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Tales of the Seal Folk

[Back from CaliFur, and we have so much to talk about!]

Over at Cartoon Brew they have premiered the brand-new trailer for the upcoming animated film Song of the Sea, directed by Tomm Moore. Like Moore’s previous film The Secret of Kells, this new feature will be hand-drawn in a traditional 2D fashion with a highly stylized design. And, like that first film, this new one is based on the legends and lore of Ireland — in this case, the story of the Selkies, magical beings who are seals in the ocean but can shed their furry skins to become humans on the land. “Song of the Sea tells the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse – the last Seal-child – who embark on a fantastic journey across a fading world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea. ” As with The Secret of Kells, Songs of the Sea has been picked up by GKIDS for distribution in North America. Now if we could just get a firm date for its release!

image c. 2014 GKIDS

image c. 2014 Cartoon Saloon

More Furry Cartoons Coming From South Africa

The Hollywood Reporter recently ran an article about Triggerfish — the animation studio which some refer to as the Pixar of South Africa. Following the international success of Zambezia (about a city of birds) and Khumba (about a young zebra missing half of his stripes), Triggerfish have secured funding which will allow them to begin work on two new films out of a planned slate of five. The company’s stated goal is to release one film a year starting in 2016. First out of the gate is Here Be Monsters, about a young human boy who interacts with a scary sea monster. It’s written by Raffaella Delle Donne, who worked on both the studio’s previous films. Soon after that comes Seal Team, described as “an action-comedy that pits a group of seals against the great white sharks of South Africa.” Khumba is currently screening in Africa, with plans to roll it out to the rest of the world going into 2014.

image c. 2013 Triggerfish

Doggie of Death

Sometimes, all you need to know is the title: Battlepug. Want more? Okay. Some time ago comic book artist Mike Norton created a t-shirt design of a Conan-type barbarian riding the back of a giant-but-cute doggie, which he titled “Battlepug”. The t-shirt design was such a hit that about one year ago Mr. Norton decided to create a Battlepug web comic, which follows the adventures of a muscular warrior, his battle-pug mount, and an old lunatic as they travel the land, yes, battling with the likes of a giant evil baby seal and a colony of gophers who team up to form a giant mega-gopher. You see it’s all a story a naked lady is telling to her two pet dogs… Well, maybe it’ll make more sense if you read it. Or maybe not. Now word is out that the web comic has done so well that Dark Horse Press will be releasing a collected print version of the first year of Battlepug this coming July.

image c. 2012 Mike Norton

British Marine Biologist drowned by Seal

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The Guardian Newspaper is reporting that a British Marine Biologist has been dragged under water by a Leopard Seal.

The scientist was snorkelling near an Antarctic Research Station when the seal siezed her. She was lifted from the water but efforts to resuscitate her failed.

Andre the Seal granted fishing license

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

Andre the seal accidentally found himself in the Scottish River Leven and Loch Lammond. He had been eating salmon stocks worth thousands of British pounds. The town tried to capture him, but failed. In the end, they did the only thing they could: they granted him a fishing license.

Drowning dog saved by seal

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Usually it's dolphins helping drowning people that is typical in the world of animals rescuing, but a 10 year old dog who fell into a fast flowing river out of the reach of humans on the shore was saved by a seal. The seal caught up with in injured dog as it was going down, and pushed it to shore.Seals are smart and social animals, but this behavior hasn't been seen before.

A Jungian view on shapeshifting and Scottish tales of the Seal people.

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Two interesting articles found in the on-line edition of the Fortean Times. They're not as scholarly as they claim, but entertaining to read.

The first covers the spiritial aspects of shapeshifting stories with a Carl Jung viewpoint. The second article speculates the Seal people myths (who shed their seal skins to become people) in Scotland may have been modeled after an aboriginal sea kayaking tribe.

Ally Mc Seal

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Seal For Hire

Scientists Use Seals to Videotape Fish at Antarctic Depths

"They couldn't have done it without the help of seals like the one with so much personality she was dubbed Ally McSeal, who became so fond of her collaborators that she returned to their base camp several times, apparently just to say howdy."

Seals and Pandas

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Yahoo had an interesting article on what seals use their whiskers for. Not all decoration, it seems. And off the Animal Planet site, a rather amazing story (bordering on News of the Weird) about a human woman who saved a couple of panda cubs with spare milk.