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February 2016

Newsbytes archive for January 2016

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, DarkXander, dronon, earthfurst, fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Patch Packrat and Rakuen Growlithe.

Review: 'The Furry Future', edited by Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

The Furry Future Furry fiction is replete with references to its characters' ears, tails, paws, and how they notice scent in the world around them. While adding to a story's atmosphere, in many cases the characters could, with minor modifications, be written as humans. In The Furry Future, editor Fred Patten wanted to depart from cursory furriness.

This is an anthology of short stories more firmly rooted in science-fiction, not fantasy, in which the existence of its furry characters tries to be relevant to its stories.

FurPlanet Productions, January 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (446 pgs.), eBook $9.95. Cover by BlackTeagan.

Review: 'Kung Fu Panda 3', fart jokes 0

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

kungfupanda3_0.jpgThe word that best describes the Kung Fu Panda film series, in my opinion, is "classy."

Which is surprising, because DreamWorks Animation was not known as a classy studio. The studio got its start with Shrek (a movie studio founder Jeffrey Katzenberg consider's DreamWorks' "North Star," whatever that means), which didn't introduce the fart joke to mainstream animation, but certainly played a big part in popularizing it. It's not a classy movie, is what I'm saying, and it has no pretensions otherwise. And so, for seven years, that was DreamWorks, where the world of animated movies was you were either Disney or Pixar, or you were, at best, the angry rejects who could only hope to stand out by virtue of crassness.

Enter Kung Fu Panda, a movie that features Jack Black as an overweight anthropomorphic panda with a nervous eating habit. The fart jokes should have written themselves, right? I went into that movie expecting a fun "romp," an innocuous time waster with a couple friends. Even as a furry, a DreamWorks animation movie, even one about anthropomorphic animals, meant it was, at best, going to be okay. Instead, it felt like a lightning strike; this was a real movie. It respected its characters, its setting, its story, its audience. And then, somehow, the sequel was even better.

So, anyway, Kung Fu Panda 3 is also pretty good. And also way classier than my headline, which contains the word fart. I guess you could describe that headline as "gassy." And this review now contains more fart jokes than the entire Kung Fu Panda trilogy. Isn't that funny?

'The Little Prince' fox plush doll

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

littleprincefoxplush.jpgThe French 2015 animated feature of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince will be released in America by Paramount on March 16, 2016. Its associated merchandising includes a plushie of the book and film’s talking fox.

The illustrated announcements on Amazon.com imply that the plush fox is poseable. One shows it standing on two feet next to the film’s Little Girl. Another shows it on all four feet.

The latter is priced $80.00 marked down to $19.99. The former is $14.99, and the order is for both figures. A foreign imported fox, clearly a different plushie, is currently unavailable and unpriced.

If you want a plushie of a talking fox (but how will you know it’s supposed to be of a talking fox?), here you go.

RainFurrest 2016 cancelled after failure to find venue

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

RainFurrest 2016 logo Washington state furry convention RainFurrest 2016 has been cancelled, after failing to find a suitable venue for this year's event.

Historically based in Seattle, RainFurrest's former chair posted a strong warning last October that the acts of some of the 2704 attendees had jeopardized the convention's relationship with the Hilton airport hotel, resulting in uncertainty about future events.

Convention staff had previously posted apologizing for not giving more feedback, discussing rumors about a move to Spokane, and noting the board's decision to discuss contracts there. Last month saw posts about travel, hotels and recreation, and, on January 30, the opening of registration and the announcement that RainFurrest's parent organization was now a 501(c)(3) non-profit. All these posts have now been removed from the convention's website.

Update (20 Feb): Former con-chair buni has posted a post-mortem of the challenges faced in attempting to organize RainFurrest 2016.

See also: Hotel management doesn't care what your fursona is

2015 Ursa Major Awards: Only two weeks left to nominate

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Ursa Major Awards logo by Foxenawolf Have you nominated your choices for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards, for the best new anthropomorphic releases of 2015 in eleven categories? Nominations close on February 29, in only two weeks.

The categories are Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series, and so on for Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work (anthologies, collections, non-fiction and art books), Graphic Story, Comic Strip, Magazines, Published Illustration, Game and Website. Works first published or released during the 2015 calendar year are eligible. You may make up to five nominations in each category.

