragon' (2021)

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Raya and the Last Dragon Before we start talking about the movie, due to the pretty unusual circumstances still happening in the world right now, we need to discuss what options are available to watch it. (With apologies to our non-North American readers, for whom none of this may apply.)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, streaming has been the obvious or only way to watch movies reviewed by Flayrah. Raya and the Last Dragon, however, isn't free to stream right now. You'll have to pay Disney+'s $29.99 'Premier Access' fee, or buy a ticket at a theater.

Currently, this reviewer recommends the Premier Access route. It's more expensive, but factoring in the ability to re-watch it, group watching, and ongoing pandemic concerns, it feels a safer bet.

Anyway, Raya and the Last Dragon is from Walt Disney Animation Studios; directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, it stars Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu, the titular last dragon.

Movie review: 'Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor' (2018)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor (trailer) is a 2018 computer-animated children's film. Produced in Pakistan, it's the country's third animated film, made by 3rd World Studios and directed by Uzair Zaheer Khan. Furry fans can skip this one. It's so-so, probably only of interest to young kids, who'll either need to understand Urdu or be able to read subtitles.

The story involves a young boy named Allahyar, creative but shy, raised by a single dad who works as a forest ranger in northern Pakistan. After his father gets knocked unconscious by a hunter, Allahyar rescues Mehru, a young markhor (a species of goat, the country's national animal) and sets out to return her to her family who live on a distant mountain.

Turns out that by showing bravery for a markhor and by having a pure heart, Allahyar fulfills the prophecy of being "The Protector", and gets the ability to speak to animals. They're joined on their journey by Hero, a chukar partridge, and Chakku, a young snow leopard. The hunter, Mani, is on their trail the whole time.

As 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' draws nigh, non-furry Twitter processes its feelings for cartoon rabbits

Your rating: None Average: 4 (8 votes)

Lola Bunny's New Look. As of this article's writing (~7:30 P.M. CST, Thursday, March 4, 2021), basketball-playing Looney Tunes character Lola Bunny was second on Twitter's local trends list, behind only NBA professional Lebron James. Both will be playing basketball together in the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, of which new details were revealed today; hence the reason for the trending (James is also making his seventeenth appearance in today's NBA All-Star Game, boosting him over his lapine teammate.)

Lola trending, of all the Looney Tunes making an appearance in the movie, is a bit unique, because it's for particularly furry reasons. She was introduced in the original Space Jam, so there was never any doubt she was coming back. But with the first real good look at the new character designs, people have noted changes. They aren't that drastic. But noticeable.

To put it bluntly, she's just not as sexy this time.

The design changes aren't all that much compared to her redesign for 2011's The Looney Tunes Show. If anything, the new design is a reversion back to her original look, and the biggest change is to her costume. She's switched out her old short shorts and midriff-baring top for an actual athletic uniform. Physically, she does seem to have had a reduction to her bust size.

Retro game review: 'Toonstruck' (1996)

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

No one sits in an electric chair during the game. Toonstruck is a 1996 third-person point-and-click adventure game, still available on modern PCs! It's a celebration of cartoon humor, and you can tell a lot of love and effort went into making it. Toony animal side-characters are everywhere.

Originally conceived of in 1993 as a children's game, a decision was made to gear it towards adults instead. Officially it's rated 'T' (Teens) for "Comic mischief, Mild animated violence" - but there is some very adult humor you won't see coming. Virgin Interactive, who made the game, spent over $8 million on it. Some of this was wasted due to changing the engine during development. Otherwise they were able to pay well for its programming, animation and dialog, with (mostly) little executive interference.

The main character of Toonstruck is a burnt-out artist named Drew Blanc, played by Christopher Lloyd, who's been stuck animating The Fluffy Fluffy Bun Bun Show for ten years. When his boss (played by Ben Stein) demands even more rabbits, so he can keep milking the franchise as Fluffy & Friends, Drew despairs - only to find himself accidentally sucked into a cartoon world. His only hope of escape relies on completing a quest to help the locals.

Voting opens for the 2020 Ursa Major Awards

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The Ursa Major Awards logo. The 2020 Ursa Major Awards vote is ready to go! Send them your e-mail address, and you can vote for any of the nominations in 14 categories. (Last year's "Dramatic Series or Short Work" has been split into two separate categories.) Voting closes on Wednesday, March 31.

Please re-post this announcement if you're on an active furry message forum or social media site!

This year's nominees are...

Digging up Positivity - Furry charity and good news - February 2021

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Welcome to the February edition of Digging Up Positivity. This episode our featurette is a very well known and loved horse from the Netherlands and we will cover a new social network, the return of a species many thought extinct, charities, and more!

Newsbytes archive for February 2021

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, BlindWolf8, dronon, earthfurst, and GreenReaper.

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