Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Someone had to make this thread, didn't they (I didn't find it anywhere else and didn't know if I was gonna post it here or in The Den)? :|

Here are two trailers for the uninitiated.

I have mixed feelings on this movie so far. I fear it's going to be cliché, odd couple crime stories and the predictable fucking Sloth jokes but... well, I'd be lying if I said this isn't the kind of movie I've always wanted to see and it's actually a lot like a novel I started working on years ago before I even knew about this movie. So I'm kinda excited, I guess. >w>

But we'll see! I'm going to a convention, NordicFuzzCon, on March 3rd - March 6th, and they'll be screening Zootopia there so I can tell my fellow furfags what they think. :U

It sure looks... furry. Especially that awful fucking fur pun at the end of the first teaser. Are actual furries working on this? I'm not even joking, it's happened before. In the 80's and 90's many furries would be animators for various cartoon studios and some would also make comic books like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spinoff Mighty Mutanimals. It's hard not to wonder here.

So here's the big question, are you excited or do you just want to kill it with fire? I'm... feeling a bit of both. I'll see on March 3rd.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh, its an animated kids movie, unless its super cheesy nothing to get worked up over just because of cliche plot. Everything copies something anyways, and the characters and animation are the twist people are looking for anyways.

The trailer actually did surprise me, like they even used the words "anthropomorphic" and the puns are a dead giveaway. I mean, heck, if there werent other movies specifically made about furries, by furries, Id say this is the first. Hahaha!

Anyways, youre not special :V You think furries didnt discuss this topic already way before it came out? It was in the old forum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I burst out laughing watching the sloth scene, and most things don't ever get more than maybe a slight chuckle out of me. I'm really impressed and excited for this film. If a movie can get a genuine laugh out of me, they're doing something right. I've heard some people complain that the scene is too drawn out, but I think the length of it makes it even better.  I like what animals they are picking for what jobs. It comes off as clever to me and it seems to me like they're going to try very hard to make everything each and ever animal does have some sort of joke tied to it. I hope it does, anyways.

eh, its an animated kids movie, unless its super cheesy nothing to get worked up over just because of cliche plot.

I dunno about that. Being aimed at children doesn't necessarily excuse poor writing, and children can be pretty smart.

Edited by Battlechili
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I burst out laughing watching the sloth scene, and most things don't ever get more than maybe a slight chuckle out of me. I'm really impressed and excited for this film. If a movie can get a genuine laugh out of me, they're doing something right. I've heard some people complain that the scene is too drawn out, but I think the length of it makes it even better.  I like what animals they are picking for what jobs. It comes off as clever to me and it seems to me like they're going to try very hard to make everything each and ever animal does have some sort of joke tied to it. I hope it does, anyways.

Well, I will confess I liked the part where the Sloth starts laughing, that face it makes is just rofl.

And it should be drawn out, that's the point. It's like Slowpoke Rodriguez in the old Looney Tunes cartoons, a character the animators loved to animate but couldn't do very often because he was literally expensive as fuck.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I burst out laughing watching the sloth scene, and most things don't ever get more than maybe a slight chuckle out of me. I'm really impressed and excited for this film. If a movie can get a genuine laugh out of me, they're doing something right. I've heard some people complain that the scene is too drawn out, but I think the length of it makes it even better.  I like what animals they are picking for what jobs. It comes off as clever to me and it seems to me like they're going to try very hard to make everything each and ever animal does have some sort of joke tied to it. I hope it does, anyways.

I dunno about that. Being aimed at children doesn't necessarily excuse poor writing, and children can be pretty smart.

Well, poor writing is one thing. If its explicity awful as in done cheesy and hacked, then yeah. I meant there are a lot of movies that arent as remarkable plotwise but have good animation and fun characters to save it. Like, I watched "book of life" recently and while I think they could have done better the animation was still pretty great, actually the best part of that movie. That and hotel translyvania which had a cool cast and visual style but was cheesy as heck x3 still good and watchable, though.

Id still say this were a good or decent movie if the plot was a bit cliche, but I agree, kids are smart and they ahould really put more into the quality of movies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Judy Hopps is super cute!


The sloth scene was kind of funny only because of its execution, but watching it more than once would be dreadful.

Edited by Phausk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It sure looks... furry. Especially that awful fucking fur pun at the end of the first teaser. Are actual furries working on this? I'm not even joking, it's happened before. In the 80's and 90's many furries would be animators for various cartoon studios and some would also make comic books like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spinoff Mighty Mutanimals. It's hard not to wonder here.

I'm pretty sure the fur puns are the result of the marketing department trying to be clever. A lot of movie posters have puns of some sort because it's one of the ways the marketing team can feel like they are contributing something creative to the project, instead of just communicating what the story is actually about. If they merely did that then I'm sure their fear would be someone at the studio saying, "Why do we need a marketing team if all if they are just going to copy and paste what has already been done?" Regrettably this attitude leads to things like The Iron Giant movie posters, where the marketing department wanted to do something clever and borrow from horror movie posters of that time period, but it incorrectly communicated what the story was about. That's part of why the movie did so poorly despite it being very good (that and a lack of marketing budget; it was a perfect storm). People cringe at fur puns because it's objectifying the characters. I've had to explain to marketing people why this is the case because they don't understand the psychology of storytelling the same way we do.

