Newsbytes archive for August 2015

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, dronon, earthfurst, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox and Sonious.

Review: I keep my promise to 'Shaun the Sheep'

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Shaun the SheepBack in 2011, I wrote my first top ten movies of the year list, where I chose Winnie the Pooh as the seventh best movie I saw that year, but I didn't see it in the theaters. Because it was Winnie the Pooh, and it was a children's movie even more so than the average animated movie featuring talking animals, and it would have been embarrassing for a late twenty-something to be caught going alone to the movie theater to watch it. Explaining that I was only watching it to review it for a furry website wouldn't have really changed that. But I wrote back in that first top ten list:

I decided to skip this movie at the theaters because, you know, it’s Winnie the Pooh. Big mistake. Next time, I’ll man up, and watch the kid’s movie.

I was right back then; it does, sometimes, take a man to review a kid's movie. That was a promise to myself that I wouldn't let embarrassment get the better of me in the future. Shaun the Sheep was the first real test of this self promise. I mean, Free Birds were a slightly different proposition; as "geek culture" becomes more and more prevalent in pop culture, to the point they are nearly synonymous, watching animated movies, even those with slightly awkward studio pedigrees, is much less of a big deal. But I was fairly certain Shaun the Sheep was meant as a pre-school level animation (I was unfair in this assessment; I was thinking of the spin-off Timmy Time, which is meant for pre-schoolers but is not the basis of this movie); but I made that promise to myself not to let pre-school prejudice get in the way.

Good call; this is a pretty good movie.

Pennsylvanian fur's body found buried in boyfriend's yard

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Donna See
Donna's character, Sasha Tigress, a Siberian tiger

The body of what is believed to be Pennsylvanian furry fan Donna See, also known as Sasha Tigress, has been found behind the house of her boyfriend, who she met last October on dating website PlentyOfFish.

Donna of McKeesport, 60, an driver for the elderly, had not been seen since August 14. Her journal shows attendance at Anthrocon and FA: United; according to a fellow fan, she had attended meets since 2005.

George Biegenwald of Shayler, 57, has been charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, and evidence tampering. He said that he and Donna quarreled about her wish to move in, had been drinking, and got into a fight at his house, in which she hit her head on a dresser after he "flipped her off his back".

Friend and co-worker Margie Byers, who led a campaign to find Donna, doubts George's version of events, calling Donna "one of the most timid people I've ever met", and saying she'd noticed bruises on Donna in the weeks running up to the incident.

'Star Fox Zero' has a release date

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Star Fox ZeroThe latest remake in the Star Fox series of Nintendo games, Star Fox Zero, has a release date. The Wii U game will come out this year as promised, on November 20.

Also on the same day, an Amiibo figure of Star Fox character Falco Lombardi will be released; Star Fox Zero's newly revealed final box art does promise Amiibo connectivity, but it has not yet been revealed exactly how. Falco will be the second Star Fox character to gain an Amiibo figure, after series protagonist Fox McCloud, as well as the final character to gain an Amiibo this year.

Star Fox Zero is meant to be a showcase of the Wii U's signature gimmick, the GamePad, a controller featuring a separate screen. The Star Fox series has frequently been cast as a Star Guinea Pig, the original game being a showcase for the Super FX graphics chip while the remake Star Fox 64 introduced the Rumble Pak and the now standard idea of force feedback controllers.

EZ Wolf releases fursuit advert "Stay as You Are"

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

An advert for EZ Cooldown cooling vests for suiting peformers was released by EZ Wolf. The scolling shot features many fursuiters performing a wide variety of wacky tasks slowed down dramatically while the accompanying music by Fox Amoore and Pepper Coyote of Look Left encourages the audience to "Stay as You Are".

EZ Wolf is well known for his works in furry cinemtography, including the "infamous" Room 366 video which caused controversy in the fandom when it was leaked back in 2011. If you look hard enough, you may find an Easter egg referencing that particular video towards the end.

Upcoming furry comics for October 2015

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Marvel has been rebooting everything, again, which means a bunch of new characters have moved up to official Avengers status, including Deadpool (the big news for comics nerds), Songbird (a personal favorite of mine) and, oh, yeah, on the actually furry side, Squirrel Girl. But that's just me geeking out, so onward to solicits.

See also: September 2015

'Zootopia' ('Zootropolis'?) coming sooner than you think

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Disney's ZootopiaThe release date of Disney’s forthcoming theatrical feature Zootopia (Zootropolis in the U.K., Portugal, Turkey and other countries; Zootropola in Croatia and Zwierzogród in Poland) is March 4, 2016. But on January 19, 2016, the Disney merchandising machine will release a slew of tie-in books, published by Disney print subsidiaries or licensed by it. Most, but not all of them, will be juvenile-oriented. Some of them, such as the Disney Zootopia Ultimate Sticker Book or Judy Hopps and the Missing Jumbo-Pop, will be little more than picture books featuring the leading characters. Others, such as the Zootopia Big Golden Book, will also be picture books but will show a condensation of the movie’s plot. And a few, such as Zootopia: The Official Handbook, Zootopia Junior Novelization and DK’s Disney Zootopia: The Essential Guide, will be of interest to the adult enthusiast. No lavish The Art of Zootopia coffee-table art book has been announced yet, but there will undoubtedly be one by next March – or sooner.

