A deceptively simple concept lies behind this new black & white illustrated book. “Always there to comfort and listen, stuffed animals provide a reassuring presence in many a childhood. With Toys Talking, acclaimed illustrator and author Leanne Shapton explores their inner lives, to reveal that their thoughts and feelings are just as complicated as our own. The concerns of these bunnies, bears, and ducks range from the mundane to the existential, and with each new pairing of character and text, we see a deeper portrait of their pensive, quiet world. Shapton holds a mirror to our own lives, to our insecurities and concerns, by revealing that the objects who comfort us have worries of their own.” See what we mean over at Drawn & Quarterly. Then go digging in your attic.
Just today we learned of a new urban-fantasy miniseries streaming later this month: “Netflix has shared an official trailer and key art for the upcoming four-part animation/live-action hybrid series Lost Ollie, inspired by the book Ollie’s Odyssey by prolific author, illustrator, and Oscar-winning filmmaker William Joyce (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore). All four parts of the limited series hit the streamer on August 24… The series is an epic adventure about a lost toy who braves the many dangers of childhood as he searches the countryside to reunite with the boy who lost him; and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend… Shannon Tindle (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline) serves as creator, writer, and executive producer. The series was directed by Academy Award winner Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), who also serves as executive producer.” Animation World Network has more information and the official trailer. Interestingly, the last time Mr. Ramsey directed a William Joyce story, it was Rise of the Guardians.
Dorset police are warning of the impact on young children of videos related to Huggy Wuggy, an anthropomorphic antagonist in the independently-developed horror game Poppy Playtime, released last year. The game itself is reminiscent of Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach and has been rated 12+ by Common Sense Media. An official plush toy with Velcro paws was released mid-March.
Media featuring the character is proliferating, including a depiction of Huggy's reassembly on TikTok and 'Free Hugs', a multi-verse song from the monster's point of view. Reports indicate that the friendly nature of the character's name seems to be allowing their content to bypass filtering that would usually defend young viewers from such disturbing content, similar to issues before YouTube's COPPA implementation.
The French 2015 animated feature of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince will be released in America by Paramount on March 16, 2016. Its associated merchandising includes a plushie of the book and film’s talking fox.
The illustrated announcements on Amazon.com imply that the plush fox is poseable. One shows it standing on two feet next to the film’s Little Girl. Another shows it on all four feet.
The latter is priced $80.00 marked down to $19.99. The former is $14.99, and the order is for both figures. A foreign imported fox, clearly a different plushie, is currently unavailable and unpriced.
If you want a plushie of a talking fox (but how will you know it’s supposed to be of a talking fox?), here you go.
Another toy-and-art centered company — there were so many at WonderCon this year! Beefy & Co. specialize in rounded plushy toys, t-shirts with funny animals (and funny other things), and art prints of a decidedly cute nature. Their official slogan is “Creating joy, one toy at a time.” They’re making appearances at comic book conventions all over the place, but if you can’t wait that long for more cuteness then head on over to their web page right away.
Would you believe a full-color funny-animal comic book series coming out of St. Petersburg in Russia? Welcome to the new world, friends! It’s Bo: Plushy Gangsta, heading our way this month (translated into English!) from Action Lab Comics’ Danger Zone imprint. “Are the legends of Bo, the teddy bear gangsta, true? You’re about to find out. When Bo’s girls get nabbed by a rival gang boss, the mysterious and fearsome plushy gangsta is forced into action! It’s Scarface meets Ted in this over-the-top video game style urban epic.” Makes sense, since it was created by video game designers Pavel Balabanov and Vasily Terentiev. Head on over to Action Labs’ Bo web site and check out their new trailer for the series. And trust us: This is not for young readers!
Always wanted to visit Japan's capital city, but don't have the funds? Now you can travel vicariously through the eyes of a beloved plushie.
Japanese travel agency Unagi Travel, a self-styled 'Japan Travel Agency for Stuffed Animals', offers a selection of holidays for cuddly critters which range from a $35 mystery tour to the top of the range, a visit to the historic city of Kyoto for $95. Plushie owners also cover the cost of packaging their pals and mailing them to their destination. (Anyone who has ever experienced a budget airline might well envy the ability to go first class by private Jiffy bag.)
Josh Armstrong, on the Animation Scoop website, has advance news and an image of the Pixar TV Hallowe’en special, “Toy Story of Terror”. While the Toy Story crowd is technically anthropomorphic anyway, “Toy Story of Terror” includes an especially Furry plush hedgehog, Mr. Pricklepants.