I've interviewed furries before for research (actually I'm still doing this), and have met some in person, but I really doubt furries have a strong creative role in that movie. There's way more people who think animal characters are appealing than people who identify as being furry. We do pay very close attention to what the furry fandom is doing however. (And just before anyone asks, no, I'm not working on Zootopia.)

Again, that movie is probably not being worked on by furries or people who identify as such. If there were I'm sure you guys would know. Someone would be tweeting about how they are working on it in the same way other vis dev artists are. I've found that pretty much all character designers and animators like animal characters but there's no reason for them to be part of the furry community. The reasons I usually hear is that there's no safe place for that character design niche, and they don't like the lack of appeal within furry design (animal head on human body, no shape play, etc.) so there's no reason to look at it for inspiration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reasons I usually hear is that there's no safe place for that character design niche, and they don't like the lack of appeal within furry design (animal head on human body, no shape play, etc.) so there's no reason to look at it for inspiration.

This is interesting because I always felt the same. Anthropomorphic animals are animals, after all.

Also, people will yell at me for being a furry if/when my novel is published, so I'm not sure how I would respond.

that fox just has the most punch-able face

QnzXkGn.png

Another Disney movie with a fox as one of the main characters

Z z z

How many others were there? I can only think of two, Robin Hood and Fox and the Hound. And then there was foxy loxy in that incredibly dark Disney cartoon...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding has been that, in the past at least, Disney has actively snubbed self-identified "furry" artists in its hiring process, because they see furry as a fetish, and/or because they believe that a hardcore furry artist is going to sperg so hard for anthro animals that they'll refuse to work on anything else.

I have talked to furry artists who've had to downplay their furry art or exclude it from their portfolio entirely because animation studios, marketing firms, art schools, and others see it as low hanging fruit drawn by rank amateurs who aren't committed to creating "real" art. Do with that what you will.

So, it's not totally outside the realm of possibility that a) the Zootopia project team includes some closeted furries, and/or b) the Zootopia project team includes some non-furry-identified people who are furry as fuck, but have chosen not to adopt the label for whatever reason.

Edited by Troj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wouldn't say I'm overly psyched about it, but since it's obviously aimed at the fandom I'll watch it. 

And casting sloths at the DMV as employees? Brillant! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder why people think this is aimed to the furry fandom.

It's like Disney never made a film about anthropomorphic animals for kids before, right?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder why people think this is aimed to the furry fandom.

It's like Disney never made a film about anthropomorphic animals for kids before, right?

Because of the super obvious nods to the furry fandom..? I can't think of many adults outside of the fandom, let alone children who have the word "anthropomorphic" in their vocabulary.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder why people think this is aimed to the furry fandom.

It's like Disney never made a film about anthropomorphic animals for kids before, right?

Oh gee I wonder why. Maybe it's because of the dead giveaways and the fact that furries actually work in the movie industry too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, let's associate our film with a subculture that's famous for fucking in animal suits and sexualizing anthros.

Nice marketing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the trailer was somewhat clever, even it it was 'Furry 101'.  I'm not sure if I'm sold to see it in the theaters though.

Edited by Maug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, let's associate our film with a subculture that's famous for fucking in animal suits and sexualizing anthros.

Nice marketing.

You're assuming most people know about the furry fandom, which they don't. The dead giveaways are obvious to us because we are furries, the common person won't make the connection, not right off the bat anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd take that more seriously if it weren't for the fact I know someone in this culture that used to be an artist and writer for Disney.

Checkmate...  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it looks cute, like most Disney movies. I'll probably see it just because I like the variety of characters they're putting in it.

Also, I have a gross furry crush on Judy Hopps, so there's that too.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is interesting because I always felt the same. Anthropomorphic animals are animals, after all.

Also, people will yell at me for being a furry if/when my novel is published, so I'm not sure how I would respond.

That was something we worried about over for a while until we found the solution: do not design furry characters. I know there are people that want furry to mean anything involving animal characters, but in practice that is not the case. As far as the rest of the world and animation community is concerned, Furry is a culture and an art style. People don't look at Hello Kitty and think "furry." People don't look at Kung Fu Panda and think "furry." People did look at Alpha and Omega and think "furry" (hint: it was the head hair).

Take character design classes and don't include sexual themes in your story or things that would be considered fan service. It also helps that we are more than a single person. Getting pinned as a furry project is a lot harder if you are flying under the banner of a studio that doesn't have a name like Wolfire or (with apologies) Tail Kiss. And if you are wondering how we know about them, Tail Kiss has a game on Greenlight called Cataro that is a perfect case study of character design: a before and after of what is and isn't considered furry. They also might become the perfect case study of what happens when their past creating furry erotic video games catches up with their current SFW bullet hell project.

