FFWD REW

Dancing animals are little pricks

Seriously Alvin show some respect

I’ve got to be honest with you here I’m pretty sick of dancing animals.

Don’t get me wrong I like a good circus as much as the next guy who’s never used the Internet and I’m always down for a good Attenborough-narrated mating dance. But ever since Garfield was released and inflicted permanent damage to Bill Murray’s legacy the prominence of CGI animals who dance to top 40 hits has been growing exponentially.

This shouldn’t get to me I know. One man’s dancing chipmunk is another man’s post-apocalyptic Australian car chase. Live and let live. Float boats and what-not. But there’s something about this modern phenomenon that doesn’t sit well with me. And it’s not the music. Or even the dancing.

No it’s the fact that the animals are all total pricks.

Whether it was Hop ’s jellybean-pooping rabbit or the chipmunks in this week’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked the animals that populate the modern world of children’s film are invariably jerks.

These chipmunks — and it should be noted that in real life I’d take a chipmunk over a squirrel any day of the week — are adopted by this guy Dave and rather than appreciating that he’s opened his home to them and bought them each their own colour of sweater they do everything in their power to drive him insane.

Poor Dave. I mean this guy’s clearly got a good heart and couldn’t have anticipated that the dancing chipmunks he took mercy on would turn out to be ruthless menaces to society. I’m sure he figured he could nurture away their more sociopathic natural tendencies but it sure looks like he’s failed.

In the latest film Dave decides to take his rodent children on a cruise — which to be fair suggests that Dave is a moron — and they decide it would be a good idea to ride a kite in the middle of the ocean. I don’t weigh one pound so I’ve never ridden a kite and I do see the appeal but I feel like if they took two seconds to ask Dave whether it was okay it would have probably prevented the whole deserted island disaster that ensues.

There’s no electromagnetic anomalies or guys named Jacob like in Lost here just a couple of reckless inconsiderate animals.

And I just don’t find it all that funny. Why can’t there be a dancing animal movie where the animals show a little bit of respect to the people who go out of their way to take care of them? In Toy Story the toys absolutely adored their owner and would have done anything for them. They still got up to no good but they had the common decency not to bite the hand that fed them.

It’s not rap music or video games that are bad influences these days it’s jackass chipmunks. And I’ve had enough of them.

Also opening this weekend is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows . Audiences were pretty divided about Guy Ritchie’s first retelling of the London detective’s story and I tend to side with the people who were disappointed.

Ritchie’s 19th century London was immaculately detailed and Robert Downey Jr.’s take on Holmes was refreshingly loyal to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original character but why make a movie about the most famous fictional detective in history if it’s not going to be a mystery?

For all the flash and spectacle of the first film it seemed to entirely miss the point of telling a Sherlock Holmes story. The sequel introduces Moriarty one of the all-time great villains but the trailer provides no hints that there will be any detective work whatsoever.

Fans of the first film will likely be satisfied and I’m sure it’ll make tons and tons of money. And that’s great I’m sure it will be a fun movie. It’s just not the Sherlock Holmes movie I want.

I’ll get over it though because with Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Brad Bird’s take on the Mission Impossible franchise up next week things are about to get a whole lot better at our nation’s movie houses. It’s what we’ve been waiting for movie fans get ready.

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