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Review: 'Angry Birds' - a 2016 attempt at a 2010 property

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

There's nothing unique about being a Disney fan. It's very easy to say you like something that was obviously meant to have mass appeal. So in my everlasting attempt to stand out, I decided that rather than become the billionth sale for Disney's big furry flick of the year, I'd try and vouch for the underdogs – those dark-horse films such as Rock Dog, Sly Cooper, and what we're discussing here: Angry Birds.

It's a lot harder to make a case for a movie when no-one has any expectations for it. It was like fighting a losing battle, but I was happy to at least give these some attention.

And now, the first of these films which I championed has been released! I was fortunate enough to see it on release weekend and I can say that the theater was definitely packed. Was this film the embodiment of perfection or did it leave something to be desired? Let's see.

Album Review: 'Beast' by NIIC the Singing Dog

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)

BEAST coverThe first time I was introduced to NIIC was on Flayrah. I think it was during the time we were discussing definitions of furry. Someone linked to an interview, republished on Flayrah, where NIIC shared his definition of furry music; one I referred to in my own article on the subject. However, I still didn't really listen to his music until someone linked me to "Paws To The Wall (Fursona version)."

Moving forward a few months, I looked for more of NIIC's work and found his newest album, Beast, released last month, available on Soundcloud. I decided to give it a listen, ripped everything out of the cloud and started listening to it at work. I quickly found that I was really enjoying it and decided to buy the album and help support him. Well, I ended up buying all of his CDs at once, but it does give me the perfect opportunity for a review!

A conversation piece about furries: 'Fursonas'

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (10 votes)

fursonas.jpgFursonas has certainly already stirred the fandom up with its announcement. This independent documentary film made by Dominic Rodriguez was developed over 4 years from 2012 to 2015. It follows a handful of furries from different walks of life and their take on their identity and the identity of this crazy little group they find themselves within.

The film is broken up into two main parts. The first half introduces the fur fans that we'll be getting perspectives from, and the second half gets into topics that are typically the main controversies of the fandom: sex, the media, and the conflict between individual identity and complying to societal norms.

TRIGGER WARNING: If you a major fan, or personal friend, of Uncle Kage then this film may prove difficult to watch. Oh yeah, and there is a scene with dildos as well, so viewer discretion and such.

Interview: 'Fursonas' documentary director Dominic Rodriguez (Video the Wolf)

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (11 votes)
Dominic Rodriguez' fursona
Dominic's fursona, Video the Wolf. Art by Roro.

Joe Strike: Is Fursonas about lifestyler furries?

Dominic Rodriguez: Kind of. People get concerned when they see there are so many fursuiters in it, because not all furries are fursuiters.

I wanted to talk to people who are passionate. That was a good line to draw: if you’re going to go so far as to make or buy a costume, you’re passionate about furry. When I asked the people in the film if you consider furry a lifestyle, half of them said no.

JS: Other than the badges of the furries interviewed, there’s no furry art in the film. Do you think you should’ve included some art?

DR: The thing I knew when I went into this is everybody has a different way of experiencing and appreciating furry. There’s no way to please everybody or to accurately do justice to everything unless the movie was six hours. I had to be selfish and focus on what really mattered to me which is furry as an identity and as a community. I love art and you can show footage of people drawing; but I wanted to do something different, something I cared about. I wasn’t going to spend four years on something I didn’t care about.

When people say furry isn’t a lifestyle I understand that, but when they say it’s just a hobby I think they’re almost giving it a disservice. There’s so much wrapped up in it, and I think people in it take it seriously. I don’t want people to think [the fandom is] just freaks obviously, but it was important people cared about what they were talking about.

Furbid.ws for sale?

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

furbid.gifWhen people are bored, they may begin to dig through old bookmarks, go through old emails, and rustle through things with a slight sense of nostalgia. This is what brought about the discovery that the domain Furbid.ws was for sale.

Older furries may have used furry auction sites such as this site from years ago. Furries used auction sites almost exclusively for many years before many found that announcing commissions on FurAffinity got noticed more than an auction. FurBid was founded in 1999 when it was owned and run by Aatheus.

No information on why it is being sold is available, though WikiFur suggests it stopped its run December 5 of last year.

