Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Movies

Talking Animal Films in South Africa (Part 1)

by Duncan R. Piasecki

Submitted by guest writer Duncan R. Piasecki – don’t miss his amazing previous article, The Forgotten History of the Furry Musical.

South Afrifur logo – see a con report.

Of all the things you’d expect a country in Africa to have in common with whatever first-world place you’re reading this in, I bet nowhere on that list was CGI animation studios. But it’s true, for better or for worse, and (un?)luckily for all of us, all the major CGI films produced by this country fall into the talking animal genre. Furry appeal, it’s an international thing!

Preface: important things that will colour how you understand the rest of the article

Before we get too deep into this, some context is important to understand the nature of this country.

First and foremost, you need to understand something of the way that stories are told here. This is mostly about books, but it speaks to the way film and television are made here as well. We like to fool ourselves into thinking we’re cosmopolitan, but we’re really, really not. We’ve fallen a long way since JRR Tolkien moved away from here. Fictive literature here can be mostly divided into two categories: classic and modern. Classics are largely about sociopolitical concerns (most famous is probably Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton – most likely you’d know it from the 1995 film adaptation starring James Earl Jones, if you knew it at all). Modern however… well. Publishers down here tend to want you to write stories with an African bent all the time. In theory, it leads to more Afrocentric storytelling, but in practice, if you go look under general fiction, everything is either just described as “X, but in Africa!” or just a rip-off of whatever the Americans are doing. Not all books, of course, but certainly enough that you wouldn’t even be able to find the local fiction that’s not like this in most stores. For example, a big hit here a few years ago was Spud by John van de Ruit, which is basically “Adrian Mole, but in Africa!“. On the other side of the coin are writers like Wilbur Smith, who writes what look like fairly cheesy adventure/thrillers generally. As a writer myself, who falls under the oft-confusing literary movement of postmodernism, it is beyond frustrating and annoying to see, and there is no way I’d ever be published by anyone down here as a result of these weird stipulations (hooray for self-publishing).

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Cinéma Anthropomorphique – the monthly movie meet for furries of Oslo, Norway

by Patch O'Furr

There’s lots of furry movie outings, and sometimes they even rent a theater for a special occasion, but I’m not aware of many permanent furry movie clubs. Oslo’s Cinéma Anthropomorphique isn’t just well established, it seems to be the premiere fur meet for the capital of Norway. I’m going purely on stereotype about the frozen northlands of Scandinavia, but I imagine that in between good cold weather fursuiting and, I dunno, pulling sleds with husky friends under the Northern Lights, indoor movie time has to be a great pastime there.  I’m also assuming that the fur community there must be close-knit, making this an inviting gateway to fur stuff. Here’s what I learned about it from TF Baxxter – founder and administrator of the Norwegian furry community Norwegian Paws and department head for NordicFuzzcon. Extra questions are further down. (- Patch)

TF Baxxter continues:

Cinéma Anthropomorphique started in December, 2012. We were only four people. Now we average at around 20 – 25 (maybe closer to 20; our record was 27 attendees). The event is held in someone’s home in the Oslo-area (which means it can get really cramped); we have main hosts, but like to vary it when we can.

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Monster Island, Directed by Leopoldo Aguilar – Movie Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Monster Island. Directed by Leopoldo Aguilar, from a script by Billy Frolick & Alicia Núñez Puerto. Sony Home Pictures Entertainment, September 12, 2017, 80 minutes, direct-to-DVD, $14.99.

Distributed in the U.S. & Canada by Vision Films (Sherman Oaks, California). Produced by Ánima Estudios (México City).

Is Monster Island worth an article for DP? How can we ignore any movie with a character like Verónica, the pig-girl?

This 80-minute CGI animated movie premiered theatrically on July 21st in the U.K. It got devastating reviews. Newspaper The Guardian said the day before, “… it’s […] dispiriting to encounter this ploddingly mediocre knockoff, with its budget effects, utterly uninspired visual design and flatlining dialogue. […] The whole forgettable movie looks as if it has been generated by ageing software.” As if that wasn’t enough, The Guardian followed it up with an even worse review three days later. “There are few things more unpleasant to look at than bad animation. And Monster Island’s Technicolor yawn of regurgitated influences is monstrous in all the wrong ways. The eyeball-melting colour palette is just the tip of the tentacle – this is a cobbled-together, plotless mess […]” It got a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s just been released theatrically in South Korea (September 7th) and China (September 9th). We get it in the U.S. as a direct-to-DVD “family entertainment” (kids’ movie) release.

Lucas Frunk (voice of Philip Adrian Vasquez) is a stereotypical 13-year-old nerd at Brown Middle School. His best pal is also-nerdish Peter Kavinsky. They are both picked on by school bully Cameron (voice of Michael Robles) and made to do his science class experiments (the frog explodes). Lucas discovers the hard way at school social queen Melanie’s (Jenifer Beth Kaplan) Halloween dance that his “asthma inhaler” actually delivers a medicine that keeps him from turning into a towering orange ogre.

