If you’ve been in flip flops this summer, especially if you’ve been in Beasts flip flops, you’ll have trekked all over the place to soak up what sun there was I’m sure! But as we wave goodbye to the went-by-too-fast summer (sad face), and we turn to face the winter months ahead it seems we have some hibernating to do. What better way to get us through it all than some great animal kingdom flicks to enjoy from the comfort of home?
In keeping with the Beasts Footwear obsession for all things beastie-like, including conservation and raising awareness, our criteria for choosing the films came down to the portrayal of animals on screen and the ultimate messages behind the respective stories. We used the Born Free movie as inspiration for what great films about the animal kingdom should be like. So, without further ado…
5. March of the Penguins
If you haven’t watched this Morgan Freeman-narrated documentary about the Emperor Penguins making their journey to a breeding ground in the arctic, you are missing out on a heart-wrenching and heart-warming true life event that quite rightly earned an Oscar for its troubles. A beautiful triumph.
4. Gorillas in the Mist
A lost classic from the late eighties starring Sigourney Weaver in the true-life story of Dian Fossy who ventured into Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fought to protect them. If you see this film make sure you not only prepare yourself for sadness, but you bring a whole wad of Kleenex tissues too. It’s one of the saddest, most heart breaking true stories ever told on film. The amazing landscapes and the use of real gorillas make this simply a must-see. And what wonderful and remarkable beasts the gorillas truly are.
3. Two Brothers
For some reason, this film never found an audience yet it’s quite possibly one of the most stunningly realised live-action animal stories ever captured. It involves two tiger cubs separated at birth, both who go on to lead very different lives; one in captivity, the other in the wilds. This stellar motion picture perfectly portrays the bond that animals share between one another, likening them to us in so many ways, and it’s a really uplifting, epic adventure that persons of any age or background can appreciate, learn from and enjoy.
2. Fly Away Home
Another true story beautifully told charting the journey of a girl (Anna Paquin) and her father (Jeff Daniels) to lead a flock of orphaned geese south through the air by building a flying contraption. You’ll usually see this one on at Christmas time. It’s a real feel-good experience that shows just how much good one little girl can do, not just for animals and the natural world, but inspiring millions of people. This is an excellent story of moral conviction, the tenderness and power of the human spirit and uncompromising compassion; in fact, it’s just an excellent film full-stop.
The quintessential animal movie, which by far and wide, hits all the right notes and is at once hauntingly sad, hysterically funny, incredibly exciting and joyously moving. Babe goes from a lonely, orphaned piglet to the world’s first sheep-dog pig in this universal coming-of-age tale. The story transcends age groups making it a memorable experience for children, teens, adults and the elderly alike. It is the closest we will ever coming to living amongst and understanding animals through the on-screen medium of film. A masterpiece of imagination and tenderness.
Honorable mentions must also go to other animal related adventures such as Disney’s The Lion King, Aardman animation’s delightfully eccentric Chicken Run, the enduring classic Watership Down, the ultimate animal road movie Homeward Bound and the issue-driven family blockbuster, Free Willy. Hibernate with a few of these classics to keep you company this winter.
Beasts will leave you now with one of the best scenes from Babe: