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Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: cartoon

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons, by David A. Bossert – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons, by David A. Bossert. Introduction by J. B. Kaufman. Illustrated.
Glendale, CA, Disney Editions, August 2017, hardcover $40.00 (176 pages).

I can’t say that I have been waiting all my life for this book, but it seems like it. As an animation fan during the 1970s and 1980s, everyone knew the Walt Disney story from the creation of Mickey Mouse onward, but nobody seemed to know what came before Mickey Mouse. Information about Disney’s first Laugh-O-Gram cartoons in Kansas City was gradually learned – his move to Hollywood and the Alice Comedies, then Oswald the Lucky Rabbit; then in early 1928 – nobody knew the exact date — the Oswald cartoons were somehow stolen from him, and he quickly created Mickey Mouse to replace his loss. But what happened in early 1928? Animation fans wanted to know.

The general story slowly emerged, but there was a shortage of details, and no one place contained all the information. Then in 2006 the Disney Studios reacquired the long-dormant Oswald rights from Universal. Well, to cut a long story short, this book now presents those details, with contemporary illustrations from the Disney Archives on almost every page. It’s not complete; there are still seven of Disney’s 26 1927-1928 Oswald cartoons that have not been found. But there is enough information here, in text and illustrations, to fill a book – this book.

This is fine for the animation fan. Is it worth it for the furry fan? Definitely! Disney’s Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was a major anthro animal star of the late 1920s; by Disney in 1927-28, and it took him a decade to sink out of popularity under other directors during the 1930s. Here he is during his original stardom. If Disney hadn’t had Oswald taken away from him, we would never have gotten Mickey Mouse. Instead Oswald would have gone on to the mega-popularity that Mickey won. (Maybe. Oswald was still owned by Universal Studios, so Disney never would have had the creative freedom that he did with Mickey, who was 100% his own character.) Furry fandom would have acknowledged Oswald instead of Mickey as one of its major influences.

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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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SITE UPDATE – The first fursuiter, and Otaku Trucker: Furry Road.

by Patch O'Furr

You might see less posting here for a week – I’m busy writing for a book. That’s Furries Among Us (part 2) from Thurston Howl Publishing. (The Ursa Major Award went to Howl’s first book of essays about the fandom, so they made a new “nonfiction” award.)

My chapter is “The Furclub movement – independent furry night life is thriving!” Furry dance parties happen around the world, so if you see new dances start anywhere, please send info for the list.  (To San Francisco furs, I can’t say anything now, but expect some good news soon.)

It’s Furry Book Month, so check out some more of the fandom’s awesome creativity. Flayrah finally started approving new posts about that. Their slowness might have to do with a big rise in great reader comments here.  And so does this…

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Furry fans of indie animation, the Animation Show of Shows deserves your attention.

by Patch O'Furr

Co written by Patch and Fred Patten.

Happy Pride month!  Check out this short animation, Flamingo Pride.  It screened in the 2012 annual Animation Show of Shows, an international touring festival. Read on about why the festival deserves your attention, and what this means to furries.

Ron Diamond, producer of The Animation Show of Shows, contacted Fred Patten:

Dear Fred, I want to thank you for the great write up on The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows. I was delighted about the kindness you extended to me and the filmmakers in covering an otherwise unorthodox medley of quirky international animated shorts. I’d be grateful if you can share this with your readers, to help build awareness of alternative animation that has a message that pleases and inspires. Warm regards, Ron

The 2016 Animation Show of Shows will be the 18th annual edition.  Fred has previously reviewed it for various animation websites (here’s reviews from 2013 and 2015.) Diamond is president of Acme Filmworks, an animation studio in Los Angeles that produces animated TV commercials in a wide variety of styles. His curation of the Animation Show of Shows is well known. It consists of about a dozen short films, some from big studios like Disney and Pixar, but most by independent animators and students from colleges around the world. Most or all are prize winners at international festivals.  Many have gone on to win next year’s Academy Award Oscar in the Short Film (Animated) category.  They show Diamond’s stellar record for predicting success.

Up to now, Diamond has shown this festival at major animation studios and animation colleges mostly in North America, but also in some other countries with large studios or chapters of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation; the International Animator’s Association). Now Diamond is trying to raise enough funding through a Kickstarter campaign to get it into theaters where it can be seen by the public.

What does it have to do with furry fandom?

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The Suspended Castle – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Suspended Castle, by Fred. [Translated by Richard Kutner.]
NYC, Candlewick Press/TOON Books, October 2015, hardcover $16.95 (53 [+ 1] pages).

7655555The Suspended Castle (Le Château Suspendu) is Book 3 in the Philémon series by Fred (Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès, 1931-2013), serialized in the classic French comics magazine Pilote. The weekly strip was collected into 15 books between 1972 and 1987. Fred retired leaving Philémon’s adventures uncompleted, until he wrote/drew a 16th volume to finish the series just before his death.

