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That’s Bawlin’: The Top 5 Movies about Animals

January 25, 2011

Amid all the fuss about today’s unveiled Oscar nominations, there is resounding excitement among animals for one particular human. Paul Tamasy, a co-writer on the seminal film, Air Bud, is up for a screenwriting statue for his work on The Fighter, which unfortunately is not centered around a dog who can shoot hoops. In honor of Tamasy and others, I’ve compiled a list of  my top five favorite movies that star members of the animal kingdom. I’m a rather emotional mutt, so most of these movies have made me sob at one point or another.

I aspire to be just like Air Bud when I grow up.

5. Air Bud Honestly, who can’t relate to a simple story about a boy and his dog? Well actually it’s about a boy who moves to a new town after his dad dies and meets a runaway dog who later becomes halftime entertainment for said boy’s high school basketball team. So maybe its themes aren’t that universal. But whatever. A golden retriever dubbed Buddy stars alongside a young Kevin Zegers and helps him make friends and even gets the school’s janitor the coveted position of high school basketball coach! What? Anyway, all the media attention Buddy attracts – damn you, media – doesn’t do him any favors when his former owner, who is a Bad Guy, wants him back. Yikes!

4. Babe This was apparently a commercial AND critical success when it was released in 1995. It actually won an Oscar and many of the humans involved were nominated for a bunch more golden statues! However, weirdly enough, whoever played Babe was snubbed. Let’s call FOUL on the Academy for that one, AMIRITE? Oh whoops, we’re not talking about Air Bud anymore. Babe is about a talking pig who learns to herd sheep for the farm’s owners. I don’t remember what happens next, but I’m pretty sure he goes to a state or county fair and wins a medal of some kind. Awesome! I love a movie about state fairs and talking pigs and sheep herding!

3. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey Three talking animals are left behind by their human owners for a weekend, but they think they’ve been abandoned forever! Then, quite literally, Shadow the Golden Retriever, Sissy the Himalayan Cat and Chance the Boxer embark on an “incredible journey” to reunite with said owners, who have just gone on a quick trip to San Francisco. Easy mistake! I was once locked in my crate for a few hours and I thought I was left behind too! Anyway, the three amigos face plenty of obstacles along the way, including mean humans who run an animal shelter. This is a MUST SEE for any animal who can relate to being left BEHIND.

2. Andre In the 1960s, a family adopts a BABY SEAL named Andre who later becomes a Media Sensation in the small seaside town. Besides Andre, there’s a cute – but rather odd – young girl who has no friends, but suddenly by hanging out with Andre, people actually start to like her! Life lessons, people. But there are other, evil humans, including grown-ass adults vying to become Harbor Master or something, who are jealous of this celebrity seal and try to silence Andre in many different ways, including attempted murder. Oh and Pacey – err, Joshua Jackson – plays one of the human characters!

1. Fly Away Home Show me one human who didn’t cry during this movie and I’ll show you a human who has a hollow cavity where his or her heart should be. A morose teenage daughter and her wacky father decide to help a flock of orphaned Canadian geese fly South for the winter. Oh and did I mention that the girl’s mom just died in a plane crash? See what the filmmakers did there? It’s a metaphor because the girl lost her mom and so did these geese! Get the tissues ready.

Honorable Mention: Look Who’s Talking Now I personally have never seen this movie, but it comes highly recommended by others at Current Instincts. It’s about talking animals and John Travolta is in it!

-Walter the Movie Critic Dog

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2011 8:38 am

    I actually just saw Babe for the first time a few weeks ago! Love it…made me want a little pig of my very own. 🙂

    • January 26, 2011 4:55 pm

      I know right! Was our assessment of the end of the movie correct? I think Walter fudged it a little bit…

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