Movie review: 'Robot Dreams' (2023)

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Movie poster, Dog and Robot walk hand in hand down a New York City street. Robot Dreams (trailer) is a 102-minute animated film released in December 2023, made by Arcadia, Lokiz and other studios. Based on a 2007 graphic novel (Amazon US - UK - Spanish edition) by Sara Varon, this Spanish-French production was written and directed by Pablo Berger, who had never worked in animation before, so he collaborated closely with art director José Luis Ágreda and storyboard artist Maca Gil for a year and a half to plan the project. It worked out really well!

Two neat things: it's a 2D film in an overbearingly 3D market, and there's no dialog. It takes place in a slightly alternative version of New York City in 1984, a funny-animal one. The main character, "Dog", lives in a Manhattan apartment. He's extremely lonely. One day he sees a TV ad for robot friends, so he orders one; after putting it together - he's not lonely anymore! Aside from this modern leap in artificial intelligence and robotics, the film is as early-80s as it gets: boomboxes, cassettes, VCRs, and Walkmen.

Furry Weekend Atlanta has record-shattering year-to-year growth for 2024

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Furry Weekend Atlanta 2024 bedroom view, with kangaroo head Furry Weekend Atlanta continues its monstrous growth, smashing its prior record with a total of 15,021 attendees and raising $100,000 for their charity of Lost-n-Found Youth. This has solidified its position in the top three, and for the time being surpasses Anthrocon – that had a 2023 attendance of 13,641 – making FWA, for the next few months, the world's second-largest in-person furry convention.

The increase this year from last was 4,693 attendees. For perspective, the total attendance of Anthro New England this year was 4,482. So staff at the Atlanta convention this year had to take care of the total they handled in 2023, plus an Anthro New England-sized convention at the same time in 2024. The gathering has never desired further volunteers more.

It was also my first year in attendance, so I wanted to go over my experiences, the challenges, and the strengths of the convention.

'Furry Planet' Kindle edition on sale for 99¢ on May 11

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'Furry Planet' cover Kindle editions of 2023 Ursa Major Award runner-up Furry Planet are on sale, this Saturday only, for 99¢ or the same in Canada - alas, no deal in the UK or EU.

Want a hardback? That's available too, for $23.99 (or £16.50 / €24.95 / CA$31.99). Released last August,

Furry Planet reveals how anthropomorphism—the desire to imagine non-human animals on an equal footing with the human world—is an instinct hard-wired into our minds since the dawn of civilization. It expresses itself in indigenous traditions and among local cultures who adopt animal identities […] especially in the furry community whose members feel the same visceral connection with the non-human animal world as did their ancient counterparts.

The book is the successor to the 2017 UMA-winning Furry Nation (review), both by Joe Strike. An audiobook version read by Kevin T. Collins is available for $2.66.

Weather warning for Afton, Oklahoma and nearby regions

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Radar map of the 44 highway with tornadoes near Allami Afton, Oklahoma is currently under tornado watch, so please be safe out there.

Miami, Oklahoma is currently being hit and is getting hit hard.

'Fur & Loathing' podcast covers MFF 2014 chlorine incident

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)
'Fur and Loathing' logo A new to-be-six-part podcast has adopted the name of an infamous CSI episode to cover the release of chlorine at Midwest FurFest 2014.

According to Variety, the series - by "ultimate destination for fearless journalism, immersive podcasting, and on the ground documentaries" Brazen - is hosted by Nicky Woolf, aided by Patch O'Furr.

Per studio co-founder Bradley Hope, "at first it’s like 'Who would want to hurt the furries?', but it turns out [there’s] darkness in [their world]".

Initial reviews were…not entirely positive, Camstone Fox citing "horrible, overly dramatic reporting" for "[wanting] those 18 minutes of my life back" – presumably referring to an 18-minute preview. Later reviews praise the inclusion of interviews with numerous furries, expressing hope that it is solved by the end.

The series is on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Overcast. See also: Two-minute introduction - host interview - half-hour participant discussion (transcript)

Newsbytes archive for April 2024

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, and Rakuen Growlithe.

Review: 'Hundreds of Beavers'

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'Hundreds of Beavers' poster "I don't get the joke. Is it dirty, or what?"
-Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States of America (attributed)

You guys remember Bitter Lake?

Way back in the before times, when dinosaurs roamed the land, there was a tiny, micro-budget, barely feature-length "fan-movie" known as Bitter Lake, featuring a cast entirely clad in fursuit to represent its anthropomorphic animal characters, made by furries, for furries.

Before Bitter Lake, I'd never considered this method to realize a furry movie, and after Bitter Lake, well, I still haven't. Noble experiment, sure. Quality movie? Well, we're not reviewing Bitter Lake now, so let's just move along…

Hundreds of Beavers is a sort of outside the fandom take on the "fursuit movie" that, after playing film festivals last year, had a very short theatrical release this year before launching on various streaming services. It is a black-and-white, mostly dialogue-free slapstick comedy featuring newbie fur trapper Jean Kayak (co-writer Ryland Brickson Cole Tews) as he struggles to survive in the wilderness around the Great Lakes region of pre-United States America. Fellow co-writer Mike Cheslik directs. The movie features beavers, raccoons, rabbits, dogs, skunks and wolves, all played by actors in mascot costumes.

