January 26, 2014 posted by

Recommended Anthropomorphics (2013)


Back on July 21 last year, I described here the Ursa Major Awards for the best in anthropomorphic literature and art of the year, in eleven categories. The two categories that are pertinent to this site are those for anthropomorphization in motion pictures, and in “dramatic short work or series”. Theoretically these could include non-animated works, but there are few motion pictures with anthropomorphic characters – animals or objects such as vehicles or toys – that do not involve animation. There are more dramatic short works or series that do not involve animation – puppet films or stage plays, Fursuit films, and radio dramas – but the chances of them receiving enough nominations or votes for the award are extremely slim. Unlike the other categories such as novel or comic strip, the best anthropomorphic motion pictures and dramatic short works (short films) or series (TV programs) are pretty well guaranteed to be animated.

The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), of which I am the Secretary, also administers the “Recommended Anthropomorphics List” every year. Anyone can recommend a work for the Recommended List, and people often refer to the Recommended List when nominating for the Ursa Major Award, which is voted upon among the five works receiving the most nominations each year. 2013 has just rolled over to 2014, and here are the works receiving recommendations that were released during the 2013 calendar year.

Best Motion Picture

1. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Directed by Cody Cameron & Kris Pearn, September 27)
2. The Croods (Directed by Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco, February 15)
3. Dear Mr. Watterson (Directed by Joel Allen Schroeder, April 9) [not animated]
4. Despicable Me 2 (Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, July 3)
5. Epic (Directed by Chris Wedge, May 24)
6. Equestria Girls (Directed by Jayson Thiessen, June 16)
7. Free Birds (Directed by Jimmy Hayward, November 1)
8. Frozen (Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, November 27)
9. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Directed by Peter Jackson, December 13)
10. Khumba (Directed by Anthony Silverston, July 4)
11. Monsters University (Directed by Dan Scanlon, June 21)
12. Oz: The Great and Powerful (Directed by Sam Raimi, March 8)
13. Turbo (Directed by David Soren, July 17)

Editor’s Note: When Fred first provided me with the following list of links to all the recommended nominations of his Anthropomorphic Association, I admit I became skeptical about this post. I’m no “furry”, but I do appreciate superior animated films – and to my delight and surprise, much of the material linked below is wonderful. I’ve embed just a small sample of these works – and I highly recommend you give some (or all) of the links a try. Don’t worry, you won’t suddenly “go furry”… but you just might just discover a new film, a new filmmaker or a new character much to your liking. – Jerry Beck

Best Dramatic Short Work or Series

These include TV series and short films or videos, and TV commercials featuring anthropomorphic characters.

1. Adventure Time (Created by Pendleton Ward and Produced by Larry Lechliter, Adam Muto, Nate Cash, David O’Reilly, and Elizabeth Ito, for Cartoon Network; Season 5, episode 6 [#110] (January 7) to Season 5, episode 43 [#147] (December 2))
2. The Amazing World of Gumball (Created by Ben Bocquelet for Cartoon Network; Season 2, episode 16 (January 22) to episode 40 (December 3) [#52 to #76])
3. Baobab (Directed by Nicolas Loesner, Anaëlle Moreau, Marina Steck, Simon Taroni, Benjamon Tron, and Pierre Manchot; July 2)
4. The Bear Who Hadn’t Seen Christmas (The Bear and the Hare series) (Directed by Yves Geleyn and Elliot Dear; November 8)
5. Bee and PuppyCat (Created & co-produced by Natasha Allegri for Cartoon Hangover; directed by Larry Leichliter; Episode 1, Part 1 (July 11) to Episode 1, Part 2 (August 6))

6. Behind the Mask (Directed by Josh Greenbaum; Season 1, episode 1 to 10)
7. The Boy and the Monster (Directed by Eleth; June 30)
8. Bravest Warriors (Directed by Breehan Burns for Cartoon Hangover; Episode 7 (January 10) to Episode 17 (December 19), plus Minisodes #1 (August 1) to #5 (September 19))
9. Bye Bye Bunny (Directed by Julia Bueno, Cheng Li, Catherine Lepicard, Inès Pagniez, Julien Roguet, and Paul Torris; June 27)
10. Chicago’s Magical Piano (Directed and Produced by Rob Bliss Creative, December 11) [not animated]
11. Chicken or the Egg (Directed by Christine Kim & Elaine Wu at Ringling College of Art and Design; May 1)
12. Children of the Night (Directed by Kate Covington; July 24)
13. Control Bear (Directed by Yojiro Arai; September 9)
14. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (Produced by 9 Story Entertainment, Fred Rogers Company and Out of the Blue Enterprises for the Canadian Broadcast System and PBS Kids; Season 1, episode 35 (February 1) to episode 68 (December 2))
15. Doctor Lollipop (Directed by Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft at Frederator Studios, for Cartoon Hangover; September 12)
16. A Dragon is Coming (Produced by Ogilvy and Framestore for Qualcomm, January 5)
17. Dragons: Riders of Berk (Directed by Louie del Carmen, John Eng, Elaine Bogan & John Sanford; Season 1, episode 14 (February 6) to 20 (March 20) [#14-20] and Season 2, episode 1 (September 19) to 11 (December 5) [#21-31])
18. Earl Scouts (Directed by Dave Feiss; October 9)

