The whole idea of a groundhog seeing his shadow indicating two more weeks of winter is silly but also fun. That is until good ‘ol Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and you are an angry weatherman living the same day over and over again for what looks like the rest of eternity. That is the hell Bill Murray’s character finds himself in “Groundhog Day”. At first it is confusing until eventually he embraces it and goes insane. The best scene with little Punxsutawney Phil is when Murray kidnaps the fluffy guy and let’s him drive a truck off a cliff. To quote Murray; “Don’t Drive Angry”. But ultimately, if Phil had not seen his shadow then Bill would have never learned what is truly special in life.
9. Willy (“Free Willy”):
“Free Willy” is the classic child loves animal story. A young street rat named Jesse gets caught vandalizing a local aquatic zoo. After being caught he is tasked with cleaning up the aquarium. From there he meets his new best friend, an Orca aka ‘Killer Whale’ named Willy. The majestic creature has been separated from his family and implanted in this watery cage (Sea World is awful, google it). When Jesse gets word that Willy is to be put down, the rejuvenated young man will stop at nothing to ensure his buddy’s safe passage back to where he belongs. Admittedly a bit cheesy, getting that whale out of harms way is certainly heartwarming.
8. Mr. Bigglesworth (“Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”):
While Dr. Evil is obviously inspired by the classic Bond villain from “Dr. No”, there is no denying his pet is way more badass. In “Austin Powers” this hairless bundle of evil is always at the madman’s side. That includes being cryogenically frozen with him in a space ship for ’30 Freakin’ Years!’. With the comforting love of his angry-bitch-faced pet, Dr. Evil brews up a plan to ransom the earth’s governments for a total of, wait for it, ‘ONE MILLION DOLLARS!’. While Austin Powers is the only man capable of stopping him, the diaboliqule villain escapes with his feline pal to freeze in space once again.
7. Thumper (“Bambi”):
Seriously, just look at that face. I’ve never been a rabbit as a pet person myself. But is that not the cutest little critter you’ve ever seen? I just wanna cuddle with this guy all day in the backyard. “Bambi” is part of Disney’s OG group of animated children’s classics. The little deer Bambi is also a sweetheart, but the shy Thumper steals the show. He is fun loving and always ready to give good clean advice. My favorite; ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’. While I fail to do that often, it’s a genuinely kind sentiment.
6. Beethoven the dog (“Beethoven”):
We all love our pets. Well at least some of us. When it comes to George Newton, a high stress businessman who’s all about routine, his kids adopting a giant Saint Bernard as a pet is definitely a nuisance. “Beethoven” loves to destroy furniture, disrupt sleeping patterns, and absolutely ruin important business meetings. Yet in the end, how can one not love waking up to that face. Even George comes around and ultimately risks his life to save the canine. Dogs will be dogs, but in the end the positives of having one far outweigh the migraine-inducing moments.
5. Babe the pig (“Babe”):
For me pigs have always looked like bacon and pork chops. A lot of things, including the slop they bath in, are kinda gross. None of that could be said about “Babe”. People love to use the term ‘Pig Nose’ to explain an ugly person. Babe has the cutest little pink nose that it puts human noses to shame. After escaping his near fate as Christmas dinner on a small country farm, Babe wins over the hearts of his owners as well as fellow livestock friends. This piglet is out to warm hearts and exceed expectations. In the words of his owner played by James Cromwell; ‘That’ll do pig. That’ll do.”
4. Bud (“Air Bud”):
Sometimes you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Yeah he’s just a canine, but it turns out this dog can ball. “Air Bud” is the true story of, naw I’m just kidding, but I wish this actually happened. “Air Bud” is about a circus trained dog who is able to escape his cruel ringleader and makes his way to a young high school basketball player in a small midwest town. Needing an extra player heading into conference play, the team reluctantly brings in the dog with a heart matching his golden hair. Once he puts on two-pairs of sneakers, this shifty guy is crossing people over and dunking on the tallest of opponents. Laugh all you want when you hit the court against a dog. Just be ready to explain to coach why that dog smoked your ass in the locker room.
3. Remy (“Ratatouille)”:
Normally seeing a rat inside a restaurant is a big turn-off. Yeah, probably not going back there. That would be a huge mistake if seeing Remy in Pixar’s “Ratatouille” made you have that reaction. A rodent with an unstoppable spirit, Remy stumbled upon and studied a cookbook written by one of France’s most renowned chef’s. His passion for food is born. The only problem, he’s a rat. His family and friends eat whatever they can find and could care less about the art of fine cuisine. Never giving up, he forms an unlikely bond with Linguini, a clumsy chef at what was once a big deal French hot spot. With Remy’s help, the two create dishes that are to die for and help reinvigorate the business. This sewer rat is so amazing he can save a business with fun and charm.
2. Baloo (“The Jungle Book”):
“The Jungle Book” is filled with lovable and not-so lovable animals. The journey of a forgotten young Indian boy named Mowgli trying to survive in the jungle is a complicated one. He has allies as well as predators along the way. Perhaps his bestie of friends is the lovable bear Baloo. This chubby mix of gray and blue fur is all about living the fun life. Nothing gets Baloo down. We could all use a buddy like this in our crazy lives. When all seems lost, simply; “Look for the, bare necessities, it’s just the bare necessities, look for the bare necessities of life…”
1. Kong (“King Kong”):
“King Kong” is a legend in the monster movie world. We all know that. But in my opinion the giant gorilla is misunderstood. Yes he’s angry. Yes he’s huge. But he just wants to be loved. On an island littered with creatures both prehistoric as well as otherworldly, Kong is never one to back down from a fight. That is what makes him King. But when a beautiful blonde bombshell catches his eye it changes his heart to instead be focused on protecting his woman. Kong in the end is a lover, but he is also a badass fighter.