Somewhere around the age of five or six, we realise that animals can’t talk like we do. It is such a disappointing discovery! However, I have to say that talking animals in the movies do actually irritate me a little bit, unless they are one of the following five:
The Cowardly Lion – The Wizard of Oz (1939)
What is not to love about this comical character? The lion is one of a trio of characters to accompany Dorothy on her quest to The Emerald City. Bert Lahr gives a wonderful performance, portraying this pitiful creature in search of courage, contradicting the common perception of a lion.
Baloo – The Jungle Book (1967)
This was one of my favourite Disney movies as a child. I used to love watching Baloo and Mowgli hang out together. Baloo is the huge, happy-go-lucky sloth bear with a heart of gold. He likes to sing and dance his way out of trouble. That would get ridiculously annoying in real life… but it makes for a great Disney character!
Dr. Zira – Planet of the Apes (1968)
This progressive primate is one of my favourite strong female lead characters. Dr. Zira takes no bullshit, stands up for what she believes, and is the forefront of a pursuit to uncover the science of humanity, despite her frustratingly conservative authorities.
Shadow – Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Phewie. Just the thought of this movie brings a range of emotions sweeping throughout my soul. I literally love this. I’m actually going to put it on now. All the talking animals in this movie are fantastic to watch, but Shadow as the wise old Golden Retriever is the best, in my eyes. He is the voice of reason in a moment of folly. He is the soothing voice of comfort at the pinnacle of distress. He is the sage of the canine universe.
The Beast – Beauty and the Beast (1991)
I know that I’m not alone when I admit to finding the Beast a very dateable dude. He is handsome as hell, or am I…? Voiced very well by Robby Benson, this troubled, rude and outspoken monster ends up charming Belle. He’s just the opposite of an aged avocado, if you get what I mean?
What’s your opinion on talking animals in the movies?