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Movie review: 'My Father's Dragon' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

My Father's Dragon is a 2D animated children's fantasy film, the latest from Cartoon Saloon, directed by Nora Twomey. The studio kept an amazingly tight lid on this 99-minute production, with its trailer only becoming available five weeks before the film was released on Netflix. I'm very glad this project didn't get cancelled, what with partially being made during the Covid pandemic.

The main character is a quick-thinking boy named Elmer. After he shows kindness to Whoopi Goldberg-- I mean, to a talking cat, the magical neko tells him there's an island where he can find a dragon. And if Elmer can bring the dragon back, its novelty will save him and his single mom from financial ruin! So off Elmer goes, equipped only with a bunch of random stuff he happens to have in his bag. The situation on the island is difficult, and Elmer isn't the only one who needs the dragon.

Cover art from one of the book versions.How furry is it? Sssort of. Only in the sense of having animals that can talk; none of them are physically anthropomorphic, aside from a few primate species. A diplomatic gorilla is the closest this film gets to having an antagonist. As for the dragon, he has a very... unique design, because he's based on illustrations from a 1948 children's book that inspired this film. Despite getting top billing, the dragon is not especially interesting.

What this film does well is provide a sense of adventure and danger. Drawn in Cartoon Saloon's signature geometric artstyle with excellent use of color, it continues the common theme of their other films, a child protagonist trying to persevere against a situation that looms over them. Story-wise, it's a little uneven. It's primarily for younger children.

I wouldn't call it a must-see, unless you're a fan of Cartoon Saloon's work; personally I would much more highly recommend Wolfwalkers (exclusively on Apple TV+). My Father's Dragon scores 87% with critics and 77% from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm with the audience, although I'd give it a 68% "Enh, maybe". Check it out if you're interested though!

As for being a book adaptation... That's something to rant about. Major spoilers ahead.

Streaming review: 'Zootopia+'

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Zootopia+ banner featuring minor characters from the film

Oh, look, another Zootopia review!

It's been six years since Zootopia was released to theaters. In that time, a lot has happened. America has managed the change to two different presidents. Across the pond in the UK, where the movie was known as Zootropolis, they've managed to beat that turnover rate for heads of state with four new prime ministers, plus a new monarch. That's kind of prescient for a movie where the titular city burns through two mayors over the course of its plot.

In all that time, Zootopia has managed to remain popular with furries. It also, perhaps a bit surprisingly, has managed to remain popular with non-furries. It is one of only three Disney Animated Studio movies to break into the billion dollar club (the other two are both Frozen). It also managed critical and industry awards accolades to go along with the commercial success, giving it the hat trick of movie success criteria. So, a lot of people would probably not be averse to a sequel, right?

Well, how about a series of animated shorts released over half a decade later with little fanfare to a streaming service, instead?

Lord Winklebottom Investigates - A Whodunit where you don't

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

LordWinklebottom.jpgAs a giraffe detective and his hippo sidekick are called to an island by an old friend to join a party where he wanted to make a grand announcement, they find themselves showing up to the scene of a murder. In Lord Winklebottom it is up to you to search for clues on this island and find out who killed the head of the household, and why.

In it you will find a rogue's gallery of suspects: a feline journalist, an alpaca seer, a pelican actress who is hard of hearing, a walrus priest, a chameleon scientist, a goat maid, a sloth butler, a slug gardener, and a toad lawyer. Yes, this game is very, as Fred Patten would put it, zipperback. These characters could very well be replaced by human counterparts, but where is the fun in that?

In spite of the animal characters, though, I could not actually recommend this as a game. If you do enjoy detective stories this one is kind of forgettable, if you enjoy games this is not much of a game. If you do like quirky animal character adventures, this one is passable but there are better options out there these days. If you like playing a story that has light interactivity then this may actually be your cup of tea. As long as you don’t put the tea in first — or was it don’t put the milk in first? Either way the tea is just okay.

Twitter gets Musky - Furries contemplate exodus from social media site

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (7 votes)

Twitter.jpgOn October 28th, 2022 a deal that had been in discussions for half of the year finally completed. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, closed on his purchase of Twitter and took it from a publicly traded company to a private venture. The final price tag of $54.20 a share gives out a total of around $44 billion dollars. He had put in this offer back in April of this year.

After taking over, the new owner is moving quickly to shake up staffing and push for proposals such as making the verification check mark be a paid McGuffin at an $8 recurring monthly payment rather than a measure of someone being of social import and prevent people from scamming others by pretending to be that person, as the tool was originally designed to do.

In an interview with the Baron Fund, Musk indicated that the monthly subscription would prioritize ‘access’ to paying feeds over non-paying users on the platform. It has yet to be seen how this subscription process would have safeguards in place for those with money and means to use a bunch of verified accounts to promote their products or political causes inorganically.

