What is it with animals coming to bad ends in movies?
I recently wrote about What’s the Matter with Helen?, in which some very beautiful white rabbits suffered at the hands of a lunatic. I watched a movie yesterday in which a perfectly nice looking dog had an even shorter and more thankless role. And now I am looking at a movie where every third or fourth scene, I hear myself saying, “Nothing bad better happen to that cat!”
So far the worst thing that happened to the cat is a lady took away the yarn he or she was playing with. I only wrote my remark about nothing bad happening in the TV Journal once, but as I continued to repeat it, I thought to myself, hey, this could be a blog topic.
Many of us get more upset when bad things happen to animals than we get when bad things happen to people, especially in the movies. After all, animals are more defenseless and often more harmless. Most of them are a good deal less annoying than some people, especially in a work of fiction.
You know, now that I’m writing this, I believe I have touched on the topic before. My defense for repeating myself is: I think it was previously a remark in passing and now it is the topic of the post. Also, it is a topic that bears repeating. Who doesn’t love cats, dogs and beautiful white rabbits (or at least one of the three)?
Sometimes it is movie shorthand for a really, really bad person. Ooh, look at them, they were mean to a dog! They can’t be any good AT ALL! Just in case the viewer was looking for socially redeeming characteristics. Now we know there are none to be found.
I still don’t like it. I just don’t LIKE to see bad things happen to good animals. I don’t particularly like it when characters I like die either, but at least I can comfort myself with the thought that actors like to play death scenes. I don’t know that any animals feel the same way.
I don’t think any Hollywood screenwriters are likely to heed my words and start writing movies where all the animals live happily ever after (humans can take their chances). But I wanted to express myself. Now I’ll go back to the movie I was viewing and check out what happens to that cat.