Brian Griffin, the martini-drinking anthropomorphic dog from the animated series Family Guy, has been killed off. In the episode which aired on November 24, Brian was hit by a car and subsequently died from his injuries.
In the same episode (entitled Life of Brian), Stewie Griffin had dismantled his oft-used time machine, and was unable to reconstruct it to go back and save Brian. A month after Brian's funeral, the family get a new dog, Vinny, voiced by Tony Sirico.
Family Guy writer Steve Callaghan explained why they decided to kill off Brian:
Well, this was an idea that got pitched in the writers room and it sort of caught fire, and we thought it could be a fun way to shake things up. As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters.
Update: Some fans were, predictably, not happy with Brian's fate. The effectiveness of online petitions is debatable, but one has been set calling for Brian's return. As of now (Nov 26), it has just under 42,000 signatures.
The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2013 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through November 17. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.
There are two months left to add your favorites of the year to the List. 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 2013, if they are not already on the list.
Send in your recommendations. Read the List to see what other fans have recommended. Have you seen all nine published illustrations, for example? What have you been missing?
The Cartoon Brew has an interview with Jordan Reichek, the director/producer of Animal Control! for Cartoon Network Asia, located in Hong Kong for broadcast throughout Southeast Asia. Animal Control! is a series of 1’47” dialogueless cartoons featuring Ya and Ba, two hapless Animal Control officers and the anthropomorphized animals whom they are supposed to control, especially surly, troublemaking Mr. Koala. Reichek describes it as “kinda like the Crocodile Hunter, but dumber.”
Animal Control! is produced by Reichek at his Perky Pickle Productions studio. What will really make the interview of interest to Flayrah’s readers is that links to PerkyPickle.com, where all ten episodes produced so far can be seen. Plus other goodies, such as the Invader Zim pilot, which Reichek worked on. Check it out.
From 1969 to 1972, BBC-TV presented a series of 26 10-minute stop-motion animated children’s episodes about the Clangers, tiny pink mouse-like denizens of another planet, and their cook, the Soup Dragon. The series was popular with British children and parents alike.
The Cartoon Brew has announced, in an article by Neil Emmett, that Clangers (or The Clangers) will make a comeback in 2015, with 52 new episodes for CBeebies in Britain and the preschool channel Sprout in the U.S. The new series will be produced in stop-motion animation of knitted puppets by Peter Firmin, the original puppet maker and puppeteer (now 84), with writing supervision by Daniel Postgate, the son of the creator and original writer, Oliver Postgate. The article contains one of the original 10-minute episodes.
Josh Armstrong, on the Animation Scoop website, has advance news and an image of the Pixar TV Hallowe’en special, “Toy Story of Terror”. While the Toy Story crowd is technically anthropomorphic anyway, “Toy Story of Terror” includes an especially Furry plush hedgehog, Mr. Pricklepants.
“Toy Story of Terror” was broadcast on ABC-TV on October 16 at 8/7 (Central) p.m. Here are two favorable reviews of it. The first, by Shaun Thompson & Craig Williams on the DIS Blog, is especially informative, and includes scheduled showings on Disney's channels. It looks worth watching on the inevitable reruns and DVD release, if you missed it the first time around.
Love it or hate it, you gotta admit that Pocket Monsters, a.k.a. Pokémon, are anthropomorphic. In Japan, “monsters” are any fantasy animals; “pocket monsters”, like Pikachu, are monsters small enough to fit into your pocket – although since they were introduced almost twenty years ago, there have been some giant Pokémon as well.
The annual Pokémon theatrical movies started in Japan 16 years ago and are still being churned out, but in America they have gone direct to TV for the last few years. This year’s, Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (96 minutes), will premiere in English on the Cartoon Network on October 19, at 12:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. It will follow last year’s movie, Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice at 11:00 a.m., if you haven’t seen that yet.
Space Dandy is cuming (pun deliberate) in January 2014 – but not to America.
The news is spreading that it was announced at guest Shinichirō Watanabe’s panel at Otakon 2013, August 9-11 in Baltimore, that he is directing Studio Bones’ new TV anime space comedy, Space Dandy, scheduled for broadcast next January in Japan.
This is exciting news because Watanabe is the brilliant director of Cowboy Bebop, and two of the sequences in The Animatrix, among others. Though Dandy may be human, there are plenty of anthropomorphic aliens in it, starting with Meow, his partner.
Watanabe said that this will be "not an anime to be taken seriously." Oh, you think!?
Fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic are well aware of its penchant for pop culture references; some are odd for a show about talking ponies. The recent Equestria Girls movie, for example, quoted dance moves from Pulp Fiction and featured a sly reference to the Stephen King novel and Brian de Palma movie Carrie. Then there’s the famous Big Lebowski ponies from the episode “The Cutie Pox.”
