Another film we watched recently was Benji, which featured the lovable, scruffy dog who wandered through a Texas town. A sort of town mascot, everyone has a different name for him and provides different food or affection. The movie has a strange villains/kidnapping subplot, and what scared the daylights out of the kid was a scene where one of the kidnappers kicks and seems to kill a pretty little white stray dog that Benji has befriended. Luckliy, it all comes out OK in the end, but the kid was sobbing until she was sure the dog was all right. Forget about the two young kids that were being held for ransom in the silly subplot — she was more worried about the dog.
|Milo and Otis meet a hedgehog|
So many children's movies feature an unhappy moment or death scene. From Snow White to The Wizard of Oz a character is in peril and children must worry and sometimes cry. But the fear and accompanying tears seems to be more intense with animal films geared towards children, maybe because watching real animals on screen seems more real. Even the youngest child watching Dorothy and The Wicked Witch of the West has some inkling that it's a fantasy and that Toto and friends will eventually save the day. I'm pretty sure the kid will want to watch Benji and Milo and Otis take their adventures again — especially because now she knows how the story comes out. As for Ring of Bright Water, I highly doubt it. She still feels pretty betrayed by that one.