Archive for the ‘anthropomorphic’ category

Insurance-Themed Experiences…

December 13, 2019


Are you ready for the insurance-themed experiences of a lifetime?  – -Well, you’re in luck, because you can visit Progressive Park, or thrill to Progressive On Ice!  There should be no trouble getting into either location, and parking is abundant…

It’s fun for the whole family in the commercials at Progressive Park, where you can experience the no-bump bumper cars or the traffic jam roller coaster!  For a more dazzling spectacle, take in Progressive On Ice, where Flo and Jamie look-alikes skate gracefully past scenarios like flimsy accident simulations. and have the whole seating aisle to yourself! 

 

It’s all incredibly silly, but you gotta love the exuberant Progressive fursuited mascot dog who seems to be having a great time in spite of it all.  Just be good, or you may find an iconic Progressive rate comparison tool under your Xmas tree…

 

Krampus, and Having a Scary Little Christmas…

December 11, 2019


He just might be the perfect antidote for too much enforced Christmas sweetness…Krampus, that is, the nightmarish figure with goatish and demonic features  out of European folklore.  He’d be right at home pursued by paranormal or cryptic investigators as he’s usually portrayed with hooves, claw-like fingers, long spiraled horns, and covered with dark hair.  His tongue is long and protrusive, and his specialty is dealing with naughty children, beating them with birch switches and stuffing them in his sack for transport back to his lair, perhaps to become dinner…

The worst that Santa would do to you is put you on his “Naughty List,” or perhaps leave you a lump of coal. Santa’s a milquetoast compared to Krampus, who would terrorize you as kind of an anti-Santa.  In “Old World” Europe, fairy tales weren’t always for entertainment…they could be morality plays intended to scare children into good or at least compliant behavior.  Grimm’s fairy tales in the original could actually be pretty grim.

In Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, adults get involved in a chaotic Krampus tribute involving public drunkenness and men running through the streets dressed as devils, with Krampus Night traditionally December 5th.  In recent years, some people in the U.S. have begun throwing Krampus parties as a sort of twisted, anti-Christmas celebration. Krampus has enjoyed kind of a renaissance lately, and been featured in horror movies.  So be good, for goodness sake! – -Ahh,  I do so like Old World traditions… 🐺

 

The Legacy of Foxy Fagan…

November 29, 2019



In the mid-1940’s, the funny animal cartoon boom was in full swing, and every publisher wanted a menagerie of such anthropomorphic characters in print.  Foxy Fagan  was an obscure, Golden Age comic book character who was commercially unsuccessful, running for only a brief seven issues from 1946 to 1948.  Furthermore, the drawn character had a disquieting resemblance in some panels to Tom of Tom and Jerry fame, almost as if he was a cat with a few fox features tacked on.  The feet were also terribly wrong for a fox, but were drawn in the cartoon style of the day…

If the late great Foxy Fagan resembles the much more successful feline Tom, that’s because he was drawn by Harvey Eisenberg in collaboration with Joe Barbera’s storylines in a low budget, moonlighting-type operation called Dearfield Publishing which operated out of a shed while both of them were under contract to MGM.  Dearfield also produced Red Rabbit comics.  Eisenberg was a highly experienced and admired cartoonist who was for many years the main artist on the Tom and Jerry comic books, and he also did numerous stories for Disney comic books featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, also drawing on the Yogi Bear and Flintstones newspaper comics.  He could draw characters convincingly in any pose, and gave them expressive personalities, making them relatable and alive.

Now Foxy Fagan was cut in the Bugs Bunny mold, with Foxy being sly but trouble-prone, and things often didn’t work out as he planned.  His foil was a hapless canine inventor, Bobble, who bore a striking resemblance to the later Hanna-Barbera character Droopy Dog, and kind of played the Porky Pig role.  We can almost see Foxy morphing into Tom in this bottom image, and Tom and Jerry would become an enduring part of cartoon history…

 

 

 

The Masked Singer’s “Triumph Over Masks”

November 14, 2019


With so many of the performers on The Masked Singer furry, it was almost inevitable that one of the visiting panel of judges would eventually be furry, too.  That eventuality became reality on the S2/Ep7 installment of the series when Triumph the Insult Comic Dog joined the panel, and professed to be the sire of performer Rottweiler.