“Toy Story of Terror” was broadcast on ABC-TV on October 16 at 8/7 (Central) p.m. Here are two favorable reviews of it. The first, by Shaun Thompson & Craig Williams on the DIS Blog, is especially informative, and includes scheduled showings on Disney's channels. It looks worth watching on the inevitable reruns and DVD release, if you missed it the first time around.
Smaller Totems is an on-line full-color graphic story created by Roby Duncan (writer) and Lewis Lain (illustrator). The concept is straightforward: What if the plushie animals we keep with us actually housed powerful spirits? And what if those spirits were tasked with protecting us from evil forces that try to bring us nightmares every night? Besides the main story, the creators also encourage readers to send in pictures of their favorite plushies and any stories associated with them — you might just get them put into the comic’s storyline. Check it out on-line at their web site.
- 78% of females and 96% of males report viewing furry porn. Both groups underestimated both figures by 8-12%.
- Increasing furriness indicated a tendency to use fantasy for various purposes, including escapism, but didn't indicate blurring of reality, or an inability to have fun, self-motivate, fulfil needs, socialize, or cope with problems without fantasy.
- Female furs had less sexual roleplay, owned less pornography, viewed it less frequently, and felt it had less influence on their joining the fandom. They also saw pornography as more openly discussed within the fandom.
- Furries overestimated the positivity of both male and female furs towards furry porn: males tended to be positive or mixed, while over 20% of females had a negative view. 51% of furs preferred porn over general furry artwork; 17% had the opposite view. ~55% saw non-furry pornography in a negative light; some males only view furry porn.
- Non-brony furs rated bronies less positively (50) than furries (79) or non-furs (61).
- Furries are very liberal on social matters, but more moderate on economic topics.
- Therians anthropomorphise animals more than non-therian furs; those strongly identifying as furries gave human characteristics to both regular and stuffed animals.
Around half of those participating chose to join the group's three-year longitudinal study.
“When Hooligan Bear and his nephew Little Louie return home to the bear factory and find it has been closed, they are faced with a problem. It’s a turning point for the little bears and the beginning of many adventures.” That’s the description of Home, the first book in the new series of Hooligan Bear adventures written by Ian Toynton and illustrated by Andrea Dietrich. Hooligan bear and his four friends are a set of plushie bears who must learn about the world around them as they work and play in this series for young readers. This being the modern age, the books are not only available on-line (from Big Tent Books), but Hooligan Bear even has his own Facebook page and his own Twitter feed.
Furry Feline Creatives (cool name!) is the creation of Cheri Ong and Alvin Ong. Part-time musicians themselves, the Ongs have started an on-line store for their original posters, plushies, and 3D works of rock ‘n’ roll cats and other cartoony animal characters. They even do custom illustrated shoes! Check out their web site at www.furry-feline.com.
Flat Bonnie is called that because she’s, well, flat. And a bunny. She’s the lead character of a line of hand-made plushie animals, put together by a group of humans with a very specific agenda: Bringing attention to the number of real-live rabbits living in animal shelters and looking to be adopted by loving families. Flat Bonnie and Friends introduced several new designs at WonderCon this year, and you can see them (and more) at their web site, www.flatbonnie.com. Through the month of April, 10% of all sales will be donated to the Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation.
Yok is the final novel of the pseudonymous Swedish Davys’ “Mollison Town quartet”. The first three, Amberville, Lanceheim, and Tourquai, were reviewed here in January 2012. Each is set in one of Mollison Town’s four districts.
The quartet is unique among adult anthropomorphic fiction in featuring living plush animals, not the standard humanized “real” animals. Davys has established a complex history and biology for them (see the previous review for details).
Breaking out of the pages of Womanthology (a successful all-female-created comic anthology from last year) comes A Stuffed Bunny in Doll Land: The Furry War Begins, written by Anya Martin and illustrated in full color by Mado Pena. Here’s the basic description from their web site: “In Womanthology: Heroic, Munny, a lone stuffed bunny, showed her inner hero and entered the frightening world of dolls to save her best friend, Elephant, with only a butter knife and a sugar bowl lid. But the dolls are not pleased to lose their new pet and ready to launch an expedition of their own to take him back. Now Munny has to return to Doll-Land and venture deep, deep into their dark world of strange beauty and unexpected horror, accompanied only by a valiant band of fellow stuffed animals.” New updates for this on-line comic are coming soon.