Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Great (film) Debates vol. 74

People love animals. Hollywood loves animals. Let's fill films with animals!

What is your favorite “animal” film?



Panelist: T-Rav

I didn’t pay much attention to Finding Nemo the first time I watched it, but after watching it again, I thought it was one of Pixar’s best movies. It’s funny and poignant at the same time, and it’s something both kids and adults can enjoy. Also, it’s one of the few roles in which I can tolerate Ellen DeGeneres. (What? I find her annoyingly cheerful.)

Panelist: BevfromNYC

I really loved all of the Disney nature documentaries where they’d film animals “in the wild” and someone would narrate a “story” about the animal families.

Panelist: AndrewPrice

Outside of cartoons, I am not a fan of animals in films at all, especially cutesy animals, especially cutesy animals the way Hollywood uses them. Sure, sometimes you get a Yeti or a Cujo, but most often you end up with a dog in a sweater or a monkey with toilet paper in his mouth. Ug. I really want to say Scooby Doo, but he's animated, or Gromit, but he's claymation. So I'm going with Ace Ventura. That was a riot. :)

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

My Dog Skip. Still have a moist eye after watching it. Seabiscuit and Secretariat are tied for second. From my extreme youth, Lady & the Tramp (think Peggy Lee singing "he's a Tramp, but I love him.").

Panelist: ScottDS

20 years ago, I would've said any number of things: Free Willy, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Beethoven, etc. As it stands, I really don't have - hey, wait a second... sharks are animals, right? Then my answer would be Jaws. That's it. Whew, that was easy!


Comments? Thoughts?

70 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

animals are great. They don't have the hang ups humans do. All good choices here, and I suspect there are dozens of others. "Lassie--what is it girl? Timmy fell down the well?"

K said...

Cats and Dogs

LINK


Mister Tinkles rules

Outlaw13 said...

When I was a kid they showed Frances the Talking Mule pictures on Saturday afternoon TV...choice entertainment that was.

Planet of the Apes? "Damn you all to hell"

Just reading the title "My Dog Skip" makes me tear up a little. Staying with the dog theme, anyone remember "A Boy and his Dog"?

How about "Any Which Way But Loose"? "Left turn, Clyde."

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Animals are tasty, not great. ;P

Actually, I do love animals, just not in films because Hollywood does the same annoying things with them that they do with kids.

As for Lassie, yeah, Lassie was lifesaver. Too bad little Timmy was such a fool!

AndrewPrice said...

K, I've never actually see that movie.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, LOL! I almost answered Planet of the Apes! :)

When I was young, Disney had Gus the football kicking mule in theaters.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

The Edge... David Mamet script, Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin being stalked by Bart the Bear. All accompanied by Jerry Goldsmith... awesome.

The Grey wasn't bad either, but not as good as The Edge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPcPl_Iihy8

Classic... King Kong of course. 1979's Black Stallion was pretty good too.

shawn said...

Does Jaws count?

How about a little gem about a robot dog that fights crime and has a lovely teen Valerie Bertinelli in it called C.H.O.M.P.S.?

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Swarm, Piranha, Night of the Lepus, and Kingdom of the Spiders with William. Shatner.

Tennessee Jed said...

Outlaw - I remember the Francis The Talking Mule t.v. show. Plus, if I remember, they did a couple of feature length films. Perhaps "Francis joins the army?"

Speaking of animal films, I watch the t.v. show "Nashville" since one of my grandkids has been on it 3 or 4 times, the other night, one of the characters, "Deacon" talked about how he always celebrated his birthday by viewing Disney's "Old Yeller." Talk about a tear jerker.

Tennessee Jed said...

I really enjoyed "The Edge" although there were a couple times Bart appeared to me as too stiff as an actor. Same for "Legend of the Fall."

ScottDS said...

I cringe when I think of the cheesy animal movies from my youth in the 80s and 90s, including a couple I mentioned above: Beethoven was one of the few movies we actually owned; most of what I watched growing up was taped off TV and we didn't have a bookshelf of Disney clamshell video cases like every other kid did. And today, my only thought is: I spent money on that movie?!?! :-)

Then there were all the Free Willy innuendos on TV, but that movie was okay. They even did a couple of sequels; I think I saw the second one. And then there was that god-awful movie Bingo.

In a way, animal movies are like kids sports movies in that they're not making them as much as they used to. Today, it's all superheroes and vampires. :-)

ScottDS said...

Floyd -

Good call on The Edge. Man, I need to that again; it's been a while.

La-La Land released the complete score for the film a couple years ago and, as expected, it's a very good listening experience.

ScottDS said...

Andrew and Outlaw -

Planet of the Apes... nice!

Disney did a lot of animal movies. A cat-owning friend of mine mentioned the original That Darn Cat (with Frank Gorshin!) and if you pull up clips from the film on YouTube, you get comments like, "Why can't Disney make movies like this anymore?" Comments from younger people, too.

BevfromNYC said...

Do the Kardashians count as Animals...except those would animals on film that Imdon't like. And Honey BooBoo sounds like it should be a Saturday morning cartoon featuring adorable forest creatures. Sadly, it is not.

ScottDS said...

