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Germany

Say auf wiedersehen to the meerkat detectives

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Meerkly.jpgDo you read German? I don’t.

I have been occasionally checking to see whether any more of the German murder mysteries featuring animal private detectives have been translated into English. Sadly, all we’ve gotten is three of Akif Pirinçci’s eight hard-boiled cat murder mysteries (Felidae and two of its sequels featuring Francis – you’ve probably seen the German “Felidae” animated feature), and the first of Leonie Swann’s Agatha Christie-like sheep murder mysteries (“Three Bags Full” featuring Miss Maple, the cleverest sheep in Glenkill, maybe in all Ireland, maybe in the world). There have not been any translations of the murder mysteries investigated by dog detectives, pig detectives, goose detectives, parrot detectives, and more. Now it looks like the series by Moritz Matthies starring Ray and Rufus, the meerkat detectives from the Berlin Zoo, has reached its final volume with “Letzte Runde” (“Last Round”) from Fischer Verlag (March 2017, 304 pages).

Animated film: Happy Family

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Max the wolf-boy.Happy Family (IMDB page) is a 2017 animated movie from Germany, about a family that gets turned into monsters by a witch. It looks like a mashup of The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Hotel Transylvania.

Warner Bros. funded the production, and are distributing it in Europe and Latin America, presumably to be followed by direct-to-DVD sales in the U.S. in 2018. It's based on a book by David Safier.

Is it furry? Well, the family includes a kid who's a wolf-boy, there are talking bats, and VAMPIRES! (Boo.)

Review: 'Furries: Enacting Animal Anthropomorphism', by Carmen Dobre

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'Furries', by CarmenDobre

Furries gives a candid commentary that reveals details about 'fursuits', 'fursonas' and the 'furry fandom'. Award winning photographer Carmen Dobre continues her examination of 'furries', who they are and how they perceive themselves. Documentary style portraits alongside one-to-one interviews reveal the intriguing passions of people whose human identity is challenged by their love of their chosen animal persona/fursona. The first colour illustrated book featuring an international cross-section of individuals who choose to dress as animals and why. (blurb)

Leave it to Academia to get it almost but not quite right. Furry fandom is about more than just the furry lifestylers, of course, but this artistic collection of photo-interviews with fifteen fursuiters (and their mates) does get all genuine furry lifestylers. Each portrait identifies the British, Dutch, French, or German lifestyler in an average of two pages of text, followed by eight pages of beautifully-posed full-colour photographs; two of the fan posed in his home or apartment, a closeup or two of his fursuit, and four or five of his messy home. Most of the fursuiters look like typical college students living in batchelor apartments, including those married and long out of college.

Plymouth, Devon, UK, University of Plymouth Press, October 2012, trade paperback £17 (150 [+ 2] pages; illustrated). Foreword by Valerie Reardon.

'The Night of the Rabbit' to be released on May 29

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The Night of the Rabbit box artThe Night of the Rabbit, an upcoming release by German game developer Daedalic Entertainment, tells the story of Jerry Hazelnut, a twelve-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a wizard.

As his summer vacation winds down, Jerry meets the Marquis de Hoto, a magical anthropomorphic rabbit in a snappy suit. He offers to take Jerry on as an apprentice and to teach him the ways of the Treewalkers, who use a special type of magic to conjure up portals and travel between worlds. As a demonstration, de Hoto leads his apprentice through a tree portal into Mousewood, a peaceful world inhabited by anthro mice, squirrels, and other critters, which acts as a hub to reach further worlds.

Poster gallery: 'Cartoon Funny Animals Won the War'

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Daffy Duck and Goofy with USA flagJerry Beck at the Cartoon Brew has posted this gallery of sixteen World War II-related funny animal comic book covers.

This goes nicely with my retrospective, “Talking Animals in World War II Propaganda”, published here last January 5th.

