Second trailer for 'Zootopia'

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Zootopia director Rich Moore Tweeted yesterday that the second trailer would be coming tomorrow. Which is today. So, trailer.

It mostly consists of footage already released at earlier D23 expos, but not made available outside said expos until now. Which is nice for those of us who don't get to town very often.

Zootopia is coming to theaters March 4 of next year.

Update (11/25): A short bonus clip has been released as well.

A brave newt world

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War With the Newts is a theatrical adaptation of the satirical novel by Karel Čapek, who is known for popularizing the word "robot" through his play R.U.R. It was adapted by Professor Natsu Onoda Power and performed at Georgetown University.

The play consists of a series of vignettes depicting the events surrounding the uplifting of a species of hyper-intelligent newts. When they are first discovered, they are seen as an able-bodied workforce, but gradually they begin to see how they are being enslaved by humans, and rise up in revolution. The newts were portrayed by actors wearing kigurumi newt suits and fingerless arm-gloves, and they frequently stole the show from the human actors. I had the opportunity to see the play in its world premiere run at Georgetown University. For a new play, this had a remarkable level of polish, while at the same time being eclectic, energetic and engaging.

'Sing' will have anthro animals singing 85 songs

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SingCan Illumination Entertainment produce anything besides more Despicable Me and Minions movies? The animation studio is aggressively proving that it can – with anthropomorphic animals. It has already announced The Secret Life of Pets for a July 8th, 2016 release. Now The Cartoon Brew website has announced that Illumination Entertainment will also release Sing on December 21st, just in time for Christmas.

Sing sounds roughly like a Muppet movie, or a cleaned-up Meet the Feebles, with an all-anthro animal cast. Buster Moon, a koala theatrical producer, is producing a vaudeville-style live show. The hopefuls trying to get a part include a mouse crooner, a timid elephant, a pig mother with too many piglet youngsters, a young gorilla trying to break free from his mob family, a punk-rock porcupine and more. The voice cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, Reese Witherspoon, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johanssen and John C. Reilly, among others.

Illumination promises that Sing will have 85 songs! Is that a record for any musical, much less a funny-animal one?

Review: 'Inhuman Acts: A Collection of Noir' edited by Ocean Tigrox

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Inhuman Acts: A Collection of NoirInhuman Acts: A Collection of Noir is tied together with a framing sequence as Stanley Rivets, private investigator, reviews 13 case files given to him by a mysterious figure.

It's my least favorite narrative in the book as many of these all new stories simply take place on incompatible worlds. Stanley (or his host) is, I imagine, giving the introduction to each story. The introductions are done well enough, but they aren't exactly in the flavor of (nor consistent with) the foreword.

That's OK. You're not really paying for the foreword, nor the introductions. These stories of anthropomorphic noir all stand alone well enough. Some stories are weak in their presentation of the anthropomorphic aspect of the story-telling; by that I mean these stories could too easily be about humans. This doesn't bother some furries.

The best of the collection mix the science fiction, the fantastic, and the crushing atmosphere of dark or darkening worlds to create Ocean Tigrox's vision of furry noir.

Disclaimer: I have a story in this collection.

FurPlanet Productions, September 24, 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (316 + 2 pgs.). ebook from $9.95 Edited by Ocean Tigrox, cover by Seylyn.

It even has a talking cat

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Seriously, I have been looking forward to April and the Extraordinary World for five years, when the first in-production news appeared and then its “coming soon” trailer was on YouTube as Un Monde Truqué. They didn't say anything about a talking cat, which is why I didn’t announce it on Flayrah then. YouTube has had to take that trailer down. This new one isn’t nearly as good, but it does have the talking cat in it.

In a steampunk alternate world’s 1941, when Europe is united in a Triple Empire under Napoleon V and its three capitals of London-Paris-Berlin are connected by cable car, scientists have been disappearing for decades. The earlier trailer was about the disappearance of the child Avril (April) Franken’s parents. This new trailer is about the adult April’s hunt for them, with her talking cat Darwin and her companion Julius.

The 105-minute movie, co-directed by Persepolis animator Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci, was released in France on November 4th. GKIDS has picked up the American rights for a 2016 release, in both dubbed and subtitled versions.

