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They Call Them Wearable Stuffed Animals

There have been one-piece pull-over pajama-style “animal costumes” for a while now — but this is the first time we’ve seen them advertised on kids’ TV! That’s just what Janimals did, advertising their “wearable stuffed animals” on the Hub Network. What’s more, they say they have sizes to fit “ages five to one-hundred-and-five!”. Check out the Janimals web site to see their full commercial and all of their available models.  As seen on TV!

image c. 2014 buyjanimals.com

image c. 2014 buyjanimals.com

A Furry Play Needs Funding

Hello again! Back from CaliFur in Southern California. And speaking of that…

We’ve mentioned before about Fursona Non Grata, the new furry-themed play written by Jeff Goode (creator of American Dragon: Jake Long and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues). In case you need a recap: A young woman has been raised by furry fans. One day, she brings home her fiancee’ to meet the family… As it turns out, Jeff and the Sky Pilot Theater Company staged a readers’ theater version of Fursona Non Grata at CaliFur this year — to laughter, thunderous applause, and a standing ovation. The producers of Fursona announced that for the actual on-stage production of the play (scheduled for next year) they are looking to have some actual high-quality fur-suits constructed… and that costs money. So, they have started up an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. Check it out here to find out more about what they need. And keep your eyes on InFurNation to find out when the play will premier!

image c. 2013 Jeff Goode

Men who are Monsters — for a Living

Further Confusion in San Jose hosted well over 3000 fans, and a great time was had by all. Over the next few days we’ll be posting several of the cool items we came across during the convention. Starting with…

After a successful Kickstarter campaign producer, director, and all-around monster fan Frank H. Woodward managed to finish his latest documentary, Men in Suits. It’s the story of several men (and yes, women) who have made names for themselves in Hollywood (and other centers of movie-making) by putting on giant, bulky, uncomfortable rubber suits and portraying giant monsters in movies, TV series, commercials and more.  People like Doug Jones (from Hellboy), Haruo Nakajima (from MANY Godzilla movies), Michelan Sisti (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Bobby Clark (the Gorn from the original Star Trek), and many many more. Some of them are no longer with us (like the great Kevin Peter Hall from Alien and Harry & the Hendersons), but this film interviews a great many actors who still are, letting us in on what it’s like to work in such conditions — and what it’s like to find your job being replaced by CGI. Slash Film has an article about the film project from back in August, which also includes several clips, and you can find out about how to get your copy of the completed film on DVD by visiting Amazon.

image c. 2013 Toho Studios

The Last Bus Out

It’s known as Posledny Autobus, which translates as The Last Bus. It was created in the Slovac Republic by Martin Snopek and Ivana Laucikova. It features human actors wearing animal heads, animated in stop motion. And here’s its description: “It’s the start of the hunting season. The animals of the forest board a small bus and flee to safety. When hunters stop the bus in the middle of the night, its passengers reveal their true natures in fear for their lives.” We don’t know what else we can tell you about this, other than to show you this little clip from Vimeo. This short film has already won several film festival awards in Europe.

image c. 2012 Martin Snopek, Ivana Laucikova

Wilfred is a Dog

How did we miss this department: Wilfred is an award-winning Australian TV comedy series, based on an also-award-winning 2002 short film. Created by Tony Rogers, Jason Gann, and Adam Zwar, it tells the story of an ordinary guy named Adam (played by Zwar)… ordinary that is, except for the fact that he sees his pretty neighbor Sarah’s dog Wilfred (played by Gann) as a man in a rather dumpy fur-suit… while everyone else sees him as an ordinary dog. Wilfred also talks to Adam, becoming something of a mentor… in so much as a foul-smelling, sexually un-repressed man/dog can be. In June of this year, a brand new American version of the series premiered on the FX network, with Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings) starring as Adam, and Jason Gann reprising his role as Wilfred. Here’s the write-up of the original series on Wikipedia, with a link to the American series as well.

 

image c. 2010 SBS

Furry, the Film

Lindsey Batdorf is a student at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, completing her degree in Digital Film-Making. Recently she completed her thesis film, called Furry. It tells the story of a college student and furry fan, who attempts to explain himself to his friends, fellow students, and his would-be girlfriend. According to the director, “This film is intended to shed a positive light on the furry fandom while also poking some fun at it as well. If you like it, thank you! If you don’t like it for whatever reason, you are entitled to your opinion. Can’t please everyone!” Lindsey has a trailer for the completed film up on Vimeo. Unfortunately, she can’t post the entire film on-line, due to college restrictions, but she says it will be showing up at various film festivals in the near future.

Polar Bears Pushing Beer

Empresas Polar is a well-known brewer of cerveza (beer) in Venezuela. Recently they decided to create a campaign bringing their company logo, a polar bear, to life. Enter The Character Shop, an outfit famous for their creation of animatronic characters for use in advertising — a great many of which are anthropomorphic animals. They helped Empresas Polar create the character of Pedroso the Polar Bear for their new line of TV commercials. And the people of Venezuela seem to be taking to them — and Pedroso, the 7-foot tall bear himself — quite well. The Character Shop has a page dedicated to their creation of Pedroso, and of course you can see some of his actual commercials on YouTube.

Christmas: A Time for Reflection

Merry Christmas, Blessed Solstice, Joyful Kwanzaa, and in general Happy Holidays to all of you. And of course, good wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

For those looking to learn more about Furry Fandom, or perhaps just to see what some folks think, you might want to look at Furries — An Inside Look, a new student film by Curt Pehrson that’s up on Vimeo. Here’s his description: “This documentary gives an inside perspective on the strange and interesting subculture known as the furry fandom. Filmed at Midwest Furfest 2010, a major furry convention, the fandom is explained by furries in their own words. This project was both a personal and an academic undertaking. The concept and production was my own, but I also got college credit for producing it, as an independent study at Bradley University.” The film has, needless to say, sparked a lively debate in the fandom already. Check it out at Vimeo and join in the discussion.

Dinosaurs Rock… for Kids!

Our wonderful, wonderful weird world…

They’re a musical band called Hevisaurus. They’re a heavy metal band for children (wrap your brain around THAT concept for a moment) that is creating quite a stir in Finland. Why? Because live on stage and in their videos the band’s members dress up in full-body dinosaur costumes! And the kids have been eating it all up. Their first album Jurahevin Kuninkaat is a certified hit in Scandinavia, and several of the band’s videos (like this one and that one) are getting a lot of views on YouTube. One thing there is not a lot of (yet) is background information on the band, other than the fact that members of several well-known heavy metal acts (including Dio and Sonata Artica) play in the group. But who conceived this? And who designed and built the costumes? Inquiring furry fans want to know! Interestingly, it seems that the actors inside the costumes really ARE musicians and really DO play their instruments, at least live in concert. If you can navigate your way through the Finnish, you can check out their web site and MySpace page.

Hevisaurus pose!

Hevisaurus pose!

Hevisaurus rock!

Hevisaurus rock!