Another recent article from Animation Magazine, this time discussing some of their favorite new animated projects they’ve seen shown off at MIPCOM this year. And lo and behold, the majority of them are anthropomorphic! So we’ll be discussing the most interesting ones ourselves for the next few days. First up is Caiman, created by Rebecca Warner-Perry and Sue Tong, and produced by Illuminated Films from the UK. “Meet Caiman, a five-year-old crocodile who loves exploring – and who wouldn’t!?…when the village of Trickle End, a buzzing and bubbling community, is right outside his front door! Caiman lives at home with his Mum, Dad and older sister in a little wooden house, situated right on the edge of the exotic mangroves where the river meets the sea. All his friends and neighbours live, work and play nearby. There’s always someone to have fun with or somebody to lend a helping hand in Trickle End.” Animation has a link to IF’s show-reel, which includes more about Caiman and their other projects.
Monster, monster… no-one knows this thrilling feeling. Dizzy how, dizzy how - it's TeleMonster time!
Here is the British trailer for Top Cat Begins, directed by Andrés Couturier, that was released last October 30 in México as Don Gato: El Inicio de la Pandilla. It’s coming on May 27 in the U.K., distributed by Warner Bros. (so can the U.S. release be far behind?)
It was produced for only $8,000,000 (estimated). While I’m tempted to say that it looks it, it’s really not bad for only $8 million these days. It was produced by Ánima Estudios in Ciudad México, the makers of that Oz movie with the Day of the Dead look, Wicked Flying Monkeys. Haven’t seen that yet? Don’t worry; you will.
Look at the lip sync. Was this movie made for English or Spanish dialogue? What do you think?
If any of you readers are like me, then you only follow Flayrah when it comes to furry news. I saw an article shared around a year ago about furry music, and that's how I found this site.
But amidst the posts about cons being cancelled and the abundance of Zootopia reviews came a shining light no one saw coming. Mostly because even on a site about the very subject it is meant to educate on, it got no attention.
This film is Fursonas, a documentary about the furry lifestyle. A detailed look at the friendly fandom that CSI ruined public perception of all those years ago, such that we still feel repercussions today. It wasn't until my best bud crossaffliction mentioned this movie in, of course, a Zootopia-related post that I became aware of it. I started to dig, and realized what a gem we'd been missing.
Dogpatch Press (who I've now since started to follow alongside Flayrah) posted an incredible article on this film, which I suggest all members read, as this post is just to drum up hype for this film. One line from that article holds substantial water for me; Zootopia is the film we want, but Fursonas is the film we need.
Dear past, current and future attendees of Fangcon,
I hope by this time you may have heard of the difficulty we have been having with the hotel in Knoxville, TN. We attempted to secure a date with them for 2016 right after the con had concluded. The hotel put us off even though the local football schedule was already posted. We found out later this is what many hotels in the local Knoxville area do. They look for groups with bigger numbers so they can charge a higher price for the rooms (sometimes three and four times the amount we paid.) This year the football schedule only left a few open weekends for groups like ours.
Our hotel for Fangcon 2016 will be the Hilton Hotel, Perimeter Park Birmingham, AL. We know this will come as a disappointment to many attendees but this is the same issue we ran into after our first year of the con when we started it up in Nashville, it became too late into the year to find good options for hotel space. So it is either wait till 2017 and not have a con this year or make the best of it and see how well we do in Birmingham, Alabama. The con will be on the dates of Oct 27th through Oct 31st 2016.
Yes, we know, we all saw the box office figures. Zootopia is a big hit, and seems to be the establishing mass-media beachhead for "furry fandom". But please, please spare a moment to think about how best to interact with people arriving into the world of anthropomorphic-fiction. Consider this conversation you may well have in the near future ...
"Hey, is that Zootopia fan art? I loved that movie."
"No, it's actually my fursona."
"Oh, like a Zootopia OC, yeah I have one of those."
"No, No, this is from before Zootopia, from the furry fandom."
"Oh. No, I'm not into that stuff."
Stop right there ... Now, this is where you do not rant.
I'm a bit short on sleep at the moment, and my basic opinion on Zootopia is that it's a good, fun film, definitely worth seeing. My post is going to wander around a lot, more personal impressions than flat-out review. I'm not going to summarize the plot (assuming the other reviewers here have already done so), however I will be mentioning some elements of story structure that are semi-spoilerish.
