animation

Religion: Satan is a Furry

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Happy Science: Satan1 We’ve all heard the charge that Furry fans are fetishists who dress up in fursuits just to have sex with each other.

Have you heard that Satan is a Furry; a cat-man from the Large Magellanic Cloud, responsible for all the evils on Earth?

That might be funny if over ten million people did not believe it.

That is one of the revelations made in The Laws of the Sun by Ryuho Okawa, one of the Bibles of the Happy Science religion.

Teaser trailer: 'Mr. Peabody and Sherman' (also in Russian)

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At the moment, this story just repeats information already in last year’s “Animated Anthropomorphic Features in 2013” story and its followup comments. But it is time for Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the DreamWorks Animation feature directed by Rob Minkoff, based on the TV feature by Jay Ward, now due for a March 7, 2014 release, to have its own story.

The first theatrical teaser trailer was released on October 25. DreamWorks has also released a Russian trailer that is totally different. Too bad it is only available in Russian. [YouTube's attempt at English translation of the automatic captions is, however, hilarious.]

The Bear and Mouse Come To America

Big news from our friends over at Cartoon Brew, especially if you’re a fan of traditional animation: “Indie animated feature distributor GKIDS has announced that the highly anticipated hand-drawn French film Ernest and Celestine will open in New York and Los Angeles on March 14, 2014. That will be followed by national expansion to all major US markets. GKIDS has qualified Ernest and Celestine for the Academy Awards this year in the film’s original French language with subtitles. The American release, however, will be dubbed with a voice cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, and Nick Offerman. The small New York-based distributor has experienced fantastic success at the Oscars during the past five years by countering the big studios with quieter, more personal hand-drawn fare. They have earned nominations for three of their features: The Secret of Kells, A Cat in Paris, and Chico & Rita.” Check it out next year.


image c. 2013 GKIDS

 

 

Animation: What happened to ... ?

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Outback: Zero to Hero“Coming in 2013!” Many movies that are announced never come out. Two that were announced in 2013 as “coming soon” and then disappeared seem to be unfortunate M.I.A.s, from Flayrah’s point of view.

Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie. “Ever since the world was born, two forces have been locked in perpetual battle. Their struggle is so Manichean, so ferocious, so Herculean that it makes the clash between good and evil look like a game of checkers! This ancestral duel is so ancient and so merciless that it can only be...Oggy against the Cockroaches!” The trailer, featuring the eternal battle between cats and cockroaches “from the Stone Age to the Space Age”, shows an imaginative mixture of animation styles, with the Stone Age and Medieval age in traditional 2D cartoon animation, the present as a mixture of cartoon and computer graphic imagery, and the futuristic Space Age sequences in all CGI.

Did you ever hear of Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie? Did you ever hear of an Oggy and the Cockroaches regular animated TV series? Then you’re not French, Indian, or Vietnamese. Oggy et les Cafards, 7 minutes an episode, has been broadcast in France since 1998, and has sold to Indian and Vietnamese TV. The Indian broadcast appears on the Cartoon Network there, but in Hindi. The two-hour movie premiered in French theaters on August 7, 2013, and since a trailer in English exists, someone is apparently trying to get it distributed in America. Good luck.

Reviews: 'Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Newspaper Comic Strips Collection. Volume 1, 2010-2011', by various

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Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Newspaper Comic Strips Collection. Volume 1, 2010-2011 Aardman Animations’ Wallace & Gromit stop-motion clay (or plasticine) films should need no introduction to Flayrah’s readers. The first, A Grand Day Out, released in Great Britain for Christmas 1989, almost immediately became a sensation in both Britain and America. New short films, the Curse of the Were-Rabbit feature, the Shaun the Sheep TV series, and a steady stream of merchandising have kept the pair (for Flayrah, especially Gromit) alive for almost twenty-five years.

It seems bizarre that there was no Wallace & Gromit newspaper comic strip until May 17, 2010. As an American, I had assumed that there was a comic strip in Britain long ago, but apparently not. Here is its announcement:

Titan Comics and Aardman Animations have teamed up with The Sun newspaper to produce a daily Wallace & Gromit comic strip!

