A little while ago we made mention of Nelbert the Introvert, the first children’s book written and illustrated by Disney Animation lead character designer Shiyoon Kim (Zootopia, Big Hero 6). A recent article on Cartoon Brew said that the book is now available at Mr. Kim’s web site. In fact Mr. Kim actually went so far as to direct an animated ” teaser trailer” for the book. Inspired by the likes of Disney animator/illustrator Bill Peet, Nelbert tells the story of a shy dragon who likes to play chess. Mr. Kim created a set of custom “brushes” in Photoshop to use in the creation of his book. They’re also available for sale on his web site.
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.
Erotic art site Wacky World of Erotic Cartoons has closed its doors, reportedly due to hosting costs. The imminent closure of the site was announced on its forums; both were taken offline just hours later, although a deadline of a week had been provided.
The WWoEC and its forums featured erotic depictions of American cartoon characters. It opened at the turn of the century, running as a partially paywalled site in its early years. Paid content later moved to LustToons (NSFW), which supported the WWoEC and its forums.
No Evil is an animated series of short videos by Betsy Lee (aka Warlord of Noodles), featuring a group of anthropomorphic animal spirits inspired by Aztec mythology and folklore from all across North and South America. Throw in the influence of literary, historical and folk heroes, and you've got a great mix of characters. (Click on the thumbnails for larger images.)
The story involves the spirits trying to deal with the return of a dark, spreading entity that causes a deadly sleeping sickness, which they call the Black Tezcatlipoca, or "black ick" for short, except it's just one problem amongst many that they're having to deal with, such as escalating tensions between the nearby villages.
I couldn't get a hold of a Marvel Previews this month, so none of those this time. This is month of the Squirrel Girl/Howard the Duck crossover, so that's kind of unfortunate. Oh, well.
Furry podcast ‘Fur What It’s Worth’ to be joined by Margaret Cho, seeks questions from furry fandom at largePosted by furwhatitsworth on Wed 17 Feb 2016 - 12:36
Fur What It's Worth has announced it is being joined by well-known comedienne and activist Margaret Cho for its next recording session of the current season. The episode's topic, based on Ms. Cho's humanitarian/activist work and comedy routines, is "Giving Back While Laughing (with Margaret Cho)". The show has invited any and all furries at large to participate in the episode by sending their questions, comments and relevant stories to the show by 12:01 A.M. Mountain Time (GMT-7) on February 24, 2016. Submissions are encouraged to be related to the episode topic, but, as the show press release stresses, are not required to be. The show cast is committed to sharing as many submissions as possible with Ms. Cho.
"We would like to have the [furry] fandom come out and really show some love for Ms. Cho. She's been supportive of our fandom and a wonderful ambassador when the need has arisen. This is our chance to show her how much of a difference she's made in everyone's individual lives, furry or not, just by having tons of submissions. Email or even better, a voice clip, will really make this a memorable show!" said Roo, one of the show hosts.
Interested listeners can catch the episode on release day through the Fur What It's Worth website at www.furwhatitsworth.com, iTunes, Stitcher, and other major podcatchers. The episode is scheduled for release on Sunday, March 6, 2016. Those wishing to submit an email or voice clip to the episode should send their submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the first teaser trailer for Illumination Entertainment’s Sing, from the studio that brought us two (so far) Despicable Me features and one (so far) Minions feature, and that is going to bring us The Secret Life of Pets.
Despicable Me, Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets are all set in the human world. Sing takes place in a totally anthro world, like Disney's Zootopia. Are any of us planning theater parties, like there are to see Zootopia, when Sing comes out on December 21, 2016?
In 2002, I wrote an article here about the problematic side of furry fandom, and what we needed to do about it. In 2007 I gave the fandom positive grades for progress made. In 2011 I praised the fandom for it's growth and outreach while also cautioning that growth can also come with its own difficulties. But now I fear that I need to talk to the fandom again.
The fandom has grown. With that comes a growth in the number of idiots and trouble makers, so risk isn't a hypothetical anymore. Damaging chairs, wrecking public areas, inappropriate conduct and a return to the "squick the mundanes" attitude that I'd hoped we'd moved beyond. This has already resulted in the failure of one major convention, Rainfurrest, and we need to all act to prevent it from happening to another.
Have you nominated your choices for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards, for the best new anthropomorphic releases of 2015 in eleven categories? Nominations close on February 29, in only two weeks.
The categories are Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series, and so on for Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work (anthologies, collections, non-fiction and art books), Graphic Story, Comic Strip, Magazines, Published Illustration, Game and Website. Works first published or released during the 2015 calendar year are eligible. You may make up to five nominations in each category.
Nominations opened on January 14 (the first day of Further Confusion 2016) and have been going on for a month. The nominations will be tallied between March 1 and March 14. The final ballot, consisting of the five titles in each category that receive the most nominations, will be announced on March 15, and voting will take place until April 30. All those who send in nominations will be registered as eligible to vote on the final ballot. Those who did not nominate but wish to vote on the final ballot may register to do so.