Monday, August 22. 2005
In a break from his ongoing string of reviews and critiques, former CYD regular contributor The New Meat took a moment in mid-2005 to look at a few fond memories co-opted by the older generation of furries and dragged into the depths of perversion.
A Brief Guide to Furry Fixations
by The New Meat
One of the strange things about furries is their tendency to fixate on certain, random movies and TV shows. Here's a brief look at some of the odder furry fixations, complete with notes on the weird, random things that I remembered from seeing these flicks back when I was a kid, the confusing and just plain wrong things that stick with you and warp your fragile, childlike mind, and the esoteric fetishes that repeat viewings will burn into your id.
Disney's Robin Hood
The one purely furry Disney cartoon, in that it turned real historical people into animals for no discernible reason, "Robin Hood" follows the basic story of the original legend. Robin Hood – now a fox wearing a shirt and no pants – fights Prince John (voiced by star of stage and screen Peter Ustinov!) with the aid of Baloo the Bear from "The jungle Book" and Friar Tuck, here represented by a dog or a badger or possibly a nutria. He wins an archery contest and fights the Sheriff of Nottingham, Prince John raises taxes really high, Robin Hood busts some owls out of debtor's prison, everything blows up in a big fiery ball but no one cares because the only important thing about this whole film is that there's a fox with no pants in it.
Tramautizing Moments: Friar Tuck gets arrested in the rain. The Sheriff of Nottingham steals a kid's birthday present.
Fetishes: Furversion, Animals that wear clothes but no pants. Features prominent chicken breasts.
Pochahantus is the story of an Indian princess with no nose who learned to speak English in about ten minutes from English explorer John Smith. Evil English Gov. Ratcliffe wants gold, noble Indian chief Pocahantos's Dad wants peace and honor and stuff. Overall, an unremarkable film, except that it has that damn raccoon. It's estimated that every single stuffed Meeko toy in existence has been raped at least once. Ratcliffe's dog has proven a less popular target.
Perplexing Moments: Governor Ratcliffe and the English settlers want to blow away some Indians, but John Smith insists that the Indians aren't "like other savages." Was I the only person that noticed this swipe at Africans/ Asians/ South Americans/ insert ethnic minority of choice? Also, after John Smith is shot, the English decide to transport him back to England for treatment. What's that, like five months at sea with a bullet in his chest? Yeah, that'll work.
Tramautizing Moments: That whole fantasy sequence where John Smith and Pocahantus take LSD and paint with all the colors of the wind.
Fetishes: Pocahantos is the only Disney heroine to NOT feature watermelon-sized breasts. It's kinda weird.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic stands at an unholy nexus between anime, video games, and furry, making it a sort of weird gateway obsession. Sonic comes in two distinctive flavors, heavy-handed future cyber-punk DRAMA and wacky Loony Toons style COMEDY. In the former, Sonic leads a ragtag group of freedom fighters including a rabbit with a mechanical arm (It's the FUUUUUTURE, you see), a cowardly French weasel (LOL SURRENDER MONKEYS), a walrus with a backwards baseball cap (EXXXTREME) and Gonterman's main squeeze Sally Acorn (possibly a hydroencephalic hamster). They fight against Dr. Robotnik, who's kinda like the movie version of Baron Harkonnen, in that he's an evil fat guy who flies around with the help of a machine. He has a comical sidekick named Snively, who's the only other human on the entire plant. Robotnik's preferred mode of attack was the robotozation of his enemies, wherein he turned them into robots. Gonterman did this, too. In one of his early adventures, Gonterman traveled to Mobius where he turned into a skunk (I think) and fought Dr. Robotnik, who was really his father. By the way, it's vitally important that, as shown in every fanfiction ever written, Sonic inform people of how he's faster than they are.
Fetishes: Anything biomechanical, cybernetic parts, those red laser sphincter eye thingies. E-stim, robosexuality, mind control, any BDSM-related kink involving tying people to slabs. Also, Sonic. He's a fetish all of himself, it seems.
Traumatizing Moments: Sally dies apparently.
Perplexing Moments: I don't know what this has to do with the game at all.
Roadrovers aired a total of about no episodes ever, and yet still managed to garner one of the loopiest fan contingents in recent memory, thanks in no small part to the unmentionable one and her dosgs (sic). Roadrovers was a secret crime-fighting team composed of the pet dogs belonging to various world leaders. For example, the team leader belonged to the US President, the spunky female member belonged to the British Prime Minister, the vain empty-headed Schwarzenegger parody member belonged to the German Chancellor, the stern no-nonsense member belonged to the Russian Premier, and so on and so forth. They used special suits or something that let them walk on their hind legs and fight crime.
