Is the "Furry" fetish a product of Disney animal cartoons?

I can’t remember where I first read this theory - I think it might have been something written by R. Crumb - but the basic theory is that the current “furry” fetish/subculture occurred because kids grew up on a constant diet of cartoons that presented anthropomorphic animals with human behavior and voices and quasi-humanoid physical forms. The main culprit that was pointed at, I think, was Disney, but all animal cartoons in general were claimed to have influenced the eventual growth of the furry subculture.

I think there is something to this. For instance, I was recently reading some of the comments on the IMDB forum for Disney’s Robin Hood, an animated feature from the 70s where Robin Hood and Maid Marian were foxes. I was astonished by the number of people, mostly females, claiming to have thought that Robin Hood was “hot” or “sexy” in that film, despite being shown as an animal. And the common theme among all these discussions was, “wow, I thought I was the only one!” and other such personal revelations. Apparently, they are not so uncommon. Comments on scenes from that film on Youtube seem to be along the same line.

Beauty and the Beast is also much-discussed on the IMDB forum, with a huge number of women saying that they preferred the Beast, that they thought he was much sexier than the human form of the prince who the Beast ultimately transforms into at the end of the film.

Robert Crumb himself claimed that he was sexually attracted to Bugs Bunny when he was young; his brother Charles, who was also a prolific cartoonist and whose work is shown in the Crumb movie, also clearly had sexual attraction to animal cartoon characters as well as young boys.

Do you think this theory is valid? I would say that, from my own observation of how young kids are constantly inundated with animal cartoons, it holds quite a bit of merit.

That’s an interesting idea. The day that I realized I didn’t know the internet one tenth as much as I thought I did was the day I discovered the furry subculture (on this board, actually). I’m not sure about that hypothesis though…first of all I’m not sure if the furry “inclination” existed in people before mickey mouse, but such people just couldn’t find each other without the internet. On the other hand, I can’t say that animated features with animals didn’t help. Thinking back to my childhood, I know how impressionable and furiously emotional I was, I guess if I hadn’t been dry humping my mom’s underwear catalog, it could easily have been animated foxes.

e: on second thought, there’s also the, ahem, Japanese aspect of it. I’m pretty sure much of the furry subculture was fed by Japanese anime forerunners, although exactly how it happened I can’t say.

e again: ok, found this pic, had to share
I don’t blame Disney. I blame Warner.

Actually, if we’re going to credit Disney, you might go so far as credit/blame Don Bluth, personally. His work goes back to Disney’s Robin Hood, and many of his later movies with non-human characters are equally or more famed in this particular artistic field.

I think there would be a furry fetish with or without Disney. Disney studios helped bring cute furry anthropomorphic animals into constant public view, but so did Warners (as noted above) and also Fleischers sudio – they did plenty of cutesy animals. So, for that matter, did a lot of small, forgotten studios. And Fleiaschers did downright sexy things (Betty Boop statrted off as a dog – no joke!). Ub Iwerks’ non-Disney stuff included sex jokes, too (Flip the Frog slides down the banister and runs feet-first into a woman looking disdainfully at her ass-heavy figure in a mirror. Flip’s impact drives all that mass into her boobs, and she walks away happy).

Anthropomorphized animals go back to Egyptian drawings, and are current throughout human history. I suspect there has been some sort of “furry” fandom all along, but cartoons – which were pretty much inevitale, and if Disney didn’t do it someone else would have – made them more approachable.

The only document on historic fetishes that I’m aware of are the writings of the Marquis de Sade. I don’t personally have a large interest in reading through them as I gather that they’re pretty gross, overall. But I don’t believe the Wikipedia overviews mentioned anything anthropomorphic in them.

That could mean that it is a fetish that only came into being in recent history, or simply that the Marquis had no interest in it.

Personally, I would say that it is likely due to cartoon characters.

Back in the innocent days of 1992, I thought this conversation from Wayne’s World was absolutely ridiculous. Of course, that was before I bought my first modem. :slight_smile:

As a Fur, I feel obliged to comment here. [Google my User name]

I believe you are mixing two things here.

I am not exactly sure I understand your question.You mention fetish and culture. These things are separate.

  1. Could you please clarify your question, and with that, your definition of “fetish”? Once we are both clear on terms, I will do what I can to answer those questions for you.

  2. WikiFur (The furry Wikipedia) Entry on Furry::

Someone who says they are furry is generally expressing an interest in anthropomorphic animals and/or creatures.

