Special Sub-Topic: "Dogs Die" Movies
|In all fairness we should really begin with the main offender. My term for any movie which involves a hurt or dying animal is a "Dogs Die" movie. I watched Disney's "Old Yeller" at an early age, and was totally bereft when the movie finished. What happened to Old Yeller?|
The dog was destroyed because he had rabies. Tommy Kirk plays Travis Coates, a young boy who is helping his mother and brother on their farm while his father is away. He befriends a stray - a golden labrador - and the dog becomes part of the family. After many ups and downs, the family finally has to face the awful truth. Their dog fought a rabid wolf to protect them and must pay the ultimate price. Nothing - not even the appearance of Old Yeller's puppies, helped me deal with this movie. I cried all the way home and was upset for weeks. I have fared little better writing this extra information.
|Yes I know "Bambi" is an animation and therefore never really happened. I watched the movie up until Bambi's mother was killed and then I was taken home. It was easier that way. Who killed her?|
Hunter & Hunters. This 1942 Disney animation features the voices of Hardie Albright (Bambi), Stan Alexander (young Flower) and Tim Davis (Thumper).
I am assured that this animated feature is delightful, as the 'Prince of the Forest' plays in the woods with his friends Thumper and Flower. They learn about life, death and love while facing a series of trials. When indiscriminant hunters start a forest fire, Bambi must prove he can be as brave as his father and save his friends.
While the finer details of this movie will forever remain a mystery to me - I will admit to loving the music, especially the song "Little April Showers".
|The Carraclough family fall on hard times and are forced to to sell their beautiful dog to a Scottish duke. Young Joe is heartbroken when he loses his pet, and as the movie unfolds, the viewer learns just how strong the bond between a boy and his dog can be.
The dog travels across difficult terrain, climbs mountains, swims rivers and is forced to fight other dogs. Finally, after an epic journey - boy and dog are reunited. |
Lassie Come Home. "Lassie Come Home" (1943), stars Roddy McDowall as Joe, Nigel Bruce as the Duke of Rudling, and Elizabeth Taylor as the Duke's niece Priscilla. Lassie - the beautiful collie - is of course the real star, as she makes her way back to Joe. So touching is their reunion, that the Duke pretends not to recognise Lassie, and she is free to return to the boy she loves.
So now I hear murmurs about no "dying" on Lassie's part. You clearly weren't paying attention. Animals only have to be hurt or distressed for the movie to qualify for a "Dogs Die" classification. I only watched this movie because my brother said I wouldn't be able to sit through it. I did, and cried inconsolably for most of it.
|I have never seen "The Yearling" because I know what it is about. A young farm boy - Jody - yearns for a pet of his very own. He finally persuades his parents to let him keep the fawn of a doe that has been shot. He names him Flag and they are inseparable. Finally, as a yearling, Flag's behaviour becomes a threat to the welfare of the small farm. What does he do that leads to his death?|
All of these (He breaks down fences, He tramples the new crop, He eats the new corn crop). "The Yearling" (1946), stars Gregory Peck as Penny Baxter and Jane Wyman as "Ma". Claude Jarman Jr. plays Jody - the boy who loves the yearling. Despite all Jody's efforts, Flag manages to all but destroy the corn crop and the family's livelihood. Ma shoots Flag to protect the farm, and Jody is left to ponder one of life's harsher lessons.
Just writing this part of the quiz has hardened my resolve to avoid the movie forever.
|In 1960, Joy Adamson published a book which dealt with her time as the wife of a Kenyan game warden. She raised Elsa, an orphan lion cub, and taught her the ways of the wild, so that the lioness could again roam free. The movie "Born Free" portrayed Elsa's early life, but a second movie was released in 1972 that dealt with her death. What was the name of this sequel?|
Living Free. "Born Free" (1966), starring Virginia McKenna as Joy Adamson and Bill Travers as her husband George, chronicled Elsa's life as a cub and her eventual release into the wild.
"Living Free" (1972) featured Susan Hampshire as Joy, and Nigel Davenport as George. In this movie, Elsa has three cubs of her own but falls victim to a parasitic disease and dies. Her cubs become a nuisance to the local villagers when they begin attacking livestock. Joy and George are forced to interfere with nature and attempt to relocate Elsa's cubs to a more remote area.
