The Mind’s Reel

There are movie lines that stay with you, that your mind keeps on playing whether you ask for it or not. And many of these lines stick without any inherent merit or apparent superiority. These are not the things that, while reading a script, leap up at you; no, they stay tamely on the page, all flat ink. But somewhere between the script and the screen, some magic comes in and turns these sentences to gold.

Here are a few I’ve marked in my family’s own movie experience.

I don’t want to be a pie! I don’t like gravy. Chicken Run

These are the jokes, kid. Monsters, Inc.

Dishonor on you. Dishonor on your cow. Mulan

Period. End of story. Very sad. But personally, I’m crazy about it. Son of Flubber

Never trust a bunny. Hoodwinked

We’re in a war, man! There’s no time for stupid questions. Mulan

This one is useful to quote when you need more information:

Be specific, Bob. The Incredibles

This is an all-purpose expression of dismay:

I’m a lost toy. Toy Story

This – another line from Toy Story – no doubt owes its immortality to Buzz Lightyear’s heartfelt melodrama:

Years of academy training wasted! Toy Story

I think the alliteration plays a part in making this one memorable:

Foreign as a frankfurter. Chariots of Fire

And poor grammar has a part in these:

Don’t let’s get personal. The Love Bug

I told you they was organized. Chicken Run

These play off the fact that certain words – like monkey – are just inherently funnier than others:

What’s with the monkey? The Lion King

Dude. He ate our cake. Veggie Tales

And the most famous, most immemorial of all, known by everyone in the English-speaking world:

Lions and tigers and bears – oh my! The Wizard of Oz