'Sing', a second movie review

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

A movie poster, showing the main characters.Sing (trailer) was Illumination Entertainment's second animated film of 2016, released in time for Christmas. With The Secret Life of Pets, the two films earned the studio $1.5 billion worldwide.

The DVD and Blu-ray came out in late March of 2017. It's a straightforward comedy with light story arcs and anthropomorphic animals, in which a koala named Buster Moon organizes a singing competition to save his financially-failing theater. By mistake, the publicity leaflets say the prize money is $100,000 instead of $1,000. For the rest of the film, things gradually spiral out of control, as he selects and deals with the five acts who will eventually take the stage at the end.

I enjoyed it! Although it didn't perform as well as The Secret Life of Pets at the box office, I liked it more. Partially because of the wider range of species - plus it didn't plug the Minions franchise as much - but mostly because it felt fun, didn't get bogged down in itself, and I liked the music.

Furry fanzines, comics and furry history

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (10 votes)

The cover of Huzzah number 48, an APA from 2002, showing a rabbit in the woods with a bow and arrow.With $40 that I sent to a collector, I dove into the interesting pool of furry fanzines. Anyone can publish furry art and comics online these days, but back when the Internet was more BBS than WWW, it seems like any artist who wanted to get their name out there did a fanzine. There are an incredible number of them, and that's why in my opinion it's impossible to list them all. I know some have tried and failed.

"Bestiary", "Scrap", "Karno's Klassics", "Furplay" and "PentMouse" are just a very small number of what was out there. The quality of the art ranges widely, and so far I've come across more than one comic that makes absolutely no sense at all. But those are exceptions; most of what I've seen has been quite good.

For the most part, furry fanzines were published with anywhere between 8 to 50 pages. They're a really interesting view of the early days of the fandom. One thing I noticed - the style of art hasn't changed that much. But what has definitely changed is how furry fans have viewed their fandom.

Symbol of a Nation slated for Anthrocon release

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Front cover of the book Symbol of a Nation, art by Jenn 'Pac' Rodriguez Symbol of a Nation, edited by Fred Patten, is launching at Anthrocon 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania over the June 29-July 3 five-day weekend.

Symbol of a Nation is an all-original anthology of 11 short stories and novelettes featuring the anthropomorphized official animal (or bird) symbols of nations. This is designed to appeal to both s-f & fantasy fans, and fans of political science.

Below are the list of countries and animals that will be included in this set:

Belgium – lion
Chile – Andean condor
Denmark – mute swan
Italy – wolf
Malaysia – tiger
Mauritius – dodo (extinct)
Namibia - oryx
Romania - lynx
Singapore - lion
Spain - bull
U.S.A. – bald eagle
Vietnam – water buffalo

Newsbytes archive for May 2017

0
Your rating: None

Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, Acton, Ahmar Wolf, DevilDoe, dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe, and Sonious.

2016 Cóyotl Awards winners announced

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (7 votes)

Coyotl.jpgThe 2016 Cóyotl Awards have been announced at the Furlandia convention in Portland. The Cóyotl Awards, for the best anthropomorphic fiction of the past calendar year, are presented by the Furry Writers' Guild, and are voted upon by the 150+ members of the FWG.

Below are listed the winners and nominees of the 2016 Cóyotl Awards.

Best Novel

Winner

The Digital Coyote by Kris Schnee

Nominees

Black Angel by Kyell Gold
Dog Country by Malcolm F. Cross
Flower’s Curse by Madison Keller
Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada

‘Sing’: I did my best, it wasn’t much

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

singmovie.jpgThis movie had just the worst timing.

Is it fair to review a movie that came out half a year ago now, just because I was Making A Point about … something or other … when that half a year ago came and went? I don’t know, but if the review had come out then, it would have been a thumbs up. Now, this is a negative review, by the way.

Sing’s well out of the theaters and available to rent or own, and it’s nominated for an Ursa Major award. Maybe it’ll win it, for all we know. Everybody could have just gotten tired of the at this point assumed and basically all but destined winner; of course, 2016 was not a great year for presumed and basically all but destined winners. If you voted for Sing, however, I don’t blame you; it’s still okay. There is a difference between a pan and savaging, and, honestly, this barely rates pan. I used to like it, after all. Still kind of do. Just not as much anymore.

