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Review: 'Bunnicula, A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery' by Deborah and James Howe

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

A book cover, showing a rabbit that looks similar to Dracula the vampire.In the days before mobile phones and the Internet, people would have to have conversations with their pets to keep themselves from going insane. That's how it is with the Monroes, a nuclear family with two young children, two careers, and two pets: a cat (Chester) and a dog (Harold).

And every day, when the family members head out of the house, they leave their pets unsupervised to indulge in their vices. Chester reads horror stories; Harold daydreams about food. Life is perfect.

Until the day the Monroes go to a Dracula film, and come home with a little fluffy bundle of a rabbit in a shoebox full of dirt.

Review: 'The Secret Life of Pets', Cute and colourful fluff

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

A dog sits in front of a door, waiting for its owner to come home.The Secret Life of Pets [trailer] is the first of two animated movies released in 2016 from Illumination Studios, most known for its films Despicable Me and Minions.

Compared with their competition at Disney and Pixar, Illumination relies less on strong storytelling and instead leans more heavily towards pure charm to make their movies successful. In the past, they've accomplished this with cute and colourful characters, and a child-friendly sense of humour.

With that history in mind, The Secret Life of Pets continues its studio's charm offensive, compensating well for a bland and forgettable story.

Review: 'The Secret Life of Pets', animated film

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (10 votes)

A group of pets stare at a cityscape. The Secret Life of Pets [trailer] is Illumination Entertainment's latest CG animated film offering, released on July 8, 2016. It's an entertaining comedy that's been doing quite well at the box office. I went to a weekday early evening screening, and the theater was packed with about an equal mix of adults and kids. Everyone seemed to enjoy it!

The story starts in an apartment building in Manhattan. Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is a terrier who adores his owner, a young woman named Katie. One day she brings home a second dog, a huge, shaggy brown Newfoundland named Duke. Max and Duke don't get along at all. Their conflict results in them getting lost in the city, avoiding animal control officers and a gang of abandoned pets led by an insane white rabbit named Snowball. Meanwhile, the other pets from the apartment building embark on a quest to find them, led by Gidget, a white pomeranian.

In Memoriam: RonRon the YouTube fox

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

Internet-famous vulpine Ron the Fox, well known for the YouTube videos depicting his life, passed away in his sleep on April 6 (video), just ten days before his eighth birthday.

Former owner Albi Azul says he found Ron curled peacefully under his favourite picnic table. Albi had hoped to film an episode commemorating his channel reaching 100,000 subscribers; the award arrived just a few days too late.

News of Ron's death was widely distributed, and inspired art from many furry fans, including crashheart, Muzz, azora and Haru; it also received coverage in the Irish Examiner.

A combination "thank-you" and "memorial" video clip was uploaded on the morning of April 9, but be warned: it is very depressing: Goodbye, silly RonRon, sleep tight.

2016 movie showdown, part 5: Zootopia vs. The Secret Life of Pets

Zootopia
78% (14 votes)
The Secret Life of Pets
22% (4 votes)
Votes: 18

Trailer: 'The Secret Life of Pets'

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

And we've just become furry Variety.

Illumination Entertainment has released a trailer for The Secret Life of Pets, due summer of 2016, "a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day," according to Illumination's own description.

Given how jam-packed 2016 is with fully anthropomorphic animal movies, the fact that this movie only features talking animals makes it feel like almost a footnote (Finding Dory is another 2016 movie with "only" talking animals that would in any other year be the upcoming furry movie, but is also dealt with as an after thought, if at all). That being said, at the very least skip to the pogoing poodle at the end of the trailer.

Update (11/25): A second, Christmas themed trailer highlighting characters has been released.

Ordinary House Pets… NOT

More from MIPCOM. Aurore Damant is a former Gobelins student (if you don’t know who they are, every animation fan should!) who is now a professional character designer and art director. His latest project is called Zip Zip, produced in France by Go-N Productions. The premise is simple: A group of forest animals see that human civilization is encroaching on their habitat, and they figure if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And so they conspire to disguise themselves as regular domestic house pets using zip-up costumes. Easy, yes? The show has debuted in France and it’s currently looking for international buyers to distribute it. Mr. Damant has several screen shots up on his blog to see.

image c. 2014 Go-N

image c. 2014 Go-N

Straight from The Hub

Hoping to duplicate the success they found with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (admit it, you know it’s true!) IDW now brings us Littlest Pet Shop in full-color comic book form.  Animal-talker Blythe and her multi-species compadres are off on adventures all over Downtown City on their famous polka-dot moped. The series is written by Georgia Ball (My Little Pony) with art by Nico Pena and Antonio Campo (Penguins of Madagascar). The IDW web site has more. There’s also a variant cover version by Katie Cook (My Little Pony).

image c. 2014 IDW Publishing

image c. 2014 IDW Publishing

Ponies and Vampires and Ghosts, Oh My…

And now for something… pretty darn different. Part of the Vamplets line of “cute horror” comics from Action Lab Entertainment, this time with a funny animal twist in Vamplets: Undead Pet Society. “The Legend of the Ghost Pony begins here in this terrifyingly sweet installment from Hasbro designer/illustrator of My Little Pony, Gayle Middleton! Ghost Ponies have been the harbingers of the weird for years. Whenever they appear, creatures near have disappeared, never to return. Where do they come from? What is their terrible secret? And what is the Ghost Pony’s connection to a vampyre baby named Lily Rose Shadowlyn?” You can head out to your local comic book shop right now and find out.

