'Beached' and Other Out-There Animals-Raising-Kids Movies We Want to See

'Beached' and Other Out-There Animals-Raising-Kids Movies We Want to See

Aug 29, 2012

The Hollywood Reporter has reported (from Hollywood) that 20th Century Fox is making a film called Beached, about a "chubby 4-year-old child who falls overboard during a family outing, is raised by whales and goes on to become an Olympic swimmer."

The question is not why Fox is making a film about a fat kid who is raised by whales but why no one has made it already. Children have had wolves and apes for foster parents; why not whales? Aside from the whole thing where whales live underwater and humans can't, I mean. Beached is to be directed by Jon Turteltaub, the auteur behind Nicolas Cage's crazy National Treasure movies, so it will almost certainly be a huge success that makes a lot of dollars but no sense (get it?). That means there will be derivatives and rip-offs of the formula, and I want to get in on the ground floor.

Sonar, So Good

While exploring Carlsbad Caverns with his family, a young blind boy named Roger gets lost in the caves, falls over a precipice, and is presumed to be dead. His parents are devastated, and they second-guess their decision to bring their sightless son on a dangerous spelunking expedition. But Roger is not dead!

He is rescued by a colony of bats, who raise him as their own giant, flightless son, teaching him to constantly emit ultrasonic sounds that help him navigate in the darkness and to live on insects (which, truth be told, Roger always kind of liked eating anyway). Roger lives happily in the caves with his bat family, and eventually starts dating a nice bat girl, but he has distant memories of a former life, one in which he did not sleep hanging upside down from the ceiling. When he is eventually reunited with human society, his echolocation skills make him valuable as a soldier, but he refuses to fight because bats are pacifists.

Medium Rare Snake

A couple of no-account so-and-sos hook up and make a baby, and that baby is born without arms or legs. The parents, being awful humans, decide they do not want a limbless baby, and they leave him in the donation bin at Goodwill. And who should stumble across the poor infant there? Why, an elderly widowed garden snake! She always wanted a child of her own but couldn't have one due to tragic serpent infertility. She names the baby Ssssss, takes him back to the den she shares with countless other snakes, and convinces them to let her raise him.

Since Ssssss is just a baby, and not much bigger than a snake anyway, nobody minds. Eventually he grows too large, however, having been fed a steady diet of mice and small birds, which are high in fat, and he has to leave the den or risk collapsing it. The story comes full circle when Ssssss's loathsome biological parents happen to intrude on the snake den and try to kill all the snakes, because they hate snakes, and Ssssss returns to visit his adoptive mother just in time to save the day by swallowing the intruders whole. In gratitude, the snakes build a larger den that can accommodate Ssssss, who is now their king and ruler.

Antler? I Hardly Knew Her!

The Richardsons are an ordinary American family with three ordinary kids -- except for one thing. Their youngest, sweet little Sally, was born with antlers on her head. They were small at first, but now that Sally is six years old, her antlers are big enough to be a trophy on a hunter's wall. Her parents and siblings love her anyway and don't care about the bony appendages protruding from her head, which they decorate festively at Christmastime.

The kids at school are another story. They call her "moose girl." Seriously, that's the best they've got. Then one summer while the family is vacationing in Canada, Sally gets lost in a blizzard and cannot find her parents. Fortunately, she is rescued by a family of polar bears, who raise her as one of their own. Which is weird, because you were expecting it to be a moose family, right? That's the thing about life, it's full of surprises.

Iguana Hold Your Hand

For as long as she can remember, 10-year-old Laura Johnson has felt different from the rest of her family. Her brothers and sisters and their parents are all interested in sports; Laura is more into music. The Johnsons are politically conservative; Laura identifies more with the Democratic party. Laura's relatives are warm-blooded mammals with opposable thumbs who walk upright and have vocal cords that enable speech; Laura is cold-blooded, covered in scales, and cannot talk.

One day while visiting a pet store, Laura realizes that she is an iguana. It turns out her iguana parents lost her years ago and she was raised by a family of humans, who must now bid a tearful good-bye as she returns to the terrarium to live out the rest of her days with her own kind. Her adoptive parents and siblings drive home in silence. "Did we really raise an iguana as a daughter for 10 years?" Mr. Johnson finally asks, rhetorically. They never speak of it again.

Categories: Features
Tags: Beached
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In the movie The Book Thief, what is the name of the character played by Kirsten Block

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Frau Heinrich