Review: 'Mindline' ('The Dreamhealers', volume 2) by M.C.A. Hogarth (by Greyflank)

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Mindline by M.C.A. HogarthThe second half of the Dreamhealers duology. The first half of which made me cry no less than three times and I reviewed here in mid October 2015.

There is significantly less crying in this book. While the plot is more dramatic and further reaching than Mindtouch, and the highs even higher the lows are less sublime. The character's discovery of an unfolding relationship and domesticity were such a touching part of the first half that I raved about it for days. This book is lacking that, but it is just as well. I doubt anyone could have duplicated it in another work, even a sequel.

The wisdom we overlook when we fly past a sign at 100 mph, and then have to walk back and pick it up is a valuable lesson. We all have those moments/milestones. Jahir has at least two of them. As does Vasi, although his is more like the opposite and he has to race away at 100 mph to put his wisdom to use.

See also: Review by Fred.

Tampa, FL, Studio MCAH, January 2014, trade paperback $15.99 ([1 +] 341 [+ 7] pgs.), Kindle $5.99.

Anthro animation coming from Paramount Pictures

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The Hollywood Reporter has announced Paramount Pictures Corp.’s forthcoming animated features from its Paramount Animation division for the next four years, 2016 through 2019. All of them include anthropomorphic characters.

First up will be the already-released-in-Europe French feature adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 classic The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince). It has already been filmed around the world as live-action features and animated serializations as well as dramatized as audio recordings, radio serials, an opera, a ballet, etc. Saint-Exupéry’s story is not long enough for a feature film, so the movie, directed by Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda), presents it as a flashback within a new story about an old man (the Aviator) telling the story of long-ago crashing his plane in the Sahara desert and meeting the Little Prince, to a Little Girl raised to be a strictly materialistic “scientific” child prodigy, bringing fantasy into her life. The movie is a combination of computer graphics (the modern story) and stop-motion animation (Saint-Exupéry’s story as a flashback), by Mikros Image in Montreal, Quebec. The anthropomorphization? The Little Prince meets a talking fox, snake and flower. It was released in France on October 7th, 2015. Paramount Animation will release it in the U.S. on March 18th, 2016, in an American voice dub with Jeff Bridges, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Benicio del Toro, Paul Giamatti, Ricky Gervais, Albert Brooks and Bud Cort.

New art site, Furry Network, sees traffic growth following FA Forum incident

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Furry social networks have grown since the early days on the Internet. Gone are the days when you had to find some hidden Usenet group, or dive into a MUCK to hang out with furries (though you still can if you want to). Furries now have a multitude of websites in plain view, from art-based social galleries such as Fur Affinity, Inkbunny and SoFurry, to image boards and thread-based sites such as e621 and fchan.

It seems that the catalog of places for furries to flock to has become pretty saturated over the years. But even with this plethora of choices, a new contender has come out of the gates and is attempting to make its mark on the furry community. Furry Network, not to be confused with the defunct Furry News Network, is a new furry community site that is currently in beta. However, with a more-saturated market, it is important to ask: will Furry Network just be another furry site with a new coat of paint, or will it offer something its competitors don't? Let's take a look.

Update (Nov 20): A recent update has added many features. These include the support of textual and multimedia works. Therefore you can now upload stories, music, and even short movies if you wished. It also has the capacity of changing an artwork to a photo with the edit feature now. These new media types are also their own tab.

Vacation on the Riviera with the Moomins

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The Finnish-French theatrical animated feature Moomins on the Riviera will be released in the U.S. on December 4th in one theater; the Laemmle Royal Theater, 11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, (West) Los Angeles 90025, for one week to qualify it for the 2015 Best Animated Feature Oscar at next year’s Academy Award presentations. It will also become eligible for ASIFA-Hollywood's 2015 Annie Awards.

Les Moomins sur la Riviera is an 80-minute 2014-2015 co-production of Pictac Cie. in France and Handle Productions in Finland, co-directed by Xavier Picard and Hanna Hemilä, in honor of Tove Jansson’s 100th birthday. It’s an adaptation of the “Moomins on the Riviera” sequence in her and her brother Lars’ Moomin 1954-1975 comic strip, produced in cel animation in her signature art style. The entire Moomin family of forest trolls, and all their friends, go to the French Riviera for their vacation. Their unity is threatened as Moominpappa is drawn into the sophisticated world of Marquis Mongaga, and Snorkmaiden (Moomin’s girlfriend) is toyed with by playboy Clark Tresco. They ultimately are glad to get home to Moominvalley.

