The most disturbing talking animals in film – ranked!

Stuart Heritage
·5-min read
<span>Photograph: Rex</span>
Photograph: Rex

10. Bernie – Zookeeper (2011)

Imagine Dolittle, but about a depressed zookeeper whose girlfriend had left him because he was a zookeeper, and the subsequent efforts of the animals at the zoo to teach the zookeeper how to get laid. That’s Zookeeper. Bernie, voiced by Nick Nolte, is a full-grown gorilla that the titular zookeeper breaks out of the zoo so that they can go to TGI Fridays, sing Flo Rida songs together and apparently get drunk together. Bernie ends the evening by slow dancing with a sexually aroused secretary while the zookeeper smashes up an acoustic guitar.

9. Blood – A Boy and His Dog (1975)

If you have children and A Boy and His Dog appear on any streaming services, don’t watch it. At first glance, it looks like the sort of earnestly dumb Disney movie that Kurt Russell would have made in the 70s, but it is not that at all. A Boy and His Dog takes place in the aftermath of nuclear war, as a young man scavenges for food with a dog of contemptible character. Voiced by Tim McIntire, Blood’s one job is to find post-apocalyptic women for Don Johnson to have sex with in return for food. They eat a woman at the end. Like I said, not for kids.

8. Rocks – Look Who’s Talking Now (1993)

First there was a talking baby. Then there were two talking babies. And then, in the third Look Who’s Talking film, they introduced a dog. Voiced by Danny DeVito, Rocks was a dog so sexually confident that his opening line to a poodle is: “What do you say you and me go play Bury the Bone?” He accuses his best friend of being the product of incest. Why is he called Rocks, you ask? Because he’s incontinent. This is a kid’s film.

7. Ralph – Joe’s Apartment (1996)

The first film produced by MTV, Joe’s Apartment was about a slobby man whose home is invaded by an army of talking cockroaches. Billy West plays Ralph, the leader of the cockroaches, with other cockroaches voiced by Tim Blake Nelson and Dave Chapelle. If you like films where maniacally giggling cockroaches crawl through food, perform Busby Berkeley dance numbers on top of a filthy toilet and crawl under the skirts of terrified women, this is the film for you.

6. Don – Hot to Trot (1988)

By 1988, Bobcat Goldthwait was hot property. His presence helped to elevate three successive Police Academy movies and it seemed as if anything was possible. But then he made Hot to Trot, a film about a talking horse and everything fell apart. It was not just any talking horse but a talking horse that passes on stock tips to Goldthwait, becomes richer than its wildest dreams, moves into Goldthwait’s apartment, wrecks it after a riotous all-animal party, is visited by the spirit of his father in the form of a fly and then wins a race by talking all the other horses out of running. Weird that it didn’t do better.

5. Mr Tinkles – Cats & Dogs (2001)

Related: How the new wave of man-trapped-in cat movies could fight puss prejudice

In a film called Cats & Dogs, of course the dogs are going to be the protagonists. Cats could never be the hero of a story. Cats are awful. And therefore it makes complete sense that the primary antagonist of Cats & Dogs would be Mr Tinkles, an evil, spoilt persian who Weekend at Bernies his infirm billionaire human owner in an effort to destroy the entire world. I’ve met cats. This behaviour tracks.

4. Mr Fuzzypants – Nine Lives (2016)

Shortly before he switched careers and became a genuinely disturbing once-a-year festive YouTuber, Kevin Spacey made the worst film of his life. Barry Sonnenfeld’s Nine Lives is basically Liar Liar except – and this is a big except – instead of being forced to tell the truth, a negligent father is transformed into a cat named Mr Fuzzypants. Want to know how Mr Fuzzypants saves the day? He doesn’t. He falls from the top of a skyscraper and dies horribly after mistaking his adult human base-jumping son for a man attempting suicide.

3. The Cat in the Hat – Cat in the Hat (2003)

I mean, where to start? The part when Mike Myers’s cat is so aroused by a photo of a woman that his hat goes stiff? The part when he bends over and his fur rides up revealing a human bottom? The part when he repeatedly threatens to murder a second cat, also played by Myers, with a knife? The part when attempts to tongue-kiss a garden implement he had previously called a “dirty hoe”? The part when he spells the word “Shit”? The part where he goes to a nightclub to ogle Paris Hilton? This film was such a mess that the Seuss estate banned the entire film industry from making another live action adaptation.

2. Duffy – A Talking Cat!?! (2013)

One of the 33 films (seriously) that Eric Roberts made in 2013, A Talking Cat!?! is probably the most notorious. It’s a film about a cat that can talk to people, but only once per person, and only in the distracted, poorly recorded, down-the-line drawl of Eric Roberts while its mouth forms a badly animated black slit. The AV Club said the film “is The Room of anthropomorphic animal movies featuring Eric Roberts” and, in the one known piece of promotion Roberts did for this film, he said of it: “Hey, it is what it is, pal.”

1. Jennyanydots – Cats (2019)

Related: Cats: the fur, the tails, Judi Dench's cannibal coat – discuss the film with spoilers

You will have noticed by now that the top 5 of this Ranked! are all cats. That’s because I saw Cats at the cinema and I now hate cats. Picking a weirdest cat from the Cats lineup is almost impossible (the railway cat? The cat with boobs? Jason Derulo’s Towie cat? The suicidal cat?) and yet Rebel Wilson’s Jennyanydots makes the choice a little easier. Because Jennanydots is the masturbating cat who unzips her own skin and eats mice that for some reason have the voice of screaming children. I hate cats now.