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?
Merry Christmas! Recently we stumbled across a new Internet star known as Tito Lizzardo, an animated lizard singer who pals around with a sexy feline dancer named Catty Baby (aka Catty B). Virtual Humans (a site we also just discovered!) has this to say about them: “Tito is a lizard that likes to dress in his school jacket. Catty Baby is a cat that rocks her sporty looks every day. Their TikTok account is exploding with the couple’s dance moves next to the beach and the palm trees in Miami. Tito and Catty are a couple of artists doing remixes of famous Latin songs like ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ or ‘Hey DJ’. Their gang is completed with Juan Gato, Catty’s brother who is always wearing a Miami Heat shirt. All together they create amazing videos of their song remixes, targeting very young audiences with their cute, animalistic appeal.” Tito and crew first appeared in a series of short, at times rather risque dance videos on TikTok. Since then, they’ve released several much-more-family-friendly music videos on their YouTube channel. Who’s behind all this? We don’t know! But we’d love to meet them!
Okay, this one may not technically be a “furry game”. If the late Fred Patten were to start this review off, he may have asked something along the lines that if you as a player moves around the world as a cat with a robot companion augmenting their ability to interpret the society around them, is that game actually anthropomorphic? Perhaps it’s more in line with transhumanism, but in this case more transfelinism, where your feline character is augmented by their technological companion.
And like Adam Jensen of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the cat you play certainly didn’t ask for this.
The story follows Sam, an extremely unlucky 18-year-old. After years in an orphanage and never being adopted, she moves into her first apartment. When she encounters a black cat, her luck suddenly changes, becoming good - and when it reverts to her previous bad luck, she follows the cat into the magical Land of Luck, the source of all luck in our world (both good and bad).
Most of the film revolves around Sam trying to regain luck - not for herself, but to help a younger girl at the orphanage - while a series of evasions and accidents escalate into circumstances that threaten the Land of Luck itself.
It's an ok film, with a really nice magical world, although the story has tons of holes if you think about it too much. Furry-wise, besides the cat, most of the characters are leprechauns. Here and there are some cartoony bunnies and pigs, plus a couple of other background creatures that you don't often see anthropomorphized (goats and root vegetables). And a large, pink, six-limbed dragoness, in charge of good luck. She's not in too many scenes, but she's definitely one of the highlights!
Interestingly, this film lacks a clear antagonist; most of the conflict is situational in nature. I wouldn't say this movie is a must-see, but it's fine to pass the time with, and I think it shows a lot of potential for what Skydance could make in the future, if they polish up their writing a bit.
(Spoilers and griping under this cut.)
"You couldn't make a Mel Brooks movie today. I saw Blazing Saddles yesterday."
-SR-71, "Politically Correct"
With all the delayed releases for movies in the last couple of years, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank fits right in. Of course, it's been delayed a bit longer than most. It was originally supposed to come out in August of 2017. It's been juggled around distribution companies in the last five years, and somehow managed to avoid the straight-to-video route, or the more modern straight-to-streaming path that even Pixar couldn't avoid recently. It's managed to keep hope alive, and now it's finally hitting theaters, and with a plushy summer month release date, too.
Directed by the duo of theatrical feature first time directors Chris Bailey and Mark Koetsier along with veteran Rob Minkoff (with directing credits on The Lion King and Mr. Peabody and Sherman), the movie is set in a cartoon version of feudal Japan inhabited by anthropomorphic cats. When an evil local governor (voiced by Ricky Gervais) decides he wants to get rid of a small village, he finds out he is tasked with finding them a new samurai to help them fight off his own thugs. Thinking outside the box, he decides to send them a replacement samurai that will, by his very nature, offend the sensibilities of the townsfolk so much that he might be the last straw that finally destroys the town. He sends Hank (voiced by Michael Cera), a dog.
If this set up sounds familiar, it should. The movie is a funny animal take on the 1974 Mel Brooks Western spoof Blazing Saddles, but also for some reason set in Japan. Paws of Fury was originally even entitled Blazing Samurai. What the heck are you worried about? This is Edo Japan! You'll be able to sue him! Mel Brooks even shows up to voice the shogun, so he seems to be well aware of what they are doing and completely fine with it. Who says you can't make a Mel Brooks movie today?
He’s in L.A. County, we’re in the O.C., so of course we meet up at WonderCon this year — and made sure to pick up his comic book, Super Lucha Cats! Interestingly, we came across this in a local newspaper: “When vampires, demons, and all manner of things that go bump in the night threaten the town, who will be there to save it? The Super Lucha Cats will. Created by 33-year-old Bell Gardens native Javier Solorzano, Super Lucha Cats is a brand-new comic inspired by Latin folklore, a love of lucha libre, and a couple of feline friends. It follows the adventures of Coco, Pizza, Nopalito, and Fresa; four cats adopted off the street by a retired luchadora who – with the help of a magical lucha mask – raised and trained the four siblings to piledrive the forces of evil.” Check out the interview from our local NPR radio station too.
