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'The Little Prince' fox plush doll

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littleprincefoxplush.jpgThe French 2015 animated feature of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince will be released in America by Paramount on March 16, 2016. Its associated merchandising includes a plushie of the book and film’s talking fox.

The illustrated announcements on Amazon.com imply that the plush fox is poseable. One shows it standing on two feet next to the film’s Little Girl. Another shows it on all four feet.

The latter is priced $80.00 marked down to $19.99. The former is $14.99, and the order is for both figures. A foreign imported fox, clearly a different plushie, is currently unavailable and unpriced.

If you want a plushie of a talking fox (but how will you know it’s supposed to be of a talking fox?), here you go.

Review: 'Kung Fu Panda 3', fart jokes 0

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

kungfupanda3_0.jpgThe word that best describes the Kung Fu Panda film series, in my opinion, is "classy."

Which is surprising, because DreamWorks Animation was not known as a classy studio. The studio got its start with Shrek (a movie studio founder Jeffrey Katzenberg consider's DreamWorks' "North Star," whatever that means), which didn't introduce the fart joke to mainstream animation, but certainly played a big part in popularizing it. It's not a classy movie, is what I'm saying, and it has no pretensions otherwise. And so, for seven years, that was DreamWorks, where the world of animated movies was you were either Disney or Pixar, or you were, at best, the angry rejects who could only hope to stand out by virtue of crassness.

Enter Kung Fu Panda, a movie that features Jack Black as an overweight anthropomorphic panda with a nervous eating habit. The fart jokes should have written themselves, right? I went into that movie expecting a fun "romp," an innocuous time waster with a couple friends. Even as a furry, a DreamWorks animation movie, even one about anthropomorphic animals, meant it was, at best, going to be okay. Instead, it felt like a lightning strike; this was a real movie. It respected its characters, its setting, its story, its audience. And then, somehow, the sequel was even better.

So, anyway, Kung Fu Panda 3 is also pretty good. And also way classier than my headline, which contains the word fart. I guess you could describe that headline as "gassy." And this review now contains more fart jokes than the entire Kung Fu Panda trilogy. Isn't that funny?

Two more anthropomorphic animated features

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 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: 'Monster Hunt'

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monsterhunt.jpgI originally intended to add this review as a comment to the story that I remembered, but when I looked for the story, I couldn’t find it anyplace! It must have been on one of the animation websites. Monster Hunt, a 2015 Chinese animated feature, does not have any anthropomorphic animals, but it is full of anthropomorphic monsters.

Since this apparently hasn’t been on Flayrah before, here’s the background: Monster Hunt (Zhuo Yao Ji in Mandarin Chinese), is 111 minutes and directed by Raman Hui, the Hong Kong-born co-director of Shrek the Third and several animated shorts or TV series for DreamWorks Animation. It was released throughout China on July 16, 2015, a Thursday. It grossed 172 million yuan ($27,700,000) on its first day of release, and $72,000,000 by Saturday. That’s not only very, very good, it’s a world record. American theatrical distributors who had been ignoring it scrambled to license the American rights, dub it (the Chinese producer had already subtitled it), and get it into American theaters.

The American release in 3D was yesterday. My sister took me in my wheelchair to see the dubbed version at a theater in Burbank, California.

2015 Recommended Reading List closed

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxThe 2015 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List is now closed.

Many nominations for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards are likely to come from the 2015 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List, which has been built up through prior recommendations. The awards are selected by a two-stage process of nominating and voting. Members of the public send in up to five nominations in each of the eleven categories. The top five nominees in each category (more in case of a tie) are then presented on a final ballot for a public vote. Inclusion on the List is not necessary for nomination if a work is otherwise eligible; first published during January to December 2015.

Nominations take place between January 14 (the first day of Further Confusion 2016) and February 29. The nominations will be tallied between March 1 and March 14. The final ballot will be announced on March 15, and voting will take place until April 30. All those who send in nominations will be registered as eligible to vote on the final ballot. Those who did not nominate but wish to vote on the final ballot may register to do so.

The voting will be counted, the winners’ trophies prepared, and the results will be announced at the Ursa Major awards presentation at a ceremony at What the Fur 2016, at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Pointe-Claire, Montreal Airport, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on May 20-22.

The Ursa Major Awards and Recommended List are administered by the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA). For information, and to nominate beginning on January 14 and to vote beginning on March 15, go to http://www.ursamajorawards.org/.

Review: 'All Creatures Big and Small' (2015)

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

All Creatures Big and SmallBetter late then never, they always say, and that is never more true than with movies. For it does not matter how old a movie is; if it is good, and timeless, it won't be dated five years later.