Nominations opened on January 14 (the first day of Further Confusion 2016) and have been going on for a month. The nominations will be tallied between March 1 and March 14. The final ballot, consisting of the five titles in each category that receive the most nominations, will be announced on March 15, and voting will take place until April 30. All those who send in nominations will be registered as eligible to vote on the final ballot. Those who did not nominate but wish to vote on the final ballot may register to do so.

Opinion: Hotel management doesn't care what your fursona is

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (10 votes)

In 2002, I wrote an article here about the problematic side of furry fandom, and what we needed to do about it. In 2007 I gave the fandom positive grades for progress made. In 2011 I praised the fandom for it's growth and outreach while also cautioning that growth can also come with its own difficulties. But now I fear that I need to talk to the fandom again.

The fandom has grown. With that comes a growth in the number of idiots and trouble makers, so risk isn't a hypothetical anymore. Damaging chairs, wrecking public areas, inappropriate conduct and a return to the "squick the mundanes" attitude that I'd hoped we'd moved beyond. This has already resulted in the failure of one major convention, Rainfurrest, and we need to all act to prevent it from happening to another.

'Sing' first teaser trailer

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Here is the first teaser trailer for Illumination Entertainment’s Sing, from the studio that brought us two (so far) Despicable Me features and one (so far) Minions feature, and that is going to bring us The Secret Life of Pets.

Despicable Me, Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets are all set in the human world. Sing takes place in a totally anthro world, like Disney's Zootopia. Are any of us planning theater parties, like there are to see Zootopia, when Sing comes out on December 21, 2016?

Video Review: 'The Furry Future', edited by Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Isiah reviews The Furry Future.

See also: Review by dronon.

Furry podcast ‘Fur What It’s Worth’ to be joined by Margaret Cho, seeks questions from furry fandom at large

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Fur What It's Worth A press release has been issued from the podcast Fur What It's Worth.

Fur What It's Worth has announced it is being joined by well-known comedienne and activist Margaret Cho for its next recording session of the current season. The episode's topic, based on Ms. Cho's humanitarian/activist work and comedy routines, is "Giving Back While Laughing (with Margaret Cho)". The show has invited any and all furries at large to participate in the episode by sending their questions, comments and relevant stories to the show by 12:01 A.M. Mountain Time (GMT-7) on February 24, 2016. Submissions are encouraged to be related to the episode topic, but, as the show press release stresses, are not required to be. The show cast is committed to sharing as many submissions as possible with Ms. Cho.

"We would like to have the [furry] fandom come out and really show some love for Ms. Cho. She's been supportive of our fandom and a wonderful ambassador when the need has arisen. This is our chance to show her how much of a difference she's made in everyone's individual lives, furry or not, just by having tons of submissions. Email or even better, a voice clip, will really make this a memorable show!" said Roo, one of the show hosts.

Interested listeners can catch the episode on release day through the Fur What It's Worth website at www.furwhatitsworth.com, iTunes, Stitcher, and other major podcatchers. The episode is scheduled for release on Sunday, March 6, 2016. Those wishing to submit an email or voice clip to the episode should send their submission to cast@furwhatitsworth.com.

Upcoming furry comics for March 2016

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

I couldn't get a hold of a Marvel Previews this month, so none of those this time. This is month of the Squirrel Girl/Howard the Duck crossover, so that's kind of unfortunate. Oh, well.

See also: December 2015 - January 2016 - February 2016

Review: 'No Evil' animated video series

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

A coyote shakes a fox by the shoulders. No Evil is an animated series of short videos by Betsy Lee (aka Warlord of Noodles), featuring a group of anthropomorphic animal spirits inspired by Aztec mythology and folklore from all across North and South America. Throw in the influence of literary, historical and folk heroes, and you've got a great mix of characters. (Click on the thumbnails for larger images.)

The story involves the spirits trying to deal with the return of a dark, spreading entity that causes a deadly sleeping sickness, which they call the Black Tezcatlipoca, or "black ick" for short, except it's just one problem amongst many that they're having to deal with, such as escalating tensions between the nearby villages.