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By Michael Ferraro | August 18, 2004

Described as a fairy tale by the Angry Bunny Productions website, “Pet” tells the story of a lonely and miserable woman working unhappily at her dead-end job. She decides upon getting a pet to try and alleviate some of her seclusion and boredom. We learn this not by acting talent but an overuse of narration that leaves nothing up to the viewer’s imagination. Having a creature waiting excitedly when she arrives home from work excites the woman and causes her affection for the animal to develop quicker than she expected. This new lifestyle with Pet inspires the lady to do all kinds of new things she never thought possible. Simple things, like asking a boss for a raise so she can get a bigger house to keep up with her growing animal. After her boss agrees to the raise, she does the obvious thing. The woman quits her job and looks for talent agencies to sponsor her pet for use in television ads.

“Pet” then takes a turn for “The Giving Tree” territory. “The Giving Tree,” written by Shel Silverstein, tells a story about a boy and his pal tree. When the boy is young he plays and climbs on the tree, and the tree is happy. Soon, the boy grows up and uses all of the tree’s resources until there is nothing left. The old woman does the same with her pet. After the talent agency is found, she puts it in commercial after commercial until the public finally stops caring.

This film is all about a change in lifestyle. The moral is simple: if you are unhappy, change something to make it better. The change of this protagonist is merely stirred up with the entrance of a pet. The story element isn’t really the problem here. The acting is stiff and insipid, and scenes that try to enhance the loneliness of the character, just simply go on and on.

After viewing a disturbing stop-motion effect at the end of the film, it’s hard to say whether the creature is supposed to be loveable or sinister. The “Rat Monkey” from “Dead Alive” comes to mind. It also has you asking yourself why any talent agency in their right mind would want to use such a rancid creature for pet food commercials. Furthermore, after seeing such a horrific looking animal selling food, who would buy it?

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