Top Five Best Talking Animals

8 Sep

This top five list is dedicated to something that can be used for both good OR evil: talking animals. We’ve seen them perform with hilarity (The Emperor’s New Groove) and we’ve also witnessed them go terribly awry (Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties). Here’s a list dedicated to those who got it right.

TOP FIVE TALKING ANIMALS

Note: Cartoon creatures have been banned.

David’s List

5. Cornelius – Planet of the Apes

Cornelius

There are plenty of talking animals to choose from in Planet of the Apes, but there is one that stands out from all the rest. Cornelius, the archaeologist and historian, played by Roddy McDowall stole the show from all the other simians. Not only does he look totally awesome, but he’s pretty interesting as well. And as one of the few apes that doesn’t have it out for Charlton Heston, he proves to be one of our heroes and a fascinating character to boot.

4. Polynesia – Doctor Dolittle

The Doc

The original Doctor Dolittle film, starring Rex Harrison, was one of my favorite movies as child. It had journeys to uncharted islands, mysterious creatures, and a main character who could do what every child wanted: talk to animals. But even without the Doctor’s incredible ability I could imagine talking to Polynesia, his pet parrot. Polynesia could talk to everyone, and she did quite often. She would offer advise, give directions, and was basically just a fun conversation partner. And I have wanted a pet bird ever since.

3. The Sphinxes – Mirrormask

Creepy Sphinx

I’m not quite sure if a Sphinx counts as animal. Or if the plural form of “Sphinx” is “Sphinxes”. But regardless, they are crazy in the movie Mirrormask. If you haven’t seen it, Mirrormask is an endlessly imaginative movie with many strange creatures roaming about. But the Sphinx is the most interesting. A small, cat-like creature that asks questions and is very easily confused, it would be hilarious to keep around the house. Especially at parties.

2. Splinter – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

All-Knowing Splinter

Splinter can talk because he was mutated. On some talking animal lists, this might be seen as a disqualification, but here we see it as overcoming an obstacle. Not only that, he tells some hilarious jokes throughout the films. And his philosophical discussions introduces Zen Philosophy to millions of children around the world.

1. Mr. Glimfeather – The Silver Chair

Glimfeather

This strange owl, who is the same size as the children he’s carrying because of budget constraints at the BBC, is probably the film character I quote the most. Warwick Davis turned a character that is only in a handful of scenes in this movie, into one of the most memorable parts. Ts not funny when you talk about it, but the way he adds a “whoooo” sound to everything he says is hilarious. Pure genius.

Lara’s List

5. Binx – Hocus Pocus

 

Sean the Cat

This is a love/hate member of the list, because I loved Binx but I never really liked that his story of cathood, because it gave me the heeby jeebies. I mean, witches cursed him, he dies, and he’s from the ‘60s…yeesh… talk about unsettling. Still I liked him; he helped the Dennisons and Vanessa, and he was voiced by Jason Marsden. What’s not to love?

4. Babe – Babe: Pig in the City

Babe 2

Of course! Only the most famous talking animal after those Budweiser frogs and that horse from that old show. I know what you’re thinking: “Why not just choose Babe? Are you just trying to go against the grain?” Well, my answer to you, you over-assuming bastard, is Babe: Pig in the City is so much darker, and therefore bad-ass. As Kirk from Gilmore puts it, “Same pig, harder edge.” With this film the viewer can still see their lovable, talking pig who “will do” and they also have to deal with the horror of seeing a little dog catch his leash on a bridge and almost drown to death. Talk about versatility.

3. The Goat – Drag Me to Hell

 

Terrifying Scapegoat

Yeah, another animal capable of speech through witchcraft. I suppose I like my animals to have a legitimate reason for their ability to speak. Not that there is really anything logical or predictable about this goat. His line is everything a movie animal could hope for: it is shocking, vulgar, and utterly computer generated. Beautiful.

2. The Deer – Milo and Otis

An Adorable Fawn (Not actually the one from the film).

Really, this should be Every Single Animals in Milo and Otis, seeing as they are all equally endearing. Alas, I had to choose one of the Dudley Moore voiced, Japanese characters, so I chose the one who looks like a fawn. And is a fawn. And he (or is it she?) teaches Milo the kitten how to bound through flowers.  Talk about using your speaking powers for good.

1. Aslan – The Chronicles of Narnia (BBC)

The White Witch and Aslan

Look at that, David and I have creatures from the same film for our number one spot. Perhaps it is because Narnia made by the BBC is the best representation of Heaven that film has ever seen. And some of the best puppetry and wardrobe film has ever seen. Because he wasn’t computer generated, I seriously grew up thinking Aslan was a real talking lion, which was pertinent because he is perhaps the greatest, wisest character of all time. I pray that Jesus can fill his giant lion shoes in non-fictional heaven.

(I hope that wasn’t blasphemy).

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8 Responses to “Top Five Best Talking Animals”

  1. Val September 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Great list, as usual!

    But Lara: I KNOW you didn’t just say James Marsden when you clearly meant JASON Marsden. I’m just going to pretend that didn’t happen.

    • CintusSuprimus September 9, 2010 at 6:16 am #

      Oh good Lord, how embarrassing. I’ve been watching too much Buffy recently– I got a dreamy English vampire mixed up with the dreamiest cartoon voice actor of all time!

  2. breadtobeeaten September 9, 2010 at 3:19 am #

    Um… Lara, forgive me for watching Hocus Pocus every Halloween and for knowing that the cat’s name is Binx.

    • CintusSuprimus September 9, 2010 at 6:19 am #

      Whoopsidaisy. Two mistakes in one description. I have altered it accordingly. I feel super dumb, but in my defense I haven’t seen it since I was a kid seeing as I have tried to rent this film every Halloween of my adult life and it is always checked out. No doubt by some hip twenty-something year old watching it for nostalgia’s sake. Bastard.

      • breadtobeeaten September 20, 2010 at 7:37 am #

        Just buy a copy like I did… then you move straight out of hip twenty-something into lame twenty-something for like, five bucks.

  3. Chad mu fugg'n Zellner September 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Ummm I’m curious where Nemo is. Also, when I first saw Splinter I thought it was the Crack Fox haha 🙂

    • CintusSuprimus September 10, 2010 at 6:21 am #

      Ha! I actually thought about the Crack Fox… but technically he’s from a show. And the reason for no Nemo (or Lion King or 101 Dalmatians) is that we limited ourselves to non-animated talking animals. Maybe we’ll make another list for them!

  4. Noni September 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    did u know they’re filming a prequel to Planet of the Apes? They were shooting this summer near my home in Vancouver. (Robert Burnaby Park) Should be interesting to see if it stands up to the original.

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