Archive for the ‘animal presence’ category

“Cloverfield 2” is Coming!

February 6, 2023

Not everyone is a fan of the CloverVerse, but Cloverfield has been called the best Godzilla-type movie done by Hollywood. The original 2008 Cloverfield movie was commercially successful, although in my case it was an acquired taste due to the “found footage” format of the film as filmed by the shell-shocked, ground-level perspective of the young people who attempted to survive a monstrous attack.

10 Cloverfield Lane from 2016 was a different kind of offshoot of the franchise, anchored by the star power and acting of John Goodman, and set in the paranoid and claustrophobic setting of an isolated survivalist rather than in the big city. We did get to see some actual aliens in the closing segments of the film, and they were worth waiting for, having advanced technology and biomechanical ships…

Then there was 2018’s The Cloverfield Paradox, a muddled and confusing installment set on an orbiting space station where an international team of scientists attempted to solve Earth’s critical energy crisis using a particle accelerator but unintentionally opening a rift in space to an alternative dimension from which flowed monsters to our reality. Rifts in space…where would science fiction tales be without them?! This device however explains how Earth received the Cloverfield monster (code name, “Clover”) in the first place, and so is a necessary link in the CloverVerse. As the sole surviving scientist returns to Earth, the enormous monster is already here, and rears its hideous head into the heavens, roaring in the last moment of the film. The Cloverfield Paradox was relegated almost immediately to Netflix, and may largely be seen only there today…

There is little that is presently known about the next planned Cloverfield movie, other than that it intends to be a direct sequel to the 2008 original, and may pick up from where the creature, having thoroughly trashed New York, has survived a tactical nuke. Reportedly the “found footage” viewpoint of the original film will be abandoned, so the monster won’t be shown just in fleeting partial glimpses again. Rumors are rampant; we may see the whole of human civilization plagued by multiple monsters, or perhaps a new creature will be introduced to fight against the original. Kaiju type films have been known to do those kinds of things, and it should provide a fine spectacle in any case… RAWRRR! 🙀

( Watch the skies!!!)

Fluzone TV Spot: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing…

October 21, 2022

In a Sandofi commercial for Fluzone, the disease is personified as a ravenous wolf stalking people in various settings with ill intent. The notion of “the wolf at the door” is historically a longstanding one often used to represent all kinds of hardships and deprivation, from war to famine to disease.

The attempted predations of the realistic and sizeable wolf depicted here are repeatedly frustrated in this commercial by the simple fact that his intended victims have been immunized. Eventually he becomes a wolf on the run, rendered impotent by the simple fact that the people he surveys and passes have been protected…

And so we finally see our wolf retreating to the extent that he’s looking out the rear window of a bus. I don’t know what fare he was charged, but think that being immunized is a good idea lest you be visited and victimized by the flu wolf…

I’ve had my vaccine this year…have you?

Liberty Mutual’s “Tools” Commercial…

July 17, 2022

I’ve never had an emu work on my vehicle, but I could argue that some gorillas have. We’ve all been at the mercy of garages and mechanics. Even the venerable Plymouth Duster chariot used by the dynamic duo of Doug and the LiMu Emu occasionally needs work, and in the Liberty Mutual “Tools” commercial, we are taken inside a garage housing a Bat Cave’s worth of assorted vehicles, all the brand’s trademark “banana yellow” color. I mean, there’s a motorcycle, some kind of utility vehicle, and even Skidoo-type things…

Doug is hard at work beneath the chassis of his Duster, but is he up to the job? – – Nope, and neither is the Emu, who hilariously brings his human partner the wrong tool specified for each step of the job. When asked for a socket wrench, the Emu brings a hammer. When a blowtorch is requested, LiMu deposits a stuffed animal into Doug’s hand…

At the end of his efforts, Doug somehow manages to extract what appears to be a distributor from the bottom of the vehicle! “LiMu,call a mechanic” are Doug’s closing words. Clearly one is needed to prevent this Duster from entering the dustbin…

The LiMu Emu and Doug are best buddies who dress identically, and have a long-standing history, the details of which we someday may learn…or perhaps it’s best not to ask!

