'The Bad Guys': Why Some Furries Are Excited for New Animated Feature - Rolling Stone
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‘When Do I Get to See Mr. Wolf’s Cock?’: Why Some Furries Are Losing It For ‘The Bad Guys’

A new animated feature is getting a lot of, um, love from one particular corner of the internet

(from left) Mr. Snake (Marc Maron) and Mr. Wolf (Sam Rockwell) in DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys, directed by Pierre Perifel.(from left) Mr. Snake (Marc Maron) and Mr. Wolf (Sam Rockwell) in DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys, directed by Pierre Perifel.

(from left) Mr. Snake (Marc Maron) and Mr. Wolf (Sam Rockwell) in DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys, directed by Pierre Perifel.

DreamWorks Animation/Universal Pictures

With his broad shoulders, revolving wardrobe of crisp, well-fitted suits, and rakish, come-hither expressions, Mr. Wolf, the slick protagonist of the upcoming DreamWorks release The Bad Guys, looks like a classic American male sex symbol, in the grand tradition of Cary Grant, Harrison Ford, and Brad Pitt. To that end, the character is prompting hordes of thirsty comments on the internet: “Mr. Wolf isn’t attracted to u OR anyone else. He’s in love with ME,” reads one representative tweet. Another is more to the point: “When do I get to see Mr wolf from bad guys cock in the movie.” (For those interested, there’s plenty on fan art on Twitter where you can see just that.)

Because Mr. Wolf is an actual wolf (albeit one voiced by reportedly human actor Sam Rockwell), most of the people posting about Mr. Wolf are furries, a term used to describe those who enjoy dressing up as or drawing anthropomorphized animals. Despite most popular conceptions about furries, not all people in the fandom harbor sexual attractions to anthropomorphized creatures — but many of those currently thirsting after Mr. Wolf certainly do.

“The fandom is going wild for it right now,” one digital artist and fursuit maker says of The Bad Guys. “I think what resonated in the fandom is the main character of Mr. Wolf. He’s a suave guy with a fun art style that really appealed to the artists in the fandom.”

Almost immediately after the trailer dropped late last year, furries gravitated to The Bad Guys, and to Rockwell’s character in particular. On TikTok, the #TheBadGuys hashtag has nearly 100 million views, with the top videos largely being thirsty fan edits of Rockwell’s character. There are more than 1,000 pieces of Bad Guys-themed fan art on the NSFW furry art site e621, most of which feature a muscle-bound Mr. Wolf in various states of concupiscence or in compromising positions with Diane Foxington, a sultry, powersuit-wearing fox played by Zazie Beetz; or Shark, played by Craig Robinson. One tweet with more than 6,000 likes features an anthropomorphized wolf lustily sniffing Mr. Wolf’s car seat. Furries on message boards like Fur Affinity also started drawing comparisons between Wolf and Nick Wilde, the wily fox protagonist of Zootopia voiced by Jason Bateman, who is prevalent in furry fan art and at cons. And nearly 10 percent of all tweets and replies to DreamWorks’ Bad Guys trailer included the word “furry,” according to TrendsMap data.

Of course, The Bad Guys is not explicitly a furry-targeted film; it’s a movie about anthropomorphized animal aimed largely at families and children, albeit with a few potentially adult jokes thrown in (a moment in which Mr. Wolf pricks his ears in response to hearing “Good boy,” for instance, could be read as a natural canine reaction — or as an example of a protagonist with a praise kink, according to some in the fandom). That said, it’s not at all uncommon for furries to look to mainstream entertainment for inspiration for their own fan art, stemming all the way back to the days of Disney’s Robin Hood, an unofficial furry classic, says GeorgeSquares, a furry LGBTQ author.

“Most people in furry subcultures remember the shirtless dancing buff tigers used in Zootopia‘s marketing that most took to more or less mean, ‘Hey furries — we know your community has an eye for masculine forms, so to speak,'” he says. “And we undeniably do. Furry is a nexus for queer art and queer people, and it’s one of the few places in particular gay men and masculine queers get to have some decent representation in our media, and queer men and masculine people are kind of starving for that.” And while it’s common for basically any masculine-coded anthropomorphized character to immediately become the subject of steamy fan art, with Mr. Wolf, furries did so “at lightning speed,” he says. (The fact that Mr. Wolf is coded as an “older gentleman” — in short, a daddy type — further excited the fandom, says Seibert).

Not everyone frames their adoration for Mr. Wolf in explicitly lurid terms. “For me personally it’s because of his charming personality, the way he talks, moves, and his generally appealing design and clean artistic style,” says @asumono_krom, a 22-year-old furry artist. “The character designers and animators did such a great job of bringing him to life in the medium of animation and how expressive the wolf could get with his eyes, ears, and body movements.” It’s worth noting, however, that @asumono_krom describes himself in his Twitter bio as “Mr. Wolf big simp.”

Within the fandom, there is an open question as to how aware DreamWorks and other film companies are of the fact that they have such a large furry audience — or whether they’re implicitly trying to target furries in the first place. Such speculation was rampant upon the release of Zootopia in 2016, a film that is entirely about anthropomorphized creatures; and furries’ suspicions appear to have been confirmed when BuzzFeed News reported that a representative from the Walt Disney Studios had reached out to a furry fan organization encouraging them to promote the film on social media.

There’s some debate within the fandom over how innocuous this practice is, or whether it effectively constitutes “furry baiting” without actively embracing its furry audience. Many furries I spoke with deny that’s the case, and that the character design for The Bad Guys is “visually appealing whether you’re a furry or not,” says furry artist Bezzeroo. Others, however, are more skeptical.

“I do think Bad Guys is trying to appeal to an adult furry demographic, but I would need proof of intention to call it baiting. I think there’s some very suggestive things in the advertising,” says GeorgeSquares. And while he doesn’t think this type of audience baiting “is inherently bad or necessarily comparable to queer baiting,” he does think it reflects a larger absence of queer representation in mainstream media in general. “[It’s] sort of a ‘have your cake and eat it too’ situation with casting a wide net,” he says. (Neither Rockwell nor Bad Guys director Pierre Perifel immediately returned a request for comment; DreamWorks declined to comment.)

The Bad Guys is projected to gross millions upon millions of dollars upon its release April 22; Dreamworks, in all likelihood, won’t care who is paying for those tickets, or where that money is coming from. Still, in the absence of official furry recognition from mainstream entertainment, members of the fandom will likely continue to simp after Mr. Wolf without recognition, posting one erect lupine phallus at a time.

In This Article: furry fandom

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