Posted by Alia Haddad on August 30, 2012 at 9:30 am
George Miller’s family-hit, Andre, may very well be one of those movies that an adult rewatching suddenly invokes not only sweet, sweet nostalgia but also a deep concern at the level of awfulness you not only allowed yourself to watch as a child, but also enjoyed while doing so. Like every Disney channel original movie, save for the really good ones such as Under Wraps, Brink!, and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (they’re really good, I swear!), Andre has revealed itself to be quite a bad movie in terms of craft. But this post isn’t about craft, thankfully, and instead is about the ability found in any movie, good or bad, to produce chills in its viewers’ spines. And, lucky for you, Andre is a perfect example of that.
Like many family films made in the 90′s, Andre follows an adolescent who takes care of an unlikely pet (see: Fly Away Home and, my personal favorite, Dunston Checks In). In this case, the adolescent is played by child actress Tina Majorino (Corrina, Corrina and Napoleon Dynamite) and the unlikely pet takes the form of a sea lion. Are you feeling chills already? Well, they’re about to be doubled when I tell you it’s based on a true story. What does that mean? Who knows? But I feel like a level of hopeful realism enhances any chill-worthy scene.
A popular device with these child-loves-pet-who-is-not-domesticated, child-tries-to-domesticate-pet movies is that the child must part with her best animal friend, and the same holds true in Andre. But what makes Andre so great? Well, before departing, the sea lion saves her life. That’s right! We have a real-life an-innocent-child-is-at-stake drama on our hands. And one that never fails to give me chills even when I just watch clips on YouTube as I did this morning. (No, those aren’t tears).
Watch the sea lion save the day below, but first, in order to understand the true level and depth of the chills going on here, check out the montage documenting child and sea lion bonding. (Again, no, those aren’t tears).