Book 1, Cast Away on the Letter A, was reviewed here in January, and book 2, The Wild Piano, in June. Fred’s Philémon was/is a surrealistic cartoon strip in the tradition of Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. Philémon is a teenage farmboy in the French countryside of the 1960s-‘70s who falls down a well and has psychedelic adventures on the literal letters ATLANTIC of the Atlantic Ocean of a parallel world. The series is only marginally anthro-animal, but it contains many imaginative fantastic animals in bizarre settings that lovers of top-quality newspaper comic-strip art, and furry fans, will want to see. Philémon, and Fred’s other works, have been hits in France for almost fifty years, almost constantly in print.

In the first two albums, teenager Philémon falls down an abandoned old well on his father’s farm in the French countryside and has fantastic adventures on the two A’s of the ATLANTIC ocean of a parallel world. He meets Mister Bartholomew (Barthélémy), an old Robinson Crusoe-like hermit from our world who was cast away onto the first A forty years ago. Philémon returns to his skeptical father Hector’s farm at the end of Cast Away on the Letter A, but he accidentally leaves Mr. Barthlomew behind. In The Wild Piano, Phil’s Uncle Felix (Félicien) turns out to be an amateur magician who knows how to return to the parallel world. (The “portal” is a different fantastic method each time.) He sends Phil back to rescue Mr. Bartholomew, which he does after more adventures on the letter N.

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French comic: Une Aventure de Chlorophylle – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Belgian, to be accurate. Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Une Aventure de Chlorophylle. T.1, Embrouilles a Coquefredouille, by Godi & Zidrou.
Brussels, Belgium, Le Lombard, September 2014, hardcover 10,60 (48 pages).

My thanks to Lex Nakashima again for this French-language bande dessinée.1507-1

So they’ve started another Chlorophylle series. Whoop-de-do. Raymond Macherot (1924-2008) began Chloro the dormouse’s adventures in the weekly Tintin comic-book magazine (1946-1993) in 1954, continued it through 11 or 12 adventures (depending on how you count), and wrote/drew his last Chloro story in 1966. Since then, his Chloro stories have been reprinted umpteen times, alone and in collections. Lombard has tried to continue the Chloro series, in Tintin serializations and in albums after the magazine’s demise, with new stories by a variety of cartoonists: Hubuc & Guilmard, Greg & Dupa, Dupa & Bob De Groot, Bom & Walli. Nothing really caught on. Now here is another attempt, by Belgian comics artist Godi (Bernard Godisiabois) and writer Zidrou (Benoît Drousie). Is this one any different?

Oh, yeah…

The other post-Macherot stories continued Chlorophylle’s adventures in the Belgian Tranquil Vale woodland. The supporting characters were Minimum the mouse, Mironton the dormouse and his wife Mirontaine, Torpedo the otter, Serpolet the rabbit, Clacky the crow, and the usual gang of Chloro’s friends and neighbors. The stories varied in quality, but they were all more of the same.

Complications in Coquefredouille, the first album in the new series, returns to the funny-animal island-kingdom where Chloro had his (arguably) most popular adventures. It’s the 33rd annual International Coquefredouille Film Festival; it’s opening with a new movie about when the kingdom was almost taken over by Anthracite the black rat and his two cannibalistic ferrets, and was saved by Chloro and Minimum (Les Croquillards); and King Mitron XIII of Coquefredouille sends invitations to Chloro and Minimum in the Tranquil Vale to attend. It’s a glitzy film festival; Chloro and Minimum get to meet the movie stars; the real Anthracite died in prison years ago so they don’t have anything more to worry about; so why not? But they arrive to find that there is a new terrorist movement that King Mitron’s government is trying to downplay. The FLF is trying to split Coquefredouille into two nations, the Kingdom of Coque in the west with its traditional capital at Le Fourbi, and the new (kingdom? republic?) of Fredouille in the east with its capital at La Turbine, the island’s second largest city and industrial center. The supposed revolutionists claim they want to stop the royalist government’s exploitation of the east, but nobody in the east seems to feel exploited or want to secede. King Mitron and his advisors suspect that the real reason for the FLF is that all of Couqefredouille’s mineral wealth is located in the east, and that independence for Fredouille would allow the “revolutionists” to set up a corrupt government to milk the eastern resources for themselves. Chloro tries to uncover the truth behind the terrorists, while at the same time dealing with the social complications at the film festival centering around the actors playing himself (Luigi Starletti, a mega-handsome small gray rat) and Anthracite (Antonio Caméo, a tall squirrel who specializes in playing villains).

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Swat Kats creator gives an interview about the show, with a few days left on Kickstarter!

by Patch O'Furr

Enjoy Christian Tremblay’s interview with Dogpatch Press below, and help make a cool show happen here:



Demand from devoted fans is bringing back the Swat Kats TV series for the first time in 20 years.  Fandom kept the show alive since it was canceled in 1994 with only two seasons.  If you missed it, here’s the lowdown from

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Doc Rat Vol. 13 and 14, by Jenner – Book Reviews by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Doc Rat. Vol. 13, Lucky for Some, Doc, by Jenner.
Melbourne, Vic., Australia, Platinum Rat Productions, June 2014, trade paperback A$16.00 (unpaged [76 pages]).

