After rewatching Oliver & Company and The Fox and the Hound, I got to thinking how strange it would be if my cats were just as intelligent as the animals in Disney or Pixar. For many of us, talking animals were a big part of our childhood, and they have continued to be part of us well into adulthood. From live-action films like Homeward Bound to completely animated movies such as Bolt, these stories are a great way to teach audience members, particularly children, valuable life lessons. The Fox and the Hound teaches us about empathy and societal pressures, The Lion King tells us about growing up and taking responsibility even if we don’t want to, and Zootopia teaches us about inclusion and racism.
Even if all these movies are by no means perfect, the messages they want to teach us are pretty clear. However, very rarely do talking animal movies delve into topics like abuse and death. And let’s face it, the world is a really awful place for animals, and from an animal’s perspective, it must be rather horrifying to live here. Happy talking animal movies have their place, but as The Fox and the Hound lets us know, so do unhappy ones. And that brings me to Fluke, a live-action 1995 drama film.