A novel is tricky. Your cover art will make or break it I think. Anthropomorphism is almost entirely a visual thing. So unless you wrote it in effectively, the fact that they are animal folk will probably matter very little and won't be in the reader's mind that much either. If the animal characters are there just to be there, then people will pass furry judgement. If the story still works by making all your animal characters humans, that's how you'll know, and that might be the way to go unless you specifically want to target the furry fandom with your work. And honestly, especially when starting out (and even further in your career) there's huge advantages to targeting a niche.

How to not look furry and deal with furry hate when your project is finished is something we've done shit tons of research on.

My understanding has been that, in the past at least, Disney has actively snubbed self-identified "furry" artists in its hiring process, because they see furry as a fetish, and/or because they believe that a hardcore furry artist is going to sperg so hard for anthro animals that they'll refuse to work on anything else.

I have talked to furry artists who've had to downplay their furry art or exclude it from their portfolio entirely because animation studios, marketing firms, art schools, and others see it as low hanging fruit drawn by rank amateurs who aren't committed to creating "real" art. Do with that what you will.

OK, about that. When it comes to not hiring furries, lets ignore the fact that anyone doing a diligent search will find out that not a single furry-centric art site disallows porn.

The stigma within the industry is unfortunately not without merit, and I don't say this from a position as someone who makes hiring decisions, I'm making this as someone who used to teach. The two types of students we were concerned about the most, and those who needed the most attention (and would often refuse it) where students who came in with a lot of anime drawings, and others who came in with a lot of furry artwork. Don't feel too bad though, the manga artists were by far a lot harder to teach than furry artists. At least furry artists had a stronger grasp of 3-D form. With manga/anime there's certain cheats that are done because of the format and as a way to do limited animation, in particular mouths drawn in profile. A student who sees this all throughout their formative years has a very hard time learning how to draw things three-dimensionally. Then on top of that you have to train them to push their designs. Manga and furry art share the same problem in that the heads are stylized but the body is primarily classic human proportions. So in a way they already think they are drawing things stylistically because the head is, but the body is not. That is the main problem we have with furry artwork. It's just animals and humans taped together at the necks and ankles, and breaking people away from that to really push their designs and incorporate shape appeal can be hard. During the struggle we got the impression that deep down they just don't want to create characters that are caricatured or cartoony. Sadly, the only two logical conclusions that we as teachers could make are A) they are untrainable, and C) anime/furry is how they get their rocks off and won't have their hearts into drawing anything else, so they won't be a good fit for most projects. I've had a few students that I identified as being furry (I was trying to be professional so I didn't ask them directly) that used the excuse, "This is my signature style. I already get paid commissions doing this." Goddamn were they defensive. Many came back drawing the same stuff week after week, and we just couldn't push their designs past what they found appealing versus caricature and making their characters distinct enough and communicate personality in a visual way through shape. At least the anime artists understood their style was being borrowed wholesale from Nippon. I only worked with a couple students who created mostly furry artwork before the course that were not defensive at all, and both of them went on to work in a studio. And guess what, their anthropomorphic artwork was a lot stronger afterwards, and those designs would pass as something you'd see in a movie or TV show.

I don't know how much of the defensiveness we witnessed was due to the furry community. Correlation does not equal causation, but we saw a lot of correlation. Maybe it was because they were already getting paid doing commissions so they already considered themselves professional, making them harder to teach. That was the only rational reason I could think of. My fellow instructors had less flattering reasons.

In your portfolio you just have to show that you understand design and can be versatile. Show humans, show animals, show cartoony/anthropomorphic animals. Just don't include designs with animal heads attached to toned human physiques. Even if your portfolio is full of nothing but humans, we'd like to see some variety; show us some animals. If your portfolio is nothing but animals, we'd like to see some variety; show us some humans. That's really all there is to it; show us you're versatile. Even if you are a specialist just show us that you understand design, and that is the main thing we find many furry artists are lacking, or rather that is what we find lacking in the furry art style. Someone could be in the furry fandom but draw well designed characters and we would be none the wiser. Those furries would get the job. There's character designers who specialize in animal/anthropomorphic design: David Colman and Chris Ayers come to mind. I bet either one of those guys would get a job showing just a portfolio of their animal characters because their design skills are so fucking good.

As for the social/cultural aspect of studios not wanting to hire furries, I'm not sure. Me personally, I would not mind hiring a production artist, someone lower in the pipeline who is a furry, just so long as they are humble and can work in a team. I would be apprehensive in hiring someone who is a dyed-in-the-wool furry if the position is for director. Same goes if that someone is a hardcore gamer, or a Tolkienite, or a weeaboo. I don't have a problem with geeking out about stuff. That's perfectly fine and healthy, even if it involves fantasizing about animal characters. But are they into anything else? Do they have a wide enough understanding of the world to make good creative and business decisions? Are they well rounded? Are they charismatic face to face? Do they have baggage that is going to haunt our project if their past gets connected to our IP? That's probably what Disney is thinking. They want to grow their leadership from within, so I would imagine that their focus is to hire someone--in even the lowliest of art positions--who has the seeds of what it takes to be a director, to be able to touch everyone's hearts with things that matter, with great stories, and not to have it hit the news that the creator of their hottest animated kids series drew erotic animal-on-animal comics.