Part of the reason for this downturn in my affections is due to another movie; yes, there’s an elephant in the room we’re going to need to talk about, and I’m obviously not talking about the characters in the movie. Actually, there are a lot of elephants I’m planning on discussing, but set that aside right now because, when I rented Sing recently and rewatched it, I realized I liked Rock Dog better. So, there’s that.

New Zealand researcher probes furry mental health impact

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

New Zealand Furry research poster From time to time, furries face mental health problems. But does fandom involvement hurt - as professionals sometimes suggest - or help? One man aims to find out.

This research is seeking to investigate how members of the furry community cope with stressors and mental health issues and whether being a member of the furry community can be a protective factor against stress. We also want to investigate how a person’s fursona/furry identity and their actual identity interact and any differences/similarities between them.

The research is being conducted by Moses Simpson, a Master's student at the University of Waikato.

While questions about fursonas are included, any resulting discussions are to be limited to general trends due to concern over identifiability. The survey should take less than an hour. As a bonus, participants (16+ only) may enter a drawing for one of three US$25 Amazon vouchers.

Preceding research: Survey suggests furries 'think differently', but aren't crazy (by the ARP).

Sonic Forces: The Sonic "Original Character" is now canon

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

On May 16, a trailer for the upcoming Sonic Forces revealed a surprising direction for the hedgehog’s latest 3D venture. The new character that will be joining the blue blur in his adventure would not be just another Sonic Team-crafted sidekick. Instead, it will be a character you yourself develop that will team up to take down the meddling Eggman.

That’s right, the infamous Sonic "Original Character" is now canon. But how much can you customize to bring your dream character to life? Let's take a look at what's known so far.

Review: 'Lagrange' by Phil Guesz

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (7 votes)

The book cover, showing the fragmentary remains of something floating in space.They called Marvin a chicken. And he was. (But only 5%.) He also plays the piano.

In the far-flung, space-traveling future, genetic manipulation has created a small subculture of modified humans that aren't exactly well-respected, but people will at least have sex with them and pay for the privilege. Marvin is pilot of the Pussy Pod, a small ship that safely transports people to and from the Henhouse, a brothel that sits just outside the limits of a space station's jurisdiction.

Legion Printing, May 2012, 78 pages. Available in eBook from Amazon.

Marvin's not a sex worker, but he respects them and cares about them. If he's a trifle ambivalent about his cattle car full of Johns, who can blame him? He's an excellent pilot and deserves more in his life. He shouldn't need to be covered in feathers, but his boss insisted because of the Henhouse's name. For Marvin, every day is a struggle to do his job well and not be bitter. He simply doesn't have the connections to find better work. But a man's got to make a living, even if it's just chicken feed.

Editorial: Hypocrisy! Censorship! The 'Furry Times' we live in

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (14 votes)

Tantroo protesting alleged 'Furry Times' censorshipLast week, a Neswbyte was posted linking to an opinion article by Perri Rhodes on a site named Furry Times, covering the controversial Furry Raiders. It ended with with the following indictment of Flayrah from Ahmar Wolf:

Editor’s Commentary
It has always been a policy of mine no matter who you are, and if you have something to say and I would say Perri Rhoades, (who did an excellent job). That you should be allowed to speak, that no one has the right to shut you down…period. Like some tried to do on Flayrah.

Ahmar may have been referring to those who disagree with Perri using our comment karma system to rate down her scores of comments. No one on Flayrah staff had censored Perri. In fact people can still comment there if they wish, including Perri. However, in a fit of irony, Furry Times closed comments on their article which had shamed other sites of censorship.

Let’s take a look at why a site preaching for free speech cut the conversation short on their own controversial article.

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2': I am the fox you've been waiting for

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (8 votes)

guardiansofthegalaxyvol2.jpgSeeing as how the the last time I reviewed a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, I spent an inordinate amount of time talking about biases, it's only fair that I cope with the fact that I might have had a bit of a bias against this movie.

I don't know if people are aware of this fact, but I really like foxes. Like, a lot. Just letting you know.

