The world of Virtual Reality entertainment keeps moving ahead. (By leaps and bounds, or by steps and stumbles? Depends on who you talk to.) Recently Cartoon Brew put up an article about Henry, “an Immersive Virtual Reality short”. “On the surface, Oculus Story Studio’s new 12-minute short film Henry is a sweet story about a lovable hedgehog who just want to make friends, but can’t stop spiking whatever he hugs. ” But actually, it’s one of the first animated films ever created for the environment of the Oculus Rift head-set. Once “inside”, viewers can either watch Henry’s story — as he attempts to hug flying balloon-puppies with disastrous results — or explore the levels and rooms of Henry’s tiny home. Or both. There’s a non-Oculus “making-of” video that explains it more.
After all the recent 2016 movie trailers last month, we're going back to the present of 2015 with this month's movie trailers. Though a teaser was dropped last month, Pixar's first ever second movie of the year, The Good Dinosaur, has a brand new trailer. It neither confirms nor denies the possibility of migration.
When Anthrocon started in Albany in 1997, the humble gathering went by the name of “Albany Anthrocon”. Two years later the convention found itself moving out of New York State and into Pennsylvania. Through that was learned the first major mistake a fledgling convention could make. Naming your new convention after the city it is hosted in is like someone getting their lover’s name tattooed to their arm. Ironically, it’s a mistake that other conventions still make to this day.
But living through mistakes is what makes one stronger in the end. It has now been about one decade since the largest furry convention had made its home in Pittsburgh. At this point I think it’s a much safer bet to commit to being inked.
As there were 6,389 recorded attendees to this convention, there are just as many stories and perspectives on the convention. So this review will focus on three sections I focused my experiences around: fursuiting, performances, and writing. It is essential to note that reviewing a convention is unlike reviewing any other medium where you can experience a full package. Many panels run concurrently so one has to make a choice, usually based upon one’s preferences.
Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe, launched in January 1992 by a consortium of Seattle-area furry writers, artists, and editors, and the oldest on-paper furry fanzine still being published, released its fiftieth issue in September 2012. Despite its website’s continued online presence with its semi-annual schedule, the long delay since number fifty was published has resulted in a growing doubt that it is still in existence.
Now editor Gene Breshears has stated that issue number fifty-one is finally ready for the printer, and should be out by the end of this month, or August 2015 for sure. The delay has been partly due to the requirement that all stories in Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe must be consistent with that fictional universe’s 36th-century interstellar storyline. With over a hundred stories by different authors, making sure all details, references, and characterizations are consistent, and the need to get illustrations for those stories, all on a volunteer basis, means it is getting increasingly difficult to prepare an issue.
But Tai-Pan fans can relax with the expectation that issue number fifty-one is about to appear.
Racked, an online fashion magazine, has just published a particularly good illustrated article on fursuits; their history, the people who make them, and the furry fans who wear them.
It's the freakin’ weekend. A blessing of rainbow unicorns dance around you. Your heart bursts with joy at the sight of a dairy cow and an otter gingerly embracing. Sweat drips down your face. You remove your head and wipe the sparkling droplets away with the back of your cerulean paw. A rabbit wearing paisley suspenders invites you to hop with him in a circle. You radiate happiness inside and out. You are not dead. You are not on acid. You are at a furry convention.
Each year, dignified professionals from every major industry cast off their business casual, zip up their fursuits, and flock to furry events around the world. According to Furry Hall of Fame inductee and historian, Fred Patten, 74, the term "fursuit" was originally coined in 1993 by former Midwest Furfest chairman Robert C. King to describe full-body anthropomorphic animal costumes worn to conventions.
This movie gave me a nightmare. I'm not kidding.
I watched it last night, then decided to sleep on it before reviewing it. And I had bad dreams about watching a mostly plotless movie that kept interrupting itself with boring distractions, and it just wasn't funny at all. When I woke up, I didn't realize at first that Ted 2 was the inspiration for this bizarre dream. But, what else could it be? Actually this dream interpretation site I randomly Googled says it could mean I am:
... attempting to protect [my]self from [my] emotions and/or actions. Viewing them on a movie screen projects them onto another person and thus makes those feelings and actions seem more distant. [My] subconscious is trying to protect [me] from experiencing them directly.
