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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.

VR to the Next Level

We just learned about Shangri-La Frontier, a black & white manga written by Katarina and illustrated by Ryosuke Fuji. “Second-year high school student Rakuro Hizutome loves nothing more than finding so-called ‘trash games’ and beating the crap out of them. When he decides to change things up by playing a new, ‘god-tier’ VR game known as Shangri-La Frontier (a.k.a. SLF), he does what he does best: Min-maxes, skips the prologue, and jumps straight into action! Clad in nothing but shorts and a bird mask, Rakuro (player name: Sunraku) launches into the world of SLF. Things are going well at first as he takes down a goblin, a bunny, and even a python. But then Sunraku comes up against a huge, hard-hitting wolf known as Lycagon the Nightslayer. Will Sunraku’s years of ‘trash game’ experience be enough, or is he about to suffer a rude awakening just a few hours into his SLF adventure?” The series is available now from Kodansha International. What’s more, there’s already an anime adaptation series available on Crunchyroll — and YouTube has a preview.

Review: A Wasteful Death by Sylvain St-Pierre

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

A Wasteful Death cover.A Wasteful Death is a cross between a murder mystery and a love story set in a city populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. While the main characters are two Registered Investigators, sort of like police, this story is nothing like Zootopia. Instincts remain, and everyone in this world is acutely aware of the distinction between predator and prey.

The main characters are Marlot Blackclaw, a wolf, and Trembor Goldenmane, a lion. Both are Registered Investigators who, unusually for their territorial profession, work together. What exactly is a Registered Investigator? Their job is to investigate unclaimed kills and track down the person responsible. Unclaimed being the key word here.

In the world of A Wasteful Death, predation is legal and, with a few exceptions such as students or anyone in a hospital, everyone is a potential target. Once someone is killed, there is a tax that the hunter must pay which is scaled according the value the kill had to society. The tax on a homeless drunk would be low but the tax on a wealthy CEO like Aiden Spottedfur is massive, and it falls on Marlot and Trembor to find out who killed her.

Review: 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish'

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (10 votes)

pussinbootsthelastwish.jpgLet's start at the beginning.

Before Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, even. How about DreamWorks Animation's new studio bumper? It's a bit ostentatious, even a bit overly pleased with itself. Maybe goes on a little long. But, then again, what studio bumper doesn't, nowadays? But, being a celebration of DreamWorks past triumphs, it's interesting to note what franchises were chosen to be spotlighted.

Right out the gate, the Bad Guys are getting quite a vote of confidence, despite being the new guys with one movie under their belts. So I think it's safe to say we're getting a sequel. Also for furries, the Kung Fu Panda series is featured, and we already know that's got a fourth movie coming. The How To Train Your Dragon series is also represented by Toothless, despite the fact that the last movie came to a very decisive story end. It's one of the more acclaimed franchises of DreamWorks, so it has to show up, and even if there are no more movies, smaller screen spinoffs are still happening. There are also appearances by the Trolls and Boss Baby franchises, but they aren't furry, so who cares?

There are some notable absences, however. Despite featuring four movies, the Madagascar franchise is ignored. Spirit, you know, the one with the horse? That somehow managed two movies, but is apparently not an ongoing concern. And obviously, the Shrek franchise is prominently featured, but the star of the movie we're about to actually start reviewing is not. Maybe he'll show up in the bumper for movies he's not the star of?

'Beyond the Edge of Owlsgard' has been released, reviewed

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)

WatchDaToast has been developing a furry-themed point-and-click adventure game for a while now, Beyond the Edge of Owlsgard, raising €36,317 from 682 backers on Kickstarter. It's just been released, and VoxelSmash has reviewed it.

You can buy the game on Steam and follow the author on Twitter.

Darkness in the City of Fur… and Scales

At Midwest FurFest we met Stacy Bender. She’s a science fiction and fantasy author based in Cincinnati, Ohio. As you can see from her Amazon page, many of her works have a degree of anthropomorphism to them… But what she’s especially known for is the Poached Parody series of furry noir novels (written under the name P.C. Hatter), featuring hard-boiled detectives Lucius Anoraq (wolf), Kaiser Wrench (tiger), and Lizard Fifth (guess!). Most of her works are available in paperback, kindle, and even audio book form, from Byrnas Books.


image c. 2022 Byrnas Books

Wolves and humans: How can we reduce conflict?

