There are so many remarkable stories about our furry friends, real and reel alike. The cinematic world has been able to capture some of the most beautiful animal stories and bring them to life on the big screen. While there is a notion that they are just movies for kids, the storytelling in some is so remarkable that it makes our adult hearts skip a beat too. The best movies are for all, isn’t it? So here’s an effort to bring to you a list of some of the best animal movies because as much as we love animals, we know that you share the feeling with us very strongly too.
The first one in our animal movie list is Duma. A rendition loosely based on the children’s book How It Was with Dooms, Duma soars on its tagline “some friendships are wilder than others''. Living in a ranch in Kenyan, Xan and his parents take in an orphaned Cheetah cub that they stumble upon. Their bond grows and it is bright and shiny for a while, but Xan has to eventually recognise that a big cat cannot be domesticated and the best he can do is to return Duma to the wild. An uncanny friendship that grows between Xan and Duma, somehow feels plausible because of the incredible storytelling.
2. Eight Below
Following a devastating accident, two Antarctic explorers are compelled to leave behind their team of eight sled dogs to survive on their own. What comes next is a beautiful melancholy of struggle, a tale invested in friendship and loyalty among the pack, as they grapple their way through the bleak. The movie is a remake of the 1983 classic Antarctica which was inspired by the true story of the tragic Japanese expedition in 1958.
Marley is a gift from John Grogan to his wife Jennifer. He is the most boisterous puppy, and is almost maladjusted in a certain sense. He grows up but there is no stop to his puppy energy, even as a 100 pounds dog. As the Grogan family matures with human members Marley too finds to find a definite place in John’s newspaper column. Marley and Me is about that very impulsive furry friend but its simplicity is so profound that before you realise, you are invested in Marley’s story like your own. The best movies always do have that impact, don’t they?
It is impossible to have an animal movie list and not have Hachi in it. A movie that will silently warm the cockles of our heart in every way possible, is based on a true story of an Akita dog named Hachikō who waits at the train station every day at 5 p.m, even after his human’s untimely demise caused by a heart attack. The Richard Gere starrer American version is an adaptation of the Japanese version Hachikō Monogatari (1987). Both versions are amongst the most popular movies on animals, friendship and loyalty.
5. War Horse
Albert (played by Jeremy Irvine) and his horse Joey who lived in a country farm in rural England were forced apart at the dawn of World War I. The movie follows Joey’s heart wrenching journey through the backdrop of the war and the life-threatening circumstances that the speechless equine encounters, and Albert’s search for his long-lost friend. Evoking various emotions, this is one of the best animal movies. It’s transformative, full of hope and the brilliance that is Steven Spielberg!
An homage to its namesake children’s book, Mr. Popper’s Penguin is unusual and it has to be a part of our animal movies list. In this family comedy, The hilarious Jim Carrey character Tom Popper’s life takes an unexpected turn when he receives a penguin as a gift from his estranged father. In an attempt to get rid of it, he accidently orders five more. And everything from thereon is a conundrum until everything falls back in place again. One of the best movies for kids, we don’t know if the penguins are the cutest things in this movie, or if Jim Carrey is!
Not all animal lovers' movies have to be just about animals. And thus we make place for this one in our list of best animal movies. Dealing with the loss of his wife to a terminal illness, Benjamin Mee (played by Matt Damon) quits his city life, buys a ramshackle zoo and moves with his children to the countryside in Southern California. An 18-acre property in hand, the aim is to renovate the zoo and reopen it to the public. Mee’s grief and his finding ways to heal is honest and grounded storytelling, added with Cameron Crowe’s music. Wola! We bought a Zoo is smooth, sincere, and it is what you need when a day seems utterly hopeless.
8. Life of Pi
This movie is a powerful one, it commands cheers, tears, and you sitting on the edge of your seat. One of the popular movies of the last decade, the Oscar winning story runs in flashback, as Piscine "Pi" Patel narrates the story of his life. His parents decide to sell their zoo in India and move to Canada with the remaining animals. But the journey is met by a massive storm and shipwreck. Finding refuge with him on a lifeboat after surviving the calamity were Richard Parker, a fearsome, unpredictable tiger and three other animals. Eventually, Pi and Richard Parker are the only ones left and they have to triumph as the last two surviving souls against all odds, and each other.
Dog stories make for some of the most popular movies. Max is a story of a war hero. After a bomb blast kills Kyle (his handler), Max, a marine dog returns to the US only to face euthanasia. But Kyle’s mother decides to adopt him under the care of Justin, Kyle’s younger brother. Dwelling on loss and trauma of a military canine and a young boy living under the shadows of a fallen war hero, Max blossoms into a lovely narrative of healing and bonding and eventually unfolding the conspiracy that claimed Kyle’s life in the first place.
The founding stone of GUNAS is our love for animals. For us, knowing that animals are a part of this world, makes us feel a little better everyday. And what could be greater than the love we share for the beautiful animals the world has been blessed with.
With the pandemic having had us confined to our homes for much too long, the negativity circling around the world can sometimes get overwhelming. All of us need some comfort, stories of hope and warmth. While you might have discovered newer ways of handling these unprecedented times, we hope our list of best animal movies will spark up your lives at least by a tiny bit. They will make you laugh, and they will bring you to tears, but we assure you that this animal movies list will make your heart warm and cozy too.