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Foreign animated movies released direct-to-DVD in America – by Fred Patten

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Woody Woodpecker PosterAre you going to see Woody Woodpecker: The Movie? It’s coming out on October 5th.

In Brazil.

But it’s a Universal movie. Or at least Universal is distributing it there.

The American public may not have noticed it, but one of the cinematic trends of the 2010s has been the production or subsidizing by American movie companies of movies featuring their famous cartoon stars, for theatrical distribution worldwide by those companies – except in the U.S. We get them as direct-to-DVD children’s movies.

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Fred Patten asks: are “art of” animated movie books necessary?

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

In June, my review of The Art of Cars 3 was posted here. In it, I said:

“It has been acknowledged that these “art of” books featuring animated films are money-losers, subsidized by the advertising budgets for those films, made for the promotion of those films and for the morale of the artists and technical crews that produced them. The Art of Cars 3 is full of the art of the animators, layout artists, production designers, story artists, digital renderers, graphic designers, modelers, and others who created Cars 3 .”

I had gotten that information – about the art-of animation books being money-losers that were published for their movie’s advertising and for their production staff’s morale – from a February 2017 story by Amid Amidi on the Cartoon Brew website. It was about Illumination Entertainment’s animated films — the Despicable Me franchise, The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing. The pertinent paragraphs were:

“Among the things that Illumination Entertainment does differently from other major animation studios is they don’t produce art-of/making-of books for each of their films.

From a business perspective, it makes sense. Most art-of books don’t make their money back, have limited reach, and add unnecessary costs to a film’s marketing budget. But they do have intangible benefits, like boosting morale among studio employees and helping build stronger relationships with the studio’s most passionate fans. I might agree that it doesn’t make sense to create an art-of book for every film, but perhaps Illumination could publish an anniversary art-of book at some point. Their tenth film is coming up in 2019, while 2020 will mark ten years since the release of their first film. Both of those dates seem like ideal milestones.”

April Whitney, the publicist at Chronicle Books for The Art of Cars 3, took exception to that statement. She said that Chronicle’s “art of” de luxe animation books, which cover most Disney•Pixar animated features, sell very well and are not, as I implied, subsidized by Disney’s marketing department.

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The Big Bad Fox, by Benjamin Renner – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer

The Big Bad Fox, by Benjamin Renner. [Translated by Joe Johnson.] Illustrated.
NYC, First Second, June 2017, trade paperback $15.99 (187 pages), Kindle $9.99.

Benjamin Renner is a French animator and cartoonist. He first became known in America as the co-director of the 2012 Belgian animated feature Ernest & Célestine, released in America in 2013. That was an adaptation of Belgian children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent, and featured Vincent’s art style. It was an international animation festival favorite, winning many awards, and was a 2014 Oscar Best Animated Feature nominee.

In 2015 Renner began to develop Le Grand Méchant Renard, a cartoon idea for a series of three French half-hour TV specials in his own art style. He wrote and drew his own cartoon-art book to promote them, published by Delcourt in January 2015. The TV cartoon specials grew into an 80-minute theatrical feature, Le Grand Méchant Renard et Autres Contes … (The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales …), released in France on June 21, 2017.

Now Renner’s French book has been published in English as a trade paperback by First Second Books, an American publisher of literary graphic novels.

The main characters in The Big Bad Fox are the title fox, a wimpy loser; the fearsome Mr. Wolf; what Amazon calls an idiot rabbit, a gardener pig, a lazy guard dog, and a typical hen who organizes the other hens into The Fox Exterminators’ Club; and the three little chicks that the fox becomes the Mommy of.

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What’s Yiffin’? – August 2017 edition of syndicated furry news.

by André Kon

For a good many of us, summer vacation is almost over and it’s time to return to the reality of classes, or just another day at work if you’re no longer in school. This past summer has been home to a number of controversial events at conventions and in the fandom alike.  We’ve got four more to round things out before all is said and done. Mercifully, there’s no convention drama this month… well, not unless you count Pokemon GO Fest as a “convention”. There’s a lot of things we’d call that disaster, but “con” isn’t one of them (unless you mean “con” as in “to trick”). Anyways, on with the news!

2016 FURRY OSCARS

It’s that time of year again, Oscar season! Not the actual Oscars, mind you, but the fandom’s equivalent of them: the Ursa Major Awards. Awarded to people and projects who go above and beyond in the name of anthropomorphic entertainment, the Ursa Major Awards are community-driven, with initial nominations and ultimately voting open to the fandom. This past month the winners for 2016’s Ursas were announced. The results were full of emotions, ranging from surprise to “ugh, not again”.

First off, the big daddy title of Best Motion Picture went to Zootopia… to the surprise of literally no one. If there’s such a thing as “Ursa Bait”, this was it; in the past decade there’s probably not been such an obvious shoe-in winner since The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Right behind Nick & Judy’s furry fling was Pixar’s Finding Dory, which, while this was a great movie in its own right, stood no chance against Disney’s powerhouse. The results of the Ursas are posted in order of who received the most votes, and coming in dead last was The Secret Life of Pets, a godawful CGI movie. In what we imagine must have been a three-way tie for last place, Sing and Kung Fu Panda 3 also made the bottom of the list.

