Thursday Movie Picks #300: Movies About Animals

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy Friday everyone! I’m a bit late to the TMP party but I love this week’s topic that I still want to participate. The Thursday Movie Picks blogathon was spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog.

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. This Thursday’s theme is… MOVIES ABOUT ANIMALS.

There are SO many to choose from in this category… covering multiple genres, so I’m choosing one that’s live-action, classic hand-drawn animation and stop-motion/claymation, all from 3 different studios.

BABE (1995)

Gentle farmer Arthur Hoggett wins a piglet named Babe at a county fair. Narrowly escaping his fate as Christmas dinner when Farmer Hoggett decides to show him at the next fair, Babe bonds with motherly border collie Fly and discovers that he can herd sheep too.

This movie was released in theaters in 1995, which was the year of the pig. Did you know that Mad Max director George Miller wrote and produced this? It took him ten years to bring the story to the screen was because he was waiting for the special effects technology to catch up with his vision for the film. It ended up winning Best Visual Effects at the Oscars in 1996.

I remember loving it when I first watched it and even to this day I sometimes still quote its most famous line…

That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

Who doesn’t love an underdog story, farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) believed in the little piglet (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh) against all odds. Such a heartwarming story that still gets me teared up, especially this scene!

A Bug’s Life (1998)

A misfit ant, looking for “warriors” to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe.

There are a few really good animal-themed Pixar movies but I chose this one as it’s the first one in that category, right after their smash hit Toy Story. I loooove this movie about ants, filled with so many wonderful characters and the animation itself is just gorgeous! I LOVE Dave Foley‘s voice as Flik, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Princess Atta, and a bunch of rag tag group of adorable bugs (my personal fave is David Hyde Pierce as Slim).

It’s such a brilliant, clever and hilarious movie that I think is still one of Pixar’s all time best. An epic in miniature proportion indeed!

Chicken Run (2000)

When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.

From the genius minds of Peter Lord & Nick Park of Aardman Studios, this is one of my all time favorite animated movies. It’s just so hysterical, even the shapes of the chicken claymation always makes me giggle!

I absolutely adore the characters, especially Ginger (voiced by Julia Sawalha, who’s hilarious in Absolutely Fabulous series) and Mel Gibson is inspired choice as the voice of Rocky, the rebellious rooster. There’s even a fun reverence to Braveheart when he yelled FREEEEEEEEEEEEDOM! when he escaped out of the circus, ha!

This movie is just SO much fun and a brilliant homage of The Great Escape (1963), even the music by Harry Gregson-Williams & John Powell sounds similar to the Steve McQueen movie.

To this day I’m still quoting the ‘I don’t want to be a pie’ line! 🥧

What do you think of my picks? Have you seen any of them?

9 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks #300: Movies About Animals

  1. Babe is a great film. A Bug’s Life is awesome as it’s also an inspired remake of The Seven Samurai. I also enjoyed Chicken Run though Duncan Jones did a nice April Fool’s joke when he claimed that Aardman was going to do a film about his dad David Bowie but revealed that it was a joke. I would’ve love to see an Aardman animated film on Bowie. I think it would be fun.

    1. Wow, somehow it escaped me that A Bug’s Life is an inspired remake of The Seven Samurai, that’s so cool! Thanks for sharing that trivia about Bowie and Aardman, yeah that would have been a fun movie to see!

  2. I’ve only seen A Bug’s Life, which I enjoyed quite a bit. But I haven’t seen it since 1998, will need to give it a watch again soon. I’ve always wanted to watch Babe but never got a chance to sit down and actually watch it.

    1. Hey Ted, glad you’ve seen A Bugs Life, one of Pixar’s earlier gems. The other two are great as well whenever you get a run to it.

  3. I love that you went with A Bug’s Life. That’s one of my favorite Pixar movies and I feel like it’s ended up being very underrated within their library. I think it’s wonderful.

    1. I so agree A Bug’s Life is so underrated, but I guess that’s a testament to how amazing Pixar’s later movies have been. Flik remains one of my characters though.

  4. I like the variety of your picks but have only seen one and that would be Babe. Even that one I put off for years because the preview looked puerile but once I sat down with it I did find it charming. I won’t be running back to watch it again anytime soon though.

    I’ve seen bits of both of the others but I’m simply not an animation person (unless we’re talking Charlie Brown) and the film has to look really special or be recommended highly by several people. That’s how my watching Up! came about and I loved it but that’s more the exception than the rule.

    All mine happened to have come out in the 60’s but that’s just a random occurrence since I just saw two within the last month and realized they would work here. Born Free on the other hand I watched all the time when I was a kid.

    Rascal (1969)-Near the turn of the last century in a small Wisconsin town young Sterling North (Bill Mumy) adopts a baby raccoon-Rascal and spends most of that summer trying to keep him out of trouble while his widowed traveling salesman father Willard (Steve Forrest) is away on business. Disney produced reverie based on the autobiographical book by North.

    Born Free (1966)-In a Kenyan game preserve wardens Joy and George Adamson (played by real life marrieds British performers Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers) discover three young cubs whose mother has been shot by poachers. They care for the three at the reserve until the two larger cubs are sent to a zoo, but both develop a special kinship with Elsa, the runt of the litter. Being of a gentle disposition they at first keep her as a pet but when the prospect of George’s reassignment and the threat of having to send Elsa to a zoo arises the couple decide that since she was born free they have to reintegrate her into the wild. Based on a true story.

    Black Zoo (1963)-At the private zoo “Conrad’s Animal Kingdom” warped owner Michael Conrad (Michael Gough) is up to no good. He rules over a cult of animal worshippers whose fealty is only to the four footed beasts and when anyone poses a threat to their society Conrad has trained the animals to dispatch them in gruesome ways.

  5. I have seen all 3 and I love Babe…such a sweet, gentle fairy tale with villains and heroes and those daffy mice. I actually had a dream where I asked the mice if I could sing with them and they said sure. When I woke up my husband, at the time, asked me what I was dreaming about and I told him and he said, “That’s It! You were singing that song they sing”. I still sing that song in my dreams on occasion…apparently. I like a Bug’s Life which is funny and, once again a fat animal that has a German accent. The 3rd one is inspired and so funny. I need to see it again.

  6. The only one I’ve seen is A Bug’s Life. I think it’s been quite forgotten over the years just because Pixar has made a lot of great films…but it is still a good one. I remember watching it fondly…at that time, the style of animation was still so new.

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