Bev -

You might be on to something. :-)

tryanmax said...

So, I'm confused. Are we or are we not counting animated animals? My favorite is The Lion King and since it's live on Broadway, I think it can count both ways.

BIG MO said...

My favorites: The Yearling and Where the Red Fern Grows. If they don't make you choke up just a little bit...

AndrewPrice said...

I hate Day Light Savings Time. It's a crime against humanity.

Anonymous said...

Old Yeller, dammit!
Yes,it's emotionally devastating,but it's a rite of passage.It's just one of those hard experiences in life you've got to face.
GypsyTyger

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - "Disney did a lot of animal movies." Sometimes I can only stand in awe of your amazing insight! ( l.o.l.)

There was once a Roy Rogers film involving a cougar who clawed up Roy's brand new cowboy boots he had left on the porch. He put a bounty on the at's head. Pat Brady bagged the cat, drug it back to the ranch and sang to Rogers" "pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?" Bada boom, bada bing. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I haven't seen The Grey yet, but I've heard good things.

Shatner in Kingdom of the Spiders! LOL! Nice.

Tennessee Jed said...

Shawn, Tryanmax, and bevfromnyc - illegal use of the whine and/or question on a site that long ago has declared anything goes. "To ask permission is to seek denial." That will be 15 yes. from the spot of the foul. Repeat first down

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, Sure, Jaws counts, even it was a mechanical shark. :P

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I've never seen Old Yeller, but I read the book in school. Very sad.

ScottDS said...

Jed -

(sigh)

I was referring more to their vintage live-action stuff (i.e.: the movies they DON'T make anymore)!

Then again, I was always more of Warner Brothers guy so I'm in no position to discuss vintage "Disneyana"!

(I know it's nothing personal and I DON'T take the sarcasm seriously but it's also not helping my already basement-level self-image!) :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I have a real distaste for the animal movies you are talking about. They are lowest-common denominator in my book. They are the annoying cat-cubicle woman brought to film. "Oh, isn't that cute?" No, it's f**ing creepy.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, is it Daylight Savings Time you hate, or the far more demonic Standard Time that we're forced to use during the winter months and causes sunset to occur at 5 p.m.?

And holy cow, shawn! You mean I'm not the only who remembers 'C.H.O.M.P.S.?' The Internet truly is an amazing place.

-Rustbelt

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Planet of the Apes and Animal House both sounded like the best answers to me. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, I don't care which we choose, I just don't want my clock jumping around on me. I don't like it messing with my sleep and my schedule and my clocks.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Animal House - I can't believe I didn't think of that!

P.S. I agree with you re: Daylight Savings Times. But we'll get used to it - we always do.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Honey Booboo sounds like the stupidest comedy schtick on film... "it's where you slip on a banana while holding a pie and it hits your mother in law in the face... it's called a 'Honey Booboo.'" The fact that show exists wounds my faith in humanity.

I don't mind the Kardashians. They're no different than any other narcissistic celebrities.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, As a friend of mine used to say, "You can get used to standing in a bucket of sh*t... but why would you want to?"

AndrewPrice said...

Excellent Kardashian link by the way!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I guess we can count animated. In that event, I'm going with King Louie from Jungle Book.

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, I haven't seen either somehow.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, "Disney did a lot of animal movies." Sometimes I can only stand in awe of your amazing insight! ( l.o.l.)

LOL! Is that a way of noting that Scott has a penchant for understatement?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Nice penalty! :)

This...

"To ask permission is to seek denial."

... is like the motto of my life.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

The funny look-a-like comparisons involve Lady Gaga

And yes, apparently I have a gift for understatement. :-)

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - I only do that beause I like you :)

BevfromNYC said...

TennJ - Do you mean "whine" or "wine"? I am just need clarification on the ruling...

PikeBishop said...

Echoing the above poster, "Cats and Dogs" was quite enjoyable, and I am not an animal lover at all. I am "animal neutral." I was surprised at how funny and original it is.

Loved "Gus" the field goal kicking mule when I was a boy.

Wow, someone else remembered "CHOMPS" with Benji and Valerie Bertanelli.

Tennessee Jed said...

Bev - after further review, the call on the field is overturned (but just for you) Besides, the Kardashian thing was really more of a jokethan a question right from the get go Let's just go with wine, shall we?

tryanmax said...

Jed, if anything goes, then question asking is legal, too. As is charging ahead without waiting for a response.

Tennessee Jed said...

BTW, since my play on the old Chattanooga Choo- Choo song went 30 miles over the youngster' heads, I am declaring it a cult classic. It ws concise, witty, charming, and very, very "punny".

Tennessee Jed said...

TMax - "just because you can ask permission doesn't necessarily mean you should!" -- an old proverb thought to be attributed to the ancient philosopher, Tennessee Jed. :)

Outlaw13 said...

TN Jed, Frances did indeed join the Army in a movie. I think he served in Burma with Donald O'Conner.

"Charlie the Lonesome Cougar" was one of those Disney animal pictures y'all are talking about, not to be confused with "Carline the Lonesome Cougar" that is something else entirely and not recommended for the kids. :)

Tennessee Jed said...

