Seven Undeniably Awesome (Non-Animated) Movies About Animals

Me writing an article about disturbing things is really not that shocking anymore. I mean, I wrote this one, and this one, and this one. Even over at my own site I write disturbing TRUE stories, like this one, which are often even more insane than the movies I write about. So when I was coming up with a batch of new articles for Unreality last week, I decided to throw myself a few curve balls. “What is the last thing they are expecting from you, Remy?” was the question I asked myself while drinking scotch with no pants on.

What is the one article that they would be SHOCKED to see your name under? And as I was thinking that, I ate a piece of perfectly cooked bacon, which, ofcourse, made me to think about the movie Babe, which, ofcourse led us to this magical list full of squee you are reading right now. Just so you guys know, I had to tell myself “Gremlins are NOT animals” about fifteen times out loud before I started compiling these.

Here are some fantastic movies about animals.


So many cute things in the picture are secretly delicious, which messes me all up to think about.

I sat down to watch Babe at that point in my life when I was an angry teenager.  I sat there, expecting to make fun of this movie, and announce that I was too old for it, but it never happened. Something else happened, instead. I fell in love with it. It was unabashedly adorable. Like, you know how sometimes, even if you hate babies, you will see that ONE adorable baby that will make you change how you feel about all babies? Yeah, Babe did that to me with animal movies. Especially TALKING animal movies. Outside of Disney and Charlotte’s Web, talking animals seems childish to me. Well, I should say SEEMED, because Babe changed all that for me.

Also, do we even need to talk about how awesome Arthur Cromwell was in this movie, or how touching the ending was?  Didn’t think so.

Cromwell said he thought of his own late Father approving of him after all these years when he played that scene. Um, thanks for making me cry, dude.

By the way, eating a BLT while watching this is a very meta thing to do. Take that PETA!

The Bear

If you hold this poster sideways, he looks like the “bat-signal” they use to call Batman. 

The Bear is an amazing film for a multitude of reasons. Main reason being the film has almost no dialogue at all. They also didn’t feel the need to make this bear talk English to convey the story, which makes it that much better if you ask me. The Bear is the story of a young cub who must fend for himself after being left an orphan as the result of some hunters who are still looking to take him out. He befriends an adult Grizzly, and we follow them as they live their bear lives. I know that doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but don’t forget, these are friggin’ bears. There are few things as badass as bears. Just ask the Grizzly Man.

Disney would later completely rip-off this story with the cheese fest that was Brother Bear, but watch this film, see the original, and be awed how captivated you can be be so moved by a story that needs no words to tell itself.

Mighty Joe Young

I kept expecting his freaskish Gorilla-rection to poke out, but it never does, thankfully.

Listen, I like Peter Jackson as much as the next guy (man, “Lord of the Rings part 4: I Need More Money! Starring Bilbo” looks great, huh?) but Mighty Joe Young was a better movie than the King Kong remake. I know the hate mail is going to flow from that comment, and truthfully, you guys have been real nice to me for the  last few months, so I am okay with it.

The reason I prefer this film over King Kong is simple: The Ape felt real in this film. I know they did an amazing job on the CG for King Kong, but still, it is just that. CG. I felt like I was playing a really exciting PS3 game when I watched King Kong. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but the intro scene in Mighty Joe Young? Come on, pure badass. And even his party crashing scene. When he stands there and howls at those people sitting down, it is pure movie magic. Yes, it may be Disney, and yes, it may be too cute at times, but still, the effects sold me on this film. Also, Charlize Theron. “Nuff said.

Man, “Paul Blart: Zookeeper” had some dope deleted scenes, huh?

Homeward Bound

What, I am supposed to pretend I don’t like this movie because I am “dark” and “edgy”? Too bad! This movie is the shit.

This is the movie that I pretend is an unofficial sequel in the Back to the Future series. Let me explain. Rattler in this movie is voiced by the magical Michael J. Fox, who we all know played Marty McFly in the Back to the Future saga. All I do is pretend that Chance is Marty (shoutout to Frillic for the correction), Sassy is his generic girlfriend, and Shadow is Doc, and BAM,  Dog To The Future. I tell myself some contrived back story of how their timeline got mixed up with the timeline for an alternative animal reality, and now they are stuck in these bodies, and they are trying to get back home, so they can re-inhabit their real bodies. If you think I am insane, and it doesn’t work, watch this:

Alright, maybe it doesn’t work, but if you do enough drugs, ANYTHING WORKS. Disclaimer: Don’t do drugs, kids.

Project X

Man, no day in my life was quite as awkward as revealing full back tattoo I have of this image to my Mom.

First I feel the need to tell you guys that THIS is the movie people should be talking about when it comes to movies called Project X. I know people seemed to really enjoy the Project X movie from last year about the epic party, but this one came first, and Ferris Bueller is in it, so this one wins.

