- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 28, 2006

Disney’s latest animated feature, “Open Season,” out today, features a bear and a mule deer that decide to fight back against human hunters. It’s the kind of animal-friendly plot that might inspire People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activist Pamela Anderson to, say, pose nude for a billboard ad. Any activist so inclined should plan to live someplace warm, as the innate purity and inviolability of our furry friends is a tried-and-true Hollywood theme. If it really were a jungle over there, we don’t think anyone would notice.

Bambi — This 1942 Disney classic is the mother of all sentimental animal movies. Whoops. We shouldn’t have mentioned “mother”: Who, really, has even gotten over what happened to Bambi’s?

Free Willy — A killer whale is about to be killed in captivity, but he’s rescued by a force that rivals animals in big-screen innocence — a child.

Oh Heavenly Dog — One may choose freely from the “Benji” genre, but this one gets points for prescience: Its plot involves a slain Chevy Chase returning to the material world as a dog. A career metaphor, of sorts, for Mr. Chase.

Shiloh — Abusing animals is generally nasty business. Abusing a defenseless little beagle, such as this 1996 movie’s title pup, should be reserved for the severest circle of Hades.

Lady and the Tramp — To think that the stray dog that soiled your lawn could enjoy spaghetti with a higher-class canine: Not even a cat person could resist this 1955 children’s staple.

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