Because of the super obvious nods to the furry fandom..? I can't think of many adults outside of the fandom, let alone children who have the word "anthropomorphic" in their vocabulary.

Animators and character designers use that term all the time. It's industry jargon, and it's not a furry word. I know that there are words that are specifically furry words, but they didn't use any of those in their advertising.

Edited by diretractor
Clarity and grammar
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm mixed

On one hand, it looks like a neat, fun, animated film in the vein of a Pixar or Dreamworks hit

On the other, it'll likely inspire even more fox fursonas :V

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it just me or does the lead character in a lot of computer animated furry movies possess the same personality? Sly, smooth talking, witty jerks

Edited by Phausk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been avoiding it like the plague. It's probably a pretty good movie, I just don't want to risk lumping myself in with the kinds of dumbasses that are running around "claiming" it as a "furry movie", whatever the flying fuck that's supposed to mean. I mean where are these allegedly obvious "nods" to furfaggotry?

The word anthropomorphic has been around for fucking forever so that doesn't count. The main character being a fox? Is The Fox and the Grapes a furry thing now? Stop projecting your boners onto children's movies.

Also apparently people are getting pissed that theaters won't let let them in while wearing a fursuit, which really says everything that needs to be said since I mean what the fuck. Where in my life did I fuck up enough to be a furfag?

brb buying chlorine

Edited by PastryOfApathy
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your thoughts, Dire!

It's such a shame that Alpha and Omega is considered a "furry" movie, because it's total garbage.

I absolutely agree with your assessment of young otaku artists vs. young furry artists. Both tend to be prickly, stubborn, and defensive, but the weeabos take the cake. If someone seems to wedded to a particular "style," they may be unwilling to experiment with other approaches, or take a real, critical look at things they could improve upon.

I'm not a visual artist, but I see the same thing with aspiring writers.

I absolutely agree with you about the sort of person who is fit to lead or direct a project, versus someone who can work on some part of it. Either way, the person needs to play well with others, but the director or leader needs to have a broad enough frame of reference that they actually appreciate the key elements of design, pacing, story, dialogue, etc., etc., and good enough social skills that they can actually work not only with the members of their own team, but partners outside of it.

When somebody's just fixated on sperging about the thing they love, you end up with a spergfest, and not much else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate the furfags that overly obsess over that fox's bedroom eyes. In fact, these movies would be more enjoyable if furries didn't openly masturbate over these characters on every form of social media. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your thoughts, Dire!

It's such a shame that Alpha and Omega is considered a "furry" movie, because it's total garbage.

I absolutely agree with your assessment of young otaku artists vs. young furry artists. Both tend to be prickly, stubborn, and defensive, but the weeabos take the cake. If someone seems to wedded to a particular "style," they may be unwilling to experiment with other approaches, or take a real, critical look at things they could improve upon.

I'm not a visual artist, but I see the same thing with aspiring writers.

I absolutely agree with you about the sort of person who is fit to lead or direct a project, versus someone who can work on some part of it. Either way, the person needs to play well with others, but the director or leader needs to have a broad enough frame of reference that they actually appreciate the key elements of design, pacing, story, dialogue, etc., etc., and good enough social skills that they can actually work not only with the members of their own team, but partners outside of it.

When somebody's just fixated on sperging about the thing they love, you end up with a spergfest, and not much else.

This is why we need to bring backeugenics. We cannot allow anime and sexy animals to let the communists win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... I just don't want to risk lumping myself in with the kinds of dumbasses that are running around "claiming" it as a "furry movie", whatever the flying fuck that's supposed to mean. I mean where are these allegedly obvious "nods" to furfaggotry?

The mistake they made is that the teaser trailer made too much of a deal about the movie being about animal characters. It wasn't teasing the story, just that there's animals in it, and focused on that being the whole reason why the audience should be interested in watching the movie. There's only one demographic that you can think of that would possibly be interested in a movie about animal characters and really not care about anything else. Yup. You guessed it. The fur pun at the end was just the nail in the coffin.

Here's the reason why fur puns are a bad idea, and why a lot of people cringe at them. The reason why stories work is because our brains have empathy for people and things that don't exist. As far as our brains and emotions are concerned, these characters are real. So, imagine if you have a walking talking animal character in your house, and you start using phrases like, "Oh that's totally pawsome." "I think I furgot something," all the while winking like you are clever. Pretty soon that critter is going to start getting really fucking pissed and think, "Why don't you treat me like everyone else? Is being covered in fur really that big of a deal to you? It's not my only defining attribute!" But these movie titles and marketing materials do that exact thing with images of these characters already in our heads, and the empathy part of our brain start to cringe for these animal characters that are being objectified by the marketing that is promoting them. How would you react to someone saying as Morgan Freeman steps off the stage, "Don't worry folks, he'll be black in a few moments. <Wink>" Yeah. Please get that asshat MC off the stage. Fur puns do that same thing to animal characters, and Disney did that with theirs.

