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Opinion: The top ten movies of 2023

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

2023 movies

This year’s list contains movies directed by Wes Anderson, Greta Gerwig, Hayao Miyazaki, Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese.

It also contains two adaptations of toy properties and two Marvel movies! Got to let people know it’s still me.

Movie review: Three foreign animated films from 2017-2019

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

'The Angel in the Clock' poster Three foreign animated film reviews! Behold the trailers for:

The Angel in the Clock,
White Fang, and
The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily.

All of these films successfully blend 3D and 2D animation in their own different styles.

White Fang is the most 3D, applying a brush-like texture to characters to create a 2D, painted look. Angel's main characters are 2D, with 3D designs used for the settings. Bears uses 3D for almost everything, then alters its visuals to look as 2D as possible.

Republican state lawmaker in Oklahoma calls for neutering children who are "furry" in defense of his proposed law

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

Legislator Justin Humphrey of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives submitted a proposed bill (OK Bill 3084) which would indicate that a student identified as a furry would be removed from the classroom by their parents, or failing that, animal control.

Students who purport to be an imaginary animal or animal species, or who engage in anthropomorphic behavior commonly referred to as furries at school shall not be allowed to participate in school curriculum or activities. The parent or guardian of a student in violation of this section shall pick the student up from the school, or animal control services shall be contacted to remove the student.

This is another political act based on a rumor that started two years ago about cat litter being utilized by students 'pretending to be cats'. This is the second proposed law in Oklahoma to try and remove furry students from the classroom that also had the misuse of the terminology of “anthropomorphic behavior”. It is also the second year in a row that such a law has been proposed.

A review of 'Migration' disguised as a how-to guide for movie reviews (or vice versa)

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (7 votes)

'Migration' movie poster How do you review a movie?

Let’s take, as an example, the movie Migration. The purpose of a review is to give the reader an idea of what the movie is like, and whether or not they might want to spend the time and money to watch it. The basic facts of the movie should be listed; so, in this example, Migration is a computer animated movie from Illumination (The Secret Life of Pets, Sing), directed by Benjamin Renner (Ernest & Celestine, The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales). I included examples of the creator's previous work that might give my audience some idea of what to expect. However, this can easily be found on free sources like IMDB or Wikipedia, and a review is not just a recitation of facts.

A brief plot synopsis is usually a good idea. In Migration’s case, the story is about a family of ducks (Kumail Nanjiani as father Mack, Elizabeth Banks as mother Pam, Caspar Jennings as son Dax, Tresi Gazal as daughter Gwen and Danny Devito as uncle Dan) who decide to migrate from their tiny pond to Jamaica. It plays like a road trip comedy, but with ducks. Along the way, they have adventures with a decrepit heron (voiced by Carol Kane) and her mute husband, a one-legged pigeon (voiced by Awkwafina), a caged parrot (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key) and a cult-like group of farm ducks, while being chased by a chef who specializes in duck à l'orange.

Once we have details of what Migration the movie is, we can move on to the reviewer's opinion.

Insular lawmaking leads e621, Pornhub to block North Carolinians

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

Just before the new year chimed in, furries in North Carolina - and a few others nearby - found themselves blocked from accessing well-known fandom imageboard e621, which indicated that they would no longer be serving the state without further discussions with legal experts:

Due to the current legal situation in North Carolina and the uncertainty surrounding it, we will be blocking access to e621.net from North Carolina until we can consult with our legal counsel on this matter. We did not come to this decision lightly and we will do what we can, as we can, to rectify and remedy this situation so that we can restore access to those users that are affected by this matter. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and will have an update as soon as possible. - e621 news updates - 2023-12-31

e621 is not alone in this action, as Pornhub has also blocked access to its page in North Carolina.

Review: 'The Boy and the Heron'

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (6 votes)

The Boy and the Heron The Boy and the Heron was released earlier in the year in Japan by Studio Ghibli, with no trailer and minimal advertising, the point being made that it is a movie by Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli. Like, if you know, you know, and if you don't, keep mum because the people who know will judge you. In America, GKIDS is the distributor, and they mostly kept to this same strategy, though as it had already been out in Japan over half the year and had it's Western debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, so they did eventually release a trailer. The film is available in Japanese with English subtitles, or English dubbing; both versions were available at my local cinema, so unless you're situated in a very rural area, it shouldn't be that hard to find your preference. This review is based on the English dubbed version; Ghibli films have traditionally had good English dubbing, and this film is no exception.