Perplexing Moments: The US President (Bill Clinton, who didn't yet have a dog in real life when this show aired) is the ONLY real president appearing in this cartoon, although the British Prime Minister kinda sorta looks like a more matronly Margaret Thatcher. Because, of course, it wasn't worth the animators' time to take the five seconds necessary to look up what the guy who runs Russia actually looks like. I remember seeing a scene toward the end of the one episode I saw where each dog receives a medal from his or her respective owner in front of a major landmark of his or her home nation (Big Ben, The Kremlin, Mount Rushmore, etc). Despite the fact that most Americans can't think of a single major German monument, the animators did get this right and had the German dog getting his medal in front of the Brandenburg Gate. But they couldn't take the extra three seconds to figure out that Helmut Kohl didn't have a mustache? Whatever.
Traumatizing Moments: The fact that this show ever existed.
Fetishes: Gay from yiff.
The Secret of Nimh
Widely remembered as Don Bluth's only good movie despite the fact that it kinda sucked, "The Secret of Nimh" did improve on the book "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh" in that it changed the heroine's name to Brisby and prevented a generation of playground wits from making stupid jokes about mice and Frisbees and junk. However, it also firmly established Bluth's trademark "Throw in lots of sparkly shit" animating technique. The plot more or less follows the book, with Mrs. Brisby needing to move her family out of Farmer Fitzgibbon's field before the annual plowing but being unable to move her sick son Timothy. The Great Owl tells her to seek help from super intelligent rats that look kinda like otters and know how to use electricity. Freaky looking head rat Nikodemus has a magic bauble that does stuff. Evil rat Jenner kills him by dropping a giant concrete brick on his head; the bauble passes to Mrs. Brisby, who, being a hero or something, uses it to save the day. It's not high art but I have fond memories of this flick from when I was a kid, and, darn it, I like it. Also includes Dom Deloise as Jeremy the crow.
Perplexing Moments: Nikodemus and the owl look pretty much interchangeable; that confused the hell out of me as a kid. Also, rats that look like otters. And Auntie Shrew looks like some sort of mutant hedgehog. Dragon the farmer's cat is bigger than any cat I've ever seen. Judging by his scene with Mrs. Fitzgibbon, I'm guessing he must be at least the size of a young horse.
Traumatizing Moments: Mrs. Brisby looks into Nikodemus' magic electric mirror and sees weird-ass flashbacks to Nimh-sponsored animal cruelty.
Fetishes: Animals that wear clothes.
The Secret of Nimh 2: Timothy to the Rescue
Several years have passed since the "prophet" Nikodemus foretold that Jonathan Brisby's son would be a great hero. The rats of Nimh, now living secretly in Thorn Valley, recruit Timothy to be their local hero. Justin the rat and Mr.Ages the geezer mouse give him hero training, which mostly consists of him learning how to swing on vines across streams. Eventually, Jenny, another super-intelligent Nimh-escapee who happens to be a girl mouse with boobs, arrives to plead with the rats for help rescuing her parents whom have been captured by Nimh's resident mad scientist Dr. Valentine. Jenny tells Timothy that Martin has also fallen into Nimh's clutches. Shocked, Timothy reveals that Martin has now been missing for five years. Kind of an important plot point, one would think, but I guess he's been too busy swinging across streams on vines to worry about that. Together, Jenny and Timothy flee Thorn Valley in a balloon but crash in the forest. Into the Great Owl's tree, coincidentally. The Great Owl, though, is nowhere to be seen and nothing is ever said about what happened to him. Perhaps, being "the wisest of all animals," he decided not to appear in this sequel. Badda bing. It seems that Jeremy has taken his place, dressing up like an owl and scamming cutesy forest critters out of their jewels and precious stones (There's a musical number that reveals that rabbits are just loaded) with the help of an annoying huckster caterpillar. After Jeremy's scam is revealed, he decides to give up the owl business and take our heroes the rest of the way to Nimh. For some inexplicable reason, Nimh is housed in a spooky gothic castle. Because there are so many of those in rural Maryland. Here, in a shocking twist ending, Timothy finds that the true mastermind behind Nimh is none other than his long lost brother Martin. Apparently, Dr. Valentine shocked Martin with so much electricity that he turned evil and developed a British accent. Martin wants to destroy Thorn Valley because, well, because he's evil. His plan involves attacking Thorn Valley with an army of mind-controlled rats flying on pigeons and armed with boards with nails in them. Timothy knocks Martin out by throwing a key at his head. Or maybe Jenny throws it. I'm not entirely sure, since Timothy pulls out the key and clearly tosses it over to Jenny but the arm shown catching it is obviously Timothy's. And since Timothy's got the slingshot, it would make sense that Timothy was the one to chuck it at Martin. Whatever. This sequence is made even better by the fact that Timothy pulled out the same key in an earlier scene when he was escaping a cage and clearly left it behind in the cage. Anyway, Martin's unconscious. Timothy, impersonating Martin, gives them the wrong directions and they fly off away from Thorn Valley. And, presumably, keep on flying that way…FOREVER. Victory!
