I really don't care about the first section because a. it's basically a popularity contest, what with the socially-retarded yet socially-driven furry fandom both nominating and voting, and b. not a big fan of gay porn. Honestly, I didn't really care about the second part either, because, seriously, like it has any real effect on anything. Most of the winners are probably still unaware of the existence of the award, much less that they won anything.
It's not an honor to be nominated.
I used to not care, until last year. Because last year the furry fandom managed to make me angry.
Avatar won the stupid thing. REALLY?
I don't know if the average furry fan realizes this, but, uh the usual definition of the furry fandom not presented by Internet trolls is "fan of anthropomorhpic animals." I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I like my "anthropomorphic animal" movies to have, oh, I guess, maybe, just maybe FRIGGIN' ANTHROPOMORPHIC ANIMALS.
I have no problem with Avatar being nominated; in fact, I really wouldn't have cared if it had won any other year. It had vaguely animalish humanoid aliens. See, the thing is, let's face it, during the average year, the number of truly furry movies that appear in theaters can be counted on no hands. So, honestly, vaguely animalish humanoid aliens is what we got.
The thing about last year, though, was it wasn't a normal year. Last year, we had a movie that featured animal characters with fully anthropomorphic design. Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Now, I have gone on at great lenghth on this lj with my personal definitions of furry, and honestly, Fantastic Mr. Fox was not quite furry; it was still a movie that could be described as a children's movie. It was a kid's movie, and furry, by my definition, is not for kids.
But, it was close.
I mean, Wes Anderson is a pretty good director. I liked his movies well before he decided to use talking foxes. And the movie was pretty close to a Pixar movie (more on Pixar later), in that it featured themes that were fairly adult. Not many kids movies prominently feature the line, "I'm pregnant." On the other hand, Ice Age 2 featured an extended Saving Private Ryan parody, so, yeah, what is acceptable in a kid's movie is getting a little weird. And, in the gripping hand, the year that Saving Private Ryan came out was the only year my dad watched the Academy Awards, and he was very upset it didn't win, which doesn't really have anything to do with anything, other than vaguely, but apparently in certain crowds, vague is enough, so whatever.
Anyway, my point is, though it didn't quite reach "furry," (and that is not a point against the movie's quality, as genre classification is only descriptive, not prescriptive), by my definition, it was still the closest movie to "furry" ever. And it was a good movie.
Okay, so it was very furry, and it was very good.
And it lost.
To a movie a lot less furry. Not even close to furry.
I think this says a lot about the furry fandom, and none of it is good. Avatar was a very, to me, "meh" movie. I found it very cynical, actually. The message was feelgood pap, the characters were either all good, or all evil, and the ending was an unearned fairytale happy ending (those last two complaints, by the way, cannot be said of Fantastic Mr. Fox, with its main conflict stemming from an unnecessary act of thievery by the title character, and final shot subtly implying not all is as happy as it seems. In other words, Avatar was less thematically complicated than a children's movie.), and the much ballyhooed special effects were, frankly, unimpressive. The alien character designs had two basic functions; to be as automatically appealing to an audience as possible, yet be just unreal enough that any scenes that registered as unreal could be chalked up to the design, and not the special effects. The characters in Fantastic Mr. Fox were just as believable, despite the director using a known-to-be flawed animation process on purpose for stylistic reason, reasons that had nothing to do with Cameron's characters.
Now, was Fantastic Mr. Fox a better movie than Avatar?
Now, the Ursa Major awards are voted on by, well, basically, in theory, you don't even have to be a furry. You just gotta vote. Now, laying aside arguments that it was less furry, it could be argued, well, I got outvoted, and it could be argued that my opinions are not as valid as the majority of furries out there.
Well, ladies and gentleman, guess what? I have been trained to review movies (and other media), I have been paid to review movies (and other media), and I have won awards for my reviews of movies (and other media). Oh, and by the way, those awards were not won by popular vote.
In short, my opinions are more valid than the majority of furries.
Fantastic Mr. Fox was a better movie than Avatar; furthermore, it was a furrier movie than Avatar.
Now, what does the "furry" award going to the inferior movie from another genre tell us about the "furry fandom?" Well, a couple things.
First, and foremost, and most obviously. The average furry is an idiot.
Okay, next, the average furry is more worried about the fandom's image than the genre's.
Where am I getting this? Well, a couple things. Avatar was a very popular movie. How popular? Uh, the most popular movie ever. I will give James Cameron this much; he is the best director of popular movies ever. There have only been five movies to make over a billion in theatres. James Cameron is the only director to direct two movies in that group; he was also the first (with Titanic, in case you're completely lost), and the only person to do it with a movie that was not a sequel (the others were the finales of the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean trilogies and The Dark Knight). For the record, I think both Cameron's movies, plus Jackson and Nolan's movies, all deserve their billions (Verbinski is a great popular director, and Curse of the Black Pearl would have deserved it, but not Dead Man's Chest). Avatar was technically sound, but really a paint-by-the-numbers success.