Who else is known for objectifying their animal characters? Yeah. That's why Zootopia got pinned as a furry movie while Kung Fu Panda, Rock Dog, and every Dreamworks movie did not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The mistake they made is that the teaser trailer made too much of a deal about the movie being about animal characters. It wasn't teasing the story, just that there's animals in it, and focused on that being the whole reason why the audience should be interested in watching the movie. There's only one demographic that you can think of that would possibly be interested in a movie about animal characters and really not care about anything else. Yup. You guessed it. The fur pun at the end was just the nail in the coffin.

Here's the reason why fur puns are a bad idea, and why a lot of people cringe at them. The reason why stories work is because our brains have empathy for people and things that don't exist. As far as our brains and emotions are concerned, these characters are real. So, imagine if you have a walking talking animal character in your house, and you start using phrases like, "Oh that's totally pawsome." "I think I furgot something," all the while winking like you are clever. Pretty soon that critter is going to start getting really fucking pissed and think, "Why don't you treat me like everyone else? Is being covered in fur really that big of a deal to you? It's not my only defining attribute!" But these movie titles and marketing materials do that exact thing with images of these characters already in our heads, and the empathy part of our brain start to cringe for these animal characters that are being objectified by the marketing that is promoting them. How would you react to someone saying as Morgan Freeman steps off the stage, "Don't worry folks, he'll be black in a few moments. <Wink>" Yeah. Please get that asshat MC off the stage. Fur puns do that same thing to animal characters, and Disney did that with theirs.

Who else is known for objectifying their animal characters? Yeah. That's why Zootopia got pinned as a furry movie while Kung Fu Panda, Rock Dog, and every Dreamworks movie did not.

You are aware they're not like real right? I don't think they can get offended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The mistake they made is that the teaser trailer made too much of a deal about the movie being about animal characters. It wasn't teasing the story, just that there's animals in it, and focused on that being the whole reason why the audience should be interested in watching the movie. There's only one demographic that you can think of that would possibly be interested in a movie about animal characters and really not care about anything else. Yup. You guessed it. The fur pun at the end was just the nail in the coffin.

You mean children? Pretty obvious demographic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 How would you react to someone saying as Morgan Freeman steps off the stage, "Don't worry folks, he'll be black in a few moments. <Wink>"

Sadly, I laughed.

 But these movie titles and marketing materials do that exact thing with images of these characters already in our heads, and the empathy part of our brain start to cringe for these animal characters that are being objectified by the marketing that is promoting them.

I cringe because they're terrible puns used by furries

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good but long effort post

Would you say this could be a problem with writing, too? 'cause I confess I haven't had a lot of ideas with humans. I mean, it's possible but a lot of things I write are weird and absurd so I imagine people wouldn't buy it if it were humans doing all those things.

The mistake they made is that the teaser trailer made too much of a deal about the movie being about animal characters. It wasn't teasing the story, just that there's animals in it, and focused on that being the whole reason why the audience should be interested in watching the movie. There's only one demographic that you can think of that would possibly be interested in a movie about animal characters and really not care about anything else. Yup. You guessed it. The fur pun at the end was just the nail in the coffin.

Here's the reason why fur puns are a bad idea, and why a lot of people cringe at them. The reason why stories work is because our brains have empathy for people and things that don't exist. As far as our brains and emotions are concerned, these characters are real. So, imagine if you have a walking talking animal character in your house, and you start using phrases like, "Oh that's totally pawsome." "I think I furgot something," all the while winking like you are clever. Pretty soon that critter is going to start getting really fucking pissed and think, "Why don't you treat me like everyone else? Is being covered in fur really that big of a deal to you? It's not my only defining attribute!" But these movie titles and marketing materials do that exact thing with images of these characters already in our heads, and the empathy part of our brain start to cringe for these animal characters that are being objectified by the marketing that is promoting them. How would you react to someone saying as Morgan Freeman steps off the stage, "Don't worry folks, he'll be black in a few moments. <Wink>" Yeah. Please get that asshat MC off the stage. Fur puns do that same thing to animal characters, and Disney did that with theirs.

Who else is known for objectifying their animal characters? Yeah. That's why Zootopia got pinned as a furry movie while Kung Fu Panda, Rock Dog, and every Dreamworks movie did not.

I kind of disagree. Well, okay, the puns are a bit bad but I usually like puns. Also, what I personally like about this movie IS the emphasis that they're animals.

I can't stand most furry comics because they're not animals, they're people with animal heads and tails. I want more animal traits, more of the animals' natural abilities. Most furries don't give a fuck about making their animal characters animal, though, because they don't want to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to start bolding the important bits so people can parse these instead of reading the whole thing if they don't want to.

Sorry. It's years of research exploding onto the screen and there seems to be an interest in it, so here it goes.

 

You mean children? Pretty obvious demographic.