These proposed changes have caused concerns for those in the fandom that believe that moderation will be biased toward those with capital or those who hold social influence with Elon, taking a public square and making it into a gated community. Those who believe so have begun to look for alternatives.

'Shredder’s Revenge': Turtle brawlers remain timeless

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

There are strange things that you can collect in the story mode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. VHS tapes, newspapers, maybe even the concept of diaries have since faded in a world where information is stored and shared nearly instantaneously in a digital format. However, it appears the mean reptiles in green have remained a constant when it comes to providing good 2D brawlers. 3D ventures, maybe not so much.

It’s been thirty years since the release of one of my childhood favorites, The Manhattan Project, for the original NES. In those three decades, many things have changed, but the fact that the TMNT franchise lends itself so well to the brawler genre remains consistent.

Shredder's Revenge

'Kao the Kangaroo' (2022) Review

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Kao the Kangaroo

Then go. Kick butt, rip and tear, boop snoots — or whatever it is you kids say these days. Just find your dad and sister and bring them home.
-- Kao’s Mum

Kao the Kangaroo is a bit of a niche character in the animal platformer genre. If you had played his games back in the day, and were fond of the kangaroo, I’m sure you already played the new one that came out this year and are only reading this review to fulfill your curiosity. If you don’t have nostalgia for this series, then is this a game worth playing?

If you really enjoy 3D platformers, then this one is decent enough. It's fun, colorful, though not really challenging. If you're looking for the cream of the platformer crop, this one may disappoint, as there are some rough edges. It’s no Sonic Boom of a disaster, but there was at least one glitch that caused me to soft lock at the end of a level.

Con Report: Tails and Tornadoes 2022

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (9 votes)

Tails and TornadoesThis year's Tails and Tornadoes convention, held at the Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is only the third furry convention I've been to. Previous conventions I have attended were Oklacon 2004 and Anthrocon 2017, and I only made it all the way to Pittsburgh due to being nominated for an Ursa Major award and wanting to attend the awards presentation (I ended being late and missing the announcement of my category, but I lost anyway). Tails and Tornadoes, like Oklacon before it, had the advantage of being cheap and nearby, as I am a local Oklahoman.

As I live only an hour from Tulsa, I made the decision to just commute daily to the convention, as I calculated that the price of gas would ultimately be cheaper than staying at the hotel for me, not to mention cutting out the hassle of actually booking a room and possibly even finding a roommate for the stay. So, I have no idea how the late night atmosphere of the convention was, or the reality of the room situation there. The truth is, that part, the social aspects of convention going is just not for me, despite the fact that it seems a primary draw for just about everyone else. Hence my relatively low total life convention attendance.

Movie review: 'Perlimps' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Perlimps (trailer) is a Brazilian 2D animated film, the second from animator and director Alê Abreu. After seeing his earlier film, Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo, 2013), I really wanted to see what his next project would be like. I wasn't expecting to wait nine years!

Abreu's films definitely do not adhere to typical Hollywood narrative structures, veering towards the artsy without being self-indulgent. Boy and the World, for example, has no dialog at all, and conveys things entirely with sounds and visuals. (As well as being an abstract statement about growing up and the poverty that comes from the exploitation of labor.)

Perlimps is way more approachable in comparison. On the surface, judging by its trailer, I thought it was going to be another film about the devastation of the environment by humans. It does some of that, sure, but that's just surface stuff.

The rest of the film's surface is all in the trailer. Claé (an orange wolf) and Bruô (a blue bear) are secret agents from the opposing kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, trying to find the Perlimps, mysterious entities who can help save the forest from the encroachment of man.

Furry Weekend Atlanta draws ire as it books outside talent for musical shows

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Before the coronavirus shut down many furry conventions around the world, a strange thing occurred at Furry Weekend Atlanta in 2019. The popular electronic dance group Mystery Skulls performed a musical set at the convention. This is a pretty mainstream group, well-known for their singles such as Money and Ghosts.

When in-person events started happening again, Furry Weekend Atlanta's new headliner was again more known for their mainstream work than for their ties to the fandom. FRND, also known as Andrew Goldstein, is not quite as well-known as Mystery Skulls. After having worked with many mainstream musicians (such as Maroon Five's Beautiful Mistakes as a co-writer), he started to work independently and created his own singles.

Now in late 2022, FWA is giving a wink toward Little Nas X, a very well-known rap artist, born and raised near Atlanta. He's known for stirring up moralistic controversy with his music videos. I guess that's how you know it's real rap.

