Submissions for Best Animated Feature Oscar revealed

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regularshowthemovie.jpgSince 2011, the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars has featured five nominees. This year, that streak could be in jeopardy, as 16 movies have been submitted for consideration by the Academy. 16 is the absolute minimum number of movies that can qualify for the award in a year and still have a full slate of five nominees; if any of the submissions are disqualified, 2015 will only feature four nominees for the first time ever.

However, none of movies are live action/animation hybrids (the type of submission most likely to be disqualified, such as The Smurfs 2 back in 2013), or use controversial, but historically qualified, techniques such as motion capture. The only way one of the submissions might drop out is if they fail to make a qualifying run of a week long screening at a theater in Los Angeles County, California. All feature length movies in all categories are required to have a this qualifying run to be considered for the Oscars.

Three comic book reviews: Pull List #26 ('The New Avengers', 'The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl')

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This will be the second Pull List in a row to feature only Squirrel Girl comics (and also the second Pull List in a row to feature a The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, because Marvel's doing a thing again). Between her and all the Friendship is Magic comics, this Pull List thing has just become one big, happy ball of positive energy. Except when I throw in a Hack/Slash, an Avengers Arena or a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #4, and things get a little darker.

But, the stories we tell (and the stories we enjoy) influence how we think of the world; it's much easier to believe the world will end in some kind of apocalypse when your favorite TV show is The Walking Dead (a show about the apocalyptic end of the world), even if you don't necessarily believe it will come via zombie plague. It's harder if you watch a show where you have to take a time machine five million years into the future to see the end of the world. So, anyway, if you're looking for a comic book series that might influence you to see the world more positively, basically, stuff with Squirrel Girl helps.

Review: 'God of Clay' by Ryan Campbell

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Goccover.jpgWhen I finished God of Clay by Ryan Campbell, I described the experience as "satiating something I was hungry for." And usually when I read genre fiction, I have to take bits and pieces of things I want from the books I read and make compromises. "Well, this book had gay protagonists at least, even if the conflict didn't let you forget that, and the characters paid for it." Or "this book has people of color as opposed to the assumption of a main character's innate whiteness, but it is overshadowed by western mores and still exhibits egregious exoticism." Or "well, there's a woman over 40 who plays a significant role, but she's more or less window dressing."

God of Clay, on the other hand, was a buffet of the things I was hungry for: colorful sensory splendor; anthro and human presence; smart character decisions the fueled further conflict; a non-white cast of main characters; gay protagonists with sexuality not intrinsically tied to the main conflict; a world where you can still be older than 40 and be a woman and make life changing decisions for yourself and your tribe.

See also: Review by Fred.

Sofawolf Press, September 2013, trade paperback $17.95 [on Amazon] ([5] + 259 [+ 2] pages), Kindle $7.99. Illustrated by Zhivago.

Newsbytes archive for October 2015

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

Review: 'Naughty Sexy Furry Writing: Enter At Your Own Risk' by Rainfurrest volunteers

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NSFW:Enter At Your Own RiskThe RainFurrest Annual Charity Anthology was created to celebrate and showcase the literary aspect of the anthropomorphics fandom as well as to raise funds for charity. NSFW: Enter At Your Own Risk is the adult version. Lots of sex with anthropomorphic animals.

Features the following writers, all who donated stories: Bryan Nickleberry, Rechan, Cheshire, Bill Kieffer, Kits and PJ Wolf, and featuring art by Dr. West, Bill "Greyflank" Kieffer and P. Gaither with a cover by Rhari.

The collection is nice, not as uneven as some anthologies, although some stories could use a bit more proof-reading.

Disclaimer: I am one of the story writers of the anthology. I am also the biggest offender in the proof-reading sense.

Illustrated, Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Publications, September 2015, trade paperback $10.00 (124 pages).

Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck to crossover in 2016

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squirrelgirlhowardtheduckcrossover.jpgMarvel comics launched two titles early this year featuring slightly obscure, slightly ridiculous and more-than-slightly furry characters; Howard the Duck and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Actually, they will both have two #1 issues by the end of the year (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl's second first issue came out this week, while Howard the Duck returns on November 4). Both have gained mostly positive reviews since their launches, so of course these two characters will appear in each other's books in a crossover next spring.

Not much detail is known at the moment about what these two characters will be doing that will require them to team-up, but Marvel has revealed an advance solicit (that is admittedly less than helpful):

This summer, the two most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe clash! You asked for it ... you demanded it ... and now you'll get it: GALACTUS versus WOLVERINE! Just kidding, the story's actually about Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck, and instead of fighting they solve problems together. Sorry for making you think Galactus and Wolverine would fight, maybe that should be our next team-up though since it's not a bad idea at all. Wolverine could get some Power Cosmic on her claws to create the Power Clawsmic and Galactus could be all "OH NO YOU DIDN'T". Anyway, in our story Howard and Squirrel Girl fight some dudes and learn some important lessons and Galactus doesn't even show up once, the end.

The tin dog from 'Doctor Who' is getting his own movie

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k9.jpgThe long running British science fiction television series Doctor Who has somehow managed to avoid a film adaptation in this day and age when any property with even a bit of brand recognition is getting an expensive cinematic treatment, or at the very least a gritty reboot (admittedly, it was adapted back in the 1960s). However, K9, the robot dog who guest starred with the Doctor back in the 1970s, will star in K9: TimeQuake, which is planned to be released in 2017, which will mark the 40th anniversary of the character.

At this point, the only name (besides K9's, of course) attached to the project is that of the writer's, Bob Baker, who originally created the character (along with writing partner Dave Martin). Writers for Doctor Who were allowed to retain rights to their creations, allowing them to use the characters for their own purposes, so Baker can spin-off K9 (sometimes variantly written K-9). Besides his work on Doctor Who, Baker is probably best known for his work on the Wallace and Gromit series of animated films.

