'Fursonas': Slamdance Review

Fursonas still 1 - H 2016
Courtesy of Slamdance Film Festival
Perversely entertaining.

A colorful documentary portrait of the decidedly plushy anthropomorphic community.

Portraying the devoted individuals residing beneath the plush anthropomorphics, Dominic Rodriguez’s Fursonas is an engaging documentary that aims to clear up certain misconceptions regarding the furry fandom.

For the uninitiated, the closely-knit subculture in question is known to attend social gatherings and conventions, disguised in life-sized cartoony animal costumes representing their “fursonas.”

Although the meddling media and various detractors tend to assert a fetishistic raison d’etre, it turns out the majority of furries actually don’t care for getting busy in their get-ups.

In his first feature, which was acquired at Slamdance by Gravitas Ventures with plans for an On Demand summer release, Rodriguez, himself a member of the fandom, gets up-close-and-personal with those in the community better known as Boomer the Dog, Diezel Raccoon and Chew Fox, to name just a few of his warm and fuzzy subjects.

While a couple of women are also featured, the world of furries overwhelmingly tends to be the domain of white guys, and a considerable percentage are gay or sexually ambiguous.

Time is also spent with a Varka, a self-described “cocksmith” who crafts scary-looking fantasy phalluses; and Uncle Kage, the outspoken, controversial chairman of Anthrocon, the world’s largest furry convention held each year in Pittsburgh.

But the film is most effective when demonstrating that the furries face the same challenges as other newly-assembled organizations as they heatedly debate which paw should officially be put forward where public perception is concerned.

Conspicuously missing here is any sort of input by psychologists or sociologists who might have weighed in on contributing arrested development/Peter Pan Syndrome factors for the desire to don cuddly fursuits.

Instead, Rodriguez prefers to let the viewer determine whether Boomer and company are simply another fringe community who have found a voice and kinship through the Internet-- or a bunch of sick puppies.

Production company: Animal Media Group

Director: Dominic Rodriguez

Producer: Olivia Vaughn

Executive producers: Danny Yourd, Kathy Dzuibek, Michael Killen, Jim Kreitzburg

Director of photography: Jordan Serra

Editor: Christine Meyer

Music: Kevin Piper

Venue: Slamdance Film Festival

Sales: Animal Media Group, Danny Yourd

81 minutes