Unfavorable attention from the media has created a negative stereotype of a furry. Contrary to how a Furry is portrayed in pop culture and mass media, how deep or meaningful an interest in Furry is varies greatly from person to person. Also, the depth of a person’s interest in the fandom, and what ultimately makes them furry, is specific to each individual.

3, WikiFur Entry on Furry Fandom (Subculture)

Furry fandom, also known as furrydom, furridom, fur fandom or furdom, refers to the fandom for the furry genre of literature, art and entertainment. Furry fandom is also used to refer to the community of artists, writers, role players and general fans of the furry art forms who gather on the net and at conventions.

Members of the furry fandom, known as furry fans, furries, or furs, particularly enjoy media that includes fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, the ability to speak, walking on two legs, and wearing clothing.

I Identify as a Fur based on the above definitions.

To answer your question:

** IN GENERAL,** I don’t think that Disney’s influence can be denied. But, I don’t think Disney exclusively bridged the gap for us.

The only place in the general media that I can recall seeing furries is in that one episode of “Entourage.” (Sorry, I’m at work - no YouTubing for me! So no link. But you know the one.)

Is that the kind of thing you mean?

They’re also prominent in an episode of CSI.
(heh, I started a thread about it, long ago)

Drew Carey, 2002. Although the word “furry” may not have been mentioned, an episode involved Drew becoming romantic with an attractive woman who liked dressing up as a squirrel, and a reference was made to people with similar tastes who held conventions and such. Drew eventually tried on his own fur suit, but if I recall correctly was unable to go through with it.

I think Cecil makes a good point about the internet connecting people in unusual ways here. (BTW, I am in no way comparing furries with cannibalism, just the point about the internet bringing people together.)

Is merely finding the Robin Hood Disney character attractive enough requisite for being a furry? Cause then hell, I guess I’m a furry. But I never once thought about having any sort of carnal (pun intended) relations with Mr. Fox/Hood. I mean, he was dashing, heroic, leapt into danger to save his girl, fought evil, gave to the poor, stood up for himself and his friends - those are some noteworthy accomplishments. And yes, they did draw him attractively.

But I rather thought furry was something more. Catch me dressing up in a fursuit or even pretending to be an animal? Never never never. No interest at all.

Same here. I thought he was hot when I was a kid. But I don’t have a huge interest in Furries or anything.

I also thought Max in “A Goofy Movie” was hot and going by IMDb boards I’m not the only one…

The thing that always stuck out at me about this episode was at the end, there was a joke where Drew and another character (it might have been the woman who liked to dress up as a squirrel) asked each other about spending the night together or something in the genteel manner of the Goofy Gophers- who were gophers, not squirrels. Given the references to Looney Tunes characters made in the past and the fact that the show was a Warner Bros. production, you’d think someone on staff would have pointed that out.

Yeah, right. It’s the media. If you go online and look at actually furry websites, those people don’t seem like maladapted losers at all.

All the animated furry creatures done by Disney and others had me asking myself the same question. Did kids growing up with these computer animated creatures trigger this furry fetish now present in the adult population? I wasn’t curious enough to post a thread though. I only posted to say your not the only one to wonder.

Oh, and sarcasm is one of best use of your conversation skills on a board designed ignorance. :dubious:

In other words, you need more than your own opinion of the Furry fandom to malign the participants. The word “maladapted” has a specific psychological definition, and, thus, requires citations form psychological sources, (at least, for me to believe you. But, then again, the use of “losers” does speak well of your ability to have a professional opinion, let alone an unbiased one.)

And, yes, it would behoove Meeko to cite his point as well. But at least he wasn’t being rude.

I’ll agree with Meeko that furry fandom isn’t a sexual fetish (my favorite explanation is at tvtropes). And to provide a link to Meeko’s cite: wikifur’s articles about Furry and furry fandom

I’m sure anthro cartoons helped, although you can’t just blame Disney - look at Wily Coyote, Bugs Bunny, and the other Warner toons. But I would guess the majority of furry fans would still have the same interest even if funny animal toons never existed. Anthro animals go back to cave drawings and even if they didn’t exist, furries could still fantasize about being animals.

Wow. It’s amazing to see Familiar usernames comment after me here.

Hi Mobo, BigT. :slight_smile:

Silver, I would go ahead and assume you ish furreh ? :wink: