The July issue of Animation Magazine featured the 2012 Pitch Party, which has become an annual event. The idea is simple: Entrants purchase a 1/16th-page ad in the magazine, and submit a one-panel “pitch” for a new animated TV series or feature. A panel of animation industry experts, the staff of Animation Magazine, and on-line readers each get a chance to pick their favorites. Those industry folk this year included names from Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, PBS, and the Hub among others. And the top pick from both those bigwigs and the Animation staff was Jimmy Legs: The Down and Out Frog, created by Daniel Contois — the story of a cartoon frog living in America following a nuclear apocalypse. Oh what fun!
The Cartoon Brew website says that Parler le Fracas, a 4:26-minute French music video created by Wasaru for Le Peuple de l’Herbe, is sort of an update of Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Put the emphasis on “sort of”; fat pig capitalists oppressing other-animal workers have been a common image of communistic (as distinct from Communist) propaganda since long before Orwell. Be that as it may, this is superficially anthropomorphic, although it feels more like humans in cheap animal-head masks.
The Cartoon Brew website has posted Metro, a 2011 student film directed by Jake Wyatt and produced by him and others at the Brigham Young University for Animation.
It is a 4:45 minute cartoon that does not become anthropomorphic until its last moments, but it is a charming animal fantasy for most of its length.
Did I ever tell you that I once wrote a movie script? It was Furry, too.
This was twenty-five years ago, in 1987. Clearance Papers was only a 9-minute amateur film – an embarrassingly amateurish amateur film – but for a two-man effort, it wasn’t too bad.
Pixar is not the only studio that can make movies about anthropomorphic toys. The Cartoon Brew website announces that on September 7, indy distributor Hannover House will release an English-language dub of Czech director Jiří Barta’s 2009 feature Na půdě (In the Attic) in America, as Toys in the Attic. This is a mixed feature combining stop-motion puppetry, 2D cartoon animation, and live action.
It’s an analogy based on the cultural and political contrasts of the Cold War era; the world of the attic is divided into the land of happy toys in the West and the Land of Evil in the East.
After a few years and much talk, Dreamworks Animation are ready to premier their new TV series Dragons: Riders of Berk. Re-named from the more simple Dragons, this new series brings us further adventures of the young viking Hiccup, his dragon friend Toothless, and other characters from the Ursa Major Award-winning feature film How to Train Your Dragon. Jay Baruchel (as Hiccup), America Ferrera (as Astrid), and several other voice actors from the feature film reprise their roles for this new TV series. Unlike previous Dreamworks series like The Penguins of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, this new Dragons series will be shown on Cartoon Network instead of Nickelodeon. A special preview episode will air on Cartoon Network starting Tuesday, August 7th. Check out their Wikipedia entry too.
The Cartoon Brew website announces that the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts Gallery is presenting an exhibit, “DreamWorlds: Behind the Scenes, Production Art from DreamWorks Animation” from July 30 through September 7.
DreamWorks’ works include more than just anthropomorphic animals, of course (Prince of Egypt, anyone?), but there has been SO MUCH anthropomorphization in its 24 features!
The exhibition includes more than one hundred digital prints and approximately thirty traditional paintings and drawings on paper; two miniature sets; three character maquettes; two set pieces – an 8′ high Kung Fu Panda “Po” statue and the new Rise of the Guardians standee; and three media stations displaying animation tests, stereo footage, and the Rise of the Guardians trailer. There will also be a contemporary animation work station on display, with demonstrations given by current Hench-DADA students.
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London have generated considerable coverage. The Cartoon Brew website presents “Olympic Vermin”, an animated anthropomorphic take of squirrels, pigeons, rats, and other urban wildlife running their own torch relay through the city.
Stylized angular animation overlaid on live-action footage, by Amaël Isnard and Leo Bridle at London’s Beakus studio.
Animation Xpress for 24 July reports that the four The Jungle Gang films are out, starring Bo, the bar-headed goose; Kuttu, the Slender Loris; and Bhoora, the blackbuck.
The Jungle Gang is the first Indian wildlife film series that has been made exclusively for children and young adults. The series has been created by Earthcare Films of Krishnendu Bose and financially supported by WWF-India.
“Jungle Gang is a fusion of CGI and live action wildlife footage shot in some of the most iconic National Parks of India.” The films are 15 minute each. “Bo is portrayed as a Ms. Know-it-all, Kuttu as a witty joker and Bhoora as a wide-eyed kid and foodie.”
The Cartoon Brew presents a 5:41 minute Western featuring anthro pies, muffins, cupcakes, quiches, and other baked goods. A CGI student film by Adam Campbell, Elizabeth McMahill, and Uri Lotan of Sarasota, Florida’s Ringling College of Art and Design.
This month, nothing new is going on in the circuit, so I have devised a thought experiment to try and guess what movies might have been nominated and won Best Animated Feature if it had always existed as an Oscar category.
Cartoon Brew reports that animator/director Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) was giving out this colored print for The Croods, the coming 2013 Disney animated feature, at the Comic-Con last week. We don't know yet if any of its animals are anthropomorphic, but there are enough exotic non-human critters to please most Furry fans.
This article is enlarged from a chronology originally printed for an exhibition at L.A.con III, the fifty-fourth annual World Science Fiction Convention, 29 August–2 September 1996, at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California. It was originally published in Yarf! #46, January 1997. Yarf! published it separately online, where it has been a valuable Furry historical reference for fifteen years, with links to it from Wikipedia, WikiFur, the Furry News Network, and many other websites.
In February 2012, Yarf! disappeared without warning from the Internet, and all the links to this chronology stopped working. To restore it to the Internet, Flayrah has agreed to reprint it, slightly revised and with illustrations.
There is no single specific date or event that can lay claim to being the birth of furry fandom. However, there is general agreement that it was around late 1983 or early 1984 that furry fans coalesced out of SF fandom and comics fandom and began an independent identity.
Evergreen Media Group has acquired the rights to Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, a cartoon series from the 1960s. Courageous Cat, created by comic book artist Bob Kane, was a parody of Kane's better-known creation: Batman.
Courageous Cat and his sidekick were a crime-fighting duo who lived in the Cat Cave, and, when summoned by the Cat Signal, would race to the scene of the crime in their red Cat Mobile. Courageous Cat would then fight the bad guys with his all-purpose Cat Gun.