'Star Fox: Zero': Shiny new controls, same old story

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

starfoxzero.jpgIt's time to return to the Lylat System and step into the Arwing cockpit as the latest Star Fox game, Star Fox: Zero comes out for the Wii U system. After a decade absence from the Nintendo console game lineup, will this reboot of the franchise give new hope to the fans, or will disappointment strike it back? Here are my thoughts on the latest adventure of the space faring mercenaries.

'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' episodes nominated for 2016 Hugo Awards as part of 'Rabid Puppies' slate

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

ifiwereahorribleafflictioniwouldberabies.jpgThe Hugo Awards announced their nominees for 2016, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic gained its first nomination for the Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form for the episodes "The Cutie Map" (Part 1 and Part 2). However, furries and bronies perhaps shouldn't celebrate so soon; last year's Hugo Awards were pretty controversial, and this year is apparently the sequel.

Looks like the ponies are actually Trojan horses. For puppies.

Review: Welcome to 'The Jungle Book'

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

thejunglebook2016.jpgLet us not forget, Disney is a corporation. To a certain extent, we hold the 55 (and counting) full length animated movies produced by the Disney Animation Studios to a different standard than, say, the 32 (and counting) full length animated movies produced by DreamWorks Animation, or even the 16 (and counting) full length animated movies produced by Pixar, despite the fact that there really isn't much reason to, at this point. Just the fact that the brand is much older maybe should count for something, but, let's face it, just because it is so old, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has less in common with Zootopia than Kung Fu Panda 3 does (even when factoring out the furry aspects and the use of CGI).

We still treat many of those early animated Disney movies almost like sacred texts, despite the fact that Disney never has. Disney has always treated them like what they are; products to be sold. So, you've got annual theatrical re-releases for most of last century, a practice that only died when home video became a thing. To combat that, they introduced the "Disney Vault", which basically extended the "re-release" strategy indefinitely even with home video. Then came the direct-to-video sequels; finally, when those became a bit too damaging to the brand, the live action adaptations began. And the most recent movie to get that treatment is Jungle Book.

Whine all you like about originality and creativity, but Disney's got a business to run. This strategy is pretty much a brand-strengthening exercise, but at least part of the branding is based on "quality," so at least they're going to try and do right by the old movie (if not exactly Rupyard Kipling). And, hey, most of the older Disney movie's are based on properties that are public domain; if Disney doesn't do it, someone else will (and in fact, Warner Bros. has its own Jungle Book movie planned). And its not like Disney hasn't done this before (or, for that matter, that they were even the first movie studio to adapt The Jungle Book). If you want originality from Disney, go watch Zootopia again.

If you want to watch a good movie, well, actually, watching Zootopia again is okay, but do take some time to watch this version of The Jungle Book. It's actually really good.

Review: 'Pokkén Tournament' for the Wii U

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

pokkentournament.pngThe Pokémon franchise has been around for a long time. After two decades of tackling many genres, the concept of Pokémon battling arrives, for the first time, in one to which it seems particularly well-suited: the fighter.

Pokkén Tournament allows you to take full control of 16 different Pokémon in live action combat against your opponent. The game was developed by those experienced in the development of fighter games, and are known for the creation of Tekken. But even with this expertise behind the scenes, can the game rise to the challenge and leave a mark within the niche fighter market?

Retrospective review: 'Chicken Little'

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

chickenlittle.jpgSo, anyway, earlier this year, a movie came out called Zootopia. We, uh, might have mentioned it. Despite being anticipated, or even known, by just about nobody who wasn't a furry or, perhaps, a major Disney fan, the movie managed to become a rare hit at both the box office and with professional critics (though gathering up Flayrah reviews, the consensus was more in line with Metacritic's "good, but whatever" score, because furries, am I right?).

One thing that was repeatedly and pointedly not mentioned by anyone involved with the movie was another movie a little over a decade old, called Chicken Little. Lots of interviews, and even a semi-independently produced 45-minute making of documentary, all went on at length at how this Disney's first fully anthropomorphic animal world since Robin Hood, and the first set in the furry equivalent of a modern world, despite the fact that it, well, wasn't. Chicken Little became the animated equivalent of a "disappeared non-person" in some sci-fi dystopia.

Which makes it incredibly interesting, in a weird kind of way; in a company that mines its past productions for nostalgia like there is no tomorrow (only yesterday, repeated), Disney has gone out of its way to avoid reminding anyone this movie exists. And this is actually a fairly important movie in the history of the company; it was the first full length computer animated feature by Disney (and not Pixar). So, is it really that bad?

