Remember the days when a short YouTube video featuring a kitten riding a turtle simply wasn’t enough? We’re talking about the good ol’ days, when animals demanded a feature film and movie producers complied. Because let’s face it, when it comes to acting, animals are better than most human actors. We’ve listed our all-time favorite films featuring animals for you to enjoy this holiday season.
101 Dalmatians (1996)
First up is one of our favorite Christmas movies, and not only for Glenn Close’s iconic performance as the twisted Cruella de Vil. The live-action film, produced by Walt Disney, featured Pongo, Perdita, and their 99 puppies all played by real-life dalmatians. Who could say no to that?!
The comedy-drama film directed by Chris Noonan, took seven years of development, before being filmed in New South Wales, Australia. It features a talking pig who wishes to work as a sheepdog. Fun fact: actor James Cromwell became an ethical vegan as a result of starring as Farmer Hoggett.
The family comedy film, starring Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt, centers around a St. Bernard dog who can actually play the piano. Take that, keyboard cat!
Free Willy (1993)
Southpark might have parodied it, but for young audiences, Free Willy was quite the inspiration. Starring Jason James Richter, it centered around a foster boy who befriended a captive orca. Sadly, the aquatic star of the film – an orca named Keiko – failed to adapt to the wild when he was actually released.
Produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney, the computer-animated comedy film made quite the splash when it came out. In France alone, where the film is set, it broke the record for the biggest debut for an animated film. But we hardly believe it made people more accepting to the idea of rats hanging out in their kitchen.