My point is, it was popular with furries because it was popular with everyone. I mean, PoE was calling it a "furry" movie. Apparently, the furry fandom, because they don't know what they are, agreed with them. (This is probably, admittedly, another reason why I'm angered. They proved PoE right furries. Again. Every time PoE is right about furries, Lion Cub Jesus cries.) But it wasn't a furry movie; it only looked like one. Furries should've been able to tell the difference between the real deal and a lookalike. But, I think, they were so blinded by the popular success of Avatar that they believed the hype, and adopted it as their own in some sort of desperate attempt to be "accepted."
As already pointed out, Fantastic Mr. Fox was the exact opposite. Cameron's movie was almost scientifically designed to appeal to everyone. Anderson's movie, on the other hand, was designed to appeal to Anderson. It was much a more idiosyncratic, personal movie. It, by its very nature, did not appeal to everyone. And it suffered in the box office as a consequence of this. It was actually a bomb, as far as box office is concerned.
And that's more like furry. It doesn't appeal to everyone. It is a failure. As already pointed out, there aren't any furry movies going big (or even going period). Now, normally, I'm the one arguing for furry mainstream success, but, honestly, most furries think that presenting a squeaky clean image to the world is the way to go. Why? I mean, yeah, 90% of FurAffinity is way too extreme for your average left-winger, but we can't lose our edge. I think a really good example is the TvTropes Furry Fandom article's top illustration. Google it. I'm not in the mood to link it for you. Three cute, happy, animal people. They're all friends. Nothing shocking or strange or anything.
What's the matter with this crossie?
The matter is that cute happy animal people has been done. I'd think you'd all be aware of this, but, honestly, after that vote, I have no idea what you people are aware of. It's boring! That isn't furry. The appeal comes from the rough edges; I've confessed a love of the artist tailsrulz' work before, and the reason for this love is not because his art is the same as everyone else's. I loved it because it made me go what is this? He has a very personal style. Its in-your-face erotic while still following a strict code of personal taste.
Seriously, I just looked at that stupid TvTropes page and I can't remember what the species are without thinking about it.
James Cameron is known for directing the most popular, wide appealing movies in the world. Wes Anderson is known for directing movies that are very personal.
From those descriptions alone, which one sounds like a furry? Hint: It ain't Cameron.
Third thing this tells about furries; furries are ashamed of being furries. For the wrong reasons.
I mean, you guys will defend cub porn until you're blue in the face, but I think Fantastic Mr. Fox actually turned off furries because it looked furry. I think maybe there was contingent who didn't vote (or even see) Fantastic Mr. Fox because they were trying to prove (probably not even completely conciously) that it would take more than talking foxes to get them to the movie theaters, I suppose. I mean, I'm a fan of furries, yes, but not so much that I have to go see everything with a fox.
Oh, blow me.
There was that weird little thing where the guy who created Ren and Stimpy posted on his blog about how Fantastic Mr. Fox looked furry, and even put badly drawn furry art next to screen shots (which, if I remember correctly, usually failed to actually look like the screen shots). "And also it's really ugly, like those dancing fat animals from Fantasia," he then posted hypocritically. And I saw that, and thought, God, that is stupid. What is he doing? And I still don't know what his point was, but I think a lot of furries took it very personally, and there was a backlash against Fantastic Mr. Fox. Its like we all set out to prove him wrong by rejecting the movie instead of the correct response, which was to tell him, "Shut up, dude, it looks better than your stuff, and besides you're just cranky you haven't gotten work in like, a bajillion years."
Lastly, and possibly even more obviously than the first thing; furries vote for what they jack off to.
I mean, I started off this entry with one of those jokes that is funny because its true (namely, the one about all the gay porn); Avatar is pretty much scientifically proven, at this point, to be fappable.
Fantastic Mr. Fox should have won the Ursa Major awards. Heck, it should have won the Academy Award for best Animated Feature. The only reason Up won is because it was nominated for Best Picture. The only reason Up was nominated for Best Picture is because they had just extended the number of nominees for Best Picture from 5 to 10, and they had to nominate something. So they nominated the most recent Pixar movie for much the same reason they gave John Wayne the Best Actor award for the original True Grit; he was okay in it, but it was really for his career. Up was okay, but it was really just a nomination for all the other Pixar movies.
And, really, honestly, Pixar is overrated. I mean, look at its history. They've had critical darlings year after year, sure, but that started with Ratatouille, a delightful little movie about a rat who gives a professional critic a handjob in exchange for never, ever getting a bad review for his studio again. It was pretty good. You should watch it.
Okay, after that, I'm kinda struggling for an ending.
Okay, um, I guess I'm actually going to be voting for How To Train Your Dragon because a. it was really good despite being less furry than Avatar, b. maybe not as good as Toy Story 3 which is about as furry as Avatar, but I obviously have a hate on for Pixar and c. the "furriest" movie of the year would go to Alpha and Omega, but that sucked balls, so, no thank you.