Now, the thing is, Guardians of the Galaxy features the character of Rocket, who is a raccoon, and not a fox. So, you see where I might have a problem. It's not a big deal; raccoons are cool and all, but they're not, well, foxes. This is a personal hangup, I try not to let it affect things too much, but full disclosure here. I mean, science has proven foxes are magic. Just saying. I watched a YouTube video and everything, so you can take that to the bank.

But the thing is, this movie features a running gag in which the character Nebula (Karen Gillan) keeps mistakenly referring to Rocket as a fox, which is funny, I guess, if you're not a vulpephiliac who is constantly being reminded how much more awesome this movie would be if featured Rocket the fox instead of Rocket the raccoon. I mean, this is a deep ditch the movie has to dig itself out of for this reviewer.

After that revelation, if you feel you can't take this reviewer's opinions on this movie seriously, well, I understand. But, if you're willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, by all means, please enjoy the following review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II.

The full story of the lawsuit involving Peter S. Beagle, author of 'The Last Unicorn'

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (11 votes)

At the end of April, I posted a Newsbyte regarding a charity art drive to benefit “lifelong furry” and renowned fantasy author Peter S. Beagle, in order to fund his legal costs and living expenses as he litigates a suit against his former agent.

That was the first I had heard of the troubles of The Last Unicorn’s author. Upon seeing that Uncle Kage had tweeted about this situation in 2016, however, I learned this suit had been going on for longer than I realized, and I took the time to look deeply into the situation.

What I found was horrifying, and the rabbit hole seemed to go deeper the more I looked. Today I'm going to go into more detail about this shameful situation, bringing it to light in the hopes that the more people who know, the more help Beagle will receive.

Get ready, this is gonna be a long ride. If you don't want to read every single detail, I implore you to scroll down to the "How you can help" section, or at least spread this message as far as you can. Beagle needs as many friends as he can get right now.

Peter S. Beagle is suing his former agent for elder abuse, fraud, defamation, and breach of fiduciary duty, among other related allegations, which you can read in full here [PDF].

The History of nWave's Furry Features

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

Since Dronon recently posted the trailer for “Bigfoot Junior” on Newsbytes, it seems like a good time to take a deeper look into nWave Pictures. Their main animation studio is located in Brussels, Belgium, while their regional office in Burbank, California has been working diligently to get its pictures distributed theatrically in English in North America for the past decade. They do get theatrical releases in much of the rest of the world-- but usually have to settle for them going direct-to-DVD as "kid’s cartoons" in the United States. Despite being “family” movies, they’re good ones, and they do feature talking animals. Let's take a look at their history in the animated featured film business to date.

nWave was founded by director Ben Stassen in 1994. Its first animation projects were for amusement park attractions and video games. Their first theatrical feature, “Fly Me to the Moon”, which was about housefly astronauts, was released in January 2008.

Newsbytes archive for April 2017

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (2 votes)

Contributors this month include Ahmar Wolf, dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, Greyflank, InkyCrow, RingtailedFox, and Sonious.

Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' gets poster and release date

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

C-RwcEaUIAAKuiu_0.jpgWes Anderson, the writer/director best known in the furry fandom for his 2009 movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, will be returning to the stop-motion talking animal genre for his next movie Isle of Dogs, whose poster and release date (of April 20, 2018) was announced via Twitter on April 25.

The bare bones premise announced so far is that the movie will feature a Japanese boy searching for his lost dog. Though this premise isn't necessarily anthropomorphic, an earlier video posted by Anderson confirmed the dogs will have speaking roles. Though hard to make out, it has also been pointed out that some of the dog characters on the poster also appear to be wearing clothes.

The cast for the movie, listed on the poster, has been previously confirmed. It includes many recurring actors in Anderson's movies. Newcomers include Bryan Cranston and Scarlett Johansson, as well as multiple Japanese actors, including Yoko Ono.

Isle of Dogs will be Anderson's ninth feature, and only his second animated feature, after Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was nominated for an Ursa Major award as well as an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. In addition to the Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination, Anderson has been personally nominated three times for Best Original Screenplay and once for Best Director at the Oscars. All but the latest of his movies have also been added to the prestigious Criterion Collection, and his film Rushmore was added to the National Film Registry last year.

From the Yerf Archive