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

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 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?

Review: 'The Furry Future', edited by Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

The Furry Future Furry fiction is replete with references to its characters' ears, tails, paws, and how they notice scent in the world around them. While adding to a story's atmosphere, in many cases the characters could, with minor modifications, be written as humans. In The Furry Future, editor Fred Patten wanted to depart from cursory furriness.

This is an anthology of short stories more firmly rooted in science-fiction, not fantasy, in which the existence of its furry characters tries to be relevant to its stories.

FurPlanet Productions, January 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (446 pgs.), eBook $9.95. Cover by BlackTeagan.

Opinion: I'd trade my man card for a furry conbadge

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (8 votes)

Phil Elmore When I was a kid, I had a magic card whose flavour text read, "She had expected death to roar, to thunder, to growl. She did not recognize it when it came hissing to her side." If Phil Elmore had designed that card, it would've probably read, "She had expected death to roar, to thunder, to growl. She did not recognize it when it came in a cute and fluffy guise." That's because Phil Elmore thinks that furry is the latest crack in the foundation of society that will lead to, in his own words, the "destruction of society." He is wrong. He is so, so very wrong.

Review: 'The David Birkenhead Series' by Phil Guesz

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

shipsboy.jpgBased in a far future where humans have conquered the stars, this 7 volume space opera follows the life of David Birkenhead, slave rabbit.

The star-faring human race, finding no aboriginals to oppress on the various colonized worlds, create their own non-human slaves. Rabbits, dogs and horses are as nearly as intelligent as humans. The margin is so thin that only their limited education and indoctrination make it seem like a big difference. The House of Marcus, the creator of the rabbit line, has always endeavored to treat rabbits as free as the law allows, but all over the Empire, they see rabbits reduced to mere property status. They begin to secretly manipulate the gene pool so that rabbits might one day be seen as equals ... despite the fur. Their plan is cautious and will take several generations to bear fruit. David Birkenhead is one of two rabbits to be secretly tinkered with, but before he is even born, three houses and their worlds revolt. The Empire begins a series of battles with this new Imperial Nation. Plans to uplift the rabbits further go on the back burner. And then David turns 12 ...

So, you may ask (as many readers on Goodreads.com or Amazon have), why rabbits? Well, I really don't see cats making good slaves. And ther's heavy European influences here, so I wouldn't expect to see birds, which I might if we had more Asian influences. Rabbits are simply cute and make good foils for the violence and turmoil that unfolds. Plus, Phil Guesz is a lapine master.

Ship's Boy (The David Birkenhead Saga Vol. 1), Legion Printing and Publishing, Inc, June 4, 2012, trade paperback $5.99 (90 pages).
Midshipman (The David Birkenhead Saga Vol. 2), Legion Printing and Publishing, Inc, August 8, 2012, trade paperback $8.99 (193 pages), eBook $0.99.
Lieutenant (The David Birkenhead Saga Vol. 3), Legion Printing and Publishing, Inc, September 10, 2012, trade paperback $9.99 (167 pages), eBook $2.99.
Commander (The David Birkenhead Saga Vol. 4), Legion Printing and Publishing, Inc, October 5, 2012, eBook $2.99 (167 pages).
Captain (The David Birkenhead Saga Vol. 5), Legion Printing and Publishing, Inc, October 31, 2012, trade paperback $7.99 (133 pages), eBook $1.99.
Commodore (The David Birkenhead Saga Vol. 6), Legion Printing and Publishing, Inc, November 21, 2012, trade paperback $13.99 (302 pages), eBook $2.99.
Admiral (The David Birkenhead Saga Vol. 7), Legion Printing and Publishing, Inc, November 30, 2012, trade paperback $8.99 (119 pages), eBook $2.99.

Review: 'The Dragons of Krynn' ('Dragonlance Dragons' #1) anthology edited by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

dragonsofkrynn.jpgAlmost 30 years ago, Dragonlance exploded into the role-playing world with new sets of player characters and a fresh take on monsters. In my circle of friends, reading about Dragonlance proved more interesting than actually playing in the setting.

It's my understanding that there are over 200 novels and collections in the Dragonlance universe. I believe the last new Dragonlance novel was released in 2010, with the last reprint released in 2011. Along with Dungeons & Dragon's world of the Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance was one of the most popular shared worlds in fiction. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more of these books waiting for us in the future.

When I last set foot on Mount To-Be-Read (what I call my queue of unread books) this old classic was waiting for me. I have had mixed experiences with the Dragonlance books and I hesitated at reading it for a moment.

But then I wondered how the dragons of Dragonlance would stand up to a furry eye? That made me curious as I tended to read the TSR novels as I would read any other fantasy novel. Maybe I shouldn't have a different mind set when reading different sub-genres but I do. I look for more logic and more relationship in furry stories either with the environment or with other people/creatures. While in a different sword and sorcery fantasy realm, I care more about mood and the character's struggle to reach his goal.

So, I set out to read The Dragons of Kyrnn with a furry eye, looking and hoping for anthropomorphic tales that elevated a dragon from monster to character.

