Archive for the ‘animal presence’ category

“The Masked Singer,” American Edition…

January 3, 2019

Aha, I just knew that we were going to be able to sneak some compelling furry images and characters onto mainstream television soon, and with The Masked Singer on Fox (- -how appropriate!), our time may have finally come in 2019!

 

Now for those of you not in the know, The Masked Singer is a new reality show (for the U.S., anyways) in which celebrity contestants perform and compete entirely clad in costume head-to-toe, concealing their identity. Most often those costumes are of animals, monsters, or other fantastic life forms with the contestant’s group of twelve including among others a unicorn, a deer, a hippo, a French poodle, a pineapple-man, a lion, and my personal fave, a rabbit! For the first night, six contestants competed on a paired basis, with the lesser voted contestant of each match-up relegated to the bottom three, and the weakest of that group unmasked and sent home. Victors in the matches included a Peacock winning over a Hippo, a Unicorn beating a “Monster,” and a Lion defeating a Deer. The Hippo, a real-life football athlete, ranked lowest and was sent home.

 

The show kind of blends American Idol with The Gong Show by way of a furry convention. Some of the costumes are elaborate and impressive, and dependent on their individual gifts and the bulk of their outfit some of the contestants incorporate a little choreography into their stage presentations. All of the contestants are supposedly well-known figures in music, comedy, or athletics, and the identity of each will ultimately be revealed as the weaning-out process continues. Popular in Asia and originating in South Korea, the American version of The Masked Singer is certainly different, even if it’s not for everyone…

Animals and Thanksgiving Parades…

November 22, 2018

Being a big fan of Halloween, I love images of early Thanksgiving parades because they had balloons and floats back then that were, well, creepy! Animals have had a long association with Thanksgiving Day parades since their inception, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade beginning in 1924 and including live animals, many of them actually borrowed from the Central Park Zoo for the occasion.

The early Thanksgiving Day parades often had a circus orientation, and hence the animal elements. Actual lions, tigers, and bears were trucked down city streets, traumatizing them and causing the elicitation of roars and growls that frightened observing children. Wisely, the use of living animals was abandoned after a few years, with animal balloons and floats substituted, together with some great vintage cartoonish stuff that was rather surreal. Felix the Cat was an early parade favorite.

In the 1930’s, Macy’s actually released their balloons at the end of the parade for a few years, with rewards of $25 offered for their return, a princely sum in depression-era America. Macy’s wasn’t the only Thanksgiving Day parade on the block, either, with Newark, New Jersey having memorable ones as well as other cities in diverse locations.

So while you enjoy that traditional Thanksgiving feast, remember those poor souls who marched, danced, and performed in frigid twenty-some degree weather this year in parts of America dressed among other things as fried eggs and sticks of butter. As I said, I like my holidays surreal, which makes them and family easier to take…

 

Golf Course ‘Gator…

October 18, 2018

 

Looking like an escapee from Jurassic Park on the Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Palmetto, Florida there has repeatedly been seen a large alligator estimated to be 15 feet in length who has been nicknamed “Chubbs.”  This recent image was taken by a golfer from about 50 feet away.  The ‘gator seems to lumber from one water hole to another, pausing to rest along the way.  He doesn’t bother the golfers, who wisely don’t bother him…

The ‘gator has reportedly been good for business.  It is not known if he is considered a hazard of the course, or what percentage of the golfers there are wearing their Izod shirts.  And for those of us who remember Wally Gator, the early 60’s Hanna-Barbera creation, we offer these theme lyrics:                              

 Wally Gator is a swinging alligator in the swamp.

He’s the greatest perculator when he really starts to romp. 

There has never been a greater operator in the swamp. 

See ya later, Wally Gator.