From May 17th, the inventive duo will feature in their very own daily comic strip in the newspaper, with each adventure running for 6 days, from Monday – Saturday. The comic strip comes after the success of Titan and Aardman’s Wallace & Gromit iphone comic, which was brought out to celebrate 20 years of the famous pair.

Don't miss the start of the first adventure, out on May 17th and let us know what you think!

Titan Comics, October 2013, hardcover $14.99 (unpaged [136 pages]). Foreword by Nick Park.

'Family Guy' kills off Brian Griffin

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Brian Griffin Brian Griffin, the martini-drinking anthropomorphic dog from the animated series Family Guy, has been killed off. In the episode which aired on November 24, Brian was hit by a car and subsequently died from his injuries.

In the same episode (entitled Life of Brian), Stewie Griffin had dismantled his oft-used time machine, and was unable to reconstruct it to go back and save Brian. A month after Brian's funeral, the family get a new dog, Vinny, voiced by Tony Sirico.

Family Guy writer Steve Callaghan explained why they decided to kill off Brian:

Well, this was an idea that got pitched in the writers room and it sort of caught fire, and we thought it could be a fun way to shake things up. As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters.

Update: Some fans were, predictably, not happy with Brian's fate. The effectiveness of online petitions is debatable, but one has been set calling for Brian's return. As of now (Nov 26), it has just under 42,000 signatures.

Watch Cute Little Animals Die!

One of the most talked-about furry phenomena from a decade ago was a silly little series of animated shorts called Happy Tree Friends. Here’s how the distributors describe it: “Happy Tree Friends is the cult cartoon sensation  with over 1 billion views. The cartoon is drawn in simple appearance and combines cute forest animals with extreme graphic violence. Each episode revolves around the characters enduring accidental events of bloodshed, pain, dismemberment and/or death.” Got that? Well now Flatiron Entertainment have released Happy Tree Friends: Complete Disaster, a 4-DVD box set which includes 13 half-hour TV episodes and 75 short cartoons. Amazon has it for sale, of course. Ouch!


Image c. 2013 Flatiron Entertainment

Anthropomorphics Reading List: November 17 update

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Ursa Major AwardsThe Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2013 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through November 17. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.

There are two months left to add your favorites of the year to the List. All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, short fiction, other literary works, graphic stories, comic strips, magazines, published illustrations, websites, and games) first published during 2013, if they are not already on the list.

Send in your recommendations. Read the List to see what other fans have recommended. Have you seen all nine published illustrations, for example? What have you been missing?

More Furry Cartoons Coming From South Africa

The Hollywood Reporter recently ran an article about Triggerfish — the animation studio which some refer to as the Pixar of South Africa. Following the international success of Zambezia (about a city of birds) and Khumba (about a young zebra missing half of his stripes), Triggerfish have secured funding which will allow them to begin work on two new films out of a planned slate of five. The company’s stated goal is to release one film a year starting in 2016. First out of the gate is Here Be Monsters, about a young human boy who interacts with a scary sea monster. It’s written by Raffaella Delle Donne, who worked on both the studio’s previous films. Soon after that comes Seal Team, described as “an action-comedy that pits a group of seals against the great white sharks of South Africa.” Khumba is currently screening in Africa, with plans to roll it out to the rest of the world going into 2014.


image c. 2013 Triggerfish

Animation: 'Animal Control!' is out of control

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The Cartoon Brew has an interview with Jordan Reichek, the director/producer of Animal Control! for Cartoon Network Asia, located in Hong Kong for broadcast throughout Southeast Asia. Animal Control! is a series of 1’47” dialogueless cartoons featuring Ya and Ba, two hapless Animal Control officers and the anthropomorphized animals whom they are supposed to control, especially surly, troublemaking Mr. Koala. Reichek describes it as “kinda like the Crocodile Hunter, but dumber.”

Animal Control! is produced by Reichek at his Perky Pickle Productions studio. What will really make the interview of interest to Flayrah’s readers is that links to PerkyPickle.com, where all ten episodes produced so far can be seen. Plus other goodies, such as the Invader Zim pilot, which Reichek worked on. Check it out.

