Morgan Berry, The Worlds No.1 Pet Bereavement Counsellor’s top 10 animal films.
Morgan Berry, the world’s No.1 pet bereavement counsellor continues his pet bereavement counselling career by reaching out to as many people as possible. The car wash he owns is in trouble. Morgan needs to stop it from going Watership Down. The character creation of comedian, actor and TV host Joe Rowntree (Brainiac: Science Abuse) Morgan helps people cope with their pet loss by performing his very own, self-styled and unique method of pet counselling called: ‘Freedom Heeling’. Joe’s other television appearances have included The Sack Race (BBC 2), The Richard Hammond Show (ITV) and Dave’s One Night Stand (Dave).
1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
When I first watched this film it blew my mind and often have lurid and salacious thoughts about Jessica Rabbit whenever I see a woman in a red dress or anything red for that matter. Comic relief is a hard time for me in more ways than one. I just have to see a red nose and thoughts of Jessica come flooding back. Roger had a great anarchic spirit about him and he reminds me of myself when I was 18, getting up to mischief, playing tricks on people and getting framed for things I hadn’t done. He truly embodies the fun and playful nature of all rabbits. I actually introduced The Roger Rabbit dance move into the reggae clubs of Botswana, skipping backwards with my arms performing a flapping gesture as if hooking one’s thumbs on suspenders. It was the best thing Bob Hoskins did, apart from the BT adverts which I was a big fan of. When Bod passed away I switched to Sky.
2. Watership Down
This was an absolute classic and my morning alarm clock is set to the Bright Eyes theme turn sang by the fantastic Art Garfunkel who I happened to meet at Toddington services on the M1. I was at the urinals having a wizzle, looked across and it was him. The film follows the rabbits as they escape the destruction of their warren and seek a place to establish a new home. It’s a bit like what the Russians and Chinese are doing in this country, buying up all the property and pricing the locals out forcing them to move elsewhere.
3. Lion King
I think this is the best film to help one learn how to be a good father. I have picked up so many good parenting tips from Mufasa which I have passed onto my 16 children. When we’re out walking in the woods I often stop, tell my kids to look up at the trees and I say: “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As King, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.” I replace antelope with rabbit. I have an uncle like Scar who’s always trying to get one over the family. We were at wedding recently and uncle Tobogo was caught trying to steal all the catering cutlery.
4. Ace Ventura Pet Detective
I feel me and Ace have a lot in common. He’s a Pet Detective and I’m a Pet Bereavement Counsellor. I guess he has more strings to his bow than me because Ace will look for any pet that has gone missing but I only counsel people who have lost rabbits. May one day I could move into helping people with other animals or even run a rabbit detective agency on the side.
Now I’m not a big fan of Dogs in general as they are responsible for killing a lot of rabbits but you’ve got to love Lassie. You don’t see her kill one rabbit in any of the films. I feel I have a lot in common with Lassie as last year I rescued two half-brothers who were lost and dying in the snow and I ran 15 miles for help.
6. Dog Soldiers
A classic film that pays homage to The Evil Dead, Zulus and Aliens. The soldiers aren’t technically killing Dogs, they are werewolves and even though wolves look a bit like dogs they split from a common ancestor thousands of years ago. Huskies have more in common, genetically speaking, with Boxer Dogs than with grey wolves. But seeing something that looks like a dog getting sprayed with bullets is always fun.
7. Finding Nemo.
I often put this film on when my wife Jub Jub is feeling low. She lost a leg last year when it got twisted in the roller brushes at the car wash, she tripped on a paving slab and got sucked in. Nemo’s little fin reminds her that it’s ok to be different.
8. Stuart Little.
This film always brings a tear to my eye because it reminds me of how much Stuart and I have in common and the struggle that we both share. Stuart was adopted from an orphanage after his parents died in a supermarket accident. I was left inside a microwave and found on a landfill site by a man in a digger. I was taken to an orphanage and adopted by Botswanan parents who were on a gap year in Barnsley. I don’t even know if my parents are alive but often wonder if they were crushed alive by trolleys.
Tarzan was adopted by the leader of an ape tribe and lived in the jungle. I was saved and kept alive by rabbits after they suckled me inside the microwave. Tarzan can communicate with animals and I can talk rabbit. It sounds a lot like Welsh! I’m a bit like Tarzan because I lived in Botswana for the first 18 years of my life and there’s a lot of jungle there. But I moved back to Barnsley after that so I guess that’s where the similarity ends.
10. The Jungle Book.
I love Rudyard Kipling. I am a big fan of his poetry as well. My favourite poem is ‘IF’. The one line I keep in my heart that has put me in good stead is: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same” I’ve got this line tattooed on my right leg. Jub Jub lost the leg with her tattoo on, it was a picture of Rolf Harris’ face so she was actually quite glad to lose it. We’re getting a new one done of Tina Turner’s face on the remaining leg next week!
See Morgan Berry – Watership Down at Banshee Labyrinth during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 8th – 30th August. For more information visit www.joerowntree.com.