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Review: 'One Dog Story' - an indie game that is a bit 'ruff' around the edges

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

Every dog has its day, but since the setting for this game takes place in a confined lab for the most part one wonders; was it ever really day and did this dog have it?

It's hard to say. On one hand, One Dog Story was a successfully-developed independent game that has a complete, playable, and coherent story. Coming in with no outside expectations, this game accomplishes what it set out to do. If played on its own, you may enjoy what it has to offer. Unfortunately, the game wears its inspiration upon its sleeve with how it was named. If you played Cave Story before this, you will come to realize that this spiritual successor did not add anything or modify the formula in any way that improves on its inspiration. In fact, the modifications seemed to make the game less enjoyable.

Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' gets poster and release date

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

C-RwcEaUIAAKuiu_0.jpgWes Anderson, the writer/director best known in the furry fandom for his 2009 movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, will be returning to the stop-motion talking animal genre for his next movie Isle of Dogs, whose poster and release date (of April 20, 2018) was announced via Twitter on April 25.

The bare bones premise announced so far is that the movie will feature a Japanese boy searching for his lost dog. Though this premise isn't necessarily anthropomorphic, an earlier video posted by Anderson confirmed the dogs will have speaking roles. Though hard to make out, it has also been pointed out that some of the dog characters on the poster also appear to be wearing clothes.

The cast for the movie, listed on the poster, has been previously confirmed. It includes many recurring actors in Anderson's movies. Newcomers include Bryan Cranston and Scarlett Johansson, as well as multiple Japanese actors, including Yoko Ono.

Isle of Dogs will be Anderson's ninth feature, and only his second animated feature, after Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was nominated for an Ursa Major award as well as an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. In addition to the Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination, Anderson has been personally nominated three times for Best Original Screenplay and once for Best Director at the Oscars. All but the latest of his movies have also been added to the prestigious Criterion Collection, and his film Rushmore was added to the National Film Registry last year.

Review: 'The Secret Life of Pets', Cute and colourful fluff

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

A dog sits in front of a door, waiting for its owner to come home.The Secret Life of Pets [trailer] is the first of two animated movies released in 2016 from Illumination Studios, most known for its films Despicable Me and Minions.

Compared with their competition at Disney and Pixar, Illumination relies less on strong storytelling and instead leans more heavily towards pure charm to make their movies successful. In the past, they've accomplished this with cute and colourful characters, and a child-friendly sense of humour.

With that history in mind, The Secret Life of Pets continues its studio's charm offensive, compensating well for a bland and forgettable story.

Review: 'The Secret Life of Pets', animated film

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (10 votes)

A group of pets stare at a cityscape. The Secret Life of Pets [trailer] is Illumination Entertainment's latest CG animated film offering, released on July 8, 2016. It's an entertaining comedy that's been doing quite well at the box office. I went to a weekday early evening screening, and the theater was packed with about an equal mix of adults and kids. Everyone seemed to enjoy it!

The story starts in an apartment building in Manhattan. Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is a terrier who adores his owner, a young woman named Katie. One day she brings home a second dog, a huge, shaggy brown Newfoundland named Duke. Max and Duke don't get along at all. Their conflict results in them getting lost in the city, avoiding animal control officers and a gang of abandoned pets led by an insane white rabbit named Snowball. Meanwhile, the other pets from the apartment building embark on a quest to find them, led by Gidget, a white pomeranian.

Review: 'Bodies in Motion', by Robert Baird

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Bodies in Motion coverThis review is part of my commitment to reviewing anthropomorphic literature during Furry Book Month.

Romance and sex have always surrounded travel, and the vehicles we use for it. Even in the age of mass transit, there's still a thrill in leaving the known behind and moving as a stranger among strangers.

A sense of movement, freedom and adventure pervades these seven tales of M/F erotica, each set in, or set in motion by, a different form of transport.

Self-published ebook, 2016, pay what you want.

Review: 'Dog Country', by Malcolm F. Cross

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

dogcountry.jpgThis review is part of my commitment to reviewing anthropomorphic literature during Furry Book Month.

A crowdfunded war fought by genetically identical dog-people created as soldiers and emancipated into a world that doesn't understand, or always approve of, their special talents.

What could possibly go wrong?

Edane, Ereli and their hundreds of brothers were grown and trained to form fighting units, but the company that created them was shut down when they were still, biologically, children.

Now adults, some scrape a living as mercenaries, doing odd jobs, or fighting for a betting audience. The lucky ones have a career in MilSim, a realtime combat simulation game, but some figures in the sport are starting to argue that they're too good and shouldn't compete.

Self-published, 2016, ebook (288 pages) $4.99 (US) / £3.99 (UK).

Review: 'Splice: Conditioning', by Cocoa

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

This review is part of my commitment to reviewing anthropomorphic literature during Furry Book Month.

Described as a 'dystopian sci-fi erotic novel', Splice: Conditioning is set in a near future where natural disasters have made large parts of the USA uninhabitable and plunged many of its citizens into poverty.

One light in the darkness is the presence of Splices: genetically engineered, anthropomorphic dogs who act as companions and sex toys, as well as taking over some of the riskier or more unpleasant jobs.

Because of the dangers inherent in creating human-sized dogs capable of rational thought and tool operation, each Splice has a Conditioning Phrase known to its creators and owner, and is programmed to enter a submissive, obedient state when this is spoken.