Doc Rat. Vol. 14, Prey Tell, Doc: Son of Fortenflanck, by Jenner.
Melbourne, Vic., Australia, Platinum Rat Productions, December 2014, trade paperback A$16.00 (unpaged [88 pages]).

Vol-13-cover-front-proof-Small-450x316These are the latest two pocket-sized volumes of Jenner’s Doc Rat online daily comic strip. They are especially desirable right now when the Doc Rat website is having electronic problems, so you couldn’t read these strips for free on its archive if you wanted to. But even when the archive comes back online, these thin booklets are extremely handy for carrying around with you. They are only available in one bookshop in Melbourne, and by mail order over the strip’s website for A$16.00 or US$12.95 each. They are highly recommended.

It’s no secret today that Jenner is Dr. Craig Hilton, a general practitioner in a suburb of Melbourne. Dr. Benjamin Rat M.B., many etc.’s, is also a GP in a suburb of the Australian animal city of Fornor. Jenner began Doc Rat in June 2006, and like any long-running comic strip, it has a wealth of backstory and supporting characters by now. It helps if you are familiar with them, but it’s not essential; just as it isn’t essential to be familiar with the medical profession to appreciate all the technical references that Doc Rat and his staff plus others (Gizelle Thomson, his Thomson’s gazelle office receptionist; Mary Scamper, his motherly rabbit nurse; and numerous pharmaceutical high-pressure salesmen) casually throw around. Doc Rat has his own GP practice, and most of the situations that he faces are shared by any small business: billing, paperwork, keeping up with the latest developments in your specialty, and so on.

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French animation and the César Awards, by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.  This article is a companion to Fred’s series on French anthropomorphic animal movies.

cesarawards__140228172355The César Awards, presented by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma (Academy of Arts and Techniques of Cinema) since 1976, were frankly designed to be French cinema’s answer to the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars. The trophy of “l’Académie” was designed by the sculptor César Baldaccini (1921-1998) and is named after him.

The Césars are presented at a posh televised “Nuit de César” dinner and ceremony each February, by l’Académie but endorsed by the French Ministry of Culture; currently held at the 19th-century Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Technically all films distributed in France during the previous calendar year, not just those produced in France, are eligible for nomination, but the winners are usually French-made. See the Wikipedia article for the details on how the nominees are selected and on who votes for the Awards.

The first César Awards were presented in 1976 in 13 categories. There are 22 categories today. The César for “Mellieur Film d’Animation” (Best Animated Film) is a newcomer, only created in 2011. Significantly for furry fandom, all of the winners except for the first have been anthropomorphic films.

  • 2011 (36th Césars), for 2010 films – L’Illusionniste; Sylvain Chomet
  • 2012 (37th Césars), for 2011 films – Le Chat du Rabbin; Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux
  • 2013 (38th Césars), for 2012 films – Ernest & Célestine; Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner
  • 2014 (39th Césars), for 2013 films – Loulou, l’Incroyable Secret; Éric Omond
  • 2015 (40th Césars), for 2014 films — Miniscule, Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo

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Last of the SandWalkers, by Jay Hosler – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Last of the SandWalkers, by Jay Hosler. Illustrated by the author.
NYC, First Second, April 2015, trade paperback $16.99 ([5 +] 312 pages), Kindle $9.99.

9781626720244_p0_v1_s260x420Biologist/entomologist/cartoonist Dr. Jay Hosler has been creating comic books and cartoon-art books since the 1990s. He may be best-known for his award-winning Clan Apis, a dramatic adventure featuring honeybees that was also (allowing for the anthropomorphization) entomologically accurate; first published as a five-issue comic book in 1998 and still in print as a graphic novel today. Now Hosler has written & drawn Last of the SandWalkers, a science-fiction comedy-drama for readers 10 and up, featuring beetles, for First Second, a subsidiary of publishing giant Macmillan.

The main characters are a scientific expedition of five beetles, all different: Lucy (shown on the cover), a sassy, rule-breaking junior member and a water-capturing tenebrionid beetle from the Southern African desert; Professor Bombardier, the motherly stable team member, a bombardier beetle; Mossy, a giant but unassuming Hercules rhinoceros beetle; Raef, a not-very-bright (mentally) firefly; and grumpy Professor Owen, a small but nasty Cape stag beetle. They are from New Coleopolis, a beetle city under a palm tree in an isolated desert oasis. New Coleopolis was founded a little over a thousand years ago, after old Coleopolis was destroyed by cocoanuts falling on it from the palm tree. It was assumed at the time by religious leaders that the god Scarabus had caused the falling cocoanuts due to displeasure at Coleopolis’ scientific community’s iconoclastic spirit, and since then the new theocratic city has outlawed research. This expedition is the first in a thousand years.

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