So, one year after its worldwide premiere, I am reviewing All Creatures Big and Small, a movie that everybody forgot immediately after it came out. Apparently, nobody thought it was very good (which is probably what you heard). But let me tell you this: it is good, and if you give it a chance, you will see why I say this.

Happy Zoo Year! New 'Zootopia' trailer released

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (10 votes)

Disney Animation has officially released a new trailer for one of the most anticipated furry films of 2016 (or ever)!

The nearly 3 minute preview reveals much more about the Zootopia universe and its inhabitants than has been shared before, drawing from a rich diversity of species for clever puns and laughs. (The wolf segment at 1:45 is worth a playback alone.) There is also a stronger hint as to the plot details, which includes a shrewdly run polar bear crime mob.

Plenty to take in here, so enjoy! This could be as much preview content as we can expect from Disney before the big premiere (March 4th).

Shakira previews "Try Everything" from 'Zootopia'

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Pop star Shakira has put up a 30 second preview of "Try Everything," a song she is singing in character as Gazelle, a, well, gazelle pop star from the furry world of Zootopia (or Zootropolis to our non-American friends), Disney's forthcoming animated feature due March 4.

tryeverything.jpg

An ongoing New Years celebration (which of course is called "Zoo Year's Eve") will culminate with a new trailer (which is referred to as a "gnu" trailer, obviously) being released soon. The last trailer wasn't received particularly well by furries at first, but was met with near universal approval from non-furries when played in front of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Update 1/5/16: Sorry, folks, preview's over. Have a placeholder image for now.

Opinion: The top ten movies of 2015

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (5 votes)

topten2015.jpg

Before we begin, I would like to point out that Joss Whedon totally stole my Captain America joke from last year, you guys.

2016 furry movie preview

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2016 is shaping up to be a benchmark year for furry movies. Though movies featuring talking or otherwise anthropomorphic animals are hardly uncommon, this year looks to be exceptionally full, and many of the movies coming out have impressive pedigrees. It should also be noted that there is a ridiculously high number of foxes featured, for those of us who find that important.

Cartoon Brew has a list of 47 animated movies planned to be released next year, where most of these movies are drawn from; not all of them contain furry characters, but many do. There are also a few live action titles that can be counted on to be furry. Notably, 2016 release Zootopia's first trailer provided a list of unique features it contained, including bipedal, tech-using, clothed talking animals in a human free world; though these attributes are uncommon, if not actually original, 2016 will contain six movies that meet these requirements (Kung Fu Panda 3, Rock Dog, Sing, Sly Cooper, Spark and Zootopia).

The following list is mostly aimed towards an audience living in the United States of America; release dates listed are American. Some of the movies listed do not have solid release dates, and may fail to be shown; others may have had release dates outside the U.S. earlier this year. Also, movies listed contain only anthropomorphic animal movies; movies featuring anthropomorphic characters not based on specific animals are not listed.

Insult the king's dog, go to jail

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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.

Trailer: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows'

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming "Out of the Shadows" (and out of nowhere) with a new trailer showing off the sequel to last year's reboot. Besides the turtles, it features fan favorite characters like Casey Jones, Baxter Stockman and, for the furries, Bebop and Rocksteady.

Disappointing lack of ninja vixens; they're saving that for the next sequel, hopefully.

The movie is releasing June 3 of next year, so add that to the pile.

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?

Pixar leads the Annie nominations

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annie-award.jpgASIFA-Hollywood has announced its nominations for this year's Annie Awards. These awards are given for achievements in animation in movies and television. This year, Pixar's two movies, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, have together racked up 25 nominations between them.

The nominations for Best Animated Feature include Inside Out, with further nominations in Animated Effects, two nominations in Character Animation, Character Design, Directing, Music, Production Design, two nominations in Storyboarding, two nominations in Voice Acting, Editorial and Writing; The Good Dinosaur, with further nominations in Animated Effects, two nominations in Character Design, Music, Production Design and three nominations in Storyboarding; Anomalisa (the only movie nominated for Best Animated Feature with no claim to furry), with further nominations in Directing, Music, Voice Acting and Editorial; The Peanuts Movie, with further nominations in Character Animation, Directing, and two nominations in Voice Acting; and Shaun the Sheep Movie, with further nominations in Directing, Production Design, Writing and Editorial.

'Savva: Heart of the Warrior'

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Here is another new animated feature that we aren’t getting in America, at least right now. The Cartoon Brew website has just posted this article about Savva: Heart of the Warrior, a new Russian animated feature that opened in second place in that country, and has since been released in Poland and is coming to other countries in 2016. An American voice dub has been prepared, but no American release has been scheduled yet.

The CB article includes the trailer and a half-dozen stills. Savva and many characters are human, but there are plenty of talking animals including Angee, a white wolf or werewolf.