The Fur Affinity Forum staff abandon their posts, future of forum uncertain

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (9 votes)

Fur Affinity is suffering from another round of staff resignations. This time the damage mostly occurred in the forums after one of the art site's disgruntled moderators, Renashe, left and leaked conversations and information which revealed a tool which moderators could use to search for their names in comment sections on the website, among other items.

Following the suspension of Renashe, Kalmor, a moderator on the Fur Affinity Forum followed suit. They wrote a resignation journal which was promptly removed by staff. Afterwords Kalmor posted about the incident on the forums and linked to his twitter at which time he was permanently suspended from the forums and main site for violating the 'privacy' or Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). An agreement that most of the Forum staff never signed in the first place, according to Kalmor.

Following Kalmor's suspension three other staffers left in rapid succession, bringing the staff page down from 10 to 6. The remaining six, according to sources, are mostly not involved it the operations of moderation of the forums. It is certainly a far cry from the site leader page in April this year.

Update 8/28/15 - Carenath, the one hosting the Fur Affinity Forums, comes forth to talk in the forums about plans for the future.

Update 8/31/15 - The staff page for the Fur Affinity Forums is down from 6 to 1. Carenath replaces the six originally listed.

Shakira to play a sexy pop star gazelle in 'Zootopia'

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

GazellePop star Shakira revealed via Twitter that she would be playing the character of Gazelle, the world of "Zootopia's biggest pop star." Apparently, Gazelle is a ... gazelle (perhaps Shakira is a chinkara?). The pop star also revealed she would be performing a song, "Try Everything," for the movie.

The announcements were part of Disney's D23 expo, which was held to promote Disney's many upcoming movies. Footage from Zootopia was shown; it is actually the first footage of the movie shown (the previously released teaser trailer featured a unique scene). The footage shown featured duel protagonist fox Nick Wilde's and rabbit Judy Hopps' actual first meeting (involving a young fox in an elephant suit) and a scene at a sloth run DMV. Aquatic mustelid fans will also be pleased to note that the previously revealed "missing mammal" case that is the basis of the plot is actually a missing otter.

1,000 marching Pikachus

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This news is a year old, but I don’t recall seeing any mention of it on any furry newssite from then until now..

There was a Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu (“An Outbreak of Pikachus”) Pokémon convention in Yokohama on August 9-17, 2014 that included a march of 1,000 costumed Pikachus (according to original press releases; it appears considerably less Pikachus actually marched) through the city.

Many people took videos of the marching Pikachus, added music including heavy metal tracks, John Williams’ Star Wars Imperial march and old Imperial Japanese Army military marches, then posted them to YouTube.

Disney to produce new 'Lion King' direct-to-TV movie in November

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Whoa; we didn’t see this one coming -- so soon, anyway. Multiple sources (abc.news.go.com; Animation Scoop; ComingSoon.net; Variety; etc.) announced yesterday that the Disney Channel will present a brand-new Lion King direct-to-TV short movie in November: The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar. The movie will be a prelude to a new The Lion Guard TV series that the Disney Channel will present in early 2016.

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar will be about the adult Simba and Nala’s juvenile son Kion, and his forming a new Lion Guard team – traditionally the pride’s bravest adult lions, to police the African savannah – with his own juvenile friends: Bunga, a honey badger; Ono, an egret; Fuli, a cheetah; and Beshte, a hippo. Their adversaries will include the juvenile sons of the evil hyenas in The Lion King; from the teaser, it’s obvious that the crazy hyena Ed has a son.

Further details are in the articles. More will be presented at Disney’s D23 expo in Anaheim on August 16.

Upcoming furry comics for September 2015

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Furry comics making the top 100 list for May 2015 include:

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.

Three coming Russian animated features with anthro animals

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Sheep and WolvesThe Hollywood Reporter announced on May 13 that Wizart Animation in Moscow (business office) and Voronezh (animation studio) is producing The Snow Queen 3 for release in late 2016. Presumably this is in Russia, and it’ll come to the U.S. in 2017. Also presumably the cast will include Orm the troll and Gerda’s pet ermine Luta, since they were so popular in The Snow Queen and The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King.

The same Hollywood Reporter article announces that Wizart is pre-selling its own Sheep and Wolves featuring anthro wolves and sheep – it’s titled Volkii I Ovtsi (wolves and sheep), in Russian. Here’s the the English language for Sheep and Wolves.

The article continues, "Wizart will also be […] offering pre-sales for Urfin and His Wooden Soldiers (by Melnitsa Animation)."

Trailer: 'Rock Dog'

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So, Disney goes out of there way to advertise the very anthropomorphic nature of next animated movie (you couldn't resist the awful fur pun, could you, Disney? It's okay, we know how it is.), and it turns out everyone and their Rock Dog has chosen to come out with similar movies within months of each other. Rock Dog, though a Chinese production with no American release date (it does have an October 1 Chinese release date), is meant to be the movie that breaks Chinese animation into America.

And it's every bit as anthropomorphic an animal world as Zootopia or Kung Fu Panda 3, and, at the very least, it looks much more promising than Legend of a Rabbit.

From the Yerf Archive