I could not watch the sequel. "Born Free" was my absolute limit.
|A group of rabbits flee their old warren in the face of its imminent destruction by man. Led by Fiver and his brother Hazel, they seek a new and safe home. At first they seem happy in their new warren, and are sure they have escaped the violence. However danger is ever present as they face a new enemy - General Woundwart - head of the warren Efrafa. The fighting is far from over. What is the name of this animated feature?|
Watership Down. "Watership Down" (1978) is an animation, primarily in watercolour. It is based on Richard Adams' novel of the same name, and features the voices of John Hurt (Hazel), Richard Briers (Fiver), Ralph Richardson (Chief Rabbit) and Harry Andrews (General Woundwart). This movie has been described as "frightening and bloody" and definitely not recommended for children - or Nannas.
|Movies about animals that are hurt or die are distressing, but the movie is all the more poignant if it happens to be based on a true story. In the 1930s, a horse without pedigree suddenly begins winning races, thanks in part to the faith of his devoted stableboy Tommy Woodcock. The horse captures the hearts of Australians during the depression. They love a winner and they always love the underdog. Promoters arrange for the horse to race in the USA, where his success looks like undermining the fortunes of some professional gamblers. After winning a major race in Mexico, the horse collapses and mysteriously dies. Which movie features this phenomenal racer?|
Phar Lap. Phar Lap was the hero Australians needed during the Great Depression. He had 36 wins from his last 41 starts and won North America's richest race - the Agua Caliente Handicap - just before his death in 1932.
In the 1983 movie "Phar Lap", Tom Burlinson plays Tommy Woodcock. Given that just looking at the great horse in the Museum of Victoria reduced me to tears, watching the movie is never going to be an option.
|Tom Hanks plays compulsively neat Scott Turner, a detective who inherits a dog. The large slobbery canine is the only link to his master's murder, and Scott is forced to endure the dog's messy destructive ways. Naturally the dog and Scott become a team as they try to solve the crime. They discover that a fish processing plant is being used to launder money, and that the local police chief is involved. Inevitably there is a final shoot out and the dog is killed. What was the name of the dog in the title role?|
Hooch. "Turner and Hooch" (1989) starred Tom Hanks as Turner and a rather large and slobbery Dogue de Bordeaux or French Mastiff as Hooch. It is billed as a comedy (I do not understand this!) - I made it to the shoot out scene. I then left the room and returned when the credits were safely rolling.
|Billed as children's fare, this movie begins by showing us a world in which animals are bred for food. The animals believe they need to get fat so that they can be taken away to a place of endless pleasures. The star of the movie watches his mother disappear in a meat truck and is sad. As fortune would have it, this talking creature does find a home with Farmer Hoggett. He then discovers that he has a very fine talent for herding sheep. What is the name of this movie?|
Babe. "Babe"(1995), features James Cromwell as the farmer who adopts Babe. This movie received a General rating in Australia and that has always puzzled me.
The movie deals in great length with the death of animals for human consumption. Babe is told by the anorexic duck Ferdinand that ducks are for eating. Babe himself is destined to be the Christmas pork but receives a reprieve. His place is taken by another duck - "Roseanna - she had a beautiful nature".
Babe does manage to evade the butcher's block and goes on to achieve his ambition of performing as a sheep herder in the local competition.
I did watch "Babe" from beginning to end, but only because I was a fully grown adult and in a movie theatre. The fact that it was shot just 40 minutes drive from my front door, and I could distract myself by spotting landmarks also helped.
|Well apparently my problem with animals being hurt or dying in movies is generational. My granddaughter always asks her mother to put on one particular movie but there are conditions attached. "You put on the movie and I'll go in my bedroom. Call me when the big fish has eaten the Mummy and all the baby fish and then I'll come out and watch."
She is then happy to return to the world where Marlin and his offsider Dory are searching for Marlin's son. The son has been kidnapped by a scuba diver and resides in a fishtank in a dental surgery. While his father sets out to find him, the kidnapped fish decides he too must make a break for freedom. What is this animated feature?|
Finding Nemo. "Finding Nemo" (2003) features a clown fish and his father and their adventures as they attempt to find each other. The voices are brilliantly cast with Albert Brooks as Marlin, Ellen DeGeneres as Dory and Alexander Gould as Nemo.
There seems to be an unwritten code amongst animators that there should be a very scary if not fatal scene in every production. "Finding Nemo" is no exception and my granddaughter is certainly not alone in her horror of this opening sequence.
Well. As you can see, qualifying for a "Dogs Die" award is not hard if I am the judge. I seem to cope far better with warm and fuzzy "feelgood" movies. I hope the Kleenex lasted!
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