Hello there and welcome to September's episode of Digging Up Positivity. This month we have a lot of charity and animation, and our featurette is a coyote that really made her mark on our community [Ash Coyote].
In this third season of Aggretsuko, we move further away from the focus of the stress of work-life in and of itself and instead cover the fulfilment of one’s dreams through the side gigs adults do to try and find money in their passions. This season, the characters come to find that these new avenues may come with stresses of their own; work is still work.
Given this the office itself plays even less of a role than the prior seasons. Without going into too many details in this summary, the conclusion of this season is one that will probably strike an intense chord with furry fans given the passion that we have for our fandom “side gig”.
If you enjoyed the prior seasons then you’ll find enjoyment in this season. Spoilers ahead, so watch before continuing should you wish to go in blind.
Monday, July 27 marks the 80th anniversary of the theatrical release of the animated short film "A Wild Hare", part of the Merry Melodies series of shorts produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions for the Warner Bros. film studio, which featured the debut of an at the time unnamed lapine (called a "wabbit" by his rhotacism afflicted co-star) who would soon be known as Bugs Bunny. This character would become somewhat popular over the last eight decades.
To celebrate the world's most famous bunny's birthday, the United States Postal Service has released a set of ten stamps featuring Bugs Bunny in multiple outfits he's worn in his over 168 starring roles in the original Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies 1930-1969 run; and that's not counting cameos there and starring roles in cartoons outside that run. Featured outfits include his barber's outfit from "Rabbit of Seville", his Tea-Totaller team uniform from "Baseball Bugs", his basketball team jersey for the Tune Squad from the movie Space Jam, and, in one of two featured drag get-ups, his disguise from often-cited-as-best-cartoon-EVER "What's Opera, Doc?". Ironically not featured is his standard outfit of au naturel except a pair of white gloves; disappointingly, neither is his fox fursuit from "Foxy by Proxy" .
Reporting from Verve indicates that Neopets will be releasing an animated series in 2021. Neopets is known for its Flash based entertainment that held its own with other such animal care based franchises of the 1990s such as Pokemon, Digimon, or Tamagochi.
The owning company JumpStart, who bought it from Viacom in 2014, hopes to use this as a way to refresh interest in the pet based franchise at a time where they are shifting their Flash based interface before most browsers discontinue support for Flash applications by the end of this year.
It has been two decades since the triangle shirt wearing wallaby had aired on Nickelodeon. Things have changed a lot since then. The world had a recession, Starbucks is a thing, smartphones are now an integrated part of life, there was the 3D film craze, and social media is now a primary source of communication. All of these elements are introduced quickly in the show’s opening.
If you are a fan of the show it’ll be well worth the watch, but you can enjoy it without having watched the 90s run. I myself was not a religious watcher of the show, which may be deemed as blasphemous due to my Kangaroo fursona, but my parents did not have cable television during the Nickelodeon hay-day. That changed with the invention of satellite television, though. So change can be good.
Static Cling’s theme is very heavy handed, dealing with life and the changes that take place there-in. As someone who wasn’t a devoted watcher of the show, it is a decent attempt to cover the more modern life of the modern life we live in at this point. The main review will have spoilers and synopsis so if you want to enjoy it blind, watch before proceeding to the next sections.
Animal Crackers (trailer) is a 94-minute computer-animated children's movie. The brainchild of Scott Sava, it caught the early attention of furry fandom at least as far back as 2015. Concept animation showed a guy haphazardly munching on animal-shaped cookies that turned him into the animals. As time went on, Sava brought in financial backers, a co-director (Tony Bancroft, who'd worked on several Disney movies), and a co-writer (Dean Lorey). The finished product premiered at the Annecy Film Festival in 2017... and then vanished.
It turns out that Sava had made the mistake of not securing a distributor ahead of time. With very little bargaining power, it eventually got shown in China in 2018, and some other countries in 2019.
Dan Avidan, after years of dancing around topic of being a furry and which he would be, seems to have settled on his fursona of a cyberpunk wolf in a recently released music video. The video features animal characters with trans-humanist enhancements. The coloration has a signature bleed of 80s style animation.
The story portrays a pack of wolves seeking vengeance against a stag mogul after having their kin slaughtered at his hand. The style of animation and situation has some striking similarities to that of Caravan Palace's music video for Lone Digger.
This was brought to my attention by Majira Strawberry who asked why know one was talking about it. The answer to that in my case is object pertinence.
For those who are fans of cyberpunk and animation this is certainly worth the watch.