19. FOXIE: Don’t Get Left in the Dark (Directed by Cameron Gough for Dirty Puppet; September 13)
20. FursuitTV (Timduru, monthly episodes #83 (January 5) to #92 (December 7) [not animated]
21. Get A Horse! (Directed by Lauren MacMullan; November 27)
22. Gingitsune (Director, Shin Misawa; Episode 1 (October 6) to 12 (December 22))
23. Glove and Boots (videos from “Buy Amazing Product” to ?) [not animated]
24. Kairos Trailer (Produced by Studio La Cachette, directed by Ulysse Malassagne, April 19)
25. Legends of Chima (Directed by Peder Pedersen, Lee Stringer, Phillip Berg, and André Bergs; Season 1 episode 1 to 20)
26. A Lifestory (Directed by Nacho Rodriguez; August 1)
27. Littlest Pet Shop (Directed by Joel Dickle and Dallas Parker; Season 1, episode 10 (January 5) to Season 2, episode 10 (December 28) [#10 to #36])
28. Making of Snapdragon Coming Soon (Produced by Ogilvy and Framestore for Qualcomm; May 1)
29. Meet Thomas: Creator of an Alternate Universe (Young & Rubicam agency; February 1)
30. Mickey Mouse (Directed by Paul Ruddish, Aaron Springer, Dave Wasson, and Clay Morrow; Episode 1 (June 28) to Episode 14 (November 28))

31. Mr. Peabody & Sherman Official Trailer #3 (Director Rob Minkoff, October 30)
32. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Directed by James Thiessen and James Wooton; Season 3, episode 11 (January 19) to Season 4, episode 7 (December 28) [#63 to #72])
33. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Pinkie Pie Party” DVD [episodes are all old, other stuff is new] (Shout! Factory, January 29)
34. My Little Pony: Tron (Cheer up, Fluttershy!) (Directed by Al Stiff, May 6)
35. The Nut Job Official Trailer #1 (Director Peter Lepeniotis; September 27)
36. The Nut Job Official Trailer #2 (Director Peter Lepeniotis; November 19)
37. Omelette (Directed by Madeline Sharafian, May 1)

38. Peter Rabbit (Directed by David McCamley for Brown Bag Films; episode 2 (February 20) to episode 18 (October 25))
39. Pocket Monsters: The Origin (Created by OLM, XEBEC and Production I.G. for Nintendo; October 2)
[40. Polar Bear’s Café. See Shirokuma Café]
41. Regular Show (Created by J. G. Quintel for Cartoon Network; Season 4, episode 10 (January 7) to Season 5, episode 14 (December 31) [#89 to #130])
42. Rio 2 Official Trailer #3 (Directed by Carlos Saldanha, December 12)
43. Rocket Dog (Directed by Mel Roach for Cartoon Hangover; May 2)
44. Rollin’ Wild (Directors Kyra Buschor, Anna Habermehl, Constantin Paeplow at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Clips 1-7)
45. Runaway (Directed by Emily Buchanan, Esther Parobeck and Susan Yung for Ringling Computer Animation; October 6)
46. The Safety Prance (Furs Without Suits; May 10) [not animated]
47. The Saga of Rex: The Animated Film Project Pt. 1 (Michel Gagné, July 15)
48. Samurai Pizza Cats: The Complete Series, DVDs (Discotek, July 30)
49. Sapling (Directed by Kat Seale, Catherine Epps, Gareth Ermisz, Noel Wong, Narissa Schander, Denny Schneidemesser; July 12)
50. The Scarecrow review (Directed by Brandon Oldenberg and Limbert Fabian; September 11)
51. Scaredy Squirrel (Produced by Nelvana; Season 2, episode 5 (January 12) to episode 27 (August 13) [#31 to #53])
52. Shave It (Directed by Fernando Maldonado and Jorge Tereso; April 9)
40. Shirokuma Café (Polar Bear’s Café) (Produced by Studio Pierrot for TV Tokyo, directed by Mitsuyuki Masuhara; Season 1 episode 39 (January 10) to episode 50 (March 28).
53. Solstice (Directed by Lynn Wang and Ed Skudder; November 19)

54. Spyfox (Directed by Taylor Clutter, Kendra Philips, and Yoav Shtibelman for Ringling Computer Animation; October 16)
55. The Starling God trailer (Directed and produced by Tanya Sousa, December 8) [not animated]
56. SWAG.MOV (Directed by Max Gilardi; February 20)
57. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Directed by Michael Chang, Alan Wan, Juan Jose Meza-Leon, and Sebastian Montes; Season 1 episode 13 (January 25) to Season 2, episode 7 (November 30) [#13 to #33])
58. Time to Wander (Produced by Willon, October 17) [not animated]
59. Totally Transformed (Created by the David&Goliath Agency for Kia; August 22)
60. Wander Over Yonder (Directed by Dave Thomas, Eddie Trigueros, Lauren Faust and Craig McCracken, Season 1 Episode 1 to Episode 12)
61. Wastelander Panda (Epic Films, three videos released March 11 to May 27)
62. What Does the Fox Say? (original) (By Ylvis, September 3) [not animated]
63. What Does the Fox Say? (animated remix) (Animation, music and vocals by Tommy & Markus Vad Flaaten; narration by Aras Afsaji; September 19)