In late January 2022, the internet was flooded with news stories about a concerned parent in a school meeting in Michigan. However the news of the inaccuracy of the salacious rumor didn’t seem to reach one State Senator in Nebraska by the name of Bruce Bostelman of District 23. He instead took the State Senate floor and defecated it with the rumor he, like the woman before him, was appalled by.
I was just going to sit on this particular entry until a later time, since Maus is a novel I rather grew up with, having discovered it in college. Current events have ratcheted my schedule up to today. See the details in Sonious' article.
As such, Maus is also the latest example in a long line of important literature to see censorship such as To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, or even The Lorax. Like any of those other examples, the motivation for this censorship grays in contrast to the social and cultural impact the work has.
The story re-imagines the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor, through the anthropomorphic template of Jewish mice suffering at the paws of SS cats. The involved plot revolves around main character Artie and his tight-knit neighborhood of survivors, as they reflect on the horrors of the past. Of course, the weight of these events is more than enough to color their relatively safe present. Much of the novel does indeed read like a Jewish Historical Society compendium, and does not skimp an iota on content of the dire situation they survived.
Seven Seas Entertainment pretty much says it all here: “Flora moves into a mysterious mansion and finds it inhabited by a strange creature: Creepy Cat! Thus begins her strange and sometimes dangerous life with a feline roommate. This Gothic comedy brings the chuckles…and the chills! Since 2014, Cotton Valent’s hilarious webcomic Meawbin The Creepy Cat has charmed online audiences across the world. Enjoy this full-color graphic novel series for audiences new and old!” Creepy Cat is available now in paperback.
On the 20th of December 2021, a school board meeting was held for the Midland Public Schools in Michigan. At this meeting a woman had accused schools around the nation of placing cat litter pans in their gender neutral bathrooms for their “furry” students. A video of this rumor being presented started to go viral among the furry spaces a month later, along with a response from the school board.
The reason for the month's delay to reach traction throughout the internet was that the interaction was shared by the Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, on her Facebook account. In her post she seemed to be gung-ho about bringing an end to this cat pan menace. Maddock is currently under investigation over elector schenangans within the state of Michigan during the 2020 Presidential elections.
While the parent in the shared video started with a statement about her opposition to the Test-to-Stay program enacted toward unvaccinated students, the mother found two of her allotted three minutes directed at a statement she heard a child say a few months back about furries, and subsequently, cat pans in the restroom.
With temperatures down, and entertainment options becoming more and more—homegrown, let's say—it's a good time to catch up on that new-to-you material that aligns with your interests. Here are two of those lesser-known but deserving properties, marketed toward youth. For those of you who were sold on The Secret of NIMH, Redwall, and everything in between, at first view.
The Mistmantle Chronicles by M.I. McAllister has jacket flaps that compare it to The Wind In The Willows and Watership Down, although as you can see from the first installment's cover, there's much more of a Redwall yen in this series. As they say, though, DON'T judge a book by its cover, as the experiences of brave squirrel Urchin on the titular island carry their own identity. This flies in the face of origins that speak to many favorite role-playing games, as he evolves from his discovery on an empty beach to his eventual destiny in foiling a royal coup.
Camaraderie and species characteristics also run heavy in this, as in Redwall, however there is a noticeable amount of personification of reactive emotion and atmosphere as well, where dread and evil are given concrete outlines. Given my frequent mention of the property in the paragraph, you can gather the audience to which Mistmantle speaks. Dig on into this if you're part of that audience, since Miramax has purchased movie rights [albeit in 2004], and some sort of photo-play is probably not far off.
This one we stumbled across on Twitter, of all places! Little Kitty, Big City is a new on-line game created by Wholesome Games. “You’re a curious little kitty with a big personality, on an adventure to find your way back home. Explore the city, make new friends, wear delightful hats, and leave more than a little chaos in your wake. After all, isn’t that what cats do best?” Ours certainly do. The official web site has a preview video and lots more information too.
A Whisker Away (trailer) is an anime film about a young Japanese teenager who gains the ability to turn into a cat. Released in the summer of 2020, it was written by Mari Okada, directed by Junichi Sato and Tomotaka Shibayama, and animated by Studio Colorido. Its original title is Nakitai Watashi wa Neko o Kaburu, which translates to "Wanting to cry, I pretend to be a cat".
The main protagonist is a girl in her early teens, nicknamed Muge. She's madly in love with Hinode, a boy in her class who doesn't appreciate her advances. One night, she encounters a mysterious anthropomorphic feline who offers to sell her a magical mask. With it, Muge can turn into a cat and spend time with Hinode, getting to know him better. As she switches back and forth, she begins to wonder if she'd prefer to be a cat, rather than a human - but doesn't know what it might cost her.
In this short by Piti Yindee, released today, we see a cat and dog digging up bones. Completely silent except for music, it lets animation tell the story of their contrasting means to this end.
Claws of Furry is a game that gives you the ability to play with multiple friends as you scratch your way through four worlds with varying baddies, trying to save your master, who's been kidnapped by what appears to be Lady and the Tramp's Trusty in a mech suit.
As cool as this sounds, this game is not too polished and I would only recommend it for those that adore the brawler genre so much that they have to play every one of them. It may also be good for fans of the old-school Flash game feel. However, in general there are better brawlers out there, with more punch for your buck.