I don't watch movies often. I'm not the kind to go out of my way to see films of any kind. Most of the ones I enjoyed I watched with my family on the television or on VHS or DVD. I can count the number times I went to the theater in the past decade on one hand.
And Zootopia is the first movie in cinema history where I can look at the opening weekend box office numbers and count my dollars amongst them. Yes, you heard that correctly. A 30 year old has never been to any movie on opening weekend until this last Friday, March 4th.
But I guess that's to be expected. Afterall, I was the audience it was marketed for. I'm a furry who writes for a furry news website that often covers movies, books, video games and also covers fandom politic. I usually cover the later two with more regularity. However, as with this opening weekend viewing, I find myself in need to make an exception.
In this article, I'm not going to not talk about the movie itself from an artistic and visual standpoint. I'll leave that to the movie experts on this site as there are people better at that aspect. Instead, in the interest of diversity I'm going to instead analyze the film from the perspective that I'm more known for and that is the social dynamic and messaging of the film.
In this interest I will cover two moments. The one that I feel is the movie’s greatest triumph, and the one that is its greatest downfall. As said these will contain supreme spoilers. If you want no spoilers, skip to the conclusion and don't read the comments.
Spoiler warning: Obviously many others are going to be covering the broad review of the movie here, as we at Flayrah are kind of doing a review extravaganza event. There are already some that are general and spoiler free. Therefore, in order to keep things fresh I will be doing one that contains a bit more spoilers than they do. So this is your warning. Only this introduction and the article's conclusion will be spoiler free. The main sections of the article and the comments will be free game and contain spoilers.
So, okay, there's a dozen or so iconic movies out there that furries like to claim as our own, whose characters are held up as examples of what an anthropomorphic animal is, and why we like them so much. But it's not often we get a movie with a premise that seems birthed from something on SoFurry. Zootopia is a film in which all mammals (excluding primates) have evolved. Kinda. They still look the same, including some species having eyes on either side of their head, or being friggin' tiny, but they can walk on two legs, and as children helpfully explain, don't eat each other anymore, and that's what's important.
Spoiler warning: This review does dwell a bit more into later plot developments than previous reviews.
This is the third review of Zootopia on Flayrah; please check out reviews by crossaffliction and Mister Twister! We invite all of our regular contributors (and maybe a few first timers) to share their opinions on this movie during the following month!
Every time a new animated movie comes out, my first question is “Will this story suck?” And that is an important question, since animation studios are often under pressure from producers to dumb down the narrative, to make absolutely sure the smallest kiddies (a.k.a., the target audience) will get it. When the makers cave in, it may end up being good for those “smallest kiddies”, but bad for everyone older than 7. That is a huge problem for grown-up animation fans, since no matter how good the visuals are, a stupid story will always make the watching experience painful, and leave you wishing you could travel to a parallel universe where the writing was better. I was disappointed by cartoons many times before, so I know what that feels like. Not here though. To my surprise, Disney released something actually smart, very very well-written. Zootopia is a smart movie, and is very much worth your time.
For anyone not convinced, I shall elaborate.
Disclaimer: In the reviewer's opinion, the French poster better represents the tone of the movie. Also, I only watched the movie once, but with the greatest attention. With that said, let's begin ...
This is the second review of Zootopia on Flayrah; the first can be found here, and we invite all of our regular contributors (and maybe a few first timers) to share their answers to those questions during the following month!
"It's only a movie, folks."
- People's "Picks and Pans Review: Star Wars: Episode I the Phantom Menace", Leah Rozen
Strange, but I guess I always wanted to write movie reviews; I remember thumbing through old People magazines at the barber shop, waiting for my hair to be cut, and skipping to the reviews, searching for movies I'd seen. I don't believe People even runs reviews anymore, but that's where I got my start. Not exactly the best known venue for movie criticism, even when it actually had any. But it's a start.
