Idea For A Sad, Sad Movie, Like “Old Yeller,” But Sad

My sister and I have a weak spot for sad animal movies. I think she was traumatized for years after her second grade class was “treated” to a walk to the movie theater for a screening of The Incredible Journey. Of course that’s the heartwarming tale of two dogs and a cat whose owners lose them on vacation (nice), and they have to make a cross-country trek back home. She still vividly recalls trying to control her sobbing during the scene where one of the dogs goes all MMA with a porcupine, and ends up with a bunch spikes in his face.

Disney loves that shit. The Lion King, The Fox and the Hound, Old Yeller, Dumbo, Bambi, Finding Nemo, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (because a new generation needed to be exposed to poor puppies and kitties struggling to survive in the wild)…rivers of tears have been shed by kids and adults alike during these beloved flicks. Bastards.

Anyway, I have an idea for a pitch based on this genre. It’s sweet, it’s heart wrenching, and ultimately triumphant. It’s about a poor, sad, neglected little beagle mix named Penny. She’s subjected to untold trauma during her short life. She’s forced to eat dry dog food. She must dejectedly go lie down by herself on her soft bed that’s covered with blankets and toys when no one is paying attention to her. And the most despicable tragedy imaginable. One day, out of the blue, her human mom and brother leave to go on an errand. Will they be back in 20 minutes? An hour? Never? She doesn’t know. And she’s all alone. Oh wait, no, she’s not alone, her 12-year-old human brother is home with her, but working on the computer. How will this end? Will she ever be loved again? Thoughts run through her mind, memories of the days she was taken on walks, given kisses, treats, tummy rubs. But not now. They’re gone. But wait? Is that the garage door? Are they home? Could it be?

OHMYGODHOLYCRAPTHEYACTUALLYCAMEBACKFORMEOHMYGODOHMYGODTHATSTHEMTHEYREHOMEOMFG!!!! Reunited at last in a frenzy of howling, screaming, jumping, licking, tail-wagging glory. And they walk off into the sunset, after a long belly rub. All is well again. The end.

This is based on this picture I took today before Alex and I left the house.

As an aside, while we were busy abandoning Penny, Alex and I got something to drink at the Target food court before shopping. I was filling Alex’s cup with water, and we had this conversation.

Alex: “Aww, I wanted a smoothie.”
Me: “No, you can just drink water.”
Alex: “Oh fine. Why are you getting diet Coke?”
Me: “Because I’m an adult.”
Alex: “But I thought you liked wine?”
Me: (Chuckling quietly. They are observant little things, aren’t they?)
Alex: “Don’t you like wine?”
Me: (At this point an older woman is nearby, hearing everything and grinning.) “Not at Target.”
Alex: “Do they even have wine here?”
Me: “No.”
Alex: “Oh.”


© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012


2 thoughts on “Idea For A Sad, Sad Movie, Like “Old Yeller,” But Sad

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