image c. 2014 Action Lab

image c. 2014 Action Lab

All the Mightiest Pets

After a successful run of the DC Super Pets comic book series, now DC comics bring us the DC Super Pets Character Encyclopedia, coming later this month as a full-color trade paperback.  This is from the pre-order page at Amazon: “Every super hero needs a Super-Pet! This illustrated encyclopedia features in-depth profiles, stats, and history about the DC Super-Pets and their owners. From Superman’s loyal dog, Krypto, to Batman’s heroic hound, Ace the Bat-Dog, this guide to the Worlds Greatest Pets has more than 200 DC characters, including many never-before-seen pets, all illustrated in Art Baltazar’s Eisner Award-winning style! With an introduction by legendary creator Geoff Johns, the DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia is sure to please comic book lovers young and old.” Not to forget, the text is written by Steve Korte. Take a closer look at the cover and you get an idea just how many animal characters are included here! [And with that, we'll see you all after San Diego Comic Con!]


image c. 2013 DC Comics

Furry con surveyed on porn, fantasy, pets, politics & bronies

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (6 votes)

International Anthropomorphic Research Project logoResults have been released from an Anthropomorphic Research Project survey of 455 furs taken at Furry Fiesta 2013.

  • 78% of females and 96% of males report viewing furry porn. Both groups underestimated both figures by 8-12%.
  • Increasing furriness indicated a tendency to use fantasy for various purposes, including escapism, but didn't indicate blurring of reality, or an inability to have fun, self-motivate, fulfil needs, socialize, or cope with problems without fantasy.
  • Female furs had less sexual roleplay, owned less pornography, viewed it less frequently, and felt it had less influence on their joining the fandom. They also saw pornography as more openly discussed within the fandom.
  • Furries overestimated the positivity of both male and female furs towards furry porn: males tended to be positive or mixed, while over 20% of females had a negative view. 51% of furs preferred porn over general furry artwork; 17% had the opposite view. ~55% saw non-furry pornography in a negative light; some males only view furry porn.
  • Non-brony furs rated bronies less positively (50) than furries (79) or non-furs (61).
  • Furries are very liberal on social matters, but more moderate on economic topics.
  • Therians anthropomorphise animals more than non-therian furs; those strongly identifying as furries gave human characteristics to both regular and stuffed animals.

Around half of those participating chose to join the group's three-year longitudinal study.

On [adjective][species]: JM revisits Dr. Gerbasi's original studyNuka responds

Season 3 of 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' plus 'Littlest Pet Shop' to premiere November 10

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

MLP:FIM Crystal EmpireEntertainment Weekly has announced the release date – November 10, at 10AM – for the apparently delayed season three premiere of cult cartoon hit My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It also revealed that The Hub, MLP:FiM's home channel, will follow the pony premiere with the series premiere of The Littlest Pet Shop. [tip: XyroTR1/EQD]

This likely accounts for the apparent delay. The heavily-anticipated MLP:FiM season premiere is expected to draw a large audience, who may stick around for the Littlest Pet Shop premiere. Both shows are of interest to furry fans, as they feature anthropomorphic animal casts.

See also: Two MLP:FiM DVDs coming in December

Here Come the Hero Petz

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!

Suddenly there is much ado about Hero Petz, written by Dale Mettam and illustrated by Juan Fleites. First off, a quick recap from the original series: “Even as the evil Itachi Clan of ninja weasels tightens its grasp on Peludo City, six heroes — okay, five heroes and a crazy Monkey — stand ready to defend the innocent and fight for justice. El Conejito the Rabbit; Wonder Squirrel; Steel Shell the Turtle; Sensei Penguin-San; Kapitan Brüllaffe the Monkey; and Golden Hamster are the Hero Petz! Together, they take it upon themselves to keep watch over the city and protect the innocent!” First off, this June Stan Lee’s Kids Universe is re-releasing the original 80-page graphic novel (from 1821 Comics) in trade paperback. Also, there’s a video trailer for a new Hero Petz video game — as well as several fan reviews — up on YouTube.


image c. 2012 by Juan Fleites

Interview: Kay Fedewa on DomesticFox.com

Your rating: None Average: 4 (11 votes)

I interview video game artist Kay Fedewa, importer of domesticated foxes from Russia. My questions and comments are not to be taken seriously.

AnyaIsiah Jacobs: Good evening, ma'am, thank you so much for coming on to the show, it's a pleasure to have you here!

Kay Fedewa: Oh anytime, it's an honor.

Isiah Jacobs: So, you are currently in charge of a program called The Domestic Fox. Could you please briefly explain what this program does?

Kay Fedewa: In short, we work with the Russian Institute of Cytology and Genetics, and with people interested in buying foxes from them. We sort out all the import and export documentation, licenses, transport costs, vaccinations, etc. and deliver foxes from the institute to their new owners.

Isiah Jacobs: As I understand it, this institute has been working on domesticating foxes for the past roughly sixty years or so. You do know that it wasn't called Russia back then, right?

Kay Fedewa: Yes and actually after the Soviet Union broke up, the government funding for this experiment disappeared along with it. They've been struggling to keep this going since then.

Brave Pets vs. the Undead

Who says there aren’t any original ideas anymore? Even if they involve combining other ideas, still: “In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, a small band of animals, led by a hyper-intelligent Golden Retriever named Rex, and accompanied by a baseball bat-wielding gorilla, begin their cross-country journey in the hope of finding safety…and a home.” It’s Rex: Zombie Killer, a brand new double-thick one-shot comic book that’s coming soon from Big Dog Ink. Written by Rob Anderson and illustrated in full color by Dafu Yu, it’s scheduled for release (escape?) in early April. Check out the Rex: Zombie Killer web site to meet all the characters and find out more about the comic.


image c. 2012 Big Dog Ink