Enough Talking Animals

I didn’t really watch the big game tonight, but what I did see of it was the commercials. And what I saw of those were commercials with talking animals. I was pretty surprised – talking animals? That’s so Superbowl XXIX.


This year, the animals were talking about beer and fast food. Again. So congratulations, animals – you have now become just as boring to me as most people I could encounter at a lame frat formal.

I believe that among this year’s Superbowl commercials was also an ad for another forgettable animated movie featuring talking animals. I don’t recall what this one was called, but if they never make another movie with talking animals, I won’t miss them.

Maybe this seems out of character for someone who adores stuffed animals and, to some extent, real animals. But we humans seem so intent on dragging animals into our most clich√© conversations, which really shouldn’t even be happening among humans. I guess the idea is that, if a talking fish paraphrases something from Pulp Fiction, then it’s new and clever all over again, and that’s one less writer we need to hire.


That’s one reason I find Hayao Miyazaki‘s animated films so enchanting – most of the time, animals and other creatures keep their thoughts to themselves, and they leave the gabbing to the humans (who also tend to be more reticent than their Disney/ Pixar counterparts). Even when his animals talk, such as in Spirited Away (which is great, by the way), they aren’t overly cute or precocious, they repeat no despicable catch phrases, and they certainly never bother to argue over how to pronounce words in Spanish.