Video from Thabo Meerkat, transcribed
Welcome to another edition of Digging Up Positivity! This episode is dedicated to the many volunteers that make all those amazing conventions and charities possible. But besides them, we are covering some animation news and other (maybe otter?) tidbits!
Underdog (언더독, trailer) is a South Korean animated film from 2018, written and directed by Oh Sung-yoon at Odoltogi Studio, and co-directed by Lee Chun-baek who previously directed Leafie, A Hen into the Wild.
The main character is Moongchi, a dog who loves and trusts his owners, so he's understandably confused when he's deliberately left behind in the woods. Luckily he soon meets a group of other abandoned dogs who take him in, surviving in an empty slum on the edge of the nearby town.
While his fellow strays beg and scrounge to survive, Moongchi is still figuring things out. Wandering up the mountain into the forest, he meets a small group of wild dogs and wants to impress one of them, a female named Bami. Trouble is brewing for both groups, and soon they must unite and find a new place to live.
I had some friends over recently, both furry and dragon fans, to show them a retro and entertainingly stupid 1991 anime mini-movie called Capricorn. We poked holes and made fun of it. The following day, in a spirit of— amicable masochism I guess, my friend Dav treated me to the recent movie trailer for A Dragon Adventure:
Confused and somewhat alarmed by the quality levels, I started to look into where it came from.
I am well-aware that computer-animated films with talking animals are churned out all over the world, and most of them are of pretty terrible quality. The theory is that kids will watch anything. So if you believe that, then who cares about quality? Just work on a small budget and make money. What I hadn't done was to take a look down this particular rabbit hole. Now, having done so, I regret it.
Kemono Michi: Rise Up (aka Hataage! Kemono Michi) is new anime series being distributed by Funimation. In fact, it's one of two new anime series that might interest people in furry fandom, the other one being Beastars which will be airing on Netflix very soon!
Based on the manga by Natsume Akatsuki, Kemono Michi definitely doesn't take itself seriously. Shibata Genzo is a pro wrestler who's having the biggest match of his career against his opponent, Macadamian Ogre. Suddenly, mid-fight, Genzo is magically transported to another world, where a princess has ritually summoned him to be the hero to save her kingdom from demon beasts and their demon king.
Thing is, Genzo is a friend to animals, so he's not going to do it. He suplexes the princess, leaves his cloak behind, and escapes the castle (along with his little pet dog).
And now a rather different take on Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon universe, this time in a new Netflix TV series for young viewers. Animation World Network gave us the scoop: “DreamWorks Animation has just unveiled the high-flying trailer and cast of its new animated preschool series, Dragons Rescue Riders. This all-new chapter in the Oscar-nominated How to Train Your Dragon franchise follows the adventures of twins, Dak and Leyla, raised by dragons, who share a unique ability to communicate with them. The brother and sister lead a team of five young dragons, Aggro, Winger, Summer, Cutter, and Burple, with whom they spend their days rescuing other dragons and helping people in their adopted town of Huttsgalor. All 14 episodes of the new series debut September 27 exclusively on Netflix.” Check out the preview trailer as well.
Aggretsuko has launched its second season on Netflix. The first season won an Ursa Major, and the show has become a hit among the fandom with its theme of worklife in the modern era. Will the second season be able to retain its title?
In short, I personally found the second season to be a bit tamer than the first as far as content goes. The red panda, Retsuko, seems to have adapted more to her stresses in life and the duality of her underlying rage seems to have been numbed a bit. When she did do a scream-fest, it seemed more forced and circumstantial than prepared and thought out. It also looks to be that the season focuses on the social obligations outside the workplace this season. Items such as friendship, family, and the future of Retsuko’s life outside of work seem to be the focus of her stresses.
Given this, those that like the first season may have differing feelings of the direction of this one. My thoughts are a bit complicated. I think the first season was far punchier and excellently paced, whereas the second had good moments but also some questionable decisions on character usage.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) is the latest film in the HTTYD series, the first of which came out in 2010 and was followed by a second film in 2014. Now, after a four-and-a-half-year gap, we have a third one, presumably (?) the last, but even if DreamWorks decides to keep the film franchise going, The Hidden World feels like the completion of a trilogy, all of which have involved Dean DeBlois as screenwriter and director.
I'm going to try and avoid major spoilers, so I'll summarize the plot points introduced in the early part of the film. I won't be linking to trailers, because they give away some of the locations and scene gags that are better kept a surprise. I watched a 2D screening, and I haven't kept up with any of the franchise spinoffs or shorts. I'm not a fan of most of the dragon designs or of several secondary characters, but regardless, I've happily enjoyed Hiccup and Toothless' adventures together.