Traumatizing Moments: Martin becomes evil and green after being zapped with electricity. Mr. Ages confesses that he never changes his underwear. This is even more disturbing when you take into account that he doesn't even wear pants. Timothy sings about being his father's son and stuff.
Perplexing Moments: Cynthia got really fat since the first movie. The Justin-Brutus merge scene. Timothy saving the day with his slingshot and a key.
Don't Miss: There's a scene where Timothy helps Jenny to her feet and it totally looks like he's doing her up the ass, dude. Complete with strangely petulant "ow" sounds. WHAT IN THE NAME OF NIKODEMUS???? Also, evil Martin breaks into a song wherein he promises to make the trains run on time.
Fetishes: Furversion, e-stim, weird mind-control or zombie fetishes. Martin's evil British voice sounds suspiciously like Dr. Valentine's pre-lobotomy voice, and the whole thing just reeks of brain transplantation, which I'm sure has to be a fetish somewhere.
This flick is pure 70s gold, from the disco soundtrack to wacky cold war stereotypes to the Richard Nixon-esque "mayor of Animalympic Island." (1-Technically, if he runs an island, I suppose he ought to be a governor, but what the hell.) There's no real plot to speak of, just lots of brief sketches about animals competing in various Olympic events. The whole movie is set up like a news cast, where the animal reporters are all caricatures of real-life journalists (Barbara Walters appears as an ostrich, Studs Terkel as a turkey, etc etc). Professional critics always pan this flick, saying that it would make a good short but that the joke wears thin as a full-length movie. What do they know? I've known kids who've watched "The Little Mermaid" until the tape wore out, so there's no telling how long children can watch something like this without getting bored. This was my absolute favorite flick as a kid, so those gloomy gus critics can all go sit on it. Animalympics rules.
Traumatizing Moments: Most of the musical numbers: In "Down Under the Water," a diving otter meets all sorts of weird psychodelic fish. The bit where the wild boar gets put back together after a skiing accident is way trippy, and Rene Fromage's musical ode to his own overwhelming ambition used to scare me every time I saw it. It involved a lot of flying clocks and hourglasses and stuff.
Perplexing Moments: The Disney Channel used to show Animalympics on occasion back in the 80s, but, in what was apparently a futile attempt to keep it from looking dated, cut out the best scene, the night at Noah's Ark disco. Don't Miss: Noah's Ark disco. Amusing Asian stereotypes Bruce Kwakimoto and Ohno Nono.
The "Dot" Series
Dot and the Kangaroo: Before Paul Hogan made it big in the 80s, Dot was single-handedly responsible for keeping the Australian film industry afloat. This is one of the more obscure film series, but furries who do know it love it for its depiction of cuddly, rape-able Australian fauna. Dot is a loveable Australian hillbilly girl who gets lost in the outback and rescued by a friendly talking kangaroo.
Dot and the Bunny: Made almost entirely with recycled music and footage from the original Dot, this entry is only noteworthy for the scene where Dot meets some crabs that formed a cargo cult around a shipwrecked American battleship. In doing so, they've also inexplicably developed American accents. Which sound just like Australian ones, except that they say "Howdy, part'ner" instead of "G'day, mate."
Dot and the Whale: Dot eats a magic root that allows her to breathe underwater and goes on a marvelous underdea quest to find Moby Dick and tell him to tell some beached whale to unbeach herself. Has some sort of vague environmental message. Also, a villainous fishmonger who wants to chop the beached whale into fish sticks. Strangely, this movie formed the basis for at least one scholarly paper detailing racism in Australian children's cartoons.
Dot and the Mosquito: Dot eats a root that causes her to shrink down to insect size and have wacky adventures with insects. The only entry in the series to feature Dot getting sealed in a wasp nest and almost getting eaten from the inside out by grubs. (Fetishes: Micro and macro, vore)
Dot and Santa Claus: Not much root eating in this one, but just as cracked out. Dot wants to help the kangaroo from the original Dot movie find her missing joey. She enlists some guy in a cowboy hat named Danny to help her. Danny explains that they will need lots of "ingenuity" to find the joey, and then proceeds to sing a song about ingenuity as he dresses up like Santa Claus, hitches a pair of kangaroos to a sled, and flies off on a merry globe-trotting adventure. This should be called "Dot meets a lot of stupid foreigners," because that's pretty much all that happens. In Japan, a buck-toothed, slanty-eyed goldfish tells them that joey is in Russia. In Russia, a bunch of bears who're all equal but, of course, some of them are more equal than others, send them to Germany. In Germany, an anal-retentive reindeer sends them to England. In England, a veddy proper stone lion at the base of Nelson's Column (Guzza?) sends them to America.
Don't Miss: The stone lion explains that the English zoo traded joey to America for a bald eagle. The Americans were, as they say, "Kah-ray-zee" about him. At the UN building, Dot meets a mouse bureaucrat who claims that he and his rodent cohorts keep the world running smoothly; it's a clever little spoof of American self-importance. Also, he sings the dumbest song ever in praise of New York.
Perplexing moments: At the very end of the cartoon, they do one of those bits where they show the cartoon animals followed by shot of real animals. (For example, they show Mr. Nakamura the Chinky goldfish who then quickly morphes into a shot of a real live goldfish) The clip of the Russian bears, oddly, is followed by shot of a barking cocker spaniel. Not sure what that's about.
The Devil and Daniel Mouse
The classic tale of "The Devil and Daniel Webster" is here told through the medium of talking animals. Jan and Dan are struggling folk musician mice. Too bad kids today are only interested in rock and roll and disco music. When Dan goes off to pawn his guitar so he can buy them some food, Jan takes the chance to sell her soul to the devil to become a disco diva. Daniel is left in the cold, but returns to defend Jan when the devil tries to collect his due. The devil has a weasel side-kick.
Traumatizing Moments: For a kid's cartoon, the devil is pretty damn scary, with real head-spinning action. The devil's weasel pal opens a bottle and accidentally shoots himself in the nose with the cork in the process.
Fetishes: Spandex. Latex, rubber, more latex, anything tight worn by rock stars. Lots of glitter.
Don't Miss: "That is a technicality. NOBODY BEATS THE DEVIL ON A TECHNICALITY!"
Mouse and Child
Outside of Nimh, I think this movie features cinema's only dancing rat scene. It's the story of a wind-up toy mouse and his wind-up toy son. They don't want to suffer the fate of all wind-up toys (ie. Breaking) so they leave the toy shop on a quest to become self-winding and to marry an elephant…uh…yeah. They run afoul of an evil rat (voiced again by Peter Ustinov), as usual in these things, but then become self-winding after a muskrat with a pegleg does some weird science stuff. A bum also figures prominently.
What I remembered from seeing this as a kid: There's a scene where the mouse and child meet a turtle at the bottom of a lake. And another where a bum is dancing with his dog. And another where the toy elephant is forced to power the evil rats' generator.
Traumatizing Moments: The toys in the shop go insane, forcing Mouse and Child onto the street. Ralph the rat tears apart a wind-up donkey. Ralph gets eaten by a badger. Another rat henchman is fried by an empty light bulb socket. Freaky philosophical discussion at the lake bottom with a turtle. The giant bum tells everyone to "be happy."
Watership Down stays remarkably faithful to the book, except for a couple little bits they added to make it more violent and thus presumably more appealing to the kids. Weird touches, such as adding a totally superfluous character named Violet whose only function is to wander out into a field and get eaten by a hawk. And although he survived the book, Blackamar appears to die in the movie version.
What I remembered from seeing this as a kid: Very little. I distinctly remembered one bit where a bunch of rabbits jumped over a log while the narrator says something about "One day, a brave band of (something something something)." When I rewatched it recently, I didn't see any rabbits jumping over any logs. Weird.
Traumatizing Moments: Blackavar dies. Violet dies. Woundwart mysteriously disappears.
The Raggedy Ann and Andy Movie
Raggedy Ann and Andy must rescue a friend who's been kidnapped by pirates. Not exactly furry, but includes a living plush camel. The Raggedys get lost in the big forest, which, like most temperate deciduous forests, is home to various psychodelic monstrosities like a giant sentient blob of taffy and an evil inflatable dwarf king.
Traumatizing Moments: Far too many to list. This thing scared the shit out of me as a kid. Fetishes: It's a Raggedy Ann movie, so naturally there's lots of dolls, stuffed animals and wind-up toys. Expect to develop weird fixations on dolls, mannekins, department store dummies, plushies, or robots. The Greedy sequence will cause food fetishes, obesity fetishes, and mud, scat, slime and "messy fun" fetishes. There's even an inflation bit with King Cuckoo. Tentacle monsters. No, really, there's a tentacle monster. Tickling. Tentacle monsters tickling. The snooty French doll ends the movie as a pirate dominatrix. Odd. Holy cripes on toast, this movie has everything.
Winds of Change
Japan gives us this fine butchering of the more interesting Greek myths. Nothing really furry about this, except for one vignette when a pissy Diana catches a huntsman spying on her and turns him into a deer who subsequently gets torn to bits by his own dogs, but the whole thing is narrated by Peter Ustinov. He seems to be a recurring theme here. Someone should write a thesis about that.
Fetishes: Transformation, vore, disemboweling