Picture Of The Day: An Odd Accessory
11 Stupid Movies About Animals Playing Sports
You know what you never, ever need in a sports movie? Animals. Particularly animals playing sports.
If you’re thinking about making a sports movie about animals playing sports, just stop. It’s a stupid idea. Yes, I know, kids eat that stuff up like ice cream. But do you have any idea what you’re doing to parents? You’re killing them, one crappy CGI monkey dunking a basketball at a time.
There is only one good thing about stupid movies about animals playing sports: they’re easy to make fun of. So on that note, here’s a list of 11 stupid movies about animals playing sports that should never have been made.
11. Racing Stripes
Racing Stripes is the “touching” story about an idiot zebra with with no self-awareness (voiced by Malcolm in the Middle) who thinks he’s a racehorse just because he hangs out with other racehorses. His delusions are encouraged by other barnyard animals (one of whom is voiced by David Spade, so that’s great) as well as a teenage girl played by Hayden Panettiere. Against all odds, Pannettiere gets Stripes (that’s the zebra) into the famous “Kentucky Open,” and he actually wins. What kind of nonsense is this teaching children, though? I know you want kids to feel like they can be anything they want to be, but they should also be taught that there are some limitations in life. I’d like to fly like a bird, but I’m a human, so it aint gonna happen.
NBC commissioned this stupid animated movie (featuring the voices of Billy Crystal and Gilda Radner) in the lead-up to their coverage of the 1980 Olympic Games. I guess they were trying to get the younger demographic excited so they could get some advertising dollars from Mattel and Hasbro. However, they encountered a slight problem: President Jimmy Carter decided the USA would boycott the summer games because they were being held in Moscow. So the movie was never released in theaters like NBC intended. Eventually, this movie (the plot of which really needs no explanation) did make it to cable movie networks and home video in time for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
9. Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Are you ready to hear about a convoluted movie plot? Okay, here it goes.
During World War II, a family of three children is sent from their home in London to live in the country with some random lady named Englantine Price. As her name suggests, Miss Price is a real patriot, so she’s trying to learn how to be a witch so she can use her powers to help fend off the Nazis. So far, so good, right?
Well, Miss Price needs one last spell before she can use her witchcraft to defeat Hitler, so she and the kids embark on an adventure to find it. This leads them to a secret island where animated talking animals hang out and play soccer all day. They agree to referee a big important animal soccer game so as to have the opportunity to steal the medallion that has the magic spell from around the lion king’s (no relation) neck. The soccer game is, of course, the highlight of the film.
Eventually, more stuff happens, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Gus is just your typical movie about a soccer playing Yugoslavian mule who moves to California and becomes the star kicker for a down-in-the-dumps football team called the California Atoms. The film stars such old-school comedic actors as Don Knotts (The Andy Griffith Show and Three’s Company), Tim Conway (The Carol Burnett Show), Tom Bosley (Happy Days), and everyone’s favorite 9/11 conspiracy theorist, Ed Asner. It also features improbable cameos by football legends Johnny Unitas and Dick Butkus. (You’ve gotta remember, back then athletes weren’t paid like they are today, so guys had to figure out ways to make extra money on the side.)
7. Air Bud
Disney’s Air Bud franchise (which is now at 11 films and counting) has done what no one ever thought possible: make people hate puppies.
The movie that started it all was about a boy who had to move to a new town after his dad died in a plane crash. He’s having trouble fitting in and making friends—until he meets a basketball playing golden retriever who inspires him to try out for the school basketball team. Of course, when the coach realizes that there is no rule prohibiting a dog from being on the basketball team (and why would there be?), he puts the golden retriever in the championship game and, obviously, he leads the team to victory.
6. Karate Dog
A movie about a dog who knows the ancient art of karate? Hell, why not. Or at least, that’s what Chevy Chase, Jon Voight, Jaime Pressly, Nicollete Sheridan, and Pat Morita figured. I’m not going to dignify this crap by giving you an outline of the plot. All I’ll say is, thank God this wasn’t the last film Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi) made before his untimely death in 2005.
5. Bonzo Goes to College
This movie was the sequel to Bedtime for Bonzo, the classic monkey movie starring President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. Sadly, President Reagan wasn’t available (or was too embarrassed) to film the sequel. As you can easily glean from the title of this picture and the picture presented hear, silly chimp Bonzo goes to college and joins the football team. (I haven’t seen the film myself, so I cannot report for sure whether hilarity ensued. Though I assume it did.)
Interestingly, the movie stars Maureen O’Sullivan, an actress most famous for starring opposite Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan. So, apparently, she had a thing for apes.
4. MVP: Most Valuable Primate
Speaking of apes, how about MVP: Most Valuable Primate? Here is how I like to imagine this film coming about:
[Scene: somewhere in Canada. Cold. A conversation between movie executives wearing parkas. ]
“Hey, have they made a movie about a chimp playing hockey yet?”
“A chimp playing hockey, eh?”
“Yeah, a chimp playing hockey.”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Okay, well lets make one. And let’s get that guy from Bob and Doug McKenzie, eh.”
“Who, Rick Moranis?”
“No, the other guy.”
“Sure thing, boss.”
3. Soccer Dog
All you need to know about Soccer Dog is that it’s basically Air Bud, but with soccer. Also, it’s not made by Disney, which means it’s less evil, but has even crappier production values. Oh, and it stars the girl (woman, now) who played Fred Savage’s older sister on The Wonder Years. So obviously her career is going great.
In 1996, Matt Leblanc was one of the stars of a little television program called Friends. It was only the most popular show of its era and easily one of the four or five most popular shows of all time. So it’s understandable that Leblanc would try to parlay his famous TV role into a lucrative movie career. But a movie about a baseball playing chimpanzee? Are you kidding me? If Matt didn’t fire his agent after this fiasco, I hope someone punched him in the face.
No, this is not the Matilda from 1996 about the weird little genius girl whose parents (Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman) and didn’t appreciate her.
This is the 1978 film about a boxing kangaroo named Matilda starring Elliott freaking Gould, star of successful and acclaimed films such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), M*A*S*H (1970), and Ocean’s 11 (2001). Oh, and he was also a recurring guest star on the afore-mentioned Friends.
So why oh why was Elliott Gould in this God-awful movie about a boxing kangaroo? Who knows. It was the late 70s. Maybe he was on drugs? Whatever the case, this has got to be the stupidest movie about an animal playing sports anyone ever made. Sorry, Elliott.