Under One Woof

Humber Et Cetera's Pets and Animals Blog

My top 5 favourite animal flicks

on February 29, 2012

By Sarah Horwath

DISCLAIMER: The following movies, although heartwarming, will require you to have a box of tissues by your side and a companion, animal or human, to watch with.

Ratatouille (2007) 

COURTESY: FLICKR

Although I am not a fan of rodents, I can tolerate a cartoon one, especially when they are an aspiring chef.

Ratatouille tells the tale of a pint size rat named Remy (voice of Patton Oswalt) who dreams of making it big in the culinary world in a fancy French restaurant.

He lives in the sewers beneath the restaurant, making him all the more confident that he will be able to reach his dream.

Little Remy has so much gusto that despite being a rodent, he believes that he will succeed and follow in the footsteps of top chef Auguste Gusteau (voice of Brad Garrett).

What makes this story so heartwarming is how a surprising friendship develops between a human and a rat. Linguini (voice of Lou Romano) a young nervous, new chef befriends Remy, and soon enough, they whip up delicious dishes together.

Remy has doubts about whether he should pursue his dream or go back to living life as a regular sewer rat, and in the end there are a few important lessons that the audience can relate to and learn from this pint size chef.

Finding Nemo (2003) 

COURTESY: FLICKR

Finding Nemo is an adorable movie that both the young and old can enjoy. It’s a computer-animated comedy-adventure directed and co-written by Andrew Stanton the creative mind behind Toy Story.

It’s about the search for a little fish named Nemo (voice of Alexander Gould) who is separated from his father Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) on his first day of fish school.

The story entails a nervous Clownfish Marlin who has to set out to find his son and makes a few friends along the way.

Finding Nemo includes the voices of some well-known celebs like Ellen DeGeneres and Willem Dafoe, just to name a few.

The range of sea creatures with their unique personalities makes this a heartwarming story and exciting tale for viewers who anticipate the reunion between father and son.

The Fox and the Hound (1981) 

COURTESY: FLICKR

The Disney animated feature, The Fox and the Hound is one of my most favourite movies that I remember watching it as a kid.

It tells the story of a friendship between two animals that you wouldn’t imagine getting along in the first place.

Tod is an orphan fox and he becomes best friends with a hunting dog named Copper.

As the two animals grow up, they soon realize what their roles should be in life and that naturally they should be enemies.

This movie is a great lesson that shows us how in life sometimes we have to choose between our responsibilities and our friendships.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (or Hachiko: A Dog’s Story outside the United States) (2009) 

COURTESY: FLICKR

Never have I watched a movie that displayed so much loyalty from a living being.

Hachiko is a movie that will require you to have a box of tissues beside you, along with a pet for you to cuddle.

My boyfriend Alex gave me this movie to take home and watch a few months ago. He couldn’t bring himself to watch it, and he warned me that I would cry. My goodness – was that ever an understatement.

The ending of this movie made me bawl so uncontrollably, that even my dog Oliver was giving me funny looks.

Hachiko is based on the 1987 Japanese film Hachiko Monogatari. It is also a true story about a college professor from Japan who finds an abandoned Akita dog and brings him into his home.

A strong bond quickly develops between the two and the loyalty that Hachiko has for his owner is profound.

Hachiko quickly develops a routine of walking his owner, Parker Wilson (played by Richard Gere) to the train station when he goes off to work, and then returns to greet him later in the day.

When the owner dies suddenly while at work, the rest of the film shows Hachiko waiting for him for the rest of his life at the train station.

This is such a beautiful film that shows not only the loyalty of a dog to his owner, but also how the people around Hachiko take care of him for the rest of his life while he lives at the train station.

I’m not sure if I will be able to ever watch this movie again, but it is a movie that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Marley & Me (2008) 

COURTESY: FLICKR

Marley & Me is about a yellow Labrador Retriever named Marley and the family that he spends his life with.

It is based on the best-selling autobiographical book, Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by journalist John Grogan.

Grogan (played by Owen Wilson) soon realizes that the innocent puppy that he and his wife Jennifer (played by Jennifer Aniston) get, is not so innocent after all. The little fluff ball eats and destroys anything that he can get his paws on.

I saw this movie on Christmas Day 2008. Throughout the movie I remember hearing barks in the theatre and wondered if it was coming from onscreen, or if my hearing was playing tricks on me. Sure enough, there was a beautiful golden retriever keeping it’s owner company while watching the film. Well just seeing that image right in front of me made me tear up because it was evident that this dog was accompanying an owner who needed not only his/her companionship, but also his help and assistance in life.

The speech by Owen Wilson at the end of the film is something that I try to remember and carry with me:

“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water log stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?”

This movie made me realize the impact that a dog can have on our lives even if they are only with us for 10 to 15 years. They teach us important life lessons that we often don’t learn on our own or from other people.

Dogs or any animal for that matter can provide us with unconditional love that is so hard to come by sometimes even among our own family and friends. Our pets accept us for who we are, and if we open up our hearts even just a little, they will truly love us forever.

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