As FWA's drive towards mainstream musical talent has continued, furries have become a lot more pointed in their questioning of the convention. But whoever's been in control of FWA's social media account has continually dismissed such criticism. For instance, during the FRND announcement, they responded to one critique by posting a gif of Clauhauser calling the critical poster "cute". At the time, this post only drew more attention to the critique. FWA later deleted the tweet and apologized for their behavior. In response to the threads that appeared after the Little Nas X announcement, they have started to use their social media tools to limit responses to no one but the artist in question.

In this article, we'll be going over what defines a work as furry, why this is separate from how furry music is defined, and how Furry Weekend Atlanta may be able to help mitigate future concerns for their furry attendees and the musically talented within the fandom.

Furrstein: a furry convention at Hauenštejn Castle, Czechia

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (9 votes)

Furrstien's castle venue Our journey starts near Frankfurt am Main's main train station, where I pick up a friend. We head to Czechia, buying a vignette at the Czech border; arriving at Hauenštejn Castle, near the German border, after a four-hour drive.

This is it! A medieval castle, some parts of it still in restoration; furries with all their luggage waving to us and welcoming and greeting us in excitement. They are just as excited as we are.

We go to registration; they speak English to us, because shitty, a member of their orga team, recognised me from another convention called KRAZ.

My friend Alexis and I are sponsors of the convention and got a T-shirt, along with a wooden logo of Furrstein and its theme, which is Harry Potter this year.

Stray - A simple and focused game in a world of games that go astray

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Stray.jpgOkay, 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.

Movie review: 'Luck' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Luck (teaser trailer) is a 2022 computer-animated movie released on August 5 on the Apple TV+ streaming service. It's the first animated film from Skydance, to be followed by Spellbound.

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.)

The dragon

'Fuga: Melodies of Steel' - A game that tanks, but in a good way

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FUGA Did you ever want to play a game with animal people in a World War 2 inspired environment with characters and plots that have anime aesthetic as you drive a literal kaiju tank through the countryside and melt away your opponents in turn-based tactical combat? Well, that request is rather specific, but Fuga: Melodies of Steel is here to fill that void.

You control six youths who find themselves piloting a powerful weapon of unknown origin after they are forced to fight back against the Berman army that has been attacking their homeland of Gasco. As you journey, you'll find others to help along the way, develop friendships between the characters, and power up your machine of death as you move forth to free your captured relatives.

However, things may not be so simple. Aboard this tank there is also a mysterious voice on a radio driving the crew forward, and a strange ghost that seems to haunt the halls. Also this monstrous tank, named Taranis, has a dormant weapon that sleeps, awaiting a desperate hour to arise and unleash its devastation, but at a great cost.

If you like tactical RPG combat with good art direction and an orchestrated soundtrack, you'd do well to play this one. More details and minor spoilers found past the divider.

Furries Are Being 'Cancelled' for 'Feral Porn Art' - This Is a Problem

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (25 votes)

About 2 years ago, I started to see a growing debate about 'feral' NSFW art, and it was mostly more calm. The first time was when FurryLife.online started to ban most feral furry pornography, which has sparked a lot of debate online here (in the comment section), Twitter, and some other online sites. In the discussions, there were a lot of folks defending it with a fair amount of logic, mainly explaining that human levels of intelligence creates a difference. There were also folks reasoning that many of such ferals being attractive were exactly the same reasoning why furry characters such as Nick Wilde would be considered attractive by many other furries, by the fact that they have animal parts.

After such drama emerged, it felt as if it was dying down, thankfully. However recently on about June 19th, a popular furry known as KaimTime has been publicly “exposed” after some furries found out that they had a “feral” focused NSFW Twitter account known as Feral Fawcet. As a result, angry furries accused the person of being into “zoophilia”. as well as many Twitter folks ending up doing the whole “if you support this, block me” style posts. There was even one popular YouTuber, Crying Blossom, who made a call-out video against KaimTime mainly for KaimTime having the separate Twitter feed with this art on it, and their response video defending their right to have this separate page and fantasy. All of this, likely because of a furry artist partly having an interest in having fantasies with anthropomorphic animals on all fours.

Klonoa's new remake is coming out!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Klonoa is a franchise by Bandai Namco that got its first release in 1997 for the PlayStation. Having reached great sales in the Japanese market, it got modest earnings in the west, large enough to approve a sequel, Klonoa 2, for the PlayStation 2. Both games got great reviews, and are platforming classics, but unfortunately diminishing sales killed the franchise, with one last re-release of the first game back in 2008 for the Wii.

The franchise is now being revived after all these years with a new remake of Klonoa 1+2, with great care and respect for the source material. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series comes out July 8th for PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Steam (PC). Consoles get a physical release in Europe and Japan, with US receiving digital releases only.