Snow White vs. All Dogs Go To Heaven: A Look at How Kid’s Movies Encouraged the Founding of the Furry Fandom.
by Patch O'Furr
Here’s a fantastic guest post by Amanda Riesling. Her blog’s recent post about Furries is highly recommended. – Patch
Note: This article concerns itself exclusively with fully animated feature films produced in America and released prior to 2000. The article’s scope is limited so narrowly mainly because it is a blog post and therefore too short to cover a wide range of media. If you care why the parameters were chosen, there’s a note at the bottom of the article.
Cartoons are a fantastic storytelling medium because all you need to do is make sure your story can be translated into visual images. That’s it. Once you tick that box, you can cast off the confines of reality and tell whatever story you want.
However, despite the visual freedom, a good storyteller still needs to tell a story the audience can relate to. In my opinion, this is the real key to why anthropomorphic stories encouraged the furry fandom.
An audience needs to see themselves in the hero. They need to be able to project themselves and relate to that character. If they can’t bond with the main character somehow, they won’t enjoy the movie. If your main characters are human, half the battle is done for you. In fact, the blander, more generic your human hero is, the easier it will be for the audience to relate. You can have the goddamn Matrix going on, but as long as your main dude is an expressionless white guy with a vague backstory, people can pretend to be him. For a more pop-culture version of what I’m saying, watch Cracked.com’s video.
If your main character is a human, this is great news for your film. Your character can be bland, and your story can be as shallow as a Petri dish, and people will still relate because they see a human face. (Not that all human-centered movies are shallow. I said can be. They don’t have to be.)