The Theme of the Friendship in Paulie and Beethoven

The genre of family films has always strived and been created to maintain the family values and represent the events with instructive and at the same time kind and warm moments. The theme of relationship between humans and animals is often chosen as a base for the plot within this genre, as well as it was done in Paulie (1998) and Beethoven (1992). Both films contain dramatic issues and elements from comedy and, therefore, provide the viewers with the ability to sympathize and estimate the means of true friendship between people and animals.

Both films were shot in the same decade with a difference in six years and accordingly the supportive surroundings and state of affairs in everyday life of the heroes do not differ a lot. However, as far as Paulie includes the parts with the parrot itself being a narrator, Beethoven is represented in a general kind of film where all the events descent as taken from life. The main heroes of Paulie and Beethoven are the parrot and the dog correspondingly. The common idea is of belonging these animals to the human families and their devotion to the members of them. Especially the theme of friendship between children and animals despite parents’ disapproval derives in given stories. Mentioning parents’ disapproval it is obvious to pay attention at the fact that only fathers in both families have problems with the existence of the animal member in a family. Both mothers display the role of buffer between their children and husbands.

Though having the main idea in common the narratives of the films are designed with many differences each reflecting particular direction of the plot. Paulie considers the life of the parrot with several human beings and therefore it enables the director represent more types of relationship which are possible between people and animals. With each person in this film Paulie, the main character, creates unique friendship maintaining the devotion only to the first owner Marie Alweather. The parrot has many adventures removing from one place of living to the other appearing to be a friend of the representatives from various castes. The viewers are able to observe the ways animals can be treated as long as the friends can be. Beethoven reveals the opposite set of events introducing the way relationship can develop within one family. The film represents the chain of situations where the viewers can watch the relationship between the dog and the members of one family mainly. The events that are showed contain the behavior of the dog concerning his friends, the members of his family. The plot contains a number of adventures as well; having more comic moments than Paulie though.

The antiheroes are present in both films as well. It does not appear to be a surprising fact about the desire of some representatives of the humanity to make a fortune with a help of illegal activities. Overall, the situations finish with no harm relating the animals but only the evildoers. Both plots consider the meetings of the main heroes with such people. Although the parrot in Paulie deals with more people than Beethoven he meets not only cheaters. Ivy and Ignacio display the roles of Paulie’s masters in some periods of his life. Ignacio represents the character of a person who can be a good pal, respecting the creatures surrounding him, not being too concerned about their problems too much though. The relationship between Paulie and Ignasio resemble to be reasonable. However, it is not a real friendship.


Ivy is described as the one who is really ready to do a lot to help the talkative parrot and strives to do her best to complete this task. The seeds of friendship which are put from the very beginning of their interrelation and concerning the issue of finding Marie develop into real devotion. A very dramatic moment when Ivy and Paulie are meeting the sunset reflects the usual right for choice the human beings usually obtain. Paulie demonstrates one of the most elevated features and this is sacrifice. He is ready to hold over his great desire to reunite with his beloved Marie for providing the necessary help for the woman who appeared to have lost the sight. This characterizes the parrot as a valuable friend and provides his hero with the features of a positive loving creature; so obvious for the family genre. The thematic resemblance of two discussed films here is definite.

The main theme of Beethoven is the friendship between people and a dog. If to discover the set of events in Paulie, the spectators estimate the faith of the parrot in his indestructible will to return to his first owner despite the appearing difficulties, therefore not being under the same roof. The faith of the dog is not less but the difference is that he demonstrates it in everyday life and regarding different members of the family. The help he provides for the eldest daughter in the family, who is called Ryce, concerns her romantic feelings. Ted, who is the second child, gets rid of the problematic schoolmates with a protection of the dog and in this situation Beethoven is showed as a generous hero without the need for recognition like many humans are used to. The saving of Emily’s life serves as a final moment for all the doubts about the ability of the dog to be a real friend. Even the tension existing between the dog and the father of the family, George, does not prevent Beethoven from ruining a barbecue with Brad and Brie who act the roles of cheaters who are willing to swindle George out of his company. The attitude of the two capitalists, Brad and Brie towards Emily, the mother of the family, makes Beethoven teach them a good lesson and enlightens him as a family defender enabling to recognize one more important family value which is not to be afraid but act if a person can save the others.

Both plots include the cases with the criminals who want to get easy money without working too much. In two stories these people are eager to use the animals for their mean actions. The focus in both has a little difference. Though the main line is the maintaining of real friendship between people and animals, the plot in Paulie stresses the attitude towards animals in the world of humans. The set of events in Beethoven is developed in the way to underline the devotion of the animal to the people it loves, and to show the barriers such animal can have in persuading certain humans in the faithfulness of the feelings. The fact that parents often reject the evidence given by their children lays the foundation of the culminating point in the film where the dog’s main opponent in the family obtains the belief in Beethoven being not guilty.

The culminating point in Paulie is Misha’s decision to lead the parrot till the end of his route to the beloved owner. Russian emigrant produces the willingness to do it and is not afraid of the consequences for himself. The given fragment approves that not only animals can be devoted and not selfish. The development of the plot enables the viewers to see how desperate and betrayed creature can revive and gets the desire to live once more.

One more distinctive feature of Paulie is that the emphasis of the film is done not only on the friendship and relationship between the parrot and particular human representatives. The question of the animals’ intellectual abilities is raised in this story too. The eternal desire to contact with animals verbally is enlightened in the plot. The fact that the parrot talks but not just reproduces should not vest people the right to control the life of such a creature and all the situations in the film direct to this conclusion.

Overall, the issue of relationship between people and animals is raised in both movies. In Beethoven there can be seen the problem of accepting the animal into the family and treating as an equal member of the family. According to the plot in Paulie, the estimation is given to the human’s ability resist the temptation of getting gain betraying the creature that trusts you. However, the sense that is the main and appears to be in common for both stories represented in Beethoven and Paulie is the belief in real friendship between people and animals. Both films include conflicts and hard decisions made by the heroes but the denouements of the affairs provide confidence in such a kind of relationship existence. The family viewing of these films can bring many pleasant emotions and the easiness of perception is obvious in regard to the plots of the films.