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Toon Talk Special: Go the Distance: Disney's 50 Greatest Heroes (Part 1 of 2)
Page 5 of 6

ANIMAL HEROES

Many a Disney hero are of the four-legged and furry kind. Here is the best of the bunch.

YELLER

Film: Old Yeller (1957)
Actor: Spike
Quote: "If that don't beat all. I never saw such a dog!� -- Katie Coates
Heroic Anthem: "Best doggone dog in the west ...�
DVD: Available

The ol' yellow dog that insinuates his way into the home and hearts of the Coates family turns out to be quite the scrapper, tangling with wild pigs and rapid wolves. It is this last encounter that leads to his tearful, infamous fate. Nevertheless, in the end, there is no doubt he is a true hero.

PERRI

Film: Perri (1957)
Sidekick: Future mate Porro
DVD: Available on the "Walt Disney Legacy Collection� set True Life Adventures: Nature's Mysteries

All this scrappy little pine squirrel wants is to live her life in peace, gathering nuts and tending to her treetop home. Alas, hungry predators and a raging forest fire threaten her very existence, challenges she faces with bravery belying her tiny size.

BODGER, LUATH and TAO

Film: The Incredible Journey (1963)
DVD: Unfortunately, not available - why, Disney, why?

And an incredible journey it indeed was. This odd trio of house pets - old bull terrier Bodger, young Golden Retriever Luath and Siamese cat Tao - find themselves separated from their loving owners. The only thing left for them to do is set out on the danger-fraught cross-country path home.

DUTY CALLS

These guys are just your average Joes with a job to do. Extraordinary circumstances arise, and they have a chance to prove how above average they truly are.

TYLER

Film: Never Cry Wolf (1983)
Actor: Charles Martin Smith
DVD: Available

A stand-in for author Farley Mowat, Tyler at first does not appear to be your typical hero (with his nerdish demeanor, he is more like your typical accountant). Given the seemingly impossible assignment to track and study wild wolves in the Great North, he strives - and thrives, finding strength and inspiration from his noble prey.

FLIK

Film: A Bug's Life (1998)
Voice Actor: Dave Foley
Sidekick: Princess Dot
Quote: "For the colony! And for oppressed ants everywhere!�
DVD: Available

Just what makes this little ol' ant think he can save his colony from a marauding horde of grasshoppers? Unlimited pluck and an uncanny inventive nature, that's what. Sure, he mistakenly enlists a flea circus instead of "warrior bugs�, but it is he who hatches the plan that ultimately saves the day.

THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER

Film: Fantasia 2000 (2000)
Directing Animator: Hendel Butoy
Heroic Anthem: Dmitri Shostakovich's "Piano Concerto No. 2, Allegro, Opus 102�
DVD: Available

He is just a one-footed foot soldier (under one foot tall, mind you) doing his duty - and falling for the beautiful ballerina. Then along comes the lecherous Jack-in-the-Box, who kidnaps his girl and sends him plummeting into the sewer. With a lot of guts (and a little bit of luck), he fights his way back to defeat the wretch.

MILO THATCH

Film: Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Voice Actor: Michael J. Fox
Supervising Animator: John Pomeroy
Sidekick: The fetching Princess Kida
Quote: "I'm going after Rourke ... I didn't say it was the smart thing, but it is the right thing.�
DVD: Available

An expert in ancient languages, Milo sets out on an adventure of a lifetime when he is recruited to join a dangerous mission to the legendary lost continent of Atlantis. When the subterranean civilization is discovered, Milo rises to the occasion, but his hidden heroism is truly tested when the true nature of the journey is revealed.

 

 

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