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (11 votes)

Two wolves.
Two wolves. (Image: Wolf Conservation Center)
As in other European countries, tensions have been growing in Slovakia over the return of wolves and an alleged increase in livestock attacks. Wild wolves in Europe are an environmental triumph; as previously reported on Flayrah, wolves were extinct in many European countries and it was only in the year 2000 that the first wild wolf in 150 years was born in Germany. Recent estimates put the wolf population in Europe at approximately 12 000, with around 300 packs living in the Alps.

Despite unhappiness from certain portions of the population, wolves in Slovakia are likely not in imminent danger. As quoted on Deutsche Welle (the German state broadcaster), Juraj Lukac of the WOLF Forest Protection Movement says:

All of this hype about wolves is just fake. They did not harm anyone, and, since the European Commission had made a clear statement on the matter, the conservation of wolves is safe for now.

Movie review: 'Perlimps' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Perlimps (trailer) is a Brazilian 2D animated film, the second from animator and director Alê Abreu. After seeing his earlier film, Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo, 2013), I really wanted to see what his next project would be like. I wasn't expecting to wait nine years!

Abreu's films definitely do not adhere to typical Hollywood narrative structures, veering towards the artsy without being self-indulgent. Boy and the World, for example, has no dialog at all, and conveys things entirely with sounds and visuals. (As well as being an abstract statement about growing up and the poverty that comes from the exploitation of labor.)

Perlimps is way more approachable in comparison. On the surface, judging by its trailer, I thought it was going to be another film about the devastation of the environment by humans. It does some of that, sure, but that's just surface stuff.

The rest of the film's surface is all in the trailer. Claé (an orange wolf) and Bruô (a blue bear) are secret agents from the opposing kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, trying to find the Perlimps, mysterious entities who can help save the forest from the encroachment of man.

'Helluva Boss' debuts Season 2, despite not technically being done with Season 1

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

Loona's lost dog posterThe now-Ursa Major Award-winning animated YouTube series Helluva Boss has begun its second season on YouTube, with "The Circus" available now. Warning: The episode linked to contains "Graphic Violence, Strong Language, Sexual Themes, Flashing Lights" and "Rampant Demon Horniness" according to the episode's opening itself. The show, created by Vivienne "Vivziepop" Medrano, tells the story of the demonic assassination startup business I.M.P.

The last episode of Helluva Boss, "Ozzie's", was posted back on Halloween of last year - listed as a "Finale Part I", so a "Finale Part II" was surely forthcoming. An update on the show's Twitter account explains the situation:

The Good News is the episode we have been working on for basically 8 months now is finally at the finish line-but the Bad News is due to forces quite literally out of my control we unfortunately don't know when we are able to actually release it ... at this point.

But you will see it!

Update 6/25/2023: Nearly a year later, the episode has finally been released to YouTube. As of yet, no official reason for the delay has been given, and probably never will be, but surprise guest voice actor Kesha very recently settled a court case, which was probably behind the lack of release. Meanwhile, Season 2 is approximately halfway through, with the fourth episode, "Western Energy" releasing last May, with a fifth episode already being teased and possibly even itself delayed by the release of "Queen Bee".

Movie Review: 'The Bad Guys' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (13 votes)

The Bad GuysThe Bad Guys, a DreamWorks Animation film directed by Pierre Perifel, should be a slam dunk, right?

With a voice cast of personal favorites such as Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina and Craig Robinson? Full of anthropomorphic animal characters in a kid-friendly Tarantino take-off? And there's even a furry vixen in the mix? What, is it my birthday? (Actually, that's Saturday.) [Happy Birthday! --The editors]

Featuring a criminal gang of five predatory animals, meet Mr. Wolf (Rockwell), Mr. Snake (voiced by Marc Maron), Miss Tarantula (Awkwafina), Mr. Shark (Robinson) and Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos).

After a television interview with the local governor, a vixen named Diane Foxington, Mr. Wolf is goaded into carrying out a ridiculously difficult heist. Which correspondingly goes ridiculously wrong. The gang are put in the care of Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), a guinea pig who tries to teach them how to be good guys.

