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15 Famous Movie Teddy Bears

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15 Famous Movie Teddy Bears

Seth MacFarlene releases his first feature on the world this weekend in the form of Ted, a transgressive raunchfest in which the writer/director voices the fuzzy, f-bomb-dropping title character. Longtime pal and enabler of Mark Wahlberg’s man-boy, Ted may be the screen’s most naughty plush companion, but he owes a certain debt to his cuddly, uh, forebears. Some of these characters (don’t call them props!) make only brief appearances, while others prove central to the story being told. Either way, they’ve leapt from the uncertainty of the toy-store shelf to the immortality of film, assuming the roles of confidant, booby trap, and even surveillance vessel. Next time you snuggle up with your childhood friend, remember these teddy bear stars, who strive to prove there’s more to them than mere fluff.

Toy Story 3

Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear in Toy Story 3 (2010). Don’t be deceived by that welcoming gaze or pink, untainted appearance. Lots-O’-Huggin Bear, voiced with a growly twang by Ned Beatty, is one formidable, issue-laden villain, whose trauma of being jilted by a past owner feeds a hunger to make life miserable for good toys everywhere. Sporting a squeeze-your-cares-away smile but nevertheless two-faced, Lots-O’ puts a whale of damper on Buzz and company’s plans in this love-showered threequel, standing as a sad symbol of toy outgrowth gone awry.

Labyrinth

Lancelot in Labyrinth (1986). From the forced role of surrogate mom to poor, kidnapped Toby, to the undeniable allure of David Bowie’s spandex-wrapped bulge, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is as much about young Sarah’s (Jennifer Connelly) march to womanhood as it is about her trek to the castle of Bowie’s androgynous Goblin King. Collectively, the strongest symbol of her enduring immaturity is her vast collection of toys, none of which means more than Lancelot, the blonde bear that Toby unwittingly stole. The act is enough to make Sarah wish for the baby’s abduction, which winds up seeming a bit extreme considering all that goes down after.

Sleepless in Seattle

Jonah’s Teddy Bear in Sleepless in Seattle (1993). Directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, a woman to whom we all just sadly said goodbye, Sleepless in Seattle preceded Titanic as the mother of three-hanky, girls-night flicks, and its finale involves a teddy bear as crucial as Rose Dewitt Bukater’s precious diamond. Once on the observation deck of the World Trade Center, her and Sam Baldwin’s (Tom Hanks) meeting place, Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) finds the backpack of Sam’s son, Jonah (Ross Malinger), containing a teddy bear that starts the conversation when Sam and Jonah make it to the deck as well. The bear proves a comfort object that unites a family as they meet for the first time.

Alfie

Alfie’s Gift in Alfie (1966). This generation may only know Jude Law as the womanizing cad Alfie, but four decades ago, it was all about Michael Caine, who iconically assumed the title role in one of his best performances. Largely emotionless and practically bound for loneliness, Alfie’s rare bit of humanity can be largely attributed to a son, who’s born to Gilda (Julia Foster), one of his many conquests. In a scene that coincides with Alfie’s outlook-adjusting breakdown, he visits his child and sneaks a small white teddy bear into the crib. It’s not a father-of-the-year act, but it’s something.

Man on Fire

Creasy Bear in Man on Fire (2004). Tony Scott’s most popular collaboration with Denzel Washington is exceedingly stronger in its first half than in its second, proving that a character bond portrayed by two fine actors is far more interesting than a vengeance-fueled bloodbath. A symbol of the loyalty forged between Creasy (Washington) and Pita (Dakota Fanning) is Pita’s teddy bear, which she leaves behind when she’s mysteriously kidnapped, but names after her bodyguard and eventual liberator. The name becomes an integral detail of the plot, serving to prove to Creasy that his new friend is still alive.

Paddington Bear

Paddington Bear in Paddington Bear (2014). The movie version of Paddington Bear isn’t set to drop until 2014, but the character has been out-classing his peers since 1958, when Michael Bond’s A Bear Called Paddington was first published. Based on a similar bear Bond once saw at a London toy store near Paddington Station on Christmas Eve, the anthropomorphic creation has enchanted kids in countries the world over. Paddington is, himself, an immigrant, landing in London after traveling from Peru. Civilized and polite, this bear couldn’t be bothered to stick his paw in a jar of honey. He’ll have marmalade sndwiches, thank you very much.

Mac and Me

Mac in Mac and Me (1988). In what is widely regarded as the most shameless bit of product placement in movie history, the notorious dud Mac and Me features a lengthy dance number at its center, the action taking place inside a McDonald’s and surrounding alien Mac in a fuzzy teddy bear costume. From the alien’s name on down, Mac and Me was pure, commercialized trash, plugging Coca-Cola and even boasting a Ronald McDonald cameo. All the kids in the restaurant initially thought Mac was just a toy, but viewers could see right through the movie’s opportunistic ways.