 

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/wallygatorlyrics.html

Vintage Furry…

October 5, 2018

 

 

Back in the halcyon days of my youth, we had Captain Kangaroo, a benign and kindly grandfatherly-like gentleman who sported a haircut like Moe of The Three Stooges, and held sway in a place called The Treasure House.  He is shown in the presence of Mr. Green Jeans (a farmer stereotype), and three of the regular furry cast members, Dancing Bear, Mr. Moose, and Bunny Rabbit.  In their day, they were quite iconic…

Now this was all low tech stuff but could be strangely surreal at times, perhaps a distant echo of the Peewee’s Playhouse that would follow decades later.  I mean, there was even a talking Grandfather Clock that viewers were expected to call to and wake up!  And while his face was incapable of rendering any range of emotion, one wouldn’t want to wake up at night to find Dancing Bear hovering over you.  There’s something creepy and unnatural about that cheap fursuit that makes him look like Yogi Bear on a party drug…

Bob Keeshan the titular host previously was Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody show, and his show ran for almost thirty years from 1955 to 1984…

The Mintmobile Fox…

September 30, 2018

 

Who’s green and keen? — The Mintmobile Fox, of course!  Now normally when foxes turn green, it’s not a good thing, of course, and may signify severe gastrointestinal distress.  It all right for this little guy, however, ’cause he’s just a ‘toon, but one who we can see appearing in a wide variety of settings, beginning with his bed and ranging to such diverse environments as a supermarket and gymnasium.  This fox meditates…he rides in cars conversing with women…and looks ever so cool motoring in his own sweet ride.  He’s an inspiration to all of us of the vulpine persuasion…

The Mintmobile Fox is a mascot or spokesman for a wireless internet service, and that’s all right.  What’s not all right, as he’ll tell and show you, are such things as finger dipping and carpet showers.  We are then witness to such things as people at a gathering plunging their fingers into bowls of dip, and a guy showering in a stall layered in carpet.  I, for one, do not wish to be party to such things, nor would any sensible fox.

This bright-eyed and perky little guy even wears eyeglasses, or when the occasion calls for it, shades.  Catch his act for Mintmobile on commercials, although a cartoon series spin-off would be great…

Tim Burton’s “Dumbo” is Coming!

June 21, 2018


I’ve always loved Tim Burton’s work for his dark, twisted, and even macabre take on things.  When Burton joins with Disney, we tend to get a less saccharine and darker vision of a great story with surreal, frequently animal elements, and so Tim Burton’s upcoming 2019 version of the Disney classic Dumbo promises to be a real treat.

We had last seen Dumbo as a two dimensional cartoon image in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and his upcoming outing will be as a far more realistic CGI elephant that is flawlessly integrated with a stellar live-action cast that includes such diverse talent as Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito.  And yes, the hauntingly sad lullaby Baby Mine from the 1940’s classic will be incorporated, so get those tissues ready for when mother elephant is chained up and separated from her baby…

The flying baby elephant with the endearingly enormous ears will be soaring across a big top circus tent in your neighborhood around March 2019.  He works for peanuts, after all…

 

 

“Terror Camp Clear” Episode of “The Terror”

May 8, 2018

With all hell breaking loose both within and without on episode 8 of The Terror, Captain Fitzjames unleashed a rocket on the rampaging Tuunbaq running amok in their camp, hitting the over-sized, long-necked polar bear-like creature a good shot but basically just changing its course.  This was a very cool use of retro technology, and Fitzjames looked good while deploying it, showing courage under extreme duress.  Mid-19th century weaponry just wasn’t up to the job, sadly…

The climatic battle scene followed an episode fueled by paranoia and rebellion in which seaman Hickey almost staged a successful mutiny after blaming his slaughter of two crew mates on an Inuit family who were then killed in reprisal by the Erebus/Terror crews.  Hickey then whipped the camp into a frenzy by rumors that an Inuit counter-attack was imminent, using it as justification to seize arms and distribute them among his followers.  When Hickey’s ruse was discovered and countered, we were fixing to see a hanging when a cocaine-addled crewman Collins posed a distraction, staggering in and closely followed by the Tuunbaq monster, who was either irate that natives had been killed or was uncontrolled by the departure of the shaman-like Lady Silence.

Anyways, Hickey escaped in the confusion of the Tuunbaq’s killing spree together with sympathizers and captives, and in alienating the Inuit population the expedition’s members have lost their best remaining chance of survival. With their bodies becoming covered with loathsome sores from scurvy and lead poisoning, things will continue to go downhill from here in the two episodes remaining of The Terror