Okay, I admit, most of you (especially Liz’s fans) probably already love animals, but what’s your favorite movie with an animal in a starring or major supporting role?
Jessie: I have two but they don’t seem to have a lot on common. I love Babe! Every year when I find myself out shopping during the holiday season I can hear the voice of the duck from the movie shouting in my head “Christmas is carnage!”. I also adore The March of the Penguins. After we watched it the first time my husband and I headed to the kitchen and used a grapefruit to practice passing it back and forth with our feet as if we were penguin parents sharing the safekeeping of our egg. After several tragic losses we managed it!
Julie: Real, live animals? I’ve got to admit, I avoid animal movies. When I was in 8th grade we took a class trip to NYC, and went to Radio City Musical Hall toward the end of the trip. We saw some Scottish (Welsh?) movie about a mine town, and a pony that saves people then runs back into the mine to die. I have likely misremembered the whole thing. What I don’t forget is the sobbing. My father has an Old Yeller (or was it Shane) trauma in his past, so every time the “Wonderful World of Disney” was an animal story, he changed the channel. So, I’ve got nothing.
Sherry: Jaws? Just kidding I typed “movies with animals” into a search engine and it was the first movie that popped up. I love 101 Dalmatians. When my daughter was three she watched it a lot and took to calling me mother like the puppies called their mom. Also when I’m outside and hear one dog bark, then another, then Lily, I always think of it too.
Liz: Does Kung Fu Panda count?? I love that movie! I’m afraid to watch some of the more poignant ones like A Dog’s Purpose or Marley and Me, because I know they’ll make me cry. (No, it doesn’t matter how many people are killed in a movie, as long as the dog lives.) But going back to childhood, I loved 101 Dalmatians too, but Lady and the Tramp was my favorite.
Barb: In 1989 we were camping in Maine and on a rainy day Bill and I took our two kids, ages eight and five to see a Disney Movie, Turner and Hooch. It’s a lighthearted movie about a cop, Tom Hanks, who must care for a murder victim’s dog in order to solve the crime, all while wooing the local vet (Mare Winningham). (Spoiler alert.) The dog gets shot and dies! Heroically. Bill and I are sitting there stunned, with two little kids. It was a big deal at Disney, where they believed the movie would have made a lot more money if the dog had lived. There is even the legend of a sign up at Disney studios that said, “Don’t Kill the Dog!” a reminder to their writers. But here’s the thing. I loved the movie. I love it to this day. It had a strong emotional resonance. I’m not one for “Don’t Kill the Dog.” Pets die. It engendered some really good conversation in our family.
Edith: Wracking my brain. Movie with animal, movie with animal. Nothing, so I’ll go along with Lady and the Tramp, and March of the Penguins. Ooh, wait — Charlotte’s Web! Yeah, that would be my favorite.
Readers: Add yours!