Favorite Animals in Film
Some of the most iconic characters in film didn’t have a single line of dialogue…unless you count well-timed barking. Sometimes, having a human deliver lines doesn’t pull at the heartstrings quite as much as something with shaggy fur, floppy ears or innocent eyes, which audiences have fallen in love with for decades. Our “Wooftop” dog-friendly screenings are approaching soon in San Diego and Houston, where we will be showing “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” In the lead up, we wanted to share some of our favorite animals in film.
1. “Old Yeller” (1957)
If you’ve seen this classic film then you know it’s a tear jerker, but the journey of the mastiff-labrador mix who goes from the mischievous glutton to the protective family member is one for the books. The film was a staple for the baby boomer generation due to the time of its release and box office smash, but the tale of a friendship between a young Kansas farm boy and his dog companion still echoes through the present.
2. “The Sandlot” (1993)
Who could forget when the owner of the dreaded dog across the fence is finally revealed when Smalls and Benny “The Jet” walk up to James Earl Jones’ doorstep. The devourer of baseballs everyone spoke about in horror stories turned out to be “Hercules” the friendly giant and the pet to a New York Yankee. As a fun fact, Hercules was actually played by two separate English mastiffs as well as a puppet creation for some of the scenes.
3. “Babe” (1995)
“That’ll do pig. That’ll do.” This film follows the main character of Babe – the orphaned piglet who gets placed on a farm and adjusts to his new life among the animals. The film is exceptional in personifying the animals by showing the dynamic of how they coexist on the farm, and it explores what they might communicate if they could speak. The quote from earlier is the closing line from the film after Babe puts on a flawless sheep herding performance which secures his owner the victory at a competition.
4. “Free Willy” (1993)
The 10,000-pound orca in this tale can’t really be considered a pet, but nevertheless he proves to be a much-needed friend and a kindred spirit to a troubled boy. Like Jesse, the 12-year-old boy abandoned by his mother in this film, Willy was separated from his pod of orcas. Jesse acts out by vandalizing property and Willy is stubborn to adjusting to life at the theme park. When the two encounter each other, their connection on-screen is magical, and who could forget the final scene where Willy makes his final jump to freedom?
5. “Lady and the Tramp” (1955)
The spaghetti-sharing kiss from this film has to be one of the most memorable romantic scenes in a movie, and its between two animated dogs. The Lady, an American cocker spaniel, and the Tramp, a schnauzer mix, find love during the early 1900s in a midwest American town. This film takes the theme of two opposite social classes coming together seamlessly and applies it to loveable dogs.
6. “Snow Dogs” (2002)
Who doesn’t love siberian huskies, or Cuba Gooding Jr.? This story flips the life of a Miami dentist upside down when he receives a letter from Tolketna, Alaska, that wills him seven siberian huskies from his biological mother he never met. When he first arrives in Tolketna, he practically never stops complaining with his city slicker upbringing, but as his journey unfolds he falls in love with the dogs and the beauty of Alaska.
7. “Turner and Hooch” (1989)
Tom Hanks starring alongside a French mastiff in a buddy-cop film, the stuff of legends. When the only witness to a murder is killed, Detective Scott Turner (Hanks) is left with their dog, Hooch, at the scene of the crime. Turner brings him home, and not only do they become friends, but Hooch proves to be quite the detective himself.
8. “The Secret Life of Pets” (2016)
We all have wondered what exactly pets do when humans aren’t around…other than sleeping or peeing on the floor. This animated film explores exactly that and shows the chaos that ensues when pets all hang out together – whether that be raiding a sausage factory or driving a city bus. We’re excited to screen the 2019 sequel this fall!