Yesterday was my the last official day in my old house. I returned the keys, bid farewell to the built up mould and crumbling ceiling and spent 4 hours wandering around waiting for someone to let me into the house I’m staying at. So, all my stuff is in boxes, my laptop is broken and I’m sleeping on a couch. BUT, the house I am moving into (and, coincidentally, sleeping on the couch of right now) has a dog. A DOG! Do you have any idea how excited I am by this prospect? Probably not. I love having pets, and due to the fact that I’ve spent the last three years living in a decaying concrete box on very little money I have not been able to have one. JUST LOOK AT THIS THING, WILL YOU!?
It’s pretty much the cutest and it’s super affectionate and I love it. So, that happened. Now, there are two things that absolutely guarentee I will cry during a film: a) is it a war movie? Because I’m already crying. I have a totally unreasonable emotional reaction (always against my better judgement) to any and all war films. Any era. Sobbing, regardless of context. And b) animals with vaguely human characteristics as central characters. Shoot me in my face, I can’t even handle it. They don’t even have to die… they just have to be loyal or defend each other or something and I’m wailing. With that in mind and knowing the fact that I now have a dog around me at all times, I thought we could look at my favourite five dogs from TV and cinema. But not Lassie. No Lassie on this blog. Not now. Not ever.
- Jack from The Artist – Jack was played by a Jack Russell Terrier named Uggie. Uggie has been in a bunch of things including Water For Elephants and The Campaign, but his role in The Artist got him the most attention.
Given the fact that he outperformed most of the actors in the film, this is probably warranted and S.T. VanAirsdale, an editor at Movieline started a campaign for him to be nominated for an Oscar, saying that the dog “outdid Leonardo Dicaprio’s performance in J. Edgar but probably wasn’t as good as George Clooney in The Descendents.” A similar campaign was run for the BAFTAs and after being contacted by several members to ask if they could vote for Uggie the board released the following statement: “”Regretfully, we must advise that as he is not a human being and as his unique motivation as an actor was sausages, Uggie is not qualified to compete for the BAFTA in this category.” The British are always so sassy when responding to things they find ridiculous. I love it.
- Otis from Milo and Otis – Milo and Otis should be retitled, The Movie That Traumatised Me for Many of My Formative Years. Seriously though. Trauma.
The dog and the cat just want to be friends and have adventures but they get separated and ARGH! The sadness I feel every time. What I didn’t realise from the initial watching (because I was too busy crying tears of blood) is that it’s actually a English redub and recut of a Japanese film called Koneko Monogatari (A Kittens Story). Which would explain several things including the fact that it’s actually just a really weird, kind of surreal film. There’s no people, but there’s some train tracks and a barn and a lot of talking animals. Anyway, I don’t think there’s been a pug before or since that was so into adventuring. High fives to Otis. (Warning: On the re-watch, this film can be actually genuinely quite upsetting because it’s not entirely clear whether or not everything was done quite up to standard on the whole animal rights front. The reason it’s here is because I watched it when I was younger and was emotionally traumatised by it for a completely different set of a reasons.)
- Copper from The Fox and the Hound – ARGH. MY SOUL. IT HURTS. If they were in anyway related, this would be the sequel to Milo and Otis and it would be called The Movie That Traumatised Me for Many of My Formative Years Part 2: The Reckoning. All the tears of my life.
Copper and Tod are BBFs, but then Copper is a bloodhound and Tod is a fox and people keep threatening to kill Tod and it’s just the saddest thing ever. This is one of those times that I’m way too emotionally involved in the film to write anything other than gross sobbing noises.
- Charlie B. Barkin from All Dogs Go to Heaven – Another animated dog. This one is voiced by Burt Reynolds. Much like Burt Reynolds, Charlie is a jerk, but he’s kind of a loveable jerk, who redeems himself in the end, so it’s all good.
Also, there’s a singing alligator, but since this post is about dogs, we can all just stop, take a minute and appreciate Burt Reynolds reaching a point in his career where he was like “Yes, yes I will voice that cartoon dog.”
- Rex from Inspector Rex – Inspector Rex is a badass Alsatian that solves crime. This is literally all you need to know.
Rex warrants a mention those whacky Austrians have come up with a show where the dog is legitimately the star without being at all anthropomorphised. He’s just a really smart dog who is super good as solving crimes and alerting people to gas leaks. If you’ve never watched Inspector Rex (or Kommissar Rex, for those of you playing along in Vienna) then now would be a really good time to start.
Dishonourable mentions go to Beverly Hills Chihuahua, which I had done seriously well to avoid but then looked it up because I was having some trouble finding some canine friends to write about. Anyway, watch this trailer and if it doesn’t looks like the worst thing that could’ve happened to film since they invented CGI the please leave.