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Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: toons

The Vimana Incident, by Rose LaCroix – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Vimana Incident, by Rose LaCroix.the_vimana_incident_by_nightphaser-d89nndt
Dallas, TX, FuPlanet Productions, February 2015, trade paperback $9.95 (205 pages), epub $7.95.

This title is a work of anthropomorphic fiction for adult readers only.

Rose LaCroix is proud to present her most anticipated novel, where psychedelic science fiction, historical fiction, and alternate timelines come together in a suspenseful, mind-bending masterpiece.” (back-cover blurb) Well, it’s certainly her most ambitious novel.

Edward “Red Ned” Arrowsmith is a red fox British aerospace engineer in an anthropomorphic 1939, where the world is not preparing for World War II but is engaged in a race to establish the first permanent Lunar colony. Ned is the chief engineer at Bristol Lunar, the firm that supplies the hardware for the British space program. A manned Lunar landing has already been accomplished; now the race is on to build a permanent base. The Americans, the British, the Germans, the Japanese, and the Soviets are all in peacetime competition, but they don’t pretend that it’s friendly.

One day the commander of the Royal Air Force Lunar Expeditionary Force pays a surprise visit to Red Ned’s office. He’s needed to go on a secret mission to the moon. Does he accept? Ned guesses so, but when? Right now – the commander (an otter in a RAF officer’s uniform) will drive Ned to the dirigible airfield to get a flight to the launch site immediately. “‘We’ll have time to stop by your house so you can bring a change of clothes but we have to be on the RAS Empress of India by no later than four o’clock pip-emma. That is, if you choose to accept this mission.’” (p. 15)

I suppose that if you can accept talking anthropomorphized animals, a secret mission where one is called upon to become a member of a Lunar mission at a moment’s notice with no training is no problem. But it fatally weakened any aura of believability for me. After that, The Vimana Incident became for me just a fast-moving amateur secret-agent/science-fiction adventure with a funny-animal cast. Until about halfway through, where it becomes very much more than that … Read the rest of this entry »

Five juvenile novelizations of anthro animated features – book reviews by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Minions CoverMinions: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Adapted by Sadie Chesterfield, Based on the Motion Picture Screenplay Written by Brian Lynch. Illustrated.
NYC, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, May 2015, hardcover $9.99 (131 pages), paperback $6.99.

Paddington: The Junior Novel, Adapted by Jeanne Willis, Based on the screenplay written by Paul King, Based on the Paddington Bear novels written and created by Michael Bond. Illustrated.
NYC, HarperCollinsBooks/HarperFestival, October 2014, trade paperback $5.99 (142 pages, Kindle $5.99.

Penguins of Madagascar: Movie Novelization, adapted by Tracey West. Illustrated.
NYC, Simon and Schuster/Simon Spotlight, October 2014, trade paperback $6.99 (142 pages), Kindle $6.49.

Planes: Fire & Rescue: The Junior Novelization, Adapted by Suzanne Francis. Illustrated.
NYC, Random House, June 2014, trade paperback $5.99 (122 pages).

Rio 2: The Junior Novel, Adapted by Christa Roberts. Illustrated.
NYC, HarperCollinsBooks/HarperFestival, February 2014, hardcover $14.40 (144 pages), trade PB $5.99, Kindle $5.99.

None of these juvenile novelizations would be worth reviewing alone, but they make a point for furry fandom: for about the last five years, there have been practically no anthropomorphic theatrical animated features, and a lot of animated features starring mostly real or fantasy humans like Pixar’s Brave and Inside Out, from major animation studios that have not had authorized juvenile novelizations of about 140 pages. (If it’s from Simon Spotlight, you can count on it having exactly 144 pages; a tipoff that all of its juvenile novelizations are written to a formula. But, in the case of Minions, those 144 pages include 131 pages of novel, plus 13 pages of color plates, black-&-white illustrations, and advertising.) Many VFX-heavy live-action features like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy and Tomorrowland have novelizations, too. I could have picked Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age: Continental Drift or Epic; Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph or Tangled or Frozen or Big Hero 6; DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo or Mr. Peabody and Sherman or Home (despite Home being already based on a “real” book, Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday); LAIKA’s ParaNorman or The Boxtrolls; Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or Hotel Transylvania 2; Warner Animation Group’s The Lego Movie (144 pages from Scholastic, Inc.) – almost any animated feature. Read the rest of this entry »

The Painted Cat, by Austen Crowder – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Painted Cat, by Austen Crowder.Painted-Cat-Thumbnail
Dallas, TX, Argyll Productions, April 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (273 pages), e-book $9.95.

“I started painting myself up to look like a toon for two reasons. First, I was bored and needed a new hobby during my summer break as a teacher. Second – and far more important, in my opinion – was that my friend Valerie thought I’d look good as a cat, and I had always wondered what could have been if I had turned toon like she did. That she brought all the supplies, prosthetics, and paint we could possibly have needed sort of sealed the deal.” (p. 9)

The Painted Cat is more like Gary K. Wolf’s 1981 novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, or Disney’s 1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit movie based upon it, than the average anthropomorphic novel. It omits the Disney crazy comedy, but in this world, the toons – and they are called toons — are live cartoon animals, not anthropomorphized “real” animals, who are socially lower-class living among humans; plus those humans who turn themselves into toons with special paint and prosthetics – see the deleted “pig head” sequence from the Roger Rabbit movie. Janet Perch, the protagonist, straps on a cat tail very like the artificial fox tails on sale at every furry convention, and within moments it attaches itself to her spine and she can move it like any cat can do with its tail.

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