Counting Down the Decade’s Best Animal Movies

December 9, 2009 | By Kevin Kisthart | Category: Entertainment | 132 comments
Tags: entertainment, dogs

Welcome to the first annual Zootoo top-ten animal movies list! We’ll all remember this decade for a lot of things – but great movies about animals is definitely one of them. (Well, at least around here.) Our contenders feature animals of all shapes and sizes in places as faraway as the arctic and times as distant as the ice age. Whether true stories or the tallest of tales, every one makes for great viewing on the couch with your favorite animal (or human) companion.

10 – “Madagascar” (2005)

Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) yearns to know what life would be like outside the confines of the comfy Central Park Zoo. His longing for freedom sends four adventurous zoo animals on a wild ride that will push their friendship to the limits and test their survival skills in a strange new land. If you like this film, check out Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa.

9 – “The Golden Compass” (2007)

“The Golden Compass” takes place in a parallel universe where humans are accompanied by a reflection of their souls in animal form called Daemons. You’ll never look at your pet quite the same way. This great fantasy adventure film was nominated for two Academy Awards and won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

8 – “Happy Feet” (2006)

Be forewarned: Watching this film may cause toe-tapping and sudden outbursts of singing. This animated musical has lots of fun rock and roll music and Broadway dancing scenes. The story revolves around Mumble (Elijah Wood), a tap dancing penguin who can’t sing in a tribe of singing Penguins. When Mumble is cast out by his singing tribe, much mayhem - and dancing - ensues. “Happy Feat” won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2006.

7 - “Eight Below” (2006)

In at number seven is “Eight Below,” a must-see for dog lovers! This film combines the fantastic visual scenery of the Arctic Circle with a courageous story of a group of sled-dog Siberian Huskies. Follow this story of friendship and survival as the dogs fend for themselves in the Arctic wilderness after they get stranded in a storm. Don’t even think about missing this one!

6- Ice Age (2002)

The first of three “Ice Age” films, and maybe the best! Nominated for Best Animated Feature in 2002, the story begins amid a global animal migration as the next Ice Age approaches. An unlikely friendship forms between a Wooly Mammoth (Ray Romano), a Sloth (John Leguizamo) and a Saber-Toothed Tiger ( Denis Leary). As intriguing and fun as the main story is, it’s Scrat who steals the movie, a voiceless character on an endless journey to secure his beloved chestnut.

5- “Kung Fu Panda” (2008)

Another Dreamworks hit with a fantastic star-studded cast. “Kung Fu Panda” offers a combination of laughter, heart, and action that will entertain the whole family! Po (Jack Black) is an unlikely hero who - despite his round shape and lazy nature - is chosen to be the legendary Dragon Warrior. He begins his training alongside his Kung Fu idols, The Furious Five. Under the leadership of their Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) the Kung Fu group must protect the people from the notorious villain Tai Lung (Ian McShane). “Kung Fu Panda” was nominated for Best Animated Feature in 2008.

4- “Seabiscuit” (2003)

If you love horses, you’ve gotta see this movie - nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Based on a true story and set in the heart of the American depression, “Seabiscuit” is a true rags-to-riches story about a lost-in-the-world trainer, a broke millionaire owner, and a down-on-his-luck jockey who come together to make history. This film tells the true story of how a single horse inspired an entire nation!

3- “March of the Penguins” (2005)

“March of the Penguins” won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2005 – and took America by storm. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this movie follows the real-life plight of the Antarctic Emperor Penguins as they struggle to survive in the Arctic one single-file step at a time. If you’re a nature lover, a fan of documentaries, or just feel like witnessing one of the Earth’s most amazing spectacles, watch this movie!

2 – “Marley and Me” (2008)

“Marley and Me” is great a family film with a lot of drama and laugh out loud comedy. It chronicles the lives of a married couple (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) and their everyday struggles of work, starting a family, and caring for a loveable but un-trainable dog. A tip for everyone who is seeing this film for the first time, have a box of tissues handy! This ending will get you.

1- “Finding Nemo” (2003)

Ta-da! Well, maybe you’re not so surprised. Generally viewed as the best animated film in recent memory, “Finding Nemo” was nominated for four Academy Awards and won Best Animated Feature. Nemo is a classic story of an unlikely hero who goes against all odds to save his son. Filled with spectacular visuals, great dialogue, a heart-warming story and an onslaught of supporting characters (gotta love the turtles!), “Finding Nemo” delivers on every aspect a movie possibly can. It’s great for kids, but, let’s face it, everyone loves that little Nemo.

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5 years ago

Im 26 and Finding Nemo is one of my favorite movies of all time. Ive seen it dozens of times.

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6 years ago

There other few animal movies that aren't mention. Duma, about an orphaned cheetah that becomes best friend and pet of a young boy living in South Africa. Two Brothers, about two tigers that are separated as cubs and taken into captivity, only to be reunited years later as enemies. My dog skip, With that lovable Jack Russell dog and that kid from Malcolm in the middle.

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