Archive for the ‘anthropomorphic’ category

“Cheetah” in “Wonder Woman 1984”

February 14, 2020



I’m really not a big Wonder Woman fan, but have been known to dip into it for the occasional but thrilling glimpses of Cheetah, who together with Catwoman can really pique my interest.  This is not to deny or dismiss the many dazzling vixens that are out there, although cat-women are far more common in film.

It would appear that Cheetah is going to be done right in the Wonder Woman 1984 film, unlike the much-touted felines of Cats, which disappointed and creeped-out many briefly before disappearing into commercial oblivion.  Cheetah (Barbara Ann Minerva) will be played by Kristen Wiig, and the image of her above to the left is fan art rather than an actual image of the CGI creation in the upcoming film.  It’s unclear at this point as to how fully transformed we’ll get to see the formidable Wonder Woman villainess, but hopes are high that the rather sedate, plain-dressing Barbara Minerva will during the course of the film become a were-cheetah, complete with fur and predatory skills.  I’ll certainly be pulling for her in what could be legendary battles with the Amazon…

Wonder Woman 1984 reportedly has an ’80’s vibe, and also pays tribute to the comic book traditions of the series.  While the exact physical depiction and portrayal of the character is being kept under wraps, the film won’t hit theaters until June, at which point the cat will be out of the bag…

 

 

“The Masked Singer,” Season 3 Premier

February 5, 2020



Without a lot of advance advertising, The Masked Singer returned for a third season on the Fox network…and get this, a fourth season is coming this summer!  The series continues to be outrageous and very furry friendly, with a majority of the contestants on the first episode identifiable species.  There was also a Miss Monster and a Robot performing.

Series host Nick Cannon entered wearing a mirrored rabbit mask that he had worn before on a previous season, and guest celebrity contestant Jamie Foxx  joined the usual panel of judges, wearing initially a mirrored fox mask.  He had in season two been suspected of being the performer named Fox, who was actually Wayne Brady, the winner of last season’s competition.

The show got off to a roaring start with contestant White Tiger (pictured above, center) who was a large, physically impressive presence that performed Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”   Following was Turtle (far right), who looked like a punk reptile the Ninja Turtles might fight and performed “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal.  Next was Llama (second in from right), looking like a tourist on recreational drugs who performed Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.”  Remarkably, this costume had hind legs on wheels.  I thought that Llama’s back-up female llama dancers were also effective, and they played bongo drums strung around themselves occasionally. You just don’t see hot female bongo-playing llama-headed female dancers everyday..

Then there came Miss Monster (far left), a tribute to T-Pains character in the first season.   She performed “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt, and was joined on stage by the T-Pain character, who did not sing along.  The back-up dancers for Miss Monster mirrored her cyclops look by having heads that were nothing but enormous eyes, a nice surreal touch.  Following was Robot, a clunky retro-looking model complete with a large winding key on their back who performed a Lenny Kravitz number in the company of two lab-coated mad scientist types with white hair and guitars who reminded me of Thing One and Thing Two of Dr. Sseus fame.  Last to perform was Kangaroo, attired in boxing togs like cartoon ‘roos in days of yore, who performed Dancing On My Own.

When the elimination vote was performed, Robot was eliminated, although I thought he didn’t give the weakest performance of the night, and should have abided far longer.  When unmasked, Robot turned out to be Lil Wayne, a very commercially successful performer.  The Masked Singer airs on Fox Wednesday night in my area…

 

 

“Mr. Peanut” Dies…Or Did He?!

January 27, 2020


Many of us know geriatric nuts, but Mr. Peanut was one of a kind…I mean, how many anthropomorphic peanuts do you know?!  The brand icon, whose full name was Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe, is a strange candidate for a staged death, being more recognizable than his host brand Planters.  He’s anchored the brand for over a century, and is instantly recognizable by his top hat, cane, monocle, and spats.– How many people do you know who wear spats?

In a recent commercial, Mr. Peanut is riding in the Nutmobile (what else?) with Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes when they swerve to avoid hitting an armadillo, and their distinctive ride careens over a cliff, leaving the trio hanging in a comic book situation from a branch that is slowly cracking, too weak to support their combined weight.  Mr. Peanut, perceiving their dire predicament, sacrifices himself for his friends, voluntarily loosening his hold to drop from the great height onto the Nutmobile, which explodes.  It appears to be a tragic but noble death…or have we jumped (or dropped) to conclusions?

