It is no secret that the most well-known concept of unicorns is from Europe, in the Middle Ages. In stories from that time period, the creature will be a walking snorting virgin detector with a... ehem... phallic symbol on its head. The horse with one horn will be for girls, and is always male.
Enter 1968: a peculiar book comes out, the likes of which the world had never seen before. The main character is a unicorn. And it is a mare. Female. And instead of having been created by God to detect "proper maidens", she is a semi-immortal creature with a different role in the world. The story centers on her search for her kind, while exploring the concepts of emotions, immortality, and the source of the latter.
In other words, this unicorn was completely different from the existing folklore.
So how did Peter Beagle's book, and the subsequent animated adaptation, change our view of unicorns? Give us your thoughts in the comments!
Have you heard that the animated CGI 3D feature Dino Time, about three children sent back in a time machine to the age of dinosaurs, is coming on December 7th?
Animation Xpress, vol. 10 #371 for October 4 reports that Delhi Safari, the CGI animated feature about an angry monkey, a laid-back bear, a scheming parrot, a mother leopard, and her cute cub trekking across India to the human city of Delhi to protest the strip-mining of their forest, will release on around 300 screens across India on October 18. The Hindi-language feature has a strong Bollywood voice cast.
Animation Xpress has a long interview with Krayon Pictures’ Nishith Takia that shows its poster and new promotional art. “Our film has got screened at Annecy International Film Festival and has also won the best Animated Feature Film at FICCI FRAMES in India, has boosted our confidence in the way the film has come out.” The film has a positive School Contact program at over 3,000 schools across India because of its strong pro-ecology message.
Delhi Safari has been dubbed into English with an all-star cast (Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd, etc.) for an American release sometime during 2013. Its English-language trailer was shown on Flayrah last May.
This is us. Animation veteran critic Martin “Dr Toon” Goodman has just written an article for the Animation World Network on “The Animation Critic’s Art: Taking the Heat”, in which he reveals that in 2003, he was asked to name the worst Disney feature ever made. He chose Robin Hood.
This article is also pertinent to all the discussion lately on whether there should be more criticism in Furry fandom. (And don’t miss my AWN review of The Art of Rise of the Guardians.)
After years of comics, cartoons and movies, they’re still a lean, green fighting machine.
Born in 1984 as an underground comics parody of various martial arts and mutant comic books, the reptilian superhero team known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles turned 28 last May, making them a bit old to still be considered teenagers.
On Wednesday, October 17, there will be a rare screening by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in the Linwood Dunn Theatre, 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood, of the 1961/1965 Chinese feature Uproar in Heaven (also translated as Havoc in Heaven), directed by Wan Lai-Ming and Tang Cheng at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio.
This film is considered the culmination of classic Chinese animation, and was completed and won several international awards just before the Cultural Revolution tore the Shanghai studio and the entire Chinese animation industry apart.
On one hand, it’s going to be a full slate all but guaranteed. On the other hand, it’s such a weak year I am saying it’s a weak year. And, on the gripping hand, don’t expect three movies titled after talking animals in the final ballot this year. Maybe one, though.
Word has come out of Florida a few days ago that Digital Domain are closing down their new animation studio, Tradition, effective immediately, and will instead focus their California and Vancouver, Canada studios on movie special effects. Tradition was an attempt by Digital Domain (a well-known special effects house created by Stan Winston, Scott Ross, and director James Cameron) to follow in the steps of another FX house, Sony Pictureworks, into the realm of animated features (as Sony did successfully with Open Season, Surf’s Up, and other films). Now, 300 people have been let go in Florida, and — from a furry fan perspective, perhaps another sad thing — work has stopped on The Legend of Tembo, Tradition’s first film, which would have followed the adventures of a young elephant. Cartoon Brew have been following this story closely, so check it out — but be prepared for some harsh words.
The Cartoon Brew website has posted the trailer for the forthcoming French animated feature, The Day of the Crows/Le Jour des Corneilles, directed by Jean-Christophe Dessaint, to be released on 24 October.
