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Review: 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish'

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (9 votes)

pussinbootsthelastwish.jpgLet's start at the beginning.

Before Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, even. How about DreamWorks Animation's new studio bumper? It's a bit ostentatious, even a bit overly pleased with itself. Maybe goes on a little long. But, then again, what studio bumper doesn't, nowadays? But, being a celebration of DreamWorks past triumphs, it's interesting to note what franchises were chosen to be spotlighted.

Right out the gate, the Bad Guys are getting quite a vote of confidence, despite being the new guys with one movie under their belts. So I think it's safe to say we're getting a sequel. Also for furries, the Kung Fu Panda series is featured, and we already know that's got a fourth movie coming. The How To Train Your Dragon series is also represented by Toothless, despite the fact that the last movie came to a very decisive story end. It's one of the more acclaimed franchises of DreamWorks, so it has to show up, and even if there are no more movies, smaller screen spinoffs are still happening. There are also appearances by the Trolls and Boss Baby franchises, but they aren't furry, so who cares?

There are some notable absences, however. Despite featuring four movies, the Madagascar franchise is ignored. Spirit, you know, the one with the horse? That somehow managed two movies, but is apparently not an ongoing concern. And obviously, the Shrek franchise is prominently featured, but the star of the movie we're about to actually start reviewing is not. Maybe he'll show up in the bumper for movies he's not the star of?

Bear With Him

This is a bit complex, so we’ll let Animation World Network explain it: “Nickelodeon has released a handful of first look images for Bossy Bear, the new animated preschool series from husband-and-wife team David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim (UglyDolls, Tea Time Cats), based on the Korean / U.S. pop culture blend book series by Horvath. The series follows the misadventures of unlikely besties Bossy Bear (an overly enthusiastic extrovert) and Turtle (a thoughtful introvert) in their Koreatown-inspired city of Pleasantburg.” Look for the show on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. in 2023. [And have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!]


image c. 2022 Nickelodeon

First Nation Furries

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Netflix recently premiered an interesting new animated TV series for young viewers. “Spirit Rangers explores the beauty of nature through the eyes and adventures of half-Chumash, half-Cowlitz siblings Kodi, Summer, and Eddy Skycedar, who all share a secret: They are ‘Spirit Rangers’ who help protect the land and spirits of the national park they call home in California. Taking on new perspectives as a grizzly bear cub, red-tailed hawk, and spunky turtle, the Skycedar kids face every challenge — from helping a lost thunderbird to waking a sleepy sun — with courage and compassion.” The series is created by Karissa Valencia, herself a member of the Samala Chumash tribe. Animation World Network has an extensive article.


image c. 2022 Netflix

Movie review: 'Perlimps' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Perlimps (trailer) is a Brazilian 2D animated film, the second from animator and director Alê Abreu. After seeing his earlier film, Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo, 2013), I really wanted to see what his next project would be like. I wasn't expecting to wait nine years!

Abreu's films definitely do not adhere to typical Hollywood narrative structures, veering towards the artsy without being self-indulgent. Boy and the World, for example, has no dialog at all, and conveys things entirely with sounds and visuals. (As well as being an abstract statement about growing up and the poverty that comes from the exploitation of labor.)

Perlimps is way more approachable in comparison. On the surface, judging by its trailer, I thought it was going to be another film about the devastation of the environment by humans. It does some of that, sure, but that's just surface stuff.

The rest of the film's surface is all in the trailer. Claé (an orange wolf) and Bruô (a blue bear) are secret agents from the opposing kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, trying to find the Perlimps, mysterious entities who can help save the forest from the encroachment of man.

Season 6 teaser image shows 'Fortnite' just got a lot furrier

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (13 votes)

fortnite_0.jpg

Season 6 of the popular "Battle Royale" shooter Fortnite is launching September 25, this Thursday, and for the second season in a row, the first teaser image released by Epic Games features a new character wearing an animal mask, in this case, a Deadmau5-esque DJ wearing a llama mask, after the Season 5 teaser featured a kabuki-inspired fox mask teaser.

The next Season 6 teaser image featured a cowgirl (the "Wild West" type of cowgirl, not the furry type, unfortunately), but it wasn't until the third and final teaser image, that things got really furry with an apparent werewolf character featured, seen above.

