This week, in New Brunswick, NJ, a house was on fire. Once all of the human residents made it out quickly and safely, the media put their attention on a raccoon squatter who was caught up in the conflagration (that word might be a bit of an exaggeration.) From an elevated position, the critter was seen on the rooftops running for safety until it finally made a desperate leap to lower ground. Sadly, it miscalculated and its rear clipped the edge of the gutter, causing the animal to start spinning mid-air (that’s a good trick!) to the next lowest level. Then, shaking off the potential disaster as though it meant to do that, the raccoon wandered off to safety.
The “classic” animated series about raccoons, imaginatively titled The Raccoons, from the mid-80’s to the early 90’s is–like many, MANY things these days–getting a reboot. First hinted at years ago, there’s now been a formal announcement of an animated holiday special scheduled for 2019. Interestingly, this echoes the premier of the original series which also began with a holiday special, “The Christmas Raccoons.” I tried re-watching it a couple of years back and found it to be deathly boring. Here’s hoping this new version will up the comedy and/or action and not by mimicking the “it’s random so it’s funny” style of modern programs like The Regular Show or Rick & Morty. But hey, it stars raccoons so I’ll have to give it a shot at least once.
Here is a teaser/test animation for the reboot which is pretty much the original show’s opening re-animated in the new style.
Considering the original series already had a theme of conservation in place, I can see it easily fitting in with modern sensibilities and emphasizing an environmental message. I almost want to place a bet on how long before global warming gets mentioned in this reboot.
I was positively giddy when I discovered the Kickstarter campaign for the board game Raccoon Tycoon. I mean, of course, the name implies all kinds of adorable wheeling and dealing, but the art is absolutely delightful and, even better, the rundown of the game play isn’t particularly complex. A lot of these board games just seem so difficult to understand to anyone who isn’t well versed in the standards of “Eurogames.” Of course I’ve already backed this one; at the very least I’ll have some high-quality card art to admire. But who knows, I may even be able to pull together a small group on occasion to give the game a whirl.
The wold was enraptured by the exploits of a particularly brave little procyon lotor this week. What came to be known as the #mprraccoon, because she was climbing the UBS Plaza in downtown St. Paul (actually because Minneapolis Public Radio was the first to give the story major coverage), was a saga that unfolded from Monday through Wednesday this week. The raccoon in question jumped from a two-story building to the UBS Plaza and, afraid to go down, proceeded to climb up twenty stories to the roof over the course of a day. It looks like it made the move to the tower because it got scared away by some maintenance workers at the smaller building. The whole time, she received coverage, was trending on social media, and had a crowd of people on the street below cheering her on. Once she arrived at the roof, she was captured by waiting animal control officers who released her into the wild. This harrowing tale caught the attention of the whole country, as it received coverage on national news networks and even some cheeky references in international coverage.
Even Hollywood celebrities felt the need to comment on the situation (as they are wont to do) with James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, offering $1,000 to the charity of choice for whoever rescued the animal. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also got in on the fun, posting a raccoon-enhanced version of the poster for his upcoming movie, Skyscraper (see the header image) on his Instagram account.
There was some drama this week at an office building in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. A raccoon, through a feat of nature which can only be described as a million-to-one shot, found itself stranded outside on a windowsill on the sixth (highest) floor. Office workers were distraught by the sight of the hapless creature, especially after a snowstorm left it covered and shivering. Frantically calling animal removal services–many of which refused to assist because the raccoon was up so high–they finally got a pest control company to come to its aid. During the night, with lifts, nets, spotlights, and a cage lowered by rope from the roof, they managed to get the raccoon down in a rather harrowing, albeit sloppy, manner. The rescued raccoon immediately scampered off to hide under a car in the parking lot. The rescuers coaxed it into a cage and brought it to a wildlife resource center where it will be briefly cared for before getting released back to nature. Or the city. I think no matter where you release it, it’ll find its way back into the city.