“I never thought I’d see you again after I left your mother,” confessed Triumph, who was rewarded with a portrait of himself painted by his adoring son.  Family reconciliations always touch my heart…


Triumph also bantered with the Fox, noting that dogs and foxes were usually enemies.  For his part, the Fox kicked off the evening with an energetic song and dance performance of Bobby Brown’s Every Little Step.

 

Getting into the full spirit of things, series host Nick Cannon has repeatedly entered the show wearing an impressive mirrored rabbit mask.  It was Ladybug who was voted off at the end of this episode, and revealed to be…Kelly Osbourne!  No bats were harmed during her performance of Youngblood…

 

“Masked Singer” Double-Header! 

November 10, 2019



Delayed and bumped by baseball, The Masked Singer finally aired a compensatory double episode this past week subtitled Mask Us Anything/Maskish.  Eliminated were the Penguin (Sherri Shepherd} and the Black Widow (Raven Symone). I rather figured that Penguin would soon depart, but was rather sad to see Black Widow go as she looked like something Ellen Ripley might fight in an Aliens movie. Spidery squatting postures and on-stage effects like giant webs added to Black Widow’s allure…

Surviving performers included Rottweiler, Ladybug, Flower, Thingamajig, Butterfly, Tree, Leopard, Flamingo, and my personal fave, the Fox, who performed “Look Ma, I Made It” accompanied by back-up dancers absurdly attired in hats that sported ears and fox tails.  The performance included a synchronized dance break in which the Fox demonstrated that he can move superbly even encumbered by a full body costume…he really got his groove on!

Whether you’re furry, love offbeat stuff, or just don’t want to let go of Halloween, this show is worth a look…

“The Masked Singer” Continues…

October 14, 2019


In this past week’s installment of The Masked Singer, we were treated to a singing flower, two birds, and at last, a fox…so you might say that this show is furry friendly, with a high percentage of animal-themed contestants.

The Flower reminded me a little of Batman villainess Poison Ivy, but she had a great set of pipes, and sang her way to victory over her opponent the Eagle, who you still had to love as an American icon, looking a bit like an avian retro-hippy. In a matchup which pitted the Penguin again the Fox, the competition was closer but the Fox prevailed, resplendent in knee-length boots, a top hat, and a couple of steampunk or perhaps cybernetic embellishments. This Fox moved well and had a good sense of stage presence, cutting a dashing figure as he sang a Maroon 5 song, grooving with the audience. Some think that the Fox is Wayne Brady, who has the song and dance chops to give this performance. It worked for me, but I’m admittedly biased…

The second-chance “Smackdown” then pitted Eagle vs. Penguin, and it was the end of the line for Eagle, who was unmasked to be Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction medicine specialist and media celebrity. As for the Fox, I’m looking forward to seeing more of him…

Chantix “Cold Turkey: Skyscraper”

October 10, 2019

In a recent Chantix commercial, the now familiar Chantix turkey visits the observation floor of a skyscraper on a windy day, finding the temperatures a bit chilly for him as he emerges from an elevator.  The turkey then retreats, returning in a jacket and taking in the sights from his vantage point, even availing himself of the coin-operated viewer common at such locations and at one point looking directly at the viewing audience from the apparatus!

Being an anthropomorphic turkey, our boy actually takes a “selfie” from his location, observed by a pigeon in the background who looks and behaves conventionally for his species. There is no communion of the minds or small talk taking place between these two birds; they are not “birds of a feather,” since we’ve previously even seen the turkey driving a vehicle and living in a rather nice house.  One wonders if the turkey would become irate if the pigeon were to poop on his vehicle, and perhaps be driven by stress to fire up a cigarette again.  That doesn’t take place in this installment, for the turkey, successfully weaned from tobacco, throws into a trash can the pack of cigarettes that he apparently carried in his jacket. Then the turkey clicks his heels (or whatever passes for them on a turkey), and returns to the elevator for his descent from the skyscraper.

With Thanksgiving drawing nearer, I do hope that our turkey can steer clear of opportunistic hunters, although it probably wouldn’t be hard for him to outwit Elmer Fudd…