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Film / Buddy

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Buddy is a 1997 film produced by Columbia Pictures, the first of three co-productions with the short-lived Jim Henson Pictures.

Trudy is a millionaire that lavishes her wealth on her pets like they're her children. She has an entire family of chimpanzees, dogs, cats, exotic birds, and other creatures. One afternoon while visiting the zoo she comes across an orphaned baby gorilla named "Buddy", just arrived from Africa. Feeling pity for the baby, she takes him with her, and from then on raises Buddy to be her surrogate son that she totes around the city. Buddy grows to hate the confines of the mansion and of the strict rules of human interaction and becomes a dangerously hard to control adult gorilla.



  • Broken Aesop: The message about the dangers of keeping wild animals as pets is broken because the two pet chimps, who unlike Buddy get to stay, are portrayed as peaceful. In reality, chimps are actually more destructive than gorillas despite being smaller and weaker.
  • Character Narrator: The film is narrated by Trudy, as befitting the fact that it's based on her autobiography
  • Friend to All Living Things: Trudy.
  • The Great Depression: Set in the 1930s. At one point, Trudy brings her animals to the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, which is introduced with some black-and-white Stock Footage of the actual fair.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Keeping a baby gorilla in your house is all well and good until he grows up to become a dangerous adult gorilla.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Sure, it seemed to be the right thing to adopt an orphaned gorilla that would have died without his mother's love and protection-but Trudy ended up creating an emotionally distressed gorilla that destroys her house.
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  • Naïve Animal Lover: Trudy has the best intentions for Buddy, but is in denial that he could possibly hurt her or anybody else.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Based on the life of Gertrude Lintz, adapted from her 1942 autobiography titled Animals Are My Hobby. The film's Buddy is actually a composite of two gorillas she kept, Buddy and Massa. Contrary to the film, it was Massa who was sold to the Philadelphia Zoo and lived to fifty-four. Buddy was sold to the Ringling Bros. Circus, where he was renamed "Gargantua" and died at the age of twenty.


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