Following on from my post on Top 5 Canine Companions, I thought I’d do another animal-related post.
This post has been quite difficult to write, however, as once I started thinking about it there was lots to choose from! The rule I set myself was simple: the animals could be either real or CGI but must be different, so one dog, one horse, one cat…
At first coming up with 10 different animals was quite difficult. Dogs and cats are in lots of films but what else to choose? However, I soon got up to 22 animals! This Top 10 is, therefore, the best of the best. I then ranked all the animals against each other, which again was very difficult! Being the fantasy fan I am there are one or two mythological animals in the list, too.
As always, leave a comment if a different animal would have made your Top 10. My runners up include Donkey from the Shrek series, Fawkes from the Harry Potter series, the killer croc from Lake Placid, Flipper from Flipper and Stuart Little from Stuart Little.
10. Owl – Hedwig from the Harry Potter series
Harry’s faithful companion, Hedwig was a birthday present from Hagrid in the first film, The Philosopher’s Stone. In the magical world owls are not only companions but also deliver birds, and Hedwig would dutifully deliver Harry’s post.
While Hermione owned Crookshanks and Ron owned Pigwidgeon (and Scabbers, for a time) I would definitely choose Hedwig as my companion. As well as being a useful pet, she was a true friend and it is clear that she loved Harry very much.
9. Bear – Baloo from The Jungle Book
A laid back sloth bear, Baloo lives by the ‘bare necessities’ – “Look for the bare necessities, The simple bare necessities, Forget about your worries and your strife, I mean the bare necessities, Old Mother Nature’s recipes, That brings the bare necessities of life.”
Baloo takes Mowgli under his wing and boy, do they have an adventure…
8. Horse – Black Beauty from many film adaptations
As some of you may know, I’m a horse rider. I used to ride when I was younger and recently got back into it. Horses are beautiful creatures and I am so happy that I bit the bullet and got back into riding.
Black Beauty is a story that many people are familiar with. Black Beauty, a handsome black horse, is the narrator of the story. After beginning his career as a carriage horse for wealthy owners, the story follows him as he passes through the hands of a series of owners.
7. Pig – Babe from Babe
Ahh, Babe, he is such a cutie!
Babe was released in 1995, and is the story of a runt piglet won at a fair by Farmer Hoggett. Babe was housed with Farmer Hoggett’s sheepdog, Fly, and her pups. He displays some impressive skills around the farmyard like sorting the hens into groups, and he also starts learning how to be a sheepdog…
6. Gorilla – King Kong from King Kong
I haven’t seen the 1933 version with Fay Wray so the King Kong I am basing my choice on is Peter Jackson’s 2005 adaptation. I had thought of choosing a different primate – perhaps one from this year’s fantastic Rise of the Planet of the Apes – but Kong is undoubtedly the King of the Monkeys.
I really enjoyed PJ’s adaptation, and the CGI Kong looked fantastic. Andy Serkis donned his motion capture suit to play Kong, which wouldn’t be the only time that he would take on the role of a primate.
5. Elephant – Dumbo from Dumbo
Growing up Dumbo was one of my favourites, if not the favourite, Disney film. It’s such a sweet film and Dumbo is a lovely, highly loveable character.
As with many Disney films, Dumbo was taken under the wing of another character, Timothy Q Mouse, after he was separated from his mother. The film follows Dumbo as he finds his way in the world, and what to do with those big ears!
4. Dinosaur – the T Rex from Jurassic Park
I know ‘dinosaur’ isn’t a breed of animal but I thought Tyrannosaurus Rex was a little too specific!
My top dinosaur was either going to be the T Rex or the Velociraptors. I decided to go for the T Rex as, for me, he is a much more iconic figure in the Jurassic Park world. One of my favourite film scenes is the closing scene in Jurassic Park when the ‘when dinosaurs ruled the Earth’ sign floats past the T Rex after he smashes into the main building and fights the velociraptors.
3. Shark – The great white from Jaws
I’m not the biggest fan of the water for many reasons: I’m not the strongest swimmer, there could be strong currents or waves, you don’t know what is below you and you don’t know what else is in it. There are many predators in the sea including, of course, the fearsome man-eating white shark.
Jaws is an exciting, classic film that caused a whole generation to fear the water. Its simple concept and fantastic score proved to be a winning formula.
2. Dog – Lassie from many films and TV series
As many of you already know, I am a dog person, so a dog just had to make the list. In fact, a dog would have taken the top spot but there is just one animal that could take its place… But, back to my No 2 choice. Lassie is a faithful, loving companion that is quite simply the epitome of what loyalty is. She was created by Eric Knight for his short story, which was later expanded to novel length, ‘Lassie Come-Home’. It was about a Rough Collie, Lassie, and her quest to be reunited with the boy she loves, Joe.
1. Lion – Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia series
Now do you understand why a dog couldn’t be No 1? The lion is the King of the Jungle, the Biggest of the Big Cats, and Aslan is a wonderful, wonderful character. Voiced in the most recent adaptations by Liam Neeson, Alsan is more than just a leader, he is a friend and a father-figure rolled into one.
C S Lewis was a fantastic writer and his decision to have a lion as this strong, kingly figure was an inspired choice. It is stated during the books that Aslan is “not a tame lion”. While gentle and loving he is also powerful and dangerous. He truly is a force to be reckoned with.