Vintage Furry Advertising…

May 31, 2021

In the past as now, there were furry icons who represented a brand, and memorably served as spokesmen. Back before Esso gas became Exxon, there was the tiger used to admonish motorists to “put a tiger in their tank,” the tiger representing power and performance. A promotion was even done where stuffed tiger tails that could be affixed to gas caps were available to customers as visible proof that they indeed were driving with such a tiger. This was back in the days when fuel attendants would routinely clean your windshield and check your oil without being asked! Don’t hold your breath waiting for such amenities today. The tiger himself was an impressive dude rendered with attitude and fine attention to detail; rather awesome, actually.

The sadly nameless Esso/Exxon tiger was predated by the Kellogg’s product icon of Tony the Tiger, and there were distinct similarities in depictions of the duo. Despite this, the two tigers co-existed amicably until 1992 when trademark infringe wars erupted as Exxon tried to open Tiger Marts. It’s Tony the Tiger who seems to have best survived the Tiger Wars, and may still readily be seen today…

A Fly in the Ointment!

October 11, 2020

“Oh, to be a fly on the wall!” How many times have you heard that chestnut repeated? Well, a fly was not on the wall, but for several minutes one was on the white hair of Vice President Mike Pence during his debate with Kamala Harris, who seemed not troubled by insects at all. Pence paid the fly no attention, and may not have been aware of it at the time, unlike the debate audience that was largely aware of the fly’s presence, and could practically see or hear nothing else during that time…

So forget Atom Ant, who was so very yesterday. I submit to you that we during that debate witnessed the birth of a new superhero for our time, Audacious Fly.  And remember that great 1950’s horror movie with Vincent Price, The Fly?  The remake with Jeff Goldblume was awesome, too, although I’m glad I wasn’t eating during parts of it.  It made me glad that I don’t have to regurgitate on my food to digest it…

Isn’t it great when nature interferes with the works of men, anyways?  The revolution is coming, and remember that you heard it here…

  

 

“The Masked Singer,” Back for Season 4!

September 14, 2020


People tend to either love or hate The Masked Singer on Fox, and we were provided a preview of the upcoming season’s costumes recently.  Shown above are Baby Alien, Serpent, and Seahorse.  Additionally the animal kingdom will be represented by Giraffe, Jellyfish, Crocodile, and fictitiously Dragon.  The show itself for those unfamiliar with it is kind of a singing competition run through a furry convention, a unique type of cheerful and inspired insanity.

There are a number of “firsts” represented among this season’s contestants.  At eight feet tall, Giraffe is the tallest costume ever, and is attired in a style reminiscent of French aristocracy.  Baby Alien is the first costume to be fronted by a puppet, Serpent’s costume has animatronic features, and the Snowy Owls (below) represent the first double-headed costume.

 

So you may want to drop in on The Masked Singer, Season 4 which will debut on September 23rd…

Geico’s “Moving House Thing” Commercial

July 13, 2020


Turtles have made inroads into televised advertising, as seen before in a number of episodes of Comcast’s “Slowskys” depicting a turtle family with their technologically-hip son.  Now Progressive insurance has also brought us an anthropomorphic father-and-son turtle duo, who we are shown sunning themselves on a rock overlooking a camper park.  In the near background sits a large motorized camper which piques the younger turtle’s curiosity, prompting him to ask his father about the “moving house thing.”

Turtle-Dad responds that it’s a motor home, a modern invention, to which Junior replies that they’ve carried their houses around with them for “like forever!”   Turtle-Dad chuckles, and then responds that the humans have Geico to cover them if anything goes wrong.  “What could go wrong?,” wonders Junior out loud when a feather drifts down from above.  “Ooh, a feather!” exclaims Junior with child-like wonder.  Looking upwards, Turtle-Dad discerns a vulture sitting in the tree above them.  “Duck, Junior!,” he alerts his son.  Now sharing in the alarm, Junior qualifies his Dad’s response, correcting “That’s no duck, Daddy…that’s a vulture!”

