“Furry Film Festival” idea expands with the [adjective][species] team.
by Patch O'Furr
Last year, I shared the fantasy concept of a “Furry Film Festival“. It was inspired by many potential reasons for why it could happen for real. Fred Patten recently shared a response article – and that brought even more response. It’s very encouraging to see the idea catch on for discussion with other super dedicated fan publishers. In time, hopefully it could lead to a festival for real.
Thanks to JM, editor of [adjective][species]:
“The [adjective][species] team think that the furry film festival idea is a fantastic one, and we would like to humbly submit the following suggestions (in screening order). This short list is a collective recommendation from several of our contributors.”
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Wes Anderson takes the already great story from Roald Dahl and elevates it with his signature style. The stop-motion animation allows him to stage the action with whimsical precision and the voice-acting breathes a perfect blend of feral and logical life into these characters. Silly, sweet, weird, and enchanting.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Everyone remembers the transformation sequence (and rightfully so — it’s still the best werewolf scene in film history), but this movie has a lot more going for it: the beginning of the film builds suspense wonderfully, and adds a few great touches to werewolf mythology that have never been duplicated. Rightfully placed, for more reasons than you’d think, as the pinnacle of its genre.
Robin Hood (1973)
Probably the most critically-dismissed movie on our list, this 1973 cartoon comes right out of Disney’s “dark period”. The studio cut corners every chance it could, and it shows — entire sequences are lifted from other movies, character models shift between frames and the story is a thin string of episodic set-pieces. But there’s still an undeniable charm about the debonair fox and his salt-of-the-earth companions as they rescue Nottingham from the feeble clutches of the maneless lion, Prince John.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
When Roger is framed for the murder of Marvin Acme, there’s only one man in Hollywood who can help him: Eddie Valiant, private investigator with an alcohol problem and a grudge against ‘toons. A love letter to the Golden Age of American Animation and the noir genre, the movie takes us for a ride in a world where cartoons are real and follow their own set of rules of physics and morals. Wacky, grimy, and a cornerstone for the tooniest among us.
A fifteen-year-old girl travels through a land populated by loveable monsters from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to rescue her baby half-brother from the Goblin King (David Bowie). A film about growing up without leaving the important stuff behind.
A great example of how far fantasy movies were willing to go in the 1980s: Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer as a pair of lovers cursed to change into a wolf at night and a hawk by day, respectively. The movie maintains a dreamy, mythic feel throughout that ages superbly as a testament to the imagination and aesthetic of the genre films of the decade.
Never Cry Wolf (1983)
Carroll Ballard’s masterpiece about a biologist who accepts an arctic posting in the hope he can rediscover his true nature. Starts slowly but once our hero is marooned, he starts to discover his inner animal-person. Transcendent, especially if you have a touch of the wolf.
That concludes the submitted post by JM.
That’s a great movie list, for quality as much as fan appeal. The only one I think is a stretch is Labyrinth, since isn’t it known for non furry reasons (maybe another Henson movie could fit better?) The two following it may not be highly anthropomorphic in presentation, just more in theme. But they likely fit the theme of “stuff furries love” which could be curated for a great film festival. If it includes vintage 1980’s fantasy AND a nature themed movie like Never Cry Wolf, how about The Beastmaster?
Pragmatic limits for a real festival.
Leaving behind fantasy ideas and making it real would of course bring challenges like getting screening rights. (Good luck getting anywhere near the Disney movies.) As Fred’s response said:
Such a festival could easily be filled by excellent but obscure features (many foreign). That would have the advantages of probably being cheaper to rent than those by large American studios.
It would make sense to use part original fan-made stuff (likely not put on big screens before), and part underexposed, obscure or foreign content – including a small selection of “marquee worthy” choices with name recognition or other draw.
I originally suggested the Furry Force shorts (since the creators approve, and possibly even CollegeHumor could put their name on it). And Finsterworld – since the director approved my request to screen it for a festival, it had it’s brush with Oscar recognition, has very little exposure in North America, and was made with Real Furries.
You’ve read this far… so here’s a tasty treat.
Finsterworld seems almost completely unseen by the devoted niche of furries who could enjoy seeing themselves in a movie of really special quality. It seems sadly impossible to see without importing a German region coded DVD with no subtitles. In 2013 I was given private access to a streaming english-titled festival screener. It doesn’t take away business to share something that isn’t available anyways…
See Finsterworld here. The password is ‘Furries2013’ (case sensitive.)
Expect “arthouse” ensemble drama, on the other end of the spectrum from explosion-based movies. It’s a movie of many moods – absurd, perverse, hilarious, thoughtful, cynical, satirical and magical. It’s incredibly German. The furry subplot is only a piece of the whole, but it’s key to the message. The director worked with some Eurofurence furs to research and shoot their fursuiting scene. Watch with the lights out and brain engaged for a really excellent experience.
Thanks to Pup Mathias for the hard work of formatting Fred’s previous response article.