However, last year, the ponies themselves became an obscure nod in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. III. While we’re on the subject, we might as well take a look back at Vol. II, which features an odd genesis story for the modern furry genre. A new television series based on the comics is coming, after all; might the ponies and furries follow?
Are ice cream trucks migrating south for the winter anthropomorphic? This is bird (or monarch butterfly) behavior, not human. Nevertheless, this seems like the sort of thing that Flayrah should want to know about.
A 3’33” film directed by Alasdair Brotherston and Jock Mooney for Britain’s Channel 4, reported by C. Edwards on the Cartoon Brew website.
It has been announced that a new television series of Alvin and the Chipmunks will debut in 2015. The series, originally called The Chipmunks and Chipettes and now titled ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks, has been in development since 2010.
The new series is being created by Ross Bagdasarian Jr. (son of original Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.) and his wife, Janice Karman. Produced by Bagdasarian Productions and French production studio Genao Productions, the series will consist of fifty-two eleven-minute episodes, and will feature the Chipmunks as CGI characters. This revival will be the first time the Chipmunks have been in a television program since Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1990.
More from the MIPTV convention, as reported by Animation Magazine: “Global entertainment company DQ Entertainment and Foothill Europe Limited have announced an agreement to develop, co-produce and distribute CG-animated buddy comedy Raz & Benny… The stereoscopic-3D CGI show is created by U.K.-based director Simon Hodgkiss of Rockkiss DME and follows two mice whose ambitions are bigger than their brains, but whose good luck is as endless as their friendship. With their eccentric pal Lilly, dare-devil Raz and cautious Benny are always off on one adventure or another–whether posing as international spies, scuba-diving submarine rescuers or jungle explorers.” Vimeo has a preview video that includes an animatic of Foothill’s development work.
C. Edwards reports on the Cartoon Brew website that Amazon Studios, which produces childrens’ animation for streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video and the U.K.’s LOVEFiLM, has greenlit pilots for four new animated series to begin in fall 2013. Two of the four contain anthropomorphic characters, and a third has monsters and mutants, probably anthro.
This is the first DVD release of the newest incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; this CGI cartoon debuted last year on Nickelodeon, and has been well received by fans of the older versions of the Turtles, as well as a newer fanbase in its target audience.
This DVD contains the first five (or six, if you count the “Rise of the Turtles” as a two-parter) episodes of the series. It also contains a smattering of bonuses, which are a bit better than the bonuses of the other animated series I’ve reviewed DVDs for. Unlike that other show, the creators of this series have been a bit less willing to let everyone and their dog upload episodes to YouTube, so the DVDs are a bit more necessary (though of course you can still get the episodes legally online for about the same price as the DVD, or cheaper).
So, there’s this TV series, produced with young girls in mind, about talking ponies living in a magical land. No, it’s not that one. “The Filly animated series brings to life the charming adventures of Rose and her friends as they attend the Magic Royal Academy of Funtasia. The Wizard of the Dark Mirror, and his comical minion Battiwigs, try to steal all the magic in the kingdom. Despite their wacky attempts, the Fillys enjoy everyday school life, studying and discovering their unique, and magical, crystal powers in these coming of age stories.” That’s from the producers and distributors. According to some sources, Filly is already a bigger toy product in Europe than My Little Pony. And then there’s this, from the Animation Magazine web site: “BRB and Dracco’s upcoming new animated series Filly Funtasia has put together a top-notch writing team: Dean Stefan (The Penguins of Madagascar, The Octonauts, Jake & The Never Land Pirates), Noelle Wright (Doc McStuffins, Sofia The First), Jymn Magon (Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures), Johnny Hartmann (Monster High), and Sean Derek (The Smurfs, ZhuZhu Pets, Strawberry Shortcake, Sabrina, Hello Kitty) are busy putting together episodes for the 26 x 30″ high-def series.” No kidding. Where have we been?
MIPCOM, if you need to be reminded, is an annual event held in Cannes, France, where would-be television producers from all over the world attempt to sell their entertainment products to distributors — all over the world. Held every year in October, it’s a great place to find interesting and unusual TV shows — many of them furry, especially in children’s TV of course. Among the new crop is a show called Boy and the Dinosaur, produced in the UK by 1461 Productions. Based on an original idea by Jason Harding, the show is overseen by Davey Moore, David Bunting, Paul Couvela, and Russell Dever. The idea is quite simple: A 4-year old boy (called simply “Boy”) loves dinosaurs, and one wishes very hard that he could have one for a friend. Lo and behold, one shows up — a big orange saurid simply named “Dinosaur”. The two get along swimmingly, and have many adventures. The show was picked up for international distribution by Foothill Entertainment, and season one is currently in production with a hopeful release date of 2014. According to the official web site, the show has also been profiled in Variety magazine.