Subwoolfer's "Give That Wolf A Banana" gets Norway's nod for Eurovision 2022

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (14 votes)

Norway has chosen to send masked comedy-dance duo Subwoolfer to Eurovision 2022 in Turin with "Give That Wolf A Banana", after a competitive selection process. [tip: Elysium]

The live performance was accompanied by pyrotechnics and is available in campy sign language. There's an interpreted interview with the duo, in which they discuss difficulties with adapting to Earth's higher gravity, as well as the inspiration for their song – now out in a romantic mix.

Bizarre 'Lone Wolf' promises fursuit slasher/sewing action

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (10 votes)

If you felt fursuit drama Bitter Lake lacked action, or were looking for more of a horror vibe, High Octane Pictures' Lone Wolf may be the pre-Halloween therian fursuit slasher flick for you.


'Lone Wolf' poster

Charlie, a professional cosplayer that specializes in dressing up in Furry Animal costumes decides to go to the biggest Furry Party of the year with her friends, but the party is soon cut short when she realizes that the party’s host, Leon Fowl known as Lone Wolf, is a murderer who enjoys turning people into real life Furry Animals by sewing the "Fursuit" to his victim’s bodies. Charlie and her friends are now in a race for their lives to escape the clutches of this madman before it's too late.

Billed as 'a psycho insane crazy furry dream', Lone Wolf comes in at 82 minutes, is rated 16+, and is to be available on VOD platforms October 5. Fursuiters Gabrielle the Red Panda, Kanna the Oppossum, Charlie the Cheetah, and Valentina Lynx are played by Kennedy Wunderle, Alexandra Dustin, Jane Gardner and Victorya Danylko-Petrovskaya.

What the hell is 'Helluva Boss'?

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (17 votes)

Helluva BossKeeping up with Flayrah's decades-long tradition of not reviewing (or even covering) animated shows until well after it's necessary, let's discuss Helluva Boss, a show about the misadventures of four demons from Hell who work as assassins.

I'd say most of Flayrah's audience is well aware of Helluva Boss. It would have won the 2020 Ursa Major Award for Best Dramatic Series, but then Beastars had to be translated into English, so never mind. Flayrah has a piece on Beastars currently planned for 2023. Furthermore, Helluva Boss is free on YouTube, and unlike My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, that's actually on purpose.

Granted there's only one character who is truly furry, and that's Loona the Hellhound. To be fair, she is really furry. On e621, "loona_(vivzmind)" results in over 2000 hits, so that's not too bad. To be less fair, she has the smallest role of the four main characters, to the point where her entire appearance in the second episode consists of her screaming obscenities offscreen. And in the episode that features her for any extended period of time, she's magically disguised as a human for the majority of it.

That being said, I'm still going to recommend furries at least try the series, because it features interesting non-human (if not exactly furry) character design. It has pretty good animation for a free YouTube series, and although it's got a dark, cynical sense of humor, it balances that with a strong moral center. That last one may come as a surprise, seeing as how the premise of the show is that the characters' job is to kill people.

Review: 'Wolfwalkers'

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (10 votes)

Wolfwalkers poster Cartoon Saloon is an Irish animation studio, and they're absolutely world class. They first gained world attention right out of the gate, when The Secret of Kells became a nominee for Best Animated Feature in the 2009 Academy Awards. It wasn't the first time a foreign movie made it on the list, but it was a surprise for many casual Oscar watchers.

Of course, if you actually watched the movie, it was a no-brainer; it not only deserved to be nominated, it's part of the reason 2009's list of Best Animated Feature nominees is still one of the all time best for the category. Since then, every feature by Cartoon Saloon has been nominated in the category; Tomm Moore, director of The Secret of Kells and now Wolfwalkers, was further personally nominated for Song of the Sea.

Both earlier films feature furry elements, especially Song, which deals with selkies (Cartoon Saloon is also responsible for the very furry, very good Skunk Fu! series). However, with Wolfwalkers, Moore and co-director Ross Stewart have created the studio's most furry-friendly film yet. The titular Wolfwalkers could be considered a variety of werewolf; but this time, they're the good guys.

It’s Time to Walk Beneath the Moon

For a while now we’ve been hearing about the new film out of Tomm Moore and Cartoon Saloon, the folks who brought us Song of the Sea. Well now Wolfwalkers has a brand new trailer — and an upcoming release on Apple TV. “In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the Wolfwalkers and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.” Looks as if the release is going to be complicated. Furry.Today has the trailer and more info.