Expect the fur to fly in Marvel's latest offering, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. One of the motley crew - and certainly the feistiest - is a talking raccoon. He's just the latest in a long line of big-screen talking critters.
1. ROCKET RACCOON
'Aw, what the hell, I don't got that long a lifespan anyway.' -Rocket
WHO? Voiced by Bradley Cooper (aka the dude from The Hangover)
WHERE? Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
WHAT? Rocket is a genetically-engineered raccoon who's a weapons specialist and an elite strategist. He is also quick-witted and rather hot-tempered, which usually results in him arguing with the gang. Rocket is almost always accompanied by Groot, a humanoid tree who provides the muscle as Rocket provides the brain. The pair used to hunt down galactic outlaws for bounty, motivated only by money. Events make Rocket learn the importance of teamwork. But before you go "awww" and conjure feelings of fuzziness, heavy firepower was involved.
2. FRANK THE PUG
'If you don't like it, you can kiss my furry little butt.' -Frank
WHO? Voiced by Tim Blaney (aka, well, Frank the Pug. He's mostly a voice actor and puppeteer.) In the movies, he was played by a trained pug named Mushu.
WHERE? Men in Black (1997), Men in Black II (2002)
WHAT? Frank the Pug is a Remmolian alien in disguise. Initially an informant hiding in New York City, he later works for the MiB. Much like the stereotypical New Yorker, can be abrasive and nearly never stops talking.
'Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen.' - Aslan
WHO? Voiced by Liam Neeson (aka Qui-Gon Jinn from Star Wars; the guy whose daughter was taken in Taken; and um, Good Cop/Bad Cop in The Lego Movie)
WHERE? The Chronicles of Narnia movies (2005, 2008, 2010)
WHAT? Aslan is the mighty lion who is also the King of Beasts, Son of the Emperor-Over-The-Sea and Lord of Narnia. He watches over and guides the Pevensie children throughout the series. Often, he appears when all hope seems lost to restore peace with his oh-so-glorious MGM-style roar.
4. STUART LITTLE
'This is the happiest moment of my life.I... I feel 10 inches tall!'- Stuart
WHO? Voiced by Michael J. Fox (aka Marty McFly from Back to The Future)
WHERE? Stuart Little (1999), Stuart Little 2 (2002)
WHAT? Based on a 1945 novel of the same name by E. B. White, Stuart is a white talking mouse adopted by the Little family. At the Little home, Stuart faces many issues, including not being acknowledged by the family's other son, George, and trying to avoid being eaten by his nemesis, the family cat, Snowbell.
'War has already begun.' - Caesar
WHO? Voiced and portrayed by Andy Serkis (aka Smeagol/Gollum of the Lord of The Rings trilogy)
WHERE? Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
WHAT? Caesar is the offspring of laboratory chimpanzee used to test a cure for Alzheimer's disease. The drug gives him highly enhanced intelligence and the ability to talk. But it also destroys the human population across the planet.
Caesar leads an ape rebellion and now rules as the leader of a simian colony in a world. Caesar is a compassionate and just leader, and has more time for humans than some of his primate faction.
This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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