Interestingly enough, some of the best of the stories had very little dragon in them. Still, there were five stories in the collection that I will recommend to my fellow furries and scalies.

Wizards of the Coast (TSR), March 1, 1994; trade paperback (390 pages, 15 stories, 3 poems).

Fur Affinity - Users responsible for the actions of commenters

Your rating: None Average: 5 (9 votes)

On Janurary 21st, Fur Affinity staff had removed a user's journal based upon the comments within the journal for violating Code of Conduct rule 1.6, colloquially referred to as the "call out" rule. This decision will impact users by placing the responsibility of comments on the user hosting those comments on their journal or submission pages as much as the user making the comment. The user whose journal was removed, Validuz, was told that any comments found violating such rules are subject to removal of the journal hosting the comments.

Review: 'Otters in Space 2: Jupiter, Deadly' (Volume 2) by Mary E. Lowd (by Greyflank)

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

Otters in Space 2: Jupiter, DeadlyIn an upifted 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 otters rule in space. In the first book, Kipper is hunting a mystery that takes her into space and eventually Mars where the perfect cat world is found. Provided, of course, that you were a perfectly bred cat.

In Otters In Space: Jupiter Deadly, Kipper encounters aliens or possibly uplifted reptiles who seem bent on attacking Jupiter and friendly otter spacecraft. Before she can finish saying, "It's not my problem," a distress call goes out ... from another rather defenseless feline utopia.

This book is less subversive, the action is more in your face and Skipper's otter crew-mates are as loony as ever. The sequel is wonderful! And all the characters get fleshed out much better in this book. The political intrigue is explained and the dog culture is better explored. I like that in confronting the system, the average dogs that make up that system are better explored, rather than making the system outright evil or two dimensional.

Spoilers below!

See also: Review by Fred

Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, July 2013, trade paperback $9.95 (227 pages), Kindle $6.99.

Review: 'Norm of the North' isn't exactly 'Frozen'

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

normofthenorth.jpgSo it seems the first animated movie of 2016 is upon us. And the entire world collectively went 'Oh'.

From the looks of it, everyone in the world hates this film. Critics, moviegoers, children, everyone. I'm pretty sure I hate it as well, but I can't be sure since I actually fell asleep in the theater for this thing. No joke. It's the second time I've fallen asleep in a theater ever, the first being ... Avengers 2.

Where did it go wrong? Perhaps it was Rob Schneider. Maybe it was the sweat shop CGI brought to you by Lionsgate. Or could it be the fact that a poorly written and animated film in 2016 with fart and other unfunny jokes was just doomed for failure? Who knows?

Well actually, we all know that it was all of those things. This film has collected the rare achievement of getting a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, the first film of 2016 to do so. And only the second computer generated film of all time to do so (the first being Space Chimps 2) which is a feat worthy of applause.

My Top 5 furry games of 2015

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

It's time for the Ursa Majors again, and while I like to encourage each to put in their own nominations for the popular furry award, I have decided to share the ones I feel should be looked into as the best entries for the year in the game category and go over briefly why they should be there. Because, without a Pokémon game here, it's going to be a very interesting year.

Everyone else is putting up lists, and if anything it may help furries connect with games they may have not had a chance to play. For other games you can see the recommended list here. I guess I felt like a rebel this year, because four of the five games on my list are not on that one.

So without further ado, here are the five games I am nominating for the Ursa Majors this year, in no particular order. In order to qualify, I feel it should incorporate at least one main character that is anthropomorphic, or cover in some way a world that contains intellectual animals in some degree. You may laugh that I have to define that, but lets not forget what won in 2012 over Dust: An Elysian Tail.

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

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 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: '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.

Ambitious furry fighter 'Beast's Fury' pulls plug

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Beast's FuryOn January 7, Ryhan Stevens announced that after many years of development that Beast's Fury, a fighting game that would feature furry characters, would be ceased. This announcement has created a lot of controversy and demand by those who funded the project over its multiple crowdfunding campaigns, two of which were successful. It has brought to bear the risks of public funding of projects by those in both the furry and gaming communities, and has opened discussions about the actual costs of developing video games.

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

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

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.

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.

Review: 'Ewe at Work'

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

ewetube_0.jpgChristmas markets, and craft markets in general, can be a bit of a gamble. Many times, it's just the same old things that you will see at every market. Though sometimes you find something different, something more unique that jumps out at ... ewe. That was my experience at a recent Christmas market where I found a number of pictures and books revolving around sheep puns. It kept my attention long enough that I decided to buy one of the books; Ewe at Work.

baa-code_0.jpgAccording to the cover, it was "Voted No. 1 sheep book in Ramsgate." That's a real place! (Population around a thousand, so make of that what you will.) It features just over 90 self-contained images, nearly always involving sheep puns, drawn in a minimalist style similar to xkcd and Cyanide & Happiness. And that's it, really. You're either the sort of person who would buy a book of sheep puns or you are not.