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The 2016 Ursa Major Award winners

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The 2016 Ursa Majors Awards logo.The 2016 Ursa Major Awards have been announced on Friday afternoon, June 30th at the Anthrocon convention in Pittsburgh. The Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic fiction of the past calendar year, are presented in twelve categories by the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), and are voted upon by the public on the Ursa Major Awards website.

Time to nominate the 2016 Ursa Major Awards!

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Ursa Major Awards logoFrom January 12 to February 28, 2017, it's time to nominate your favorite furry creations for the 2016 Ursa Major Awards!

Is there a furry comic, story, movie, video, podcast, or anything else with furry content that brightened your day last year? Nominate it – don't put it off until the last minute!

You can nominate up to five things in each of twelve categories. If you're unsure what to nominate, check out the 2016 Recommendations… and you can nominate titles that aren't on that list! It's there to give ideas, to help you find furry stuff that you might not have heard of.

Sometimes, a Nomination or a Recommendation feels like it fits into more than one category. You can browse previous years (like the 2015 Recommendations) to see where something should go. As of 2016 there's a new category: Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work.

2015 Ursa Major Award winners announced

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Ursa Major Awards 2015 winners The results of the 2015 Ursa Major Awards were announced at a presentation ceremony at What the Fur 2016 in Montreal, Quebec on May 20, 2016. 1,157 people voted.

Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture

  • Inside Out (Directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen; June 19)

Runners-Up

2015 Ursa Major Award final ballot

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Ursa Major Awards logo by FoxenawolfVoting for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards, for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of the 2015 calendar year in eleven categories, is now open. The voting is open from March 15 to April 30. The awards will be announced at a presentation ceremony at What the Fur 2016, in Montreal, Quebec, on May 20-22, 2016.

The eleven categories are: Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short or Series, Best Anthropomorphic Novel, Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction, Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work, Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story, Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip, Best Anthropomorphic Magazine, Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration, Best Anthropomorphic Game and Best Anthropomorphic Website.

Voting is open to all! To vote, go to the Ursa Major Awards website and click on "Voting for 2015" at the left. You will receive instructions on how to register to vote. You do not have to vote in every category. Please vote in only those categories in which you feel knowledgeable.

This final ballot has been compiled from those works receiving the most nominations that were eligible. Please check the dates of publication next year to make sure that your nominations are only for works published during the calendar year (January through December) in question.

Update (22 May): The results have been announced.

Review: 'No Evil' animated video series

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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.

2015 Ursa Major Awards: Only two weeks left to nominate

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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.

2015 Recommended Reading List closed

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxThe 2015 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List is now closed.

Many nominations for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards are likely to come from the 2015 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List, which has been built up through prior recommendations. The awards are selected by a two-stage process of nominating and voting. Members of the public send in up to five nominations in each of the eleven categories. The top five nominees in each category (more in case of a tie) are then presented on a final ballot for a public vote. Inclusion on the List is not necessary for nomination if a work is otherwise eligible; first published during January to December 2015.

Nominations take place between January 14 (the first day of Further Confusion 2016) and February 29. The nominations will be tallied between March 1 and March 14. The final ballot 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.

The voting will be counted, the winners’ trophies prepared, and the results will be announced at the Ursa Major awards presentation at a ceremony at What the Fur 2016, at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Pointe-Claire, Montreal Airport, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on May 20-22.

The Ursa Major Awards and Recommended List are administered by the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA). For information, and to nominate beginning on January 14 and to vote beginning on March 15, go to http://www.ursamajorawards.org/.

2015 Anthropomorphic Reading List, December update

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by Heather BrutonThe ALAA’s 2015 Anthropomorphic Recommended Reading List has already had its November update, and will post its December update in a week. This includes all of the anthropomorphic works published or released during 2015 that have been submitted by someone as being worth reading, looking at, or playing. Look it over and see if you have been missing anything.

If there is any 2015 work that you feel is worth recommending that is not on the List, please hurry and submit it to recommended@ursamajorawards.org.

Call for help: We have a recommendation of Teagan Gavet’s wraparound cover for the EuroFurence 21 Conbook for Published Illustration, but this does not appear to be posted on the Internet. Would someone who has the EuroFurence 21 Conbook please scan the cover and post it on the Internet so we can link to it and everyone can see it?

2015 Anthropomorphic Recommended List, October 15 update

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by Heather BrutonThe ALAA’s 2015 Anthropomorphic Recommended List has been updated from August to October 15. This includes all of the anthropomorphic works published or released during 2015 that have been submitted by someone as being worth reading, looking at, or playing. Look it over and see if you have been missing anything.

If there is any 2015 work that you feel is worth recommending that is not on here, please submit it for the next update to recommended@ursamajorawards.org. It is almost the end of 2015, so do not delay!

