Archive for the ‘furry heroes’ category

Original “Godzilla” Actor Dies…

August 8, 2017


He waded out of the Pacific Ocean in 1954, and into cinematic history.  He was one of the great ones, in every sense of the word.  And now it is with regret that I report that the original actor to play Godzilla has died of pneumonia at the age of 88…

Haruo Nakajima played Godzilla in twelve films, his last outing in 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan.  To prepare for the original role, Nakajima went to the Tokyo zoo to study the movements of elephants and bears, believing that Godzilla had to move convincingly to avoid being a farce.  The suit that he wore weighed up to 220 lbs. as it was crafted in part of ready-mixed concrete.  Stomping among miniaturized sets, Nakajima suffered for his art as wearing the suit caused him to sweat terribly.

Nakajima began his movie career in samurai and war movies before becoming a monster movie icon.  Not limited to one role, Nakajima also played Rodan, Mothra (my personal favorite), and King Kong! – – Thank you, Haruo, for bringing the King of the Monsters to life!  

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Godzilla Resurrection!

April 28, 2014

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I have a confession to make; I’ve always loved Godzilla, ever since the days that he appeared in badly-dubbed Japanese movies and was obviously played by someone in a rubber suit!  Godzilla fans have endured a variety of outrages over the years, including a series of increasingly lame and outrageous adversaries (e.g., the “Smog Monster”), bad storylines, and even alteration of the character’s gender. The last major studio film treatment in 1998 portrayed Godzilla as an iguana-like creature, focused on a human love story, and was almost universally hated by fans.  It appeared that Godzilla might have fallen to bad treatment rather than an oxygen destroyer, but we who believe have maintained our faith.

The upcoming reboot of the Godzilla franchise by Gareth Edwards promises to take Godzilla back to his 1954 roots.  Co-produced by Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. under license from Toho, the new movie will be live action while Godzilla will be computer-generated.  Unlike the 1998 film, Godzilla will again fight several monsters rather than just the military.  The opponent monsters, referred to as “mutos,” will fly and be multi-limbed.  Godzilla himself will stand 350′ tall, the biggest incarnation ever.

The plot should delight conspiracy theorists.  It seems that Godzilla’s existence has been covered up by the U.S. government (like aliens, ‘ya know), and nuclear tests of the 1950’s were actually attempts to kill the creature.  Godzilla’s face is supposedly modeled on elements of features of bears, dogs, and eagles.  The big guy’s fighting style is based on that of bears and komodo dragons.  His roar is the original one pioneered by Toho, with improvements and enhancements.

Godzilla is conceived as “a terrifying force of nature,” and his kung fu should be the best.  He’ll be stomping his way into theaters this May, hopefully a monster for our times…

 

 

Rocket Raccoon Explodes Onto The Big Screen!

April 22, 2014

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Raccoons are kind of bad boys in the furry community; you might want to watch your wallet and your sister around one. While they are rascals, raccoons do seem to get the job done, and they’re good to have on your side, even if they don’t always take the high road.  For this reason, it’s only a slight stretch to see a raccoon as a kind of deviant action hero, and Rocket Raccoon fits that bill perfectly.

With his name supposedly inspired by the Beatles song Rocky Raccoon, Rocket Raccoon is for my money the most captivating character in the Guardians of the Galaxy team, a more obscure Marvel property certain to gain fans following release this August of the movie by the same name.

The Rocket Raccoon character debuted in 1976; his backstory is too complex and lengthy to go into here, but suffice it to say that he is an anthropomorphic bipedal raccoon who is an accomplished starship pilot, a master tactician, and an expert marksman who prefers really large guns!  He has anger management issues, and a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorder…but what raccoon doesn’t wash their paws often? Voiced in the movie by actor Bradley Cooper, the CGI Rocket is in part modeled after movements of a real-life raccoon called Oreo. Muscle for Rocket is provided by a tree-creature named Groot, voiced by none other than Vin Diesel.

One of a ragtag team of intergalactic aliens, Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy promises to be a breakout furry character…

 

 

The “Furry Foes of Felony!”

