Back in 2011, I wrote my first top ten movies of the year list, where I chose Winnie the Pooh as the seventh best movie I saw that year, but I didn't see it in the theaters. Because it was Winnie the Pooh, and it was a children's movie even more so than the average animated movie featuring talking animals, and it would have been embarrassing for a late twenty-something to be caught going alone to the movie theater to watch it. Explaining that I was only watching it to review it for a furry website wouldn't have really changed that. But I wrote back in that first top ten list:
I decided to skip this movie at the theaters because, you know, it’s Winnie the Pooh. Big mistake. Next time, I’ll man up, and watch the kid’s movie.
I was right back then; it does, sometimes, take a man to review a kid's movie. That was a promise to myself that I wouldn't let embarrassment get the better of me in the future. Shaun the Sheep was the first real test of this self promise. I mean, Free Birds were a slightly different proposition; as "geek culture" becomes more and more prevalent in pop culture, to the point they are nearly synonymous, watching animated movies, even those with slightly awkward studio pedigrees, is much less of a big deal. But I was fairly certain Shaun the Sheep was meant as a pre-school level animation (I was unfair in this assessment; I was thinking of the spin-off Timmy Time, which is meant for pre-schoolers but is not the basis of this movie); but I made that promise to myself not to let pre-school prejudice get in the way.
Good call; this is a pretty good movie.
Disney Infinity 3.0, the figure-based game featuring characters from most Disney properties, released August 30. The big news for most followers of video games and other such hobbyist pursuits is the addition of multiple characters from the Star Wars franchise, which follows version 2.0's inclusion of Marvel comics characters. For normal nerd and geek types, the thought of Luke Skywalker joining the Avengers is the kind of crossover normally reserved for fan-fiction, so the fact that this is really happening would be exciting, but we're furries. Our biggest hope for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is that an Amaran appears long enough onscreen to gain an action figure.
More exciting for fans of anthropomorphic animals is the pair of, well, anthropomorphic animals Nick and Judy from the upcoming movie Zootopia (you might have heard something about it) as playable characters/collectible figurines. As the movie doesn't come out until March next year, the figures were not available at launch; there isn't actually a release date for them yet. YouTube footage of Judy and Nick has surfaced; note that the channel these videos appear on do not seem to be official Disney channels, so they may not be available for long.
A box office surprise just came out of Mexico; Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (that's "The Rooster with Many Eggs" for our mostly-English-speaking audience, though "huevos" has a double meaning in Mexican Spanish slang) took a top-ten spot at the American box office for the Labor Day weekend.
Box Office Mojo is placing the movie with an estimated 7th or 8th place (final tallies will most likely arrive Monday) with an approximate box office of $3.4 million; this is a fantastic run for a movie that is currently only available in Spanish, and which opened in just 395 theaters.
The movie did seem to come out of nowhere to English-speaking American audiences; the announcement it exists was In-Fur-Nation's top story at this piece's press time. Cartoon Brew notes it "had no […] mainstream press coverage", so furries weren't the only group to drop the ball.
Established in 2008, Furry 4 Life boasts over 24,500 members, but has become hamstrung by an abandoned platform. Staff hope to complete the move by the end of the month, although they warn migration may last until January 2016.
Ning, back in 2008, was the best answer to the question "How can I build a social network for my niche community?". They really were the best option and still remain a powerhouse in hosted social software platforms. We really do owe a lot to them, but we are moving in different directions, and the Ning Platform is no longer a solid solution to our growing community.
One of the drawbacks of living in South Africa is that the furry scene is currently rather small. Despite attempts to bring furs from all over the country together for a national meet, we had limited successes and, even when we managed a national furmeet, only assembled between 14 and 16 attendees. Things have improved during the last few years, and meet sizes have increased quite dramatically, even to the point that plans are underway to reboot the South Afrifur convention in 2016.
So, when I moved to Europe, I was glad to finally have the opportunity to attend proper, large-scale furry conventions. I chose two different cons to attend. One was Lakeside Furs, which is a relatively small (approximately 50 attendees) Austrian convention. It made sense as I was now living in Austria and it offered a way to meet the Austrian furry community. I also chose Eurofurence which, as the largest furry convention in Europe, is an almost obligatory furry visit. Although I didn't realize it at the time, both Eurofurence and Lakeside Furs were started by Unci, although he is no longer involved with Eurofurence.
An Anthropomorphic Century; Stories from 1909 to 2008, edited by Fred Patten and published by FurPlanet Productions, is scheduled for release at the RainFurrest 2015 convention, in Seattle, Washington, on September 24-27, 2015. It will be on sale through the online FurPlanet catalog thereafter.
An Anthropomorphic Century contains 20 short stories and novelettes published from 1909 to 2008, mostly in the s-f magazines and books of the latter 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.
YouTube has the first teaser trailer of the Disney studio’s April 15, 2016 “live-action” (heavily VFX) adaptation of The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, and it’s definitely full of anthropomorphic animals. The voice actors include Bill Murray as Baloo, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita N'yongo as Raksha, and Christopher Walken as King Louie.
As you can see, it will be a mixture of Rudyard Kipling’s 1894-‘95 literary classic and Disney’s own 1967 animated classic. A lot of this was revealed at Disney’s D23 Expo in August, but now you can see it for yourself.
In Norse mythology, the squirrel Ratatoskr (whose name is usually translated as "bore-tooth", and who is sometimes depicted with a unicorn like horn) is the messenger between the serpent at the base of the world tree Yggdrasil, and the eagle living at the top. Neither eagle nor serpent much like each other; Ratatoskr does not help matters, as it is known as a gossip who keeps the two rivals angry with each other. That's pretty much Ratatoskr's role in Norse mythology. The squirrel is a very, very minor character.
Despite its small stature (both literally and figuratively), Ratatoskr has managed to gain an important role in a Marvel comic and become a playable character in a popular video game. And the squirrel's two entrances happened one day apart.