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Discover the best of furry fandom with the 2016 Ursa Major awards, and 2016 Cóyotl Awards.

by Patch O'Furr

Since 2001, the Ursa Major awards have promoted public choice for the best furry stuff in many categories (movies, art, books, magazines, and etc.)  Since 2011, The Coyotl Awards have featured the Furry Writer’s Guild choice for best fiction – “an anthropomorphic Nebula equivalent to the Ursas’ Hugos.”

The Ursas are popular and the Coyotls are juried by merit.  Both are an awesome way for fans to discover works by each other, and prove how furries are more than underdogs compared to other fandoms anchored on central media properties.  They can help furries to Be The Media.

The Ursas will have a new Fursuit category next year. That has been demanded for many years but not added while there was debate about defining it. Designers, builders, wearers, and even photographers have some claims about inclusion – how do you award a team? Find out when voting starts for 2017.

The staff of Dogpatch Press (Fred, Pup Matthias, and I) are honored to win the 2016 Ursa for Best Magazine. That helps to keep cool stuff coming. Give yourselves pats for inspiring it.  If you want more good stuff in the furry news niche, try these: Flayrah, Culturally F’d, Furry.Today, InFurNation, Fur Media, Furrymedia, [adjective][species], Furry News Network, Gaming Furever, Furryfandom.es, and Furry Stammtische.

Fred Patten tells more. (- Patch)  

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Furry Nights movie review – a crowd pleaser for lovers of campy indie horror.

by Patch O'Furr

Do you love trash like I do?  In the 1970’s, exploitation movies became a thing where trash and sleaze were loveable qualities. They had fun doing stuff the mainstream wouldn’t do.  Along with the bad, came good access for audiences that Hollywood didn’t represent, like minorities and subcultures.  Now “Fursploitation” is creeping into popular awareness. I characterize it that way if it portrays “furries” with off-the-rack, poorly fitting mascot costumes and orgy jokes.  That stuff may not play well with furries, but it can.  They’ll probably dislike it if it has low effort at research, or feels carelessly opportunistic or mean, but it helps to be indie and share inside references to laugh together. A success would be CollegeHumor’s “Furry Force”, which the fandom took with good humor.

Furry Nights is an indie horror movie directed by J. Zachary.  It premiered in late 2016 with a theater show in Atlanta. I heard from several very happy furry watchers who attended.  Then Zachary asked me to tell you about it.

Furry Nights is now available on iTunes. Here’s the synopsis from the official website:

“What begins as a carefree weekend amongst a group of camping teens soon takes a strange turn when the gang discovers they are not alone in the forest.  FURRIES have rooted camp just across the nearby lake.  Not worried about the “party animals,” the kids sleep soundly that night, only to be woken by a real life horror — A BEAR!  One of the teens shoots and kills the grizzly monster, but quickly realizes the tragic truth — HE HAS SHOT A FURRY . . . Now, the maniacal furries will stop at nothing to make them pay . . .

CAN THE TEENS SURVIVE THE REVENGE OF THE FURRIES?!”

@KaiWulf said: “Indy film, very campy. We had a good laugh.” And here’s another happy watcher.

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Furry YouTubers You Might Not Have Seen

by Pup Matthias

Furry Videomakers are an under appreciated section of the Furry Fandom. A lot of this falls under different factors like how all the Furry sites don’t offer a way to submit video. We covered this topic back when we covered The Raccoon’s Den. Recently; we had a surprise on YouTube when Rainy Chaos was featured as their Artist on the Rise, which exposed a lot of people, Furry or not, to a personality they never seen. Though Rainy being featured had it’s own series of ups and downs.

However, there are more Furry YouTubers then you might think. Many of which are part of a Slack group. Talking about making better content, contributing with other videos, and showing off their work for feedback from their peers. Talking with several members, we are happy to present to you a list of Furry YouTubers You Might Not Have Seen. A highlight of different creators talking about what their channel is about, featuring their most recent or favorite video they’ve produced. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your next possible Furry obsession.

FURRIES IN THE MEDIA by Aberguine

Furries in the Media is a series that reviews video clips that feature furries based on how accurately and fairly the clip represents the furry fandom. News broadcasts, tv shows, documentaries, movies, and even popular youtube videos are often covered in Furries in the Media.

The youtube channel was originally intended to host a vlog series. The idea for Furries in the Media came about during the planning stages of the vlog as a possible spin-off series, and it was quickly realized that the review series had much more potential than the vlog itself.

Many people are only familiar with the furry community through infrequent yet often misinformed representations of furries in mainstream media. This series strives to dispell misconceptions and to better inform the public about furries. Furries in the Media does this by countering the misconceptions and providing additional context and information so that the furry community may be better understood by all.

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