Another movie review!!! But this time I thought I will steer clear of the popular current movies. They are the ones that hog most of the writing space on the site, so I guess I will leave it to the veterans to review them.
I will try to stick to the movies that many wont review. Here is one such category. Of all the movie categories, this is my personal of our reviewers recommend us favorite. It is not surprising to bring out an award winning performance out of actors and actresses. What is really difficult is coming up with an outstanding performance by animals, and this is one place where the director hardly gets credit and more is to be given to the trainers and sometimes the owners of the animals.
Here is a list of movies that have been truly endearing and some of which have made me bawl like a small child. I have chosen movies that keep the essence of the animal involved and not make them humans like so many movies do. So the list has movies that dont have the animals talking or thinking like humans.
5. Dunston Checks in (1996): Although monkeys are very popular while making animal based films, most of them turn out being corny (like making the monkey act cool and all)This movie sticks to the basics and does a good job and getting you to laugh along too. Trained by its master to be a thief, the orang Utan- Dunston, checks in along with his master into a five star hotel, where he escapes and is found and taken care of by the managers 10 yr old son, who is more compassionate towards him. However, an impending annual ball and not to mention the angered master make situations worse for everyone but this duo.
4. Free Willy (1993): Jesse is a product of the American broken-dream, a boy from a broken home of our reviewers recommend us, who understandably has issues being a good boy. On being caught vandalising the local aquarium, the court decides to put him under new foster care and also teach him a lesson by making him volunteer for free service of our reviewers recommend us at the aquarium. This is where he meets a 3 tonne whale- Willy, who refuses to give into any training and is sentenced to being put to sleep in case he doesnt come around.
The young whale takes a liking to 12-yr old Jesse, who sort of becomes his trainer. Although Jesse at first thinks Willy is happy with this, he comes to realise that what makes Willy so pained is not being free. Thus he sets out to achieve the impossible - to free willy into the ocean again! This movie is bound to choke you up.
3. Beethoven (1992): My mother, my sister and me have always wondered if our beloved german shepherd brat at home were to dream, what would he dream about....When we watched this movie, we instantly knew the answer!! Ofcourse food!!!!
The movie is about a St. Bernard pup who finds a home in George Newtons family upon being forced by his three kids. This rougish dog is a pain everywhere to poor George. However, circumstances put Beethovens life of our reviewers recommend us in jeopardy making George realise he is a softy after all. The movie came out with 2-3 sequels, none of which matched up their predecessor, for the reason I have been mentioning since the beginning - humanising the dogs!!
2. White Fang (1991): This is a very sad movie albeit with a happy ending. The sufferings of the wolf-dog is just too much. Still I chose this movie for the beautiful friendship that turns around the lives of both the dog and the man involved. White Fang is a wolf-dog that has spent half his life abused and ill-fed by cruel owners.
Enter Ethan Hawke, who rescues the dog and takes it with him on a gold hunt. What he doesnt realise is the dog has lost the ability to trust humans and is extremely violent. Nevertheless he patiently waits for White Fang to come around, which he eventually does, so much so he decides to keep him for life.You would think animals cannot act, which is true. They dont know what is acting (although I disbelieve this.....you should see our adorable shepherd who shamelessly gives my friends the sad puppy look just to be fed goodies!!!). But its amazing how the wolf-dog that plays White Fang looks so pained and disturbed till he finds a friend in Ethan Hawke. Truly tear-jerking.
1. Born Free (1966): An astounding fact about this movie is that its a true story. My mother had told us the story a million times when we were young. During my college days, I managed to find the book and was hooked. The movie, based on the book is so realistically shot that sometimes you wonder if Elsa was really in the movie!
The movie is about Joy Adamson, the wife of a game-keeper in Africa, who one day comes home with a bunch of orphaned lion cubs. Joy adores the cubs. When they grow up a little bit, the couple realise, they cant have 3 lionesses for pets and give away two of them to a zoo. However, they decide to keep the weakest in the litter-Elsa, a lioness with truly a lion-heart, who is kind and adorable and very mild natured. Circumstances force the couple to give up Elsa soon. But Joy is unwilling to give Elsa away to a zoo where she will be captivated for life. She decides to turn her into the wild-just like she was meant to be. The process is not easy as said and almost costs Elsas life. But in the end, Elsa manages to survive and learn the ways of nature.She successfully lives in the wild - free as she was meant to be. This movie had won several academy awards and is a must-watch. I bawl every time I watch it!
There are so many other movies that could be added to the list like Babe, Two Brothers, Seabiscuit , Turner and Hooch. This is a comprehensive list of some of the best entertainers in the category. If you are a softy like me and need to watch meaningful mush from time to time, knock yourself out on these movies.