'Goodbye Volcano High' - a visual novel that behaves like a slice-of-life high school anime, with dinosaurs

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Goodbye Volcano High is a visual novel game developed by KO_OP. You play a high school senior, Fang, as they [nonbinary] use their last moments working with schoolmates to bring their band, Worm Drama, to success. Fang is a pterodactyl whose school exists in a place called Pangea.
Goodbye Volcano High
The universe and Fang’s friends may have other plans to cause a hiccup in the dream they wish to fulfil. I’d call this a spoiler, but the advertising and title make it clear that this is a prequel to Dino Run. I mean, the logo has a meteor and its characters are dinosaurs. That can’t end well.

This is a very interesting premise, and makes for a good background to make this high school drama stand out from its contemporaries. However, the narrative comes out a bit flatter than expected, focusing more on the day-to-day issues of Fang than the cataclysm to come. In turn, there’s passion in the music, artistic design, and characters that many furries will find interest in. Let’s go through some of these to see if it’s the right game for you.

Digging Up Positivity - April 2024

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Welcome to the April episode of Digging Up Positivity! Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner.

In this episode:

  • The April charities from the fandom
  • Even crocodiles need to go to the dentist
  • Animation news
  • A wonderful interview with one of the main forces behind AnthroIrish!

And much more.

Oh hey! Also, I am happy to say we are giving out item from my PAWS collection from my ArtworkTee store, more details at the end of this video.

Utah kids find clever way to skip school: protesting furries

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Anthrocon 2007 7chan protestors What started as a cafeteria food fling in Payson, Utah became yet another fracas over the allegations of ‘furry behavior’ in schools. This ultimately led to online rumors and frustrations about alleged attacks committed by the ‘furries’ on students. Bolstered by frustrations on social media, a handful of students and their parents performed a walk out of their school on April 17.

An older furry by the name of Stroodle was interviewed by ABC4 [EU/UK folk: try this], and said that expression is important, but sometimes studies should come first.

It’s crazy that it’s escalated to this point that these kids are being so distracting to their peers that their peers want to stage a walkout [...] So to have the next generation muddy our name and not represent us very well, it’s kind of disappointing.

Continue doing things you like, continue dressing up, continue making art. But maybe let’s keep it out of school hours?

Movie reviews: "The Tiger's Apprentice", "Heroes of the Golden Mask", "Rumble"

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

The Tiger's Apprentice posterLet's review some computer-animated films! Here are trailers for:

The Tiger's Apprentice,
Heroes of the Golden Mask,
and Rumble.

Short version: The Tiger's Apprentice, action, one character has a tiger form, lots of Chinese culture, story is nothing great. Heroes of the Golden Mask, terrible. Rumble, wrestling-sponsored sports comedy, very formula loser-wins story, maybe of interest to furry macro fans.

'Foxes', 'Gnoll Tales', 'Wolf' and 'Raven' win 2023 Ursa Major Awards - plus 'Tamberlane', 'FurScience' and 'AI Cats'

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Ursa Major Awards Nominations and votes were cast, now the results are out!

Full category results in vote order for the 2023 Ursa Major Awards follow…

New study provides neural evidence that dogs visualise words as humans do

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Dog set up for EEG. (Photo ©Grzegorz Eliasiewicz)People have long wished to talk to animals and this desire is reflected in cultural objects such as Arthur C. Clarke's novel Dolphin Island. One well-known example of an animal "learning" human language was the horse Clever Hans, who was later shown to be responding to cues from his handler rather than actually understanding. Cases of poorly-controlled claims, like Clever Hans, and speciest notions of human uniqueness have hindered development of the field. However, the wish to communicate through language has remained and many animals have been claimed to use or understand human languages, including dogs.

Newsbytes archive for March 2024

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, and GreenReaper.

Florida fur sought by police for child abuse after walking Albuquerque teen overnight towards bus to Las Vegas Fur Con

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Albuquerque police seek 33-year-old Florida fur Conrad Coovert (@Rumor_Lucca, ShadowWolf DarkDragon) on a charge of child abuse after walking a local 14-year-old boy he'd previously talked with 6.5 miles overnight, planning to take a Greyhound bus to this weekend's Las Vegas Fur Con, then bring him back to Florida.

Coovert, who also went by the name GothFox, SnaggleWolf NightFangz and Fenrir Darkslayer, was reportedly carrying "furry costumes and sex bondage items" in his luggage, while the boy, who had blisters on his feet, said they "had walked all night and slept in a park in the cold".

According to KOB-TV, Coovert had previously been accused by investigators in 2015 of attempting to have sex with a 13-year-old boy after meeting him at a fur con, trading sexts, then visiting his Georgia home.

Update (Apr 5): Coovert was arrested in Florida

From the Yerf Archive