Bow 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!
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 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! 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.
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.
Earlier 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.
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.
|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|
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).
Pets 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.
Canadian 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.
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.
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.
“Ormie”, about a pig trying to get a jar of cookies from atop a refrigerator, won several film festival awards during 2011. Its gags are a bit too close to WB.’s Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons in my opinion, and its climax was done first by Pixar in “Knick Knack”. But “Ormie the Pig” is still cute, and indisputably anthropomorphic.
Though early bird preregistration for the convention has now ended, registration remains open, starting at $40 Canadian. Applications are also open for the convention's inaugural Art Show, and staff are seeking panel facilitators.
Early bird preregistration for the convention concludes in only a few days, on November 30.