Review: 'Five Nights at Freddy's' (the movie, not the game)

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (12 votes)

fivenightsatfreddys.jpgDo you like scary movies?

I do. A downside of reviewing movies for a furry site is that you don't get to review horror very much, and when you do, it kind of feels like you're stretching more than a little (not pseudo-apologizing for this one, though, it's awesome). What you end up reviewing mostly is movies whose intended audience is for kids, and though the primary audience of Flayrah seems to be adults, its sometimes important to acknowledge that there are limits to what can and can't be done in a lot of more mainstream productions featuring talking animals.

Which makes it even wierder to finally get to a wide-release horror movie featuring a bunch of characters the furry fandom has embraced (if e621 is any indication), and my most positive response is, "yes, but the kids'll love it!"

Five Night's At Freddy's is a (very soft) PG-13 horror movie, directed by Emma Tammi, and is an adaptation of the 2014 horror video game of the same name, created by Scott Cawthon, who is a credited writer on this movie. The premise features an abandoned "dinner and a puppet show" pizzeria and arcade haunted by ghosts who possess the old animatronic puppet attractions. Though given a theatrical release, it's also available on the Peacock streaming service.

Lookouts - Furry Western where Romeo and Juliet gets a hint of Brokeback Mountain

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

Lookouts.jpgLookouts is a visual novel Western adventure where you play as a one armed wolf scout for a notorious gang. The 2022 Ursa Major nominated game is available to play in browser, or pay what you want to download at itch.io. It features art by Coldoggo, music by Jamie, and ParanoidHark composing the story and programming.

The art seems to take inspiration from Northwest Indigenous styling to form simple and effective character silhouettes for use in the story. The form not only lends itself well to the Western format, it makes the artstyle instantly recognizable and stand out from its other visual novel peers.

Review: 'Strays'

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

strays.jpgReggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) is a cute, scruffy little mutt who lives with his owner, Doug (Will Forte), who hates Reggie. Reggie was actually adopted by his ex-girlfriend, and Doug blames Reggie for her leaving him, despite the fact that he is generally a terrible person himself. He only kept Reggie around just to hurt her.

Doug continuously tries to get rid of Reggie, who believes the frequent trips far out into the country ending with a tennis ball thrown into a random field followed by Doug not waiting for him to bring it back is a game. Reggie seems not to realize that this is not fetch until, out of desperation, Doug leaves him in a city over two hours away. There, Reggie meets Bug (voiced by Jamie Foxx), who finally is able to explain to him that what’s going on here is so not fetch. Reggie and his new friend, as well as Hunter (voiced by Randall Park) and Maggie (voiced by Isla Fisher), decide to make the arduous trek back home, not to reunite Reggie with Doug as dog and master, but so Reggie can seek revenge for his mistreatment, specifically by biting Doug’s penis off.

Movie review: 'The Great Wolf Pack' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

The Great Wolf Pack ®: A Call to Adventure is a 45-minute 2D animated mini-movie produced in 2022 by Great Wolf Resorts, an American chain of family-friendly hotels featuring indoor waterparks. Most of the animation was outsourced to Mexico, directed by Chris Bailey and written by Kent Redeker. The IMDB page mentions an additional writer I couldn't find in the closing credits, M.J. Offen.

The movie is for young kids and can pretty much be skipped. There's a group of young animal friends in the forest: Violet the wolf and Sammy the squirrel (action girls), and Oliver (a raccoon tinkerer who always talks using the most loquacious and unnecessarily wordy vocabulary), who are joined by newcomer Wiley (the coyote wolf), and finally Brinley, a young bear with self-confidence issues, who of course gets chosen as the Special One by a spoon-wielding spirit and is given the Magical Rock to guide them on their quest.

Review: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem'

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

tmntmutantmayhem.jpgI’ve said before that it may be impossible for me to dislike a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, but that does not mean that I don’t recognize that some TMNT movies are better than others.