Outlaw - yes, that's right; good old Donald O'Conner.

Tryanmax - btw, quite honestly, you are to be fully applauded for charging ahead without waiting for a response. However, you ARE expected to quit while you are ahead. Hence, the fact it is playing on Broadway is most obviously wrongheaded. No way that is construed as film. See if this works just a wee bit better: The fact it has not only been animated but has appeared on Brodway and already has or most assuredly will eventually turned into a film starring real people such as Anne Hathway should make it ount both ways." See what I mean. On Great Filn Debates, style points have to count for at least something ;)

Tennessee Jed said...

poor spelling via sticky keys loses 4 style points for Jed. What can I say, I'm a golfer.

K said...

Scott: it's also not helping my already basement-level self-image!

You rock, dude. Or to quote Cole Porter:


You're the top!
You're the Coliseum.
You're the top!
You're the Louver Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonnet,
A Shakespeare's sonnet,
You're Mickey Mouse.
You're the Nile,
You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa





Commander Max said...

I saw the "animal" film. I thought Scooby Doo as well, there were two films. Not great films, but they were fun.

Would the Klingons be considered animals?

T-Rav said...

Sorry, my computer's been very finicky this week. Anyway--I saw My Dog Skip once a few years back and it is definitely a tearjerker. I hear Marley and Me is, too, but I haven't seen that all the way through. In general, animals in films aren't something I have strong feelings about either way.

Andrew, re Honey Boo Boo and your faith in humanity being damaged, it's much easier not to have such faith to begin with. That way, you're less surprised by the popularity of such dreck.

ScottDS said...

Aww, thanks K.

Speaking of animals, whenever I need to smile, I go to the page of Lil Bub, one of the more popular Internet celebrity cats (and there are a lot of 'em!).

She's even getting her own documentary.

(She's a polydactyl permakitten - a dwarf cat, with extra toes and no teeth, and she's adorable!)

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I enjoyed it a lot as a kid too, but I haven't seen it in 30 years so I don't know if it holds up or not.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Yeah, I'd count Klingons as animals. Kirk calls them that. :)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's a good strategy. LOL!

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - re. your friend's comment about standing in a bucket of sh*t: A man dies & is met @ pearly gates by Vanna White. She tells him he has three doors to try, and must pick one which will open to room where he will spend eternity. He tries the first, and there are people with flames licking their feet. They are in torment and agony. He tells Vanna, oh no, I could not bear that. He tries the 2nd, and there are people in a sub-zero blizzard. They are naked and shivering uncontrollably. He says, he couldn't bear that; it's even worse than the first. He tries the 3rd. The people are walking around knee deep in sh*t and drinking gourmet coffee. He says "the smell is not great, but it beats the others, and the coffee looks great! Instantly, he finds himself in the room, and is handed a fresh cup of coffee. Then he hears God's voice booming "coffee break's over ... back on your heads!"

K said...

ScottDS: Using deformed or mutated cats as models of "cute" is grotesque and tasteless. It's as if some aliens came to earth and started cloning millions of Honey Boo Boos as "cute" humans.

ScottDS said...

K -

Bub's owner gets that a lot. From a cursory glance at the Facebook page:

Bub was not bred to be like that. She was the runt of an otherwise healthy litter from a stray outdoor mother. Her foster family had a hard time finding her a home, but she now lives happily with a dude that feeds her only the best food and treats her like a queen.

I'm not a pet owner, so I can't claim to have any expertise in this matter.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's pretty funny. LOL! I wonder if that's the Bible somewhere? Must be in the index.

AndrewPrice said...

K, The idea of someone breeding Honey Booboos is one of the most horrific ideas I've heard in a long time. If anyone tries that, I vote we nuke the area.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

"It's the only way to be sure." :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Exactly. Those are very true words. :)

Anonymous said...

A bit late here, but better late then never.


Every Which Way But Loose/Any Which Way You Can both came to mind but they are movies with an animal in them, I wouldn't call them animal movies.

I hate most kiddie animal movies as they are just to sickingly cute and trite. So I picked Jurassic Park, it is an animal movie and it looked amazing when it came out and was not the
least bit cute. It holds up to repeated viewings.

Oh and I used to watch Francis the Talking Mule when I was a kid, loved that stuff.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Good call on Jurassic Park! Definitely an animal movie... big animals... taste like chicken animals.

Trite is a good word for most animal movies and I really despise trite.

rlaWTX said...

I blame my lateness to the party on DST.

I am, for once, going to be true to the word and spirit of the question:
Milo and Otis was pretty cute. The Aristocats is awesome. The Jungle Book (except for King Louie) is fantastic. Where the Red Fern Grows made me bawl (regardless of the fact I was a 12yo girl). The Incredible Journey is a great book and pretty good movie.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, DST is evil... pure evil.

rlaWTX said...

I didn't care so much yesterday - I could sleep late and ignore it. But this morning was unpleasanter than normal....

shawn said...

Alright, real answer: Monsters, Inc. I love that film.

Kenn Christenson said...

Does ""American Werewolf in London" count?
But, seriously, seem to recall liking the original "Babe." Been a while since I saw it last, though.

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