So, now, Zootopia. Interesting thing happened, waiting for this movie; furries began to caution other furries. Don't get to excited, don't overhype the movie, you'll only disappoint yourself. Which, as always, managed to show up the furry fandom's complete lack of cultural awareness; you don't worry about a relatively small group of people getting excited about a movie when the culture around you is waiting for the next Star Wars movie with something approximating religious fervor. It's not like we haven't already had three (now largely agreed upon as mediocre) Star Wars movies in most of the really excited people's lives already. Furry wise, we've only had one.
But, setting aside the willful ignorance of the world at large (you guys realize its an election year, right?), is this solid advice? Was the hype worth it? Will the anticipation pay off? Can this possibly live up to the expectations? Or is it, after all, just a movie?
This is the first review of Zootopia on Flayrah; another is already in the queue, and we invite all of our regular contributors (and maybe a few first timers) to share their answers to those questions during the following month!
Zootopia is the best reviewed movie of 2016 so far, according to review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. It has a 100% based on 92 reviews as this piece was written. The movie, which deals with a furry world as explicitly laid out in the original teaser trailer, is perhaps the single most anticipated movie in the history of the furry fandom. It seems the hype may not have been in vain.
Rotten Tomatoes's "critics' consensus" for the movie is as follows:
The brilliantly well-rounded Zootopia offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that's as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation -- all while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.
Some have noted that Zootopia is on pace to become the single best reviewed movie in Rotten Tomatoes history. The current record holder is Toy Story 2, with 100% from 163 reviews. The linked article points out that, while it is likely the movie will eventually receive a "rotten" review, a 99% or 98% is likely, and that a negative review is likely to come about because the reviewer disagrees with the movie's message, rather than the actual quality of the movie.
Fred Patten says:
My book on furry fandom conventions throughout the world, from the first in January 1989 through the end of 2015, was supposed to be sent to the publisher, McFarland, on March 1st (about 280 manuscript pages). Instead McFarland has given me an extension to try to get information about some conventions that have a lot of question marks because their committees are not answering my requests for information. The questions are things like “Who was Western Pennsylvania Furry Weekend 2015’s guest of honor?”, and “Who were Arizona Fur Con 2015’s conbook cover artist and T-shirt artist?”
Since questions to these conventions’ website “contact us” addresses are being ignored, does anyone have the e-mail addresses of any individual staffers for these conventions? On details like the name of Arizona Fur Con 2015’s convention book cover artist, AFC 2015 had 725 attendees. Does anyone have its convention book, and is there a cover artist credit in it?
Following is a list of the conventions not replying. The e-mail addresses of any of their individual staffers will be appreciated. Or if anyone knows any of their individual staffers, just tell them that I am trying (unsuccessfully so far) to contact them.
A new event, Furrnion, has been announced as "the first Spanish furry convention".
Furrnion is to be presented in English as well as Spanish, in the hope of attracting dealers and attendees internationally. Features outlined on its website include a dealers' den, art show and auction, nocturnal raves, and a fursuit lounge.
Staff are still being recruited; registration is to be opened in April, assuming all goes to plan.
The first local event - Ibercamp, a mountain camp launched in 2012 - attracted 60 furs in its second year, but was not held subsequently. August 2015 saw the introduction of another camp, Furbest, with 29 listed attendees (video).
You shall have to forgive me; this is not a very furry movie. It may not be a furry movie at all, but to truly come down one way or another, I'd have to spoil things. However, one does not often have the opportunity to review a movie endorsed by the Satanic Temple; in fact, this is the first opportunity any reviewer ever has had. If you're the kind of person who likes to take movie recommendations from the Satanic Temple, well, there you go. Stephen King liked it too.
So, why am I reviewing this movie for Flayrah (I mean, other than I want to, and I can)? Well, this is one of those horror movies where you can't know for sure if what you're seeing is real, or a vision, a dream, or a hallucination. Two small children assure us they talk to a goat; this goat is named Black Phillip. When not playing imaginary friend to all children (or is it the witch in the wood's familiar pretending to be playing imaginary friend to all children?), he enjoys Tweeting cute goat videos, vintage furry art, vague threats at the Pope and, of course, humblebrags. Not in the movie, though (that would be quite a twist), but as part of the bizarre viral marketing employed by cult distributor A24 (see also, Satanic Temple endorsement). Don't laugh, the goat has more followers than we do.
Oh, also there's a bunny. I should probably mention that.