The two gold standard TMNT movies, at least for me, are the original live action version and the original animated version. Going the other way, I think the most recent live action movies, plus the third movie in the original trilogy, are a bit over-hated, but still weak. Meanwhile, the movie that most resembles the newest movie, Mutant Mayhem, at least in my reaction to it, is The Secret of the Ooze. They’re both fine, and a lot of fun, and I think a lot of both casual movie-goers and series fans will enjoy them. But they’re not my favorites in the series.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, directed by Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears, is only the second animated feature for the Ninja Turtles (at least theatrically; various feature length spin-offs of the animated series have gone direct-to-video/streaming/television, but I’m ignoring them), which is surprising, because if there’s one franchise that feels like it just needs to be a cartoon, it’s this one.

Con Report: CanFurence 2023

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

CanFurence.jpgRecently I attended CanFurence 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario. It was a good time! Previously I'd gone in 2016 for its first year, then later in 2021 and 2022. There's a really good established core of staff and volunteers that make it happen.

It's been growing at a decent pace, now with 1107 people, up from 863 last year, and it's the fourth-largest Canadian furry con. The cons up here are in two clusters. March is when Furnal Equinox and VancouFur happen; while Fur-Eh, CanFurence, Wild Prairie Fur Con and Camp Feral are all during July and August. We also may soon have another camping con, Camp Mani-Toebeans.)

Movie review: 'The Amazing Maurice' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

The Amazing Maurice poster. Cat not to scale.The Amazing Maurice (trailer) is a 93-minute UK-Germany computer-animated film released in late 2022. Directed by Toby Genkel and Florian Westermann, the screenplay by Terry Rossio (Shrek, and many others) is an adaptation of the 2001 children's fantasy novel The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett.

"One day, when he was naughty, Mr. Bunnsy looked over the hedge into Farmer Fred's field and it was full of green lettuces. Mr. Bunnsy, however, was not full of lettuces. This did not seem fair."
-- from Mr. Bunnsy has an Adventure

Set in Pratchett's Discworld comedic fantasy universe, The Amazing Maurice is the story of a cat (Maurice, voiced by Hugh Laurie) and a group of rats who have acquired speech and intelligence. Together they travel from town to town with a young human musician named Keith, running a pied piper scam. Maurice wants them to make as much money as possible, but the rats would like to move on and find a place where they can live in peace and harmony, finding inspiration in their revered text, Mr. Bunnsy has an Adventure.

'Helluva Boss' Season 1 episodes ranked

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (11 votes)

'Helluva Boss' season 1

With the (very delayed) release of episode 8 of Helluva Boss to YouTube June 24, the first season of the show is now officially over. With eight episodes released, beginning Halloween 2020 (plus a pilot episode released November 25, 2019, which will be part of this ranking even if it's not officially part of this season), the show is the creation of Vivienne "Vivziepop" Medrano, and is produced by SpindleHorse Toons.

Set in a version of Hell, the main cast consists of Brandon Rogers as the titular "boss", imp Blitzø (the "o" is silent), leader of demonic assassination business Immediate Murder Professionals, or I.M.P.; Richard Steven Horvitz and Vivian Nixon as Moxxie and Millie, a married couple of imp employees; Erica Lindbeck as Loona, his hellhound adopted daughter and I.M.P.'s receptionist; and Bryce Pinkham as Stolas, a member of Hell's ruling class who serves as a sort of silent backer for I.M.P. while also becoming romantically entangled with Blitzø.

The show's second season is up to its fourth episode, out of twelve, and a third season has been confirmed. Currently, Helluva Boss is only available on YouTube, though completely for free; there are no rumors or even much desire for a physical media release.

Anthrocon 2022 - Cops, Convention Centers, and actions you can take to avoid undue stress

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

When Anthrocon returned to the city of Pittsburgh in 2022 after the two year pandemic hiatus, the celebrations in the streets were palpable. It had been a long lockdown, and the city was desperate for a return to some sense of normalcy. The irony being that these people in animal costumes and the chaotic atmosphere of the convention had provided this sense of normalcy since their first year in 2006.

When the time had come to close the doors for the renewed celebration though, a situation had started to cause anxiety amongst the furry population who only hours before were lost in the joys of seeing one another in this home away from home once again. After closing ceremonies had come to an end, unaware furries found themselves ushered from the convention spaces immediately by law enforcement in a manner that caused those on the ground to feel as if instead of welcomed guests, they were instead a group to be distrusted and pushed out as soon as the show was over.

This article will go over these reactions, the underlying causes of anxieties, and how future attendees can take steps to avoid the situation themselves should they seek to. Due to length, a keep it short summary has been added below the fold in order to break the summarize the points in the article without as many details.