From cursed flowers to man-eating alien houseplants, leafy organisms play leading roles in a variety of popular films. Here are a few of our favorites.
Plants are living organisms. But, in movies, some plants are a bit more alive than others.
When you think of movie stars, you probably think of names like Pitt, Johansson, and Cruise. But, in some films, these A-Listers can’t hold a candle to some of their leafy, green co-stars. Here are some of our favorite plants from the silver screen.
Audrey II, Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
What happens when you buy a strange plant from an old, mysterious Chinese man in 1960’s New York City? Well, you may end up with a Venus Fly Trap/Butterwort hybrid with a taste for blood! This is the lesson Seymour, a skittish employee at Mushnik’s Flower Shop, learns the hard way.
Named after Seymour’s colleague and love interest, Audrey II becomes a local celebrity as it grows to monstrous proportions. The talking (and singing) carnivorous alien plant utters the iconic line “Feed me, Seymour!” before wreaking havoc and chomping down on some unsuspecting – and a few suspecting – bystanders.
Enchanted Rose, Beauty and the Beast (1991)
One stormy night, a beautiful enchantress disguised as a haggard traveler offers Prince Adam a rose in exchange for shelter. When he sneers in refusal, the enchantress casts a spell on the castle, transforming the prince into a beast, and his staff into furniture. The occupants of the castle are doomed to remain this way unless Adam “could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell” on his twenty-first birthday.
Hidden deep in the forbidden west wing of the Beast’s Castle and discovered by the ever-curious beauty named Belle, the Enchanted Rose that stays protected under a glass bell jar serves as a constant reminder of the curse placed on the prince and his subjects.
Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas (1995)
Perhaps the wisest tree ever, Grandmother Willow acts as a spirit guide for the adventurous and headstrong Pocahontas. A sentient weeping willow, she provides a safe space (both literally and figuratively) for the free-spirited young woman and the creatures who live among her branches.
When Pocahontas needs advice, Grandmother Willow is her go-to, translating her mysterious dreams and encouraging her to be guided by the spirits of the earth. Serving as a stand-in for Pocahontas’ deceased maternal figures, Grandmother Willow bestows much-needed comfort, wisdom, and humor.
The Deadly Poppy Field, Wizard of Oz (1939)
When fooling your adversary into believing you’ve been poinsoned, use an attractive, sweet-smelling lure. That’s exactly what the Wicked Witch of the West did when setting a trap to slow Dorothy and her companions on their journey to Oz. In a quest to retrieve her late sister’s ruby slippers, the witch places a curse on a field of poppies.
As Dorothy, Toto, and their new-found friends make their way to Emerald City, they emerge from the dark forest to find a beautiful field of little red flowers. Believing they found a shortcut, the group soon is lulled to sleep in the Deadly Poppy Field. Luckily, the Tin Man and Scarecrow, who are not humans, remain unaffected and call for help.
The Plant, Wall·E (2008)
Earth is full of fantastic flora that we often take for granted. But, what happens when the planet is no longer able to sustain life of any kind? Plants suddenly become much more significant. Futuristic robot EVE is sent back to Earth to search for signs of viable life.
Meanwhile, another curious robot named Wall·E finds a tiny sprouting plant while performing his trash-compacting duties on Earth. When he meets his new friend EVE, her life-detection sensors are triggered by the plant, which she subsequently seizes. Her mission is to report back to earth’s former inhabitants that toxin levels have decreased so that they, once again, may return to their home planet.
We believe that all plants have their own magical qualities, just like the ones that play important roles in these movies. Who is your favorite big-screen leafy character?
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