It's true. Children are more attracted to media that is visually interesting and brightly colored. It is a little bit easier to do that with animal characters, however it is no excuse to only use animal characters; you can use just as interesting shapes and bright colors with humans as you can with animals because we wear clothes. As for the "I use animals in all my stories for characterization," is not a good excuse. A) People don't buy it; they know why you do it, and B) if you are really only doing it for characterization, it unfortunately indicates that you can't write good characters if you must resort to animal stereotypes.

Also, there's some psychology as to why kids like animals: primally, they are attracted to textures that are soft, and animals provide a outlet for being able to touch and be affectionate with something that has a face, and that animal usually accepts it unconditionally, and if it doesn't it just walks away and won't create a socially awkward experience for the kid or the parents. The generally unconditional acceptance of affection is also why pets are very therapeutic for adults. Which, by the way, is my reining theory as to why the furry fandom is even a thing, despite it being about the least important part of a story: how someone looks (however it is one of the more important aspects of marketing for a story, so there's something to that).

Yes, stories with animals totally work well with kids, but I can't remember a piece of marketing that only focused on the animal aspect of it. White background, animals, and a bunny who can write tickets. Instead of it being a teaser showing these characters in a setting, the conflict (besides that foxes and rabbits hate each other, because duh), or something that would give non-animal-lovers something to care about. Someone who doesn't love animals could still be interested in something like Redwall because of the conflict and the insurmountable odds those little mice have in fighting creatures much bigger and stronger than them. Little mice that are badasses? Sounds interesting!

For the sake of argument, lets assume furries didn't exist, and that trailer was only intended to get kids interested in Zootopia. Kids hate being talked down to. They really do hate it. They want to be grown ups, and they want to be treated as grown ups. Sure, they don't understand all the nuance of life and therefore story yet, but that's the nature of everyday life for them and they are used to seeing things they don't understand, which is exactly how they learn. Plus, it's the parents who have to endure children's media, so they ultimately make the purchasing decision. You shouldn't even be marketing to kids directly for that reason. (At least for movies. I won't go into the industry established "nag factor" in children's product advertising.)

A writer's golden rule for writing for kids should be only this: tell a story adults will love, then get rid of as much of the violence as you can manage, all of the swear words, and all of the sex. You have now created a story that families can watch together, and kids can still enjoy when they become adults. There's other aspects as to why children's media is the way it is, especially TV shows, but my posts are already too long regurgitating all this research on anthropomorphic media I've done for work.

To be clear, I'm not saying there's any fundamental reason why you shouldn't put animal characters in a story. Fundamentally there really isn't. I'm a huge story buff, a snob even, and even I don't have huge issues with gimmicks in the milieu of a story. The only reason why it truly matters, and why I care about gimmicks is this: readers and viewers naturally assume the author has some kind of agenda. This definitely comes to light if there's something about the story that just does not make logical sense. People realize a story is being didactic because character's actions and motives, usually villains, don't represent how the world actually works. This is why gimmicks should have a story-driven reason behind it, just to address those readers that (perhaps) read too much into things, as any well-read consumer of fiction would. The only reason why we are having this conversation about why that trailer pinned it as a furry movie is because the furry fandom and its reputation exists. A 20-something geek on Cartoon Brew sees the trailer and thinks, "Why is trailer not about story and only about animals? What's the agenda? Oh, right. Furries." They are not thinking that something is targeted towards kids unless that thing looks wacky and stupid, or the characters look like Duplo toys.

Would you say this could be a problem with writing, too? 'cause I confess I haven't had a lot of ideas with humans. I mean, it's possible but a lot of things I write are weird and absurd so I imagine people wouldn't buy it if it were humans doing all those things.

I've been around long enough to not judge people for the things they like. I think our interests are largely hard-wired. We can't help it. We can't help what ideas come into our heads and what types of stories interest us. It's always good advice to write what you know (and research things you want to write about but don't know). I think the role of a writer and as a storyteller is to take experiences from your own life, things that you would never tell your best friend, and then put it on the screen for millions of people to watch. The trick is, for marketing purposes, making it not look like that's what you are doing. We try, and indeed need to look like better human beings than the sick fucks we really are so people won't feel guilty about giving us money.

If the concept for a story works, and the concept is believable only because it has animal characters, then I don't think there's a problem with that. I mean, shit, the thing I'm doing for work? The concept only works because they are animal characters, which is pretty surprising (or maybe not because all of us working on it are not furries). If all your brain can come up with is tales about animal characters, the trick is to make sure the animals add significantly to the story so people who don't have as narrow interests as you will still find the story and its characters engaging.

If the characters and their attributes are written to serve the story, and the animal characters are not fucking each other, then all you really need to do is make sure the illustrations don't look furry, because books are judged by their covers. If the characters are so incredibly human-like and have human-like abilities, like in Blacksad, it'll look furry. There's no story-driven or world building reason why Blacksad is a cat. There's no significant difference in size between species of the characters, and there's no special abilities. There are heavy-handed nods to white supremacy in the form of "white fur" supremacy, all including species that are not even remotely related to each other genetically, which is the whole argument white supremacists have, just...ugh. And the way the female characters are designed? Sorry, I'm just not a fan of those books. The gimmick broke the setting, and sexual dimorphism in the female characters' faces (i.e. all the females looked more human in the face than their male counterparts) didn't make sense in the setting of the world.

