James Cameron’s Avatar is NOT a Furry Movie
So help me God the next person that comes up to me and asks me what I think of “James Cameron’s new furry movie” is going to get punched right in the temple. I’m going to say this once and I’m going to say it nicely: the tribal characters, the Na’vi, in Avatar aren’t furries. They are hardly even in the same boat as furries. To quote the great Dr. Evil, they’re the Diet Coke of furries — just one calorie, not even enough. I feel kind of stupid here, really, like I’m some kind of professor of furrydom which is not only a terrible job title to begin with but also something that hardly applies to me. I have no doctorate in Furry; if you want to put it into some kind of silly and drawn-out educational joke let’s just say that I took a couple of classes for a few weeks and dropped out because I didn’t like the classwork. Are you even still with me here? I think I may have lost everyone when I went off on the Dr. Evil/college humor.
This is not an article white knighting furries nor is this even an article to glorify Avatar because in my opinion it wasn’t even that great of a movie. The point of this article is to try and either debunk or at least shine some kind of new perspective onto the Na’vi tribe of Avatar and exactly how much they aren’t furry. In an environment of media critics where everybody keeps referencing the Na’vi as furries I’m pretty certain that the average movie-goer who’s minimally Internet-savvy and has only vaguely heard of this “furry” business is going to get the wrong idea of things. Those three articles I linked to are only the tip of the iceberg; after you read this article go to your favorite search engine and search for “James Cameron Avatar furry” and see for yourself. No- wait; actually don’t do that, don’t ever do that because I’m afraid of what might be out there.
It’s a pretty stupid flaw and it’s one of the biggest faults of mankind but humans are pretty dumb and will believe anything that is placed in front of them that they simply assume is from a credible source rather than look into things and/or ask questions to find out more. People generally don’t question enough, and that’s what’s leading this stupid tagline about furries around with the film. UGO, an entertainment conglomerate that has a boner for buying companies and completely screwing them over (see: 1UP.com and the late Electronic Gaming Monthly), has a sizable portion of people’s attention online who are looking for entertainment news and gossip and whatnot. Cracked is a moderately well-trafficked humor website popular among college-aged people and as for Vanity Fair… I’m pretty sure they are a fashion magazine or something. Honestly I don’t know who the target demographic is but one thing is for certain – Vanity Fair loves them some furry gossip. Yup, they sure do.
Before I even begin talking about the Na’vi let me first try and give you the CliffNotes version of “furry”. If after reading the Vanity Fair article your first assumption is “holy shit that’s disgusting” then you’re correct in 99% of the scenarios that I can think of that involve some magnitude of “furry”. If someone comes up to you and simply states “I’m a furry” not only is that weird but it’s also pretty vague and leaves a lot of open space for you to plug in tidbits from here and there to come up with a mostly correct Frankenstein of facts that will then incorrectly carry over to Avatar once you see the term “furry” used to describe it in an article online. A “furry”, simply put, is a term used to describe a person who has an online avatar — I mean a character — that is based on the human figure but given animal traits (think Bugs Bunny or something like that). Generally they are completely animal and the only resemblance to a human is their general body structure. The Na’vi in Avatar have some animal traits but not to the extent of what would normally be defined “furry” and if after all of this you still want a better definition on this nonsense, then read this previous article I wrote here.
The source of this “Avatar is a furry movie” nonsense began at ComicCon 2008 when the film was being promoted only by showing a silhouette of one of the characters of the film; in the shadow the pointed ears of the tribe were visible as was the tail. Whenever somebody sees ears and a tail out of context the first thought usually prompted is “oh snap a furry” and most of the time that’s a safe assumption. If you saw somebody at a Wal-Mart wearing cat ears and a fluffy tail not only would that probably not be anything out of the ordinary you’d likely assume, wait for it, “oh snap a furry” because the ears and tail have now been put into context. The Na’vi kind of resemble cats at first glance but the longer you sit through Avatar (and trust me this will be a while because the film is a near three hour time vampire) the more you will begin to see them less like cats and more like the extra-chromosome-packing and really tall offspring of Nightcrawler from X-Men and the Blue Man Group.
There are other movies out there that fit the bill for “furry” from the get go, and here is one of them:
Now that you’ve graduated from the first class of “How to Spot a Furry” you may go forth and use your newfound wisdom to enjoy Avatar as a movie that plays as a very thinly veiled white guilt allegory to the Europeans kicking the Native Americans out of their land in the name of economic development, the way it was meant to be enjoyed, and not as cannon fodder for those terribly scary “furries” looking to get their jollies.
But expect them to be there anyways.