Update: The llama DJ is named DJ Yonder and is the tier 1 reward for the Season 6 Battle Pass; the werewolf is named Dire and is the tier 100 reward, and features further unlockable styles (he is unlocked as a human but most players will already have enough experience points reaching tier 100 to unlock his werewolf form when he is unlocked). Season 6 is also introducing Pets that players can carry on their back to the game; a dog, chameleon and baby dragon will all be unlockable in the pass.

Movie review: 'Paddington 2'

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (13 votes)

paddington2.jpg"Paddington 2 honors its star's rich legacy with a sweet-natured sequel whose adorable visuals are matched by a story perfectly balanced between heartwarming family fare and purely enjoyable all-ages adventure."
- Rotten Tomatoes Paddington 2 Critics Consensus

"I'm gonna wait for the goofy gorilla review."
- the late ba, Internet commenter

Reviewing Paddington 2 at this point is less an exercise in reviewing a movie than reviewing the very idea of a reviewing a movie.

It broke the record on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes for most reviews for a movie that still managed to retain a "100% positive" rating on the site with 187 "fresh" reviews, beating the previous record holder, Toy Story 2, which had 163. And though Flayrah reviews do not count towards the 'Tomato-Meter', even if they did, I have no intention of Armond White-ing the movie. It's a good movie. See it.

Movie review: 'Guardians' (2017)

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (21 votes)

The Guardians' English promotional image.Guardians (English trailer) is a Russian superhero film released in February 2017. The early trailers looked promising - fights, explosions, and a bear-guy! It's the Russian Avengers! Expectations were high, and it did well on its opening weekend... and was so disappointing that by its second weekend, it only took in 10% of its previous box office revenue.

It's a very formulaic movie. This isn't necessarily bad - Sing was formulaic too. But if you're going to use a formula, you have to do it well. You have to add a couple of entertaining surprises, mix it up a little, and maybe throw in some humor that mocks the very structure you're relying on. Guardians fails on all these counts.

Baidu India promotes World Environment Day with 'The Last Conversation'

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. It is on Sunday, June 5 in 2016. This year’s theme is: “fight against the illegal trade in wildlife”, with the slogan "Go Wild for Life”, and some search engines are getting on board:

#TheLastConversation, featuring Foxy and DU bear Baidu’s India office will launch a new social campaign named “The Last Conversation” to raise awareness of wildlife depletion. The campaign will feature Baidu’s mascot, the “DU bear”, having a final conversation with different endangered animals through a series of posts on Facebook and Twitter, with the goal of urging people to avoid products that cause harm to wildlife. (Baidu India’s 31 May press release)

Baidu's campaign, which started June 1st on Facebook and Twitter, shows the ultra-cute DU bear interviewing critically-endangered species living in India, such as the Himalayan brown bear, as well as other popular species of lesser concern, such as the Bengal fox.

Review: 'The Boy and the Beast', anime film

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

A bear and a human boy stand dramatically in the street.The Boy and the Beast (aka Bakemono no koEnglish trailer) is a 2015 animated film from Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda, who directed the film Wolf Children in 2012. Both are of furry interest; this one even more so!

Ren is a 9-year-old boy who runs away to the busy streets of Tokyo after his mother dies. He has no way of contacting his father, whom his mother divorced, and has no love for his mother's relatives who want to take him in. Angry and upset, he wanders by accident into a parallel Earth, the beast world, where everyone is an anthropomorphic animal.

In the city of beasts, the current Grand Master (a rabbit) intends to transcend and reincarnate into a god, with two possible successors: a bear named Kumatetsu, or a boar named Yozen.

Two more anthropomorphic animated features

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

theboyandthebeast.jpgThe Cartoon Brew website has just announced two new animated features with anthropomorphic animals coming later this year.

Last year’s Japanese cartoon animation The Boy and the Beast (Bakemono no Ko), directed by Mamoru Hosoda, will be released on March 4 “in selected theatres” by Funimation, in both subtitled and dubbed versions. It’s about a Japanese homeless boy, Kyuta, who goes into “the beast world” and becomes the apprentice of Kumatetsu (“Iron Bear”), a martial arts warrior. Tickets will go on sale on the Funimation site on February 5. The Cartoon Brew announcement includes the new American theatrical poster.

