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Yes, but are eldritch horrors furry?

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Furry fans who have long been debating whether Cthulhu, Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlarathotep, and the other often-squiddly “indescribable horrors” of author H.P. Lovecraft’s dark imagination count as “furry”, will find their arguments heating up in October when the animated feature Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom is released in Canada.

Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, written, directed and produced by Sean Patrick O’Reilly and currently in production by Arcana Studios, to be distributed by The Shout! Factory (a company known more for its DVD releases than for theatrical distribution), is adapting the movie from the popular comic book written by Bruce Brown and illustrated by Renzo Podesta. It was reprinted as a 96-page trade paperback by Arcana in February 2010 that is still in print.

How can we not call 'Get Squirrely' a crappy movie?

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This article by Amid Amidi on the Cartoon Brew website about the coming anthro animal feature Get Squirrely says it all, or at least enough for us. The Canadian CGI animation looks horribly unfurry for the squirrels and bats, but okay for the frogs and snakes.The whole cast appears to be talking critters: bats, birds, hedgehogs, flying squirrels, regular squirrels – he may not have fur, but he’s a natty dresser – and more fart and poop jokes than you could wish for.

From the producer of four Shrek movies? With John Leguizamo, Jim Cummings and John Cleese?

'Ratchet & Clank' comes to the big screen

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What is there to say about the Ratchet & Clank movie that this Cartoon Brew announcement doesn’t say? So Ratchet is a lombax –that’s news to those of us who haven’t played the video game. It’s nice to see the return of the Rainmaker animation studio in Vancouver.

“[V]iewers over the age of 10 clearly aren’t the target audience for Ratchet & Clank” – maybe, but it still looks like fun to this 74-year-old. I guess we’ll wait until next April 29 to see.

The mouse marches north

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Darth VerminBow to the almighty Death Star, you pitiful citizens of Alderaan! You are at the mercy of Mouse Vader!

That's how it feels lately, with the Walt Disney Company going on a shopping spree. They picked up Marvel Entertainment (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk) back in 2009, then Lucasfilm (Star Wars) in 2012, and almost bought Hasbro in 2013. Now they have signed a deal with Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment (Corus Ent) to bring The Disney Channel to Canada in 2017.

While this means most of the Disney Channel programs that currently air on Family will move there (and that Disney XD Canada and Disney Jr. Canada [English and French] will be re-named Family XTRM and Family Junior, respectively), Canadian furries and cartoon fans can only hope they'll get a maple leaf version of the late Toon Disney and air The Disney Afternoon programs, though they have gotten lucky with Nickelodeon Canada airing a long retro block of Nicktoons in the afternoon, so anything is possible!

After these messages… we'll be gone, forever

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An Ode to Saturday Mornings Past
, by JessKat

I'm not quite sure how to explain this… especially to younger viewers who grew up in the 500-channel universe of cable television and satellite services and Netflix streaming… but for those of us old enough (or geeky enough) to watch cartoons over-the-air with a rabbit-ears antenna, Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons after school were the only times when animation fans could watch their favourite shows… especially where cable channels such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, YTV or Toon Disney weren't available.
September 28, 2014 was the day the animation died - ending a long and painful decline on broadcast television in the United States, with The CW (the newest broadcast network) being the final holdout… the last man standing, as it were.  This was the final Saturday morning with cartoons in America.
From here on out, animation fans in the United States will have to follow the path their Canadian counterparts took in 2001 to get their animation fix: a cable television or satellite subscription. If there is any consolation, it is that the ecosystem of Saturday morning cartoons seems healthier in Australia and Mexico.
To understand how we got to this point, we'll need to review the chain of events leading to the demise of animation on over-the-air television.

What The Fur releases information about 2014

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What The Fur has finally announced the dates and venue for their 2014 event. After some speculation about what was happening to the Canadian event, the release of information comes just before Christmas. The convention will be held in Montreal, Quebec from the 23rd to the 25th of May, 2014, and will be taking place at the Sheraton Montreal Airport.

Camp Feral! 2013 - the biggest yet!

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Camp Feral!The 16th annual Camp Feral!, a furry summer camp founded in 1998, was just held with the biggest attendance to date. With 135 campers, Feral! surpassed its 2006 record of 132.

A double-header of Uncle Kage and 2 The Ranting Gryphon draw record crowds. More than two-thirds of attendees registered as Sponsor or Patron, with a record number of Patrons (29).

Camp Feral! was the last group to eat in the Main Lodge, a rustic building erected in 1934 that has been the focal point of the camp site since its founding. In 2012, Feral! was last to use the Rec Hall stage before it was torn down to make way for a floor hockey space.

The dates for 2014 are Thursday, August 21st to Monday, August 25th. The theme will be 'Algonquinos.' Typical of Feral!, the theme will be a bizarre mashup of all things high fantasy – from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones – with a uniquely 'Feral' twist.

Advertising: Mascots matter for brands big and small

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Chappell Ellison reports for the Cartoon Brew on a regional Canadian airline's use of a jetsetting raccoon businessman mascot, Mr. Porter.

