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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:15 am 
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Jadúgara wrote:
... So is your definition of "furry" as an empathy-driven device of characterization (as opposed to a genre) something that you have personally concluded and are attempting to shepherd,…or have you seen this as an accepted definition elsewhere that has just begun to catch on?..

The definition occurred to me independent of anybody else expressing it to me but I doubt I am the only person to have this flash of insight when pondering the subject. I've never really seen anywhere a movement or group consensus that has fixated upon this definition. However, the usage of the word had defied the older, and often apocryphal, meanings so much that I looked at what many people had used that word for and tried to come up with a better description. What you wrote in green is that definition in a nutshell.

Unfortunately, the definition still has flaws. An example of that flaw is represented by Shistavanen, Caitians, Gorn, and Dracs - fictional aliens. Despite very animal-like appearances, I don't think these things would be considered to be furry characters; it was the expression of the authors/creators to make these characters unlike humans, to alienate the character(s) from the audience. Aliens are not anthropomorphs though they may have anthropomorphic overtones. It is thus we have stone men like the first mate in "Treasure Planet," energy creatures like the Drej in "Titan A.E.," and biomechanoids like Leviathans from "Farscape." The issue of alien creatures in media, much like that of deific beings, requires a narrowing of the base definition.

Jadúgara, you do assume correctly that I consider "Plague Dogs" a furry media. I only recall the plots and a few scenes from "King Kong" (1933), "King Kong vs. Godzilla" (1962), and "King Kong" (1976); I have not seen the recent remake. I passed on seeing "Mighty Joe Young" because I refuse to see any production on which I worked. Therefore, I cannot argue for or against the merits of the films you have seen in this regard. However, dolphins, killer whales, apes, and other very intelligent animals have a great range of emotions and expressiveness and there would have to be a marked difference in these animals' characteristics for there to be a clear assignment of human intelligence and emotions to qualify the animal characters as furry.

Much like the assignment of genres. the assignment of devices may be unintentional or unconcious by the creator. "Yojimbo," "Way of the Gun," "Firefly," and "13th Warrior" are all Westerns (look for the inclusion of "Seven Samurai" and "Die Hard" under the genre studies section) because of the essential points of the plot and characters that converge to make these films' stories. I guess I'm saying that the elements of a thing make it what it is.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:12 am
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Location: Austin
Andrick wrote:
I guess I'm saying that the elements of a thing make it what it is.


I would certainly have to agree with that,..though I would add that it's generally the opinions of the consumers, however, that tend to define how it gets labeled.

I tend to mirror Mulefoot's thoughts on this, in that "it is what it is",..which I take to mean "regardless how some may label it (and love it,..or hate it, etc...), that doesn't change its actual qualities. I tend to disdain labels, in general, simply because they're only fully valid (and serve a useful purpose) for each person that is willing to agree with that opinion. Sometimes labels can do more harm than good, which is why, despite our enjoyable discussion, I generally tend not to employ them. I often find that, the moment one does choose to force something into such a category,..one spends more time debating it with others than appreciating the qualities of the work itself,...appreciating, as you said above, the "elements of a thing (that) make it what it is..".... (That's also why I applaud the way Mulefoot chose to respond to my somewhat evil question. Is SLOP furry? The truth is,..it doesn't matter...)

As an aside,..my only claim to cinema fame was when I assisted my friend J.M. Logan with the special make-up effects for The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the oddball one with Matthew McConaughey) filmed here near Austin in '94. Since then J.M. has gone on to work on such projects as the Passion of the Christ and the Exorcism of Emily Rose. He once had the same tenet as you concerning not going to see the films he had worked on,..but he said that he eventually realized that he was unable to judge the merits of his works properly unless he could view it in the manner (and visual standard) it was meant to be seen by the general public. You should check out Mighty Joe Young if you worked on it... This recent one,..and the one that came out during the black and white era of films, have many excellent qualities. Whatever you may have done to help it achieve the silver screen,..I thank you. It was worth the effort...

Jadúgara ^_^

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