If you want to nominate in these categories, or in the other Ursa Major Awards categories (Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Other Literary Work (anthology or collection, non-fiction, etc.), Best Graphic Novel, Best Comic Strip, Best Magazine, Best Published Illustration, Best Website, and Best Game), go to for instructions. Nominations are open from January 16, 2014 to February 28. Nominees do not have to be on the Recommended List if they are otherwise eligible. Voting is from March 15, 2014 to April 30 on the website above. The 2014 Ursa Major Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the CaliFur X convention, on May 30 to June 1, 2014 at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, 18000 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, California 92612.


  • there’s nothing on this list that I feel I can really get behind and support.

    I spend a large percentage of the disposable part of my income on cartoons and animation, but well over 90% of it is spent on collections of classic works. i’d be more than happy to spend that money supporting new works, but the companies that produce new works refuse to produce quality product.

  • Fred,

    since there’s a lull in here at the moment, would you please answer a question about an earlier post that you made?

    in your post titled “cat girls” you mentioned a film titled “Osama no Shippo” (the king’s tail). I would very much like to find a copy of this film on dvd, but am having no luck finding one. could you please point me in the right direction?

    • Sorry, but I have never been able to find one myself. Admittedly, I have not looked in about ten years, but when I was helping to produce “Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel” for Jerry a decade ago, I spent a lot of time looking for a video copy of “The King’s Tail” for an illustration (also, I wanted to see it myself). I never found one. I finally had to settle for reprinting that one poor photograph from a 1970s Japanese magazine’s special issue about the history of Japanese animation. Considering how Toho refused to distribute it, and Seo never did any more animation, I wonder if Seo himself censored it out of existence long before the home video era?

    • It is a shame when these things happen Fred. I suppose I do sorta wonder that as well whether it was censored or simply lost in the shuffle.

  • while we’re on the subject, here’s a few other things …

    I found mitsuyo seo’s “momtaro’s sea eagle” on dvd, but am having no luck finding “momtaro’s divine sea warriors” on dvd. does anybody know where you can buy it?

    and while we’re on the subject of mitsuyo seo … according to Wikipedia:

    “…After the war, Seo joined Nihon Manga Eigasha and made the film Ōsama no Shippo as a pro-democracy anime in 1949, but when Tōhō, which was supposed to distribute it, found it politically too leftist, the film was left without a distributor. Nihon Manga Eigasha went bankrupt and Seo, finding the conditions for animation in the immediate postwar too difficult, left the industry and became an illustrator for children’s books …”

    does anyone know if this is the true reason that seo left the field of animation? I can’t help but wonder if he was perhaps blacklisted after the film lost distribution and the company he worked for went bankrupt. or perhaps he felt he had “lost face”, and could not bear to continue working in that profession?
    it seems odd to me that a person as talented as he could/would leave the field entirely.

    also, has anyone bought anything from anido web shop recently?

    • Not offhand. I remember that when I got the first issue of “Anime V” (for Video) back in 1985(?), “Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors” was one of the first Japanese VHS tapes listed in it; a couple of years old by that time. It cost the ¥ equivalent of $75.00 or $100.00, which was VERY expensive although all Japanese videos were priced for purchase by rental stores at the time, not for home purchase. “Momotaro” faded away; other anime was rereleased and rereleased over the years but not “Momotaro”. I saw it a couple years later (1986 or ’87) when Kent Butterworth, who had been in Tokyo supervising the animation of some American TV cartoon, came home with a video copy of it. He loaned it to several American animators until someone stole it, but I had borrowed it and made a copy of it by then. Fortunately, it is easily accessible on YouTube today (in 9 parts).

      I do not know if Seo was specifically blacklisted, but I imagine that having directed the two major wartime propaganda cartoons for the Imperial Navy did not help his reputation. He was also a Communist, or had the reputation of being one; and his animation studio went bankrupt. That must have been enough to discourage anyone from continuing in the animation industry. I have not seen anything saying whether he was a successful childrens’ book illustrator or not.

    • My column for the next month or so will be about the early Japanese animated theatrical features, with weblinks to Seo’s “Momotaro’s Sea Eagles” and “Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors” on YouTube. Incidentally, the YouTube print of “Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors” is much better than the 1980s video copy. Either somebody found a better-condition print of it by the time it was put up on YouTube, or Shokichu was persuaded to restore the negative. The 1980s video looked like someone had found the only remaining, very decayed film print of it.

  • Fred,

    much thanks for all this info! if you ever find dvd releases of a foxes tail and momtaro’s divine sea warriors, please let us know.

    i’ll be looking forward to your early anime column.

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