Upcoming furry comics for January 2016

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I was beginning to worry there for a moment, but Rocket Raccoon will return in his own comic book series again next year. Stupid awkward Marvel "reboot" thingy.

See also: October 2015 - November 2015 - December 2015

'Blazing Saddles' + animation = 'Blazing Samurai'

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Blazing SamuraiCan a massive theatrical animated hodgepodge make a massive theatrical animated anthropomorphic hit? That’s what a lot of people are hoping when Blazing Samurai, an animated pastiche of the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles, only with samurai in Old Japan instead of cowboys in the Old West and animated cats and dogs instead of humans, hits the theaters in August 2017.

How much of a hodgepodge is it? Blazing Samurai is announced as the first feature produced by former Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Yair Landau’s Mass Animation online company, founded in August 2008 to “develop wikimovies and content using a new production model – a virtual animation studio and an open invitation to artists around the world to collaborate in creating the next generation of animated stories.” Mass Animation has attracted “over 58,000 participants from 101 countries”, and has produced the 5-minute “Live Music”, advertised as “the first ever theatrically released crowdsourced animated film”.

'Star Fox Zero' has a release date ... again

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Back in August, Nintendo announced that Star Fox Zero would be coming to its Wii U console Friday after next. Then the game got delayed, so don't line up at your nearest game store next Thursday; you'll have to wait until April 22 of next year. In the meantime, enjoy this new trailer.

The announcement didn't note why the game had been delayed, though it has long been a Nintendo policy that "a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."

'Danger Mouse' moves from England to Northern Ireland

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His animation studio, that is. The original Danger Mouse was produced by Cosgrove Hall Films in Manchester, England, U.K., for Thames Television from September 1981 to March 1992. The new Danger Mouse is being produced by Boulder Media in Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K. from September 2015 to who knows? DM, Penfold, Baron Greenback and the whole gang are back. With some differences.

Baron Silas Greenback is now Baron Silas von Greenback, mit ein Cherman agzent. Professor Squawkencluck is now female, the niece of the original Professor. A new character is Jeopardy Mouse, an American equivalent of the British DM, and a female. Count Duckula, star of another Cosgrove Hall series of the 1980s, is a supporting character in the new DM.

Review: 'Song of the Summer King' by Jess E. Owen

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15751365.jpgWhile I could say that Song of the Summer King by Jess E. Owen is a very satisfying action adventure young adult book played straight (which is true; it follows a coming of age story formula and it knows it), there's a lot of subtle choices made by the writer which makes this book stand out: how inaction is in itself implicit action; how listening can appear to be a prophetic power to those who have never attempted empathy; how refusing to choose between two bad options can be a valid choice.

From the beginning of the novel, Shard lives passively: he's enthralled by a patriarchal society of fascist conqueror griffins who believe only the strongest survive. He lives in constant (well-founded) fear of never being trusted and eventual exile, which are his driving influences to seek strength and social accolades. But when Shard's own heritage gets foisted upon him, he has to choose between being comfortable or being ethically consistent with what he finds to be the truth, all the while reconciling his racial differences from the dominant griffin tribe.

Shard has to question everything when he discovers that the world is more complicated than he once thought, and that it is incredibly frustrating when those closest to him continue to live trapped in their oversimplifications about what it means to live a good life.

Spoiler warning: This review does discuss plot elements some may consider spoilers below the break.

Five Elements Press, 2012, $4.99 Kindle, $25 hardcover, $12.99 paperback (264 pages). Illustrated by Jennifer Miller.

'Ice Age 5' or 'Ice Age: Collision Course'

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Ice Age 5, a.k.a. Ice Age: Collision Course, is scheduled for a July 22, 2016 release. IMDb has a brief summary provided by 20th-Century Fox:

Scrat's epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters.

Now its first teaser trailer is released. Are we quivering with anticipation?


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