10 Top Non-Human Sidekicks Who Don’t Give A F*ck
Disclaimer: Disney has not paid me to endorse this film. My opinion regarding John Carter is my own. Disney, should you like to pay me to keep going to see John Carter, that would be cool, but also I know you need the money and I am willing to do you this favor if you provide me with a stuffed Woola.
So I have now seen John Carter twice, and have plans to go a third time, and then maybe again a fourth. (You can bet your sweey bippy that there will be a drinking game involving the repetition of the word ‘Barsoom’. Spoiler alert: no one wins this drinking game.)
The movie is stellar. Really. I am not being ironic. Like the Mummy before it, it’s pure movie-theater exhilaration – Taylor Kitsch and Popcorn and Three D and Frigid Air conditioning! It makes you happy to exist. It is a well-told adaptation, the princess is strong and intelligent, Taylor Kitsch is our generation’s answer to John Wayne (I am in no way kidding), it is basically the entire cast of HBO’S Rome being like “Hee hee let’s make a Disney movie!”, and also if you pretend McNulty from the Wire is actually playing McNulty from the Wire it is more entertaining than words. The entertainment value of said imaginings could only be improved had he actually killed someone with the beam and then mumbled, “The fuck did I do?”
These things I have said are all true. But the real reason I keep going back? The real reason I am pushing so hard for people to go and see this movie? It can be summed up in one word:
John Carter isn’t doing so well. That’s partially because it’s an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars series and uh, while we serious readers of sci-fi and fantasy are awesome, we are not legion – like Ms. Meyer’s fanbase. I think it was a problem that could have been solved had the film been better marketed. I can absolutely guarantee the marketing team for John Carter that the movie would have broken countless box offices records had they played up the film’s major strength – its dopey, alien dog, speed demon who is devoted to Taylor Kitsch (LIKE ME.) I am by no means the first to fall victim to Woola’s charms.
But Woola ain’t the only non-human creature who has ever stolen the show. Below you’ll find my personal favorites from movies, books, and television. Scan the list and disagree? Berate me and list it in the comments below. Then go and see John Carter! Or come with me! Should we have a big FemPop outing in support of John Carter, maybe? I don’t know man, I’m just spitballin’ – what do you think?
10. ) Wicket
George Lucas has done many great things. He has also done some awful things. For me, it all evens out, because the man gave us Wicket. I believe one Youtube User put it best “I love Wicket. He is the cutest of the all the Ewoks.” He is sassy! And hungry! And he so warmed the cockles of audience members hearts – and in a pre- LOLCAT universe, y’all! - that he got his own mini Franchise! Who among us has not made a younger sibling play Wicket to their Cindel? Who, I ask you?
9. ) Falkor
It isn’t really fair to call Falkor a sidekick. The role he plays in The Neverending Story is much more of a compatriot. There are very few things to dislike about Falkor. He lives in the clouds! He is a flying white Luckdragon! He seems to be on some sort of life-affirming sedative! His laugh is contagious and weird! HE CAN BREATHE FIRE AND SCREAM ROAR! When I stretch my cat out and jog through my apartment they are twins! Falkor for life, y’all. It’s you and me against the Nothing, adorable Luckdragon.
Ha ha. FizzGig. In an oftentimes bleak and upsetting – but beautiful and great – film, Fizzgig is the perfect ameliorate. Equal parts hilarious and ferocious, we meet the fiercely protective dog-like thing when Jen on his quest to heal the Dark Crystal, meets his love interest Kira and her massive-mouthed companion. As a short creature myself, I always love it when little things have a big bark.
You know what I love? Cats. And you know what I love even more? Evil Warlocks turned into cats for repeated attempts to take over the world. Blend the two and you have Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s Salem Saberhagen. Made almost all the more endearing for it’s totally sub-par robot-puppetry, Salem’s charm also lies in his frequent undermining of other cats – like implying their wear false whiskers. Classic.
Just like I love me some short characters being in your face tenacious, I also melt when in the face of a gentle giant – and the Labyrinth’s Ludo is no exception. A sweet, monotone, grumble-puss, he wouldn’t hurt a fly – even if those flies were attacking him. For no reason! None! Luckily, Ludo is saved by Jennifer Connolly’s Sarah and learns a lesson about being a friend. Ludo. Be my friend. I will brush you with a big soft brush.
My dearest wish is that someday it is suggested I give my cat Rumi to my half-mortal hero as a guide, but then that I refuse and instead have a mechanical replica of him made and that this replica goes on to become a touchstone of the entire decade. Classic. Bubo. Also, just say Bubo out loud man, it’s the tits.
4.) Pirate Cat
The Last Unicorn is a metaphor for my life. In fact, the solo show I am currently working on totally just devolves into me performing the Last Unicorn. This is not something anyone would ever want to watch, I don’t think. In the flick in question, the Unicorn, disguised as a woman – the Lady Amalthea – is staying at King Haggard’s castle trying to find out where he keeps the red bull who drove all the other unicorns into the sea. I KNOW RIGHT? My life. Anyway, in her quest for knowledge, she meets this pirate cat who is 1.) A PIRATE CAT and 2.) WISE and 3.) DEMANDING OF A CUDDLE. All the things a helpful animal companion should be.
Oy is a Billy Bumbler, discovered by Jake Chambers in King’s Dark Tower series. And you guys. There is so much fan art about Oy. SO MUCH. I had to slow wheel away from my computer when I found one of Roland hugging Oy because it got weird but it was too late because I already saw Hugh Laurie photoshopped as a gunslinger and my soul is marred. Oy is a rare breed of fox dogness with big yellow eyes and AN ADORABLE TENDENCY TO SPEAK POORLY! He is maybe the only adorable part of these otherwise SUPER SERIOUS AND AWESOME tomes. He is called Oy because Jake calls him Boy and he parroted ‘Oy back at him. HE ALSO SAVED JAKE’S LIFE! He is a biter! I defy you not to love him.
To call Chewy a sidekick is kind of like talking about Butch Cassidy and The Other guy. This grouchy courageous Wookie is a legit thug. I mean, if you’re cool enough to roll with Han and to recognize when Luke is being a weenie you are alright by me. Also clearly he should have received a medal. Also my brothers call me Chewy or Chewbecca because I am a very moody person. That is all.
Woola today, Woola tomorrow, Woola for the rest of my life. While I do not feel I am ready for a serious committed monogamous relationship, I have no problem committing to Woola for life. I don’t want to spoil John Carter because we are seeing it together (AREN’T WE) but suffice to say – if Woola did not exist, Taylor Kitsch might be dead. And a world with a dead Taylor Kitsch is not a world I want to live in. As they say in the Lone Star State “Woola Forever.”