2015 Anthropomorphics Reading List: August 8 update

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by Heather BrutonThe Anthropomorphics Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2015 Anthropomorphics Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through August 8. 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 2015, if they are not already on the list. Send in your recommendations to recommended@ursamajorawards.org, and read the List to see what other fans have recommended.

Nominations for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards, in the same eleven categories, will open on 14 January 2016 (the first day of Further Confusion 2016) and will be accepted until 28 February. Don’t miss this opportunity to nominate the titles that you felt have been the best anthropomorphic movies, novels, comic strips and books, websites, games, etc. of 2015 for the Awards. And don’t forget to vote when the polls open on 15 March.

Creatures of New York City

Making quite a buzz at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was a series of animated shorts made for television and the web, of all things. Animals is a black & white, minimally-animated series which “follows various New York City creatures as they get into awkward (and sometimes deadly) encounters with one another.” The series was created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano, two employees at a commercial production house who took some time off to make little animals talk to each other. Check out the Animals web site to see what the fuss is about.

image c. 2015 by Phil Matarese/Mike Luciano

image c. 2015 by Phil Matarese / Mike Luciano

Peace On Earth

In an interesting article over at Cartoon Brew, writer Scott Thill discusses a notable animated cartoon short — which is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The amazing thing is that it was made at all. Peace on Earth was created at MGM Animation (the home of Tom & Jerry) and directed by Hugh Harman. Despite the objections of MGM executive Fred Quimby, the film was finished: And for a cartoon finished right before the outbreak of World War II, it’s quite surprising. An elderly squirrel (voiced by an un-credited Mel Blanc) tells his young grand-kids the story of the end of human-kind in a terrible war… and how the animals, directed by the Bible, re-built the world and declared an end to conflicts and fighting of all kinds. An end which they celebrate and renew every year at Christmas. Seriously, go check it out at the bottom of the article. This film is very hard to find — but likely, it should be seen a lot more.

image c. 2014 Cartoon Brew

image c. 2014 Cartoon Brew

'Kaze, Ghost Warrior' released for free; new series to be introduced at Anthrocon 2014

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The full verison of Kaze, Ghost Warrior (2004; Flayrah review) has been released to YouTube, in advance of a panel at Anthrocon 2014 covering a planned successor series.

E. Amadhia Albee: On Friday, July 4th at Anthrocon from 3-4pm in room DLCC 319-321, after a short retrospective about where the search for Hollywood funding succeeded and where it failed, we will be introducing the production team behind Kaze: Winds of Change, the new series that chronicles the love between Kaze and 'Bay, and the fall of the Kenmai dynasty.

We will be announcing an open casting call for the remaining parts in episodes 1 & 2 (scheduled for release at FurWAG in early October of this year), and we will be sharing a teaser recording of some of our principal cast doing a read-through of one of the scenes from the upcoming episodes. Close to 4p, we will be sharing a major bit of news that will likely have great appeal to Kaze fans.

Newly published: Fred Patten's 'Funny Animals and More'

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Funny Animals and More Funny Animals and More: From Anime to Zoomorphics, based on Fred Patten’s weekly columns from Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research animation website, was published March 26 by Theme Park Press. It is available in paperback and digital formats, and on Amazon.com.

The book is about animation and comic books rather than specifically anthropomorphic animals, but cartoon and CGI funny animals are a major theme. Topics include anime cat girls; Pokémon and Monster Rancher; Astro Boy and Atomcat; how a popular 1970s anime TV series led to the import of thousands of baby North American raccoons into Japan as pets, whose descendants are ruining thousand-year-old Buddhist and Shinto shrines today; animated Summer Olympics mascots like Misha the bear cub, Sam the eagle, Hodori the tiger, and Cobi the sheepdog, from 1972 to 2012; Patten’s favorite childhood comic-book funny animals like Amster the Hamster, Doodles Duck and his nephew Lemuel, Nutsy Squirrel, Dunbar Dodo, and SuperKatt, and how he would still like to see them animated; Crusader Rabbit; rats in animation; Reynard the Fox in animation; and Disney’s forthcoming 2016 Zootopia.

Animation: 'The Polar Bears'

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A 7’21” movie? Well, they don’t say “feature”. And it is produced by Ridley Scott, directed by John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda), and CGI animated by Animal Logic, the Sydney studio that produced the two Happy Feet movies and Legend of the Guardians: The Guardians of Ga’Hoole. This is supposed to reinvigorate the Coca-Cola Polar Bears, but at least it’s free of the commercial message.

IMDb and YouTube say that this was released on December 31, 2012. ADWEEK says that it was commissioned by the Coca-Cola Company through the Creative Artists Agency (adv’t agency) of Los Angeles for an online commercial. So this has been out for over a year, but I haven’t seen it mentioned on Flayrah yet. Let’s rectify the omission.