Fursuit vignette: 'Merry XXXmas from Room 366'

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I did not vote for Bitter Lake, but I will for this 2’54” December 2012 video Christmas card! An intelligent film, designed for the limitations of fursuits, by Reeve, EZwolf, and Shay, with music by Fox Amoore. It is already on the UMA's 2012 Recommended Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series list.

Video: German fursuiter proves sky no limit in tandem dive

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German fursuiter Keenora, clearly not satisfied with bungee jumping, has participated in a tandem skydive in full suit, with video coverage produced by BigBlueFox. [Skippyfox]

Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany

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Anthropomorphic fiction branches from a long tradition of mythic literature. When considering its roots, you may think of Aesop's Fables, or the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. (My pick for most interesting would be Andrew Lang, who "examined the origins of totemism.")

The discovery of 500 previously-lost fairy tales may add their collector, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810-1886), to the list.

Retrospective: Talking animals in World War II propaganda

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SuperKattYou are probably thinking of the USA's World War II propaganda animated cartoons. There were certainly lots of them!

Long articles could be (and have been) written on the adventures of Donald and Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Gandy Goose and Homer Pigeon. In the last decade, most American propaganda cartoons have been re-released on DVD, so we can see them for ourselves; they are also on YouTube.

Volumes could also be written of the wartime funny-animal comic book and newspaper comic strip characters who fought the Axis, usually on the Home Front against saboteurs and hoarders. World War II's talking-animal propaganda novels are less well-known. In fact, they are forgotten today except in movie-adaptation credits. That’s too bad, as the books are still enjoyable reading.

Nazi talking dogs

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Wikipedia has a new article about Nazi experiments to train dogs to talk. The trainers claimed that one dog, when asked who Adolf Hitler was, would answer, "Mein Fuhrer".

The article is based upon a May 2011 book, Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities, by Jan Bondeson, which covers "talking dogs" back to the eighteenth century.

WikiFur moves to Germany to quell legal threats

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WikiFurRunning a furry encyclopedia isn't all fun and barnstars. Over the past five years, WikiFur's administrators have been faced with edit wars, trolls, spam, exclusion requests, profit-seeking hosts, battles over WikiFur's service mark – and above all, constant legal threats, including the dreaded DMCA takedown request.

It all got too much for site founder GreenReaper, who moved WikiFur to Germany last weekend.

Editors hope the move will resolve the site's legal issues, as none of its law-loving detractors – all from the USA, UK or Canada - can use German.

Video: Fjordwolf's 'Furrytale'

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German fursuit builder, author and Zeta-Pride organizer Fjordwolf tells us of the solitary life of one fur and his dog in A Furrytale. [Diadexxus/furrymedia]

Also recorded by Oddisee is The Naked Bunch, following a group of naked hikers in the Alps.

Fjordwolf's book, Mein Fruend Nobody ("My Friend Nobody"), is currently sold out; however, a sample story is available. He has also produced several music videos involving fursuiters.

Video: European fursuiters demonstrate Microsoft Kinect

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Kotaku spotted a couple of fursuiters at a Gamescom demonstration of Microsoft's motion-capture system, Kinect (previously "Project Natal").

Shivon is taking his turn while Keenora grabs a break after the previous dance.

Nordic Furdance hits Hamburg tomorrow

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Nordic Furdance

The first Nordic Furdance (translation) begins in just over 17 hours.
The party will be held on the third floor of the Catonium from 19:00.

69 attendees are expected in Hamburg for a night of dance, fursuits and glow sticks modeled after the Cologne Furdance.

At-the-door entry costs €15. Water, glucose and showers are available for fursuiters.

WikiFur launches in German

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WikiFur

WikiFur was especially active this week with the arrival of a German-language sister project founded by Eurofurence media contact o'wolf. Also recently started is WikiFur's Czech-language version, founded in mid-August by local fur Xkun with assistance from Lokosicek.

Close to a hundred German articles have been created in the first week, many with the aid of automatic translation tools. Some completely new articles on European topics, such as the Schweizer Stammtisch, have been translated from German to English.