I can't stand most furry comics because they're not animals, they're people with animal heads and tails. I want more animal traits, more of the animals' natural abilities.

Yes. Exactly. So from what you've told me so far, just get an illustrator who can design non-furry characters for the book cover and you should be good.

Just be careful about which community you initially market this to. I'd recommend finding a community that is similar to the book you are writing, maybe it's something like the Redwall fandom, if it's more cartoony then maybe an animation community. Find a community that overlaps as much as possible with your specific story and market it there first. You'll need to get a head start and make a friendly presence months before you shamelessly plug your book. Take special care in cultivating your starting fanbase so like-minded fans will be attracted to like-minded fans.

I think part of the reason why Zootopia got painted furry is because it exploded, or rather went super nova on furry social media because it is a community starving so badly for recognition and respect. Then, of course, within hours of the release some short-minded artist drew porn of it, breaking some sort of Rule 34 World Record, a fact that frequently becomes a bullet point in every discussion thread about that movie. Because, damn, that's impressive. Infuriating because shit like this will affect our project, and in turn our livelihoods, but still an impressive feat and also nothing to be proud about. Even now, months later, someone in the blog or YouTube comments eventually states, without fail, "Oh yeah, they already drew porn of it," like it's something to brag about, or make fun of. Maybe the latter? But it's not just non-furries saying this. I see furries making these comments publicly too, so I don't know. Maybe it is bragging. Maybe it's trying to shine a light on the dark parts of the fandom so the fandom will get so incredibly embarrassed about itself and suddenly start to clean up its act. I have no idea if it's part of some strategy or not. It's the only aspect of furry fandom behavior that an outsider like me has not be able to figure out because it seems so counter intuitive to what I think furries want: to be respected.

You guys have the most divided fandom I've seen. I've interviewed about equal parts of people who left the fandom, and those that absolutely hate the fandom but didn't leave. And of course online I see a lot of the second group because the leavers have already left. The "not leaving" people I totally understand. The, "Look how horrible our fandom is, lol, :V" is something I don't. I can't tell if they are reveling or rebuking.

I have a request. If you are the kind of person that thinks talking about how bad your fandom is--porn this, diaper that--constantly reminding people about how screwed up the fandom is, either for a quick laugh or perhaps in the hope that people in the fandom will get so embarrassed and suddenly think, "Okay, it time to get serious and really clean things up now." Don't. It doesn't work. All it does is drive the sane people out, makes the anthropomorphic fandom look worse because of what people will read when they start doing research into daily discussions within the furry community, and the collateral damage it has on people like us who are trying to make a story that just happens to have animals in it. I'd much rather have the reputation of the only organized fan community for the anthropomorphic meta-genre improve, than to have the outsiders in the comic book and animation industry feel like they have to take that meta-genre back from its fans. It's too much goddamn work for us to tackle that, the consequences for fans would suck, and honestly the status quo in the industry of not greenlighting projects for tweens, teens, and young adults that have an animal cast can continue without too much heartbreak from the rest of the industry. Although it does break my heart because there's some really appealing stuff that could have seen the light of day but didn't. At least there's things like Avatar to make up for the loss.

Most furries don't give a fuck about making their animal characters animal, though, because they don't want to.

Maybe. Either artists don't want to because the designs cease to be attractive to them, or because artists simply don't know how to due to lack of training. I've suspected the lack of training is the case for 90% of young artists who just barely begin to dabble in anthropomorphic character design.

Want in on a secret? In art school when I first started trying to design cartoon animal characters they looked furry too! But that was because I didn't know the principles of character design yet. I knew my designs were unappealing but I couldn't figure out why on my own. There was a lot more to it than making my characters 3-heads high, which is what I thought the secret anthropomorphic appeal was at the time. It wasn't until after art school where I started taking classes in design for animation that I finally learned all the design theory I was missing.

If someone kept on creating characters that way for years without training, they'll get stuck in it. It's hard to unlearn.

I kind of disagree. Well, okay, the puns are a bit bad but I usually like puns. Also, what I personally like about this movie IS the emphasis that they're animals.

Right, and you are on a furry forum. :)

I'll confess, I liked the puns in the Kitten Bowl. Yes, I watched it last year. I don't watch football and the adorable kick in the Super Bowl nuts is genius. The "cat-thletes" pun made me grin. I'll never forget that. But they are not talking cats that we can have social empathy for, just real-life kittens so it's okay.

The point I wanted to make was not that puns are bad or can't be funny, just that we shouldn't use them with anthropomorphic characters because of the audience's empathy for fictional characters, which is why storytelling works at all.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have a request. If you are the kind of person that thinks talking about how bad your fandom is--porn this, diaper that--constantly reminding people about how screwed up the fandom is, either for a quick laugh or perhaps in the hope that people in the fandom will get so embarrassed and suddenly think, "Okay, it time to get serious and really clean things up now." Don't. It doesn't work. All it does is drive the sane people out, makes the anthropomorphic fandom look worse because of what people will read when they start doing research into daily discussions within the furry community, and the collateral damage it has on people like us who are trying to make a story that just happens to have animals in it.