2015 Anthropomorphic Recommended List, October 15 update

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by Heather BrutonThe ALAA’s 2015 Anthropomorphic Recommended List has been updated from August to October 15. This includes all of the anthropomorphic works published or released during 2015 that have been submitted by someone as being worth reading, looking at, or playing. Look it over and see if you have been missing anything.

If there is any 2015 work that you feel is worth recommending that is not on here, please submit it for the next update to It is almost the end of 2015, so do not delay!

It's anthropomorphic, but do you have $91,000 to spare?

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The File 770 science fiction fandom website reported on October 17 that the top-end Takashimaya Tokyo department store is selling a solid gold statuette of Baltan, a giant space lobster-man villain from the Ultraman TV series, for the yen equivalent of $91,000. A Japanese news video shows solid gold statuettes of Ultraman himself, plus other Ultraman space villains such as Bogleech.

Ultraman, a 40-foot-tall superhero from outer space, appeared on Japanese TV for 39 weekly half-hour episodes from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967. It was produced by Tsuburaya Productions, the company of Eiji Tsuburaya, the creator of Gojira (Godzilla) in 1954, and was meant to be for Japanese TV what Godzilla was for Japanese movies. It succeeded wildly.

Full cast for 'Zootopia' revealed

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For Disney's upcoming March 4, 2016 release Zootopia, the only cast previously revealed were the two protagonists, Jason Bateman as fox Nick Wilde and Ginnifer Goodwin as rabbit Judy Hopps, plus Shakira as pop star gazelle Gazelle and Alan Tudyk in a previously unspecified role. Previously, in that now the cast for the movie has finally been revealed.


Update (11/14): Canadian newscaster Peter Mansbridge will have a vocal cameo as a moose obviously based on him.

'Evolution Man'? 'Animal Kingdom'?

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Whee! We’re bringing you announcements from Cartoon Brew of lots of international animated theatrical features that will probably never come to the U.S. This time it’s a French movie, variously Evolution Man, or, How I Ate My Father or Animal Kingdom: Let’s Go Ape, that is being released theatrically in Britain this month.

Is it anthropomorphic? Surely, if you consider pre-homo sapiens primates to be animals. Otherwise? Hard to say from this trailer (which is one of two), but there are at least lots of animals presented in a manner that furry fans should enjoy.

Review: 'Mindtouch' ('The Dreamhealers' Volume 1) by M.C.A. Hogarth (by Greyflank)

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MindtouchM.C.A. Hogarth is a writer who belongs to the Furry Writers' Guild, something I've been involved with these last few months since crawling out from under my bed after hiding there for a few years. I went looking for a few good books about furries with LBQT+ relationships for a future BookCrossing bookbox, because I like to share furriness with my friends.

I wanted to buy a few books from Amazon for the free shipping; something I hardly ever do. I figured I should get to know my fellow writers better, and while this didn't seem like the kind of book I was looking for for, I liked the idea of two different types of ESPers co-mingling, both aliens on an alien world (not to mention, college kids ... education is sexy, am I right?).

I have to admit to being daunted by the size of the book. Four hundred plus pages. I wanted a writing sample, not a bible. I have over a hundred unread books in my queue! Did I really want to push most of those back in order to relate better to a name in a chat room? And it was book one of two. Who writes duologies, anyway?

Studio MCAH, July 2013, trade paperback $16.99 ([3 +] 408 [+ 7] pages), Kindle $5.99.

See also: Fred's review of Mindtouch.

'Ratchet & Clank' comes to the big screen

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What is there to say about the Ratchet & Clank movie that this Cartoon Brew announcement doesn’t say? So Ratchet is a lombax –that’s news to those of us who haven’t played the video game. It’s nice to see the return of the Rainmaker animation studio in Vancouver.

“[V]iewers over the age of 10 clearly aren’t the target audience for Ratchet & Clank” – maybe, but it still looks like fun to this 74-year-old. I guess we’ll wait until next April 29 to see.

A cover gallery of 'Zootopia' books

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zootopiajuniornovelization.jpgBack in August, we ran a story about upcoming tie-in books for Disney's Zootopia. Yesterday, the artwork for those books' covers were finally revealed.

The books featured are all meant primarily for children; in fact, most are meant for very young children just learning to read. But, due to the fact that they're meant primarily as children's storybooks, they feature a lot of artwork. Though interior illustrations have not been released, the covers are worth taking a look at for furries.

The Zootopia Junior Novelization would probably be of the most interest to furry fans actually looking to read something, as it would directly summarize the plot from the screenplay. However, it also features the least interesting cover; just the two leads of the movie, Judy and Nick, as they would appear in the CGI animated movie. The more interesting book covers are below.

Spoiler warning: If you're the kind of person who considers tie-in children's book covers possible spoilers, avoid reading further.

Where's the Dragon? In Beijing.

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Chinese animation is still getting erratic publicity in America. Despite the recent news about the forthcoming release of the Little Door Gods CGI movie on January 1, 2016, America has just learned of the theatrical release in Beijing on this October 14 of the family (children’s) CGI-animated feature Where’s the Dragon?, with a nationwide (in China) release on October 23.

The only news so far is from Animation World Network; it’s not even on IMDb yet. AWN’s announcement on October 12 says that Where’s the Dragon? is directed by Sing Choong Foo, co-produced by the DeTao Group and Treasure Tree Studios, Inc., plus Hong Kong's Where's the Dragon? Co., Ltd. and Colour Engineering Ltd., and distributed by a Hong Kong company, SMI Movie Distribution Company, Ltd.

From the Yerf Archive