Self-published, 2016, ebook $2.97.

Music video: Tiësto and JAUZ's 'Infected' at Tomorrowland

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

Boomer The Dog's paper fursuit was ridiculed by some… but was he just ahead of the curve?

Judge for yourself as you watch this music video sponsored by Budweisser brewer AB InBev for Belgian electronic music festival Tomorrowland – not to be confused with Disney's film or theme parks of the same name – featuring Tiësto and JAUZ's "Infected". [Creativity Online]

Review: 'Otters in Space: The Search for Cat Havana' by Mary E. Lowd (by GreyFlank)

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

Otters In Space: The Search for Cat HavanaIn an uplifted universe, where the humans sneaked away when no one was looking, Earth is largely cats and dogs.

The dogs rule, at least in North America, and two sisters are trying to get more feline representation in what is supposedly a democracy. Events conspire to separate the sisters, and the level headed sister, Kipper, is forced into a wild adventure to find her sister, or at least solve the mystery that seems to threaten them both.

This is book one of three, with the third coming out soon.

See also: Reviews by Fred and dronon.

FurPlanet Publications, January 2012, 2nd Ed.; trade paperback $9.95 (176 pages); ebook $5.99.

Review: 'Learning to Go' by Friday Donnelly

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

7087188.jpgLearning to Go is a sweet, romantic read with a light touch and plenty of humour; no mean achievement for a book with BDSM and abusive relationships as its core themes.

Rufus the tiger's life is stable without being fantastic. He's in a relationship with Victor, a lion, although they argue a lot. He's got a good job, although he works with Victor, which is a major cause of friction.

The incident that upsets the status quo comes early on: Rufus, reeling from another argument and taking advantage of his relationship's open status, hires the services of a sex worker to scratch an itch Victor has been unwilling to explore with him.

When professional dom Bennett, a German shepherd, arrives at his apartment, Rufus is able to see beyond his job (and his good looks), treating him as a person. He'd like to have Bennett as a friend, but this would dangerously blur the boundaries of their arrangement; most friends don't charge $200 an hour to hang out and chat.

Jaffa Books, May 1, 2015, ebook $5.50, 256 pages. Cover by Peta Fenton.

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

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (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.

Insult the king's dog, go to jail

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

I don’t pretend to know what this Thai film, Khun Tongdaeng: The Inspiration, is about, but it’s partly animated, it’s partly anthropomorphic, and it shows Thai King Bhumibol Aduyadej’s pet dog, Tongdaeng (Copper), as a canine superheroine.

Thailand has the strictest laws against lese majeste (insulting the king) in the world, which have been interpreted to prohibit any news criticism of the king’s government. Recently Thanakorn Siripaiboon, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on charges of violating those laws for possibly insulting the king’s dog by posting a “sarcastic” photograph of her on Facebook. The 88-year-old king is in a wheelchair, and in the photo it looks like the happily-panting dog is pulling the wheelchair. Siripaiboon’s lawyer says that the charge is ridiculous for several reasons, including an absurd stretching of the laws against insulting the king.

Here is a trailer for Khun Tongdaeng: The Inspiration. Nothing wrong here; this is approved by the Thai government. The movie, a live-action/animated adaptation of a book about Tongdaeng written by the king, is #2 on Thai box office charts at the moment.

Tongdaeng was a stray rescued by King Bhumibol Aduyadej in the late 1990s, so she must be at least 16 years old today. She doesn’t look it.

'Blazing Saddles' + animation = 'Blazing Samurai'

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Blazing SamuraiCan a massive theatrical animated hodgepodge make a massive theatrical animated anthropomorphic hit? That’s what a lot of people are hoping when Blazing Samurai, an animated pastiche of the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles, only with samurai in Old Japan instead of cowboys in the Old West and animated cats and dogs instead of humans, hits the theaters in August 2017.

How much of a hodgepodge is it? Blazing Samurai is announced as the first feature produced by former Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Yair Landau’s Mass Animation online company, founded in August 2008 to “develop wikimovies and content using a new production model – a virtual animation studio and an open invitation to artists around the world to collaborate in creating the next generation of animated stories.” Mass Animation has attracted “over 58,000 participants from 101 countries”, and has produced the 5-minute “Live Music”, advertised as “the first ever theatrically released crowdsourced animated film”.

The tin dog from 'Doctor Who' is getting his own movie

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

k9.jpgThe long running British science fiction television series Doctor Who has somehow managed to avoid a film adaptation in this day and age when any property with even a bit of brand recognition is getting an expensive cinematic treatment, or at the very least a gritty reboot (admittedly, it was adapted back in the 1960s). However, K9, the robot dog who guest starred with the Doctor back in the 1970s, will star in K9: TimeQuake, which is planned to be released in 2017, which will mark the 40th anniversary of the character.

At this point, the only name (besides K9's, of course) attached to the project is that of the writer's, Bob Baker, who originally created the character (along with writing partner Dave Martin). Writers for Doctor Who were allowed to retain rights to their creations, allowing them to use the characters for their own purposes, so Baker can spin-off K9 (sometimes variantly written K-9). Besides his work on Doctor Who, Baker is probably best known for his work on the Wallace and Gromit series of animated films.

Cats or dogs?

Cats
41% (7 votes)
Dogs
59% (10 votes)
Votes: 17