Skip’s Quips: Where Have All the Animal Movies Gone?

Blog Sketch 082813Doesn’t it seem like a long time has passed since Air Bud debuted?

Hey, it’s only been 17 years. Feels like an age, no?

I think there’s a reason for this. We’re not seeing a lot of live-action movies starring dogs, cats or other animals these days – certainly not as much as in previous years. Yes, there are plenty of CGI-flavored animated films portraying the beastie set. But the likes of Air Bud, Beethoven and Marley & Me seem to have gone to the dogs. We’re not getting as many of those kinds of flicks anymore. Why?

I wonder if it’s more economical for studios to develop animated pictures dealing with all creatures great and small than it is to do live-action ones requiring the onscreen talents of various stars. Or maybe the public has had its fill of Turner & Hooch and its ilk. That could be a possibility. Perhaps tastes have changed … though I’m not sure the taste for buddy films centering on the relationship between man and canine could ever be construed as being “good.”

To tell you the truth, I kind of miss these generally dreadful pieces of celluloid. I don’t know why. They almost always featured coarse slapstick comedy and schmaltzy sentimentality. Am I, at heart, a sucker for that?

Nah. I’ll give ya, maybe, Lassie Come Home and A Dog of Flanders. Air Bud? Nope.

Oh, that reminds me: Someone should do a film of Farley Mowat’s The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be. That’s at least a well-written story that’s cinematic. Unlike Beethoven.

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