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Sweden

They Grow Strong in Scandinavia

If you hadn’t heard, one of Sweden’s most popular funny animals came to European movie screens in 2014. “Sweden’s most popular comic book character – the bear Bamse – now gets his first feature film. In Bamse Och Tjuvstaden (Bamse and the City of Thieves) the strongest bear in the world and his two friends Little Hopp and Shellman show that the best weapon against evil is -friendship (and a few drops of Grandma’s Thunder Honey of course).” After a popular animated TV series and several TV movies you can check out the feature film’s trailer over on YouTube. As usual, of course, there’s little chance we’ll be able to see this stuff anytime soon in North America — at least not translated!

image c. 2015 Tre Vanner Productions

image c. 2015 Tre Vanner Prod.

'Beyond Beyond' takes rabbits to the Feather King's realm

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'Beyond Beyond' poster It looks like 2014 is not only the year for animated features, it is the year for animated features featuring anthropomorphic animals – and fruits – and rolls of toilet paper.

Here is the 1’32” trailer for the Swedish 79-minute Resan Till Fjäderkungens Rike, or Beyond Beyond, directed by Esben Toft Jacobsen, released March 21 in Sweden, and expected to screen at international animation festivals throughout the year.

Judging by the publicity so far, this is a strong contender to become the Ernest et Célestine of 2014. It’s got seagoing and circus-performing rabbits, and a giant furry bird, and a frog sea-captain, and… trolls? And what are those little blue things? Anyway, it looks like a feature that furry fans will love.

Review: 'Yok', by Tim Davys

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YokYok is the final novel of the pseudonymous Swedish Davys’ “Mollison Town quartet”. The first three, Amberville, Lanceheim, and Tourquai, were reviewed here in January 2012. Each is set in one of Mollison Town’s four districts.

The quartet is unique among adult anthropomorphic fiction in featuring living plush animals, not the standard humanized “real” animals. Davys has established a complex history and biology for them (see the previous review for details).

HarperCollins/Harper, July 2012, hardcover $22.00 (368 pages), Kindle $7.99. [Translated by Paul Norlen]

Short film: 'The Cats of Mars Meet the Toy Car'

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The Cartoon Brew website has just posted this two-year-old eight-minute film by Swedish animator Jacob Stålhammar; written in 2004, painted in gouache on cardboard, and animated in limited animation to a public domain stock music score. Arguably less an animated cartoon than an animated children’s picture book. Still anthropomorphic.

TV3's 'Swedes' Secret Life': steampunk, cosplayers, furries

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Sweden's TV3 is currently showing Svenskars Hemliga Liv - a program on the secret life of Swedes [in Swedish], featuring segments on a group of steampunk fans, a Final Fantasy cosplayer, and a fursuiter from Örebro meeting fellow fans for the first time. [tip: Emprah]

Update (15 Dec): A streaming version is available for the next few days. The furry segments are at the start, 22:40, 28:20 and 41:14.

Elk rescued from tree

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Yes, you read that right. An intoxicated elk found himself up a tree with no way down... a situation only cats are supposed to find themselves in. [Newser.com]

According to Sweden's edition of The Local, the elk was grazing on fermenting apples that had fallen off the tree, and became a bit drunk; a common phenomenon. What happened next is anything but: the elk decided to eat the apples located higher up in the tree, and began to climb it. The majestic, antlered creature became entangled within the tree's limbs, and required assistance from rescuers to get back onto terra firma.

Giant bunny dominates Swedish town

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Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman presented "Stor Gul Kanin" as part of a festival of art in Örebro, Sweden. The gigantic, yellow bunny now dominates the open space adjacent to St. Nicolai's church. The Huffington Post has a slideshow of pictures and a brief article.

Swedish media debates dedicated 'toonophile'

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Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter recently published a commentary (translated by Ora) of Alfred Holmgren's interview of a literally diehard Sonic fan in gaming magazine Fienden.

At the center of the debate is French woman Alix Henriol, obsessed with Sonic since 2000:

I could have given anything to have become a robot or a character in a game.

The piece, posted on the newspaper's website, described Alix's desire to become cryogenically frozen until scientists can transfer her consciousness to a console, while referencing cosplay, erotic fan fiction and fantasy sex toy manufacturer Bad Dragon.

Wanted for bank robbery: "Large Furry Animal"

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Swedish newspaper Gotebors-Posten reports that police fired shots at a person wearing a costume, who held up a bank in a large shopping center in the city of Gothenberg late Friday.

A witness told G-P that:

A man in a monkey outfit, or similar, may have been a bear too, came running with security guards behind him. I thought it was a joke at first, a stunt, but then I walked past the bank and saw the shattered glass.

A burning car was discovered by police near the crime scene about an hour after the robbery. Investigations for the unusually-attired suspect are continuing, but he outran the officers at the scene and no arrests have yet been made. [via The Sydney Herald Sun]

Swedish wolves face cull before mating season

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Scandinavian hunters are looking forward to the chance to bag a wolf, as Sweden prepares to open hunting season on the animals.

The species was encouraged to grow along the border with Norway after numbers fell to a low of 60 in 1999. Since then, their number have increased, and new births are expected to bring the species above the limit of 210 set by parliament.

The increased population risk damage to local dog-owners and reindeer and sheep farmers. But a local conservation society believes the population has yet to recover to a safe level, and has complained to the EU. Supporters originally hoped wolf numbers might reach 500.

The cull will run for over a month, or until the quota of 27 - updated hourly - is met. The creatures are most vulnerable when recent snow allows them to be tracked.

See also: Norway Set To Kill Most Of Its Wolves (January 22, 2001)

Swedish furs gather for first FurryCon

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Wolfer and Tobi compete in Guitar Hero (credit: Writerfox)

Last month saw a long-anticipated event - FurryCon, the first[1] furry convention in Sweden since Eurofurence 2 - drawing 110 people to the city of Karlstad on the north shore of Lake Vänern.[2]

The event ran from late Friday (18 September) to Sunday afternoon. It was organized by Spots and Stripes, and run by a team of 30 volunteers led by kirrow. Alcohol was banned, as was the display (but not private sale) of adult material.[3]

The two fursuiters were very popular, especially at the fursuit bowling outing. Also popular was the ear and tail workshop, roleplaying games, and party games such as Mafia. A large collection of video games were available; those wishing to loan them were required to leave an item of value behind.

The event was a financial success, running a surplus of 4000 SEK (~US$570). 10% was donated to the event's charity, Djurskyddet Karlstad (Karlstad Animal Welfare); their total was 1181 SEK after a charity raffle and dealer contributions.[2] Some found the furry theme lacking, but event organizers - most veterans of anime cons - pledged to address this in future years.

FurryCon's future location is still uncertain, though one proposal is to move to different cities each year, starting in Stockholm. However, a competition for next year's homepage mascot has begun. The theme? "Friendship and love . . . anthro style."