Cape Fear

Chair Bear in Cape Fear (1991). In an attempt to outsmart Robert De Niro’s maniacal Max Cady, Sam and Leigh Bowden (Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange) stay in their home after faking Sam’s departure to a bar, a ploy to keep Cady off their property. With the window rigged, everyone, including Joe Don Baker’s private investigator, assume the coast is clear. But Cady pulls a Buffalo Bill and dresses in drag as the maid, offing the P.I. with a strangulation and a bullet. Scanning the scene before his death, Baker’s character double-checks the window and accompanying trip wire, which stretches across a teddy bear seated on a chair. It’s a brief shot, but the bear’s image is oddly menacing, an effect Martin Scorsese didn’t think he could achieve.

Brideshead Revisited

Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited (1981). Granted, this 1981 adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s novel was in fact a made-for-TV miniseries, spanning 11 episodes and running nearly 700 minutes. But unlike the 2008 film version with Emma Thompson, British TV’s Brideshead doesn’t sideline Aloysius, the teddy bear owned by the tortured Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews). Reportedly inspired by poet John Betjeman and his teddy bear, Archibald Ormsby-Gore, Aloysius becomes highly representative of Sebastian’s sheltered, stunted existence, his identity and wants snuffed out by his mother’s oppression. So significant was Andrews’s Aloysious, he graces the series’s DVD cover art.

Firestarter

Charlie’s Teddy in Firestarter (1984). Fireball Drew Barrymore made a lasting impression as the pyrokinetic in the Mark Lester film based on Stephen King’s novel, reading minds as she set things ablaze. Wanted by a shady government agency that, natch, wants to harness her nifty powers, Barrymore’s Charlie winds up in the crosshairs of George C. Scott’s sniper, who takes aim at the girl and her dad, Andy (David Keith), with a tranquilizer gun. Crossing a narrow bridge after leaving a secluded cabin, Charlie and Andy each get nailed with a dart, inducing instant sleepiness. The sole survivor? Charlie’s teddy bear, who looks on helplessly as agents close in on its owners.

The Care Bears Movie

The Care Bears in The Care Bears Movie (1985). Before there was Michael Bay’s Transformers, there was The Care Bears Movie, one of the first feature films to be based on a toy line (it one-ups Bay’s baby like Clue: The Movie bests Battleship). In the animated movie, the Care Bears star alongside their Care Bear Cousins, and the story of their adventures in Care-a-lot (seriously) are told via a group of orphanage owners. With enough colorful fur coats to fill the Forest of Feelings, The Care Bears Movie sees its titular heroes save a young sorcerer and find love and care for a pair of lonely children. See? Just like Transformers.

The Muppet Movie

Fozzie Bear in The Muppet Movie (1979). A teddy bear for the ages, the Muppets’ Fozzie continued to prove his popularity last year, as part of the beloved ensemble of revival-musical The Muppets. But Fozzie’s first big-screen adventure was The Muppet Movie, a landmark that led to everything from Muppet Treasure Island to A Muppet Christmas Carol. In the James Frawley-directed film (which feature none other than Orson Welles), Fozzie (voiced by Frank Oz) is a stand-up comic working in a dive bar, until he meets Kermit the Frog and hits the road with him. They cross paths with all the usual suspects, including Gonzo, Scooter, and swoony Miss Piggy, who swiftly makes Fozzie the third wheel.

The Nanny Diaries

“Nanny-Cam” Bear in The Nanny Diaries (2007). A sort of Devil Wears Prada on the home front, The Nanny Diaries is an adaptation of the book by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, which, like Lauren Weisberger’s quasi-tell-all, gives the masses an inside look at what it’s like to work for a high-class bitch. Scarlett Johnasson is Annie, the nanny that approaches her job like an anthropological study, only to find that Mrs. X (Laura Linney) is one venomous specimen. One of Annie’s more memorable discoveries is a “nanny-cam,” which Mrs. X plants in her home under the guise of a simple teddy bear. So much for cute and innocent.

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh in Winnie the Pooh (2011). An underrated gem amid last year’s rush of blockbusters and Oscar bait, Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall’s Winnie the Pooh, closely inspired by A. A. Milne’s classic books, arrived as the 51st animated classic from Disney. A fine vintage, it sees that pot-bellied, silly old bear cope with his honey addiction while he and his pals seek out kindly Christopher Robin, presumably snatched up by an imaginary baddie. Championed by some critics, this new twist on an old tale succeeded in bridging generation gaps, much thanks to its endearing—and enduring—main man.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Teddy in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). A favorite figure in Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick’s dreamy collaboration, the pet robot Teddy becomes poor David’s (Haley Joel Osment) only true confidant, a creature with both structural empathy and outsider’s sympathy. Bound to David when both are abandoned by a mother (Frances O’Connor) who must choose between sons, it’s Teddy who’s around for all the film’s adventures, from a terrifying scrap-heap circus to a momentous visit to Manhattan, where David finally lands and awaits his sad fate: to meet his estranged mother only one last time. A killer creation on strictly an effects level, Teddy is also a crucial piece of this misunderstood film’s heart, a heart that’s much more substantial than initial reviews suggested.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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