I have always loved animals. When I was a child I wanted to be a vet before I realised that I would have to put cute, fluffy animals to sleep and put my whole arm inside a cow. I then thought I could be an RSPCA Inspector but that would’ve been horrible seeing the badly treated animals every day. So when it comes to films, both when I was growing up and today, I loved films with animals in them – I far preferred the animated Disney animal films rather than the Princess movies. So without further ado, here are my favourite films starring some furry friends.
The Lion King (1994)
My favourite animated Disney film ever. The Lion King has the best music, the best characters, and the animation. When it was rereleased a few years ago in cinemas in 3D I ended tearing up when Mufasa died – something I never did as a child. Lions are just great and have a large cuddly Simba that guards my bed.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Homeward Bound scared me when I was a child, what with Sassy getting swept down a river, Chance getting Porcupine needles in his face, and Shadow falling down a hole so close to home. But it also made me laugh, Michael J. Fox was a brilliant choise of voice actor for a hyperacticve dog. It also taught me (with help from my mum) who Arnold Schwarzenegger was – what with Chance calling the mountain lion Arnold Schwarzen-kitty. To this day, I automatically refer to Arnold Schwarzenegger as Arnold Schwarzen-kitty – it gets some confused looks if I’m with anyone else but my mum.
The Jungle Book (1994)
While I also love the Disney animated movie (loved it so much that I had a mural painted on my bedroom wall at our old house) I love the live action version even more. There’s real animals guys! They save the day, especially Baloo and the interaction between Mogali and SheKhan (while now it’s obvious it’s a split screen) is amazing.
This film definitely shows the poloar bear as a cuddle cute, adorable creature that could never harm another animal let alone a person – so a far cry from what a real polar bear is like. Still Cubby the polar bear is adorable and helps to save Face from the A-Team.
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)
This film made me cry a ridiculous amount. I have only seen it once but it had such an affect on me I keep putting off rewatching it even though I really liked it. I think it’s because of the loyalty dogs have and have been put in stories for years, it’s like Grey Friar’s Bobby and Red Dog – the loyalty an animal can have for a human is really surprising and potentially hearbreaking.
Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995)
For some reason I always preferred the sequel compared to Free Willy. I think it’s because you get to see Willy’s family, there’s the disaster of the oil spill where Jesse, Elvis and Nadine are trapped at sea. There’s a lot more action than the first film really and that kept me more interested as a child.
What can I say, I love dogs! Luckily the dogs I grew up with were in no way as destructive as Beethoven but his messiness did make me laugh as a kid. But, slobber aside Beethoven gets the family to fall in love with him and helps save a lot of kidnapped dogs.
I think my love for this film not only came from the fact it’s about a dolphin but also because Paul Hogan is in it – I grew up with the Crocodile Dundee films. Also the Hammerhead shark scared me a lot.
Benji the Hunted (1987)
99% of this film has no dialogue, but I was still glued to the screen when it was on as a child. Benji is a little dog that saves and protects some mountain lion cubs, it’s clever and adorable. There’s a series of Benji movies but this is the one I remember watching the most as a child.
Mighty Joe Young (1998)
No matter how many times I watch this film – I still find myself crying at the end. While you can say Mighty Joe Young is a quasi-remake/rip-off of King Kong, I like this family friendly film a lot.