March 12, 2012

– – It’s not well known that Batman creator Bob Kane also created a comic parody called Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse.  Originally run from 1960 to 1962, the series almost anticipated the campy extremes of the later-appearing live action Batman TV series.  The ‘toons averaged five minutes in length, and 130 were produced, intended for use as airtime filler to accommodate a movie or another feature which didn’t quite fill a time slot. 

Parallels to the Batman series were numerous, with “Courageous Cat” and “Minute Mouse” anthropomorphic animal superheroes who lived in the “Cat Cave,” were summoned by a “Cat Signal,” and drove a sleekly-feline “Cat Mobile” which could convert to a plane or boat.  The villains were likewise furry, with a frog a recurring archenemy.

The theme music for the show was fashioned after the memorable theme for Peter Gunn!  All in all, Courageous Cat was campy fun decently done…

Puss in Boots: The Movie

October 3, 2011

 – – Played by Latin hunk Antonio Banderas and likely to buckle every swash in sight, Puss in Boots:  The Movie is coming from DreamWorks Animation on November 4th.

A spin-off movie for the CGI character from the Shrek movies,  Puss is a prequel which will follow the exploits of the courageous cat before he even met Shrek, and detail the roots and evolution of the character into a Zorro-like figure.  And yes, Puss in Boots will have have a love interest, called (what else?)…Kitty Softpaws! 

As the character with cat-itude most memorably says in one scene, “Stay furry, my friends!

Franklin, the Fair-Housing Fox…

September 25, 2011

 – – I, for one, can sleep better at night knowing that Franklin, the Fair-Housing Fox is on the job!  Just as McGruff the Crime Dog represents the fight against crime and Homeland Security has Rex, the Ready Kids Mountain Lion, Franklin is meant to help make fair housing everyone’s responsibility, and he looks great while doing it!  It’s good to know that we vulpines haven’t been excluded from the guild of anthropomorphic animal awareness cartoons representing federal agenciesCreated in 2007 to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, Franklin even has an e-mail address and of course, a Facebook page!

Your tax dollars are never harder at work than when they’re funding the creation of an animal mascot, and Franklin Fox has got to be far ahead of some other actual creations such as Energy Ant or Thermy the Thermometer…other creations might include Edward, the Illegal Immigration Eagle, and Arnold, the Anti-Terrorist Armadillo!       

Fugitive Cow…

August 17, 2011

 – – I’ve always felt empathy for fugitive cows, those bovines that feel the bloodline of the aurochs stir in them, and so do not go quietly to the slaughter… 

…and so to Yvonne, the six-year-old German cow, I say, You go, girl!  No milk dud, Yvonne escaped in May from a farm in Muehldorf, Germany where she was being prepared for the slaughter.  She made a new home for herself in the Bavarian woods, gaining the notice of authorities when Yvonne jumped in front of German police cars.  Deemed a traffic threat, hunters were then authorized to shoot the cow, which outraged animal rights activists.  An Austrian animal protection group then either offered or has already bought Yvonne from her original farm for 700 euros. 

While receiving much attention, Yvonne remained on the lam, prompting efforts to lure her in by sending bovine family members and friends into the wild.  A bull was even brought in by animal rights activists in an effort to romance the cow, but the bull turned out to be castrated, and Yvonne wasn’t fooled by this flimsy deception.  Things got weirder still when an animal psychic was consulted by the animal rights activists.  The psychic reported having contacted the cow by telepathy, saying that Yvonne was fine but didn’t feel ready to come out of hiding, fearing that the humans would lock her up and that she’d lose her freedom!

Meanwhile, the Hindu community recently issued a statement calling for German authorities to withdraw permission for hunters to shoot Yvonne, saying that the decision was ill-advised.  A German newspaper has also created a Facebook page, and offered a reward of over $14,000 to anyone who can capture Yvonne…

…my sympathies are on the side of the cow on the run, who has probably connected with the underground and awaits the furry revolution…long life and good fortune to you, counter-culture bovine!- -Fight the power, Yvonne!