The synopsis says nothing about it being an anthropomorphic feature, but the end of the 1:56 minute trailer (at 1:31) shows brief glimpses of animal-headed people in the forest – a tiger-man, a lynx-man, a horse-man, a frog-man, a deer-woman - “the ghosts haunting the forest”? The film reportedly received a standing ovation at the 2012 Annecy Festival.
Going by the trailer in French, this animated cartoon feature does not have enough anthropomorphic scenes to be called an anthropomorphic feature, except by very diehard fans – but, as I always say, watch the trailer and decide for yourself. Nothing is said about a forthcoming English-language release.
How many Oz movies have there been? The Wizard of Oz (1939), of course. Return to Oz (1985). Dorothy in the Land of Oz (1980). Dorothy and the Scarecrow in Oz (1910), The Land of Oz (1910), His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914), and The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914), all co-written or directed by Frank Baum himself. The Wiz (1978). The Wizard of Oz (1925), the silent version with Oliver Hardy as the Tin “Woodsman”. The Witches of Oz (2011). It’s not a movie, but the Broadway musical Wicked (2003). Does Zardoz (1974) count? Well … LOTS!
Now there is Dorothy of Oz (2013?), produced by Prana Studios in Los Angeles and Mumbai with a pretty impressive voice cast.
Are they anthropomorphic? Thank Roscoe there is nothing like them in real life!
There has been so much successful anthopomorphization in animation in the last few years that we tend to forget that anthropomorphization can be done in full-body suits, too – and I don’t mean fursuits! The Oogieloves are a throwback to Barney the purple dinosaur or H.R. Pufnstuf, except that Sid & Marty Krofft did it better back in 1969.
The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure, released in over 2,000 theaters on “Oogust” 29, features Goobie, Zoozie, and Toofie (they’re anthropomorphic somethings!) who live in Lovelyloveville, in a feature that encourages the audience to talk, sing, and dance in the aisles while the movie is going on; with cameos by live-action Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Lloyd, Cary Elwes, Jaime Presley, Chazz Palminteri, and others.
The distributor is Kenn Viselmann, the former producer of Thomas the Tank Engine and Teletubbies, which will tell you what age group he is aiming for (old enough to sing and dance in the aisles; too young to have cel phones).
The Cartoon Brew website, which has covered this release, reports that this has gotten “disasterous reviews” (LA Times - NY Times). But Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 38% rating (Ed: now down to 30%), which means that several reviewers did like it. Hmmm. Watch the trailer and decide for yourself – if you are not too embarrassed for Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Lloyd, et al., acting like retarded idiots.
The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2012 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through the end of August. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.
All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, short fiction, other literary works, graphic stories, comic strips, magazines, published illustrations, websites, and games) first published during 2012, if they are not already on the list.
Filming of the series will take place over November 5-23, and will mostly occur in Adelaide, South Australia, with some additional filming in the Flinders Ranges. The parts to be cast include Rose (a human girl), gang members, and a family unit. In addition to these human parts, auditions will also be held for two actors to play "hybrid animal characters" in fursuits.
The deadline for applications is September 2. Extras casting will take place later, in October.
Okay, that’s enough of that, then. On to the column.
Word is out around Hollywood that 80′s favorite ALF will be coming to the big screen finally. In case you need a refresher: “ALF stands for Alien Life Form, and the ’80s sitcom centered on a friendly furry alien creature (a puppet) who crash landed on Earth and took up with the Tanners, a suburban family. ALF, whose name was later revealed as Gordon Shumway, is sarcastic and has an appetite for cats. He courts trouble with government forces that are on his tail.” According to the article in Hollywood Reporter (and elsewhere), Jordan Kerner — who produced last year’s hit movie The Smurfs — was pegged by Sony Pictures to produce the new picture. Again, it will be a live-action feature film with ALF himself as a CGI character. Tom Patchett and Paul Fusco, creators of the original TV series, will be involved as co-producers. Paul Fusco was also ALF’s main puppeteer and voice actor, and he’s expected to be the character voice for the new film as well. So far there’s no word as to a main script writer, a director, or a planned release date… but watch your cats just in case.