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14 Responses

  1. Sabrina says:

    Great episode. A couple of things to mention: the death of Artax the horse in NeverEnding Story is still so deeply disturbing to me that I get choked up thinking about it. When I was a kid, I would have to leave the room so I could go cry until that scene was over. I think it’s something about that visceral, muddy death and the inevitability of it. No other animal death has ever bothered me as much.

    Also, about Jones the cat: definitely the greatest feline in cinema and the only character to survive all the Alien films. However, I take issue with Tyler’s assessment of Kane’s ‘funeral’ as driving home the lack of the crew’s compassion for fellow humans. I’ve always interpreted that scene as being permeated by regret and almost embarrassment, especially on the part of Dallas. He broke the rules, charged ahead, and now his second mate is dead and there is an alien menace on their hands. I’ve always heard his line, “Does anyone want to say anything,” as being totally emotionally exhausted (not dissimilar to when he talks to Mother later on). If anything, he has that reaction due to the fact that he knows he was in the wrong and he is steeling himself for the further ramifications of his own mistake.

    But yeah, Jones could probably have taken on the alien and settled the whole thing to begin with.

  2. Jackson H. says:

    NOTE: In Life of Pi, the tiger’s name is Richard Parker. This is more of a big to-do in the book, because throughout the narration Pi repeatedly calls him by his full name. I don’t remember if he says it much in the film.

    It’s funny that you tackled this topic right in the wake of last week’s episode, because the connection between humans and animals is a theme that resonates quite strongly with me. Unfortunately it’s a theme that can easily tip into corniness, so my overall list of favorite films probably doesn’t reveal it as a “pet theme” of mine. Still, when it’s done right, I find it very affecting.

    You name-checked The Black Stallion, but I wonder if either of you have actually seen it. It is a stunning piece of cinema, and I believe it was made by the same guy who directed Duma. It recently got a Criterion release, so I strongly recommend it. I’m not totally keen on the ending, as I think it leans into convention a bit too much, but that’s a very minor quibble. There is an extended sequence set on a desert island that is among the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      I have not seen The Black Stallion but I’ve always only heard wonderful things about it.

      – David

  3. Philip says:

    Didn’t Will Smith’s character in I Am Legend have a daughter that died? That’s why the reveal of Samantha is so powerful, because he’s losing his daughter surrogate.

  4. Ryan says:

    Aw man, guys. Pi must’ve said “Richard Parker” a couple dozen times in that movie. It’s one of the best animal names ever.
    As for reading reviews; I never read them ahead of time. There are far too many critics who have little to no spoiler filter.

  5. bob says:

    Riddick – he raises a puppy into a badass wolf. That movie is surprisingly fun.

    Futurama – Leela’s little pet thing (looks like a Boston Terrier in a diaper) is so great, especially when he see his origin/world.

    Glad you guys remembered Shadowfax and Jones. How about some love for Beethoven? Even curmudgeonly Charles Grodin loved him!

    There’s a short-hair Jack Russell terrier in a few early-90s movies. Barkley the dog appeared in Clean Slate (good visual gag where he belly-crawls across the floor during a hide-and-seek with the villains) and Ernest Goes to Jail (he plays Rimshot the dog). He’s cute as hell, and I would’ve sworn he was also the dog in The Mask, but IMDB says no.

    One last one: The Great Mouse Detective had a Basset Hound named Toby. That is all.

  6. Sean says:

    I thought The Long Goodbye would get a mention. The cat isn’t a constant presence but he is very important as he serves to give us some great character development for Marlowe. I love that film and was the first one I thought of when you guys started talking about cats.

    Very fun episode.

  7. Ray (@RaySquirrel) says:

    I was surprised nobody has mentioned the Inside Llewelyn Davis. One theater even advertised on its marquee that the film starred John Goodman and a cat. The relationship between the cat and the lead character in that film go beyond owner and pet, lead and supporting. In that film the cat IS Llewlyn Davis. The cat is a synecdoche (if I am using the term correctly). As you can see on the recently announced Criterion edition of the film, the cat is the only character on the front cover.

    Other notable pets in films:

    The dog in Umberto D
    Chim Chim in Speed Racer
    The bird in Le Samourai
    the dog in the Disney short Feist

    And Hachiko the real dog who inspired a 1987 Japanese film adaptation, a 2009 Richard Gere movie, and the Futurama episode Jurrassic Bark. As sad as the Futurama episode was, you will be even more destroyed once you discover it was inspired by a real dog.

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      I disqualified Inside Llewyn Davis because the cat is not the Llewyn’s pet. But I can see your side too.

      – David

  8. Matt says:

    How about Max’s dog (never named?) in The Road Warrior? Very upsetting.

  9. Jeff says:

    In regards to reading reviews, I am exactly the type of person Tyler mentioned: I check BP regularly and read reviews to anticipate movies I can’t see right now, but will inevitably show up on Netflix.

  10. Steve B. says:

    The previously mentioned “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” was directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starring Richard Gere, Joan Allen, and Jason Alexander. This has got to be one of the best pet dog movies ever. More sentimental than Old Yeller. I saw it skeptically on a word of mouth recommendation and it totally blindsided me. And “it’s on Netflix streaming so you have no excuse.”

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