Oh, "this" all over.

I think the "hipster furries" or "angsty furs" or whatever we want to call them fundamentally like the core aspects of the fandom, but are touchy about being judged and mocked by outsiders, and/or resent how their experience of those positive core aspects has been tainted or disrupted by the horndogs, social rejects, and drama llamas. Often, they strike me as wanting to have their cake (i.e., be accepted and respected in mainstream society; not be teased, mocked, or bullied) and eat it too (participate in the fandom).

I've also encountered some furries who seem to use ranting about the fandom as a way of venting their personal feelings of shame, anger, or self-hatred. "Furries are disgusting pieces of shit" = "I am also a disgusting piece of shit."

Additionally, Dire, your thoughts on how to market to kids were extremely interesting. Funny how most children resent being talked down to--and yet, that's exactly what educators, movies, advertisements, TV shows, and books do on a regular basis!

Edited by Troj
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People don't look at Hello Kitty and think "furry."

I beg to differ.

I REALLY beg to differ here. The thing is, Hello Kitty is a Sanrio work, and ALL of Sanrio's works cover talking animal characters and anthropomorphic animals. And besides that, Sanrio has funded some...err...questionable works. Bagi: The Monster of Mother Nature by Osamu Tezuka was partially funded by Sanrio, and its, well...its got camera angles. And scenes that are really fun to link people out of context. Although I suppose one could try and separate in their minds Hello Kitty from the rest of Sanrio and look at each work individually, its just...Its hard for me not to look at Hello Kitty and not think about that.

within hours of the release some short-minded artist drew porn of it, breaking some sort of Rule 34 World Record, a fact that frequently becomes a bullet point in every discussion thread about that movie. 

The game Splatoon had rule 34 before the first reveal trailer was finished being shown off. I don't think anyone is going to get close to breaking some record like that if its within a few hours, haha.

 

By the way...If I may ask, you seem to have a lot of knowledge about the animation industry and related works. What is your relationship in the industry, and what brings you here?

Edited by Battlechili

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny how most children resent being talked down to--and yet, that's exactly what educators, movies, advertisements, TV shows, and books do on a regular basis!

Sorry, I'm mostly a visual storyteller; I'll try not to generalize. Educators need to use concepts and words that kids understand to teach, basically understanding the limits of a young brain, incorporating play, but also not treating them like idiots. It's a difficult balance. It's okay for kids to get a little lost but not completely overwhelmed. Movies: no reason to dumb it down I think. TV shows: same. Advertisements: it's the nag factor, which does treat kids like idiots, and they do it because it works by taking advantage of the child-parent dynamic. Books: should be limited based on the grade-level vocabulary of the target audience. That's not a problem you have with dialog in movies. In all other cases however I think you should never talk down to kids. I think the reason I have the opinions I do is because I've researched child psychology. And from a business standpoint, it makes sense to simply make stuff kids and adults can enjoy. Disney does it. Dreamworks is getting better at it. Nickelodeon did it with Avatar.

For TV shows I think the studios are trying to incorporate the nag factor directly into their shows to promote the sales of merchandising.

And besides that, Sanrio has funded some...err...questionable works.

Which I've never even heard of until you mentioned it, and even I had a nipponophile phase during college. :) I think most people judge works on their own without comparing it to others, unless you are an aficionado and you care about who did what, or it's a well known brand were you expect the quality to be suberb. In America most people don't even know or care who made Hello Kitty let alone what else they've produced. It might be different in Japan.

what brings you here?

I'm in charge of making sure our character designs look appealing. I've become the resident furry expert so we can figure out how to deal with difficult fans. We are watching Zootopia and other properties very closely to see what we can learn, both the successes and the failures, commercially and culturally. I feel that in order to truly research something you have to go to the source and interact with that group of people, so that's why I'm posting here.

Also I just realized that being on vacation might have something to do with it.

Edited by diretractor
Vacay comment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: children, I'm generally a believer in treating them like they have a brain, but lack knowledge and life experience--so, you have to scaffold them "just so." I'll cop to sometimes going too fast, and shooting over kids' heads. I've had to learn to rein that in.

On the bright side, I think many children like me because they realize that while I'm sometimes weird and confusing, I'm at least not being condescending or disingenuous.

Avatar is a true work of art. Too bad too many people I've tried to recommend it to have dismissed it out of hand, on the assumption that it was "kiddie fare."

Edited by Troj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Avatar is a true work of art. Too bad too many people I've tried to recommend it to have dismissed it out of hand, on the assumption that it was "kiddie fare."

It does have it's eye-rolling moments. Some of the episodes are way to didactic, too preachy. But holy shit there's some great character moments (especially with Zuko) and some really thoughtful situations (hot air balloon physics above boiling water).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×