I enjoy stories featuring animal characters and I grew up believing that animals could talk and even wear fancy outfits. While George preferred the 1970s UK favourites of Wombles, Clangers, and Magic Roundabout characters, my television favourites were Flipper the dolphin, Skippy the kangaroo, Black Beauty the horse and Lassie the dog. They did not want to eat humans and instead formed very special relationships with their human counterparts, if only the humans would listen closely. I tried to listen very closely to our dog Pierre the poodle and our cat called Mittens. They were good company and occasionally they enjoyed dressing up in bonnets and cardigans, going for a walk in the pram or riding in the basket on the front of my bike. I am sure they would have loved to star in a film.
So here are five of my favourite furry fictional film characters (although some of them do not actually have fur). Whether the animals are real or puppets, plasticine or animated, they all tell compelling and entertaining stories on the big screen.
Ewoks Ewoks were featured in Star Wars VI Return of the Jedi. They were small and furry with very large eyes and lived on the planet Endor. The most famous one in the film was called Wicket W. Warrick (according to the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia I found on our bookshelf) who befriended Princess Leia.
What did I learn from the Ewoks: That if you know your environment well and join forces with the Rebel Alliance you can overcome the evil of Darth Vadar.
In George’s opinion: those cutesy Ewoks sucked big time and really seemed an odd way to end the original three part Star Wars trilogy. However, in comparison to the incredibly annoying Jar Jar Binks who featured in the next three Star Wars films, Ewoks were much easier to endure.
If you wish to explore your inner Ewok, check out Etsy for some handmade Ewok costumes.
King Julian King Julian is a Lemur. He featured in the Madagascar animation films. He is the leader of a rascallion collection of lemurs who are not much good for anything.
What did I learnt from King Julian: That leadership can go to your head if you are not careful making you incredibly unprincipled, undisciplined and callous. But King Julian made me laugh quite a lot really.
In Georges opinion: King Julien uses my preferred leadership style of showing off a lot and drawing attention to one’s headwear. The monkey characters were funnier and I often use their most excellent line which they used when cornered at the train station and were going to be caught and taken back to the zoo – “If you have any poo, fling it now”!
Click here to see the monkeys in action.
This plasticine penguin featured in the Aardman stop-start animation feature The Wrong Trousers. This penguin is pure cunning and a master of disguise. Feather’s McGraw wheedles his way into the lives of Wallace and Gromit and proceeds to commit jewell theft.
What I learnt from Feather’s McGraw: I learnt that a plasticine penguin makes for a very convincing criminal mastermind and to never trust a penguin disguised as a chicken.
In George’s opinion: Aardman films are brilliant.
You can find out more about the film The Wrong Trousers here.
Chessur the Cheshire Cat I am referring to the character that featured in Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland. Stephen Fry provided the voice of this crazy cat that can appear and disappear in a puff.
What I learnt from Chessur: I learnt that cats are rather pompous at the best of times and enjoy confusing humans with riddles and obscure advice.
In George’s opinion: We are not getting a cat.
Kristofferson Kristofferson is a fox and features in Wes Anderson’s stop-start animation feature Fantastic Mr Fox (which happens to be one of my all time favourite films). He has come to stay with his cousin Ash as his father is sick with pnemonia. Ash is not very kind to Kristofferson.
What I learnt from Kristofferson: I learnt how important it is to be yourself even if you are a bit odd. I also learnt that meditation and karate are handy skills.
In George’s opinion: Kristofferson is a bit of an annoying overachiever. Kylie the opossum is my favourite character as his special skill is the same as what I profile in my resume of “just being available”.
And that brings to an end some of the stand-out furry fictional film characters that I have developed a strong affection for.
I wonder who your favourite furry fictional film characters are?
And as Chessur says, you should never leave Wonderland.
Fond and mostly furry regards, Betty-Rose