Animation: 'Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure'

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Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure Oh, goody! Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure. For all of you who couldn’t wait for a sequel. Available direct-to-DVD and Blu-ray as a Walmart kiddy exclusive.

Well, no; it’s also available as a digital download on iTunes and Google Play [tip: Blindwolf8], and as a video-on-demand. Sort of the equivalent of vanity-pressed novels.

Is there a tag for “bad CGI”?

How much do you think they spent on these trailers? $1.00? 50¢? 25¢?

I am not sure which is worse; the title pun, the music, or the animation.

See more (if you dare): The Making of Alpha and Omega 2 [Higgs Raccoon]

Animation: The 'Clangers' are returning

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From 1969 to 1972, BBC-TV presented a series of 26 10-minute stop-motion animated children’s episodes about the Clangers, tiny pink mouse-like denizens of another planet, and their cook, the Soup Dragon. The series was popular with British children and parents alike.

The Cartoon Brew has announced, in an article by Neil Emmett, that Clangers (or The Clangers) will make a comeback in 2015, with 52 new episodes for CBeebies in Britain and the preschool channel Sprout in the U.S. The new series will be produced in stop-motion animation of knitted puppets by Peter Firmin, the original puppet maker and puppeteer (now 84), with writing supervision by Daniel Postgate, the son of the creator and original writer, Oliver Postgate. The article contains one of the original 10-minute episodes.

Hedgehog in 'Toy Story of Terror' is more plush than prickly

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Josh Armstrong, on the Animation Scoop website, has advance news and an image of the Pixar TV Hallowe’en special, “Toy Story of Terror”. While the Toy Story crowd is technically anthropomorphic anyway, “Toy Story of Terror” includes an especially Furry plush hedgehog, Mr. Pricklepants.
Mr. Pricklepants in 'Toy Story of Terror'
“Toy Story of Terror” was broadcast on ABC-TV on October 16 at 8/7 (Central) p.m. Here are two favorable reviews of it. The first, by Shaun Thompson & Craig Williams on the DIS Blog, is especially informative, and includes scheduled showings on Disney's channels. It looks worth watching on the inevitable reruns and DVD release, if you missed it the first time around.

Review: 'Gusko Budori no Denki' ['The Life of Guskou Budori']

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Gusko Budori no Denki Gusk? Budori no Denki (The Life of Guskou Budori) is a 105-minute anime film released in 2012. The story had been previously adapted into anime in 1994, however the 2012 version did it with anthropomorphic cats - largely identical to the cats in the 1985 anime film Night on the Galactic Railroad. Not coincidentally, both films were directed by Gisaburo Sugii, and both were based on stories written by Japanese author Kenji Miyazawa, published in the 1930s.

The 2012 Life of Guskou Budori is visually rich, but has an incredibly dull narrative. Full spoilers ahead! Budori, his parents and his younger sister have an idyllic life in a forest by the mountains, but two years of sudden cold weather leads to the death of his parents and everyone leaving the local village. Oh, and his sister is taken away by a mysterious entity. To paraphrase:

Supernatural cat: I'm here to save you from famine. You're good kids, but that won't help you. Hey girl, if you stay here, you'll starve. Come with me.
(Budori's sister goes to him, seemingly in a trance.)
Supernatural cat: Well, bye! (vanishes)
Budori: ...Hey! You thief!

A Dog and His Boy, with Glasses

Dreamworks Animation released the first set of stills from their upcoming feature film Mr. Peabody & Sherman in a recent article in USA Today. Cartoon Brew reprinted the images as well. The film (about a time-traveling dog and his young human assistant) is of course based on the original series of short cartoons that was part of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. This new CGI version is directed by Rob Minkoff (he of The Lion King and the Stuart Little movies), and it’s set for release in March of 2014. There had been rumors going around for some time that the Mr. Peabody movie was going to be done live action, with a real kid playing Sherman and Mr. Peabody being a CGI-enhanced real dog. That idea did not go over very well with classic animation fans, but fortunately it turns out that Dreamworks is making it much more traditionally — just with a computer.


image c. 2013 Dreamworks Animation