The “funeral” of Mr. Peanut is to be aired as a Super Bowl commercial spot, at which time many questions will be answered about the fate of the “ruthless capitalist” who sold his own people!  Will he germinate when placed into the ground, to come back in some new incarnation…or perhaps be replaced by his daughter, Ms. Peanut?  Inquiring minds want to know…

(Tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

 

 

Chantix Commercial, “It’s Time to Quit Slow Turkey”

January 13, 2020


Well, the holly-daze are over, and the winter doldrums are upon us…and just like many of us, the Chantix turkey in a recent commercial fights boredom by finding ways to fill his time.

And fill his time at home he does!  He gets his mail, watches fish in an aquarium, and even works on a jigsaw puzzle…I could never get into that.  The turkey even takes to his kitchen, and makes some kind of concoction in his blender that includes (what else) a generous infusion of bird seed.  The Chantix Turkey can take his time, ‘ya see, to quit smoking slow turkey…

 

Since the Chantix turkey lives in a nicer home than I do, I wonder how he earns his living…and disturbingly, I have something in common with him.  No, I don’t smoke, but I also need to get a life…and wouldn’t the Chantix Turkey at Home be a better reality series than most that are now on?  I’ve watched far worse bird brains…

 

 

Of Octopus Farms and Anthropomorphic Octopi…

January 2, 2020


Scientists warn that octopus farms may not be a great idea despite the fondness of some people for eating them.  This is to say nothing of the fact that an octopus farm sounds like a recurrent theme in a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon.  For one thing, octopuses are carnivorous, eat a lot, and are intelligent. They can figure out how to open jars, recognize individual humans, and identify puzzles that they’ve seen before.  They also can become bored, and toys are sometimes put into aquariums for them to provide cognitive stimulation.  They can even learn how to escape their containment facilities, possibly in search of video gaming systems.  

As fishing for octopuses yields a variable and unreliable supply, efforts to farm them have been made that include dabbling in genetic modifications of the creatures.  Now I, for one, don’t want to have to deal with roving mobs of bored, carnivorous, genetically-modified octopi that have escaped their farm aquariums, although this appears to be a promising premise for a Syfy Channel movie.

One might even become concerned about the plight of Hanna-Barbera’s 1960’s character Squiddly Diddly becoming frustrated in his musical aspirations, and escaping the confines of his aquatic park to take the musical and entertainment worlds by storm. Despite his name, the character was essentially an octopus, and might indulge his carnivorous nature on us if we failed to give him a listen…

 

“The Masked Singer” S2 Finale…

December 22, 2019


The Masked Singer came to its Season 2 conclusion with The Flamingo, The Fox, and The Rottweiler competing in the finals; this show has been very good to us furries. The wrap episode was expanded to a bloated two hours, with the first hour detailing previous appearances of the finalists.- – How many times have we known series to pad their special episodes?!

First to be eliminated was Flamingo (Adrienne Bailon)and then it was down to a nail-biting Fox vs. Rottweiler extravaganza; either deserved to win.  The runner-up turned out to be Rottweiler, unmasked to be Chris Daughtry.  And who was the marvelous steampunk-styled fox with the flashy dance moves?  Why, just as I had suspected it was Wayne Brady, the multi-talented host of Let’s Make A Deal!  He made me proud to be vulpine…

The Masked Singer has been renewed for a third season, with a preview showing costumed characters that included a mouse and a robot…truly about the craziest show on television, or at least a refreshing departure from reality!

 

Chantix “Ice Skating Turkey”

December 19, 2019


In his latest commercial, the Chantix Turkey, who dresses as if equipped from the Eddie Bauer catalogue, heads downtown and enjoys a variety of colder-weather activities.  He ice skates but isn’t overly good at it, falling onto his feathered behind.  Who can then blame him for warming his tail feathers by a convenient fire?  In the city, the turkey also is seen emerging from a store, buying a soft pretzel to which he liberally applies mustard, and going to a newsstand.  After such a full day, the turkey rides a bus home, clicking his heels upon entering it in jubilation that he has finally kicked his smoking habit “slow turkey.”

This commercial is notable in that we are shown other living creatures in the world which the turkey inhabits, and they  both at the pretzel vendor and newsstand also appear to be turkeys!  This doesn’t appear to be a Zootopia type scenario with a variety of different animal species, but rather just other anthropomorphic turkeys.  Evolution has then followed a strange path here, although human vices like smoking still exist.  There’s gotta be a comic Twilight Zone episode here…

That’s right…it’s a fowl world!  But then again, you already knew that.  Just someone tell me how the turkey’s feet fit in those clunky hiking boots he seems to favor wearing.  And I think that I could kill for a good hot soft pretzel right about now, wouldn’t you?  Soft pretzels…Mmmm!

 

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…