More importantly, Ellison documents how this goes against the trend of airlines like American Airlines and Qantas replacing their familiar animal mascots with impersonal, stylized mascots, and why this is a big mistake in his opinion. An animated TV commercial featuring Mr. Porter is included.

The votes are in! Porcupine 'Pachi' revealed as Pan Am 2015 mascot

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Pachi the PorcupineEarlier today, Pachi the Porcupine was revealed as the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games mascot, in front of thousands of children at the annual Kids CBC Day in Toronto. CBC featured the mascot in action on their Toronto evening news.

Of the six finalists, Pachi was also most-liked by the public, in the online voting contest that gathered over 33,000 votes, according to the official press release. The voting contest results contributed 10% to the final score, along with other criteria including "embodies the spirit and values of the competition" and "has 'strong kid appeal'".

Organizers received 4130 submissions for the mascot, which was narrowed down to 108 in review before selecting the six finalists.

The "Pachi Pals" – Grade 8 students Paige, Fiona, Michelle, and Jenny, from Markham, Ontario, part of the Greater Toronto Area – designed the porcupine as a class project.

Correction (July 20): 33,000 was the number of votes received for all six finalist designs, not just for the winning entry as I initially reported.

Vote to choose the mascot of the 2015 Pan American Games

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The 2015 Pan American Games are running an online vote until May 5 to choose their mascot. The six finalists, selected from 4,130 entries, are:

1) a Maple-leaf headed beaver 2) a moose 3) a multi-colour owl
4) a porcupine with multi-color quills 5) a raccoon 6) twins wearing hats

See more: Original finalist designs, prior to conversion to Pan Am colours and style by illustrator/animator James Caswell of Sheridan College.

Imago Theatre's 'ZooZoo' touring U.S., Canada

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ZooZooOn tour now is Imago Theatre's ZooZoo, a production chock full of anthropomorphic animal costumes.

ZooZoo is a 55-minute performance comprised of a series of short, silent theatre pieces, each from four to seven minutes in length. The cast of five play animals ranging from fireflies to hippos, in skits that include penguins playing musical chairs, and anteaters dressed as waiters. As the promotional video shows, there is quite a bit of audience interaction:

Having completed most of their tour already, the production appears in Ithaca, New York on Friday, April 12, and then moves on to Cleveland, Ohio (May 7-11) and St. Albert, Alberta (May 28-June 1).

Essex county animals to breathe easier after house fires

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Seal of Essex CountyPets and their owners can breathe easier in the city of Windsor, and county of Essex, Ontario, as the Essex County Veterinary Association donated ten animal-friendly oxygen mask sets to the various fire departments in Windsor and the county on March 21.

The sets (which contain three pet masks, three sets of tubes, and a bag to carry them in) cost around CA$150 each.

VancouFur adopts cultural theme: "Gateway to the Pacific"

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VancouFurCanadian convention VancouFur has a theme for 2014: "Gateway to the Pacific", described by staff as a "celebration of Pacific Rim multiculturalism in Vancouver."

An announcement on VancouFur's official Twitter account stated: "We will be celebrating a country on the Pacific Rim and its cultural influence on our city each month leading up to #VF2014!" On March 7, when a member asked about wearing a kimono, VancouFur replied: "You most definitely can! :D Themed costumes are always such fun! :D"

On March 8, the VancouFur website was updated with a splash screen for 2014, shown as of March 10 with a "chop suey"-style font. (Wall Street Journal blogger Jeff Yang called a similar font "a cliche fake-brushstroke “oriental” typeface" when used in a grocer's flyer last year.)
By March 12, the VancouFur website had been quietly updated to use a different font.

Animation: Is Kimi too cute? ['The Legend of Sarila']

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Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew announces that the 80-minute Quebec-made 3D-CGI feature The Legend of Sarila/La Légende de Sarila, animated by Modus FX in Montréal, debuted in Quebec last weekend on 32 screens, “grossing a modest $64,622 and landing in 10th place at the Quebec box office.” It is released in both English and French versions.

The movie, directed by Nancy Florence Savard, is about how in 1910 three young hunters of an arctic Iniut (“Eskimo”) clan – Putulik, who can (almost) talk with animals; the beautiful Apik, and their friend Markussi – search for the legendary paradisical land of Sarila for their starving people, despite many obstacles set by the evil shaman Croolik (who gets top billing because he is voiced by Christopher Plummer, the only “name” among the English-speaking voice cast). The hunters are accompanied by Kimi, a non-talking anthropomorphic overly-cute lemming; and Sarila has such magical creatures as the goddess/seal/mermaid Sedna.

Furnal Equinox releases January 2013 newsletter

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Toronto-based furry convention Furnal Equinox has released its January 2013 newsletter. Preregistration remains open for the 2013 convention, though it will close on February 18.

The convention has also released Meet the Fuzz, the first in a series of promotional videos profiling Furries in Uniform and featuring a selection of Toronto-area cast and crew.