Yes. Yes it is really that bad.

Opinion: Is the furry fandom especially creative or original?

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (12 votes)

There is a quite widespread idea that the furry fandom is a uniquely creative group of people. We say it in our own documentaries, we say it in our own comment sections and the more senior members of the fandom such as Unci and Uncle Kage say it when they talk about the fandom. This majority opinion can be summarized in a single paragraph from the Furry Writer's Guild:

The furry fandom can be difficult to describe succinctly because, unlike media-based fandoms, furries aren’t fans of any one particular television show, film, or even genre. Many furries do find their way to the fandom through overlap with fandoms of mass media properties like The Lion King and My Little Pony, but for the most part, furries create their own original content to be fans of. It’s an incredibly creative community, and the boundaries between creator and fan are often slim to nonexistent.

But is it really true? Let's be clear, I am not saying that the furry fandom is not creative or original, but I do not think that we are uniquely so and, hopefully, by the end of this, I will have convinced you of that.

Review: 'The Boy and the Beast', anime film

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

A bear and a human boy stand dramatically in the street.The Boy and the Beast (aka Bakemono no koEnglish trailer) is a 2015 animated film from Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda, who directed the film Wolf Children in 2012. Both are of furry interest; this one even more so!

Ren is a 9-year-old boy who runs away to the busy streets of Tokyo after his mother dies. He has no way of contacting his father, whom his mother divorced, and has no love for his mother's relatives who want to take him in. Angry and upset, he wanders by accident into a parallel Earth, the beast world, where everyone is an anthropomorphic animal.

In the city of beasts, the current Grand Master (a rabbit) intends to transcend and reincarnate into a god, with two possible successors: a bear named Kumatetsu, or a boar named Yozen.

Review: 'Klaw' and 'Love' graphic novels

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

A tiger attacks a teenager. Klaw is a French comic book series that will soon be available in English from Magnetic Press, so this is a good time for a review! It's a young adult superhero/action comic with anthropomorphic content. Will it appeal to furry fans? Possibly. Bonus points if you're a fan of tigers. It's written by Antoine Ozanam and drawn by Joël Jurion.

Angel Tomassini is a kid in early high school who gets bullied a lot, even though everyone (except him) seems to know that his father is the head of the Chicago mafia. Within the space of a particularly bad week, Angel learns the truth about his dad, is questioned by the police over the suspicious death of another student, is attacked by ninjas, goes on his first date, and finds out he has the power to turn into a powerful, muscled were-tiger.

Opinion: 'Fursonas' is the film we need

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (14 votes)

Fursonas If any of you readers are like me, then you only follow Flayrah when it comes to furry news. I saw an article shared around a year ago about furry music, and that's how I found this site.

But amidst the posts about cons being cancelled and the abundance of Zootopia reviews came a shining light no one saw coming. Mostly because even on a site about the very subject it is meant to educate on, it got no attention.

This film is Fursonas, a documentary about the furry lifestyle. A detailed look at the friendly fandom that CSI ruined public perception of all those years ago, such that we still feel repercussions today. It wasn't until my best bud crossaffliction mentioned this movie in, of course, a Zootopia-related post that I became aware of it. I started to dig, and realized what a gem we'd been missing.

Dogpatch Press (who I've now since started to follow alongside Flayrah) posted an incredible article on this film, which I suggest all members read, as this post is just to drum up hype for this film. One line from that article holds substantial water for me; Zootopia is the film we want, but Fursonas is the film we need.

Opinion: How to handle the Zootopia fans

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (12 votes)

zootopiafans.jpgYes, we know, we all saw the box office figures. Zootopia is a big hit, and seems to be the establishing mass-media beachhead for "furry fandom". But please, please spare a moment to think about how best to interact with people arriving into the world of anthropomorphic-fiction. Consider this conversation you may well have in the near future ...

"Hey, is that Zootopia fan art? I loved that movie."

"No, it's actually my fursona."

"Oh, like a Zootopia OC, yeah I have one of those."

"No, No, this is from before Zootopia, from the furry fandom."

"Oh. No, I'm not into that stuff."

Stop right there ... Now, this is where you do not rant.