Review: 'ROAR Volume 6: Scoundrels' edited by Mary E. Lowd

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

roar6.jpgMary E. Lowd takes over the editing helm of the ROAR series from Bad Dog Books, taking on the theme of "Scoundrels" for this year. The 28 stories in ROAR volume 6 explore scoundrels from the light-hearted to the most dire.

Ms. Lowd went out of her way to look for writers who hadn't written for the furry fandom before and quite successfully brought back gold (along with fan favorites like Kyell Gold).

By the way, the table of contents is slightly off. There's a story out of order and the page numbers get a bit off. Considering the wayward story is about a dog being chased by his future father in law, you might say that he's trying to do this.

FurPlanet Productions, July, 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (294 pgs.). Edited by Mary E. Lowd.

LionsGate releases information about upcoming animated furry movies

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (7 votes)

LionsGate Entertainment, best known, at least furry and animation-wise, for Alpha and Omega and its various direct to video sequels, has released a trailer for its January 15, 2016 theatrical movie, Norm of the North, which features a polar bear taking a trip to New York City to save the Arctic ice cap.

At least the scene where titular polar bear Norm meets a man in a polar bear suit is interesting from a furry standpoint.

Perhaps more exciting than the trailer itself is the announcement of the release date, which sees the movie go up directly against The Nut Job 2; it seems release date power plays aren't just for superhero movies, anymore. It may be interesting to see if either movie "flinches" in this cinematic game of chicken.

Update (8/8): A Cartoon Brew commenter has pointed out Nut Job 2 has already apparently flinched; its listed IMDB release date has changed.

Review: 'Ted 2' will haunt your dreams

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

Ted 2This movie gave me a nightmare. I'm not kidding.

I watched it last night, then decided to sleep on it before reviewing it. And I had bad dreams about watching a mostly plotless movie that kept interrupting itself with boring distractions, and it just wasn't funny at all. When I woke up, I didn't realize at first that Ted 2 was the inspiration for this bizarre dream. But, what else could it be? Actually this dream interpretation site I randomly Googled says it could mean I am:

... attempting to protect [my]self from [my] emotions and/or actions. Viewing them on a movie screen projects them onto another person and thus makes those feelings and actions seem more distant. [My] subconscious is trying to protect [me] from experiencing them directly.

Alternatively, it could mean:

To dream that [I am] watching a movie suggests that [I am] watching life pass [me] by. Perhaps [I am] living vicariously through the actions of others. Consider also how the movie parallels to situations in [my] waking life. [I should] observe how the characters relate to [me] and how they may represent an aspect of [my]self.

Well, that is incredibly depressing; I'm just going to continue on with the theory that watching a movie late in the day may cause me to dream about watching movies at night.

The Boy and the Beast

Can’t think of a better title than that, so why try? Several places on the Net (including Flayrah) have already made note recently of The Boy and the Beast. It’s the latest anime feature from Hosoda Mamoru, the man who brought us Summer Wars and The Wolf Children. As you can tell from those works, the man has an interest in anthropomorphic characters — and this new one just may be his most furry feature yet! The Boy and the Beast “… tells the story of a lonely young boy who strays into a parallel world inhabited by supernatural creatures, where a bear-like beastman becomes his companion and mentor.” It’s set to premier in Japan this July. No word yet on any planned release in North America, but most of director Mamoru’s works have made it over here eventually. Check out the article over at Twitch Film — it includes a trailer with subtitles.

image c. 2015 Toho Studios

image c. 2015 Toho Studios

Two Bears, One Boy, and a Big World

Amber Victoria has both written and illustrated a new novel for younger readers, Twins European Adventures. It’s the first in a planned series of books about the exploits of a pair of orphaned bears who are befriended by a young human named Thomas — and then, adopted by Thomas’ family. It so happens that Thomas’ parents have jobs that require them to frequently travel the world, and of course this leads our ursine young pair to adventures in many far-flung places.  This first story, as you might guess, follows the bears and their new human family to Europe, where a series of mishaps finds the bears separated… and scrambling on a variety of trains and buses trying to find one another again! Find out more at the Twins web site, and find the book on Amazon and Createspace. The llustrations are also available as black & white prints.

illustration c. 2015 by Amber Victoria

illustration c. 2015 by Amber Victoria