Alternatively, it could mean:
To dream that [I am] watching a movie suggests that [I am] watching life pass [me] by. Perhaps [I am] living vicariously through the actions of others. Consider also how the movie parallels to situations in [my] waking life. [I should] observe how the characters relate to [me] and how they may represent an aspect of [my]self.
Well, that is incredibly depressing; I'm just going to continue on with the theory that watching a movie late in the day may cause me to dream about watching movies at night.
Anthrocon is exceptionally supportive of furry music. The following performances – by Amadhia, Bucktown Tiger, Fox Amoore, "Bandthro", Matthew Ebel, Pepper Coyote and Rhubarb & Cosmik – can be seen at this year's event, running July 9–12 in Pittsburgh, PA.
The article says the movie will debut September 26 on the Discovery Family channel. There is no mention of a theatrical, or even pseudo-theatrical, release at this point. The plotline revealed so far involves a contest, the titular Friendship Games, between the Canterlot High WonderColts and the Crystal Academy ShadowBolts. The trailer reveals that the Equestria Girls version of Twilight Sparkle will meet the other five main characters, plus Sunset Shimmer, who is, notably, the only character known to hail from Equestria to appear in the trailer.
This may finally actually be My Little Pony without the ponies.
FurrTrax is a mobile app, social networking site and collaboration system to help members of the furry fandom organize, plan events, make friends and find other furries in their local areas or with simular interests.
Key features include public and private chatrooms, including video chatrooms, a public shoutbox, webmail hosting, heavily customizable user profiles, with user manageable comments walls and user image gallery and file sharing, GPS distances of members (but not actual pinpoints), event posting and planning, singles and dating, private messaging, image galleries, a section for authors and their stories, including fiction and non-fiction, user forums, a classified section, a user to user store, groups pages with group walls and status updates and notification. Instant messaging is not yet available but is coming soon.
FurrTrax is not a paysite, or a subscription site, and does not require any purchase of any kind to use all of the sites sections. There is however a Donator Rank which offers some basic bonuses including choice of name color, colored chat text, the ability to add background images to profiles, attach extra profile pictures over the default of 10, embed YouTube videos on profile and access the rich profile editor tool. The minimum donation is one dollar. All features not listed here are given to basic members by default.
The FurrTrax mobile site is also in transition to a new Jquery mobile theme, so some pages may not match the look of others. This is temporary.
Update (13:20 PT): Doug Winger has passed away at the Western Medical Center in Tustin, California.
One of the greats, one of the true giants of the furry fandom, has lost his battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or emphysema, brought about by smoking and other ailments.
And we've just become furry Variety.
Illumination Entertainment has released a trailer for The Secret Life of Pets, due summer of 2016, "a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day," according to Illumination's own description.
Given how jam-packed 2016 is with fully anthropomorphic animal movies, the fact that this movie only features talking animals makes it feel like almost a footnote (Finding Dory is another 2016 movie with "only" talking animals that would in any other year be the upcoming furry movie, but is also dealt with as an after thought, if at all). That being said, at the very least skip to the pogoing poodle at the end of the trailer.
Adding to the list of upcoming anthropomorphic animal movies, a feature film version of 1980s cartoon Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds was announced at the Annecy Film Festival on June 15.
As the title suggests, Dogtanian was an adaptation of The Three Musketeers, with dogs in the roles of d'Artagnan and his friends. Your humble reporter surely cannot have been the only nascent furry to be stirred by the portrayal of Aramis, one of literature's great lovers, as a Springer Spaniel.
After Nintendo vaguely announced a new Star Fox Wii U game last year, they have finally released a trailer and full name at this year's E3. The newest game will be called Star Fox: Zero.
Apparently, it's yet another remake of the original Star Fox, with some elements of later versions. For those keeping track at home, Star Fox now has the same amount of remakes as it does sequels.
As if in response to Disney's Zootopia featuring the groan-worthy tagline "Like nothing you've seen be-fur," DreamWorks Animation has finally shed some light on its Kung Fu Panda 3 in an article from USA Today. Seeing as how Kung Fu Panda 3 is the third movie in a trilogy that comes out in January 2016 and Zootopia is a March 2016 movie, that makes the tagline wildly inaccurate as well as groan-worthy. Furries are looking forward to both, but, hey, it's a bad tagline.
Spoiler warning: The USA Today article linked may have bluntly spoiled a possible subplot, which is discussed below the break.
Update (6/19): An official English trailer appears, and it is hilarious.