(Real) Project X is a story about monkeys who were trained by the government to be pilots, but the end result is that the monkeys will be exposed to lethal levels of radiation to see how long they can survive in those conditions. Mathew Broderick is like “aw, Hell no” and a whole bunch of antics ensue, with cute, pilot monkeys at the center of it.  While the whole movie is a not-so-thinly-veiled condemnation against animal testing, it has Ferris Bueller teaching sign language to monkeys LONG before James Franco did it, so it can do whatever it wants. In truth, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was just Project X2: Electric boogaloo. Franco Edition.

Never Cry Wolf

Sorry so many of these are Disney, but they had the animal genre on lockdown for a long time.

I know for a fact only about three of you will know this movie, which makes writing about it even better. Never Cry Wolf came out in 1983, and was the  true story (based on the biography of Farley Mowat) of the time he was sent to study the “menace” of wolves in the Canadian arctic, to see if they were responsible for the dwindling population of the caribou. What we see, over time, is very similar to the other animal film I should mention on this list but won’t, Gorillas In The Mist. We see that the wolves do not so much pose a threat to Farley, and we see what he learns about them and their behavior in the short time he is exposed to them. And it is a Disney movie, so you know there are soul-ruining moments in the film. Like the scene where Farley gets trapped under ice, which put a fear of Winter in me for a long, long time.

Honestly, it is a beautiful film too few people have seen.

Turner and Hooch

The real messed up thing about this movie is the fact that these two have PALPABLE chemistry.

Turner and Hooch is one of those movies that people don’t talk about. They don’t talk about it because buddy cop movies where the buddy is a dog are always f*cking stupid. They don’t talk about it because we all know we have no right liking it as much as we did. And the real reason we don’t talk about it? Because that ending. That damn ending! Listen, this movie is over twenty years old, so if you don’t know the dog dies that end of this movie, you really have no place reading a movie list. Ooops, I mean SPOILER ALERT. Damn, I did that in the wrong order again.

Also, there is another reason we don’t talk about Turner and Hooch. The love bath scene.

The first rule about inter-species bath club is we don’t talk about inter-species bath club.

But the fact of the matter is we ALL secretly liked this movie when it came out, don’t even try to pretend otherwise. Also, Conan O’ Brien gave Tom Hanks “Hooch’s bones” one night on his show as a gift.  God, I love Conan.

These Films Just Missed By A Hair:

Jumanji: This one only kind of counts, but worth it for the rhino.

The Golden Compass: Any movie where someone rides a polar bear in f*cking body armor deserves a nod.

Milo and Otis: Cute, but I liked Homeward Bound more.

They are hovering over a naked baby Jesus in this scene, for some reason.

Cujo: Hey, I didn’t say they all had to be cute animals. Man, I should stop writing now, huh?


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  1. One movie that I love, but really isn’t that great of a movie is Buddy. Apes dressed like people doing human things are my stoic demeanor’s kryptonite. How can you not love a movie about an OCD gorilla carrying on with chimpanzees that do shots of rum and ride around on rollerskates with kittens in their pockets?

  2. Never Cry Wolf is the movie that began my love for wolves. Just about any sort of decorative home piece that has wolves on it, I’ll buy it. I even own the three wolf moon shirt.

  3. I watched Milo and Otis about 200 times as a kid but can’t watch it anymore. The makers of the film killed something like 20-30 cats and dogs to film it (different animals playing the same characters). Worse yet, the violent scenes IN THE FILM are actual footage of the animals being hurt. I can’t watch it anymore knowing that those animals died because the people who shot it were so inhuman.

    Even the narrator Dudley Moore is no longer with us.

  4. I haven’t seen Turner and Hooch since I was a little kid, and I can’t remember a single thing about it (except loving it). Thanks to this list I was excitedly gearing up to watch it again… until you told me the ending (which I had completely forgotten).

    God that’s a lame, and lazy, kind of humor. I’m surprised you don’t work as a writer for network television… you’d fit right in.

  5. That’s interesting logic:

    Premise: Everyone dies in real life.
    Conclusion: Being told the ending of stories should not bother anyone.

    My god the educational system in America is in shambles.

  6. Not trying to be nitpicky here, but the actor from Babe is James (not Arthur) Cromwell. Maybe you took the first name of the character Farmer Arthur H. Hoggett and put it with the actor’s last name, Cromwell?

    Anyway, great list! Homeward Bound always made me cry as a kid. I haven’t watched it in at least ten years, but I bet that as soon as the scene comes on when Shadow falls into the hole and they have to leave him to die… oh man just thinking about it is making me tear up.

    On a lighter note, every time I hear “that’ll do pig,” I picture the Family Guy scene where Peter says it to Meg.

    PS I only know Cromwell’s character’s name because of IMDB. I swear I don’t go around spouting off whole cast lists from random children’s movies.

  7. The Cub in “The Bear” was orphaned by an accident, not because of the Hunters. They shot the Big Bear, played by the massive and magnificent Bart The Kodiak.

  8. Man, doesn’t Dr. Dolittle count? (The orginal, with Rex Harrison of course.) there was a lot of animals in that movie… even a talking parrot! (who probably didn’t actually talk at all).
    You’re right, Homeward Bound was the shit. So much better than The Icredible Journey, which sounds like that Bear movie you mentioned.

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