The humans are clueless non-participants in the drama unfolding before them, but I doubt they’d be thrilled to see vultures roosting near their camper; perhaps a Stephen King-esque horror movie is about to begin here.  The turtles as they retreat into their shells will hopefully live to see another day.  They have warm and wonderful human-like eyes and expressions, and make a nice addition to the Geico advertising animal stable that memorably includes an office camel thrilled to see “hump day” arrive…

 

(…tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

Vintage Cornball Kiddie Shows with Animals…

March 18, 2020

In the long ago, I was exposed to kiddie shows with an animal presence that probably warped me for life. There are many who grew up with Captain Kangaroo together with his cohorts Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit. Not to be forgotten was Dancing Bear, whose unchanging face and looming presence could be oddly disturbing; I’m glad that he was benevolent.  Mr. Green Jeans, a farmer stereotype, would frequently show up with a baby farm animal of some sort. I often wondered about him…

Much less remembered were shows like Andy’s Gang, which featured actor and comedian Andy Devine, who in his prime tended to play sidekicks in westerns. Now Andy appeared with a strange array of animals that included Midnight the Cat (pictured top), Little Squeaky (a mouse), and a strange magical amphibian obviously made of rubber called Froggy the Gremlin. This character would appear in a puff of smoke, and always announce “Hiya, kids! Hiya, hiya, hiya!” The kiddie audience would then cheer with delight, and you so seldom see magical amphibians these days.  It was low tech and low budget stuff, but memorably high on the cornball scale. Kids could appreciate this kind of inspired anarchy, echoes of which survived much later in shows like Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

In the long-ago tradition of regional kiddie shows, cartoon segments and Three Stooges shorts were sometimes hosted by hapless adult humans who might be dressed to impersonate stereotypic police officers or sea captains. It paid the bills for them, and they probably laughed or cried all the way to the bank. We sucked it all down, and hungered for more…and while the adults scratched their heads over our interest, we kids knew that they would never understand…

Furry Extravaganza on “The Masked Singer” Season 3…

February 20, 2020


“Group B” of Season 3 on The Masked Singer is currently in play, and 2/3 of the contestants were furry in the kickoff episode, with performances given by Mouse, Kitty, Frog, and Elephant as well as foodstuff costumed performers Taco and Banana. I swear that I’m not making this up!   Besides, you just haven’t lived until you’ve heard an Elvis Presley standard performed by someone in a ludicrous banana outfit…but that’s A Little Too Much Conversation…

While all of the performances on this episode were strong, my personal fave was Frog, who together with Zoot-suit dressed dancers gave a memorable rendition of M.C. Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This in a mixture of rap meets the age of swing.  While Masked Singer is a singing competition, the dance elements are what can really bring excitement to a performance, plus this Frog has a sense of fashion, and wears purple really well!  Kitty brought kind of a burlesque vibe to her presentation that was sensual almost to the point of creepiness, performing Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande.  A favorite of the panel, it’s hard to look away from her differently-colored eyes that kind of draw you in…Meow!

When all was sang and done, the performer known as Elephant who  performed Friday I’m in Love by The Cure garnered fewest votes, and so was voted off.  He was revealed to be skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.  Note the fox accompanying him on guitar; my people are everywhere...

 

Geico “Man Cave” Commercial

January 9, 2020


Forget your articulate and genial “window bear” commercial.  In this Geico offering, the bear is much less anthropomorphic, and is physically in a house, trashing it…

A well-to-do middle-aged couple sits on recliners in their beautiful home, each watching separate tv screens.  “He wanted a man-cave in our  new home,” begins the woman, “But she wanted to be close to nature, so we met in the middle,” adds the man.  The scene then widens to reveal a true cave entrance in the dwelling wall, out of which emerges…a bear, who making growling bear-noises slowly advances on all fours into the room.

“Look who just woke up!,” comments the woman brightly.  “You are so cute!,” she says to the bear, who advances to the refrigerator and noses it open, the door eventually winding up detached several feet off to the side as the bear stands upright and begins to messily forage within the fridge, physically shaking it and retrieving a bottle.  Foodstuff is strewn on the beautiful hardwood flooring…

“You got it!  You are so smart!,” the adoring woman commends the bear, who sloppily consumes the drink.  Apparently this bear, like some people’s dogs, can do nothing wrong.  It seems that one thing the couple could agree upon is getting help from Geico homeowners insurance.  From the mess that the bear is leaving, they’re gonna need it!  Their cost of regular major appliance replacement alone has got to be astronomical…

 


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