Buddy Movies: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Dec 12, 2011 in Buddy Movies | 0 comments

How to Train Your Dragon movie image

Born Free (1966): This woman-and-her-lion story based on the true story of Joy Adamson is mostly known for its original song, but led to two sequels, two TV series, a made-for-TV movie, and made activists out of its stars.

Ernest & Celestine (2012):  The wonderful French-Belgian collaboration, based on the book series by Gabrielle Vincent, is the most comforting, heartwarming animated film of the past decade. The style recalls a Little Golden Book, with thin and wavy penciled lines and soft watercolors. It’s precious, but not obnoxiously so. It has all the charm of a cell-drawn classic from the 40s. It feels like people took painstaking time in bringing this story to the screen, even in the likely event that they didn’t. The filmmakers clearly took lessons from Hayao Miyazaki, with the mix of zany comedy and bittersweet reality, as delivered by lovable characters in fully realized new worlds (in this case, they belong to bears and mice). Bears and mice CANNOT be friends, we’re told. Bears, after all, eat mice. Celestine isn’t so convinced, and bravely scurries into the enemy’s realm. Bears occupy a city, while the mice stick to sewers and tunnels, constantly in hiding. Well, almost constantly. It seems their main duty is to collect bear teeth for use in their dental operations. After all, they need their incisors to do everything, and bears have the toughest teeth around. Seeing as how she’s 50 teeth behind in her duties, Celestine decides to befriend a down-on-his-luck bear for the greatest tooth heist either world has ever seen. The vocal work is also fantastic, including memorable turns by Forest Whitaker, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, and real-life power couple Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.

How to Train Your Dragon (2010): Touted as DreamWorks’ best animated release since Shrek, this one looks great and is fairly low on cheekiness, but lacks well-developed characters (these are pretty one-dimensional).

Ice Age (2002): An unlikely Ice-Ageteam of CGI misfits – a wooly mammoth, sabertooth tiger, and sloth – reverse the buddy movie formula by working together to return an infant child to his parents.

Into the West (1992): A ridiculous and cheesy premise (two Irish gypsy boys flee officials after stealing a majestic white horse from the “land of eternal youth”) somehow works under the direction of Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and writing of Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot and In America).

Never Cry Wolf (1983): Another wonderful Carol Ballard film, this time following a man who studies wolves and learns they aren’t as ruthless as everyone thinks.

Ring of Bright Water (1969): An otter named Mij runs circles around leading man Bill Travers, literally. Sadly, the running and general cuteness of the otter is basically the premise of the entire Scottish countryside movie.

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