Archive for the ‘animal presence’ category

“Cats,” the Movie, Coming in 2019…

February 18, 2019



Dancing feline animorphs are coming to the big screen in 2019… you have now been duly warned!  The movie version of the musical will boast some diverse and major stars as cats, including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and Ian McKellen…that’s right, Magneto is gonna play a cat, although appropriately enough a theatrical one.  What would be really cool would be if he’d play a cat with mutant powers.  Perhaps Catwoman from the DC universe could also make an appearance, and we’d really have a blockbuster!

But I digress…the British-American cooperative venture, several years in the planning, is set to come to theaters in later December 2019… 

“Strange Evidence” Predator Resurrection

February 10, 2019

The Strange Evidence series on the Science (SCI) channel is one of the better shows currently televised on unexplained phenomena and scientific speculation. If somewhat uneven and episodic, the shows have decent production values and offer commentary and opinions by scientists as well as observers of the topics under consideration.  It’s a mixture of the far out and things that just might be possible; I like it!

With each installment comprised of several segments, the S1/Ep10 offering included camera trap footage taken in Tasmania in 2016 of an animal unfamiliar to observers that may have been a Tasmanian tiger, a species thought to have been hunted to extinction in the 1930’s with the last specimen in captivity (above) having died in 1936. Actually a marsupial, the Tas tiger was wolf-like with stripes and a long, inflexible tail. Due to the low resolution of the film taken, experts consulted could not conclusively identify the animal present, and thought it might have been a quoll, which is a smaller carnivorous mammal common to Tasmania.

So is the Tasmanian tiger still out there?  I remain skeptical, but stranger things have happened…

The Masked Singer, Episode 3…

January 20, 2019


In the bizarre singing competition of The Masked Singer, the contestant known as The Deer looked like a stag wearing a gas mask with steampunk accessories such as metallic gauntlets and a long overcoat. Dance moves were hardly the Deer’s forte, with his movements stiff and minimal, possibly due to the headgear.  With his vocals equally forgettable, The Deer was voted off during Episode 3, and was unmasked to reveal football great Terry Bradshaw.  Perhaps his outfit could be used in a remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau…

Lion gave another good performance, and Monster I thought surpassed their previous effort.  Unicorn’s was adequate but not terribly memorable.  I thought that Peacock did well again, projecting a Las Vegas presence by beginning their performance on top of a 30-foot lift before descending to the stage.  It was kind of like watching Elvis with feathers…this bird can dazzle!

 

“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…